Entertainment

Dear TV Snobs, TV was invented because we were tired of talking to each other and needed something else to do. You, though, keep trying to have intellectual discussions about politics and the arts while we’re watching Dancing with the Stars. Despite your oddity, we’ve tried not to make fun of you. We learned how wrong it is to judge people by watching special episodes of Family Ties and The Brady Bunch. You, however, insist on thinking you’re better than us. You complain about how hard it is for you to find intellectual stimulation in a world that gives Flavor Flav his own show, but in fact you derive a certain smug self-satisfaction from it. Over the years we’ve tried to make you happy. We gave you PBS. We televised golf. Cable TV was invented so that entire channels could be...
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Dear Dude-Bros, Months ago we forked over the Ticketmaster fees and saved the date. We then endured the parking cartel of the Cincinnati Riverbend Music Center. We didn’t mind that the lawn seats turned out to be Astroturf. We ignored the perpetual bigscreen Skyline Chili ads, creating the need for a collective antacid. Not even eight-dollar Bud Lites could dampen our mood as we boogied to “What’s Your Name” and pretended that the lyrics to “That Smell” don’t creep us out. We even cheered for the new song. Whatever. By way of reward, the band ripped through “Sweet Home Alabama” and for a glorious six minutes and fifteen seconds we forget about our late mortgage payments. Then the lights dimmed and the band retreated backstage. The roadies hustled around the stage while we cradled...
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Dear Facebook, Go ahead, take whatever you want. I won’t try to stop you. Utilize those party shots with the awkward, uniform smiles. Do what you can with the pictures of casserole that not even Instagram could manage to make enticing. Use my poorly scanned baby photos. The first time I wrote with a crayon really was quite a remarkable event; I have no problem sharing it with millions of people. Feel free to use my exciting trip to a taco stand at Far Rockaway in any way you’d like. It might actually be nice to get those pictures out there a bit more. I was looking pretty good in June. My hair was shiny. Do whatever you’d like with the string of badly executed self-indulgent autumn of 2010 status updates. It was a confusing time for me, as everyone now knows. I recommend...
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Dear Today Show: During an episode I randomly watched while I was hungover, you invited a food writer on to prepare a small batch of oatmeal. At first this struck me as peculiar. Why do you need someone, I wondered, to illustrate how to microwave a bowl of water and Quick Oats? But I quickly realized my mistake. This was the motherfucking Today Show on NBC. To be fair, Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything seems like a really nice guy. There’s something about the way he holds his whisk and banters with the smiling hosts clustered around him that makes me think, Hey, I can do that, until I remember I don’t own a whisk, or any food item that needs to be whisked, or a brushed aluminum bowl. And when my husband stands that close to me when I am cooking, it is usually because he...
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Dear Vogue, You recently published an article titled “We’re Officially in the Era of the Big Booty” by Partricia Garcia. You’d think, as a big-bootied woman, that I might greet this article with open arms, support, excitement, and a sigh of relief, but you’d be wrong. So wrong. I hated your article. For women like me, acceptance of a big booty is not a fad isolated to a singular era. Big butts are not bell-bottoms, nor are they grungy flannels, overalls, skinny jeans, or any other fashion trend that comes and goes with the seasons. Girls with big asses can’t ditch them as soon as they go out of style. Our asses are our bodies, not an accessory. I did not see a big ass on the runway at New York Fashion Week and run out to the nearest Forever 21 to get a knock off so that I could be...
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Dear Joanne, You won’t remember me but nearly 20 years ago we worked together briefly in a school in Edinburgh. Your talents have since made you a lot of money and given you considerable status and influence; I have continued to channel mine into that Freirean project of opening minds and changing the world from the classroom. You now have millions of Twitter followers; I have six. People should always act on their conscience and yours has obviously prompted you to speak out in order to try to prevent Scotland voting for Independence. In doing so over the last few days you have claimed to be speaking not out of self-interest but on behalf of ordinary Scots who, you claim, are set to suffer immeasurably under Independence. You speak of three kinds of Yes voters – the first are...
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Dear artists, A year ago, in order to support the blackout against SOPA, I wrote a blog post explaining why I was pirating your work. A few hours later, the sudden closure of Megaupload gave an unexpected popularity to my text. In the weeks that followed, nearly 100,000 people read it on this blog, not to mention the numerous translations. With Flattr, I earned a total of € 34.70 for that post and its French translation. If I had a 1€ paywall, this post alone would worth € 100,000. Even considering that only 10% of readers would pay, it would still be around € 10,000. Not bad, isn’t it? But if I charged visitors, nobody would have read that text in the first place. It would never have become viral and I would not have earned a single euro on Flattr. This seems obvious, isn’t it?...
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Dear Mr. Stone, I am an academic historian who likes to think he has some knowledge of world events during the past centuries. I am someone who has watched and thought about some of your better films and who had the good fortune to have been in Kyiv on the Maidan in November-December 2013. I was appalled and distressed when I read that a person of your stature had decided he would make a film about Ukraine’s ousted dictator Victor Ianukovich. What unsettled me was not your idea about interviewing a dictator on film. Documentaries about surviving ousted dictators are important and useful. What I found appalling was not only that you seem to share his interpretation of his fate, but that you seem to attach particular significance to that interpretation. You seem actually to believe Mr...
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Dear Eric, Hello, Eric. I hope you are well! I am writing you this open letter on the morning of Monday October 14th in hopes that you read it along with our fans, friends and colleagues. I want you and everyone else to know that this letter comes from a place of honesty and respect. As you know over the past several years we have, together created a lot of work. We began in college making experimental films and projects, learning the craft, making each other laugh and exploring our own creativity. We continued to create after college, pursuing an often risky course towards making our art and comedy professionally. Through hard work and luck we were able to make our first series: The animated short form comedy, “Tom Goes To The Mayor” for Adult Swim. Soon we found we had created a...
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Dear Kid Rock, Congratulations on your new album! You're everywhere these days promoting it and, while I wish you the best and baddest of luck, I can't help but notice that right in there with "First Kiss is a return to form" and "Kid Rock is a real American badass," a key element of your marketing campaign seems to be "it's fun to use the word 'gay' as a pejorative." You told TMZ that selfies are "so gay." In an interview with the Guardian, you called rap-rock "gay." You regaled Howard Stern the other day with a story about how miserable and oppressed your son felt in a Malibu high school that hung a single sign forbidding the use of the word "gay" as an insult, and how you shared a moment of father-son bonding over how gay the sign itself was. "If someone says you can't say 'gay'...
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