Monday, December 22, 2008

Ur-Cruise and Fagen:

English majors undergoing mid-period academic calcification will often write about the lesser known works of famous figures. This sort of writing is usually crap. However, this Slate article extolling the virtues of Tom Cruise in Risky Business is worth a read. In Stephen Metcalf's words, "I can't name another American icon who has been so popular, and for so long, and yet so hard to like, and for so long." Personally, I've always enjoyed Tom Cruise as an actor, although I've never seen Top Gun. So he wants to give a big fuck you to the world by becoming a rabid Scientologist and marrying Katie Holmes just because he can. More power to him.

Donald Fagen now writes interesting, informative columns about forgotten media figures - in addition to being the lead singer from Steely Dan and having written some of the greatest songs of all time. I'm jealous and ashamed of myself, but happy to read this article.

Oh, and Christopher Hitchens makes fun of some religious guy. It's kind of like shooting fish in a barrel at this point, eh Hitch? Why did President-Elect Obama pick this religious guy to perform at his inauguration? I don't know, it probably sounded good at the time and it would look bad to switch now. If I were being inaugurated I'd choose to be sworn in on the Koran, just because I could. Right after I married Katie Holmes.

1 comment:

Little Earl said...

There's a lively discussion in Slate's XX Factor blog on the whole Warren/Obama thing, which I would also recommend (they also make fun of Hitchens, so that's always worth something).

Tom Cruise is not the greatest "actor" in the world but he's less pretentious than a lot of actors who try a lot harder so in a way he's not quite as annoying. Anybody seen Risky Business? The article makes it sound reasonably interesting.

And yeah, who knew Donald Fagen was a great writer? What I liked about his piece was that he talked about what Jean Sheperd meant to HIM, and not just to some imaginary subculture. I have to admit: reading it inspired me to pull out my old copy of Can't Buy a Thrill.