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Category Archives: Hedonism

Murder rocks Cape resort community in Hightown – Boston Herald

Posted: May 22, 2020 at 11:46 am

A life of hedonism is about to catch up to Jackie Quinones.

As played by Monica Raymund (Chicago Fire, Lie to Me) in the Starz drama Hightown, premiering Sunday, shes a National Marine Fisheries Service agent in the raucous LGBTQ resort town of Provincetown who drinks too much, snorts too much and has too many casual hook-ups with other women. But that changes when shes involved in a DUI crash that forces her into rehab to avoid a jail sentence.

Her life becomes even more complicated when she finds a young womans body washed up on the beach, presumably another casualty of Cape Cods opioid epidemic. Joining the investigation, she must contend with Sergeant Ray Abruzzo (James Badge Dale, 24), an abrasive member of the Capes Interagency Narcotics Unit, who isnt afraid to cross lines. He believes the murder is somehow connected to incarcerated drug lord Frankie Cuevas (Amaury Nolasco, Prison Break), so he gets close with Frankies baby mama Renee (Riley Voelkel, The Originals), a stripper.

As the lives of these and other characters involved in the murder run together, the toll that addictions can exact become apparent. Its a story series creator/executive producer Rebecca Cutter drew from many of her own experiences.

At Cape Cod, I grew up going to Provincetown in the summers, she said. My husbands from there. His father is a Fisheries Service agent. So certainly a lot of the background elements. I have been touched by opioid use around me. Im sober myself. So theres many elements from my life.

But the character of Jackie really did sort of come to me in a vision, she added. And I say that sincerely, like really it hit me. And thats not me. And thats the creative process, is creating that person and using the elements of myself that work and then letting a brilliant actress take it from there and inhabit it and make her real.

And Raymund was all too willing to oblige. In Jackie, she embraced the chance to play someone who is fighting her way back from rock bottom, an acting challenge and a role that she regards as a gift.

This role is really about battling my inner demons, she said, trying to find redemption, trying to fill something within me that I cant fill. I dont have a whole person yet. Im exploring that as the character of Jackie. And all of the characters, even though its centering around murder, were with these characters all throughout and see how they intersect. So, this story is the real deal.

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Zombies, Blaxploitation and Heavy Metal, Now Available to Stream – Nashville Scene

Posted: at 11:46 am

Heavy Metal Parking Lot

I hope youve found a way to figure out how to manage and express your emotions during this global crisis. This weeks offerings share a common theme of outrageousness. Nothing is sacred, and all emotional responses can be useful in figuring out the absolute moral truth of yourself (or as I call it, Mulholland Drive Syndrome). Check out this week's recommendations, along with links to trailers, below. Stay safe if you can, and visit past issues for more recommendations of what to stream:March 26, April 2, April 9, April 16, April 23, April 30, May 7, May 14.

One of the most essential and beloved documents of suburban 80s culture, Heavy Metal Parking Lot is a slice of life in the Landover, Md., Capital Centre parking lot before a 1986 Judas Priest concert. Its a portrait of humanity that never fails to entertain, to endear and to induce cringe. This is the joy of metal, and hedonism, and the power of power chords, and it has rightfully become immortal. Its also a trenchant illumination of Reagan-era white America that provokes necessary questions for the viewer watching with a critical eye. Its the sound of addled youth communing with their pleasure centers underneath the yoke of the daily fear of nuclear annihilation. Its also a testament to Rob Halfords power as a (then-closeted) icon who moved hearts and bodies in the midst of the AIDS pandemic, during which the emotionally lazy ignored an entire community to death with homophobia. Heavy Metal Parking Lot is all of that, but its also a great deal of fun, and if you havent found some kind of fashion inspiration whether a do or a dont by the time it winds up, then as your film-critic abstract friend, Im concerned.

Blood Quantum

Theres a worldwide outbreak of degenerative zombiism, and the only place where civilization is entrenched and resistance against the shredding, flesh-eating menace is holding is in a Mikmaq reservation in Canada. Something about the genetic markers in this plague have left First Nations peoples immune to this bite-borne pathogen, and so hordes of rampaging white zombies are out to destroy and consume everything. Director Jeff Barnaby made the singular Rhymes for Young Ghouls back in 2013, and he has a gift for artfully visceral mayhem as well as expressing the social history of indigenous people in a way that feels like an expos and an exorcism at the same time. If at times Blood Quantum slips into nihilistic Walking Dead-adjacent territory, it remains an essential horror film that gives the viewer unexplored angles on a scenario we think has been done to death. The first half-hour of this film is close to perfect, and it serves up gore and bleak atmosphere with style and verve. This was one of the secret surprises at the Belcourts 12 Hours of Terror overnight horror marathon in October, and it knocked the theater on its emotional ass.

Darktown Strutters is a legendary blaxploitation sci-fi musical allegory that deserves all the trigger warnings and content warnings despite having a playful and sweet spirit at its depraved core (and a 1975 PG rating, which can mean absolutely anything). The fact that this movie is even available to stream is staggering. Syreena (Trina Parks), leader of a Frazetta-ish motorcycle gang, is out to rescue her mother Cinderella (Frances E. Nealy) from a deranged and racist fast-food entrepreneur and his plantation fantasies. Along the way, there are pie fights with the police, car chases with the KKK, funk throwdowns, imprisoned R&B groups, a science-fiction conspiracy and amazing outfits that will inspire your deepest sartorial dreams. Darktown is for anyone who saw Blazing Saddles and thought, Are there any other movies that do this? With Frankie Crocker, The Dramatics and Dick Miller!

Petey Wheatstraw, the Devils Son-in-Law

The cinematic legacy of Rudy Ray Moore is thankfully within reach for pandemic-era streaming culture. The original Dolemite endures as a testament to persistence and recognizing an unfulfilled audience, but sometimes its OK to want a little more from the films you enjoy when it comes to narrative intricacy. The end result can often be something like Petey Wheatstraw, the Devils Son-in-Law. A riff on the story of Faust that also at times feels like a takedown of The Devil Went Down to Georgia, this film finds our murdered protagonist Petey pledging to wed the devils daughter in order to avenge himself (and the massacre of his funeral party) with the power of Satans pimp cane. Theres an army of kung fu demons, children in crisis, a punishing audition sequence and surrealist exercises of supernatural power. Its pretty awesome. And if you havent seen Dolemite Is My Name on Netflix, then you really should.

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Zombies, Blaxploitation and Heavy Metal, Now Available to Stream - Nashville Scene

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Alpina’s 2021 XB7 is the large ‘M’ performance SUV BMW won’t build itself – Driving

Posted: at 11:46 am

Say youre BMW, and youre unwilling to produce a true M-badged large SUV that would be one with the M in front of its alphanumeric designation rather than with the vaunted letter at the end, as with, say, the X7M 50i what do you do to satisfy the demand from you clientele for an even faster, more luxurious sport-brute?

Well, you turn to Alpina, your brother-from-another-mother while Alpina is recognized as a completely separate automaker, BMW does assemble certain of the companys cars with parts sent to its factories from Alpina and get them to upgrade your uber-SUV offerings. Hence, the new 2021 Alpina XB7, a, well, more luxurious and powerful version of BMWs flagship SUV.

So, starting with BMWs top-flight engine, the 523-horsepower 553-foot-pounds 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8, Alpina massages both turbochargers (using 53-millimetre turbochargers) and the cooling system larger intercoolers and then two extra coolers to handle all the extra horsepower to pump out a thoroughly stellar 612 hp and 590 lb.-ft. of torque.

That makes the XB7 one ginormous SUV capable of accelerating to 100 kilometres an hour from zero in 4.2 seconds, and scamper a full quarter-mile in just 12.6 seconds. A contextual note here: one of the biggest, baddest muscle cars of yore, 1969s Chevy Camaro ZL1, needed a little over 13 seconds to trip the lights fantastic. Indeed, so endowed is BMWs beastly SUV it needs to be limited to a 290 km/h top speed, lest it melt its tires.

Alpina doesnt stop there. The X7s eight-speed automatic transmission gets beefed up and the driver gains Alpinas Switch-Tronic wheel-mounted shift buttons. It also gains a larger oil sump so it can survive all that extra power. The XB7 also gains a beefier limited-slip rear axle Alpina claims 1,475 foot-pounds of locking torque to better handle the engines greater twist.

The 7s suspension also gets beefed-up rejigged dampers and springing. More importantly, said air suspension can be dramatically lowered for greater stability at speed. So, for instance, at speeds above 160 km/h, the XB7 hunkers down some 20 millimetres. Stretch its legs past 250 klicks and it squats down another 20 mils (40 mm in all, or about as much as a McLaren Senna does in Race mode) for seriously ground-hugging aerodynamics.

I was just testing my Sport+ modes air suspension, however, will not be a legal defense if you get caught exercising Alpinas new dimension in driving dynamics. And making sure that everyone understands how fast you could be going if you so chose, the XB7 runs on gargantuan 23-inch dubs, the rear Pirellis measuring an incredible 325/30ZR23.

And because it would not be an Alpina without some truly outrageous hedonism inside, the XB7s Merino leather seats, Alcantara headliner and leather instrument panel are joined by a Panorama Sky Lounge LED Roof, which according to BMW Canada, has LED lighting spread across the roofs glass surfaces to illuminate more than 15,000 graphic patterns and generate a display reminiscent of a starlit sky.

Lastly, though Alpina is technically a separate company, it will be sold through select BMW dealers in Canada and serviced by the same network. No price has been set, but considering that the B7 is a $53,300 jump from the basic 7 Series sedan, dont expect much change from $150,000.

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Royal snub: Why Wiliam felt ‘claustrophobic’ in relationship with Kate – Express

Posted: at 11:46 am

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have now been happily married for nine years, since their 2011 royal wedding. Now the proud parents of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, the hardworking couple are steadily increasing their royal workloads in support of the Queen as well as home-schooling George and Charlotte during lockdown.However, although they have a content family life together now, the royal couple had a few bugs along the way in their royal romance.

Veteran royal editor Robert Jobson, in his 2006 book Williams Princess, writes how by 2004, the strain of William and Kates final year at university was also putting pressure on their relationship.

Mr Jobson said: [Kate] had the same stresses and workload ahead of her as William. If anything, she always seemed the more studious of the two.

What apparently troubled her far more were Williams plans to travel overseas when his studies were over.

Instead of staying with her in Scotland during the month between the end of final examinations and graduation in June, he wanted to head off on his own.

Worse still for Kate was Williams claim that he felt claustrophobic and hemmed in by the relationship.

At a time when all around him students were playing the field, he had fallen into a comfortable coupling in his early years of university.

William would not be the first person to wonder if he were missing out on the rather innocent hedonism of university days by settling for somebody too soon.

Might he have met the right girl at the wrong time?

READ MORE:How Prince William's name for Michael Middleton 'prickles' Charles

Royal author Katie Nicholl, in her 2010 book William and Harry, also writes how Kate had doubts of her own about the relationship at this point.

Ms Nicholl writes how William wanted a break, and organised a boys-only yachting holiday in Greece from which Kate was excluded.

Meanwhile, she wrote: Kate was beginning to question Williams commitment to their relationship, and she also had her own creeping doubts about their future after St Andrews.

Ms Nicholl continued: A number of things had caused her to question Williams commitment, although she had not raised them with him yet.

One was Williams friendship with an American heiress called Anna Sloan.

She added: Anna had lost her father, businessman George Sloan, in a tragic shooting accident on the familys 360-acre estate in Nashville, and she and William had bonded over the loss of their parents.

When Anna invited William and a group of friends to Texas for a holiday before he went to Greece, it hurt Kate deeply.

She suspected William might have feelings for the 22-year-old heiress.

However, a romance between the prince and the Tennessee-born interior designer did not happen.

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Royal snub: Why Wiliam felt 'claustrophobic' in relationship with Kate - Express

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Album Review: Moby All Visible Objects – Live4ever

Posted: at 11:46 am

Richard Melville Hall has bought the t-shirt made for people whove bought the t-shirt; punk, vegan, Christian, seller of tens of millions of albums, enthusiastic drug guzzler (all of these things were not at the same time obviously), the man they call Moby has turned indulging virtue and vice into a fine art.

More recently, attention has switched away from music and towards his hugely candid pair of autobiographies in which hes talked about the vacuum in his soul that attaining fame and fortune largely via his 1999 album Play created, and how he filled it with anything he could lay his hands on. In them, he laid bare the impossible process of following it up and the damaging psychological effect of the mediocre (by comparison) sales of subsequent records since has had.

The first thing to say about All Visible Objects is that it isnt going to fix that. There are some clear reasons for this which well cover later, firstly though its worth reminding ourselves that the project is a philanthropic exercise, with all the profits going to a range of charitable organisations, as did the proceeds of his recent equipment auction. Its also true that many of the things which you might expect from a Moby album are present as expected: opener Morningside seems to have come straight from a rave without having gone to bed, wailing diva sample circa 91 and tipping hi-hat, while those who havent stopped by since the Play era will definitely be satisfied with the dinner party background vibes of Forever and Roxy Music cover My Only Love.

Business as usual then? Well, sort of. Moby has spent his entire career as both a musician and an activist, and whilst sometimes thats taken a back seat theres an anti-establishment streak of sorts here in Rise Up In Love (theme: Hug a stranger) and Power Is Taken (theme: Techno terrorist takeover), the latter featuring street ready vocals from the Dead Kennedys D H Pelligro. That has a real wash of angry energy to it, but on the seemingly never ending Too Much Change the anti-futurist sentiment just turns mawkish and dull.

This over earnestness is buttressed with an anthology approach to track selection: the producer has recently been making lengthy ambient collections, and for every dancefloor orientated tune like Refuge there are Quinoa friendly pieces such as Tecie and the piano led title-track, a nine-minute opus which brings things to a sombre close.

All Visible Objects cuts an ambitious slice through much of its creators fascinations old and new, be it riotous anarchy, delirious hedonism or entropic comedowns. This mightve worked too, but theres simply not enough conviction in these songs; no real rage, joy or paranoia to compel the listener into feeling empathy.

A man who bears the scars of a life lived, Richard Melville Hall has done many things. Its surely too late for him to be caught treading water now.

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The unexpected stress of Cambridge-ing from home – Varsity Online

Posted: at 11:45 am

Photo courtesy of the author

For me, stress at Cambridge has always been quantifiable, rising and falling in rough correlation with the number of words I have due within the week. Sometimes the formula is complicated by social plans or extracurricular commitments, but how I feel is always understandable, straight-forward. According to this logic I should be much less stressed during this strange, housebound Easter term. But despite the lack of social pressures, the loosening of deadlines, and the generous adaptation of exam rhetoric, I am more stressed than I ever was at Cambridge.

The stress has been sneaky and unplaceable. Until my body physically demonstrated it to me, I didnt realise it was there. I caught myself staring into space for huge swathes of study time whilst my foot-tapping reached new speeds, I burst out crying at a soppy Virgin Media advert (despite knowing that Richard Branson sued the NHS), I lost patience with my family too easily, I struggled to sleep. In parallel with monitoring this development of my own inner landscape, I watched news anchors report the mental health crisis which was unfolding nationwide. Lengthy think-pieces were published which attempted to diagnose the population and, whilst many of their explanations and suggestions applied to me, I also wanted to figure out the specifics of our context: why exactly can doing the Cambridge Tripos at home be so disorienting?

Time-management is another aspect of home-working liable to cause bewilderment

One of the reasons that Tripos can be just as, if not more, stressful outside of the pressure-cooker of Cambridge is the absence of understanding peers. Grumbling together is part and parcel of university life: it is perfectly acceptable to describe your relatively minor problems as crises and you can be certain that even your most trivial worries will be received with sympathy. This catharsis isnt available in the outside world. For example, Im never sure that my complaints about my huge reading list are received in the same way at home. After all, I choose to read for pleasure whenever Im taking a break from trying to pin down the meaning of an elusive philosophical manifesto. One minute my favourite past-time, the next the bane of my existence. It isnt a completely coherent attitude.

Time-management is another aspect of home-working liable to cause bewilderment. At university, working late into the night was a social activity imbued with a powerful sense of solidarity and mutual comprehension. But working unsociable hours at home is just that: unsociable. However much support my family gives me, I will always be aware of how conspicuous and sometimes inconvenient my efforts are.

For me personally, the safety net has caused additional overthinking. I think its an absolutely essential and comforting measure: its reassuring to know that I could do much less work than usual and achieve a grade I would be proud of in a normal exam term. Nonetheless, given the slight chance that my grade could improve, I intend to work as hard as I can. I know I would regret it if I didnt. Its been a strange thing to get my head around; the formerly black-and-white connection between how hard I work and what I achieve has disintegrated. My mark will only change if I perform extremely well, and I have much less of an idea exactly what extremely well entails given that the exams are now openbook and the quality of our responses will be, presumably, much higher.

On top of that, the lack of the fun aspects of Cambridge has lessened the appeal of hard work. Generally speaking, I always managed to strike an effective (albeit precarious) balance between work and play, and in the month before exams, I would see stress as something I could manipulate and exploit. I envied but ignored the few friends I had who worked neat 9-5s in the University Library, instead choosing to fetishize overworking and romanticise my own stress as a badge of honour. I would refuse to schedule regular breaks, listen to podcasts relevant to my papers during grocery runs, and fall asleep with vocabulary lists. This lifestyle was unsustainable: I slept too little, spent too much on take-out, and probably did years worth of damage to my posture in the month I spent bent over library desks. The motivation to briefly live this way found its source in my strange logic that (a) the dangling carrot of post-exam hedonism would taste sweeter if my pre-exam life was more exhausting and therefore the contrast was greater, and (b) the idea that I had to earn the Netflix binges and day-drinking that I looked forward to after exams.

Testing my limits doesnt have the same appeal when all Im earning is a job search in the midst of a global pandemic

That system doesnt work anymore testing my limits doesnt have the same appeal when all Im earning is a job search in the midst of a global pandemic. Instead, Ive been prematurely forced to learn how to self-motivate when there isnt a white-tie ball to daydream about during concentration lapses. I've had to learn how to balance toil with small rewards on a daily, rather than termly, basis. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it took a period of total inconsistency for me to develop truly sustainable working habits.

Of course, these factors are outside of the Universitys control. Im incredibly impressed by the preparation which has ensured that this term is as normal as possible. I am also incredibly grateful for the support of my family. Nonetheless, I think talking about the unexpected aspects of our experience as much as possible can bring comfort. Additionally, debunking the expectation that less work necessarily means less stress could bring us to the point at which we healthily and curiously acknowledge our real reactions to our strange situation.

Varsity is the independent newspaper for the University of Cambridge, established in its current form in 1947. In order to maintain our editorial independence, our newspaper and news website receives no funding from the University of Cambridge or its constituent Colleges.

We are therefore almost entirely reliant on advertising for funding, and during this unprecedented global crisis, we have a tough few weeks and months ahead.

In spite of this situation, we are going to look at inventive ways to look at serving our readership with digital content for the time being.

Therefore we are asking our readers, if they wish, to make a donation from as little as 1, to help with our running cost at least until we hopefully return to print on 2nd October 2020.

Many thanks, all of us here at Varsity would like to wish you, your friends, families and all of your loved ones a safe and healthy few months ahead.

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Illustrations by Vicki Ling that explore the feeling of insecurity brought on by modern catastrophes – Creative Boom

Posted: May 11, 2020 at 11:53 am

Ever feel like you're hanging by a string? You're not alone. These soft and surreal illustrations by visual artist Vicki Ling take a closer look at our feelings when we're faced with the disasters and dilemmas of the modern world.

You know, things that seem to spontaneously erupt, from privacy invasions to public health issues (virus anyone?) and from climate change to personal emotional disorders. "I'm interested in surfacing that sense of tension and insecurity and raise these issues to our collection consciousness in this collection of work," Vicki tells Creative Boom. These are feelings many of us are experiencing today.

Currently based in Chicago, Vicki received her MFA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins in London in 2013. Her works have since been exhibited and published in New York City, Chicago, London, Berlin, and Shanghai, and she has worked with various clients for illustration projects.

Here, we share artworks from her Hanging by a String series and The Plastic Bloom, the latter being where Vicki proposes questions about "the reflections on consumerism and hedonism". These are delicate and beautiful drawings that articulate how many of us are feeling in the world right now. You can discover more of Vicki's work on Instagram.

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Never Have I Ever, Reviewed – The New Yorker

Posted: at 11:53 am

As the new Netflix coming-of-age series Never Have I Ever begins, its fifteen-year-old heroine, Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), before heading off to her first day of sophomore year in high school, kneels in front of her households shrine. Hey, gods, she says, hands folded in prayer. Its Devi V., your favorite Hindu girl in the San Fernando Valley. Whats poppin? Shes wearing a cute, casual outfit and is in a tidy middle-class bedroom. Last year pretty much sucked, she says, so this year she has some requests: she wants to be invited to a party where she has the opportunity to say, No cocaine for me, thanks ; thinner forearm hair; and, most important, a boyfriendand not some nerd from one of my A.P. classes. He should be a stone-cold hottie who can rock me all night long, she says. (This is startlingshe looks more like a kid than an adult.) He can be dumbI dont care. Thanks for considering. I love you guys.

This voiceassured, breezy, somewhat self-aware aspirational hedonism, with a keen appreciation of stone-cold hottieswill be recognizable to fans of Mindy Kaling, the Nora Ephron-loving Office alum, memoirist, and longtime proponent of the rom-com, who co-created the semi-autobiographical Never Have I Ever with her Mindy Project colleague Lang Fisher. The series, like the drinking game with which it shares a title, is about innocence and experienceand about a teen-agers plucky, nave desire for more. It asserts itself with sassy confidence right away, not just in Devis voice but in the narratives framing. You may ask yourself, Why is sports icon John McEnroe narrating this tale? John McEnroe asks, reasonably, in voice-over. One reason is evident immediately: its funny. After a brief montage of McEnroe jumping around and hoisting trophies in a terry-cloth headband (Wow, I look great there!), he presses on with Devis backstory.

Devis parents, Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan) and Mohan (Sendhil Ramamurthy), came to the U.S. in September, 2001, McEnroe tells us: Not a super chill time to be a brown person in America. They were a happy family of three; last year, while watching Devis harp solo at a school concert, Mohan had a heart attack and died. Soon after, Devis legs stopped working, and she spent three months in a wheelchair. She was cured from her paralysis by a glimpse of the school hottie, a swimmer named Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet), which inspired her to rise up and walk. (Cue the opening credits, to Robyns Dancing on My Own.) By the end of the first episode, Devi has introduced herself to Paxton and offered to have sex with him.

If youre thinking, Yowsers, I agree. The series is itself like a socially awkward teen-age nerdcharming but maladroit, heedless, a little exhausting. (The wheelchair subplot is treated as a lightly embarrassing trauma, then abandoned.) Like many nerds, it leads with a bit of showing off: theres a montage of Devis having competed for No. 1 since elementary school with her rival, Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison). You might call them the John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors of Sherman Oaks High School, McEnroe says. Not to make this about me. Devi and her two high-achieving best friends, the theatre nerd Eleanor (Ramona Young) and the robotics whiz Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez) are known, McEnroe explains, by the lightly racist nickname the U.N., because theyre an ethnically diverse group of academically focussed, um, I cant think of a better word for dorks. Devi is also a hothead, were told. Just as McEnroe once screamed at umpires and threw tennis racquets, Devi blows up at her friends and relatives, and does things like smash her chemistry beaker when Ben gets a better grade. Shes feisty, which we like, and grieving, which we empathize with, but shes also difficult. And both she and the series itself tend to fixate on hotness in a way thats off-putting, suggesting that nerds of many ages simply cant differentiate between beauty, desire, love, and connection. Devis frequent comments on looks are meant to charm us, I thinkas when she exclaims that a visitor to the house is hot, when shed worried hed be an uggo. The visitor politely thanks her, but some of us will cringe.

And yet this beauty fixation, in the form of Paxtonhis meaningful glances, his meaningful hoisting himself out of a poolsets in motion a kind of heros journey for Devi, to the benefit of characters and viewers alike. Paxton, like many classic rom-com dreamboats, has a soul behind his penetrating stare. Hes a jock who doesnt care about school, but, as played by Barnet, he has the subtle thoughtfulness of rom-com hunks from Jake Ryan to Gilbert Blythe to Jordan Catalano to Peter Kavinsky, and, like them, hes observant and often kind. Many actual teen-agers learn the hard way that the love interest theyve been idealizing is less appealing than theyd imagined, but in rom-coms, including this one, were shown what might have happened if that fantasy had been right. Devi has a dream in the second episode in which Paxton whips off his shirt, revealing truly astonishing washboard abs; praises her oversized T-shirt and the scent of her dandruff shampoo; and wants to have sex with her. But what he does during Devis waking hours is almost as fantastical: he notices how shes feeling, asks her how she is, and begins to welcome her into his happy, easygoing world. Whoa, Devi, you came! he says, when she shows up at a cool-kid party. And brought California Brittle! This slaps. Come in!

Still, the series often falls prey to what I think of as the Bridget Jones movie problem: were shown the heroines semi-comedic blundering more than her charm, and, therefore, an idealized dreamboat falling for a blurting, insecure everywoman. (Beer me! Devi says to Paxton, at the party. Love that bread soda.) Another Netflix rom-com megahit, the stellar To All the Boys Ive Loved Before, based on the novel by Jenny Han, did much to elevate the awkward-bookworm-meets-sensitive-jock formits characters have tender, funny conversations, and, though its heroine has growing up to do, shes stubbornly principled and kind. (Boys is also brilliant at conveying the complicated relationship between romanticization and romance in a teen-age girls mind.) Never shares an aesthetic and some plot elements with Boys but often lacks its emotional acuity. For much of the ten-episode arc, the writers struggle to imagine a realistic interaction between Devi and Paxton, or to convince us of why hes increasingly drawn to her; their fledgling attraction can be butterflies-inducing but vaguely embarrassing in its unreality. Its like watching a Pride and Prejudice in which Mr. Darcy falls for Kitty or Lydia, trusting that theres an Elizabeth within.

Kaling productions, including The Mindy Project, in which she starred as a fashionable, boy-crazy ob-gyna kind of Legally Blonde, M.D.are at their best when portraying friendship between equals that turns into love. Perhaps this is because such stories, more common in real life, are also more easily observed, full of the little pleasures and interactions that add up to intimacy. Never takes care to humanize Ben, Devis rival, and to develop a grudging affection between them. A climactic sequence at a Model U.N. conference, in which the volatile nature of their friendship is reflected on a mock world stage, is particularly well done, and hilarious: Devi, incensed about a seeming betrayal, acquires nukes for her country, Equatorial Guinea, and declares war on the U.S., a.k.a. Ben. But their first truly vulnerable conversation, in which they confess their mutual loneliness after Devis mom invites Ben to dinner, is one of the series best scenes, and its bravest.

The series is fairly successful at showing us familial love, too, and at evoking grief, including in scenes with Devis therapist (Niecy Nash). Devis late father keeps appearing to her in visions, like a benevolent version of Hamlets father: hes a handsome, warmhearted, tomato-growing, Vespa-riding mensch, and a McEnroe enthusiast. (Hes a firecracker! he says to Devi, watching tennis on TV. Look at him standing up to that umpire.) Never does so much well, and the actors are so good, that its painful when it goes awry. The greatness of the coming-of-age rom-com is its ability to show us how realistic people, even nerdy ones, might better understand and connect to one another if they werent so awkward and scared all the time. A study of hotness, by hotheads, is less satisfying. In the seasons lovely final scene, Devi asserts herself with vulnerability and confidence, moving beyond her baser instincts, and experiences the happiness that can result. If theres a second season, well see if the series can do that, too.

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Never Have I Ever, Reviewed - The New Yorker

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Simon Delaney squirming while re-watching Bachelors Walk with his 13-year-old son – Dublin Live

Posted: at 11:53 am

Simon Delaney has told how he squirmed watching Bachelors Walk with his 13-year-old son because of the colourful language and the hedonism depicted on the show.

The 49-year old Dubliner tunes in every Monday night as RTE airs re-runs of the hit cult series.

It centres around Barry (Keith McErlean), who is looking for a get-rich-quick scheme; film critic Raymond (Don Wycherley), and Michael played by Delaney, a would-be barrister, who share a house in Bachelors Walk in Dublin.

Simon said: It was brilliant watching it back, such good fun, but my eldest son watched it and he said, Dad youre smoking a lot. I had a fag in every scene. Its gas, watching it with him.

Obviously the language is a bit fruity but what can you do? I keep saying, Im just acting son, thats not really me saying that.

Set in a Dublin of almost two decades ago, the dad-of-four said he could barely control himself watching the re-runs.

He said: It was 19 years ago and I couldnt help wetting myself laughing and remembering the day we shot this scene and that scene.

With a whole new younger audience Simons character Michael is getting a resurgence in popularity.

He added: Jesus, its such a trip down memory lane, but were getting great comments on Twitter and people are loving the soundtrack.

People loved seeing Dublin back in the day, seeing people having a fag indoors, going to the internet cafe to go online. Its like the 1940s but its only 19 years ago, this is 2001.

It was a different world, Celtic Tiger Dublin.

You would look around Dublin then, all there was were cranes, things were getting built and built. Its like an historical document at this stage.

The actor and TV star had his fill of cigarettes over the years and now vapes.

Commenting on the prodigious smoking he said: Yeah, they were the real McCoy but now I vape, Ive been vaping for years.

It was a poignant era too as it was then Simon met his future wife Lisa the mother of his four kids.

He added: I remember every scene, every actor. I remember first dating my wife and her coming to first visit the set and first meeting the lads.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing but they were very happy days.

From presenting Ireland AM at the weekends to his Simply Simon food brand and more recently a stint on Emmerdale, he is a grafter.

Simon said: If you throw enough mud at the wall eventually some of it will stick.

Joking over his lockdown essential worker status he admitted he counts his lucky stars the show is still on air.

He added: Thanks be to Christ Ireland AM is still on. Were deemed essential, Ive been called a lot of things in my life but not essential.

Cooking up a storm every Saturday is going down a treat with the viewers:

Simon said: My book went great and people are giving me loads of feedback now on my cooking slot on Ireland AM.

People are sending me pictures of themselves cooking. I'm just trying to keep it simple for people one pot wonders, family dishes. Thats my interest, thats who Im cooking for every day at home. I cook for a family of six every day at home.

Im loving doing the cooking and there are lots of things coming up.

Im launching a new Simply Simon exciting venture at the end of the month.

The food stuff is getting bigger and bigger thank God, I had a food truck a few years ago outside Kildare Village so its exciting, the same brand.

Simon is urging the public to get involved with his Keepy Up Challenge for Variety Charity the childrens charity hes an ambassador for.

He said: Im the lucky patron of the Variety Charity in Ireland. Last week I launched this campaign on social media called Heads up for Variety.

You have to do five keep uppies or headers and you video yourself and put it out online and text Headsup 50300 and you donate 4.

So loads of the Irish sports stars have done it, Ken Doherty and Niall Quinn, we just want to spread the word, #headsupchallenge.

From an ITV soap to an upcoming Netflix series, Simon admits hes constantly on the go.

He said: Im in an episode in a Netflix series coming up called Young Wallander.

Its based on the Wallander detective series that they did with Kenneth Branagh so theyve remade that.

I did one episode of that which was shot over in Lithuania before Christmas, so a few bits and pieces in the pipeline. I always try to stay busy.

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Simon Delaney squirming while re-watching Bachelors Walk with his 13-year-old son - Dublin Live

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Life in Berlin as coronavirus lockdown is eased: ‘It feels like reawakening from hibernation’ – inews

Posted: at 11:53 am

OpinionCommentIts after the sun sets, however, that the city perhaps feels most strange

Monday, 11th May 2020, 10:17 am

Its a hot bank holiday weekend in Berlin and the streets of Neuklln are bustling with activity. Along the banks of the canal, Berliners sit in pairs or in small groups, drinking beers from a local Spti (convenience shop), soaking up the sunshine. The canal itself is full of life, as people float around in brightly coloured rubber dinghies, the sound of techno music coming from boomboxes. Long queues form outside the much-beloved ice cream parlours and cyclists casually weave around them. It feels as though the world is opening up again, a friend says.

Germany has begun to ease its partial lockdown, after Chancellor Angela Merkel said the first phase of the pandemic is behind us. Shops in the city have reopened, along with hairdressers, and members of two households can meet in public again. Soon, restaurants, cafes, open air swimming pools and beauty parlours will also be able to reopen.

i's opinion newsletter: talking points from today

i's opinion newsletter: talking points from today

Berlin, much loved for its rebellious energy, feels like its partially reawakening from hibernation. For a brief moment, sitting by the water, I almost forget we are living through a pandemic.

But such moments are fleeting as social distancing measures remain firmly in place. The contact ban means people must stay 1.5 metres apart and there is still unease over a possible second wave of coronavirus infections.

As I walk to the U-bahn along busy Kottbusser Damm, I pass long lines of people queuing outside supermarkets wearing face masks. Face coverings are mandatory in shops and on public transport, and have become a constant reminder of our new normal. Over the past few weeks Ive seen them everywhere, worn by riot police on 1 May, when protests typically take place in Kreuzberg, as well as by shop window mannequins.

Almost everyone on my train carriage home has covered their face; some have clinical white masks, others wear colourful patterned ones, or have pulled scarves up to their noses. A single bare-faced man looks out of place, alone in breaking the rules. Earlier this week, I forgot mine [its plain black in colour, in true Berlin style] when I walked to my local bakery and was barred from entering.

All is not quite what it seems outdoors, either. Up close, it's clear the reason queues for ice cream are long is because people are standing on floor markings to stay far apart.

Its after the sun sets, however, that the city perhaps feels most strange. Berlins infamous techno clubs like Berghain, Sisyphos and About Blank, normally open all-hours all-weekend, remain shuttered. Even when restaurants and cafes open again later this month, they must close by 10pm. Berlin, known for its hedonism, normally has a palpable sense of freedom in the air. But the typically 24-hour city now has a curfew of sorts. At sunset, the night would normally just be beginning, but with nowhere to go people presumably head home.

The next day, as temperatures reach 22 degrees, I cycle to Schlachtensee, a lake in the West of the city, grateful we can do typical Berlin activities like cycling and lake trips.

Berliners are creative people and will find different ways to live and connect with each other safely in the coming months.

Summer is just around the corner, but this year it will be different. Europes most hedonistic capital has a unique energy in the warmer months, full of tourists, techno-lovers, and those here just for summer. Most years, street festivals like Christopher Street Day (CSD), Berlins world-renowned pride celebration, bring hundreds of thousands of people together to sing, dance, kiss and celebrate our freedom to live as we choose in this open-minded city.

Such personal freedoms are not given away easily here. This is particularly apparent in the thorny subject of a possible coronavirus app, which could help track the virus using mobile phone data, but that has so far met resistance in a country with memories of spying during the Nazi era, as well as by the Stasi secret police in the former communist East.

Without it for now, we must adapt to this next phase of the pandemic. Berliners are creative people and will find different ways to live and connect with each other safely in the coming months.

I plan to try new activities this summer; Ive bought a second-hand bike and am learning to cycle here for the first time. Im also on a mission to be able to slackline, which means to walk across a slack rope between two trees. Perhaps, like so many others, Ill even get a rubber dinghy and a boombox so I can float down the canal in Neuklln, playing some techno as I go.

Abby Young-Powell is a journalist living in Berlin


Life in Berlin as coronavirus lockdown is eased: 'It feels like reawakening from hibernation' - inews

Posted in Hedonism | Comments Off on Life in Berlin as coronavirus lockdown is eased: ‘It feels like reawakening from hibernation’ – inews

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