June 29, 2012
Spider-Man Does What Ever a Man Can

“I was so frustrated certain days in that suit that I needed to do something stupid. So we went around the Sony lot (with a photographer) … I mean, who wants to hear an actor complain about being Spider-Man, right? But it sucks!” — Andrew Garfield, explaining his series of candid photos while dressed as the web-slinger to Jon Stewart.

April 16, 2012
The Price of Greatness

Recent profiles of Jon Stewart, by Tom Junod in Esquire and Pele, by Brian Phillips in Grantland, revel in taking down the greatness of the two men.

Here’s Junod on Stewart:

Was Jon Stewart being a dick when he was subjecting Jim Cramer to enhanced interrogation? Sure he was. He was also being a dick when he called Tucker Carlson a dick, and when he was preaching to Chris Wallace. But here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter. What matters is that even when Stewart’s a dick, he is never the dick. It is Stewart’s unique talent for coming across as decent and well-meaning when he’s bullying and hectoring and self-righteous. And this is because his talent is not just for comedy and not just for media criticism or truth-telling; it’s for being — for remaining — likable.

It’s a long read, but worth it for another perspective on Jon Stewart.

Here’s Phillips on Pele:

During his playing days he stood, more than anyone else, for the beauty of the beautiful game and for the vague love sounds of the ’60s and ’70s. By the time I started getting into soccer, he seemed more like a discredited childhood memory, one of those stray communal wisps that once felt genuine but turned out to be propaganda, like hair metal or the first Thanksgiving.

The thing about Pele is that being the world’s greatest soccer player in the 1960s didn’t pay all that well. Athletes from that era — especially the greatest ones — have a vested interest in protecting their legacies because it’s those legacies where they make all their money from endorsements, sponsors and appearance fees. Pele’s life depends upon everyone thinking that he’s the greatest footballer to have ever lived.

April 11, 2012
Morning Links: The Simpsons Live in Springfield, Ore. and More

Time to clean up the tab attic a bit with some of the interesting tidbits found around the web.

1. Matt Groening, “The Simpsons” creator and Portland native, tells Smithsonian magazine that he named the famous fictional city after a city in Oregon. Thus ends a decades long debate about where Springfield was actually located. Not entirely surprising, given many of the character names on the show are derived from streets in Portland. [via]

2. Jon Stewart and The Daily Show did a tech-twofer last night taking the piss out of Google’s silly augmented glasses and Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram.

3. Randeep Katari does a “quick little doodle every morning as a warm up for a day of drawing” by adding cartoon characters to photos of New York. This might be my favorite new art thing and really makes me wish someone would make another Cool World-esque movie soon.

4. HBO has shockingly decided to renew Game of Thrones for a third season. They should have just announced they were going to renew the show in perpetuity.

5. Gawker’s Adrian Chen uncovers the mystery of Goatse: “One thing gives me pause about Kirk Johnson’s identity as Goatse. The Goatse picture is some dark Lovecraftian horror, a hurried snapshot of a secret shame. But Kirk Johnson poses with his face and dopey mustache in full view in proud, well-lit space.”

I love that Chen has become a sort of Internet investigative journalist.

6. CNN interviews Dr. Dog, which strikes me as kind of strange. At the same time, it’s nice to see those guys get the recognition and accolades they so richly deserve. Their new album, Be the Void is very, very, excellent.

7. The Barkley Marathon has become something of a fascination for me. Held every year in Tennessee’s Frozen Head State Park, the ultramarathon has become revered for how difficult it is. Since the race was created in 1986 by Lazarus Lake, only 12 men (out of about 900) have finished within the 60 hour cutoff — that’s the same amount of people that have walked on the moon.

Calling The Barkley Marathon the toughest endurance race on the planet is an understatement.

Anyway, photographer Geoffrey Baker has a great series of before and after portraits of the 2012 participants and a great photo series of the race itself.

8. This should be fun! Gawker has hired an anonymous Fox News employee to write columns for the site.

March 14, 2012
Quentin Tarantino Gives Jon Stewart a Sneek Peak at <em>Pulp Fiction</em> in 1994

Back in 1994, neither Quentin Tarantino or Jon Stewart were household names. Tarantino was on the cusp of changing independent film making with the release of Pulp Fiction (seriously, it’s one of the most influential movies of the 90s and perhaps of all-time). It would, of course, be another decade before Jon Stewart left his mark on culture, but the seeds of his Daily Show persona are evident in this awesome interview.

Any other movie nerds depressed that 1994 Jon Stewart doesn’t know who Sergio Leone is? That’s just unconscionable. [via reddit]

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