So, Mr. & Mrs. Smith was on FX last night, and I definitely didn’t notice this when I saw it in 2005, but Angelina Jolie’s team of spies in the movie is made up of some pretty amazing female actors. Among them, Kerry Washington, former Law & Order: Special Victims Unit ADA Alex Cabot (aka Stephanie March), and House M.D. vet (and Kirk’s mom!) Jennifer Morrison. I’ve always had genial feelings for that particular piece of trash, and I feel even better about it noticing they gave some actresses a little work in roles that could have been filled by nobodies.
Washington, D.C. is about to get deluged by what is apparently an actual phenomenon: extremely heavy snow and thunder, known as thundersnow. And of course, someone’s written a song about thundersnow. Pop culture encompasses all things!
Okay, there’s a bit of false advertising in the title of this post. Yes, there’s new Robyn here, but she’s just singing the chorus on a pretty sweet song by I Blame Coco, also known as Sting’s daughter:
I’m kind of digging that “It’s the Milgram device all over again” line.
But really, the song is making me wonder when we’re going to get a new Robyn album. She’s had a great run of guest appearances, whether mixing it up with Snoop Dogg or absolutely killing the vocals on “The Girl and the Robot” (which has one of my favorite videos of the year). But it’s been 2005 since she released Robyn on her own label, Konichiwa Records. That record is one of the defining CDs of my early twenties. The bravado on “Curriculum Vitae” is a fairly precise match for my sense of humor, and for the kind of self-presentation I wanted to have when I was graduating from college. ”Bum Like You” and “Be Mine” were the opposite heads of a coin that encapsulated my feelings during a tough transition period. And “Handle Me” is a great, slightly overaggressive anthem to independence of all kinds. But we’re coming up on five years now. I want more from her–and I want it to be entirely her creative vision, not in collaboration with anyone else. Robyn is too unique, and too fascinating, to deny us herself for this long.
Quite literally, in fact! Shaolin is set for a $137-million initial public offering that will enable the site–and the head monk there–to promote tourism in the region and to enhance Shaolin’s cultural brand. I recognize that this is a serious issue for Zen Buddhism, and indeed, having beauty contests at the temple seems pretty inappropriate. But really, all I want to do is make Carl Douglas jokes. I am a bad person.
Update: PostBourgie’s Jamelle and coworker and buddy Gautham Nagesh have pointed out, via Twitter, that I really should be posting Wu-Tang videos on this post. They’re probably right, but I was a nerdy little suburban white girl when I acquired my goofy Carl Douglas references, and I stand by ‘em. But to appease them:
Emily Nussbaum’s New York piece about how television became art in this decade is, predictably wonderful. But I wish she’d spent a little bit more time on the structural issues that allowed shows ranging from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to The Sopranos to The Wire to Dexter to Mad Men to survive and thrive. One point she makes that I think is critically important is that technology both allowed audiences to exist beyond the rigid time slot when shows originally aired and the time they were released on DVD, and provided supportive communities that deepened fans’ analysis of and attachment to complex shows. She writes:
In fact, a series like The Wire might not have found that audience were it not for galloping advances in technology: DVDs that allowed viewers to watch a whole season in a gulp and, later, DVRs that let viewers curate, pause, and reflect. By opening up TV to deeper analysis, these technologies emboldened a community of TV-philes, fans and academics who defended the medium as worthy of critical respect. Online, writers were forced to reckon with their most passionate viewers (and some loopy new critical forms: the recap, fan fiction, “filk”). A show like Lost, with its recursive symbol-games, couldn’t exist without the Internet’s mob-think. But this was true as well for The Sopranos and Mad Men, allusive dramas that rewarded rumination, causing nationwide waves of appreciation and backlash for months after each new episode.