Hope you all enjoyed the long weekend and are sufficiently recovered from your tryptophan coma, because it's time to get back to work (or whatever passes for work for the next month of holiday fucking off). Here's some reading material to pass the time today.
1. Live Fast...
Chances are you heard, but Paul Walker died over the weekend after the car he was riding in collided with the immutable forces of irony on a Southern California street. By all accounts, Walker was a really good guy who used his celebrity to do a lot of charity work; his death occurred while he was participating in an event for his own organization, Reach Out Worldwide, which was attempting to raise money for victims of the recent typhoon in the Philippines. The 7th installment of the insanely successful The Fast & The Furious franchise is already in production so who knows what's next for that.
Walker may not have been known as a future Academy Award-winner, but look back through his filmography and I promise you'll find him being terrific in a movie you love somewhere. For me, he'll always be Lance Harbor in Varsity Blues and Skip Martin in the criminally underappreciated Pleasantville.
By the way, I truly do hate to use a tragedy to make a point, but there's now video of the scene of the crash just seconds after it happened. To all the idiot conspiracy theorists who insisted after the death of Michael Hastings that a car can't just suddenly go out of control on a quiet street, hit a tree, and explode in a massive fireball -- yes, it can. Unless you believe the government also used its magical DARPA car-hacking device to kill Paul Walker -- which you may, since you're an idiot.
2. No Shame
During a Thanksgiving flight to Phoenix on Thursday, a guy named Elan Gale -- who's apparently a 30-year-old producer on The Bachelor -- got into a war of words and handwritten notes with a surly fellow passenger named Diane. He live-tweeted the entire back-and-forth as it happened -- and we were all sufficiently entertained. Diane sounds like a major pain-in-the-ass, certainly, but while amusing, what Gale did was really fucking narcissistic and obnoxious and it goes a long way in illustrating something I've written about many times before: we have no expectation of privacy anymore. That's more than a little disconcerting, because we're now living in a world in which we don't need the NSA to spy on us -- we willingly submit to and engage in Orwellian tactics on our own.
I rest my case.
4. Three Stories
J.D. Salinger fought hard to make sure you never saw anything he didn't want you to see. This is why he'd probably be pretty pissed about the leak of three previously unpublished short stories that hit the internet last week. Still, they're Salinger -- which means they're a fascinating read.
5. Burned Out
It is simultaneously the food and the nectar of the gods. And now, because a bunch of asshole townfolk aren't willing to take a punch to the lungs for the greater good, it is in danger of going bye-bye.
6. Screen Time
When Only God Forgives is in the top 20, you know you may not want to give this too much consideration.
7. Stay Classy, Bismarck
Meet TV news anchor Amber Schatz of KXMB in Bismarck, North Dakota -- who apparently has a damn-near supernatural ability to keep a straight face.
Have a fine day, kids.