Miscellaneous musings on language and TV

An observation on word choice, which I posted (with a few minor differences) on Facebook yesterday:

“Chauvinism,” “sexism,” and “misogyny” are not, for a careful writer, interchangeable. Continue reading


Yes, Virginia, another comment on acting

An actor acquaintance of mine, Jeff Still, recently shared on Facebook an Atlantic article about the contortions that film actors have begun going through in the name of creating a character. Surely you’ve heard of a few. Jared Leto acted like the Joker throughout the production of the recent Suicide Squad film, a process that included pranking the cast with used condoms and a dead pig. Leonardo DiCaprio, a committed vegetarian, felt he had to eat real meat in a scene of The Revenant. Adrien Brody starved himself and (by one account) broke up with his girlfriend before doing The Pianist.

This overheated approach to acting Continue reading

Rio 2016: Wrestling with the big bad Summer Olympics

Representatives of scores of nations gather to jostle for recognition, an upper hand, maybe even dominance: no, it’s not the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, and not the usual swirl of commuters in Grand Central Terminal either. It’s another Olympics summer—sing that to the tune of “Tequila Sunrise” if you’d like—which means another quadrennial parade of marvels, oddities, and controversies, some of it in the realm of sports, some not. An oddity that occurred to me just now: it’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere, yet the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, a.k.a. the 2016 Summer Olympics, a.k.a. Rio 2016, officially began in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, yesterday evening.

Continue reading