The Culture

The Killing Season 3 Finale:
Two Brilliant Hours Of TV

the-killing-season-3-finale-03

Last night marked the Season 3 finale of The Killing. Veena Sud and crew (the show’s creator and her team of writers and producers) delivered up two brilliant hours of TV. It was a tour de force of acting, writing, directing, and all around storytelling, a master class for anyone curious, as I am, about the things that TV can do.

Of course reasonable people might disagree. In fact, the LA Times’ Blake Hennon skewered the episode here, though for my money, Hennon commits the same era regarding The Killing that one of my TV writer friends made about the last season of Homeland, that other brilliant, emotionally-heightened serious that captures the reality of life through the fine art of exaggeration: he imagines that the far-fetched isn’t ripe narrative fodder.

True enough, a person in her right mind would not carry on an affair with terror suspect Nicholas Brody, the way Claire Dane’s Carrie does on Homeland, and she would not wander into the clutches of nefarious casino owners with something to hide — with no backup to boot — the way Mireille Enos’s Sarah Linden did in The Killing’s Season 2, but since when are characters in fiction in their right mind — and since when is creating a character, or story, that’s larger than life a narrative crime? What is fiction, after all, at least in literature and movies, if not always on TV, but a heightened, compacted, dare I say exaggerated rendering of reality, one that, by refusing to hew to the dictates of common sense, illumines the essential folly of the human condition in ways that a plodding mimicry of our lives (as the more cautious among us actually live it) cannot.

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“Magna Carta Holy Grail”
& Why Jay-Z’s My Daddy

I’ve given up hating for good. Not that I was ever much for the hating game, but I have my opinions, shall we say, and they’ve fallen hardest on the things in life that seem, to my overwrought eyes, a little slim on substance, if you know what I mean. I have a deep thinking, philosophical bent, which does have its place, but as I sink into the sweet spot of my own creativity — something that’s been happening like hot cakes these last several months — my appreciation for those who boil it down to the essence of things only grows. Not that you’ll find me lining up any time soon for any surface-only thing. I still want there to be there there. But these days, I’m as ready to engage the signifier of a thing as I am to plumb the deeper, murkier depths, which is another, wordier way of saying, I have fallen hard for the braggadocio and metaphoric freestyle that is hip hop — and no one emblemizes that more than my new role model (a.k.a. “my daddy”) Jay-Z, whose 12th solo studio album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail”, dropped on July 4th, to an intriguing and mixed passel of reviews.

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Kim Gordon & How To Rock On
At Every Age

Kim Gordon In Elle

In Elle Magazine’s May Women In Music Issue, Lizzy Goodman wrote a profile on Kim Gordon, founder and singer/songwriter/bass and guitar player of Sonic Youth, that put the lie to any notion any of us may have that it’s “too late,” that our opportunities have passed us by, that the choices we made in the early days of our youth have locked us in, like cement, that we aren’t still perfectly free to make a glorious,  noise for the next decades of our lives. She’s a reminder to rock on until the stone’s rolled over our grave or our bodies are set ablaze, whichever the case may be, and an exemplar of what it looks like, in the words of Fleetwood Mac, to “handle the seasons of [our] li[ves].”

Gordon at 59 has started a new band, is painting like a fiend, and she’s dating again, being squired about by younger men, a restauranteur, actor and architect among them, following the end of he long marriage to Thurston Moore, her Sonic Youth co-founder and bandmate, and father of her young adult daughter Coco. The marriage ended as these things sometimes do — a midlife crisis, an affair with another woman, counseling, Thurston’s unwillingness, or inability, to leave the other woman so as to knit his family back into a piece.  Gordon is honest about the toll this loss took, and it’s her honesty that makes this next turn of her professional and personal screw so instructive for the many of us who, having taken a hit or two by the time we were 30 or 40 or 50 or so, wonder not so much how we can get back up and keep going — there’s something innate in the human survival instinct that allows us to do that — but how we can rise like a phoenix from the ash and set this world ablaze.

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Dreams and Stepping Stones:
My First Appearance On
HuffPost Live

One of my dreams is to build a speaking career and to also do a bit of in-front-of-the-camera TV, perhaps hosting a show, or doing something I haven’t thought of that’s yet to be revealed.

Well, yesterday, thanks to an introduction from the HuffPost Live post Nancy Redd (one of the loveliest people I’ve met), I had my first opportunity to appear on HuffPost live in a minor supporting role on HuffPost Live host Alyona Minkovski’s show. She had Nurse Jackie star Adam Ferrara in studio (he’s playing Jackie’s love interest this season, for those of you who watch the show), and I was invited to pop in to hangout and ask a question or two. I’ve done radio before, but this is my first piece of on-camera “tape” and I’m over the moon to have been asked, and to have had the opportunity to stick my toe in the on-camera waters with such a kind and generous host and star. Fun was had. And now, onward!

P.S. If you’d like to see the video in its natural environs (and if you click on “Expand Segment Info” you can also read a little blurb about me, click here.

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Comey + Somma & The Art Of Place

Rodarte Opie Soth

I love unexpected collaborations, like the 2011 collaboration among the innovative fashion design and sibling duo Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the native California born geniuses behind Rodarte, the California photographer Catherine Opie, whose documentary-style work takes on social-political themes, like the theme of community, which shows itself in her portraits of the LGBT community, surf community and high school football player community, and Alec Soth, the midwest-born photographer known for his large-scale American projects, which feature the midwestern United States and are known for their cinematic feel, folkloric elements that hint at a story behind the image, and an interest when focusing on human subjecst on what the New York Times art critic Hilarie M. Sheets calls “loners and dreamers.” The Rodarte-Opie-Soth collaboration was a homage to a certain California landscape and a certain California way of entering into life.

Comey + Somma 2

California figures in another collaboration that caught my eye when it was featured this week in T Magazine — between the swimsuit designer Rachel Comey and her old friend and former roommate, photographer Willy Somma.

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