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Mira's Journal
Mira's Journal
February 3, 2014

Cokeís Wild Assertion That Other Languages Exist Stirs Controversy - reveals Andy Borowitz

ATLANTA (The Borowitz Report)—The Coca-Cola Company ignited a firestorm of controversy on Sunday with a Super Bowl ad that appeared to make the inflammatory claim that other languages besides English exist.
From coast to coast, viewers reacted with outrage and horror to what many were calling the most incendiary Super Bowl ad in history.
“I was enjoying the Super Bowl with my family, and suddenly, out of nowhere, comes this ad suggesting that there are other languages that aren’t English,” said Carol Foyler, a mother of three from Akron, Ohio. “I grabbed the remote and turned it off. My kids shouldn’t be exposed to garbage that’s just going to confuse them.”
The Alliance for Responsible Advertising, a conservative watchdog group that monitors advertising it considers offensive and unfit for family viewing, issued a statement demanding that Coke apologize for the controversial ad and promise never to air it again.
“Last night, Coke assaulted millions of Americans with its misguided and inappropriate view that other languages exist,” the statement said. “In the future, we strongly hope that Coke will keep its crazy theories to itself.”

February 3, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman's Final Secret - Tom Junod, Esquire

Philip Seymour Hoffman's Final Secret
The cost of holding up a mirror to those who could barely stand to look at themselves
By Tom Junod on February 2, 2014

I had two contradictory but complementary responses to the news that Philip Seymour Hoffman had died of a drug overdose at the suddenly tender age of 46 — two responses, that is, beyond how terrible and damn, he was great.
The first was that there was no way Hoffman had died with a syringe still in his arm — no way that an actor who brought such finicky dignity to his portrayal of the most desperate characters had permitted himself to die so ruthlessly unmasked.
The second was that of course he had died in such a sordid manner — how else was Philip Seymour Hoffman supposed to die? There was no actor, in our time, who more ably suggested that each of us is the sum of our secrets…no actor who better let us know what he knew, which is that when each of us returns alone to our room, all bets are off. He used his approachability to play people who are unacceptable, especially to themselves; indeed, his whole career might be construed as a pre-emptive plea for forgiveness to those with the unfortunate job of cleaning up what he — and we — might leave behind. The only way that Philip Seymour Hoffman could have died in a manner more consistent with the characters he created would have been if he had died by auto-erotic asphyxiation.
And in the extermity of these two responses was, I think, the essence of Hoffman’s art.

He often played creeps, but he rarely played them creepily. His metier was human loneliness — the terrible uncinematic kind that has very little to do with high-noon heroism and everything to do with everyday empathy — and the necessary curse of human self-knowledge. He held up a mirror to those who could barely stand to look at themselves and invited us not only to take a peek but to see someone we recognized. He played frauds who knew they were frauds, schemers who knew they were schemers, closeted men who could only groan with frustrated love, heavy breathers dignified by impeccable manners, and angels who could withstand the worst that life could hand out because they seemed to know the worst was just the beginning. And what united all his roles was the stoic calm he brought to them, the stately concentration that assured us that no matter whom Philip Seymour Hoffman played, Philip Seymour Hoffman himself was protected.

That’s what I thought, anyway — in reading the early reports of his death, I was surprised that he’d battled the demon of addiction, because I’d always confused Hoffman’s mastery with detachment, and assumed that he had lived by Flaubert’s charge to live an orderly life so that he could be violent and original in his work. But I shouldn’t have been surprised, and — here’s that contradictory and complementary response again — I wasn’t. I’d never met Philip Seymour Hoffman, never knew anyone who knew him, never even read a passably revealing magazine profile of him. All I really knew was that he was a character actor who came as close to being a movie star as character actors ever get, and that he played the lead in more Hollywood movies than any other portly, freckly, gingery man in human history. And that, in its way, is all I, or anyone else, needs to know.
We live in the golden age of character actors — in an age when actors who have done their time in character roles are frequently asked to carry dark movies and complicated television dramas. The line between character actors and movie stars is being erased — in art, anyway, if not in life. In life, it’s different, because the “movie star” remains not just the product of looks and charm, but also a kind of social construct, with very distinct social obligations. Character actors like Philip Seymour Hoffman and James Gandolfini have found themselves getting more and more leading roles because they are permitted to behave onscreen in ways that George Clooney and Matt Damon never could. But the same permission extends offscreen, and that’s where we see the cost; indeed, we pay to look at men who look like us only when they convince us that that they live in psychic spaces that we could never endure…unless, of course, we happen to be enduring them.

Would Matt Damon ever be found dead, with a syringe still hanging from his arm? Would George Clooney essentially eat himself to death? No, for the simple fact they both have way too much to lose. But neither would they permit themselves to be weepily jerked off by Amy Adams, as Philip Seymour Hoffman was, in The Master, or to crawl as far into his own dead eyes as James Gandolfini regularly did in The Sopranos. The great character actors are now the actors whose work has the element of ritual sacrifice once claimed by the DeNiros of the world, as well as the element of danger— the actors who thrill us by going for broke. It should be no surprise when, occasionally, they break, or turn out to be broken. RIP.

February 2, 2014

Troubled Man Seen Outside Super Bowl - spotted by Andy Borowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (The Borowitz Report)—A “visibly troubled” man was spotted today outside MetLife Stadium just hours before the kickoff of Super Bowl XLVIII.

The man, his eyes darting about menacingly, alarmed passersby who were gathering at the Super Bowl venue.
Harland Dorrinson, who was participating in a pregame tailgating party, said he overheard the belligerent man making several “threatening remarks.”
“He said something like, ‘If I go down, I’m taking a lot of people with me,’” Mr. Dorrinson said. “He also said that someone was out to get him, but he was going to get him first.”
“He was ranting about how terrible this person was, saying, ‘Everything our high-school social studies teacher said was true,’” Mr. Dorrinson added. “It was the ravings of a madman.”

Calling the man “really scary and dangerous,” Mr. Dorrinson said he hoped that authorities would take the troubled individual into custody before the big game begins.
“He’s clearly angry and out of control,” he said. “A guy like that shouldn’t be in a position where he can do other people harm.”

February 1, 2014

Darrell Issa be damned! He could not do it. (Bill Maher show tonight)

Issa tried to be funny, hog time and attention - but this time he could not do it. He was outclassed and way less smart than the rest of the panel.
It was a joy to behold - the MadMan lookalike was hopelessly floundering.

Ronan Ferrell: excellent. Informed. Concise. Knew how to get the floor.
The Canadian woman is brilliant, and also knows how to get the floor.

Bill was not to be overrun in the least and was mildly putting down Issa all the time like a slow running but reliable train.

The British guy - Merchant - brought in his 9 and a half foot (I'm guessing) frame. His shoulders were the same level as the top of Maher's head, he criticized our gun laws, our lack of addressing global warning (why can't we pretend it's real and do something about it, even if we don't believe in it - at least that way we aren't fucked in the end.......something like it, anyway). He was a great addition.

But the best guest, brilliant and ever so impressive in his views and discourse was the writer of the film "12 years a slave". I've read the book months ago, and realize he had a good honest story to work with told by the man it happened to. He took it, written in 1852 and made it phenomenal as a film today. And he brought to us the realization that slavery is not over, is still happening, even here.

I'm excited about this fine show today, and am typing without correction just to get you to watch the repeat.
I was worried about Issa. And it was not necessary this time. He is losing steam, his failed attempts at grabbing attention with dumb humor prove it.

February 1, 2014

BILL MAHER is pondering what to say about Christie later on tonight right about now. Guest lineup:

HBO Real Time Guests: Fri. Jan. 31, 2014

Stephen Merchant
Chrystia Freeland
Rep. Darrell Issa
Ronan Farrow & John Ridley

John Ridley is the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave, based on the memoirs of Solomon Northup. He also wrote and directed the Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side, which opens in May. He was recently interviewed by CNN’s Becky Anderson about the process of depicting slavery in film.

Chrystia Freeland is a member of the Liberal Caucus in the Parliament of Canada. She was previously the Managing Director and Editor of Consumer News and Reuters. Her latest book is Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else. Twitter: @cafreeland

Rep. Darrell Issa has represented California’s 49th District since 2001. He is the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform and a veteran of the U.S. Army. Twitter: @DarrellIssa

Ronan Farrow was director of the State Department’s Office of Global Youth Issues and Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Global Youth Issues during Obama’s first term. He will be hosting a weekday, one-hour show on MSNBC premiering February 24th.Twitter: @RonanFarrow

Stephen Merchant – Star of HBO’s Hello Ladies

10 pm HBO - tonight / repeat at 11 pm
February 1, 2014

Christie Asks for Publicís Patience While He Comes Up with New Story - unveiled by Borowitz

TRENTON (The Borowitz Report)—Responding to fresh charges that he knew about the controversial lane closures on the George Washington Bridge last fall, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today asked for the public’s patience while he makes up a new story.
“Today you have heard some allegations that are shocking and explosive,” he told reporters at a hastily called press conference. “All I ask is that the people of the great state of New Jersey give me sufficient time to invent a new story that explains my way out of this.”
Governor Christie said that he had spent the past few hours in closed-door meetings trying to come up with a new narrative that absolves him of any guilt in the bridge scandal, but while he was definitely denying the allegations, “so far, we don’t have a winner.”
“We’ve been tossing around everything from my not remembering events correctly to my having a bad reaction to medication,” he said. “We even floated the idea of my being under too much pressure and having to ‘blow off steam.’ As I said, we don’t have a winner yet. But I want to reassure the people of New Jersey that I am working very hard on this.”
The Governor said he understood that “things don’t look very good for me right now,” but he urged the public against rushing to judgment, adding, “I will get back to you with a well-crafted and plausible story as soon as possible.”


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