November 29, 2013 |
Toward the end of "American Hustle," the new film from comedy-drama laureate David O. Russell, a man describes his hard-won epiphany. "The art of survival," says the character, a con man played with toupee-ish shiftiness by Christian Bale, "is a story that never ends. " The line articulates one of the central motifs of the film - the need for self-narrative - while offering a telling peek into the mind of the man responsible for it. For the last two decades, Russell, 55, has had one of the movie business' wildest careers, donning guises like most people put on shirts: edgy wunderkind, hothead flameout and, lately, Oscar-nominated auteur with an unlikely box-office touch.
September 25, 2013 |
JERUSALEM -- Although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Israel's delegation to leave the room during this week's U.N. speech by Iran's president, he was listening and was not happy with what he heard. "As expected, this was a cynical speech that was full of hypocrisy," Netanyahu said in a statement Wednesday. Netanyahu rejected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's comments describing Iran's controversial nuclear program as an effort aimed at civilian purposes.
September 2, 2013 |
In the wake of recent events, it would be easy to dismiss Lamar Odom. Nice pro basketball career. Got 14 years out of it, 12 of those in Los Angeles with either the Clippers or Lakers. Made millions, screwed up in the end, so it is over. See ya. We tend to find these stories all too familiar, and their familiarity nudges our cynicism. Tall kid plays basketball so well it gets him out of a tough neighborhood. His dad is a heroin addict, mom dies of cancer when he is 12. Basketball and the people hanging around him as he becomes a star - some with genuine concerns for him and others with genuine desire to profit from him - become his family.
August 3, 2013 |
This post has been corrected. See note below for details. The members of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros think pop music might be headed into a new phase, one in which the calculated cynicism and ironic detachment prevalent in recent years starts giving way to good old-fashioned sincerity. FOR THE RECORD: Edward Sharpe: An article in the Aug. 3 Calendar section on Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros said the group's new album is being released by Mumford & Sons' Community Music/Vagrant label.
July 24, 2013 |
Not content to be merely ineffectual while they're in office, the three Republicans on the Federal Election Commission are now trying to inhibit the agency from enforcing campaign finance laws after they leave. Ordinarily, they wouldn't have the power to impose their ideological agenda, but a vacancy on the Democratic side of the panel gives them a temporary majority. Using it to push through the changes they've proposed would be a cynical move giving candidates and special interests even more freedom to thumb their noses at campaign finance law. The 1974 statute that created the FEC takes pains to keep the commission from becoming partisan, mandating that the president appoint three commissioners from each party and requiring the support of at least four commissioners to launch an investigation, sue a suspected lawbreaker or issue an advisory opinion.
June 19, 2013 |
On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee began its review of the SAFE Act, a noxious, cynical measure that, if passed, would designate all undocumented immigrants as criminals for the first time and would allow states to enforce their own immigration laws as well as federal laws. If that sounds at all familiar it's because the bill is little more than a rewrite of Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner's punitive 2005 proposal that drove millions of people to march in the streets and ultimately helped doom efforts to overhaul the nation's broken immigration system.