Michelle Dean: We have gathered here today because, and I think this is not an exaggerated term, we are devoted to "Enlightened," the struggling HBO show from Mike White that stars Laura Dern as Amy Jellicoe, a woman who… is struggling to figure out life. That sounds kind of patronizing, but it's the only way to put it.
Recently I found myself actively worrying about the show's potential cancellation as I went about my day. And I keep tossing around different reasons of articulating why. One is of course that like David Haglund at Slate, I think it's the most interesting show on television right now, as well as [...]
Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle wasn’t Hollywood-hot. He didn’t have any high-profile romances, and the gossip mags never complimented him on his dashing evening wear. But he was one of the best physical comedians of all time, and from 1914 to 1920, he effectively ruled the movie business. He was Will Ferrell meets Chris Farley with a twist of Fire-Marshall-Bill-era Jim Carrey, and he was, and remains, a marvel to behold. Here was a man who, despite his mass, seemed to float across the screen, and whose comedy had deftness and grace — qualities Ferrell’s tighty-whitey romps, for all of their glory, distinctly lack.
But “Fatty” was just Arbuckle’s picture personality, the [...]
My face is set in a neutral expression as I type this, probably too dull to merit an emoticon. Let’s say I was smiling, though, or even laughing. Let’s say I was laughing so hard that part of my ass literally came off, on account of all the calories expended. You wouldn’t know it unless I mentioned it. Right now I’m conveying meaning through words only — complete, unadorned sentences. In other words, I’m conducting myself in the manner apparently most befitting a man.
It has increasingly come to my attention that a lot of women consider the male usage of emoticons and LOL to be at best a [...]
A Northwestern University research team can now unveil the exciting idea that "people were more likely to solve word puzzles with sudden insight when they were amused, having just seen a short comedy routine." The presence of comedy apparently helped lower "the brain’s threshold for detecting weaker or more remote connections," in other words helped it ignore the acceptable, but dumb, answers to the puzzle.