November 23, 2010 • 3:56 pm
I don’t know how to rectify my antipathy towards Oprah with my adoration for the woman. Her pseudo-spiritual, self-help, consumer-is-king unapologetic-ness wears on me. But she has done amazing things for the publishing industry, so she ain’t all bad.
Yesterday her favorite things schtick reached an apex. I can’t help but crack up at her audience’s reaction to the announcement that they would receive the biggest and best of Oprah’s Favorite Things.
Reminds me of Sarah Palin and Tina Fey’s impression of Palin; in my mind, I can’t separate Oprah’s real audience crying, hugging, and pentecostal zeal from the Saturday Night Live skit in which her audience member’s head explodes from excitement.
Filed under: comedy, consumerism, pop culture, television, amy poehler, audience, favorite things, maya rudolph, oprah, sarah palin, saturday night live, snl, tina fey
November 8, 2010 • 10:39 am
I’m an unapologetic fan of The King of Pop. When I was a kid, I remember my role as the president of the Lewis and Clark Elementary School Breakdancing Club. Don’t tell me I wasn’t rocking those parachute pants and red zippered jacket.
When Jackson died last summer, I grieved half-jokingly, half-seriously, with the interns in my office and tried to explain the real significance of Thriller–its newness, its vitality, its boundary-crossing racial implications–when it first exploded in the 80s. The key was to ignore the crazy. Despite dangling his baby over the hotel balcony, and altering his face to extremes, the man was a genius–an artist doomed by his childhood success. With that kind of fame so early in life, who wouldn’t slip into fantasy worlds?
“Breaking News” is Michael Jackson’s first posthumously released single, recorded in 2007. The song sounds like Jackson in his Bad days: lots of sampling, driving rhythms, and Jackson’s trademark howl.
The cover art, designed by painter Kadir Nelson last year, seems an homage to the playful collage art in the Beatles’ legendary albums–though with a serious spin. According to Sony: “In the oil painting, Kadir – who is known for story telling through his art – takes us on a journey through some key moments and important people in Michael Jackson’s life.”
Long live the King of Pop!
Filed under: music, pop culture, race, breakdancing, breaking news, king of pop, michael jackson, music, new release, thriller
October 31, 2010 • 3:01 pm
Dan Pink explains it all for you. Think money’s the best motivator? That the bigger the reward, the better the performance?
Autonomy, mastery, sense of purpose: research shows that these oftentimes undervalued notions are greater incentivizers than simple cash. From studies on some smart kids at M.I.T. to the purpose-filled mission of the founder of Skype, the ability to work under one’s own direction–or the joy in accomplishing a task (no matter if it’s brain surgery or fixing a drain)–or the sense that our work results in more than a simple monetary equivalent: Pink notes that autonomy, mastery, and sense of purpose are far more powerful tools of motivation than either the carrot or the stick.
One of my favorite bits in Pink’s talk is the anecdote about software developers who are given free reign over their project, their collaborators, their time management–as long as they can present the fruit of their labor within 24 hours.
This lively animated video, courtesy of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, is only one of their fantastic archive (I love the British organization’s tagline: “21st century enlightenment”). Great ideas presented in a lively, eye-catching form.
Filed under: business, labor, pop culture, science, work, autonomy, business, dan pink, management, mastery, motivation, purpose, royal society for the arts, rsa, work
October 13, 2010 • 8:24 pm
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Frightening photos, one per day, of a McDonald’s Happy Meal over the course of six months.
Artist Sally Davies tried a little experiment from the coffee table of her Manhattan apartment in April of this year. No mold or signs of life blemishing this food during the entire time-lapse project. Scary to watch. Makes you think twice before enjoying that addictive slab of factory-processed meat and genetically-modified potato.
Or does it?
Filed under: food, health, pop culture, art, fast, food, mcdonald's, sally davies