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DX News Bits: Alicia Keys & Wyclef Jean Live At The 92Y, EA-Ski Wins Big, Rob Swift Spins For ESPN

Wyclef Jean and Alicia Keys will appear at the 92Y in new York, EA-Ski takes home a major award, and Rob Swift joins ESPNU’s “Unite.”

It looks like fans of Wyclef Jean and Alicia Keys will get a special opportunity to see them in a unique live setting. Now, in a recent press release, new York’s 92nd Street Y announced that they will be hosting a series of live conversations with the two stars.

This September, Wyclef and Keys will take the stage at the 92 Street Y as a part of their conversations series. on September 10, Keys will join famed author and new York Giants co-owner Jonathan Tisch. then, on September 30, Wyclef Jean will grace the community center stage to discuss his new memoir Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story and perform some of his music. 

Tickets for both events can be purchased at the 92Y’s website.

In other news, rapper/producer EA-Ski may not be the most notable beatsmith to hail from the west coast, but that hasn’t prevented him from solidifying his place in Hip Hop. Now, according to a recent report from Sway’s Universe, the famed producer took home a major honor for his work.

This past weekend, EA-Ski won the coveted best Hip Hop West Coast Producer of the Decade title at the West Coast Hip Hop Awards. The award show also featured a variety of performances from some the west’s finest artists, including Ski himself. 

Finally, it looks like legendary DJ Rob Swift has found himself a new job. The X-Ecutioners alum was recently announced to be the house DJ for ESPNU’s upcoming late night program “Unite.”

In a recent press release, it was revealed that Swift would be acting as the upcoming program’s resident turntablist, a first for an ESPN program. ESPN’s music director Kevin Wilson explained that Swift was an obvious choice for “Unite” given his reputation as a DJ and eclectic taste in music.

“we knew music would be a core element for the show and we needed music versatility to branch the spectrum of topics ‘Unite’ would cover,” said Wilson. “We’ve followed Rob’s career for some time now, and when we started planning the music direction for ‘Unite,’ it didn’t take long for his name to come up…Swift has staked a claim for himself in the music community with the range of music genres he works with regularly. he brings a fresh perspective to everything from classical Bach to Linkin Park.”

“Unite” will premiere on August 27 at midnight on ESPNU. Watch a short promo video of the show featuring Swift below.

RELATED: Wyclef Jean Discusses Lauryn Hill’s Tax Issues, Reveals Book In The Works

<a href=",2005:cluster=, 14 Aug 2012 04:48:55 GMT”>DX News Bits: Alicia Keys & Wyclef Jean Live At The 92Y, EA-Ski Wins Big, Rob Swift Spins For ESPN

Morning Meme: Darren Criss Wants To "Dress you Up," Madonna Forgives Sir Elton John, and Adam Lambert Asks "Is This Love"

Alexander Ludwig is set to star in Lone Survivor, about a team of Navy Seals whose mission goes horribly wrong in Afghanistan. but the entire movie is filled with beefcake, including Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch and Eric Bana.

Evan Rachel Wood tweeted a joke that Miley Cyrus’s new haircut made her look gay. Fans threw a fit, but as Wood reminded them, she’s bisexual herself, and thinks it would be cool if Cyrus liked ladies. even Cyrus chimed in on the explanation, saying “well said!”

Madonna dedicated her Golden Globe winning song “Masterpiece” to Sir Elton John, saying “I know he’s a big fan of it… and I know he’s a big fan of mine. and you know what? I forgive him. you gotta start somewhere.” the bitch is back, indeed.

Jennifer Lopez is producing a show for ABC Family with Peter Paige called The Fosters, about a lesbian couple raising a multi-ethnic family of biological and foster kids.

This is going to shatter your entire worldview, but you’ve been eating Tic-Tacs wrong for years.

Based on sociological data, scientists say that with Mitt Romney’s brood of male children, and primarily male grandchildren, he should be getting 100% of the female vote. even Michelle Obama’s vote.

Gawker has published a massive haul of Bain Capital documents, showing a series of shell companies and investments housed offshore, leading back to Mitt Romney. They say it’s so complicated that they don’t understand it, and have called for forensic accountants to figure it out. Ironically, Gawker Media is based in the Cayman Islands.

Did Glee finally drive a stake in the heart of Finchel? Please?

A group of anti-gay conservatives, who were only a few months ago screaming that GLAAD was trying to silence them by discouraging news organizations booking them has written a letter to Fox News demanding Bill O’Reilly stop booking gay activist  Wayne Bensen from the network because of his homosexual agenda against Christians.

Suburgatory has cast Malin Ackerman as Tessa’s estranged mother. I don’t really care, and worry that this drama will reduce the shirtless moments from Parker Young. there is only so much screen time, and Parker should have it all.

The casting of Bare has been announced, with Taylor Trensch and Jason Hite snagging the lead in the Travis Wall choreographed musical. I know people took umbrage when I said Travis called it almost autobiographical of his teen years, but people, I have it on tape!

Hurricane Isaac is threatening the Republican National Convention. Rumor has it that the actual nomination will be moved up to Monday just in case. as for the National Weather Service, according to Rush Limbaugh, “The National Hurricane Center, a government agency, [is] very hopeful that the hurricane gets near Tampa. the National Hurricane Center is Obama. It’s the National Weather Service, part of the Commerce Department, it’s Obama.” I prefer to think of it as God preparing to smite a city filled with bigots. Isn’t that what they’d say if the positions were reversed?

Anti-gay pastor Rev. Grant Storms was convicted of masturbating in a public park filled with children.

The Parents Television Council says that full-frontal nudity is up 6300% on primetime. Except that’s not entirely accurate. all the full-frontal they cite was pixilated and used as a joke. So nothing was shown on broadcast. and that dramatic increase? the previous season, they clocked one incident, last season it was 64, leading to the dramatic 6300% increase. Fun with math!

Congressman Akin may want to rethink his decision to stay in the Senate race against Sen. Claire McCaskill, because a new Rasmusen poll puts him down 10 points since his rape comments.

Morgan Spurlock is going to develop reality television for CNN (since news isn’t working for them) for the weekends. I went to high school with Morgan before he became big and famous.

There is scientific proof that a bacon sandwich is a natural hangover cure.

<a href=",2005:cluster=, 24 Aug 2012 12:32:59 GMT”>Morning Meme: Darren Criss Wants To "Dress you Up," Madonna Forgives Sir Elton John, and Adam Lambert Asks "Is This Love"

Buju Banton’s Request For New Trial Denied

UPDATE: Buju Banton is currently serving a 10-year sentence and faces an additional five years.

Today (December 16) Grammy Award-winning Reggae/Dancehall star Buju Banton appealed a cocaine trafficking and conspiracy conviction that landed him a 10-year sentence this February.

The Associated Press reports that Banton (born Mark Myrie) and his attorney, David O. Markus are alleging that a government informant “relentlessly pursued” the star, in exchange for $50,000. Additionally, the Gargamel Records artist maintains that there is not conclusive evidence to the conviction, for which he is presently serving.

The Atlanta, Georgia-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to make a decision in 2012.

In his career, Banton worked with Hip Hop acts such as Wyclef Jean and Heavy D & The Boyz.

UPDATE: A judge has denied Buju Banton’s request for a new trial, stating there is no need because of a previous appeals court ruling. in June, Atlanta’s appeals court upheld Banton’s conviction, ruling that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute him. Banton’s attorney filed a motion in July seeking a new trial, a request that Judge James moody denied yesterday.

<a href=",2005:cluster=, 08 Aug 2012 17:07:09 GMT”>Buju Banton’s Request For New Trial Denied

ALEC Roster Shrinks As GE, Sprint, Western Union, Symantec, Reckitt Quit

They join others such as Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), the No. 3 PC maker; Hewlett-Packard co. (NYSE: HPQ), the No. 1 computer company, and General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), in abandoning ALEC this year.

ColorOfChange, an Oakland, Calif., civil rights group that helped to spearhead the campaign, hailed the companies. “Everyday people working together to hold corporations accountable can achieve tremendous change,” said executive director Rashad Robinson.

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ALEC had no immediate response. In the past, its representatives have labeled the attacks on it as “a tired campaign to abuse the legal system,” especially after Common Cause asked the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to probe its tax-exempt status.

The group's national chairman is Dave Frizzell, a Republican member of the Indiana House of Representatives. Its board of scholars includes Arthur Laffer, the economist who was close to President Ronald Reagan, as well as Stephen Moore, the former president of the right-wing Club for Growth who now is an editorial writer for Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal, a property of News Corp. (NYSE: NWS).

Shares of the five latest departing companies were largely unchanged in Monday afternoon trading.

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<a href=",2005:cluster=, 27 Aug 2012 16:56:07 GMT”>ALEC Roster Shrinks As GE, Sprint, Western Union, Symantec, Reckitt Quit

Bruce Jenner didn’t have any Olympic Village sex

Bruce Jenner is still considered one of the best United States Olympic athletes of all time. Jenner won gold in the 1976 decathlon, but now often takes a back seat to his famous family.

Jenner is the stepfather of the three Kardashian girls, as well as having two other children with wife Kris Jenner.

The athlete is at the London Olympics, and sat down with Billy Bush from Access Hollywood on Friday to talk about his Olympic days.

“I was a stud! let me tell you, I was doing it!” Jenner said to Bush about his athletic accomplishments that year. “Just kicking butt all day long, taking no prisoners.”

During the 2012 Olympic Games, numerous athletes have come out speaking about the massive amounts of sex that happens in Olympic Village.

“There’s a lot of sex going on,” soccer player Hope Solo said in an interview with ESPN Magazine. “With a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you want to build memories, whether it’s sexual, partying or on the field. I’ve seen people having sex right out in the open. on the grass, between buildings, people are getting down and dirty.”

But for Jenner, that is not why he was there. He said he didn’t do any of that when he was in the Olympic Village way back in the ’70s.

“I didn’t do any of that stuff — I’m prudish! I’ve never been much into fooling around the world,” he said, according to Yahoo. “I wasn’t quite a virgin, but I was reserved, or choosey – [I'll] put it that way.”

Bruce Jenner said he spoke with his family this week, and was surprised they noticed he had even been out of town.

“Actually, I talked to Kim yesterday, and Kim said ‘God, I haven’t talked to you or seen you in so long! I actually miss you,’” he said to Bush. “So, I think that’s a compliment!”

Trey Hardee, who went home with the silver medal this year at the Olympics, said Jenner has become close with him and the other athletes.

“He’s trapped in an estrogen prison and he needs to talk about decathlon to us,” Trey joked, according to Yahoo.

Photo courtesy Hugh Dillon/

<a href=",2005:cluster=, 12 Aug 2012 18:19:11 GMT”>Bruce Jenner didn’t have any Olympic Village sex

Magic Mike Saves Hollywood: Resurgence Of Small Pics Means Hope For Indies

But the true breakout hit in the specialty market is Steven Soderbergh's “Magic Mike,” which stars Channing Tatum as a male stripper gone wild in Tampa, Fla. The film so far has earned a whopping $112 million on a paltry $7 million budget.

The last time a summer movie made for under $20 million edged its way into the top 20 was in 2007 with Rob Zombie's “Halloween” remake, which cost an estimated $15 million. And despite positive buzz each year for anti-blockbusters such as “Midnight in Paris” and “The Kids are all Right,” neither of those films cracked the top 20 — nor have most summer indie favorites stretching at least as far back as 2006's “Little miss Sunshine.”

But this summer's box-office tallies have so far shown a different trend, according to Landmark Cinema's Ted Mundorff, who told Variety on Monday that the specialty business is having a strong season. Meanwhile, numbers for this week show the trend of the small-budget wonders is continuing. While Universal's big-budgeted spy epic “The Bourne Legacy” was the top earner, taking in $40 million, two smaller films edged their way into the top five as well: “Hope Springs,” starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as a couple of aging empty nesters, and “The Campaign,” which represents the smallest budget for a will Ferrell movie in five years — proof that the once-bankable actor might be poised for a comeback after such disastrous offerings as “Land of the Lost” and “The other Guys.”  

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Writing last week on the unusual diversity of this year's summer fare, new York Times film critic Manohla Dargis said it's difficult to tell if the resurgence of small-budget hits are an isolated fluke or if they point to signs of a broader “blockbuster fatigue” among moviegoers. “It would be nice to think that audiences have started to weary of the same quips, big bangs and long underwear avengers,” Dargis wrote.

Still, those underwear avengers are in pretty decent shape. The top three films this summer — “The Avengers,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Amazing Spider-Man,” respectively — are all superhero films, while the rest of the top 10 is dominated by the typical array of cartoon, sequels, prequels and reboots. Ironically enough, the one top-10 outlier this year is Seth Macfarlane's talking-bear comedy “Ted,” which has raked in more than $209 million on a $50 million.

Any way you look at the recent string of small-budget hits, however, they represent a slight deviation for risk-averse Hollywood, which for decades has been moving toward a business model built almost entirely around sure things. Since 2000, the only top-grossing movie of the year that wasn't based on preexisting material was 2009's “Avatar.” but with James Cameron at the helm, that could hardly be considered a risk.

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<a href=",2005:cluster=, 13 Aug 2012 17:05:25 GMT”>Magic Mike Saves Hollywood: Resurgence Of Small Pics Means Hope For Indies

Hard Times in the Uncanny Valley: Part 1

Jewel Samad/AFP/GettyImagesPreparing for a visit to the Olympic GamesBy Colson Whitehead on August 15, 2012


It’s safe to say that the Olympic Torch — carried over 8,000 miles by as many souls, by the young and the old, by the lonely and the loved, by the faithful and the faithless, from Cornwall to Carlisle to Chipping Camden — is a germ factory. I have never heard someone ask “Did you wash your hands?” in the handoff footage, whether it unfurls on a modest country lane or in the shadows of the latest skyscraping monstrosities. It’s only fitting. the Olympic Games unite hundreds of nations and billions of people in a celebration of the Spirit of Competition. Why shouldn’t our microscopic brothers and sisters get to participate?

Fortunately, germs are low on my List of Fears, trailing far behind intimacy, trap spiders, and death, so I tried to picture myself among the torch bearers. Huffing up the asphalt while my proud neighbors crowded the sidewalk to cheer me on, preening in front of the mirror with whatever commemorative token the International Olympic Committee bestowed upon me for my efforts. the relay, after all, is the opportunity for normal Joes to enter into the Olympic Dream, for the unspecial to share the arena with the most very special.

My imagination failed me. I was no Local Hero, recommended by my family, coworkers, or twinkly eyed clergyman. (“Clergyman” is British, right?) what did I have on 69-year-old Christine Hood, of Leominster, who works at the Royal College of the Blind and “really improve[s] the quality of life and experiences [of] many of the blind students,” according to her nomination? How could I compare to Frank Biederman, 41, of Barnstaple, who carried the torch through Sticklepath after raising money to build a new playground for his hometown? (For the kids!) Who was I next to Todd Bouman, the head of IT marketing for Samsung Electronics Americas, who “directs the development and execution of channel marketing activities that are focused on building up strong relationships with industry-leading IT partners”? (Some of the relay spots were set aside for corporate sponsors.)

On June 2, as the torch bobbed along the avenues of Stornoway, what was I doing? according to my journal, I embraced life with “2 naps. Turkey club. Vague sense of unease.” How did I occupy myself on June 20, when the torch was Leyburn-bound? “A real 3-napper. Shooed some pigeons from the fire escape. Whispered, ‘Am I falling apart?’ while I scooped a clump of hair from the bathtub drain.” As the relay hit Potternewton, I have, simply, “Croatoan.” the relay path described a map of my unworthiness.

I paid attention early, following the relay and prelims, because I was going to the Olympics this year. I don’t generally follow sports. At an early age, I discovered that nature had apportioned me only a small reserve of enthusiasm. best to ration. I can do kids’ parties (“What did you wish for, little Derwin?”), I’ll “dance” at your wedding or Just-Divorced party (“To the good times!”), and I’ll watch New York teams in the playoffs (“So — John Starks still on the Mets?”). but every two years, I devote myself to the Games, draining my tank to empty, and I never regret it.

The early summer prelims introduced me to the new cast and reacquainted me with the old players. I recognized that Wallace Spearmon character. Wasn’t there some sort of drama four years ago where he thought he got the bronze, but didn’t? that victory lap around Olympic Stadium, the American flag rippling behind him, turned awkward quickly. Hey, Tyson Gay — why so glum, chum? Out all year with a hip injury and this is your first day back? You made it in, man — lighten up. Whoa, that’s quite a spill, Nastia Liukin. You were our savior last season in Beijing, with your gold medal in All-Around Pluck. now it looks like the Fierce Five will have to do it without you. and look at these five brave gymnasts, standing together as a unit for the first time. they look so young, so little. can they pull it off? I guess we’ll find out in London. then the teaser program was over and the show was on hiatus again until next month. While across the ocean the torch roved over the British countryside, gathering germs …

Nastia Liukin fell off the bars in the prelims, and the young girls who watched her win gold and silver four years ago took her place. Here was the dependable subplot, the March of Time itself taking a crack at the script, as the fresh-faced avatars replaced last season’s stars. Where do they go, what do they do, these spectacular specimens who don’t row as vigorously as they used to, who do not tumble with the same amount of grace, who do not fly as high? NBC’s travel department was already booking block airfare to the hometowns of the new hopefuls. with any luck, a recent flood had obliterated an Olympian’s childhood home, or Mom had to take out a second mortgage to send Kaitlyn to live and train with that legendary coach. Let’s get cracking on those mini-docs, people.

When did film director Danny Boyle assemble his footage for the Opening Ceremony? if the montage of the Beatles, Big Ben, and the rolling waters of the Thames reminded me of an airline’s “we have arrived at our destination” video, it was mere throat clearing. Boyle acquitted himself well in the wake of Beijing’s once-in-a-lifetime spectacle, especially considering the lack of slave labor. Kenneth Branagh intoning lines from the Tempest, Rowan Atkinson making faces. we got to hear “Tubular Bells.” some of great Britain’s most beloved fictional characters dropped in, such as James Bond, Mary Poppins, Voldemort, and the Queen. and 10,000 volunteers, gussied up in a succession of period outfits, helped recapitulate centuries of great Britain’s history, all before a model of Glastonbury Tor that heaped itself in the middle of the stadium. (“Tor, by the way, means a hill or rocky place,” Matt Lauer informed us.) A pastoral scene replete with sheep and geese was destroyed by massive, hellish smokestacks that erupted from the ground — the grim Industrial Age superseding the agrarian era. the pantomime of progress continued as the Industrial Age gave way to the Digital Age, via a little sequence about smartphone-assisted romance and a salute to Tim Berners-Lee, who is credited with inventing the World Wide Web. On the soundtrack, Brit pop was drowned out by punk, synthpop was stepped on by “Song 2.”

It was dizzying. in a couple of days, I’d be in that very stadium, one of those specs in the bleachers. I didn’t know a lot of people in London, so I had downloaded one of those virtual companion apps that everyone’s talking about these days. I went for the Sebald 3000. It was imprinted with the personality of the late novelist and essayist W.G. Sebald, whose chronicles of melancholy, genocide, and decay have delighted people the world over. (Perhaps delighted is not the right word.) the Sebald 3000 was powered by an algorithm or something, and only set me back 99 cents.

As I watched David Beckham and the Olympic torch zip up the Thames in a speedboat like Crockett & Tubbs, it was time to take the app for a spin. London had previously hosted the Games in 1908 and 1948. (Almost ’44, but World War II caused a rain delay.) I wondered what sort of festivities had opened those Olympiads, and what the world would look like when London’s turn came around again, what Next Age would define us after the Digital. I took a sip of my beer and talked into my phone: “Sebald, it all disappears. we work the soil, and then we build factories. Imperialism is bad, so we leave it out of the montage, but its handiwork persists. the Industrial Age gives way to the Information Age, and a deathless Paul McCartney reign o’er all. what am I getting myself into?”

The app’s robotic, German-tinged accent startled me. “Some say that time has run its course,” it said, “and that this life is no more than the fading reflection of an event beyond recall. we simply do not know how many of the possible mutations the world may have already gone through, or how much time, assuming that it exists, remains.”

Hmm. I wondered, not for the last time, if I should have splurged on the Madeline Kahn version.

Eventually the Opening Ceremony reached the Parade of Nations. Two hundred and five Olympic teams proceeded through the stadium, starting with Greece. Which only seemed fair, since Greece had basically invented the whole tournament of champions thing, and they were still paying off the billions it cost to host the 2004 Olympics. some teams were hundreds-strong, regiments of alphas passing in eccentric, motley-colored getups. other teams consisted of a half-dozen people — these guys were always incredibly psyched, it seemed to me. Bob Costas, anchoring his ninth Games, provided a litany of fun facts (“Tunis is the capital of Tunisia”) that I supplemented with arbitrary assessments. I sized up faces: “Oh, you know they’re totally racist.” “Here’s a country that knows how to party.” “This team is probably really great in the sack.” “Does that country even exist?”

We weren’t even into the Games proper, and I was already doing it: making up my weird little narratives. Devising our idiosyncratic stories is half the reason we tune in, our shadowy participation. first you insert yourself into the games by rooting for athletes you share citizenship with. and then your prejudices and various sketchy allegiances assert themselves. Skin color. Italy, because your dad’s mom was Italian. Wave the flag for gingers, for the sad-eyed, the disturbingly detached, according to your bent. I’m not Jewish (as far as I know) but I’ve been a big fan of “Hava Nagila” ever since bar mitzvah season all those years ago, so Aly Raisman got my vote. Cheer for the freakishly gifted no matter where they hail from, those rare Bolts. then there are the ultrapersonal reasons that you never share with the other people in your living room. You’re rooting for that stranger because you recognize something in her expression as she steels herself for the high jump, you’ve seen it on your own face in the mirror from time to time, when your day’s stakes were high. can you make it through, will you make it through? You are part of a secret tribe. now go for it.

NBC’s mini-docs and inspirational profiles helped a lot here, of course, even if they and other parts of the network’s coverage did earn it a bum rap. People whined that they broadcast the events on American time, as opposed to London time. As a writer who devises his own schedule, someone with only the most tenuous connection to “normal humans,” I would have loved to see the big events live, but I also realize that most people “work” (or something) during the day, and can only catch the prime-time telecast. give NBC a break, they’re trying to make some money here. As always, there were plenty of complaints about the network’s concentration on U.S. events and athletes, which downplayed the international nature of the Olympiad. Well, I got to see the BBC’s coverage, and that’s how they do it, too, no matter how negligible the outcome: “Great Britain has never won a gold in this event, and you came in 10th — how does that make you feel?” Be glad you weren’t watching in the minuscule nation of Tel-Whit, off the Coast of nowhere, whose entire coverage, I am told, consisted of a single close-up on a brick wrapped in tinfoil. You own the cameras, you do as you please.

Yes, the mini-docs exaggerate the tribulations and suffering of our players, with a minor-key score to make us misty, but this has never bugged me. I like to know how I’m supposed to feel about things. Just a little clue or hint. Who has time in this hectic modern world to actually bone up on these characters, the behind-the-scenes drama that goes on between seasons? give me something I can work with, give me footage of the athlete at 3 years old, hoisting a Volkswagen Rabbit over his head. “That’s when we thought he might have an aptitude for weight lifting,” Ma says offscreen. the announcers give us cues, and then we collaborate.

How many times did you flip on the Games and say, “I could never do that,” and, “That takes a lot of practice!” like an imbecile. we are not so different, you and I. For two weeks we pay tribute to all the things we cannot do: baroque flips on the balance beam, lifting 75 kilos in a unitard, talking to Ryan Seacrest without punching him in the face. we see these things and then rummage through our pasts. Was there something we were good at once, some road not taken with our bodies back in fifth-grade gym class. “There was a period when I was really good at dodgeball … “

I caught the first couple of days on TV before I went to London. This was not how I watched my first Olympics in the summer of ’76, on a tiny black-and-white Panasonic TV that went to snow at every meteorological disturbance. This was High Def, on NBC, Bravo, MSNBC, and apps and streams. I took a nibble of this and moved on to that. each new event NBC dropped into a time slot ushered me into an existential cul-de-sac. My impending travel, I think, made me insinuate myself more than usual. Men’s 10-meter synchronized diving, on Day 1, was an unnerving marvel, as the two-person teams launched into the air in enviable harmony, legs and arms and torsos perfect mirrors. Was I capable of such a connection with another human being? to bridge the gulf of subjectivity, be so attuned? Hells no. I couldn’t even do it with a perfect copy of me, a clone. I self-sabotage like crazy, and you can’t get more self-sabotagey than undermining your own clone.

I started scoring events in terms of what they’d offer in a human-annihilation-type scenario. Offensewise, archery skills seemed like an obvious asset at first. but the archers’ high-tech bows wouldn’t survive a day of jumping off roofs, tromping through sewers, and escaping cannibal hordes.

Perhaps it was the images of the hundreds of thousands of people relentlessly streaming down the artificial boulevards of Olympic Park, or the fact that I have written about the apocalypse once or twice, but I started scoring events in terms of what they’d offer in a human-annihilation-type scenario. Offensewise, archery skills seemed like an obvious asset at first. but the archers’ high-tech bows wouldn’t survive a day of jumping off roofs, tromping through sewers, and escaping cannibal hordes. the bows were items of cruel but fragile beauty, with their carbon limbs and polyethylene strings, their V-bar extenders and side-rod stabilizer doohickeys. great for the marksman’s art, but no good in a volume-kill scenario. You’d be better off with a simple machete. the qualifying heats made it clear that swimming is a good life skill or whatever, but only marathon-distance swimming was going to help you make it to the island after a squabble over rations or sex resulted in your tiny escape vessel overturning. Triathlon, I decided, with its endurance super-combo of swimming, biking, and running, solved multiple problem areas. I made a note to see it in person. My schedule was open; I’d figure out what to hit once I got there.

A Coke commercial played in the other room as I packed my rollaway. the announcer touted the soda company’s generosity, ending with, “If you’ve had a Coke in the last 84 years, you’ve had a hand in making Olympic Dreams come true.” As if we sipped for excellence.

I asked, “Sebald, why do we project ourselves into these strangers? I’m no athlete, not even a bearer of torches. I’m just a germ compared to these people, among a billion other germs, clinging to an idea. what is it about these games that makes my mind play such tricks?”

The Sebald 3000 said, “Truly. what matter of theater is it, in which we are at once playwright, actor, stage manager, scene painter, and audience?”

I was really going to have to turn on that Don’t answer a Question with a Question feature.

Return for part 2 on Friday.

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Colson Whitehead

<a href=",2005:cluster=, 15 Aug 2012 16:02:00 GMT”>Hard Times in the Uncanny Valley: Part 1

TV on Tap: Matthew Rhys Has a New TV Show, Jason Sudeikis Considering an "SNL" Exit, and Matthew Perry Has a Big Debut

I’m guessing the Comedy Bang! Bang! finale is going to have some musical performances.

FX has picked up The Americans, a drama starring Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell as undercover KGB spies posing as a couple in Washington DC in the early 80s. Matthew Rhys and the early 80s? I already hate having to wait for this show.

Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell is shopping a show that would feature musical performances with no amateurs, no eliminations and no sharp-tongued judges.

The latest amazing comedy talent to appear on Happy Endings is Rob Corddry, who will appear in a multi-episode arc as a “Car Czar” who ends up hiring Jane to sell cars. This has to lead to Jane yelling about how crazy her prices are in front of TV cameras.

Jason Sudeikis says he’s thinking of leaving Saturday Night Live, saying he wants the opportunity to push himself creatively if he sticks around. While most of the articles I’ve seen ask if SNL can find someone else to play Mitt Romney, I’m going to miss Sudeikis’ Joe Biden if he leaves.

Whoever decided to make a Breaking Bad-themed parody of Cooking Mama is a freaking genius.

Matthew Perry says that, despite the demands of his new comedy series, he’ll be able to appear in one or two episdoes of The Good Wife.

In addition to meeting Winston‘s mother, his sister will also appear in an upcoming episode of New Girl. she will be played by America’s next top Model finalist Keenyah Hill.

One reason NBC spends so much money on the rights for the summer Olympics is the chance to promote their upcoming series to that large audience that tuned in for the game. however, the strategy doesn’t have a great record at launching hits.

That said, 16.1 million viewers checked out Matthew Perry‘s new comedy, Go On. as always, the true test will be how many of those viewers will still be watching by midseason.

Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC) 10:00 PM ET as if to demonstrate what a great show it is, Comedy Bang! Bang! wraps its first season with a visit from “Weird AlYankovic. Judging from the promo picture, I’m guessing Tenacious D will also show up.

Bunk (IFC) 10:30 PM ET meanwhile, Bunk wraps up its first season with John Gemberling as well as return appearances by Andy Daly and Alex Borstein.

John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show (Comedy Cetnral) 11:00 PM ET This week’s show has Mike Lawrence, Andy Zaltzman, Kurt Braunohler and David O’Doherty.

Soccer (MSNBC) 2:30 PM ET Japan takes to the field against South Korea.

Swimming (NBC) 11:30 AM, 12:30 PM, 1:15 PM the open-water men’s swimming marathon is today, NBC will be checking up on the competition every so often.

Water Polo (NBC Sports Network) 9:20 AM, (MSNBC) 1:30 PM ET In the morning we’ve got Team U.S.A. and Spain’s final match while Croatia battles for the gold in the afternoon.

NBC Primetime (NBC) 8:00 PM ET the finals include the qualifying rounds for men’s platform diving.

<a href=",2005:cluster=, 10 Aug 2012 12:34:32 GMT”>TV on Tap: Matthew Rhys Has a New TV Show, Jason Sudeikis Considering an "SNL" Exit, and Matthew Perry Has a Big Debut

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<a href=",2005:cluster=, 20 Aug 2012 17:21:45 GMT”>Get Our News, Everywhere!

Venus reaches Cincy semis

Mason, OH –  Venus Williams was hard-fought quarterfinal winner Friday at the WTA’s $2.168 million Western & Southern Open.

The wild card Williams upended third-seeded U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur 6-2, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4 on the hardcourts at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. the former world No. 1 American advanced in 2 hours, 34 minutes despite piling up nine double faults on Day 5.

The 32-year-old seven-time Grand Slam singles champion Williams, who’s been slowed mightily by an autoimmune disease over the last couple of seasons, will now appear in her first semifinal in almost two years, or since the 2010 U.S. Open.

Meanwhile, the third round was completed on Friday when 17th-seeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova upset sixth-seeded former top-ranked Danish star Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4 and ninth-seeded Chinese Li Na leveled Swedish qualifier Johanna Larsson 6-2, 6-2. the two matches were suspended/postponed because of rain on Thursday night.

Li was this past Monday’s Montreal runner-up to Czech slugger Petra Kvitova.

<a href=",2005:cluster=, 17 Aug 2012 21:14:50 GMT”>Venus reaches Cincy semis