How much of the stuff that you don’t like have you actually given a fair shake? I’m posing this question to you, the reader, as cover for the shame of my own answer. There are things—things with widespread, dedicated followers who can’t imagine not having them in their lives, who even pity those who have never experienced them—that I long ago decided are “just not for me,” without even bothering to investigate whether that’s true. How liberating it is to never bother challenging my presumptions; how freeing to my limited time and DVR space! My prejudices have saved me untold hours that I can then spend watching old 30 Rock episodes. But then again… What if I’ve been missing out on something that might actually bring me joy, all because I’m too stubborn to really, truly give it a shot? It’s a nagging feeling that’s only gotten stronger as I’ve gotten older, and after more than a decade of working with … [Read more...] about Can a lifelong anime skeptic learn to love it?
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Welcome to Random Roles , wherein we talk to actors about the characters who defined their careers. The catch: They don’t know beforehand what roles we’ll ask them to talk about. The actor: Mary Woronov first came to prominence in the New York artistic community through her work with Andy Warhol and the Theater Of The Ridiculous, but it was her work with famed producer Roger Corman that brought her to the masses, most notably as the evil Miss Togar in Rock ’N’ Roll High School. Although Woronov now spends most of her time as an artist and writer, she recently reunited with Corman for a role in the EPIX film Attack Of The 50 Foot Cheerleader and is in the process of working on Confessions Of A Cult Queen, a documentary about her life and career by filmmakers Francesca Di Amico and Claudia Unger. Advertisement Attack Of The 50 Foot Cheerleader (2012)—“House Mother”Mary Woronov: Oh, right, that one. [Laughs.] Well, first of all, I did it … [Read more...] about Cult-film staple Mary Woronov on Andy Warhol, Roger Corman, and being typecast
Welcome to Random Roles , wherein we talk to actors about the characters who defined their careers. The catch: They don’t know beforehand what roles we’ll ask them to talk about. The actor: Fred Melamed has had a unique career as an actor, stepping in front of the camera for the first time in the early 1980s, working steadily throughout the decade, and then almost completely abandoning TV and film in favor of voice work. That was the status quo for Melamed throughout the ’90s and the majority of the ’00s, but after experiencing a career renaissance in 2008 with his work in the Coen brothers’ A Serious Man, he’s had regular work on both big and small screens ever since. In addition to popping up on Childrens Hospital and making a variety of other one-off appearances up and down the dial, Melamed has most recently been found around the streaming scene: he had a recurring role on Hulu’s Casual, and next year he’ll be co-starring with … [Read more...] about Fred Melamed on
For much of its modern history, science fiction has had a particular fascination with engineering, with authors and artists imagining fantastic, massive structures in the depths of space. Here are 10 of them, from incredibly large to unbelievably massive. Advertisement 1) Space Elevator Heralded as one of the ways to open up access to space permanently and cheaply, a space elevator is an anchored tether that extends into low orbit, allowing a car to carry people and cargo into space. First conceived of as early as 1895, the space elevator is probably the easiest (and cheapest) to construct, with numerous studies already conducted on the feasibility of such a structure. The construction of such a structure would require extremely strong materials. Another take on the concept is an Orbital Ring, cooked up by Nikola Tesla in the 1870s, which is a massive structure which circles the Earth, with tethers fixed to the ground that act as elevators. Advertisement Because they’re … [Read more...] about 10 Theoretical Megastructures, From Big to Massive
The assignment: Frank Zappa “I hate to see anybody with a closed mind on any topic. I just feel sorry that they’re missing out on a lot of good stuff that’s happened since 1967.” Frank Zappa said this once in a TV interview, calling out, with usual Zappa-ian disdain, the fickle audiences who had once so embraced his group The Mothers Of Invention, but were now indifferent to—even openly hostile toward—his more experimental solo career. It was a typical Zappa gripe, blaming any criticism not on some actual estimation of his music, but rather on a deeper psychological hang-up or maybe even a broader sociopolitical ill. “I do my music for people who like music,” Zappa said on another occasion, haughtily throwing down a bigger gauntlet. There’s nothing wrong with Frank Zappa or his music, his basic philosophy went. If you don’t like it, there’s something wrong with you. Zappa’s lament could well serve as the epigraph … [Read more...] about Can you be a fan of Frank Zappa but not his music?