I’m Gladwell Malcolm Is Advocating Working From The Office

Pre-Pandemic working from home was a fantastic concept; the companies who adopted that initiative benefited.

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Hurt Myself Today In 1995

Saw one of those retro rock posts: Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt was released today in 1995 as a Fun Fact. Whatever.

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When The NBA Prey Becomes The NBA Shill

Another NBA Season; Another Jurassic Park Raptors ESPN Commercial. This is one of the strangest NBA traditions.

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The 2022 Purge

Happy Purge Day!

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Poop Things

In John Carpenter’s 82 classic The Thing the Antarctica snow concealed a hideous alien which when freed from its icy tomb spelled doom for humanity.

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Lockdown The Logic

As I write this it’s currently minus 20. Toronto has a naturally built in lockdown season; it’s called January.

Ain’t no need for vapid political machinations to shut down pop culture as an attempt to look they’re doing something. Politically something is always better than nothing, right? That’s like hitting the side of a TV to make it work.

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Noah Who Is The National Champion

This trailer for the National Championship is breathtaking.

“So for the glory of old Georgia; let the Bulldog nation rise and believe…believe in the names on the back.” #GoDawgs (Shout out to Ernie Johnson Jr.!)

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To C-B-C or Not To C-B-C…That’s The Question…

Tara Henley a writer and broadcaster most notably with the CBC has penned: Why I resigned from the CBC and went to Substack. Speaking freely.”

This is a fascinating perspective; obviously freedom is far more valuable than acceptance.

Getting upset because someone is “abusing” free speech is silly; that’s like freaking out over self-driving car accidents. That’s naturally going to happen: that’s the uncomfortable process.  (It’s also extreme thinking…like buying a gun to protect your loved ones from a home invasion. You can just get dog or set up an alarm system if protection was the legit issue.)

In April 2021 Paul Pierce was fired from ESPN; he would no longer be a regular on The Jump. He talked to SI about his frustrating TV experience revealing:

“There’s a lot of stuff over there that you can’t say. And you have to talk about LeBron all the time.” (Ugh I know…some of them on ESPN even refer to him as King. I understand how rating economics work especially for ESPN I just don’t agree with it.)

I get it. I can understand his frustration or similarly a journalist’s frustration with an arduous institution like the CBC which echoes Paul Pierce’s comments.

(How do you balance the classic “that’s not what we do?” with the shifting standards of the internet? I’m not even talking about clickbait; just integrity which is rooted in knowing who you are and what your strengths are.)

So Tara Henley like many other journalists has identified a benefiting outlet that facilitates her freedom; she’s now “free” to pursue different stories; elevate unique voices and have fun. Okay then. Let’s see where all this goes. Without the backing of a large organization her work will rise and fall on timeless principles such as quality and sound journalism.

If you find Tara’s response inspiring then know she isn’t alone…3 fresh folks worth following who mirror her journey are: Ethan Strauss left The Athletic, Bari Weiss left the NY Times and “after a decade as a Forbes senior editor, Zack O’Malley Greenburg now writes exclusively at Substack, where he’s serializing his fifth book We Are All Musicians Now.”

This is an encouraging trend. How will the institutions and news organizations respond? Will they evolve or pimp out clickbait? It’s possible some institutions don’t view any of these defections as feedback.

There’s always the goofy white guy who thinks this isn’t an issue; that it’s all overblown hype (thankfully he’s not as terrible as the goofy white guy who believes people only advocate for free speech so individuals can be politically incorrect. “You just want to be racist!” That guy often makes me laugh…his world like his thinking is so insular.).

Bottom Line? This trend is fantastic. The writers flourish with intellectual freedom and we get quality writing.

Be Free.

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Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.

Dave Chappelle’s Closer Smoking?

I’m slowly working through Dave Chappelle’s The Closer. His latest Netflix comedy special.

Made a strong tea and sat down with the special: as expected dude is one of the smartest people in room. I appreciate his willingness to push his audience around; in that sense he’s Bowie-like in that he demands his audience go down these strange roads with him.

But…how come he’s not smoking?! Does he eventually smoke?! Not smoking…throws his comedy off rhythm.

Woody Allen was one of the best stand ups for that consistent comedy cue. He’d always adjust his glasses on a particular word: you could reverse engineer the joke. Really clever.

So I find Chappelle’s lack of smoking disconcerting. I’m a bit lost.

Morning Tea: Batgirl Is Eternal

We got a Batgirl update!

An Eternals teaser!

And a celebrity comeback! Brew a strong tea: yo!


Batgirl: DC Films Update

Well this is awful: for Batgirl Warner hired Christina Hodson who “wrote” Birds of Prey then doubled down on that tank by hiring Bad Boys for Life directors. They suck…this time they were the Bad Boys. This’ll be the new Batman & Robin. I’m 100% out; I don’t need a trailer.

THR documents the Batgirl “project previously had Joss Whedon on board as writer and director. Whedon came on in March 2017 but left in April 2018, at the time saying he failed at cracking the story.” I mean Whedon wasn’t a good choice either (i.e. Avengers: Age of Ultron) but these latest hires are not hopeful. Barbra Gordon deserves better.


Kevin Spacey: Comebacks Are Inevitable

Variety has confirmed Kevin Spacey is will return to acting in L’uomo Che Disegnò Dio an Italian film directed by Franco Nero: While “Spacey would feature in a small role as a police detective” hmm: the indie film follows “the rise and fall of a blind artist who has the extraordinary gift of making true-to-life portraits just by listening to human voices.” Kevin Spacey’s return doesn’t sound as appealing as like his work in Baby Driver or even Se7en but eh: show me a trailer.

PSA: To be annoyed Spacey is still working doesn’t make any sense when Rob Lowe is doing just fine. That’s just trash morality. (Not that pop culture requires any moral calisthenics.) If ya can’t sit through his movies past or present without issuing a condescending moral diatribe you ain’t good at pop culture. I’m good.


Transformers: The Movie

I can’t believe it’s been 35 years!! Transformers: The Movie is released in 4K today to celebrate its 35th anniversary. Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Orson Welles and so much more. Prime’s passing is a nut-punch in the guts but man this animation movie is better than all Pixars combined.

It’s surreal. I do deeply appreciate how these creators forced us all to grow up before we were ready. Via this dynamic movie they talked to all of us like adults; not children. So much of of North American animation is “adult” jokes for bored parents and goofy characters for the kids: it’s all so dull. This is an amazing movie: it’s timeless.


Who Asked For This?!

Timothée Chalamet to Star as Young Willy Wonka in Warner Bros. Reimagining.”

Johnny Depp tried to pull Willy Wonka off and it was a “Deppaster.”

And Depp is superior to Timothée Chalamet so…nah man. Hard Pass.

This punk kid needs a better agent and honest friends who’ll recommend he use the less douchey spelling of Timothy. Crash and Burn Huh Mav. 100% Out: Hard Pass.


The Next Last Dance…

Netflix to Serve Documentary Series on Naomi Osaka Japanese Tennis Ace”

I don’t really know who Naomi Osaka is but she’s getting a Last Dance. That umm seems way too early.

July 13, 2021 on Netflix: 3 episodes. 3 episodes is a lot of viewer commitment…does she really win and dominate that much!!? Tiger on HBO was appalling awful yet only scrounged up 2 episodes. And he’s utterly dominant.


HBO Max: Putting the BO In HBO

According to Variety dumping theatrical movies onto HBO Max was a terrible life decision: No Guff. Idiots.

It’s bad business. It doesn’t matter what people are demanding on Twitter or if they’re swearing they’ll never return to cinemas. Leave em behind. That’s not a good or smart audience; they will not be profitable.

Airlines don’t advertise to nervous flyers.

Moreover, industry sources say the strategic move that made such a splash last December — when WarnerMedia at Kilar’s direction opted for simultaneous releases in theaters and on HBO Max for Warner Bros.’ 2021 movie slate — is seen as a major misstep because it is shaping up to cost the studio over $1 billion in lost box office revenue, talent profit participation payments and in high license fees paid for the movies from HBO Max. Unless the pace of HBO Max subscriber additions pick up significantly in the coming months, the high cost of the movie content for the streamer will be hard to justify.

We (collectively) overreact to a lot of bad metrics. This pandemic has been interesting because it revealed that a lot of people are just not good at risk management. Fear can be overwhelming. While I get it; fear is also temporary. Almost every horror movie has a sunrise. Instead of seeing fear; learn to see The Big Picture.


Trailer Alert: Eternals

Eternals teaser doesn’t alleviate the fears it will suck.

It’s an ambitious ask; their comics are not good; the characters are not captivating…yeah I dunno about investing cash money into this.

Also: Kumail Nanjiani is in Eternals. As a movie (granted a Marvel movie whose quality has generally been high and good) that’s already a hard sell: now his casting: ugh. He’s the male Mindy Kaling.

If MCU doesn’t follow a giant arc as we’ve seen with Avengers: Endgame I’m out…there’s no need for Eternals or Black Widow movies. Even with the pressure to evolve or die their formula.

I might phase out Phase Four of the MCU.

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Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.

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