Have the Golden Globes just beaten the Oscars at its own game? Thanks to last night’s announcement of the shrewd hiring of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as hosts of its 2013 ceremony, it might have. High-fiving a million angels!
The Motion Picture Academy’s ceaseless struggle to produce an Oscars telecast that appeals to younger viewers while still maintaining a relatively high level of traditional pomp and circumstance is, by now, a point of ridicule. First there was the parading of a Tiger Beat troupe made up of High School Musical stars and Miley Cyrus onto the broadcast. Then, the fateful hiring of Anne Hathaway and James Franco as hosts. The tremendous crash-and-burn of the Brett Ratner/Eddie Murphy “edgy” producing/hosting team that never was. Yet the very embodiment of the “If at first you don’t succeed mantra…,” the Academy made another attempt at reaching the 18-24 demo, booking Seth MacFarlane, the man behind Family Guy, Ted, and nearly nothing that a majority of the aging Academy members have ever heard of, to preside over this year’s telecast.
It was a risky choice, and one that might have ended up seeming wise in the long run. That is, until the Hollywood Foreign Press ruined everything by landing what may be the most perfect combination of award show hosts that there has ever been: Fey and Poehler.
You know what’s wrong with America? Its jeans. Glenn Beck denounced Levi’s last year after the company featured global protests and revolutions in their ads, and now he’s put denim where his mouth is and launched his very own jean line at 1791 Supply & Co.
Scott Stapp would love to see a president who was “either an FDR or a Reagan,” an inspirational figure who would be like, “Yeah man, when you tear down that wall — do it.” (That is an actual quote.)
In 1920, shortly after the publication of his debut novel, This Side of Paradise, he received a piece of “hate mail” criticizing the book as an affront to the respectable members of society, particularly those in power. This was Fitzgerald’s feisty, brilliant response:
Your letter riled me to such an extent that I’m answering immediatly. Who are all these ‘real people’ who ‘create business and politics’? and of whose approval I should be so covetous? Do you mean grafters who keep sugar in their ware houses so that people have to go without or the cheap-jacks who by bribery and high-school sentiment manage to controll elections.
Read the rest of Fitzgerald’s letter. [Image: AP]
The most intriguing song on Tempest, Bob Dylan’s 35th studio album, isn’t the 14-minute title track about the sinking of the Titanic. It’s the album’s closer, “Roll on John,” a tribute to John Lennon. “Shine your light, move it on,” goes Dylan’s refrain. “You burned so bright / Roll on, John”. Whether critics are deriding the song for being “maudlin” or rhapsodizing about Dylan’s “elegy for a dead friend,” the relationship between the two rock icons has been taken for granted, as if the song was the inevitable result of a straight-forward friendship. In fact, Lennon and Dylan only met a handful of times from 1964 to 1969 and, when examined, their complex relationship suggests that in fact the song isn’t about John Lennon—or at least not about the Lennon that Dylan knew.
Read more. [Image: AP]
In the South nave of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. there is a stained glass panel called the Space Window. The panel is filled with planets and stars, and straight lines meant to suggest the trajectories of space ships. Its color palette — blue, purple, red and green—-was inspired by images from Apollo 11. Stilled in the center of a large red orb at the window’s focal point is a sliver of Moon rock. The tiny shard of lunar basalt was gifted to the Cathedral by the crew of Apollo 11 back in 1974, on the fifth anniversary of the first Moon landing. As a piece of public art, the Space Window’s function is to commemorate the spiritual and scientific import of America’s space program. By lodging this window into our National house of worship, alongside religious and nationalist iconography, we are saying that space exploration is sacred.
Yesterday morning, I visited the National Cathedral to attend a memorial service for space exploration’s most exalted figure, Neil Armstrong, the first human being to set foot on another celestial sphere. More than a thousand people poured into the cathedral to celebrate Armstrong, including 24 members of Congress. The Armstrong family sat in front. Nearby, a small-white haired fraternity of illustrious ex-astronauts gathered, including Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins of Apollo 11, and former U.S. Senator John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth.
The occasion was, on the whole, joyous. This being a memorial service, the speeches all had solemn moments. But at no time was the ceremony sad; at no time could anyone forget that Armstrong lived an extraordinary life.
Read more. [Image: Ross Andersen]