I got to Modesto late, but at least I finally made it

You guys?

Seriously, you guys?

How come nobody told me how UN-FUCKING-BELIEVABLY GREAT “American Crime” is?

I’ve watched the first four episodes of season 1, and my jaw is on the floor.

This is some next-level shit. And it’s on a broadcast network?!

The only other current shows I can think of to compare it to are “The Knick” and “The Leftovers.” But on both of those shows, the genre and setting elements allow the audience a bit of a remove from the circumstances; they make it a little safer to engage. “American Crime” gives you no such comfort. 

Every single character is flawed, empathetic, short-sighted, reaching for grace, human.

How does Felicity Huffman DO THIS? Her character is racist, hateful controlling, spiteful and yet she is always understandable. Timothy Hutton is giving a performance of Shakespearean gravitas. Benito Martinez conveys the weight of the world on his shoulders with the angle of his head. Earl Brown tells you more in the twitch of an eye than three pages of dialogue. 

And Regina-MFing-King, who blows into episode 3 like a force of nature.

I could go on and on – everyone on this show is simply killing it.

I also LOVE the way it’s filmed, with very little coverage and what I’m guessing are mostly long takes of 2-shots, then chopped up with jump cuts or holding for a long time on one character as they react to someone else speaking. Like they’re pinned butterflies, displaying every color and shade of their humanity for is.

Kudos to everyone involved in the making of this, especially creator John Ridley. You, sir, have made something quite special.

OK, now I’m gonna stop gushing and fire up episode 5.




luke “i am a drama queen like my father before me” skywalker

reblogged entirely for the caption

Unlike Obi-Wan, Luke really does give all the fucks




“But don’t let your illness stop you!!!1!1!!”

I’m not “letting” my illness stop me it just plain IS stopping me it’s an ILLNESS it makes me ILL that’s what it DOES.

Everyone needs to read this.

Seriously. If I had that much control over my illness, I wouldn’t fucking be ill, now would I?

Friendly Persuasion



“Yes, yes, yes!” Elizabeth
cried out as she clutched her newly-minted
husband between her thighs with an enthusiasm that Mr. Darcy could not help but take as a gratifying personal

A short time later, as they paused in their concerted practice of the art of marital relations, the couple turned to what had recently
become one of their favorite
conversational themes.

“Mr. Darcy–” Elizabeth

“Yes, Mrs. Darcy?” he

“Confess to me: Do you come to our marriage bed as virginal and
untutored as your lovely bride?”

Keep reading

For those curious about my shipwreck piece, here it is.


We thought Option A had merit to it: there is definitely a honeymoon period when new viewers are so enamored with VR that it floods their mind. But Option B seemed much more likely to me. Whatever was going on felt more specific than just a sensory overload, and at this point we had all seen enough VR (and enough of Lost) that we weren’t losing our minds every time we put the headset on. We were feeling a lack of connection to the characters, environment, and in turn, the story. I started calling it the “Swayze Effect”.

Story Studio Blog — The Swayze Effect

Fascinating article about some of the issues in VR storytelling.

But I can’t help but think there’s something missing from this analysis. Part of the issue is that the basic contract between the VR audience and the maker is still in flux.  People are not used to what they are supposed to do and how they are supposed to consume. We have no problem connecting to character in 2-D flat environments like film/tv where there is no acknowledgement of presence – because we’ve had over 100 years of practice.  But its learned behavior, not an inherent property of the medium.

So this feels a little bit like the equivalent of looking at the end of The Great Train Robbery and deciding that all movies going forward need to have characters perform an action directly at the screen, and counting the audience reactions as “proof” that they’re engaged.  


But we live in a neoliberal dumpsterfire of an epoch where everyone insists everything must be objectively measured. And once things are measured, they can be objectively ranked. And when things are ranked, then rewards can be objectively distributed. And then when people suffer, assholes can claim everything is justified because we distributed resources based on rankings which in turn were based on measurements. (Which, if you know me, you know what I’m about to say here: this is tautological as fuck.)


Hamilton is ridiculously popular with exactly the age bracket that our lecture attendee was so concerned about — students whom he presumed have worse language skills than prior generations. My argument is that their skills are every bit as good. Hamilton‘s popularity proves it. They can and do revel in complex patterns and verbal intricacies. Our job as teachers of Shakespeare is just to help them re-tune their ears. Anyone who can understand and enjoy Hamilton can understand and enjoy Shakespeare. Miranda’s patterns have a lot in common with Shakespeare’s, but they’re still configured differently — so we just have to help them use what they already know, what they already do intuitively, in a different way.




The degree to which social media impacts a Broadway show’s day-to-day existence astounds Hamilton’s orchestrator, arranger, musical director and conductor, Alex Lacamoire. “Social media wasn’t what it is now [even] when In The Heights was running [from 2008 to 2011]. Lin [Manuel-Miranda, In The Heights and Hamilton creator,] used to make his own videos and post on YouTube. He was the one filming and editing. Now, we have a guy on our team whose job is to be in charge of social media. That’s a thing that has to be factored in [and] managed. [It’s] part of how a show is known about.”

Broadway executives scoffed, just a few years back, at how seemingly futile it was to promote shows on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Unlike most forms of traditional marketing and advertising, those platforms had no indication that the recipients of messages would have access to New York or the ability to buy Broadway tickets. That incredulity has transformed to glee at the outlet’s ability to instantly transmit information about Broadway to people all over the globe. The returns might not happen as fast as those in traditional advertising, but social media cultivates young audiences to become life-long theatre supporters.

Plus, there’s one show that’s given the internet something worth buzzing about. “ Hamilton has reminded us of the magic of live [theatre], and the possibilities of it,” says Charlie Rose, host and executive producer of “Charlie Rose,” co-anchor of “CBS This Morning” and “60 Minutes” correspondent. His “60 Minutes” exposé on Hamilton brought the game-changer’s creation story to America and further increased the show’s visibility, while endorsing the significance of the piece. The story cemented Hamilton’s status as a catalyst for, and product of, a cultural shift. “Theatre has always [been] an important part of the lives of New Yorkers, [but] it has more currency today. It has a universal resonance.”

Hamilton has been a revolution for Broadway. With its $57 million in advance sales (as of November 9, 2015), its unprecedented rave reviews, its skilled integration of hip hop and rap with musical theatre and its stance on diversity, the show has entered the zeitgeist swiftly and powerfully. Even President Barack Obama has seen the musical—twice.

“Obama has taken ownership of Hamilton, in a way,” Lacamoire shares. “When he hears someone talk passionately about Hamilton, he [says]: ‘You know, that show had its first song performed here at the White House.’”

In November of 2015, Hamilton’s album hit number one on the Billboard rap charts—something never before achieved by a Broadway cast recording. The show’s sound bridges musical theatre and the kind of music one would hear on the radio today, while never losing sight of its characters or narrative. We’re suddenly back in an era similar to 1935, when the top 60 songs on the radio included tunes by musical theatre writers Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Harry Warren and Al Dubin, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields, Victor Herbert and Rida Johnson Young, and George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin.

Lacamoire, who was also one of the album’s producers, confides that he wanted the record to really conjure the show for listeners, with a huge focus on vocals and lyrics—but that he also wanted it to have “true hip hop grit.” Much like his work on the album, he worked to achieve a balance between the two sound styles in the live production.

“It was important that the band play the majority of the music live. Hip hop by nature is digital music. It’s created by computers,” Lacamoire explains, sharing that only some moments in the show are partially pre-programmed or pre-recorded. “It was important to me to have an organic element [because] that’s where the heart lies. I’m so inspired by seeing live bands put together hip hop sounds—something that sounds pristine, as if it were in a studio, and yet you have a live [band] making it happen.”

Are We Living in a New Golden Age of Musical Theatre? (Playbill)

I’ve been wondering who is in charge of Hamilton’s social media presence. Who is that “guy on the team”?