In a cluttered Koreatown office, Mike Rugnetta and Andrew Kornhaber huddled around an iMac and giggled over an obviously Photoshopped image of Michel Foucault in a baking apron. In the image, Foucault’s head was twice as large as it ought to have been, sitting atop a female body wearing high heels. Beside Foucault was an oven dubbed “history” from which sprung a loaf of bread labeled “truth.” The image was supposed to convey the postmodernist idea that time can “bake” any erroneous idea into historical fact. But mostly Messrs. Rugnetta and Kornhaber were laughing at an old Frenchman’s oversize head on a woman’s body. Read More
Barack Obama must be looking forward to the end of his presidency, what with the job’s grueling hours, the Obamacare website backlash, and the constant stream of vitriol aimed at him by the opposition.
But this latest news really makes it seem like life in the White House isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Read More
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio insisted today he’s still on track to reform the NYPD, even though he just chose a member of the old guard to lead the department in his administration.
“I could not be more enthusiastic,” said Mr. de Blasio of his pick, Bill Bratton. “This is one of the choices that a mayor gets to make–that is most difficult–for the people of our city. It is a sacred choice.” Read More
The city’s future police commissioner today dismissed suggestions that a decision by the current administration to relegate Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s police transition team to a trailer outside One Police Plaza amounted to a slight.
“Actually, that would be an improvement over last time,” Mr. Bratton told Politicker, answering questions today at a press conference announcing his appointment as the city’s next top cop. Read More
More bitter, bleak lives of American mill workers without a compass and no place to go if they had one are showcased in the pessimistic drama Out of the Furnace. It’s getting to be a dismal film director’s obsession bordering on cliché. The hopeless losers this time are working-class brothers from the steel mills, caught between crime, drugs and bare-fisted boxing. But it’s the opening scene that sets the tone. A brain-damaged, coke-sniffing redneck named Harlan DeGroat, played by a miscast Woody Harrelson, vomits through his car window at a drive-in movie, slugs down a bottle of rotgut whiskey, sadistically shoves a hot dog down his girlfriend’s throat, beats the man in the next car senseless and drives away, leaving everyone on the ground for dead. It goes downhill from there. Read More
It never ceases to amaze me how many people manage to waste money producing movies so bland, empty and pretentious that nobody will ever see them. Don’t they read the scripts before they sign the checks? We’ve had several this year. Now here’s another. Night Train to Lisbon sounds enticing—like one of those dark flicks about Cold War spies in East Berlin with Richard Burton or William Holden. Check your enthusiasm at the door. It’s an independent co-production from Germany, Switzerland and Portugal (the worst kind, if you ask me) about a schoolteacher in Bern, Switzerland, named Raimund Gregorius (Jeremy Irons), a voyeur of life but never a participant in it. Are you fascinated enough by this news to continue? Read More
Al Sharpton, who clashed endlessly with the Giuliani administration, doesn’t sound thrilled with Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s decision to re-appoint Mr. Giuliani’s police commissioner as the city’s top cop.
In a statement released this morning just as news of Bill Bratton’s appointment was trickling out, Mr. Sharpton, who has had a warm relationship with Mr. de Blasio, offered a mixed assessment of Mr. Bratton’s record, which includes stints as chief of both the Boston and Los Angeles police departments. Read More
‘Tis the season for giving—but only to people with sweet punning skills. Read More
Last week we found out the media had again fallen for a complete hoax when it was revealed that a now-famous waitress who had been the victim of a homophobic no-tip-because-of-your-lifestyle attack in New Jersey had in fact made the whole thing up.
The original story had made the front pages of CNN, ABC, Fox News and countless others. On the Huffington Post, the story received close to 8,000 comments and 16,000 Facebook shares (with follow-ups receiving more). One Gawker story alone did something like 200,000 pageviews. Read More
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has named former top cop Bill Bratton to serve as the city’s next police commissioner.
Mr. Bratton, a veteran of the Dinkins and Giuliani administrations, who also oversaw the police departments in Boston and Los Angeles, is best known for driving down crime in the city in the mid-1990s with a tough-on-low-level-crimes approach. Read More