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All the posts on www.papermag.com.

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    Greetings, rose lovers! Welcome to the eleventh season of The Bachelorette, which brings us the tantalizing, misogynistic concept of casting two bachelorettes, Kaitlyn and Britt. After night one the 25 men will vote on who will make the better wife and remain on the show. Having been summarily rejected, the other woman will go home.

    "Some [viewers] are downright angry, but change is never easy," tempers Bachelorette host Chris Harrison of this season's new concept, resplendent in his three-piece suit and rich white confidence, somehow making this sound like some kind of suffrage movement. "It wasn't fair to make that decision for the men," he continues, which I actually can't think about too much because of anger.

    How do the ladies in question feel?

    "If I go home it's going to be the worst thing in the world." -Kaitlyn

    "I'll be devastated if I have to go home." -Britt

    Three cheers for rational thinking! To recap, Kaitlyn is the fun-loving, swearing, joke-making guy's girl and Britt is a Hollywood waitress who doesn't sound as sincere as she thinks she does and looks like Ariana Grande will when she hits her growth spurt. Sorry guys! #TeamKaitlyn over here.

    Now let's meet some of the "most eligible Bachelors in America." To greet them, Britt and Kaitlyn stand that perfect distance apart where you can overhear everything the other person is saying, but get to pretend like you don't.


    shawnb430.1x1.jpgShawn. B, 28, a personal trainer from Connecticut.
    Ladies and gentlemen, we have a contender. Shawn B. rolls in looking like a watered down version of Ryan Gosling, which is still saying something. Britt immediately seems super into him and it seems mutual, but he gives us the ol' bait and switch and loudly tells Kaitlyn she's the reason why he's here.

    jonathan430.1x1.jpgJonathan, 33, an automotive spokesman from Detroit.
    Jonathan has a five-year-old son and is looking for that forever love, ideally with Britt.

    joe430.1x1.jpgJoe, 28, an insurance agent from Kentucky.
    Joe has a real thick southern drawl, hair that truly stands up on end and an extremely obese chocolate lab. He's #TeamKaitlyn

    Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 2.08.33 PM.pngJosh, 27 a lawyer/stripper from Chicago.
    Josh has very close-set eyes and says that stripping is "one of the best feelings I've ever had." Josh has many tattoos including one across his abdomen, which he makes the women caress upon meeting them.

    brady430.1x1.jpgBrady, 33, a singer/songwriter from Nashville.
    "I've always had melodies inside me," Brady declares, but don't we all? Brady is all-in on Britt.

    joshua430.1x1.jpgJoshua, 31, an industrial welder from Idaho.
    Josh splits a block of wood like a pro and comes equipped with his own expertly welded metal rose. He's got two bulldogs, a pleasing demeanor, and is here for Kaitlyn. I like Joshua.

    Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 2.12.27 PM.pngIan, 28, an executive recruiter from Venice Beach.
    A Princeton grad, Ian was a track star before getting into a very serious car accident. Ian is well-spoken, handsome and is absolutely here for Kaitlyn. I'm getting future Bachelor vibes from Ian already.

    Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 2.14.51 PM.png
    Jared, 26, a restaurant manager from Rhode Island.
    Jared says that he's single because "I'm the type of person who knows what they want," which is absolutely something every single person tells themselves repeatedly.

    Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 2.15.41 PM.pngTony, 35, a "healer" from Missouri
    Oh, Tony. Tony is very spiritual, kisses his plants goodbye and shows up on the first night with an unexplained black eye and gives both ladies the same line, neither of which stops Britt from telling him she "has a strong sense of who you are."

    Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 2.16.37 PM.pngBen Z, 35, an entrepreneur from San Jose.
    By "entrepreneur" Ben Z. really means personal trainer, but his mom died when he was 14 so that's all the snark I have for him.

    Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 2.17.33 PM.pngBen H., 26 a software salesman from Denver.
    First out of the limo, Ben first goes to Kaitlyn but bonds with Britt over both sponsoring children, which causes her to clasp both hands over her heart. Classic Britt!

    Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 2.18.44 PM.pngRyan B., 32, a realtor from Florida.
    Ryan B. strolls up to Britt and greets her by saying "Hi Disney princess" which, while actually pretty accurate, is still real gross.

    Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 2.19.43 PM.pngKupah, 32, an entrepreneur from Boston.
    I was pretty excited about Kupah, given his name and his answer of "FOOOOOOOORRRRRRRREEEEEEEVEEEEEEEER," in his bio on what marriage means to him, but when he (unsurprisingly) said Britt would make a better trophy wife he lost me.

    At this point, we're getting a very pro-Britt edit from the producers. There's about a five minute stretch of Britt being greeted first and receiving complement after complement as Kaitlyn stands awkwardly by, but I'm sensing a red herring.

    Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 2.22.37 PM.pngJJ, 32, a former investment banker from Denver.
    I'm pretty sure his occupation currently means unemployed, but JJ did say "I would love to puck you" while handing Kaitlyn a hockey puck, and that went over well. However, he later says Britt is the prettiest girl he's ever seen.
     


    Ryan M., a junkyard specialist from Kansas City.

    We'll get to Ryan M. in a bit. Let's just say he quickly became "that guy" and managed to inappropriately touch Kaitlyn on the first night-- impressive!

    Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 2.24.53 PM.pngTanner, 28, an auto finance manager from Kansas City.
    Tanner very expertly negs Britt, giving her a pack of tissues due to all of her dramatic crying last season. She doesn't really pick up on the neg-iness of this move until later, leaving Tanner to quickly proclaim he's here for Kaitlyn.

    Spontaneity alert! Kaitlyn wisely dashes into the mansion to tell the gathered dudes she's glad they're here, which Britt feels is "kind of cheating." Well, tough cookies Britt-- life isn't fair, as evidenced by, oh, I don't know, this season's entire concept?



    Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 2.26.12 PM.pngCorey, 30, an investment banker from NYC.
    Corey plays competitive beach volleyball, which in New York City probably means you're rich.
     
    Let's pause to chat about the drunken antics of Ryan M., who calls the ladies "ho's" and asks JJ "Why am I not raping you right now?" after he questions whether or not he needs to keep drinking. He caps everything off by slapping Kaitlyn on the ass, knocking down her portrait and throwing his rose at the wall before getting kicked out by Chris Harrison. He also used to date Nikki, the winner from Juan Pablo's season. Stay classy, Bachelor producers!



    Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 2.27.10 PM.png
    Shawn E., an amateur sex coach from Ontario.
    I wouldn't want to brag about being an amateur in my chosen profession, but that's just me. Shawn also shows up in a hot tub car, the mechanics of which escape me, but it was pretty cool.

    Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 2.28.22 PM.pngChris, 28, a dentist from Nashville.
    Chris whizzes up in a motorized cupcake because he's a dentist and sweet things, get it?
     


    To kick off the cocktail party, where contestants get to know the bachelorettes, Kaitlyn tells a pretty solid joke:
    "Knock, knock"
    "Who's there?"
    "Two bachelorettes!"
    "Two bachelorettes who?"
    "That's the joke!"
    And it truly is indeed. Britt reads this as Kaitlyn not taking this seriously enough, but I read it as Kaitlyn having a sense of humor. I'd say about 40% of the guys got it. The ladies break off to get to know the guys more, and it's clear we're pitting the funny girl who may not be taking this seriously enough against the pretty girl who's there for the right reasons, neither of which is a fair estimation of either lady.

    As the night progresses the ladies try and squeeze in time with all of the guys, giving them embarrassing elevator pitches as they try and convince the guys to choose them. The guys seem to be pretty split down the middle on whom they'll choose, with each lady having a couple ride-or-dies (Ian and poor man's Ryan Gosling for Kaitlyn, Brady and Jonathan for Britt) but most are edited to say kind words about both ladies. A good number of the guys seem pretty uncomfortable with this nightmare scenario, but it's soon that time. Chris Harrison shows up to open up voting, in which the men will insert a rose into the box of their chosen lady. Yes, you read that right. In their box."I have to go and prove myself as wife material so they go put a rose in my box, it's very bizarre," Britt accurately summarizes.

    How horribly entertaining. We'll have to wait until tonight to see who our chosen lady will be, so check back in with us tomorrow -- until then! 

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    After a particularly brutal winter, spring couldn't be more welcome in NYC. Across town, New Yorkers who spent the winter cooped up with their lap-tops indoors are starting to emerge bleary-eyed and ready to have some fun. In honor of this particularly fabulous nightlife time of the year, we hooked up with Coach and some of our favorite creative young women for a night out on the town, and, honestly, we're still recovering. Artist Austyn Weiner took us insider= her studio where she creates stunning paintings that have made fans of Cara Delevingne and Gigi Hadid. DJ Alix Brown showed us how to keep the party going at a buzzy East Village den and in-demand stylist Solange Franklin took us out in Williamsburg. See all of the girls in action below. 

    ALIX8-1.gifAlix Brown


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    51a0d1849934c59738.jpgHere's the origin story for a debate about nerds--in an interview with Radio Times, Simon Pegg, an actor and writer strongly identified with geek culture through his participation in the Star Trek franchise (he's taking over the script for the next film), role in Doctor Who (as a villain in an early episode), and work in several homage-filled cult favorites (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, World's End, and beloved show Spaced), bemoans the state of geek culture:

    "I'm very much a self-confessed fan of science-fiction and genre cinema. But part of me looks at society as it is now and thinks we've been infantilised by our own taste. We're essentially all consuming very childish things - comic books, superheroes... Adults are watching this stuff, and taking it seriously!

    "It is a kind of dumbing down because it's taking our focus away from real-world issues. Films used to be about challenging, emotional journeys. Now we're really not thinking about anything, other than the fact that the Hulk just had a fight with a robot."
    Some people got very, very mad about these really not particularly inflammatory comments--in particular, Katherine Trendacosta at i09, who tries to assign ulterior motives to Pegg after rattling off some kneejerk responses defending the totality of science fiction, something Pegg does not attack. She writes that Pegg seems like a man who "wonders if he's thrown his whole life away on them. And that he thinks he's been infantilized by his association with the genre." But Trendacosta finds her reaction to Pegg so obvious that "it took literally seconds for me to come up with them." Talk about a Hulk-robot fight.

    In his reply to the flareup (which also effectively cites Baudrillard), Pegg further identifies the problem as one of focus on grandiosity, of shooting for the moon simply by saying "Let's just spend a lot of money to put the moon in the movie." He says, "I guess what I meant was, the more spectacle becomes the driving creative priority, the less thoughtful or challenging the films can become." He's right: Liking something because it has ties to something you love or once loved--whether by sharing a name or wearing the same costume--is bad. It makes your attention easy to buy, and even easier to sell. It precludes, in many cases, the creation of original work that is both more clearly of its moment and capable of forcing new thoughts and codifying new ideas in ways that demand adaptation and intelligence and nimble ideas--the very things for which speculative fiction often serves as a valve, and which are lost when the trappings of the genre overwhelm its substance.

    This is not a new reaction (not even to this particular controversy). But it is one of many, many reasons why fandom--at least in the way it exists right now, within an easily manipulablenerd subculture--is bad, flat-out and straight up. In his reply, Pegg writes that, of course he loves lots of genre entertainment--just the smart stuff. Still, he doesn't go far enough to separate the content of the art from the attitudes of the people who like it. "Nobody could accuse Game of Thrones of being childish," he says, and he's right. Game of Thrones isn't childish (gratuitous nude shots for 13-year-old boys aside), but its fans sure are. These are the are the sorts of readily monetizable attitudes that lead people to get mad about an all-women Ghostbusters team, track with zealous sports-like fandom whether a movie with a superhero "won" the box office, or facilitate the revival of half of the TV from the past two decades.

    Of course, there are lots of rebooted or updated franchises that have valuable intellectual content--Pegg cites the latest Mad Max film, in particular--which mostly goes to show that broad statements about this kind of thing, or really broad judgments about any kind of art in general, are always misguided. Specificity is the name of the game here, and where we can be guided by general preferences, allowing your taste to be reduced to a series of checkable boxes--"robot,""Hulk," or "fight"--is to allow yourself to become those boxes. That's why "Taste," or developing a sense for what one likes and does not like, is the key concept in Pegg's initial comments, and the one that's missing from Trendacosta's response.

    It's not about what you like, it's about how you like it, and why. The mere fact of something being a Star Wars movie or set in the Marvel Universe or whatever is, too often, enough to get people interested in it, rather than simply having them gravitate toward quality of any kind (or especially toward quality of this kind). Developing taste to the point of constant disappointment is sad, and it makes constant engagement with pop culture exhausting and frequently depressing, but it also raises everyone's standards and prevents them from aggressively liking trash. Ceasing to transform "pretty good" into "awesome" makes the moments when something genuinely great comes along all the more powerful.

    Again: People make these kinds of complaints all the time, so there's no reason to expect that it will mean more coming from Simon Pegg. But if his status as a fixture of nerd culture (and his work on the new Star Trek) helps move this conversation forward on actually changing the way people interact with art, it'll be the rare necessary reboot.

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    Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 5.38.37 PM.pngLast night on Fox was the two-episode finale of The Following -- it probably won't get the lengthy TV recaps that Mad Men received....or the pithy think pieces in newspapers and magazines. But it was a solid final two hours of shocks, surprises, suspense and a dip into the icy waters of a universe ripe with demented psychopaths and the brave souls trying to take them down. This series was a runaway hit when it premiered for the first season. Created by Kevin Williamson it introduced the dark universe of Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) -- the FBI guy who captured wily serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) and had a pacemaker to show for it. He is lured out of retirement when Carroll escapes from jail only to discover that Joe has created a network of like-minded murderers to help with his plan of spreading his special brand of chaos and death. Purefoy was a blast as the erudite, handsome, former college professor and Edgar Allen Poe enthusiast, and the show was overflowing with every shade of loony murderer -- all played to the hilt by terrific actors, and shot here in New York.

    The second season introduced the crazy twins (played with scary/witty brilliance by Sam Underwood) and their equally mental mom (Connie Nielsen). But the ratings slipped during the third season, and it's a damn shame because you really got to see how great Kevin Bacon could be as an actor -- slipping off the wagon into alcoholism while trying to maintain a stable relationship and bring to justice a new series of fearful threats. I remember seeing a young Kevin Bacon at the Perry Street Theater in a staggering production of Alan Bowne's devastating play Forty Deuce years ago, and Bacon was just unforgettable as a junkie hustler. When his star ascended later in movies like Footloose I was not surprised. But watching him through these three seasons as the tormented deeply flawed Hardy was just thrilling.

    One of the new main bad guys this season was a man who slipped in and out of a million identities to mask his psychopathic tendencies -- Theo. And actor Michael Ealy was absolutely brilliant in the role -- sexy, dangerous, utterly mesmerizing. Too briefly on the small screen was his sister Penny (the gorgeous and scene-stealing Megalyn Echikunwoke). As Ryan Hardy's cousin Max, Jessica Stowe was always intense and wonderful and Shawn Ashmore was consistently terrific as dogged agent Mike Weston. This season also had one of the show's finest moments -- the death by lethal injection of Joe Carroll which played out with unexpected pathos and horror. You really wanted to see that character get his -- but the actual experience was beyond disturbing.

    Now I'm not getting into the specifics of the final moments of the show (no spoilers here) but it saddens me that The Following was cancelled because I can only half imagine what was to be for another season -- especially targeting wealthy, well-connected killers who would be difficult and dangerous to unmask. But at least for three seasons we were able to watch Kevin Bacon turn a heartbreaking portrait of a flawed but righteous soul and revel in many pulse-pounding moments of great TV. So I do say a begrudging "Nevermore" as this show disappears but I'm really going to miss its genuinely creepy charm.


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    mia.jpg
    Rapper/singer M.I.A. has been accused of cultural appropriation and has taken to Twitter to talk about it.

    According to initial reports, an unnamed party (which many are speculating to be her label, Interscope) is blocking the release of (what has been presumed to be) her "Platforms" video. 

    From her tweets, it seems that the main issues lie within the use of an African dancer shot in the Ivory Coast, though it's really, really difficult to tell what exactly the problem is as Interscope has yet to comment on why they pulled the clip or whether the dancer had any creative agency. Plus, the official Soundcloud stream has been taken down (though it still lives on via a few low quality YouTube rips).

     
    So what to think? After all, M.I.A. isn't exactly innocent re: cultural appropriation, seeing as how her 2012 video for "Bad Girls" garnered criticism for its token portrayal of Arab women decked with headscarves and AK-47s, as well as her penchant for penning songs that treat foreign struggles as narrative tools (i.e. "20 Dollar" about Liberia's lax gun culture). Not to mention the obvious fact that as a rapper with influences like Jamaican dancehall and London inner-city grime, she profits handsomely off of traditionally black artforms -- all while singing patronizing lines like "I put people on the map that never seen a map." After all, the undertones that belong to her general "aesthetic of the global south" is complicated to say the least, seeing as how she's basically imbued herself with the power to speak for all these cultural movements she's not a part of, but then again, what exactly does that mean for "Platforms"? Is this all just a continuation of what Ayesha A. Siddiqi argues is actually just a misunderstanding of her mission? 

    But seeing as how Interscope has remained silent on Madonna's appropriative use of black rights icons for the Rebel Heart promotional materials and Gwen Stefani's entire existence (from bindis to Harajuku Girls), one has to wonder how bad this video would actually have to be. After all, it's (obviously) never alright to utilize another culture for one's own purposes and one should always keep in mind that there's a stark difference between exploitation and inspiration no matter where your heritage hails from. But what exactly was so bad by Interscope's standards that the video couldn't even see the light of day? Here's to hoping the leak's around here somewhere...

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    Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 5.24.55 PM.pngLast week we brought you Diplo and Grandtheft's remix of Rihanna's take-no-prisoners jam, "Bitch Better Have My Money" (or "BBHMM" as its better known) and today we get another version by trap kings Flosstradamus. It starts with a pulsing, glitch-y drumbeat before switching to some shimmery synths and building to a bass drop at around the 1:07 mark. If you're looking for a Tuesday night pre-game track, look no more.


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    marina.jpg
    Long before the first inklings of Tidal, Jay Z sent the blogosphere alight in 2013 when he spent six hours at New York's Pace Gallery performing his track "Picasso Baby" to promote his album Magna Carta Holy Grail. Inspired by renowned performance artist Marina Abramovic's MoMA piece "The Artist is Present," in which she spent three months of 2010 sitting in the museum, Jay apparently agreed to help the artist out with the Marina Abramovic Institute in exchange for adapting her project. A bargain that Abramovic recently revealed was a "one-way transaction."

    In a new interview with Spike Art Magazine, Abramovic said it was something she would never do again, as Jay basically acted as an economic succubus -- using Abramovic's idea as "an economic model" that left eager participants (who were promised that it was an exclusive event) with "nothing." Calling herself "naive in this kind of world," she said she had no idea that something this "cruel" would happen, saying at one point that she was "very pissed." So much for a feel-good spirit of artistic collaboration.


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    07letterman-oloizia-tmagArticle.jpgBy now, your eyes are probably bloodshot from reading Letterman tributes, and here comes another one, of sorts. It's not an ode to the greatness of Letterman, but to his flagship comedy bit: The Top Ten list.

    In just about every show for 30 years, David Letterman has delivered a Top Ten list. His nightly desk segment has served his show well as a vehicle for a quick onslaught of 10 concise jokes. Now, Letterman may not be the King of Late Night -- a hollow title that belongs eternally to Johnny Carson -- but with the Top Ten list, he launched the ultimate late-night bit. Carson had Carnac, Leno had Headlines, and Conan had In the Year 2000, but Letterman's Top Ten list is truly the king of talk-show desk pieces.

    As a kid, I was too young to stay up and watch Letterman on Late Night, but somehow the books of Top Ten lists that his NBC show produced found their way into my hands. I obsessed over those books in grade school, memorizing the lists and passing off the jokes as my own -- as if my fellow fifth graders actually thought I was coming up with the Top Ten Serial Killer Pet Peeves (Number 2: "When you finally meet someone you really like, you always end up killing them") or the Top Ten Least Popular Christmas Gifts (Number 10: "Andre the Giant Champagne").

    Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 5.04.34 PM.png(The author's collection of Top Ten books.)

    Letterman's books kicked off my status as a comedy nerd. And I wasn't alone. Throughout the '90s, Letterman's four Top Ten books (all best sellers) were ubiquitous in bathrooms across America. It was like toilet tanks came with a Letterman Top Ten book installed on top.

    To this day, Letterman is pigeonholed as a broadcaster who only appeals to audiences on the coasts -- flyover country was solidly Leno -- but the simplicity and silliness of the Top Ten lists had a broad appeal. It doesn't take an intellectual to find the humor in the Top Ten Rejected Campbell Soup Slogans (Number 3: "Sure beats raw sewage"). On weekday mornings, local CBS news affiliates play Letterman's list from the night before (with the dirtier items edited out), as do morning-zoo radio shows and Sunday morning political talk shows. Some viewers bristle at the prickliness in Letterman's interviews or don't care for his opening monologue (something he ceded to Leno early on. Letterman never pandered during his monologue, and projected an "I have to tell these dumb jokes" attitude). But everyone understood the humor in his Top Ten lists.

    Letterman's Top Ten lists connected with a mass audience, largely because it's the bit where his native Indiana charm shines through. There was always something folksy about how he announced that the list was coming from the home office in Sioux City, Iowa, or Wahoo, Nebraska, or another Midwestern city. Although there were plenty of lists that took jabs at the Jets or taxi drivers or Times Square, most of the jokes could connect with anyone, anywhere, like the Top Ten Rejected Commercial Characters (Number 3: "Greyhound Gus, the Bus-Riding Drifter").



    When Letterman debuted the Top Ten list on September 18, 1985, Late Night had already been on NBC for three years. Watch the first list (Top Ten Things That Almost Rhyme With Peas. Number One: "Meats"), and it hardly feels like a bit that would become a staple of the show.

    For a Letterman geek, it's thrilling to watch that clip, as he spends a minute setting up the segment, not knowing that he'll do it nightly for three decades.

    In the late '80s, Letterman flirted with canning the Top Ten list and wasn't shy about expressing his distain for it with lists like Top Ten Reasons to Discontinue the Top Ten List (Number 2: "Complaints of drowsiness") and Top Ten Numbers Between One and Ten (Number 5: "Nine"). My dad, an armchair critic of the light-night shows, thought Letterman was making a mistake by doing the Top Ten every night. Why not do it once in a while, like Carson did with Carnac?

    But at the dawn of the '90s, Letterman was a hot commodity, and so was the Top Ten. People magazine published an article in 1990 titled: "The No. 1 Reason David Letterman Keeps Reading the Top 10 List -- Well, It's Funnier Than His Monologue" and in 1991, the Reading, Pennsylvania's newspaper, The Eagle, ran an article saying that with countless rip-offs, Letterman had created a list-crazy culture. (Take that, BuzzFeed!)



    In 1993, Letterman made the jump to CBS, and Top Ten list mania truly caught fire, even after NBC tried to block the bit due to intellectual-property law (a case that's still studied in law schools). As a 12-year-old, I was finally old enough to tune in at 11:30 and watch Letterman every night -- and I did. From his first list on the Late Show (Top Ten Ways the New Show Will Be Better. Number 8: "My new 'Rappin' Dave' character") to the countless celebrity walk-ons to deliver the list (like John Malkovich's Top Ten Things That Sound Creepy When Said By John Malkovich. Number 9: "I put my jammies on all by myself, Mommy!")

    And even though Letterman admits that he willfully let social media pass him by, in 2007 he had one of late-night comedy's first viral hits after his Top Ten George W. Bush Moments played at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

    In recent years, Letterman has pawned the Top Ten list off on guests he seemingly doesn't deem worthy of an interview: Survivor contestants, Heisman Trophy winners and the like. And Westwood One, the radio conglomerate, quietly stopped re-broadcasting the lists last year.

    Despite his occasional disdain for the bit, Letterman was a master at using the list in important moments, like the time when Johnny Carson made his final TV appearance by handing Letterman the blue index card in 1994. Or in the difficult first show back after 9/11 on September 17, 2001 (Top Ten Things That Almost Rhyme With Hat. Number 9: "Hats").

    On Friday night's show, Letterman's Top Ten list was another meta one: Top Ten Thoughts Going Through Dave's Mind While Presenting The Top Ten List. And the Number 1 thought on the list was a rare revealing joke/look into Letterman's psyche: "Johnny never had to do this shit." It is true that Carson never had to do that shit, but if he had a bit like Letterman's Top Ten -- a bit where he could rattle off 10 rapid-fire jokes a night -- Letterman's hero would have done it in a heartbeat.

    Ultimately, Letterman's Top Ten list is talk-show equivalent of Barry Bonds coming to the plate. He didn't hit a home run every time, but you always stayed in your seat to watch


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    Florence + the Machine have a new album coming out, and it can't come soon enough. Though the release strategy has been a slow series of tracks, if new song "Delilah" is what we can expect from the record, it'll be worth the wait.


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    The penultimate Late Show aired last night with guest Bill Murray, who was in peak Murray Mode. After jumping out of a cake and smearing frosting all over Letterman and audience members (stopping to kiss one woman on the mouth), the two did Slovenian vodka shots and reminisced about Caddy Shack. Later, Murray ran out into the streets of midtown, stopping traffic and singing John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance" with a group of strangers. He changed the lyrics to "All we are saying, is give Worldwide Pants." (The name of Letterman's production company.) It was a weird and wonderful send-off for a weird and wonderful show.
      

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    migos.jpg
    Some news to make your Wednesday whiz by a little faster: Migos and Rich The Kid have just dropped a new tape titled Still On Lock and it is all of the fire/siren/flash emojis. 

    Just a little something to tide you over till the trio and their legendary style release their much-anticipated debut YRN  in June, it's filled with the sparse, almost-sinister production you know and love your "Fight Night" boys for. And as a bonus, all 16 tracks are amplified by label mate Rich's manic flow, not to mention guest spots from the likes of OG Maco, Fetty Wap and Gucci Mane. 

    And as something we've been bumping non-stop this morning, Still On Lock just proves that even with an incarcerated Offset and Rich, there's no stopping these amigos. 

    Happy Humpday, y'all.

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    amywinehouse.jpg
    Time for a nice cry break in the office bathroom, because the full trailer for Asif Kapaida's controversial Amy Winehouse documentary has just been released.

    And from the looks of it so far, it's gonna be easy to get goosebumps from the touching collection of highlights that includes moments from her tumultuous personal life, as well as insight into her childhood and rise to fame before her untimely death at 27 from alcohol poisoning. Featuring a mix of personal, live and archival footage, it was met with rave reviews at its Cannes debut this week from reviewers who praised its tender touch (despite the fact that Winehouse's family slammed it is as "both misleading and [containing] some basic untruths").

    The film is out for nationwide US release on July 10th.  After all, she did always say you'd know when she'd be back. 

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    Life Ball, the annual Vienna bacchanal that raises money for AIDS charities, took place over the weekend and, per usual, was a visual overload. Anchored by a massive party inside (and in front of) the Austrian capital's City Hall, the ball also featured a dazzling fashion show by Jean Paul Gaultier. This year's motto (which also serves as a style guide for the ball's guests) was "Gold -- Ver Sacrum | Santa Primavera | Sacre du Printemps" and, according to the event's organizers, nodded to the Ancient Roman "spring festival to which a group of young men were sent to found tribal communities in line with new standards and ideas" and which would go on to inspire a group of turn-of-the-century Austrian artists, intellectuals and activists who called themselves the Secessionists and whose members included painter Gustav Klimt. Along those lines, attendees were dressed to the nines in everything from gold body paint, ancient Roman military garb and outfits inspired by Klimt's painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer, known informally as "The Woman In Gold." Photographer Marco Ovando was on hand to capture all the excitement that started from the moment a bunch of New Yorkers boarded a transcontinental party plane and continued through backstage preparations for Gaultier's show, guests' arrival to the ball and, of course, the bonanza inside. Take a look, below.


    Models


    Kelly Osbourne gets an eyeful (and handful) of Amanda Lepore's most famous assets onboard the Life Ball party plane


    Guests arrive to the ball


    Guests


    Guests


    Ellen von Unwerth (far left)


    Life Ball founder Gery Keszler and Conchita Wurst


    Amanda Lepore (right)




    Anda Lepore (center) and models


    A model backstage before the Gaultier show



    Paula Abdul, Kelly Osbourne and Carmen Electra


    A model backstage before the Gaultier show


    Dita Von Teese


    Carmen Carrera



    Jean Paul Gaultier and Francesca von Habsburg


    Amanda Lepore

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    Right on the tail of the Not For Sale remix compilation Brenmar released last week (which also has a brappin' Bitch Better Have My Money spin), the Chicago producer's back with his official remix of Charli XCX's clap-inducing single "Famous."

    Retooling her original "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" nod, "Famous," into something a tad trappier, Brenmar chops up the perky, pop perfect original and stilts it into something darker. And while there may not be a emojified, Eric Wareheim-directed video like the original, it's definitely still going to be the soundtrack to many an underground party this summer. Let's just hope no aging fuccbois make an apperance.

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  • 05/20/15--05:45: Scenes From RuPaul's DragCon
  • RuPaul's DragCon -- billed as the "first drag convention in herstory" -- took place this past weekend in LA and there were loads of queens, both famous faces from Drag Race and local stars, sashaying around the convention center in amazing lewks. We had Albert Sanchez and Pedro Zalba scope out the action and shoot the goings-on. Take a peek at pics of Bianca Del Rio, Milk, Jiggly Caliente, and more.


    Bianca Del Rio


    Mika Holly White


    Jiggly Caliente


    A Weaven Steven model


    Brendan Jordan


    Pearl


    Violet Chachki


    India Ferra


    Miss Lacey Noel


    James St. James


    The Boulet Brothers and Daniel Demented


    Juicy


    Jinkx Monsoon


    Detox


    Yara Sophia


    Big Freedia


    Miss Fame


    Ivy Winters


    Sharon Needles


    Jakarta as Trixie


    Daniel Franzese


    Girtha Rotunda


    Milk


    Seth Bogart and Peggy Noland


    Julie Newmar


    Phi Phi O'Hara


    Sister Unity


    Bryce Rider


    Cassandra Cass


    Justin Parker

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    The latest track off A$AP Rocky's upcoming At. Long. Last. A$AP is here, and it's hopefully enough to tide you over before the album hits on June 2. The not-quite-love song is perfectly pre-summer pleasant, and, like seemingly everything else in TV and film these days, the accompanying video works hard to minimize obvious cuts and reduce the appearance of being edited for anything other than Enter the Void-style neon hallucinations, as Rocky drifts around town with a woman. The vibe works.


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    Forget the poppies, because scientists at (where else) UC Berkeley have created a yeast that turns sugar into opiates.

    In a new study recently published in Nature Chemical Biology, researchers from California and Canada have claimed to have developed genetically-modified strains of yeast that feast on sugars and turn them into opiates.

    Typically poppy seeds are synthesized with various enzymes to make drugs like heroin and morphine, but these new developments have the potential to streamline the process by bypassing slow-growing plants, which also produce small amounts of chemicals. In an accompanying op-ed, MIT political scientist Kenneth Oye also argued that this process could "enable the production of novel [pain-relieving] analgesics that are safer and less addictive," though on the other hand, there's obviously a danger of this increasing illicit drug use.

    Fortunately that's still a few years in the future, as only small amounts can be produced at the moment. However, scientists are confident they'll be able to develop strains that can make more within a few years, so who knows, maybe soon enough there'll be a safer way to stop and sniff the flowers.

    h/t Vice

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    Read our part-one recap from the Bachelorette's two-part premiere here

    As the men chat about which woman they rejected, Chris Harrison strides through the room to go chat with Britt, who's waiting by the fireplace, experiencing what has to be one of the worst cases of the scaries imaginable. In what is essentially The Bachelorette's idea of a cold open, Harrison, sans music, gets down to business after cruelly toying with her. "The majority of the men have chosen... one woman....who they can hopefully see a future with. Britt, unfortunately you're not going to be The Bachelorette."



    Here's the thing: I personally don't care for Britt, but to be rejected by what you statistically  know is over a dozen men is awful. It's sick. Britt spent her entire time on Chris's season auditioning for this role, and you can tell she wanted this in the way that Madonna wishes she could understand instagram.

    Britt's heartfelt reaction upon hearing the news is sad, and not just because she says one of her main ambitions in life is to get married. "I didn't see that coming at all. I want to be a wife more than anything in the world...I'm confused and tired. I don't know how many times you have to put your heart out there. I've never held anything back." If "I'm confused and tired" doesn't accurately sum up The Bachelor franchise, I don't know what does.

    On to better news! He pulls the same shtick with Kaitlyn ("unfortunately...I had to send Britt home") and if you ever have to show the emotion of relief to an alien, pull up this moment. But don't forget, we have a rose ceremony to get to!
     



    When Kaitlyn walks in, handsome Ian and the ghost of Ryan Gosling (fine, Shawn B.) leap up in cheers. Everyone applauds, and you can see the "oh-shit-I-didn't-pick-her-but-I'd-love-to-go-on-Bachelor-in-paradise-so-I-gotta-stick-around" realization dawn on many faces. Ian immediately spirits her away, and you can tell he has already decided they're perfect together, which is never really a good thing, but it's early. The industrial welder (Joshua) tries to act like he didn't wait to give his iron rose to whoever ended up winning, and all the other guys hastily try and put in time at what has to be 4 a.m. at this point. BYO amphetamines, contestants!

    Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 1.20.55 PM.png
    The tactics vary. Jared smartly tells her he voted for Britt but wants to get to know her, while Jonathan (who wins the Crazy Eyes Award for the season) rethinks his game plan. "There's only one drinking fountain and now we all must stand in the same line," says black-eyed healer Tony, a horrible analogy for both dating and segregation.

    Single-dad JJ somehow thinks his young daughter's future hinges on this very night. "My wife, my daughter, my future is woven out of what happens tonight," he incorrectly states, but Kaitlyn seems to dig the fact that he's a father. That, or she digs unavailable men. The first-impression rose and some lip service goes to Ryan Gosling's less attractive cousin (seriously, are they related? They even speak in the same slow, low drawl) and the dentist scores a kiss before the rose ceremony begins, putting Kaitlyn's first night makeout number at two.

    We probably all saw this coming, but mid-rose ceremony Brady, whose favorite band is Coldplay, asks Kaitlyn to chat with him outside. "If I'm honest with you and myself my heart is with the woman who left a couple hours ago," he fairly poetically tells her, and with that he's off to go see about a girl. No really, he actually used that line. Live your truth, Brady!



    Kaitlyn makes poor Ian literally sweat it out until almost the end for his rose, but ultimately sends home Shawn E. the "amateur sex coach," Josh the lawyer/stripper, and Bradley who had no real defining characteristics. I'm excited for the tattling that's about to commence on who voted for Britt and isn't here for her (Ian, you're up) but we need to talk about the trailer for this season because it is BANANAS.
     


    You can tell Joe (southern, large forehead, seems nice) and Jared (voted for Britt but came clean) either make it pretty far or are crazy, because both tell Kaitlyn they're falling in love with her, the inimitable Amy Schumer is on an episode, and we get some sunsets and makeouts before ominous music starts to play.

    "The emotions are just insane right now" drawls melted Ryan Gosling before Nick Viall, the runner-up in former Bachelorette Andi's season, who apparently joins the cast later on this season. You might remember Nick for publicly slut-shaming Andi when he mumbled on After the Final Rose "I don't understand why you made love with me when you weren't in love with me."

    Well, that's called dating Nick. On Andi's season none of the guys in the house liked him, and that's sure to be the case here. They seem to do a lot of making out though, so he clearly sticks around. But Nick's stupidity might be small potatoes compared to this season -- I viewed the trailer as one carefully-edited, extended slut shame.

    Just when you think the clip is wrapping up, we hear some heavy panting and a producer knocking on what is presumably Kaitlyn's door. A naked man runs down a lawn, Kaitlyn looks agonized on a balcony and lots of tears are shed. "I'm don't think I'm a bad person and I'm not ashamed of myself, but I do have other relationships and one of those went too far too fast and I made a huge mistake" we hear, before it seems like she tells the group of guys "It's hard for me to admit it, but we had sex." 

    Cue to tears from the guys, Ian telling her "I feel like you were here to make out with a bunch of guys on TV" (well, yeah, Ian) and lots of #sexregret from Kaitlyn before we're out. This from a show that quite obviously showed former Bachelor Juan Pablo having sex in the ocean mid-season, which was barely addressed.

    So, what happened? Did she sleep with a random guy, one of the contestants or none of the above? I find it hard to believe she'd just sleep with a random. Where would she even find the time, unless it's a producer? I also don't know why she'd tell all the dudes she slept with one of them, since that's pretty much just what one does on this show and isn't really anyone's business. Which leads me to believe we might have just gotten a really sneaky edit here. What if she is telling them about a past relationship? An experience that was somehow hurtful to her? I don't know, but I'm excited. Till next week!


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    Kids are, for the most part, the worst. Are they little bundles of joy that are capable of seeing the world in strange and beautiful ways? Sure, whatever -- they're also gross and cruel tiny monsters a lot of the time, so upcoming horror comedy Cooties, which centers on a zombie virus that only infects people who haven't gone through puberty, has a lot to work with. At the very least, the movie, directed by Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott, has assembled a great cast of teachers looking for revenge, including Elijah Wood, Alison Pill, Nasim Pedrad, and a delightfully over-the-top Rainn Wilson. Check out the trailer for Cooties, which hits theaters and video on demand September 18, below.

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    kimkanyebig.jpg
    (Photo via E!)

    As the anniversary of their first full year of sweet nuptial bliss approaches, Paper's Break the Internet covergirl Kim Kardashian sat down with Access Hollywood's Billy Bush to talk about her relationship with our current cover star, Kanye West.

    Sharing some intimate details for the first time, Kim talks about how the world's most famous couple actually got together -- and it wasn't because she heard Kanye sing about being in love with her on "Theraflu." (There was always something a little too 'ripped from reality TV plotlines' perfect about how the two were first spotted dating the very same day he released the track.)

    Instead, it was the result of a flirtation and initial attraction that had been smoldering beneath the surface for years after they worked on an ill-fated puppet TV show pilot together but the two superstars were initially hindered by bad timing and other relationships (most notably Kim's marriage to Kris Humphries). And, ultimately, Kim says she pursued Kanye and not the other way around.

    "I called [him] because I'm sure it was really hurtful that I got married and, even though it's not like we communicated all the time, I knew what he was thinking," she said. "So I thought he was going to call me as soon as he knew that I was single again. He didn't, and so I called him and I said, 'Hello? I thought you were at least going to call me and 'I told you so,' something?'"

    BFA_3231_349477.jpgPhoto proof of when "the magic happened" at Kanye's Fall 2012 fashion show in Paris. (Photo by Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com)

    But apparently it worked, as Ye invited K to Paris for his Fall 2012 fashion show, which is where Kim said the "magic happened." 

    And like all great relationships, they complement and encourage each other, whether it involves being bold or new business prospects. After all, Kim says that her partnership with Kanye has inspired her to stand up and push things in the direction she wants, especially with projects like her video game, which she says ended up being "the best thing I ever did." 

    Moral of the story: ask for what you want and then magic will happen.

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