In the News 04.06.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 04.06.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 04.06.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 04.06.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

What About “The Breakfast Club”?

Earlier this year, the Criterion Collection, which is “dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world,” released a restored version of “The Breakfast Club,” a film written and directed by John Hughes that I acted in, thirty-six years ago. For this edition, I participated in an interview about the movie, as did other people close to the production. I don’t make a habit of revisiting films I’ve made, but this was not the first time I’d returned to this one: a few years back, I watched it with my daughter, who was ten at the time. We recorded a conversation about it for the radio show “This American Life.” I’ll be the first to admit that ten is far too young for a viewing of “The Breakfast Club,” a movie about five high-school students who befriend each other during a Saturday detention session, with plenty of cursing, sex talk, and a now-famous scene of the students smoking pot. But my daughter insisted that her friends had already seen it, and she said she didn’t want to watch it for the first time in front of other people. A writer-director friend assured me that kids tend to filter out what they don’t understand, and I figured that it would be better if I were there to answer the uncomfortable questions. So I relented, thinking perhaps that it would make for a sweet if unconventional mother-daughter bonding moment.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

Dwayne Johnson: The Pain And The Passion That Fuel The Rock


If the world seemed a little bit sluggish this morning – if the birds weren’t singing as sweetly, or the sun hung a bit lower in the sky – it might be because Dwayne Johnson didn’t work out.

On any other day, Johnson would be up before dawn, clanging and banging on the 45,000 pounds of equipment in the torture chamber of a home gym he calls his Iron Paradise. But not today. Today Johnson slept in until the downright slothful hour of 6 a.m., in a hotel suite in Beverly Hills under the alias Sam Cooke, where he now sits perusing the newspaper while his longtime girlfriend, Lauren Hashian, enjoys a bowl of room-service granola.

The reason for this uncharacteristic idleness? Johnson and Hashian have a two-year-old daughter, Jasmine, and a second child arriving in a few weeks. “We’re in the home stretch,” says Hashian, rubbing her belly – so they left the toddler with the nanny for the night and snuck off for a little romantic getaway. “We’re getting it in now before it’s too late.” Johnson, padding around the suite in gym socks and a T-shirt that reads BLOOD SWEAT RESPECT, says he and Hashian were originally going to get married this spring in Hawaii. “But then we got pregnant,” he says. “And Mama don’t wanna take wedding pictures with a big belly – Mama wanna look good.” They weren’t exactly trying to have another baby. “We were talking about it,” he says. “And then all of a sudden I get a text from her with a [picture of a] pregnancy test.” Apparently it didn’t take much. “All I did was look at her,” Johnson jokes. “Guess what. You’re pregnant. Baby in you now.”

“He just gave me the eyebrow,” says Hashian. “Pew. Here’s a baby.”

Johnson says he’s excited. “I had Simone when I was 29” – his older daughter, now 16, whom he had with his ex-wife, Dany Garcia, who’s now his manager. (They make it work.) “Guys don’t mature until much, much later, so it’s nice to be in my fourth level and have babies again.” Fourth level – that’s a new one. Johnson, 45, grins. “It’s better than saying the actual number.”

Do they have a name picked out? “I think we do,” Hashian says. “We’re thinking about Tia. It’s simple, it’s Polynesian-ish. And I feel like she might come out looking like a Tia. I mean, she could come out any which way, because we’re complete opposites” – she’s fair and delicate, he’s brown and colossal. I love that name, I tell her.

“Yeah?” says Johnson, sounding pleased. “Thank you. You’re probably the fourth person who’s heard it. It was funny – we were having dinner with Emily Blunt, who I’m getting ready to work with [on Disney’s Jungle Cruise], and I said, ‘What do you think of Tia?’ And she went – beat, beat, beat – ‘No one’s gonna fuck with a Tia Johnson.’ ”

Especially not when her father is Dwayne Johnson, roughly the size of a grain elevator. When he was in high school, other kids were suspicious of him because they thought he was an undercover cop. (For the record, a pretty solid pitch for a Dwayne Johnson movie.) Even now, as the most beloved star in Hollywood not named Tom Hanks, Johnson and his giganticness can still give pause. Director Brad Peyton, who’s worked with him on three films – including the new monster romp Rampage – says the first time they met, Johnson was dressed as Hobbs, from the Fast & Furious franchise. “I was like, ‘Oh, my God – this guy is frighteningly large,’ ” Peyton says. “I was shitting myself he looked so intimidating. It took me, like, 15 minutes to get over it.”

Read the rest of this article at: RollingStone

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

Shop the Tuscany Tote in Midnight
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When Will Britain Face Up To Its Crimes Against Humanity?

On 3 August 1835, somewhere in the City of London, two of Europe’s most famous bankers came to an agreement with the chancellor of the exchequer. Two years earlier, the British government had passed the Slavery Abolition Act, which outlawed slavery in most parts of the empire. Now it was taking out one of the largest loans in history, to finance the slave compensation package required by the 1833 act. Nathan Mayer Rothschild and his brother-in-law Moses Montefiore agreed to loan the British government £15m, with the government adding an additional £5m later. The total sum represented 40% of the government’s yearly income in those days, equivalent to some £300bn today.

You might expect this so-called “slave compensation” to have gone to the freed slaves to redress the injustices they suffered. Instead, the money went exclusively to the owners of slaves, who were being compensated for the loss of what had, until then, been considered their property. Not a single shilling of reparation, nor a single word of apology, has ever been granted by the British state to the people it enslaved, or their descendants.

Read the rest of this article at: The Daily Beast


The Life And Death Of Homaro Cantu, The Genius Chef Who Wanted To Change The World

Between 2004 and 2016, the most inventive food on the planet, possibly in history, came out of a small restaurant in downtown Chicago. At Moto, your first course was your menu itself, which was typically printed in edible ink on a giant tortilla chip. When you finished your menu, you would be handed what looked like a Polaroid of a maki roll. The photograph was made of rice paper and coated in a dust of nori seaweed and soy sauce. It tasted the only way it could: like sesame, avocado, cucumber and crab sticks.

Next to emerge would be a tumbler containing butter-poached lobster tail resting on a spoon, with creme fraiche, trout roe and carbonated grapes that would fizz in your mouth like soda. After that, a plate apparently splattered with roadkill would arrive. If you balked at the sight of the gore and guts, that was just what the chefs wanted. The dish was designed to look repulsive but taste delicious. The gristle was made from confit duck and the blood from juniper berry sauce. Thank God for that.

You were being pushed and pulled about. Your ice-cream would be piping hot; your caramel apple would be made from pork belly; your table candle would be poured all over your clam bake. You were eating the food of chef Homaro Cantu and normal rules no longer applied.

Cantu wanted to change what it meant to go to a restaurant – to reimagine how you were served, how you interacted with food, what could and could not be eaten. “I want to make food float,” Cantu told the New York Times in 2005. “I want to make it disappear, I want to make it reappear, I want to make the utensils edible, I want to make the plates, the table, the chairs, edible.” A large photograph of Salvador Dalí hung over the stairwell leading down to Moto’s basement kitchen. Printed on it was a quote: “The only difference between a madman and me is that I am not mad.”

Since its birth in the late 19th century, haute cuisine has had little impact on what most of the planet eats. The greatest advances in cooking and taste barely trickle out from the 40-seat dining rooms of the world’s top restaurants, let alone make an impact upon the human relationship with food. Ferran Adriá’s El Bulli, one of the most acclaimed restaurants ever, once boasted 2m reservation requests a year, with a waiting list of 3,000 people per seat. But the cacophony of powders, foams and tinctures that issued from his Catalan kitchen were enjoyed by no more than 100,000 people before the restaurant closed in 2011.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

The Demise Of The Nation State

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What is happening to national politics? Every day in the US, events further exceed the imaginations of absurdist novelists and comedians; politics in the UK still shows few signs of recovery after the “national nervous breakdown” of Brexit. France “narrowly escaped a heart attack” in last year’s elections, but the country’s leading daily feels this has done little to alter the “accelerated decomposition” of the political system. In neighbouring Spain, El País goes so far as to say that “the rule of law, the democratic system and even the market economy are in doubt”; in Italy, “the collapse of the establishment” in the March elections has even brought talk of a “barbarian arrival”, as if Rome were falling once again. In Germany, meanwhile, neo-fascists are preparing to take up their role as official opposition, introducing anxious volatility into the bastion of European stability.

But the convulsions in national politics are not confined to the west. Exhaustion, hopelessness, the dwindling effectiveness of old ways: these are the themes of politics all across the world. This is why energetic authoritarian “solutions” are currently so popular: distraction by war (Russia, Turkey); ethno-religious “purification” (India, Hungary, Myanmar); the magnification of presidential powers and the corresponding abandonment of civil rights and the rule of law (China, Rwanda, Venezuela, Thailand, the Philippines and many more).

What is the relationship between these various upheavals? We tend to regard them as entirely separate – for, in political life, national solipsism is the rule. In each country, the tendency is to blame “our” history, “our” populists, “our” media, “our” institutions, “our” lousy politicians. And this is understandable, since the organs of modern political consciousness – public education and mass media – emerged in the 19th century from a globe-conquering ideology of unique national destinies. When we discuss “politics”, we refer to what goes on inside sovereign states; everything else is “foreign affairs” or “international relations” – even in this era of global financial and technological integration. We may buy the same products in every country of the world, we may all use Google and Facebook, but political life, curiously, is made of separate stuff and keeps the antique faith of borders.

Yes, there is awareness that similar varieties of populism are erupting in many countries. Several have noted the parallels in style and substance between leaders such as Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Narendra Modi, Viktor Orbán and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. There is a sense that something is in the air – some coincidence of feeling between places. But this does not get close enough. For there is no coincidence. All countries are today embedded in the same system, which subjects them all to the same pressures: and it is these that are squeezing and warping national political life everywhere. And their effect is quite the opposite – despite the desperate flag-waving – of the oft-remarked “resurgence of the nation state”.

The most momentous development of our era, precisely, is the waning of the nation state: its inability to withstand countervailing 21st-century forces, and its calamitous loss of influence over human circumstance. National political authority is in decline, and, since we do not know any other sort, it feels like the end of the world. This is why a strange brand of apocalyptic nationalism is so widely in vogue. But the current appeal of machismo as political style, the wall-building and xenophobia, the mythology and race theory, the fantastical promises of national restoration – these are not cures, but symptoms of what is slowly revealing itself to all: nation states everywhere are in an advanced state of political and moral decay from which they cannot individually extricate themselves.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

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

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