Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Links

The Apostate - In last week's New Yorker, Lawrence Wright profiles of Paul Haggis, (who wrote Million Dollar Baby and directed Crash), how he became a Scientologist, and how the church's practices disgusted him to such an extent that he became one of the first high-profile entertainers to leave the fold. Its discussion of Scientology is fascinating, its description of the obstacles that the litigious cult (sect? I refuse to call it a religion) erects before any writer who tries to attempts to write anything other than the most ridiculous puff-piece is even more interesting. The article is 26 internet "pages" long, and every one of them is worth reading. We've always liked Lawrence Wright, but he's been so consistently excellent for so many years (his The Looming Tower is still the best book ever written about 9/11) that he has really become a national treasure.

The Stutterer - on, Nathan Heller discusses stuttering, in light of the success of the now Oscar-winning film The King's Speech. Its the best general-audience article about stuttering we've ever read, and you should really read it, even if you don't have a close acquaintance who stutterers.

A writer named Kay S. Hymowitz has written a book entitled Manning Up, about how female empowerment has resulted in a generation of men who only want to play Madden and go to Vegas with their bandmates, points she made in her promotional Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, "Where Have All the Good Men Gone?" You know, the good men - the ones who work hard, get high-paying jobs shortly after leaving school, begin a long-term relationship with a woman, get married, and buy houses by the time they turn 30. Or something. As you might imagine, it has already generated reaction pieces from such thoughtful commentators as the guys ""

Once again, the AV Club live-blogged the Oscars, and, once again, it was hilarious.

If you do follow Rob Delaney on Twitter, it is time to start.


Paul Smecker said...

the hymowitz article was genuinely rage-inducing.

Wade Garrett said...

Totally agree.

Senor Beavis said...

I'm not reading the Hymowitz piece, but I will bet my paycheck that the economy is not taken into account. And sorry, Kay, my check is low.

I second your endorsement of Rob Delaney's twitter.

Wade Garrett said...

I almost didn't like to Hymowitz because it strikes me as the type of book, and the type of article, that is written solely to generate controversy. But, just as a general rule, nobody should take seriously any book or article that draws upon the comedies of Judd Apatow and the writing of Julie Klausner - also a comedian - for serious insights into how men act in the real world.

Paul Smecker said...

beavis, the recession is not discussed prominently, but other economic trends are discussed, and then promptly ignored. i honestly don't know what she is trying to say. if i handed anything like that in in my sophomore year of high school, i would get a C- and probably a calll from the school shrink. and this person is a fellow somewhere! amazing. i also enjoy the slate article that in barely veiled academic jargon calls all women whores and all men failures AND dogs.