links for 2011-01-14

  • "When you watch a video, you can only tell so much of a story in four minutes time. But in "Far Away" you can watch it again and again and learn something new. You say, "Oh, they’re just friends." Then you say, "Oh, that’s his boyfriend."

    Already this has had a much larger impact than I thought it would. So many people are loving that they are so open in their relationship, and, they are two black men. Openly in love, not hiding. I didn’t realize it was something that had not been shown before. This is not controversial. It's just two Black men in love. To me and to my friends, it's completely normal So I wanted to be as honest as possible."

  • "Nine years after his book’s publication, the lanky author is an overnight sensation. Dreams has become a rising national politician’s origin story. A few critics take exception to its composite characters, the arbitrary manner in which some but not all names were changed, the actual events compressed and rearranged for the sake of drama, and the elegant “remembered” dialogues from long ago that nonetheless go on for pages and pages. But for the most part, Obama is given a free pass. He has a greater truth to tell. And in this manner, the artistic gall of the writer and the artful calculation of the politician are indistinguishable—as Barack Obama, who by now thoroughly inhabits both worlds, proves better than anyone else."
  • Follow-up to Arturo's great analysis.–AP "Williams and his family discussed that incident during a taping of 'Dr. Phil' scheduled for broadcast on Thursday, the show said, and family members revealed Williams has been drinking daily.

    "'If Ted is ever going to get better, he's got to be honest with himself and admit he's addicted to drugs and alcohol,' Dr. Phil McGraw, the show's host, said in the statement."

  • "It's pretty easy to poke holes in Oliver's efforts. For starters, his Community Kitchen is decorated to look like a cross between Williams-Sonoma, Anthropologie, and Whole Foods—and it's in Westwood, one of the most affluent areas of the city and home to Millionaire's Mile. […]

    He fluffed names and spent most of his time on the defensive ("I didn't ask for this opportunity…"), anticipating our criticism ("You're all wondering who the hell I think I am coming in here…"), admitting that he spoke no Spanish, and confessing that had no idea how he would make a difference in a school district that covers more than 700 square miles."