(Spoilers for True Detective season one below.)
At some point relatively late in my schooling—senior year of high school or early on in undergrad, I can’t remember exactly when—a dour-faced young woman informed me that “the melting pot” was an outdated concept. The phrase that for time immemorial had proudly been used to describe America’s ability to assimilate broad swathes of the world’s people—taking on their best characteristics and cultural products while discarding the elements better suited for their less-free, less-prosperous homeland—was offensive. America is not be a melting pot. No no.
America is a salad.
If you liked 2006’s 300, you will find much to love in this rousing sequel. Though not without its faults, 300: Rise of an Empire delivers exactly what it promises: meticulously choreographed fight sequences punctuated by huge splashes of blood and an unapologetic, un-ironic embrace of martial virtue in defense of freedom.
I’m a big fan of Chipotle. And I occasionally get guacamole added to my burrito bol. But all the (completely unwarranted)
global warming global cooling climate change fearmongering about Chipotle doing away* with guac is amusing because, if we’re being entirely honest, their guacamole kind of sucks anyway.
During the Oscars, I joked that Neal McDonough is better in the ad below than most actors are in anything, ever. I cheered it several times during the evening’s broadcast. I did so because this ad is awesome.
Fringe elements of the left have long been extremely bothered by intern pay—specifically, the lack thereof in many of the industries that, coincidentally, many on the left want to work in. Media internships—be they in Hollywood or at news outlets—are often unpaid. They are often unpaid because the labor involved is menial, the jobs frequently go to the best connected rather than the best skilled, and interns are typically more work to manage than their meager output is worth.
“But equality or something!” these rabble rousers cry, worrying that it’s super duper unfair that some people agree to work for what their labor is worth (which is to say: nothing). And equality is what they have gotten! Conde Nast, for instance, recently scrapped its internship program altogether because it realized that paying workers more than they’re worth (which is to say: nothing) is an insane business decision. In a tight industry like the media—where subscription rates are falling and ad revenues are declining—throwing money at people who don’t deserve it is nuts.
However, it’s not just unpaid internships that have fallen under the withering gaze of the egalitarians. Super-paid internships are also viewed with a skeptical eye.
Hence this new study from Glassdoor, which lists the 25 highest-paid internships in the land. While Wall Street used to dominate such lists, Silicon Valley is where the action is these days. And, not so coincidentally, Silicon Valley has supplanted Wall Street as enemy number one when it comes to “inequality.”
The Academy Awards last night played out almost exactly as expected, with the favorites taking home trophies in every major category. And while 12 Years a Slave will one day be known as the film that stole the best picture trophy from the obviously superior Man of Steel—this year‘s How Green Was My Valley, if you will—it’s a fine enough choice for now.
Some thought leaders were far more overwhelmed by its victory than I was. Indeed, they thought that 12 Years a Slave‘s victory was the signifier of something truly and deeply important about #ObamasAmerica. HuffPo’s Howard Fineman could barely contain all his feels:
I want to make four comments about this Buzzfeed ranking of the 85 best picture winners.
The shockingly popular Liam Neeson vehicle Taken succeeded because it was light on intellectualizing and played to its actors’ strengths. Well paced, punctuated by moments of stylized and well-choreographed violence, and featuring a hero with an extremely basic motive—father must rescue daughter—the movie zipped along at a perfect pace.
It’s as if the creators of Non-Stop—which has been referred to as “Taken on a plane” by, well, me (and probably some others)—looked at the Taken formula, and decided it needed some talky intellectualization and fewer action sequences in order to really get audiences into the story.
This gambit was unsuccessful.
Instead of just giving you my picks for the Oscars this Sunday, I figured I’d add a little value by telling you not only who I think will win but also how you could make a little scratch if I’m wrong. Here are my picks to win and value picks—that is, picks with decent odds at the bookies—in case you happen to be somewhere where gambling is legal.