For some reason the FAR has the day off of work today, and since we can’t think of anything else we’re supposed to be doing, let’s devote some time to indulging in our basest instincts. Let’s sing the blues! Let’s write some steamy literature! Let’s injest trans fats! Let’s take cues from a movie series about a violent sex addict!
Send your articles throughout the next week to ploughmanplods [at] gmail, post articles from the past week below for discussion, and Have a Happy Friday (and Merry whatever else might be going on)!
Viola Davis talks to Peter Sblendorio at the New York Daily News about Chadwick Boseman’s final role and her approach to portraying Ma Rainey:
“I felt a responsibility to portray her honestly, not in a way that would make her palatable,” Davis told the Daily News. “I didn’t want to reduce any aspect of her life because people just didn’t want to see it, or it’s too much, it’s not attractive, it’s not whatever, because in doing that, I would be dishonoring her. That’s already what history threatened to do to her, and actually did do to her, was render her extinct.”
Rachel Handler, ostensibly for the benefit of the readers of Vulture, attempts to see if a classic Nancy Meyers scene in It’s Complicated is plausible by getting high and learning to make croissants:
The first step is to mix the yeast and flours and salt to create a “soft, sticky dough,” and I do so confidently, pausing only to eat several bowls of Frosted Flakes and stare out the window at a uniquely purposeful squirrel until I realize with a jolt that I am high as fuck. I shape the dough into a nice little fat ball, as I have been instructed to do, and though I begin to feel deep affection toward it, it feels more dry and less pliant than it should. I look around and wonder what I’ve done wrong, then realize the salt is still sitting on the countertop, unmixed. I text Sarabeth in a panic. “How bad is it if I forgot the salt?” I ask. “Not bad just not tasting great,” she replies. “I think I’m failing on many levels right now,” I text back. “Oh dear,” she replies. “Are you stoned?” “Yes,” I text back with a smiley face. “You should have made the dough and not been stoned and then get stoned when you roll out and shape,” she says. “Perhaps,” I reply.
“There’s this sequence with Bashir’s spy and one of the bad guys, you know, our version of an Odd Job-type character [Falcon, played by Colm Meany]. And there was this explosion and, we rarely got to go on set back in the TNG days. But I was able to see this and I have to say it was such a cool thing to be on set for because — we were really, essentially, trying to make a James Bond movie,” says Moore. “It was hard, very hard work. The shoot was a bear for the crew. But there was an energy to it because everyone was so excited to be pulling it off and doing something different, with the period, Bond-era costumes, too. One of my favorite memories from my time working on the show.”
In light of the Literary Review cancelling their annual “Bad Sex in Fiction” awards, Electric Lit commissions writers (and one predictive text keyboard) to submit their own bad sex scenes. Fair warning, the results are explicit in ways that can’t be predicted:
I bet we won’t even get to breakfast before my lover ravages me. My lover is actually my husband but we’re so wild for each other, even after nine months shut inside, that I’ve started to call him that: lover. Roar! Lover knows how much I miss the croissants at Balthazar so he has bought me some at CVS from their “Last Chance!” aisle because CVS is open and Balthazar is not. I used to get the fresh squeezed grapefruit juice for eleven dollars but Tropicana makes me hot. [Ed. note: this is the only excerpt reprintable in a respectable family column like the FAR]
A repost from years gone by, but a fitting comedown from our hedonism. John Horgan in Scientific American on appreciating existence on the darkest day:
Every now and then, if we’re lucky, we stop seeing the world as something to be manipulated for our ends. We simply see it, undistorted by our desires and fears. This form of perception is the goal of all contemplative spiritual traditions. When an aspirant asked the 15th-century Zen master Ikkyu to write down a maxim of the highest wisdom, Ikkyu wrote: Attention. The dissatisfied aspirant asked, Is that all? And Ikkyu wrote: Attention. Attention.