The Call Up

The best of the internet as curated by me. Put me in coach.

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March 28, 2014 11:25 pm
"First of all, you have to be sexually compatible. That’s very important. If anyone tells you different, they’re nuts. And he was extravagant; he liked living the way I did. We used to dance, which I love to do. We used to drink, have a few cocktails. And he had a lot of friends. I met them all. They were all cheaters. Most men are cheaters—you know that, don’t you? I could meet a cheater tomorrow if I wanted to. But I’ve had enough men. I’m 98 years old, what the hell do I want a man for? What can I give him? What can he give me? Nothing."

This whole thing is awesome.  Who is this woman?  Is it my future self?  God I hope so.

Sex advice from a 98-year-old woman.


February 22, 2013 10:00 am
"Yes, the life of politics and the life of the myth had diverged too far. There was nothing to return them to one another, no common danger, no cause, no desire, and, most essentially, no hero. It was a hero America needed, a hero central to his time, a man whose personality might suggest contradiction and mysteries which could reach into the alienated circuits of the underground, because only a hero can capture the secret imagination of a people, and so be good for the vitality of his nation; a hero embodies the fantasy and so allows each private mind the liberty to consider its fantasy and find a way to grow."

Norman Mailer on JFK in 1960, in one of his earliest pieces of political journalism.  The guy was absolutely merciless.  His lens had no filter, no buffer…it was like an assault of ethos.


February 21, 2013 10:00 am
"The South has preaching and shouting, the South has grits, the South has country songs, old mimosa traditions, clay dust, Old Bigots, New Liberals — and all of it, all of that old mental cholesterol, is confined to the Sunday radio. What I was in the middle of — well, it wasn’t anything one hears about in panels about the South today. Miles and miles of eye-busting pastel cars on the expressway, which roar right up into the hills, going to the stock-car races."

Tom Wolfe on (what was then) the “new South.”  And specifically, stock car racing.  Wolfe is a master of bombastic, gonzo journalism…making you feel like you’re in it.  There.  Not that he describes the sights and smells (though he does that), but the energy…the feeling you get from that moment.  Still one of my all time favorites.  


February 20, 2013 1:00 pm
"Sinatra with a cold is Picasso without paint, Ferrari without fuel — only worse. For the common cold robs Sinatra of that uninsurable jewel, his voice, cutting into the core of his confidence, and it affects not only his own psyche but also seems to cause a kind of psychosomatic nasal drip within dozens of people who work for him, drink with him, love him, depend on him for their own welfare and stability. A Sinatra with a cold can, in a small way, send vibrations through the entertainment industry and beyond as surely as a President of the United States, suddenly sick, can shake the national economy."

A classic piece.  


November 13, 2012 10:01 am
"People are ultimately threatened by young people taking positions of power. But there’s also this feeling of I could do that, too. People don’t feel rabidly jealous of Larry David or Salman Rushdie because they don’t think, I could do that. And with what I’ve done, I think a lot of people think, I could do that in my sleep. If I’d just met one person along my path, I would have that TV show."

Lena Dunham being all kinds of righteous awesome.  I think this general sentiment is often the case with comedy over other types of entertainment.  No one thinks they could be Aaron Sorkin, but lots of people think they could be Judd Apatow.  And it’s even more the case when there’s a 26 year old woman at the helm.  But fuck you if you think you could write that episode at the Brooklyn loft party.  That was such a perfectly formed half hour of television, I don’t even know. 


January 23, 2012 3:30 pm
"Amid the plague that hit the magazine industry back then, Esquire was worse off than most. Beaten up by a crop of lad magazines like Maxim, then hammered by the flight of advertisers and readers to the Web, Esquire suffered a 24.3 percent loss in advertising pages compared with 2008, which was almost as bad, by the way."

I mostly chose this quote because it uses the term “lad magazines,” which makes me giggle.  I imagine Disney-like characters with fair hair and square chins, bounding down cobble-stoned streets, slinging papers, whistling tunes, maybe tipping their caps to the ladies.  Also it’s a good article, which uses the aforementioned term more than once. 

(Source: The New York Times)

January 19, 2012 6:49 am

"One of the real dilemmas we have in our country and around the world is that what works in politics is organization and conflict. That is, drawing the sharp distinctions. But in real life, what works is networks and cooperation. And we need victories in real life, so we’ve got to get back to networks and cooperation, not just conflict. But politics has always been about conflict, and in the coverage of politics, information dissemination tends to be organized around conflict as well. It is extremely personal now, and you see in these primaries that the more people agree with each other on the issues, the more desperate they are to make the clear distinctions necessary to win, so the deeper the knife goes in."
Clinton is interviewed in the latest issue of Esquire and continues to be awesome.  Also, the above film, The War Room, is a classic that needs to be viewed by any and all political junkies. Pretty fascinating to watch today and compare what Clinton once represented to what we think of him now.