“If at any point over the coming days, weeks, and months to come, you find yourself confused as to how to navigate the thicket of pictures of Nelson Mandela coming at you in every country in the world, bear in mind this salient fact of history: it was once illegal in South Africa to have a picture of Nelson Mandela in your home.”—Evan Fleischer | Esquire (via kateoplis)
This piece is a great example of how important it is to really see behind the scenes of these initiatives instead of just read the press-friendly quotes from announcements. This convinced me the NFL is serious.
"My name is Troy Vincent," he says, quickly becoming animated as he thinks about his favorite toy. "When I was a kid, I loved the Big Wheel." He smiles and mimics turning the imaginary handles of the plastic tricycle.
Then he leans back and nods once. He is done speaking.
But his turn isn’t over yet. There is a long pause before someone from across the room asks, “And your PGP, Troy?”
Vincent played 15 seasons in the NFL. He is now 43 years old, and works as the league’s senior vice president for player engagement. In his prime, which wasn’t all that long ago, he was fast and strong, one of the best cornerbacks in a league known for its physicality and tough-guy culture. So it’s not surprising that Vincent has assumed everyone else in the room would figure his PGP is “he” — all masculine pronouns, please.
Then again, the whole point of this meeting is to quit making assumptions — about LGBTQ people, yes, but also about football players. Vincent has already explained that he believes a false narrative exists in which football locker rooms are often perceived as barbaric, homophobic places, especially after the recent scandal involving suspended Miami Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito.
Vincent wants to reframe the thinking, to reshape the dialogue. It’s part of the reason he and Dwight Hollier, a former NFL linebacker, are representing the league at this event on Tuesday afternoon, the soft launch of the “High Five” initiative created by You Can Play and intended to connect LGBTQ youth with leaders from the pro sports community.
"Male," Vincent says. And now the introductions continue. The next teen in the room identifies his PGP as "he, she, they, Z — anything, as long as it’s respectful."
“1. I don’t like folding laundry or talking about my emotions. I’m likely to leave both scattered all over.
2. I’m not much for cooking but there will always be coffee.
3. I’ll wear anything of yours with sleeves. I love when they’re long enough to wrap around my hands.
4. Sometimes the world is too harsh, too big. It’s hard to leave the house on days like those.
5. When I was sick as a kid my mom would run a bath for me and wash my hair. It was always so soothing. Maybe you could do that every once in a while.
6. I find it difficult to finish most things. My room is home to countless journals of incomplete thoughts.
7. I won’t love you any less in December. I think my heart just wasn’t meant for the cold.
8. I never truly know why I’m crying so don’t bother to ask, simply be there.
9. There’s whiskey in the medicine cabinet.
10. If things get terribly bad, please don’t give up. Get me in the car and drive to the sea. The waves beneath my toes will wake me up and I’ll be yours again.”—Things to know before promising you’ll stay (via timidgeek)
Sandra Bullock’s box office take over the last five years is as good or better than most male leads. The same can be said of Melissa McCarthy, who also has the attention of about 10 million viewers a week on Mike and Molly when she’s not on the big screen. Both of them have been integral to the marketing and promotion of their films, so it’s clearly not that moviegoers won’t watch a blockbuster with a woman in the lead.
But in very specific terms, Gravity was marketed as a co-headlining movie from Bullock and George Clooney, but anyone who saw it knows that it was Bullock’s film. Clooney was perceived as being necessary to market the movie in spite of the fact that since 2008, his movies have generated about $634 million total at the domestic box office, compared to Bullock’s $891 million. During that time, Clooney made nine films to Bullock’s six, meaning that the per-film average is even more heavily skewed in Bullock’s favor.
During that time, the total budget for Clooney’s films came to a minimum of $307 million and the budget for Bullocks clocked in at $214 million. That means that for every dollar spent producing a George Clooney film, the studio saw $2.07 back. That isn’t half bad, really. You know what it is half of? The $4.15 they saw on every Sandra Bullock dollar they spent during the same five-year period. Each of them had a couple of low-budget indie films and a couple of failures during the five-year period, but Clooney–the name Warner Bros. was convinced was necessary to promote the film–averaged just over $70 million per film during that period while Bullock averaged upwards of $148 million.
“We need more digital producers because in this maelstrom of money, with all this attention on ‘digital innovation in the arts’, they are the missing pieces of the jigsaw who will tip the scales in favour of projects being successful. There are plenty of so-called collaborations between arts organisations and digital companies. But they often fall over or under-deliver because project partners have very different objectives, aren’t able to understand what each other is saying, can’t share what needs to be done next.”—The Producer Gap | Sync (via iamdanw)
“More than half the questions I am asked are about the politics of the way I look. What it feels like to be not skinny/dark-skinned/a minority/not conventionally pretty/female/etc. It’s not very interesting to me, but I know it’s interesting to people reading an interview. Sometimes I get jealous of white male showrunners when 90 percent of their questions are about characters, story structure, creative inspiration, or, hell, even the business of getting a show on the air. Because as a result the interview of me reads like I’m interested only in talking about my outward appearance and the politics of being a minority and how I fit into Hollywood, blah blah blah. I want to shout, “Those were the only questions they asked!?”—Mindy Kaling (interviewed by Lena Dunham) on the politics of the way she looks (via heidisaman)
I was thinking about going to acupuncture during that terrible time in Berkeley and how Dr. Ng was standing above me one day and placed a finger gently on my chest and said, “Your heart is like someone chopped it with ax. It’s an old wound. It won’t ever heal.” And then he smiled so wide and said, “So you make it a beautiful canyon!”
I am trying to make my life a beautiful canyon. I really am. Full of light and maybe some foxes and a ridiculous turkey or two just roaming around.
Every week, Bob Schneider emails an invite-only group of musicians (several of them Grammy winners) with a challenge to write a song containing a certain phrase. If, by the end of the week, they don’t meet the challenge, they’re off the list.
The primary factor stopping people from finishing songs is the critical voice in your head that says it isn’t good enough. Then there’s the part of your brain that thinks every idea you have is wonderful. Those two are in constant battle when you’re writing. With [the songwriting game], you simply have to turn it in. If it’s bad or mediocre or half a song or maybe just a good idea not realized in a workable way, it doesn’t matter. Even the worst songwriter in the world, forced to write a song every week, is going to write some good songs from time to time. Law of averages.
Schneider has written a song a week for 12 years. More on the challenge here.
“Is there a certain amount of responsibility to speak out because you know somewhere, sitting in a living room in Mississippi, there’s a girl who’s going to be reading this interview and thinking, ‘I really wish that more athletes and public figures would come out and make me feel like I belong?’ Yes, that responsibility does not go unnoticed, and for the people who do choose to become spokespeople – God bless them. It’s a remarkable gift to be able to give. At the same time, there are some people who are more suited to be outspoken and there are some people who aren’t. That’s how you’re made, just like your sexuality. Whether you’re introverted or extroverted is just one more component of who you are. I won’t think less of teammates or athletes who choose to remain silent about their personal lives. I’ll be really impressed with those who choose to speak out.”—Sochi, Sexuality Sports: The GO! Interview with Women’s Ice Hockey Olympian Caitlin Cahow - goathletes.org
I’m just advocating for very small barriers that announce: “Can’t wait to talk to you, but I am busy right now.” Think of it this way: Do you answer your phone every time someone calls? I don’t. Publicists will know (or should!) that I never pick up my phone. I have a business card covering my phone’s screen, so I don’t even see the caller ID. A phone call is someone else deciding when you should be available. It says, Deal with me right now! Email it to me, and I’ll get to it as quickly as I can. I know how to prioritize. I look forward to focusing on the response.
Britney Spears On a chilly autumn afternoon in 1998, the studio was abuzz as a Disney princess stopped by to premiere her debut video. You could always tell when a person was about to become important, and all the elements were in place; there was a scrum of stylists, publicists, label reps, and family members, and at the eye of the storm was … an exhausted kid. She was gorgeous, she had personality, but she had been media-coached to within an inch of her life, to the point where no question could get a straight answer. You could ask, “Hey, Britney, what time is it?” and you’d get a brief presentation on how really any time of the day is the best, as long as you believe in yourself. She was clearly a star in the making, but if you looked closer, you could tell that she was scanning the room for exits. I may not have said it out loud at the time, but “In a few years, this woman will marry a cornrowed backup dancer at a ceremony where the wedding party wears matching Pimps and Hoes tracksuits” is definitely a thought that crossed my mind. Also, once “Baby One More Time” had become a hit, my brand-new agent told me how much he liked her. “She’s hot,” he hissed, “and a lot of people here disagree with me, but I like that she’s kind of fat.” It was my first clue that I might have moved into a business that was evil to its core. Anyway, now she’s about to make her family a jillion dollars by doing shows at Caesars Palace — so nobody learns anything, ever.
“There will always be something cool for a reporter about being on the scene and telling others what it was like. I was there. Everyone would like to be there. Everyone would like to be Joan Didion sitting on the floor while Ray Manzarek tools around on the keyboard. Everyone would like to be Joan Didion, full stop. But there is something lost in the pursuit of this coolness. So often you’re telling a story because you want to be the one telling it, and too rarely you’re asking why.”—Vol. 1 Brooklyn | The Reading Life: Why Are You Telling Me This?
The Rumblr’s in-house astrologer, Madame Clairevoyant, presents her latest dispatch from the stars:
Aries: This week is going to be full of joys, full of small sweetnesses, full of the things that make up the best parts of your life. This week is for coffee on crisp sunny mornings, for books in bed at night, for solid real victories, for feeling great, feeling healthy, feeling whole. Remind yourself that you deserve every good thing this week, and try to hold on to this feeling, try to make a space for it in your body, try to carry it with you into the winter. Read books with pictures, read books about plants.