An interview by Chaz Ebert with author Bijan Bayne about his new book, Black Trailblazers: 30 Courageous Visionaries Who Broke Boundaries, Made a Difference, and Paved the Way.
The "accidental racism" of Paula Deen; Curtis Mayfield as musical journalist; Stephen Fry's ongoing struggle with depression; Rex Reed still thinks Melissa McCarthy is, oh, don't make us repeat it, just read it; why NBC newsman David Gregory is what's wrong with Washington; Richard Matheson at 20,000 feet; what the heck is an aspect ratio, anyway?
Marie writes: The unseen forces have spoken! The universe has filled a void obviously needing to be filled: there is now a font made entirely of cats. Called Neko Font (Japanese for "cat font") it's a web app that transforms text into a font comprised of cat pictures. All you need to do is write something in the text box, press "enter" on your keyboard and Neko Font instantly transforms the letters into kitties! Thanks go to intrepid club member Sandy Kahn for alerting the Ebert Club to this important advancement in typography. To learn more, read the article "There is now a font made entirely of cats" and to test it out yourself, go here: Neko Font. Meanwhile, behold what mankind can achieve when it has nothing better to do....
Marie writes: Summer is now officially over. The berries have been picked, the jam has been made, lawn-chairs put away for another year. In return, nature consoles us with the best show on Earth; the changing of the leaves! I found these at one of my favorites sites and where you can see additional ones and more...
Somebody named Michael Jones -- essentially the same Mr. Jones Bob Dylan wrote about years ago -- appeared on HuffPo recently with a piece called "That Steely Dan Moment" -- you know, about a discovery of musical taste that makes you wonder if you could ever love the person who possesses it. The twist is that he's the one who falls short and doesn't know it. Turn up the Eagles, the neighbors are listening, Mr. Jones.
Anyway, I wouldn't have paid attention except that his story (who knows where or when it originally appeared if it was on HuffPo) reminded me of an article my friend Julia Sweeney did for the February, 1993, issue of SPIN magazine that was written and edited by the staff of "Saturday Night Live." It probably wasn't an entirely original idea then, either, but it was called "Men, Music & Me," and in it she discussed her assessments of collegiate and post-collegiate boyfriends -- using their cinematic and musical tastes as a guide. (Please also see my entry on Carl Wilson's book, "Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste.")
... what? Not "Star Wars"? Not even "The Dark Knight"? (Wait -- that's the 21st.)
See? Cinephiles and music collectors aren't the only ones who feel the compulsive need to make lists. Though, usually, we flaunt the subjectivity of the exercise (and try not to figure box-office popularity into the equation). But not this University of Chicago economist profiled in Monday's New York Times: Ask David Galenson to name the single greatest work of art from the 20th century, and he unhesitatingly answers "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon," a 1907 painting by Picasso.
He can then tell you with certainty Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on, as well. [...]