Saturday, October 17, 2015

Other People's Writing

* In my favourite piece of the bunch, we get the real-life story of Maggie Goldenberger, a.k.a. the “Ermahgerd” internet meme girl, is told by Vanity Fair’s Darryn King.  I love that R.L. Stine is constantly asked about this meme and that it seems to annoy the hell out of him.

* The top 10 prisoners in movie history are ranked by Grantland’s comedy duo of Shea Serrano and Jason Concepcion.  This list had me from the opening paragraph, which describes “Death Warrant,” a heretofore unknown movie to me where Jean-Claude Van Damme plays a Mountie!  Suddenly I want a JCVD remake of Due South in the worst possible way.  As for the list itself, it’s hard to argue with their top choice, though Sly Stallone merited at least a top-three for the sheer volume of captives he’s played over the course of his long career.  There’s also a mention of “Ernest Goes To Jail,” and I kid you not, I actually had a lengthy conversation about the Ernest movies last weekend.  Like, a group of intelligent people discussing Ernest for a good 15-20 minutes here in the year 2015.  Our final conclusion was that Jim Varney was basically the modern Olivier.

* Cris Collinsworth is probably the best football analyst working today and even more probably the best on TV, and Grantland’s Bryan Curtis both profiles him and looks at his process in preparing to call a game.

* A little background is necessary for this one.  John Teti, of the Onion’s AV Club, has a podcast where he discusses pop culture with his mother.  Last year they discussed “Nathan For You” and Mrs. Teti was not a fan.  Fast-forward to now, when Teti is interviewing Nathan Fielder about the upcoming season of his show and Fielder proposes that “rather than a typical interview, Fielder wanted me to moderate a conversation between him and my mom. His goal: convince Mom to like him.”  Here’s the result.  Nathan Fielder may be a genius. 

* A “here’s how the sausage is made” story about the modern music industry (or, really, the music industry for all time) by The Atlantic’s Nathaniel Rich, which essentially just points out the fact that pretty much every pop star is a complete creation of record labels.  Maybe I can use this article as consolation when U2 takes years upon years to release a new album; if U2 weren’t “real artists” who wrote the songs themselves, they could just have a team of writers cranking out new hits for them on an annual basis.  The view is nice from up here on my high horse!

* The unreal seventh inning of Game Five of the Rangers/Blue Jays series is recapped by Joe Posnanski and Michael Schur.  It's as glorious as the inning itself.  (Your opinion may vary if you hail from Texas.) 

* A celebration of Law & Order on its 25-year anniversary, from Grantland’s Charles Pierce.  My introduction to Law & Order came during a trip to Montreal with my friends in 2001.  In theory, it was four young guys partying it up in an exciting city for four days — in reality, it was sleeping in until noon every day, then watching Law & Order reruns on A&E until mid-afternoon then going to an Expos game at night and being in bed by midnightish.  Party people!  Anyway, there may be no more perfect procedural than L&O from about 1991-2000, and it can be argued that this run more or less invented the modern procedural show that dominates the ratings in so many forms (CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds, etc.) today.  You can’t ask for more than a best-of-both-worlds format that allows it to be both a cop show AND a lawyer show, which is essentially network catnip.  Pierce is also dead-on with his ultimate L&O cast — McCoy, Kincaid, Schiff, Briscoe, Logan, Van Buren is hard to argue, as much as I feel Ben Stone is still a vastly underrated figure in the Law & Order universe — and his picks as the ultimate tertiary characters.  When Lorraine Toussaint appeared on “Orange Is The New Black” last season, I was excited from the get-go since that was Shambala Green, man!  You knew business was about to pick up.

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