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In the News 19.02.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

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In the News 19.02.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets
In the News 19.02.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets
In the News 19.02.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

Alejandro G. Iñárritu: Hollywood’s King of Pain

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Late one afternoon in November, only two days after wrapping up final post-production tweaks on his sixth film, The Revenant, the director Alejandro González Iñárritu walked into a screening room at the corner of Alfred Hitchcock Drive on the Universal Studios lot in Universal City, California. He was dressed entirely in black, his typical uniform – today, a couture-looking hoodie with extraneous silver zippers, worn over black jeans – and he greeted the assembled audio crew with fist bumps and apologies for his tardiness. He’d driven up from his production office in Santa Monica, where he also lives, and hit traffic, which he normally avoids by zipping around town on a Vespa. Somebody got him a Coke.

Read the rest of this article at RollingStone

The Life of Pablo and the Terror of Monogamy

Kanye West acknowledges attendees during his Yeezy Season 3 Collection presentation and listening party during New York Fashion Week February 11, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly  - RTX26KH6

Of all the strange things Kanye West has tweeted around the occasion of his new album The Life of Pablo, the strangest might be this: “Pablo is full of joy and love because I was able to create.” Full of joy and love? When I listen to Pablo, I hear wide-eyed fear and confusion. I hear strain. I hear a yearning for joy and love. The real thing is only rarely present. This isn’t a complaint, per se. Kanye West has made some uplifting music over the years, but his most classic songs usually involve large amounts of conflict and doubt, the same emotions that are the bedrock of Pablo. As you might imagine, such bedrock is not firm. The album contains the least consistent music West has ever put out, and that’s both a good and bad thing for the listener. Even when it’s frustrating, there’s drama in how it wobbles.

West has also called Pablo “ a gospel album with a lot of cursing on it, ” which is correct. It opens with the sound of a young girl shouting away the devil; there are church choirs throughout; at one point, West devotes a full track to a woman’s faith testimonial. It should be noted, though, that this is not gospel as celebration nor as evangelism. It’s gospel as desperation. This is his first album since getting married, becoming a father of two, releasing a fashion line, and receiving a few lifetime-achievement awards and honorary degrees. Yet it repeatedly pleads for strength in a time of personal strife. “I’m tryna keep my faith, ” goes the refrain of the stunning, upwardly lurching opener “Ultra Light Beams, ” the churchiest thing here.

Read the rest of this article at The Atlantic

SHOP

Shop Update: The Return of The Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Seacliff

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The New Mind Control

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Over the past century, more than a few great writers have expressed concern about humanity’s future. In The Iron Heel(1908), the American writer Jack London pictured a world in which a handful of wealthy corporate titans – the ‘oligarchs’ – kept the masses at bay with a brutal combination of rewards and punishments. Much of humanity lived in virtual slavery, while the fortunate ones were bought off with decent wages that allowed them to live comfortably – but without any real control over their lives.

In We (1924), the brilliant Russian writer Yevgeny Zamyatin, anticipating the excesses of the emerging Soviet Union, envisioned a world in which people were kept in check through pervasive monitoring. The walls of their homes were made of clear glass, so everything they did could be observed. They were allowed to lower their shades an hour a day to have sex, but both the rendezvous time and the lover had to be registered first with the state.

Read the rest of this article at aeon

How BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti Is Building A 100-Year Media Company

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Ask BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti about his influences, and his answer sounds like, well, a BuzzFeed post—one titled “The Three Historical References That Explain BuzzFeed Will Make You Say WTF.” Peretti first points to a company that started more than 100 years ago, Paramount Pictures, which owned a film production studio, its own cast of talent, and its own distribution channel in the form of theaters. “That allowed them to adapt and change as the market changed,” says Peretti.

Peretti’s second fascination is with CNN—how founder Ted Turner ran a 24-hour news operation at a fraction of the cost of what the networks spent, due in part to prescient use of satellite and cable technology.

And then there’s Jay Z. In the early 1990s, Peretti, who grew up in Oakland, California, attended public school where, he says, “The only music was black music.” The lyrics were full of boasts—selling more albums, earning more money, amassing more bling. Later in life when Peretti, now 42, made friends with people who loved indie rock bands, he noticed “this weird thing where it’s like, the band that they love, they go to all their shows, but as soon as they have a record deal, ‘I don’t like them anymore.’ ” There was a similar attitude among bloggers, he says, who had a “deeply tortured relationship with popularity. The mainstream media is somehow evil, bad, or selling out.” Peretti didn’t share this angst. “With BuzzFeed, I always felt like, let’s have as big an impact as we can. Let’s grow this into something giant.”

Read the rest of this article at Fast Company

A Son Rises in the West

Twenty years ago a Seattle boy moved to Nepal after being recognized as the reincarnation of a revered Tibetan lama. The public’s reaction to his mother’s decision to let him go says as much about our understanding of parenting as it does about Buddhism.

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N THE FINAL YEARS OF HIS THIRD LIFE, Dezhung Rinpoche enjoyed short walks around the block near his home in Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood. Dressed in the traditional maroon robes of a Tibetan Buddhist lama, he would shuffle along with the help of an attendant and the crutch that had been his constant companion since a botched knee surgery had hobbled him several years earlier. This was the mid-’80s, nearly a decade before Tibetan Buddhism would become a cultural phenomenon in the United States, so the sight of a robed holy man circumambulating the block would have inspired more than a few double-takes in this relatively enlightened enclave that borders the University of Washington.

Born Könchok Lhündrup in 1906, the Buddhist teacher grew up in the cold, arid foothills of east Tibet, with little in the way of scenery to distract him from his religious studies. But here in his adopted home—where he’d lived since 1960, originally as a guest of the UW—he was surrounded by greenery. And he cherished his afternoon sidewalk amblings for the opportunity they provided to soak up the flora he’d missed out on as a young man.

That bum knee made for tough sledding, though, so Dezhung Rinpoche made frequent stops, often hunkering down in a neighbor’s front yard. (A former neighbor found it so disconcerting to watch the lama regularly sully his robes in their wet grass that they began leaving out a lawn chair for his use.) It was during one of these pit stops that the aged man pulled close Adrienne Chan, his attendant and student for nearly a decade. He had decided where he would be reborn, and he wanted to share the news.

In the quarter century since fleeing his homeland, where the Chinese had set about burning Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in 1959, Dezhung Rinpoche had traveled extensively. He’d taught and studied throughout India and the United States, so according to tradition he could have honored any of those locations with his next reincarnation. But as Chan leaned in, Dezhung Rinpoche said simply, “I will be reborn in Seattle. It is nice and clean and fresh.”

Read the rest of this article at Seattle Met

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.