|March 15, 2011|
Michael Cera as Paulie Bleeker in Juno, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2007
From The Believer:
Michael Cera runs. He runs in Superbad, escaping the police with his friend Jonah Hill, and he runs in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, after a derelict played by Andy Samberg verbally assaults him on the steps of downtown Manhattan’s Grace Church. “You ever hook up with a dog?” Samberg asks. “Don’t. It’s not worth it.” He advances on Cera. “I like you so much.” Cera turns on his heels and takes off. “Run away,” Samberg says, looking after him wistfully, “run away, little canary….” Cera runs through the woods in Youth in Revolt, escaping his own alter ego: a cooler, more dangerous version of himself, one who wears a beret, smokes cigarettes, and is always urging him to be more sexually aggressive with the little resort-town nymph Sheeni Saunders, herself quite forward.
In Juno, Cera’s Paulie Bleeker is an actual cross-country runner. Sex happens to him only by happenstance, as the aggressive Juno MacGuff gets bored one day, orders him to disrobe, and then mounts him.
For all his running, never once is Cera chasing anybody. (The closest he comes is in Juno: just after crossing the finish line and failing to locate Juno in the stands, he runs to the hospital where Juno is giving birth.) He is never the pursuer. But then again, he is rarely the pursued. In Nick and Norah, nobody chases after him when he runs away, and in Youth in Revolt he is pursued only by a phantom, an id he cannot vanquish and is not sure he wants to. That is the essence of his running: a contest with himself, a test to see if he can become a man—if he can, to use the term of art, man up.
Merleau-Ponty’s Child Psychology
As much as death signals the end of the self, birth is just as mysterious. Both extend out to infinity and signal the brevity and contingency of our lives. As mysterious are those first few years of life that one does not have access to as an adult, I know I existed before my earliest memories. I know I interacted with others, I learned to walk and talk. I was willful from my parent’s tales.
William Pope.L: Reader Friendly
William Pope.L is famous for (among other things) carrying a business card that identifies him as “The Friendliest Black Artist in America.” It’s a clever gag because it makes itself true, in a way, every time it draws people closer. The card must be especially useful when Pope.L does business with people who dread Black men or Black artists.
10 Things the NSA Has Seen Me Do
One winter in my early twenties myself and some good friends — a merging of art, music and literary ladies of New York, full-grown girls aspiring to be women — got together, had a lovely dinner, some wine and delightful chat. Then we decided to spend an hour practicing “Teach Me How To Dougie”. NSA — can you teach me how to Dougie? You know why? “Because all my bitches love me.”
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