Jon Krakauer Mansplains Rape, But Will His Book Help Women?

Jon Krakauer’s Missoula is the true-crime story of a handful of acquaintance rapes in one college town. Krakauer, who happens to be my favorite narrative nonfiction writer, uses the same technique he applied in his last two books about fundamentalist Mormons and a covered-up death in Afghanistan, respectively, to examine the way a single American community handled a number of university rape cases. … Read More

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Showtime’s ‘Happyish’ Is a Talkative Series With Nothing New to Say

The “ish” in the title Happyish is bound to be a theme in reviews of the series. Showtime’s newest comedy is funnyish, entertainingish, goodish. That’s more than just cleverish wordplay; it’s a hesitance — a resistance — to commit one way or the other. Because on paper, Happyish is a series that we are practically programmed to like, a mishmash of talented, beloved actors and popular, well-trodden television plots. It is a show, you could argue, that our tastes created: set at an advertising agency; a dark family/workplace comedy; a passable, but certainly not original, series-long rumination on aging; a reflection of the trials and tribulations of a moderately happy, moderately successful white man; and all interspersed with “funny” rants about Thomas Jefferson, God, and (of course) the woes and frustrations of technology. “Unfriend me,” lead character Thom Payne sarcastically says at one point, making viewers thankful we were never his friend in the first place. … Read More

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Other Fictional Characters You Didn’t Know Were Actually Based On Jeff Eugenides

In this weekend’s New York Times Book Review, celebrated novelist Jeffrey Eugenides reviews the fourth volume of fellow celebrated novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard’s celebrated six-part saga My Struggle. The first paragraph is simply an extended block quote from Knausgaard’s Times Magazine travelogue, published in February, recounting an awkward lunch with another writer. The second paragraph is one of the most unintentionally funny passages of a book review in recent memory. … Read More

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Flavorwire Premiere: The Rutles’ “I Must Be In Love” Gets an ’80s Pop Makeover From Skylar Spence

“I’m not big into Monty Python, but I’m pleading ignorance on that one,” admits Ryan DeRobertis, the one-man electro-pop band known as Skylar Spence (and formerly known as Saint Pepsi). “I like the Beatles enough too, but I actually like this Rutles song more than most Beatles songs.”

On the second edition of the Faux Real compilation, to be released next week by Father/Daughter Records, musicians cover songs by fictional bands from TV and movies. You’d be surprised at how many great tunes by fake bands exist, from Pete & Pete to Doug to The Simpsons to Josie and the Pussycats, oftentimes forgotten outside of the context of our screens. The concept of a compilation of such songs is novel, sure, but it’s one that seems to bring listeners a bit of nostalgic joy, particularly when the covers are creative re-imaginations of their originals. … Read More

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How ‘True Detective’ Shot McConaughey’s Monologues and Other Revelations From Cary Fukunaga’s Tribeca Talk

It probably says something not altogether confidence-inspiring about the current state of cinema that one of the most interesting and versatile independent filmmakers on the scene had to go to television to become a marquee name. Sure, indie fans hooked in to his 2009 debut feature Sin Nombre, and lit geeks fawned over his 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre, but it’s fair to guess that most of the Tribeca Film Festival-goers who flocked to Thursday afternoon’s “Tribeca Talk” with Cary Fukunaga were there because of True Detective. And the director of that show’s entire first season was more than happy to oblige… Read More

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Blur Rise Above Nostalgia on Strong, If Overstuffed, New Album ‘The Magic Whip’

On the hidden song at the end of what the world thought was Blur’s final album — 2003’s Think Tank — Damon Albarn asked, “Why am I here? I’m here cuz I got no fucking choice.” He was referring to his country of origin, but listening to the record, it was not an unreasonable question for Blur’s leader to ask himself in the context of his band. … Read More

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‘Scandal’ Season 4 Episode 20 Recap: “First Lady Sings The Blues”

Last night’s Scandal was Shonda Rhimes’ greatest “SIKE!” moment: Jake Ballard is not dead, at least not yet, despite what Scott Foley says on Twitter. Russell played darts on Jake’s chest last week and left him to bleed out on the conference room at Pope and Associates. The Russian doctor Charlie keeps on retainer claims Russell missed the major arteries, and if he manages not to contract an infection, Jake could make it. Why am I somehow not surprised that it’s not over ’til it’s over? … Read More

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‘Louie’ Season 5 Episode 3 Recap: “Cop Story”

I know it’s logistically impossible for the opening scene of last night’s Louie, “Cop Story,” to have been a response to Noah Baumbach’s recent While We’re Young, which is all about people approaching middle age and regarding those younger than them with a reverence that gives way to cynicism, skepticism, and ultimately contempt. “Cop Story” tackles the subject in a more interesting way (and with a helluva lot more brevity) by taking the opposite approach: Louie begins his little lecture to the clerk-who-turns-out-to-be-the-owner with contempt, and discovers that it’s an encounter he can’t win. She has comebacks for all of his presumed wisdom, and each one seems to inch him a little closer to an uncomfortable truth about himself. One of the things I like so much about Louie is how it captures the way things stack up, for good or ill; if the season premiere found Louie on the winning end of confrontations with assholes, here we see him getting called on his bullshit. … Read More

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Crispr and Chipotle Modify the World: Links You Need to See

What a day! #WorldBookDay is in full swing (at least on Twitter), and, more importantly, Loretta Lynch was just confirmed by the Senate, in a 56 to 43 vote, as the first female African American U.S. Attorney General. That’s one small step for mankind and one giant leap — wait, there’s still a way to go, at least in Hollywood. In a panel discussion with Meryl Streep, directors Ava DuVernay and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, moderated by Jon Stewart, Streep explained the pervasive sexism in the film industry and said that the hardest thing for an actress to do is to get men to identify with them onscreen. … Read More

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How Shakespeare’s Heroines Evolved From One-Dimensional to Feminist

It’s the Bard’s birthday! Some celebrate the day by inserting “thee”s and “forsooth”s into their speech, and others by gathering Shakespeare’s quips and aphorisms. But there’s another way to honor his legacy, and that is to take a look at his treatment of women, which might be very instructive to some of our more boorish and misogynist culture creators today. Shakespeare was once just like them, but he evolved into something far greater. … Read More

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