“You have no doubt heard this before, but in the ‘70s there was a tremendous amount of sex to be had in New York; it was the way it was when they talk about the oysters in the harbor, all you had to do was put out a hand and scoop it up: Hello there, lady, I just saw you walking down the street, would you like to have sex? No thank you, Gallant Gent, I have to organize my sock drawer, which will certainly take an hour, and by that time you will have given three women herpes, the worst sexually transmitted disease Greenwich Village has ever known, may science soon find a cure.”
— Sex in the 60s - NYTimes.com
1:33 pm • 22 September 2012 • 3 notes
GQ: You have to have the bedrock of the character down.That’s the hard part.
Mike Schur: That’s the Malcolm Gladwell thing. That’s 10,000 hours. The writing staff has to work for a year before it figures out how to write the show, and the cast has to act the characters for a year before they figure out how to play them. And that’s why it’s so funny to me when people are surprised when comedies get better. You know, like: “Well, it did start off kind of rough, but then later it got better!” It’s like, “Yeah, the same way that a cyclist will get a lot faster after training for a year.”
It’s constantly being marveled at in the press—and this is true of The Office and Parks and Recreation and Happy Endings and Seinfeld and Cheers and Friends and everything—that people are always like, “Well, it really hit its stride in the second season.” Yeah, that’s because they had been doing it for a year, and they figured out how to do it and got better at it. I think if there were one wish that I would have for the critical community, it would be that people would stop being amazed or even remotely surprised that comedies get better as they go along. Not all of them, but some of them.
8:16 pm • 21 September 2012 • 4 notes
“Regardless, with a string of embassy disasters culminating in the East Africa bombings of 1998, fears of terrorism outweighed other concerns. In 1999, the State Department adopted a standard model of construction, which embassy historian Jane Loeffler describes as an “isolated walled compound.” These spiritless shells are epitomized by the designs of PageSoutherlandPage, who have built 21 such embassies and consulates since 2001. From inside the walls of these fortified villas, you might mistake our embassies for social science buildings at a rural college. They are squat, unremarkable structures surrounded by green lawns; totally anti-urban, and, planners hope, totally secure. As Senator John Kerry put it in 2009, “We are building some of the ugliest embassies I’ve ever seen…I cringe when I see what we’re doing.” Harvard International Relations professor Stephen Walt wrote that our embassies were like the “vivid physical symbol of a powerful Empire striving to keep the outside world at bay.” Generally, critics saw these isolated, pseudo-military structures as emblematic of Bush-era foreign policy. Not everyone was sure that they were really safer, either. The U.S. embassy in Tunis, built in 2002, is located far from the city center but was the site of a violent confrontation on Friday. The more isolated the embassies, the easier it is for observers to monitor comings and goings. Even as these models became official State Department policy under General Charles E. Williams – who resigned after the notorious embassy debacle in Baghdad – the government seemed to acknowledge the inadequacy of this model.”
— Fortress America: How the U.S. Designs its Embassies - Politics - The Atlantic Cities
10:54 am • 20 September 2012 • 4 notes
“Professional women at law firms, in academia and in the media complain about the punishing hours — and unceasing streams of e-mail — that make it difficult to make time for their families. At the other extreme, many women in retail, restaurant and health care jobs are underemployed; they’re looking for more hours of work (and ideally, regular hours) to support their families. But both problems share a root cause: the incentives that guide businesses’ employment practices.”
— Low-Paid Women Want Predictable Hours and Steady Pay - NYTimes.com
8:20 am • 20 September 2012 • 5 notes
“None of that, though, is what makes the Miami-to-Havana flights strange. It’s that this most obvious route, more than any of the much longer workarounds by which American citizens can get to the island, lets you feel most fully the truth of Cuba’s sheer proximity. It’s one of those flights in which, almost as soon as you reach your maximum altitude, you begin your descent, and within minutes you’re looking down on a diorama of palm trees growing incongruously in green fields, and within seconds you hit the ground and everyone bursts into applause. The country you land in is too unlike your own to have been reached that quickly, all but instantaneously, and is after all, you recall, on hostile terms with your own. As if you’ve passed through a warp.
“Why are they clapping?” the 6-year-old asked. I explained that it was special, coming here. Some of these people, when they left Cuba, might have thought they would never see it again. Some had been hearing about it all their lives and were seeing it for the first time.”
— Where Is Cuba Going? - NYTimes.com
7:58 am • 20 September 2012 • 3 notes
“Bruce Springsteen, I discovered after ten years of estrangement from my father, had written the world’s best song about being estranged from your father. “Adam Raised a Cain” is one long, Plath-worthy scream: hatred, contempt, pain, hatred, shot through with a love that is almost romantic. We were prisoners of love, a love in chains. He was standing in the door, I was standing in the rain, with the same hot blood burning in our veins. How is that not a scene from The Notebook? But these men can only ever hurt each other: Daddy worked his whole life for nothing but the pain. Now he walks these empty rooms looking for something to blame. And his son reflects the blame back onto him, intensified and sharper.”
— On Bruce Springsteen And Disappointing Fathers
7:23 am • 20 September 2012 • 4 notes
The power of the particular
It makes you appreciate the tremendous power of particularity. If your identity is formed by hard boundaries, if you come from a specific place, if you embody a distinct musical tradition, if your concerns are expressed through a specific paracosm, you are going to have more depth and definition than you are if you grew up in the far-flung networks of pluralism and eclecticism, surfing from one spot to the next, sampling one style then the next, your identity formed by soft boundaries, or none at all.
The whole experience makes me want to pull aside politicians and business leaders and maybe everyone else and offer some pious advice: Don’t try to be everyman. Don’t pretend you’re a member of every community you visit. Don’t try to be citizens of some artificial globalized community. Go deeper into your own tradition. Call more upon the geography of your own past. Be distinct and credible. People will come.
(Source: The New York Times)
3:09 pm • 18 September 2012 • 5 notes
“When monsters roam free, we assume that people in positions of authority ought to be able to catch them if only they did their jobs. But that might be wishful thinking.”
— Jerry Sandusky and the Mind of a Pedophile : The New Yorker
12:07 am • 18 September 2012 • 2 notes
“Society gains when the injustices against men are addressed equally with the injustices against women. Surely it would be wrong to hold one kind of progress hostage to the other. I hope we haven’t forgotten how many young black men are in jail, or how many gay men are discriminated against, or how many poor men are denied a decent education. If we concentrate on the problems that all kinds of people are having, rather than dividing everyone up into the equivalent of rival football teams, won’t we have a better chance of setting things to rights?”
— Los Angeles Review of Books - Rising Together: A Corrective To Rosin’s ‘The End Of Men’
2:00 am • 17 September 2012 • 4 notes