Best Of The Web
“Three’s a trend. Which is why it doesn’t take Spidey senses to feel parental dread in the air — just a trip to a multiplex, where Oscar-bait dramas Beautiful Boy, Boy Erased and Ben is Back (opening Friday) can be seen.
The trio of films involve A-list actors – Steve Carell, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts – as stressed-out parents dealing with troubled sons. Pretty, pensive Timothy Chalamet chews on his lips as a Marin County junkie in the first title, while Lucas Hedges plays a gay-leaning preacher’s son grappling with his sexuality and his parents’ response to it in the second and a heroin addict in the third.
To a greater or lesser extent, all of the movies wrestle with a defining question of the college-educated classes: What do you do when your kids aren’t who you’d think they’d be? Combined, the three prestige projects channel contemporary anxieties at that crucial tipping point when a boy, beautiful or plain vanilla, hits his late teens and separation threatens white, middle-to-upper-class helicopter parents who whirl and wonder. Didn’t we buy the right Lego kits? Didn’t we pay for SAT prep? Wait: should they have lettered in soccer not basketball?”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Like many Western analyses of the Middle East, they reduce Iraq’s complex internal conflicts to catchall explainers of ‘sectarianism’ and ‘tribalism’ – presuming that some groups of people are intrinsically primed for antagonism."
" he's a loser in the precise sense that his singular accomplishment in American public life has been to lose a Senate race to the stupendously unpopular Republican Ted Cruz."
"While applauding the social impetus, Israelis are divided in opinions on an American-based initiative and question its grammatical integrity."
A look at the networks that churn out nonstop, formulaic Christmas movies; the actors who star in all of them; and the fans who can't stop watching.
"The Department of Homeland Security wants to use credit scores to determine immigration cases. That sets a dangerous precedent."
"Traffic. Congestion. Pollution. Hours-long commutes. What if you could leave it all behind and trade it in for an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient personal copter—all without a pilot’s license?"
"“But Qutb saw something else. The dancers in front of him were tragic lost souls. They believed they were free, but in reality they were trapped by their own selfish and greedy desires.”"
Cliches can be used as a political tool. "Prefabricated language helps everybody from prime ministers to CEOs disguise what they really want to say."
"Santa is nothing but stress for families who don’t believe in him. Trying to keep other kids from finding out the truth can cause a holiday-season-long headache."
"Umami is hard to describe in words. In the New Yorker, Hannah Goldfield defines it as “that deep, dark, meaty intensity that distinguishes seared beef, soy sauce, ripe tomato, Parmesan cheese, anchovies, and mushrooms..."
"The designer babies have thus been called the “future-we-should-not-want” for each new reproductive technology or intervention. But the babies never came and are nowhere close. I am not surprised."
"Thousands of secular Israelis became newly observant and joined Haredi communities in the 1970s and ’80s. Now, their children and grandchildren are searching for a place of their own."