Would You Rather: Real vs. Fictional Celebrities

Ever notice that celebrities and your favorite literary characters often have similar names? Ever wonder who it would be better to date, the real life celebrity or his/her similarly named fictional counterpart? If your answer is yes to both, then look no further. Flavorwire presents our first ever Real vs. Fictional Celebrities dating guide — complete with charts and a handy numeric rating system! Feel free to add to what we’ve come up with in the comments. … Read More

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First Impressions: Our 30 Favorite Opening Lines in Literature

The Millions recently posted the very Shteyngart-y opening passage of Gary Shteyngart’s forthcoming novel, Super Sad True Love Story.

“Today I’ve made a major decision: I am never going to die. Others will die around me. They will be nullified. Nothing of their personality will remain. The light switch will be turned off.”

It got us thinking about our own favorite beginnings, both recent and classic. Below are some favorites from our bookshelf. Feel free to add your own picks in the comments section.

1. Slumberland by Paul Beatty

Best commentary on “post-blackness” considering Obama wasn’t even president when the book was written:

“You would think they’d be used to me by now. I mean don’t they know that after fourteen hundred years the charade of blackness is over? That we blacks, the once eternally hip, the people who were as right now as Greenwich Mean Time, are, as of today, as yesterday as stone tools, the velocipede, and the paper straw all rolled into one? The Negro is now officially human. Everyone, even the British, says so.” … Read More

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The Birds and the Bees: Our Favorite Animal Point-of-View Fiction

Last week’s New Yorker featured beloved biologist E.O. Wilson’s “Trailhead,” a short story about ants in flux in the aftermath of their queen’s death. The conceit provides Wilson ample opportunity for desert-dry ant humor — one ant’s entire existence is summed up thusly: “The only thing he had ever done was accept meals regurgitated to him by his sister” — but, for the most part, “Trailhead” walks a fine line between an over-literal take on dirty realism, and a not-quite literary take on a middle-school biology text. Wilson is certainly a genius, and an ant expert — his 1991 book The Antswon the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction — but maybe the switch to fiction isn’t the best idea. However, he’s by no means the first writer to tackle animal POV  in fiction. Here are some other examples, from 8 AD to the present day. … Read More

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The 2010 Golden Globes Yearbook: Our Senior Superlatives

If you want to see who walked away with last night’s official Golden Globe awards, you can check out a full list of winners here. Meanwhile, we were watching from home and have a few of honors of our own to dole out. Feel free to add your nominations in the comments.

Never Got the Memo that Anorexia Just Isn’t Cool Anymore, Even Kate Moss Has Hips These Days Award: Calista Flockhart

Homer Simpson Award for Actor Who Would Rather Be Home Watching Football: Jets Fan Samuel L. Jackson

T.G.I. Friday’s Award For Best Flair: Paul McCartney … Read More

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Exclusive Q&A: Filmmaker Whit Stillman

In 1990 Whit Stillman gained both critical acclaim and a cult following with his debut film, Metropolitan, a low-budget, high-comedy masterpiece about a group of college-age Upper East Siders who talk their way through Christmas break, riffing on everything from strip poker to Lionel Trilling’s take on Mansfield Park, all the while attending debutante balls. Subsequently, Stillman completed a trilogy with Barcelona — perhaps the greatest movie ever made about the American experience abroad — and The Last Days of Disco, a haunting, hilarious meditation on lost innocence and the end of the disco era. Disco was released last week by Criterion Collection – an honor rarely bestowed upon recent films, and the second time Criterion has chosen a Stillman film; Metropolitan came out a few years ago. Stillman, who currently lives in France but was in route to LA to help fight the forest fires, was gracious enough to answer a few questions over… Read More

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Eleven Was a Big Year for Weezy: The Behind The Music Recap

10:00 A MILLI A MILLI A MILLI A MILLI…V.O. (Voice Over): “He’s the reigning king of hip-hop and has nothing to hide…” We see Wayne onstage, half-obscured by smoke and fire, shirtless — showing off his slim, rippling, tatted bod; he raps low-voiced, hunched like a 3rd down running back eager for action. His Rapunzel dreadlocks sway.… Read More

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Friday Night Lights: “Tomorrow Blues”

Five months of TV time have magically passed since last week when our Dillon Panthers lost the State Championships on a buzzer-beating field goal. Now it’s spring, and with it new beginnings and exposed skin. We are welcomed by a montage: Tim and Lyla, tanned and poolside sipping contraband from red plastic cups; Coach and Buddy golfing; Billy Rig smiles as he picks up his wedding tux; Landry and Tyra lake-swimming — Tyra a Texan Athena emerging from the water. … Read More

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Friday Night Lights: "Underdogs"

Strobe lights stutter, streamers dangle, rally girls move like marionettes. The blue-blazer-ed brass band rips through the Dillon fight song. We’re at the pep rally — the final rally before State — and everyone’s got pep except Coach Taylor. As usual, he’s all scowl, doing his best Bill Belichick impersonation.

Taylor’s still thinking about the beating Joe McCoy gave his QB son after last week’s game. … Read More

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Friday Night Lights: "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall"

Unnamed department store, Dillon: Mindy and Billy register gifts for their wedding. Sangria set? Check. Giant phallic leaf blower? Check. Tyra and Mindy plan the bridal shower. Apparently, Mindy wants to have a tea party. … Read More

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Friday Night Lights: "The Giving Tree"

Tyra and Julie stroll the school lot on a sun-soaked morning. Either Tyra is really tall or Julie is one hot dwarf; my money’s on the former. Tyra worries that her time at the rodeo may jeopardize her chance at college, what with the SATs coming up on Saturday and all. Can’t say I didn’t warn her… Tyra doesn’t realize that admissions officer crumble beneath essays on overcoming attempted rapes, lead pipe attacks, and pill-popping, spouse-beating boyfriends.

The team makes fun of J.D. for being a daddy’s boy. Then they go to a party at a girl named Madison’s house. Madison, an apple-tini drinking, Alicia Witt look-alike in cowboy boots, pours JD a glass of milk—a wholesome drink for a wholesome boy. She wipes his milk moustache with her thumb. Trouble. … Read More

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