Posted 1 week ago

On Robin

I’ve been a movie fan all my life. I’ve recently, say in the last 5 years, become a pretty big comedy fan too, since discovering comedy podcasts like Marc Maron’s WTF, Doug Benson’s Doug Loves Movies, and Scott Aukerman’s Comedy Bang! Bang!

Generally, those worlds are pretty separate. I mean sure, there are plenty of comedy performers who work in movies, and even a few that make the full evolution from sketch and improv to full blown movie stardom -  John Belushi, Mike Meyers, Will Ferrell,  Tina Fey, Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis (often by way of SNL).

Every now and then there are also those performers with a sketch/improv background who prove they can cut it in darker, dramatic character roles - Jim Carrey, Steve Carrell.

Even rarer and more precious are those actors who come from a classic dramatic background but find themselves equally comfortable in comedy - Jon Hamm, John C Reilly, Don Cheadle, Jeff Daniels.

But the rarest of all was always a stand up comic who could act. In fact, I can really only think of one.

Robin Williams.

Yes, stand ups do get movies. They generally are hired to play themselves. George Carlin, Richard Prior, Bill Cosby, Zach Galifianakis, Louis CK… Patton Oswalt is a pretty good actor. So is Steve Martin.

But none of them went to Julliard. None of them won an Oscar. None of them could go from broad blockbuster family comedy to indie drama in the same year and flawlessly pull off both.

Robin Williams wasn’t a comic that could act. He wasn’t a “movie star comedian.” He wasn’t a sketch performer who was discovered by Lorne or SCTV.

He was a real life stand up comic, who is still considered a comic and a contemporary to Carlin, Prior, Sam Kinison… AND he was a deliberate, trained, accomplished dramatic actor, who proved himself capable of understated dramatic work as well as voice work and broad comedy. 

We really have lost a unique performer, and a much loved comedian and star. Yes, I grew up watching him. I also have seen his standup and recently re-listened to this wonderful episode of WTF, talking a lot about those days.

His tragic (and I don’t use that word lightly) death has affected the movie fans and the hard core comedy fans. And I honestly can’t think of anyone with that sort of reach and range. 

63, suicide - it’s too young, too sad, for someone so special. This one hurts.

Posted 1 month ago
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itsmydarkesthour:

hippies-like-us:

kuneria:

Bob Ross soothes and calms and makes me happy like nothing else I’ve ever known.

Fun fact: Bob Ross was a Marine drill sergeant for several years, but quit because he didn’t like yelling at people.

(Source: kunerias-huge-dick)

Posted 2 months ago

nprglobalhealth:

Mapping The Diseases That Will Most Likely Kill You

Depending on where you live, these are the diseases that will most likely kill you. Using data from the World Health Organization, Simran Khosla at the the GlobalPost labeled each nation with the disease that caused the most death in that country.

And it seems like much of the world will succumb to heart disease. Most prevalent in Africa is HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. You can zoom in on the other regions at GlobalPost.

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Posted 5 months ago

tdly:

alegbra:

the most punk rock dog in the world

WHAT ARE YOU DOING UP THERE

Posted 12 months ago
moniquill:

Kitten: I shall groom you, friend dog!
Kitten: I have made a tactical error.

moniquill:

Kitten: I shall groom you, friend dog!

Kitten: I have made a tactical error.

(Source: togifs)

Posted 12 months ago
secretobama:

cirk-urk:

That guy in the lower left corner in the crowd remembered every move 10 years later. 

is that ryan gosling 

secretobama:

cirk-urk:

That guy in the lower left corner in the crowd remembered every move 10 years later. 

is that ryan gosling 

Posted 12 months ago

Good sexy vs bad sexy at the VMAs

Just watched some VMA 2013 music clips, both they long-awaited (for me) JT+NSYNC reunion (he’s so amazing) and Miley grinding against Robin Thicke during “Blurred Lines” and some other songs I didn’t really recognise. 
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Let me start by saying: I’m not a Miley Cyrus fan - her songs are the worst kind of pop, manufactured without any sense of authenticity and hyper-stylised. She’s not a great singer, dancer, it’s all nepotism yada yada yeah we all know. I don’t disagree with you.
But I don’t find Swift much better. In fact, her saccharine, poor-me-in-my-bedroom-playing-my-sparkly-guitar-with-a-capo-why-doesn’t-he-like-me tunes make me puke. Jeez at least Miley’s songs you can dance to (sometimes).
They are two sides of a fairly unpalatable coin: ‘all-American country girl growing up and exploring a more “real” (read: less niche, broader appealing) side of herself.’ How convenient those sides also happen to be exactly what does well in the US charts!!
But it’s the way each of them - or rather their teams - have commoditised their sexuality where I find the water gets murkier, and I start to diverge from the common assessment, that being: Miley is a trashy and kinda racist role model for young girls.
During Justin Timberlake’s performance, there were several and regular cuts to Swift and her ‘bestie’ Selina Gomez (I thought that other girl was her BFF?? You know, the one with the face… Or maybe it was Selina idk) dancing in the crowd. They also cut to other celebrity fans - Rihanna, Lady Gaga, One Direction  - but not nearly as much as Swift. Except she wasn’t really ‘dancing’ - she was moving her shoulders and singing along to JT’s sexy hits, and full-on mugging for the steadycam in her face. The general expression and ‘vibe’ was that ‘play sex’ thing we all do when we go out dancing with our gay friends or at hens’ nights. It’s really fun. When you’re in a club. With your friends. There are no broadcast cameras involved, generally. 
She was particularly hammy during Timberlake’s call and answer during Senorita:

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It was a bit tricky to get specific shots of what she conveyed - but watch the Justin clip you’ll see what I mean.  What you’re seeing there is someone who knows 100% what they are doing. There’s no question that this scenario was at least somewhat planned, if not a full blown creative decision by MTV, and probably her label/management.
Juxtapose this with Miley Cyrus’ recent incarnation: twerking, “we’re gonna party cos we can and f** you”, under cut, up yours, tongue out, I’ma par-tay (think Katy Perry but with slightly less pretty), and two things are stark: 

1) There is clearly a virgin-whore dichotomy of sex appeal happening

2) There is also a dichotomy of overtness and intention. Miley has made sex an explicit part of her branding, whereas Taylor’s brand is about overt “love” that is subverted by her sexuality.

It’s the second point that irks me. Taylor Swift is clearly playing up her sex appeal at the VMAs, and yet if you were to put that to her it would be “oh gee, golly, me?? But I’m such a dork! I love dancing to JT and NSYNC with my girls! *snort*” (Note, Bye Bye Bye was released in January 2000, when Swift would have JUST turned 10. Senorita in 2002 - hardly her teenage pop-loving years,  especially considering her country teenage brand).
Swift’s brand teases (for lack of a better word) the sex part. She undercuts her “bad-girl” sexiness with the message of “don’t worry, you can still take me home - I don’t swallow. I don’t actually really own my desires, it’s all just my sexy baby play.” Don’t ask me, I’m just a girl! Tee-hee!
There’s something offensive to me about this. It offends me more than Miley’s out-and-out grotesque appropriation of both black urban and punk aesthetics. At least in those aesthetics women are unapologetic about their bodies, enjoy sex, and are actively subverting traditional expectations of beauty - shaved heads, tongue out, being ridiculous.
I don’t like that it feels like being a young, attractive girl, wearing next to nothing and appearing as a sexual being is only acceptable if you do it with a cartoon/”art”/performance element (Perry and Lady Gaga) or with a good girl underpin (Swift). Newsflash, girls: THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH ENJOYING SEX, it doesn’t have to be a part of a bigger act.
I’m not 100% apologising for Miley - I accept there are problems with her grinding and twerking up against a guy on stage in front of kids.* There are problems with all the various sex archetypes pop is throwing at us these days. We could archetype Perry as the Jessica Rabbit, Gaga as the kook, Taylor as the ‘virgin’, Rihanna as the ‘femme-fatal wounded’ - I guess that leaves Miley as the punk trash.
 
It’s just, when you think about it that way, the one that looks the most real, the one character that is expressing an unapologetic, unfiltered representation of a sexual young woman, is Miley. And I guess I prefer that.

(Miley photo from People.com - http://www.people.com/people/package/article/0„20302940_20728423,00.html)

* I think there’s a sister piece to this one about Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” - a song about a specific type of sexual encounter that has been attacked for being ‘a bit rapey.’ Again we victimise from the outside participants in certain types of consensual sexuality because of a moral panic that seems to be happening. But I guess that’s for another day.