The Call Up

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

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July 23, 2013 11:52 am
"Step two is knowing that #FOMO is an unwinnable game. Even for the people in the very pictures that are eliciting our jealousy. All those Instagram hotshots who are always doing the most exciting, most enviable, most fashionable and champagne-y stuff? They are, according to our statistical analyses here at the Center, the very individuals with the most hyperactive #FOMO. Do you know, new friends, how much work it takes to be one of those people who is at the right place at the right time, all the time? An awful lot of exertion—blood, sweat, tears, texts, e-mails, tweets, Facebook lurks, and most of all, fear—goes into making the social arts look effortless. It’s that fear that makes them work so hard."

GQ examines FOMO: Fear of Missing Out.  An phenomenon which afflicts all, and no one wins. 

(Source: GQ)

March 22, 2013 6:40 pm
"Fallon offered a new mood for the post-irony crowd—a new generation with a taste for immediately streamable chunks of unabashed pop-culture sugar that didn’t pretend to be nutritious, symbolic, relevant, or important."

Are we post-irony now?  I did not get that memo…

But Jimmy Fallon is awfully charming.

(Source: GQ)

January 16, 2013 10:00 am
"Beyoncé’s inner sanctum also contains thousands of hours of private footage, compiled by a “visual director” Beyoncé employs who has shot practically her every waking moment, up to sixteen hours a day, since 2005. In this footage, Beyoncé wears her hair up, down, with bangs, and without. In full makeup and makeup-free, she can be found shaking her famous ass onstage, lounging in her dressing room, singing Coldplay’s “Yellow” to Jay-Z over an intimate dinner, and rolling over sleepy-eyed in bed."

The insanity that is Beyonce Knowles.  I don’t care what people say, the woman has moxy.  In addition to being wildly talented, successful, driven, and savvy, her super-style makes the rest of woman-kind like we just finished sifting through the trash heap for our outfits.

(Source: GQ)

January 10, 2013 5:41 pm

gq:

LOVE SOSA.

…in which we review every look from Sammy Sosa’s Pinterest page.

I don’t even know what is happening to the world.  

March 14, 2012 11:06 am
"The backyard of Drake’s mansion is indistinguishable from the set of one of those late-night Lifetime soft-core romance flicks. Waterfalls gush all around, surging over enormous boulders. Bronze animals—lions, elephants, giraffes!—checker the lawn, glimmering in the last light of the San Fernando Valley sun. A giant fire, fit for a king from Middle-earth, burns in an outdoor fireplace, and a flat-screen TV plays Sixteen Candles."

One cannot undersell the opening salvo from this GQ profile.

(Source: GQ)

January 30, 2012 12:43 pm
Discussion from this week: "What’s with Kenneth Branagh? Is it just me or is he ageless? He’s been 38 for at least a decade."

Discussion from this week:
"What’s with Kenneth Branagh? Is it just me or is he ageless? He’s been 38 for at least a decade."

January 26, 2012 7:48 am
"But on further reflection, I realized I was surrounded with weepy men. My best guy friends have dissolved like otter pops over no less than the Lost finale, or an overly fond description of a long-dead parakeet. I’ve tended to date graduates of the Nick Hornby School for Maudlin Young Men, and I deal with it poorly. I once ended perhaps one of the most fulfilling sex-only relationships of my life because the guy cried over a soccer game."

There are many ways in which this column is spectacular, I encourage you to read the whole thing.

(Source: GQ)

January 17, 2012 2:33 pm
"I can think of few other films that struck such awe, and now inspire such vitriol. Unlike other contrived winners, like, say, Crash, whose repugnant qualities are immediately apparent, American Beauty’s badness, its slickness, its insistence on its own profundity, was enough to bamboozle many of us as teenagers. I believe it’s one of the earliest firsthand experiences my generation had with changing our minds about a movie we loved…There is no sense of that coming dread in American Beauty—it’s static; a silent groan about the excesses of comfort…It feels impossible to go to American Beauty, now, as an adult, and find anything but a nasty, patronizing movie that tries to spin baby boomer disillusionment into universal themes."

GQ looks back at American Beauty.  While I totally agree with the overall sentiment (please, go watch Ordinary People instead), I still think Annette Benning turned in one of the best performances ever done by a woman that wasn’t Meryl Streep.  I also have to say the visuals in that movie had us fooled, some pretty imaginative and striking techniques—the fantasy scenes, the use of the handheld camcorders, etc.—go a long way toward obscuring a bad script.

(Source: GQ)

December 13, 2011 3:13 pm
"I heard a lot of scuffling and giggles a couple of cubicles over and wanted to know what it was all about. Because I hate feeling left out of office jokes. Who doesn’t? Juli sent me this link about an “Oral History of Menswear Blogging.” Wanting to know what the hubbub was about, I clicked on the link. And then I remembered there are cookies in the office today. And I lost interest. There was a lot of small type on that page"

Vanity Fair’s Carly Holden participates in the spectacular takedown of GQ’s oral history of menswear bloggers.

(Source: m.vanityfair.com)

December 1, 2011 9:47 am
"The truth is I’d been really underwhelmed by most of the new comics. I saw Dane Cook on TV once and thought, ‘Oh, this poor schlub is bombing in a club somewhere.’ Then the camera pulled back and the guy’s in a stadium! So I bought Louis’s DVD (retail) and he actually made me laugh out loud, which I just never do unless Michele Bachmann is speaking. Louis says stuff onstage that nobody else is saying—that’s what makes a star. He’s fearless and he hates a lot of things that deserve to be hated."

Joan Rivers on Louis CK.

(Source: GQ)

November 15, 2011 5:20 pm

Jack White is a goddamn hero

  • GQ: When I interviewed Wanda Jackson she said that you told her you don't take a guitar solo, you attack a guitar solo.
  • Jack White: Yeah, you have to. You have to. I don't know how you can do it politely. Even Django Reinhardt didn't do it politely. You have to be so involved, and it has to be a fight, a power struggle. Some kind of confrontation. I think that's what we witness in good stories, in good films, good music—we're witnessing confrontation. Protagonists and antagonists. People fighting about something. That's what stories are. And if you want to tell a story with a guitar, you have to do that. Sometimes you have to be both the protagonist and the antagonist at the same time.
  • GQ: How would you distill what you're after when you're producing?
  • Jack White: I want to blow something up. I want to make something happen that's hard to do. I want to be able to say, "We didn't spend a million dollars in a studio and 17 months on Pro Tools—we did that with two napkins and a toothpick." That's what I'm proud of. The circumstances, the energy that was in the room that got created that wouldn't have been there had you not done such and such a thing. I get off on those ideas. Trying to shake things up and make something happen. It doesn't always work—you can't just fire off a gun and all of a sudden someone's going to record a hit song—but the attempt is worth it. It's the "taking it easy" part—when I go and see people in the studios, and I see them taking it easy, it upsets me. It kind of bums me out. I want to take 'em aside and take 'em outside and say, "What are you doing? I don't understand why you're doing that." I think a lot of people are trained to think that when they play in front of X amount of people, I've arrived, I've made it, and now I can rest on my laurels, because I'm The Guy. And that's the biggest mistake.
5:11 pm

GQ: Let’s talk about how you guys came up with “History of Rap,” the most viral video in network late night history. Jimmy Fallon: We were in your dressing room backstage on SNL.Justin Timberlake: We were just shooting the shit, right?Jimmy Fallon: You were coming on my show later that week, and I asked, “What do you want to do?” We both thought, well we could sing something. I wanted to do Toto’s “Africa."We could sing that song really well together.Justin Timberlake: We should still do it! We should do Toto’s “Africa” but we should do it as characters.Jimmy Fallon: I was thinking we’d do “Africa” as me and you at the age of thirteen. We’d be best friends and have a tape of us having a sleepover and singing “Africa.” We can wear wigs and braces .Justin Timberlake: We were sitting there, and I said, “Do you remember that guy who did the history of dance?” He did every song that had a dance or was named after a dance. It was a viral sensation. Then we just started kicking around medley ideas. Jimmy was like, “What if we did the whole history of all hip-hop and fit in as many songs as we can?Jimmy Fallon: We started improvising right there. We went from Jay-Z to “The Humpty Dance” to “How about this one?” Justin Timberlake: Jimmy’s a great impressionist and that’s what makes it funny—Jimmy Fallon impersonating greats like Snoop and Notorious B.I.G. And, of course, the Roots. If I had the Roots on my show I’d be doing songs every day. Can you imagine if you had a total karaoke session with the Roots? By the way, you should have audience participation karaoke.Jimmy Fallon: That’s a good idea. I’m writing it down.Justin Timberlake: You should try to stump the Roots! Have random audience members come up and make requests. Is there a song they can’t play? They can play anything.Jimmy Fallon: I think why those videos have gone so viral is partly because everyone knows and loves those songs. That alone is pretty cool. But when you have Justin Timberlake doing it, it makes it insanely cool. After we did the first “History of Rap,” we were on the phone and you were like “I’m in France now and it’s on the front page!” Le History of le Hip Hop. I was so excited, like “Dude. They know who I am in France?” And Justin just goes, “No.”  Oh, of course. You’re Justin Timberlake. That’s why this is a huge hit.

GQ: Let’s talk about how you guys came up with “History of Rap,” the most viral video in network late night history.

Jimmy Fallon: We were in your dressing room backstage on SNL.

Justin Timberlake: We were just shooting the shit, right?

Jimmy Fallon: You were coming on my show later that week, and I asked, “What do you want to do?” We both thought, well we could sing something. I wanted to do Toto’s “Africa."We could sing that song really well together.

Justin Timberlake: We should still do it! We should do Toto’s “Africa” but we should do it as characters.

Jimmy Fallon: I was thinking we’d do “Africa” as me and you at the age of thirteen. We’d be best friends and have a tape of us having a sleepover and singing “Africa.” We can wear wigs and braces .

Justin Timberlake: We were sitting there, and I said, “Do you remember that guy who did the history of dance?” He did every song that had a dance or was named after a dance. It was a viral sensation. Then we just started kicking around medley ideas. Jimmy was like, “What if we did the whole history of all hip-hop and fit in as many songs as we can?

Jimmy Fallon: We started improvising right there. We went from Jay-Z to “The Humpty Dance” to “How about this one?” 

Justin Timberlake: Jimmy’s a great impressionist and that’s what makes it funny—Jimmy Fallon impersonating greats like Snoop and Notorious B.I.G. And, of course, the Roots. If I had the Roots on my show I’d be doing songs every day. Can you imagine if you had a total karaoke session with the Roots? By the way, you should have audience participation karaoke.

Jimmy Fallon: That’s a good idea. I’m writing it down.

Justin Timberlake: You should try to stump the Roots! Have random audience members come up and make requests. Is there a song they can’t play? They can play anything.

Jimmy Fallon: I think why those videos have gone so viral is partly because everyone knows and loves those songs. That alone is pretty cool. But when you have Justin Timberlake doing it, it makes it insanely cool. After we did the first “History of Rap,” we were on the phone and you were like “I’m in France now and it’s on the front page!” Le History of le Hip Hop. I was so excited, like “Dude. They know who I am in France?” And Justin just goes, “No.”  Oh, of course. You’re Justin Timberlake. That’s why this is a huge hit.

November 5, 2011 11:28 am
I love Debbie Harry, but this is the worst goddamn interview I’ve ever read.  Let’s kick it off with some really boring questions, follow up with some really short-sighted ones that elicit no discussion, and then finish it up with some softballs.  Note to GQ: don’t let friends interview friends.

I love Debbie Harry, but this is the worst goddamn interview I’ve ever read.  Let’s kick it off with some really boring questions, follow up with some really short-sighted ones that elicit no discussion, and then finish it up with some softballs.  Note to GQ: don’t let friends interview friends.

October 28, 2011 8:29 am
GQ: Let’s fast forward a bit. What is it like for you to have all  these fans of Cee Lo Green who have never even heard of Goodie Mob?  Cee Lo: If people can’t see the forest from the trees—and Goodie Mob  is the roots—at least they’re appreciating nature, you know what I’m  saying? I had the tree from the artwork of the second Goodie Mob album  tattooed on my back because the tree grows up out of the dirt. It’s a  product of its environment, it grows toward the sky, it endures the four  seasons, it branches out in all the different directions, it commits to  the sunshine and the rain and never asks any questions. And it still  gives.GQ: At this point you might be known as much for your TV show, The Voice, as for “Crazy,” “Fuck You,” or Goodie Mob. What part of you does The Voice express?  Cee Lo: I’m a greater fan than I am a rapper. I’m a greater fan than  I am a singer. I only want to rap about that beautiful black thing that  is hip-hop. If it ain’t about that, I have no desire to rap. I come  from a time where we didn’t say, “He can rap.” We said, “He can rhyme.” I  want to get back to that, and I need Goodie Mob to do that. But I am a  fan of black people, the black struggle, black music, and the extreme it  can be taken to. I want to burn as a beacon of possibility. I don’t  want nobody to misconstrue the commercial success I’ve had as anything  other than an example of what black music is capable of. And what it’s  capable of is being more than just black. I’m not black or white  anymore. I’m Cee Lo Green.  CEEEEE-LOOOOOOOOO I love you.

GQ: Let’s fast forward a bit. What is it like for you to have all these fans of Cee Lo Green who have never even heard of Goodie Mob?
Cee Lo:
If people can’t see the forest from the trees—and Goodie Mob is the roots—at least they’re appreciating nature, you know what I’m saying? I had the tree from the artwork of the second Goodie Mob album tattooed on my back because the tree grows up out of the dirt. It’s a product of its environment, it grows toward the sky, it endures the four seasons, it branches out in all the different directions, it commits to the sunshine and the rain and never asks any questions. And it still gives.

GQ: At this point you might be known as much for your TV show, The Voice, as for “Crazy,” “Fuck You,” or Goodie Mob. What part of you does The Voice express?
Cee Lo:
I’m a greater fan than I am a rapper. I’m a greater fan than I am a singer. I only want to rap about that beautiful black thing that is hip-hop. If it ain’t about that, I have no desire to rap. I come from a time where we didn’t say, “He can rap.” We said, “He can rhyme.” I want to get back to that, and I need Goodie Mob to do that. But I am a fan of black people, the black struggle, black music, and the extreme it can be taken to. I want to burn as a beacon of possibility. I don’t want nobody to misconstrue the commercial success I’ve had as anything other than an example of what black music is capable of. And what it’s capable of is being more than just black. I’m not black or white anymore. I’m Cee Lo Green.

CEEEEE-LOOOOOOOOO I love you.