This is what she does. She takes a pretty good song, waits until you are popping along to it, then a little longer, until it feels repetitive and you start to see through to its flaws, and then boom, she comes in and makes it a completely different song—a better song. She is the best part even of great songs; her featured verse on Kanye West's "Monster" is the best of several, including ones by Jay Z and Rick Ross. She did that song because she was asked and because "Kanye's a genius." She did "Bang Bang" because she "knew it would be big."
The groundbreaking decision in California to address rape culture with a new standard that aids in defining sexual consent was signed into law this week by Governor Jerry Brown. The men's magazine GQ immediately provided a useful (and progressive!) guide called "Nine Signs She Wants to Have Sex with You (Even in California)".
There once was a time when your working knowledge of, say, Junot Diaz or Radiohead was all you needed to show some conversational with-it-ness. Now, though? Restaurants - the currency of the young and cash-strapped - are the key to the cultural kingdom.
"Saying "Hey, I like Kim" isn't as inspiring to people as us getting married. And anyone that's in a relationship knows that in order to get to the point to get married and then to be married and to then carry on, it needs that work put into it. Right now, people look at it and it's like, "Wow, that's inspiring." Meaning that love is infectious. You know, God is infectious—God flowing through us and us being little-baby creators and shit. But His energy and His love and what He wants us to have as people and the way He wants us to love each other, that is infectious. Like they said in Step Brothers: Never lose your dinosaur. This is the ultimate example of a person never losing his dinosaur. Meaning that even as I grew in cultural awareness and respect and was put higher in the class system in some way for being this musician, I never lost my dinosaur." GQ interviews Kanye West. [more inside]
50 Cent says: Make a vision board. Do it tonight, when you get home. Open your laptop. Create a new folder. Think about the things you want for your future. "I want you to Google pictures and put everything you want in this folder," 50 Cent says. "Everything. All right?" 50 Cent Is My Life Coach.
GQ, otherwise known as the Girls' Quartet, absolutely RIPS IT UP in a barbershop medley of Something Good and Happy Together.
Fallon Fox is the world's first and only transgender MMA fighter. Profile by Nancy Hass for GQ.
You named me... WHAT? Nine baby-naming rules.
Every wondered where your favorite brown liquid came from? Find its starting position on the Bourbon Family Tree. [more inside]
A son kills a father and the question is why. In the case of 10-year-old Joseph Hall, the answer seemed simple: The boy had been raised around hate."
Amy Wallace digs into a case of a young boy who killed his Neo-Nazi father: "A Very Dangerous Boy"
Amy Wallace digs into a case of a young boy who killed his Neo-Nazi father: "A Very Dangerous Boy"
Say you want someone, you know, eliminated —a lover, a business partner, a mother-in-law. There are guys out there who will do that. For a price. Then there's another kind of guy. A guy who looks and acts just like a regular hit man. Prison tats, do-rag. But instead of doing the job, he turns sides and then you realize that you were his target all along. Oops, You Just Hired The Wrong Hitman.
In a remote psychiatric hospital in Sweden, there is a man known as Thomas Quick who has been convicted of unspeakable crimes. Over the course of multiple trials, he would tell his brutal stories—of stabbings, stranglings, rape, incest, cannibalism—to almost anyone who would listen. Then, after his eighth and final murder conviction, he went silent for nearly a decade. In the last few years, though, he has been thinking about all he has said and done, and now he has something new to confess: He left out the worst part of all.
Performers who project relatability but have nothing elusive about them do better as network-television stars, or maybe morning-show anchormen. (Exception: Hanks.) On the other hand, if all you're capable of projecting is mystery and you're a quart low on relatability, you are probably a douchebag. (Exception: Fassbender.)Just in time for the Oscars, GQ ruminates on what makes a leading man today.
Anthony Wayne Smith was a first round draft pick for the Raiders in 1990. Alternately described as a "big old teddy bear" and "[like] a dog [that] is super beautiful, sweet looking, wagging its tail, and it's acting really friendly, but there's something about that dog.... You worry one day he's gonna bite your hand," he faced the usual hassles of an athlete shifting to civilian life when his career came to an end. Then came the arson and murder. Maybe.
For any parent concerned about what their teen does online, the huge popularity of the young man you are about to meet may be deeply disturbing. [more inside]
Although three members of Pussy Riot "have been sentenced to two years each on the absurd charge of 'hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,'" they remain unbowed. In this GQ interview Nadya Tolokonikovoy relates that "prison is a place for ascetic practices," and states "In any case, I'm happy I got two years. For every person with a functioning brain, this verdict is so dumb and cruel that it removes any lingering illusions about Putin's system. It's a verdict on the system."
"Everybody Knows Their Names: The GQ Oral History of Cheers." (Single page version.) On the thirtieth anniversary of the premiere of Cheers, GQ "sat down with just about everyone who made it." Also, Christopher Lloyd, Amy Poehler and Shawn Ryan talk about what they learned from the show. [more inside]
"I was a sort of serious little dude—snobby. I thought girls my age were very frustrating. They were, like, looking in their compact mirrors and shit, and I thought that was evil." MeFi darling Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets a GQ profile.
"Legalizing pot would, in addition to engendering medical miracles and rendering moot a large sector of illegal-drug-related crimes, allow quantum leaps in the world of cooking. Maybe if we all pray really hard to Jah, pot will one day infiltrate snooty haute cuisine and local artisanal eateries alike, all over America." GQ reports on some incredible edibles. [more inside]
Jon Ronson (whose book The Psychopath Test was the basis of a This American Life episode ) interviews folks living in America at several varied levels of income in: GQ - Amber Waves of Green.
"It took years to lock them up. Hundreds of enemy fighters captured during some of the fiercest combat of the war. But then, one night last spring, as American troops surged into Taliban territory, all of those prisoners, all of that progress, disappeared. Prof. Luke Mogelson ventures down the rabbit hole to find them."
"TV is where writers get to tell interesting stories right now, because writers, for the most part, run television." Matthew Weiner of Mad Men, Vince Gilligan of Breaking Bad and David Milch of Deadwood talk to GQ about writing for television. Also: The New Rules of TV everything you need to know about the Golden Age of Television. Want to hear even more about the world of writing rooms, showrunners and screenwriting? Check out the Nerdist Writer's Panel Podcast.
My Hard-Core Obsession (NSFW Text). Writer and frequent This American Life contributor Shalom Auslander for GQ on hardcore pornography, obsession, shame, self-loathing and the subjectivism of thinking too much.
"It was Alan Flusser who pointed out, a whole generation of men in the '70s stopped getting dressed, so they didn't teach their children how to get dressed. More and more people have found, 'Oh, I can go read about this stuff.' " The Oral History of Menswear Blogging. With Michael Bastian, Scott Schuman, Michael Williams, Lawrence Schlossman, Jesse Thorn, and others.
"I finally said, you know what, I'm going to tell my story. The first American injured in the Iraq war is a gay Marine. He wanted to give his life to this country." ~Eric Alva, 40, former Marine and veteran of Operation Iraqi FreedomTell: An Intimate History of Gay Men in the Military [more inside]
Only 13% of articles in the New Republic, 22% of articles in The Atlantic and 30% of articles in the New Yorker are by women. ThinkProgress' Alyssa Rosenberg wonders why men's magazines underserve women and women's magazines underserve journalism. Anne Hays is boycotting the New Yorker for publishing too few women. Ta-Nehisi Coates thinks it's about old-fashioned class norms. Are the "female stars of long-form journalism" the solution to the problem or a red herring?
"I think what (Sonic Youth) did was take a lot of people who didn't have aspirations or ambitions and encouraged them to be part of the mainstream music industry. They validated the fleeting notions that these kids had that they might one day be rock stars. And then they participated in inducing a lot of them to make very stupid career moves." [more inside]
Bill Murray famously does not give interviews—he's sat down for exactly four prolonged media encounters in the past ten years—and when he does, it's never clear what you're going to get. You just have to pray he's in a good mood.
The Dirtiest Player. Was it only last season that Marvin Harrison was still catching TD passes for Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts? Now, in the wake of a brazen but mysterious Philadelphia gunfight - many details of which are reported here for the first time - the man who holds the NFL record for most receptions in a season may yet find himself with a permanent record of a different sort. (SLGQ) [more inside]
Hillbilly Truffle "In France, they call them Périgords—and they’re known as the diamonds of the kitchen. You probably know them as black truffles, those baseball-sized fungi that are sniffed out of the earth by pigs or dogs, get sold for thousands of dollars, and transform any meal into a luxury item. So what happens when—sacrée merde!—an obsessed Yankee learns to grow them in the scrub woods of Davy Crockett’s Tennessee?"
"Immediately, Ike's rumor mill went into a frenzy. Wired magazine posted the criminal complaint against Stancl on its Web site, and kids downloaded the document, which identified the victims by their initials and dates of birth. Then the kids went to Facebook and searched the Eisenhower network by plugging in birth dates. Within minutes they had a full list of the names of the alleged victims, which made the story even more incredible. These were not wayward, damaged boys. They were athletes. Leaders. Popular, college-bound, bright-futured kids. Boys so unimpeachably straight that there was no way you could imagine them doing the things they were supposed to have done with Tony Stancl."
Resolved, that Richard B. Cheney, vice president of the United States, should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors and that these articles of impeachment be submitted to the American people. If the evidence presented at the Scooter Libby trial was not already enough of an indictment of Real Journalism in the U.S. mainstream media (when it falls to New Yorker magazine to break the really big stories) it takes a magazine with the political prowess of GQ (and bloggers) to make a cohesive case for action against most unconstitutionally powerful Vice President in U.S. history. Those following the Libby case closely are beginning to realize that the Plame leak prosecution is anything but over. With a guilty verdict for Perjury and Obstruction of Justice, Libby would effectively be removed from being a defense witness in any forthcoming charges against Cheney. Fitzgerald still has Sealed v Sealed in his back pocket and it is now beginning to dawn on some that it indicts not Rove, but Cheney. Hat's off to Emptywheel for seeing this as far back as Oct. 30th, 2005: Tricky Fitzgerald!! He's been hiding Dick right in the middle of his Libby indictment. Now with a job approval rating in the teens the Curse of Dick Cheney continues. (Interesting to note that both New Yorker and GQ are owned by Conté Nast)
GQ interviews Al Gore. "I have a battery-powered hubris alarm on my belt. And it's set on vibrate, and it's going crazy."
GQ's 100 Funniest Jokes of All Time. I know, I know, these "of all time" lists are lame. And thought I'd heard them all, but quite a few were new. And funny. Unlike this description.
Now GQ magazine isn't one I'd normally turn to—for anything, really, let alone a serious story such as this. But a writer has interviewed Colin Powell, Condi Rice, various Pentagon insiders and some unnamed friends of Powell, and they all (save Condi, whom one of the GQ writer's sources calls "a jerk") agree: Colin's tired.