Archive for the ‘media/news’ Category

This is me, with fandom

I tend to consider myself an amateur Real World scholar. I say “amateur” because I’ve done no actual university study on this subject, but I still say “scholar” because I’ve stopped watching the show as entertainment. At this point, I only watch it in hopes of unlocking the questions that have haunted man since the dawn of civilization. I’ve seen every episode of every season, and I’ve seen them all a minimum of three times. This, of course, is the key to appreciating The Real World (and the rest of MTV’s programming): repetition. To really get it, you have to watch MTV so much that you know things you never tried to remember. You can’t try to deduce the day-to-day habits of Jon Brennan (he was the cowboy dude) from RW 2: Los Angeles. That would be ridiculous. You can’t consciously try to figure out what he likes and what he hates and how he lives; these are things you have to know without trying. You just have to “know” he constantly drinks cherry Kool-Aid. But you can’t try to learn that, because that would make you a weirdo. This kind of knowledge is like a vivid dream you suddenly pull out of the cosmic ether, eight hours after waking up. If someone asks you when Montana from RW 6: Boston exposed her breasts, you just sort of vaguely recall it was on a boat; if someone asks you who the effeminate black guy from Seattle slapped in the face, you inexplicably know it was the chick with Lyme disease. Yet these are not bits of information you actively acquired; these are things picked up the same way you sussed out how to get around on the subway. or the way you figured out how to properly mix Bloody Marys. One day, you just suddenly realize it’s something you know. And–somehow–there’s a cold logic to it. It’s an extension of your own life, even though you never tried to make it that way.

— Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs

That’s a lot of us in fandom. It’s how I randomly remember that around the time when All About DBSK 2 released, a news article was written about how Hyori loves Yunho’s body best, and I still remember which scene in their variety show she was referring to. It’s why I have a tag for this. Like why I know of the three dramas I’m watching now — Arang, Faith, To the Beautiful YouFaith gets subbed the slowest, will overlap with the day Arang airs, but Beautiful You gets subbed the fastest, so I can probably watch that before Arang is finished. I want to say that these things are magnified with me because I have an obsessive inclination towards detail and a natural tendency to remember, but I like to think pop culture at large trains us to learn things in a totally invasive (but unintentional) way.

Little snippets

The January issue of Esquire is pretty weaksauce, since the majority of what I read (in an already really thin issue) was a recap of material from the past year, but I did enjoy this little “What I’ve Learned” interview with Gary Oldman:

My kids are my greatest achievement.

They’re proud of what I’ve done, but wonderfully underwhelmed.

I love it when journalists can catch the most interestingly articulated items from their subjects. And then again, some subjects are just naturally wonderful, articulate people.

You can read the rest here.

Since Billy Boy and that funny little girl who was 13 and looked 97 came along

Interesting article from today’s Times about the stuff that goes on at PR firms every year come fashion week,

Complicating matters for designers and their publicists as they hurtle through preparations for some 300 shows over 8 days is the fact that last season’s seating charts have had to be thrown out. In addition to the usual wrangling of seats for celebrities (Blake Lively, Claire Danes and Julianne Moore are the usual suspects, but Snooki would probably be welcome by now), and finding new seats for popular bloggers, there has been a stunning upheaval amid the ranks of traditional glossy magazines this season that is making it hard to figure out just where to place the most important editors, without offending them.

The planning for this year’s event also serves as a reminder that the days when magazine editors were kings and queens at Fashion Week are long over. Their turf has been eroded by the ceaseless arrival of barely recognizable celebrities, followed by a wave of top bloggers — not to mention anyone who has the slightest connection to Mrs. Obama.

“I’d still put in the front row, but not anywhere near Vogue,” said Corinna Springer, who produces shows for several emerging designers. Likewise, Women’s Wear Daily editors, many of whom wore dual hats by writing for W and used to sit together as a team, might appreciate some distance from Stefano Tonchi, the former editor of T: The Times Style Magazine who moved to W in March and promptly fired half its staff.

Worse, any seating faux pas will be instantly broadcast by the pack of journalists and photographers whose beat is the choreography of the front row. “It has been changing for a while, since Billy Boy and that funny little girl who was 13 and looked 97 came along,” said Michael Roberts, who was the Vanity Fair fashion director until June, when he was replaced. (Mr. Roberts, now a style editor at large for the magazine, was referring to the famous-before-their-bedtime bloggers Bryan Boy and Tavi Gevinson.)

I’d have to say, personally, I think PR firms have it the worst when it comes to fashion weeks. I mean, everybody in the industry is stressed out, but for designers who are expected to put on a great show every year, it’s the PR firms that are throwing up blood preparing for all that shit to happen, and then to manage the press once that shit does happen.

And that quote from Michael Roberts is the funniest thing I’ve ever read coming from the mouth of a fashion-related individual.

The big picture

One of my favorite sites is “The Big Picture, which showcases stunning photojournalism from events around the world. This place makes me so happy. It makes me want to learn more and know more so that I have a better grasp of the world. Just a few examples below, go to the site for more:

Welcome to the ‘Club’ –

Op-Ed Columnist – Welcome to the ‘Club’ –

This week, the fog of racial profiling hung heavy over Harvard Square.

The arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., the eminent Harvard scholar, at his own home thrust the police’s treatment of minorities, particularly black men, back into the spotlight.

Whether one thinks race was a factor in this arrest may depend largely on the prism through which the conflicting accounts are viewed. For many black men, it’s through a prism stained by the fact that a negative, sometimes racially charged, encounter with a policeman is a far-too-common rite of passage.