In her thoughtful response to my feature in Wired on the book business, Laura Miller challenges my prediction that a big-ticket author will soon self-publish by arguing that, as the sub-headline of her piece puts it, “Big authors want to be in print—and bookstores.” But embedded in this…
Michelle Orange and I grew up a few neighborhoods apart in the woodsy, conservative university town of London, Ontario and, after high school, we both studied English Lit and Film in Toronto. Yet it wasn’t until 2009, in New York, that we got to know each other. Canadians have a knack…
This is a long post but it’s about something pretty interesting so I hope you’ll indulge …
Like many folks, Occupy Wall Street has been some doing good work in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, helping people on the ground.
Now OWS is launching the ROLLING JUBILEE, a program that has been in…
The Murders & the Journalists
This story produced in partnership with The Awl.
In February 1970, at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a pregnant woman named Colette MacDonald and her two children, Kimberley, 5, and Kristen, 2, were slaughtered in their home. Colette’s husband, Jeffrey MacDonald, a 26-year-old doctor and Green Beret at the time of the crime, was convicted of the murders in 1979. MacDonald faces the next of countless court dates on September 17, 2012, still seeking exoneration. The MacDonald case has been an object of obsession and controversy for more than four decades and the subject of high-visibility journalistic debate. But respectable opinion has always vastly favored the jury verdict of guilt. Errol Morris is trying to change that.
Gay Talese, Lexington Avenue.
People get really irritated by mental illness. ‘Just fucking get it together! Suck it up, man!’ I had a breakdown, and a spiritual friend came to visit me in the psych ward. And they said, ‘You need to get out of here. Because this is the story you’re telling yourself. You know, Patch Adams has this great work-group camp where you can learn how to really celebrate life.’ It’s something people are so powerless over, and so often they want to make it your fault. It’s nobody fault. I started thinking of suicide when I was 10 years old—I can’t believe that that’s somebody’s fault. Like, ‘Oh, you’re just an attention getter.’ Mental illness isn’t seen as an illness, it’s seen as a choice…. I have a joke about how people don’t talk about mental illness the way they do other regular illnesses. ‘Well, apparently Jeff has cancer. Uh, I have cancer. We all have cancer. You go to chemotherapy you get it taken care of, am I right? You get back to work.’ Or: ‘I was dating this chick, and three months in, she tells me that she wears glasses, and she’s been wearing contact lenses all this time. She needs help seeing. I was like, listen, I’m not into all that Western medicine shit. If you want to see, then work at it. Figure out how not to be so myopic. You know?’
—How Will I Know (Acappella)
Whitney Houston’s isolated vocal track on “How Will I Know.”
Dear Danny McBride:
I know you guys went to film school together, and you seem pretty close. You certainly work together a lot: He directed you in the “action comedy” Pineapple Express and the “medieval stoner comedy” Your Highness, as well as in several episodes of your very funny HBO series about a former major league ballplayer,Eastbound & Down. He served as a consulting producer on other episodes. And now you’re both working on an animated show for MTV that he created, which debuts tonight. (More on that in a minute.)
What’s probably less well known is that your first credits came on small indie projects Green directed. You were a second unit director onGeorge Washington, his lyrical feature film debut from 2000 about kids in a small, hard-up town. I love that movie. And I liked All the Real Girls, his follow-up, a lot, too. You were good in it as Bust-Ass, a sort of no-good friend to the main character, played by Paul Schneider, who’s beginning to realize that sleeping with every girl in his small, Southern hometown isn’t going to make him happy after all. Zooey Deschanel has never been more charming, and Patricia Clarkson was great as always.
Both those movies showed the influence of Terrence Malick, with their unconventional use of voiceover and their deliberate pacing. But they weren’t mere imitations: They’re more domestic and less philosophical than Malick’s films, as though Green married Malick’s techniques to the intimacy of Charles Burnett’s wonderful Killer of Sheep from 1977 (to which George Washington is often compared).
Malick seemed to like those movies, too: He served as an executive producer on Green’s third feature, Undertow. I didn’t enjoy that one as much—and I confess I skipped the fourth, Snow Angels, which Green adapted from a Stewart O’Nan novel. So maybe I’m part of the problem here.
What is the problem?