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In the News 07.10.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

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In the News 07.10.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets
In the News 07.10.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around

Photos by 8 rue caffarelli

The Year We Obsessed Over Identity

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A few weeks ago, I sat in a movie theater and grinned. Anne Hathaway was in ‘‘The Intern,’’ perched on a hotel bed in a hotel robe, eating from a can of overpriced nuts, having tea and freaking out. What would happen if she divorced her sweet, selfless stay­at­home dad of a husband? Would she ever meet anybody else? And if she didn’t, she would have no one to be buried next to — she’d be single for all eternity. And weren’t the problems in her marriage a direct result of her being a successful businesswoman — she was there but never quite present? ‘‘The Intern’’ is a Nancy Meyers movie, and these sorts of cute career­woman meltdowns are the Eddie Van Halen guitar solos of her romantic comedies.

Read the rest of this article at The New York Times

I met you in the rain on the last day of 1972

I met you in the rain on the last day of 1972, the same day I resolved to kill myself.

One week prior, at the behest of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, I’d flown four B-52 sorties over Hanoi. I dropped forty-eight bombs. How many homes I destroyed, how many lives I ended, I’ll never know. But in the eyes of my superiors, I had served my country honorably, and I was thusly discharged with such distinction.

And so on the morning of that New Year’s Eve, I found myself in a barren studio apartment on Beacon and Hereford with a fifth of Tennessee rye and the pang of shame permeating the recesses of my soul. When the bottle was empty, I made for the door and vowed, upon returning, that I would retrieve the Smith & Wesson Model 15 from the closet and give myself the discharge I deserved.

I walked for hours. I looped around the Fenway before snaking back past Symphony Hall and up to Trinity Church. Then I roamed through the Common, scaled the hill with its golden dome, and meandered into that charming labyrinth divided by Hanover Street. By the time I reached the waterfront, a charcoal sky had opened and a drizzle became a shower. That shower soon gave way to a deluge. While the other pedestrians darted for awnings and lobbies, I trudged into the rain. I suppose I thought, or rather hoped, that it might wash away the patina of guilt that had coagulated around my heart. It didn’t, of course, so I started back to the apartment.

And then I saw you.

Read the rest of this article at Craigslist

Blank Space: What Kind of Genius Is Max Martin?

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Among the stranger aspects of recent pop music history is how so many of the biggest hits of the past twenty years—by the Backstreet Boys, ’NSync, and Britney Spears to Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and the Weeknd—have been co-written by a forty-four-year-old Swede. His real name is Karl Martin Sandberg, but you would know him as Max Martin, if you know of him at all, which, if he can help it, you won’t. He is music’s magic melody man, the master hooksmith responsible for twenty-one No. 1 Billboard hits—five fewer than John Lennon, and eleven behind Paul McCartney, on the all-time list. But, while Lennon and McCartney are universally acknowledged as geniuses, few outside the music business have heard of Max Martin.

Read the rest of this article at The New Yorker

Inside Michael Jackson’s Iconic First Moonwalk Onstage

In 1983, Suzanne de Passe, still Berry Gordy’s loyal number two, had an idea to revitalize the famous but fading Motown Records. She pitched Gordy a twenty-fifth-anniversary reunion show. Profits would go to charity. Gordy liked the idea and thought he could talk most of his former stars into it. He was wrong, at least at first. Diana Ross was living a new kind of life — without Gordy. She spent her days hobnobbing with fashion designers like Halston and Calvin Klein, dining at the Four Seasons, hanging out at Studio 54, and vacationing at her new manor in Fairfield, Connecticut. Her first RCA album, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, hit the top ten, and the follow-up, Silk Electric, had gone gold, thanks in part to Michael Jackson’s heavy-breathing, finger-snapping contribution on the song “Muscles” (which Michael produced, wrote, and named after his boa constrictor). When de Passe called about Motown 25, Ross declined. But de Passe knew Ross. She went to the press, predicting Ross would show up as a “special guest star.” Ross fans became excited, and the singer realized she couldn’t back out without looking bad. So she accepted the invitation.

Read the rest of this article at Rolling Stone

George RR Martin: our long obsession with Mars

The author behind Game of Thrones spent his childhood reading stories about Mars and hoping to write one himself. As new discoveries on the red planet capture the world’s attention, he surveys a rich Martian literature

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Once upon a time there was a planet called Mars, a world of red sands, canals and endless adventure. I remember it well, for I went there often as a child. I come from a blue-collar, working-class background. My family never had much money. We lived in a federal housing project in Bayonne, New Jersey, never owned a car, never saw much of anywhere. The projects were on First Street, my school was on Fifth Street, and for most of my childhood those five blocks were my world.

It never mattered, though, for I had other worlds. A voracious reader, first of comic books (superheroes, mostly, but some Classics Illustrated and Disney stuff as well), then of paperbacks (science fiction, horror and fantasy, with a seasoning of murder mysteries, adventure yarns, and historicals), I travelled far and wide while hunched down in my favourite chair, turning pages.

I soared among the skyscrapers of Metropolis with Superman, fought bad guys in Gotham City with Batman, swung between the water towers of Manhattan with Spider-Man. I sailed the South Seas with Long John Silver and Robert Louis Stevenson, and swam beneath them with Aquaman and Prince Namor the Submariner. Scrooge McDuck took me to Darkest Africa to search for King Solomon’s Mines, and H Rider Haggard returned me there. I swashed and buckled and fought the Cardinal’s men with the Three Musketeers and Dumas père, sang of the Green Hills of Earth with the blind singer Rhysling and Robert A Heinlein, trekked across Big Planet with Jack Vance, sped through the Caves of Steel withIsaac Asimov, and dared the terrors of the Mines of Moria with JRR Tolkien.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.