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10.01.2014

wordy wednesday october 1st

The Vanity Fair October issue is a real who's who, profiling dozens of people in preparation for their New Establishment Summit October 8-9th.  The criteria for making it onto of their lists almost invariably involves earning/investing/squandering millions of dollars.  Some of these people include Ben Silbermann (Pinterest), Elon Musk (super wealthy investor-dude), and Sandra Bullock (Gravity made $617 million or something worldwide).  The magazine also features an Robert Downey Jr.  In the first few lines of the article the author names him the highest paid actor in the world (thus, by implication, meriting a cover shot and article and online video).



Although the New Establishment are undoubtedly very bright and have contributed to our current culture/technology, and this been said to the point that it's a cliche, I'm gonna go ahead and say it again; this list demonstrates that our culture worships the golden calf.  The Red Bull guy was 'a great guy and and powerful player' because he cleverly advertised RB in independent films, and with Felix in the Red Bull Stratos.  (I for one think it's tacky turn a parachute jump into a crummy commercial.)

I want to see VF put Jeremy Irons onto that list, simply on the grounds that he's one of the best movie actors still alive, and that he's contributed to making some of the best film around.  Acclaim for talent's sake.  (Any mention in that article that Downey's movies aren't really that great? ~more of the genre of a Michael Bay money-maker.)

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Some good podcasts just came out today.  It's that time of the month.

The New Yorker Fiction podcast, hosted by Deborah Treisman, had George Saunders on once again after a 7 year haitus.  He read two super-short stories by Grace Paley and Barry Hannah.  I love this podcast.  It's the podcast that originally got me into podcasts, and some of the first episodes I've listened to dozens of times.  Listening to Saunders today brings back some pretty poignant memories from seven years ago when I listened to him reading Isaac Babel.

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Harriet Gilbert interviewed Pat Barker, author of WWI novel "Regeneration", on the BBC World Book Club.  The author seems to take herself very  seriously.  War is a somer subject, but she just seemed a little extreme.  The host, as usual, is awesome.

I realized, too, after listening to these podcasts that there really are some good podcasts hosted by women.  Some statistic I read/heard somewhere, maybe it was on Twitter, said that only 10% (ish) of podcasts are hosted by women.  Well if that's the case, the 10% seem to be high quality.  Two others I'd add to the list are Book Lust with Nancy Pearl, as well as NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, hosted by Linda Holmes.  And WTF.  Oh, wait.  Marc's not a woman!!!

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I also listened to Pauly Shore's Interested podcast for the first time this month.  (What has this guy been up to since Son in Law?)  It's a confusing interview; he went back and forth between interviewing two different men; and choppily produced with jagged music interludes.

Initially it seemed promising....some sort of open-minded political discussions.  But then he lost me when he said that he thought that Christie would hands-down win the presidency in 2016; and when pressed on why he thought Christie would out-win Jindal, Mike Wallace or Kasich to attain the Republican nomination, Shore admits that he knows who none of these men are.  (His rationale for Hilary not winning is "I just don't think she will.  It's my personal opinion.")

He asks painfully banal questions, "What do you think about wiretapping?" and follows up with, "No, seriously, I want to know what you really think about it."  It's some sort of Fisher Price My First Political Discussion.

Except that Shore thinks he's legit.  He says at one point that he wants to run for mayor of a small town.  Yikes.

Here's a direct quote from Shore; "What they did in 9-11 that was some gangster shit, dude.  That's some fuckin' gnarly shit.  When they did that to us they were probably dancing in their caves celebrating.  When those missles, when those planes went into the buildings, they must have popped champagne."

I may keep listening to this podcast, however, to amuse myself.

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and that it.

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