Have a nice weekend,
Edward Burtynsky Benidorm #1, Spain, 2010 Chromogenic Color print; printed 2013 © Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, and Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York / Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto Exhibitor : Howard Greenberg via atlantic cities
One of Amy Schumer’s comedy routines begins with the declaration, “I’m a little sluttier than the average bear. I really am.”
Degrees of sluttiness may be hard to define, but Schumer does talk frankly about many subjects — including sex — that can be uncomfortable for people, both in her stand-up act and on her Comedy Central series, Inside Amy Schumer, now in its second season.
When Amy spoke with Terry Gross last year, she revealed why she’s so at ease talking about sex:
"I have a joke where I say, ‘Oh, I’m going to bring [my mom] to a soccer game because I want to show her what boundaries look like.’ I just grew up in a house where things weren’t that taboo to talk about. And my mom, when she was teaching us to say our different body parts, taught me how to say ‘vagina’ the same that she taught me how to say ‘ear.’I think she wanted us to be able to tell her if we were ever molested without being embarrassed — and so there wasn’t this sense of shame. And I was running around naked to an age that probably wasn’t appropriate and just never was made to feel embarrassed or shamed because of my body or think anything was wrong with me, probably to a fault."
David Edelstein reviews Under the Skin and Only Lovers Left Alive:
Every so often a high-toned arthouse director dips a toe into the horror genre and the results are uplifting: You realize vampires and space aliens are subjects too rich to be the sole property of schlockmeisters. That’s the case with two new arty genre pictures: Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin and Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive — both slow, expressionist, non-narrative, the kind of films that drive some people crazy with boredom and put others in their thrall.
Our producer Ann Marie Baldonado is attending the TriBeCa Film Festival this weekend to watch some movies and scout some future guests. She says, “I seem to be picking my first films based on my love of many current sitcoms. Last night i saw the new film About Alex which starts Max Greenfield (Schmidt from The New Girl, among other things) Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Rec) and Jason Ritter. This current day, Big Chill-ish film about a group of college friends who get back together when one friend is in trouble, was written and directed by Jesse Zwick, (writer on Parenthood and son of Edward Zwick). Up later today, Alex of Venice, the directorial debut by Chris Messina (The Mindy Project, The Newsroom).
I guess I am also just picking films with “Alex” in the title.”
Today an avalanche on Mt. Everest killed 12 Nepalese Sherpas. According to The Guardian, the accident occurred while the Sherpas were fixing ropes for other climbers in an extremely dangerous ice fall area. Tourism ministry spokesman Mohan Krishna Sapkota says they were preparing the route for the climbing season that starts later this month.
Grayson Schaffer, senior editor for Outside Magazine, wrote an article last year called Disposable Man about the extreme risk Sherpas face and what little financial protection they have—for themselves and for their families—if they are injured, maimed or killed on the job.
"The thing to understand about the Sherpa workforce is that there’s no other tourism industry in the world that so frequently kills and maims its workers for the benefit of paying clients. And it’s something that people haven’t yet connected the dots on. That a 1 percent mortality rate for someone choosing to climb a mountain is acceptable, but a 1 percent mortality [rate] for the people that they rely on to get their stuff up the mountain as a workplace safety statistic is outrageous. …
If you’re a Western climber, you’re climbing the mountain once and you’re done. If you’re a Sherpa, you’re doing lap after lap after lap through this roulette wheel of hazards that we know has a death rate, long term, of 1.2 percent, and that number makes climbing Everest as a Sherpa more dangerous than working on a crab boat in Alaska. It makes it more dangerous than being an infantryman in the first four years of the Iraq War. The thing that hides that number is that the season is relatively short … and [has] a relatively small workforce.”
Photograph by Cory Richards, National Geographic
Writer/director Mike Judge spoke to Fresh Air’s Dave Davies about his new HBO series Silicon Valley and his 1999 cult classic, Office Space. In the interview he tells us about where the boss character’s tagline of “… yeah,” came from:
It wasn’t [based on] any specific person. It kind of came a few different ways. I worked at Whataburger which is a Texas-New Mexico chain, a burger place, and I worked at Jack-in-the-Box, this is when I was young. … The worst thing ever at both of those jobs is to change the fryers and the way that someone will say, “Yeah, um, Mike, why don’t you go ahead and change the fryers?” To say “go ahead” it’s like you were just chomping at the bit to go do it and I’m just gonna go cut you loose and go ahead — now it’s so common place. …
I think in the ’50s a boss would say “Hey Milton, move your desk. Thanks.” I don’t know if it’s the baby boom generation where everyone has to be cool, in the ’70s and ’80s it turned into, “Yeah … if I could get you just go ahead and move your desk,” And it’s this kind of “I’m casual, I’m cool. I’m not your ’50s boss.”
I would just prefer someone coming up and telling you what to do. I would respect that more. … Even over the years just noticing the “yeah” that means “no.” Like if you say, “Can I have Friday off?”
"Hmm … Yeah …"
Maureen Corrigan reviews two graphic novels:
A Bintel Brief and The Harlem Hellfighters are two New York Stories. That’s why I’m combining them in this review; not because — as some purists still think — they’re lesser works of literature because they’re graphic novels. If Egyptian hieroglyphics, the Bayeux Tapestry, and Art Spiegelman’s 1991 classic, Maus, haven’t yet persuaded the high art holdouts of the value of stories told in visual sequence, nothing I say now about these two books is likely to convince them. Which is a shame because A Bintel Brief by Liana Finck and The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks and illustrated by Caanan White are two of the most powerful books I’ve read so far this year.
The Both is the name for the duo formed by the veteran singer-songwriters Aimee Mann and Ted Leo. The Both is also the name of their debut album. The two began performing together in 2012, when Ted Leo was Mann’s opening act. Mann began joining Leo onstage during his set. They liked the sound their voices made together, and started collaborating. Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker has a review of The Both:
As separate acts, Ted Leo is generally considered a punk-influenced indie musician for the work he’s done with his band the Pharmacists, and Aimee Mann as a sensitive singer-songwriter ever since she left the pop star life with the group ‘Til Tuesday in the 1980s. But of course both of these musicians are more than their genre categories. What their work as The Both suggests is that together they’ve found common ground in confidently precise, propulsive melodies and lyrics that twist with oblique cleverness.
“Milwaukee” is one of the first songs Mann and Leo collaborated on in gradually hatching this plan to perform and record together as The Both. They bring out the best in each other musically: Leo gives Mann zip and vigor; she gives him poetry and hard-headedness. Sometimes one of them takes the lead vocal, at other times they trade off lines and harmonize throughout.
In interviews, Aimee Mann has said working with Ted Leo has made her feel as though she’s in a rock band for the first time, which must make her old bandmates in ‘Til Tuesday feel a tad dismayed. But if anything, The Both includes some of the most Aimee Mannish of Aimee Mann songs, the way her best singing captures an urgent longing and pessimism that is redeemed by a prickly self-awareness.
The Both works so well as an album because its songs cohere as the documentation of the ways a new creative partnership revitalizes the familiar habits, tics, tricks, and talents of the collaborators. It sets their individual talents in a new context that compels the listener to form a new appreciation for these musicians. They may begin the album singing about a gamble that didn’t pay off, but their own musical collusion really has.
Photo cred Christian Lantry/Super Ego Records
Ryan Gosling directed his first film, Lost River. It was just announced that it will be premiering at the Cannes Film Festival next month.
Jon Hamm explains emotions on Sesame Street.
Happy Hump Day, people!
While I think if we didn’t know what we know now we’d say “Ah, he’s a virtual slacker,” in fact, it seems to be a period of incredible self-education in which he became an expert on systems, became an expert on so many things to do with navigating the Internet. The amazing thing is [that] it appears to be largely self-taught. He was a kid out there in the virtual world, unmoored, really, from all vestiges of traditional influence.
Bryan Burrough on Edward Snowden
Fresh Air critic at large John Powers reviews the new translation of Italian noir novel A Private Venus:
Like all good noirs, A Private Venus centers on a disillusioned loner — in this case, Duca Lamberti, a loner with good reason to be disillusioned. Once a doctor, he was imprisoned for murder after compassionately helping a dying woman kill herself. Now free, but forbidden to practice medicine, Duca gets hired by a Milanese plastics mogul who, like most rich men in noir, is a respectable creep. The assignment is to straighten out the mogul’s 22-year-old son, Davide who has gone from being a normal, spoiled heir to a guilty, taciturn young alcoholic.
Duca knows something has driven Davide to such self-destructive straits — probably a woman. And so, he sets about looking into what changed him, enlisting help from a police superintendent who was friends with Duca’s cop father. The investigation takes him from chic nightclubs into the sinister underbelly of fashion-mad Milan where pretty young women exist to have their bodies stripped, sold and carved up by thugs. Along the way, Duca befriends a smart, attractive young woman, Livia, who has her own reasons for bringing the bad guys down. Suffice it to say that everything does not turn out perfectly.
Former NSA Contractor Edward Snowman.
By Beth Novey, our web guru at NPR, Washington