Britain’s Labour Party has undergone a kind of gravitational collapse. Its fringes have fallen into its center, forming a black hole that is a maelstrom of anti-Semitism. Hard to imagine that only a decade ago it was the most mainstream of parties. Its leader Tony Blair preached a mixture of social justice and free markets. The speed with which Labour has fallen to extremists should serve as a wake-up call.
In an effort to boost flagging ratings for the Oscars telecast, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has set a three-hour time limit on the program and is introducing a category to reward “outstanding achievement in popular film.” Let’s set aside the asinine ways that they plan on saving time (relegating technical awards to the commercial breaks instead of, say, getting rid of the goddamn song and dance numbers or reducing the number of self-indulgent montages of past, better movies from 23 to, like, I dunno, 15) and instead focus on the TRULY stupid idea: Best Popular Picture.
Yesterday the French government reported that Joël Robuchon, the most Michelin-starred chef on the planet, had died from complications related to pancreatic cancer. He was 73. By most accounts, Robuchon was a tyrant in the kitchen, a madman obsessed with perfection, and a genius. Pete Wells of the New York Times breaks Robuchon’s career into two parts: the culinary wunderkind who, at age 36, received his first Michelin star after opening Jamin in 1981 (and the maximum three stars only three years later), and the seasoned veteran who opened L’Atelier de Joél Robuchon in 2003, not caring what those Michelin critics thought, and redefined high-end dining. (This whole gastronomic experience where customers can pay thousands of dollars to sit on stools around a bar while chefs cook what they want? You can thank—or blame—Robuchon.)