Best Of The Web
“It’s a press-circuit anecdote that has already passed into legend: when Lady Gaga screen-tested for the role of Ally in Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born, the actor/director handed her a makeup wipe and instructed her to remove her maquillage. He wanted to see her authentically: “Completely open,” he said. “No artifice.”
That tale emerged from a Los Angeles Times feature that launched a thousand tiresome think-pieces – sample headline: “Why do men get to decide what’s real about us?” – but in many ways it speaks to the central concern of both A Star Is Born and the critical reaction to it: what is “authentic”, in music and popular culture, in 2018?
Like many, I emerged from my screening of A Star Is Born utterly rinsed. Cooper’s wonderful, freewheeling update on the beloved Hollywood story is, for my money, on par with George Cukor’s 1954 classic when it comes to sheer emotional devastation. Its storyworld, however, has more in common with the ill-fated 1976 version, a star vehicle for Barbra Streisand that shifted the action from the dream factory of Hollywood to the star-maker machinery of the music industry.”
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"You are being watched. Right now, cookies are tracking which websites you visit and what you click on while you’re there. Your smartphone is logging your location."
"The US placed sanctions on 17 Saudis on Thursday as punishment for their alleged involvement in the murder of Saudi journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi... according to experts, the move doesn’t go far enough to reprimand the kingdom."
"If the slow-motion crisis that is Gaza ever has a turning point, then this week’s deal between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, or what’s left of it, and Hamas leaders, under siege, is what the turning would look like."
"Nicholas Parisi's new biography, 'Rod Serling: His Life, Work, and Imagination,' fails to present a complete picture of the legendary screenwriter who did his best work outside the TV show that made him famous."
"Nearly a year after the tax cut, economic growth has accelerated. Wage growth has not. Companies are buying back stock and business investment is a mixed bag."
"By shifting accents, Australian expatriates are seen to be shifting class and status, indicating a sense of superiority to those who remain in Australia. The quickly acquired faux-British accent in particular has been associated with pretension..."
"Denim, usually in the form of the humble pair of jeans, is arguably the world’s most popular fabric. Over the years, it’s been worn by everyone from supermodels to soccer moms."
"Capitalism disadvantages women along several axes. The dawn of the industrial revolution enshrined a division of labor that largely confined them to the domestic sphere."
"In the past five or so years, hosting a Thanksgiving meal among friends a week before the actual holiday has become a standard part of the celebration for many young adults."
"Are these business owners trying to keep out certain customers? What about children? Or people who are paid in cash, or others who, for whatever reason, can’t or won’t open a bank account..."
"Humanity is on the verge of a weighty achievement. On Friday, representatives of more than 60 nations will convene in Versailles, France, to approve a new definition for the kilogram."
"...the more modern form of the movement has its roots in late 19th-century Europe... The sole focus of some missions based in England and the U.S. was the conversion of the Jews to Christianity..."