The Cool Presidency
March 03, 2009
If one were to gather together a dozen of our society's key arbiters of cool—ad execs, movie stars, fashion designers, music critics, pollsters, suburban tweens—and instruct them to generate the profile of a "cool" politician, what are the odds that their efforts would result in a gangly, jug-eared, overeducated, workaholic with a fondness for Scrabble? Not to denigrate our freshly minted president, but, when you tick through some of the basics, Barack Obama comes across as an inveterate dork.
The Clooney-obama Myth
August 14, 2008
Politico's Jeffrey Ressner writes a satisfyingly snarky, and well-reported, takedown of a false British tabloid report--which has conservative media in a tizzy--that Obama is taking extensive policy counsel from George Clooney. Check out the funny quotes from Clooney himself. Photo: AP via Politico --Michael Crowley
The Last Movie Star
April 07, 2008
Ian Parker has a very good (and very long) profile of George Clooney for the New Yorker. I've never been in the same room as Clooney, but Parker does a great job of capturing the star's extreme, almost studious, sociability, which is evident even from a great distance: [Longtime Clooney friend Richard] Kind told me, “I’m very protective of him. When I’m staying with him, I will never bring anyone to the house while he’s there. The reason? This is almost pathological: he has to entertain that new person.
U.n. Chooses Clooney To Save Darfur
January 19, 2008
I don't know exactly what this means. But an article by Chuck Bennett in Saturday's New York Post reports that George Clooney "has been tapped to serve as the UN's new 'messenger of peace'." The UN has failed so utterly in its rhetorical efforts to bring not so much peace but an end to the mass killings in Darfur that it has anointed People magazine's two time choice for "sexiest man alive" to do the hard lifting in the effort to end the murders. As for Clooney, his acceptance of this role is either stupid or cynical: "I look forward to working with the United Nations in order to build publi
Press Release Of The Day
November 07, 2007
Ever since I wrote this article, I've been on the publicity lists for a few of the celebrity weeklies. Normally I don't pay too much attention to what they send me, but this release was impossible to ignore--and too good not to share. From In Touch Weekly: It wasn’t a dinner theater performance when George Clooney got into a fight with romance novel coverboy Fabio during dinner at Madeo in West Hollywood on November 2. Fabio and a group of women, including a professional photographer, were sitting at a table next to George and his girlfriend, Sarah Larson.
January 22, 2007
The Good German (Warner Bros.) A war correspondent for The New Republic, in the Berlin of July 1945, gets beaten up four times in pursuit of a story but nonetheless keeps going. That is one way The Good German could be described.
Outrage Of The Week
December 12, 2006
Anthony Lane may be one of the best film critics around, but his review of the new movie The Good German contained a particularly outrageous comment: George Clooney plays Jake Geismer, a reporter with The New Republic. As a member of the press corps, he has a rank and a uniform, and I intend no slur upon that publication when I say that he must be the spiffiest example of the human male ever to emerge from its bureau. It's true. After all, Jason Zengerle doesn't work out of our main office. --Isaac Chotiner
November 13, 2006
Last fall, Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn't escape the huge crowds of union members and Democrats who protested his ballot initiatives that proposed reshaping the state's education, budget, and political systems. Protesters surrounded hotels where he spoke,gathered outside TV studios and restaurants where he appeared, and even confronted him in hallways and kitchens. The angry hordes reflected a statewide rejection of the once-popular governor--more than 55 percent of Californians disapproved of his job performance, and Democratic challengers led in early polls on the 2006 governor's race.
Second Time Farce
June 21, 2005
In Hollywood, the one thing as inevitable as death and taxes is sequels. They roll them out, year after year, the 2s and IIs, the Returns and Revenges, and Strikes Backs and Strikes Agains. For decades, the first rule of making a successful sequel has been simple and unchanging: Figure out what you did right the first time and do it again. The problem, of course, is that this isn't always so easy. For every The Godfather: Part II there's a The Two Jakes; for every The Empire Strikes Back, an Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
The Hero Worshipper
November 05, 2001
Fire By Sebastian Junger (W.W. Norton, 224 pp., $24.95) There is a point in Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon where the old lady turns on the writer and asks: "How is it, young man, that you talk so much and write so long about these bullfights and yet are not a bullfighter yourself?" The writer admits that he did try it once or twice—on bulls with blunted horns.