Philip Seymour Hoffman was probably the greatest actor of his generation, and now he’s dead. From a pained nobody laughing and faking his way through a conversation about sports with a coworker, to one of history’s more iconic rock critics, to one of history’s more iconic writers, to a nurse who might be the only virtuous person in a city of supremely damaged souls, to a murderous arms dealer, to a spiritually bereft cult leader, “it’s not clear that there were roles [he] could not do.” It’s a tragic death, and, perhaps, “the complete price of his nearly superhuman ability has yet to be reckoned.” But after the life he led, and the family he left behind, never mind the body of work, if the best you can do is breathlessly and ghoulishly splash the horrific details of his demise all over Twitter and at the top of your content farm, maybe your best course of action is to sit the next few plays out and watch a goddamn movie.
More on Hoffman soon. Until then, some of his finest moments. God, this sucks.
The Toronto Star sent Daniel Dale to New York to report on the Super Bowl, and an utter abomination broke out. If Richard Sherman is happy, though, we’re happy. Go Seachickens.
“There was a class war, and the poor people lost.” David Simon, creator of The Wire and Treme, checks in after Obama’s State of the Union address.
Andy Ward, formerly of Esquire and GQ and now, luckily for us, editorial director of nonfiction at Random House, recently sat down for a chat with the good folks at the Longform podcast.
“No one had the heart to tell her that she was dead; the cushion on which she had sat was wet with seawater.” Exorcising the ghosts of the tsunami in Japan.
“Empathy is a word that bothers me when it’s applied to writing. … I think empathy is a guy who punches you in the face at a bus station, and you’re somehow able to look at him and know enough about what situation he was in to know that he had to do that and not to hit back. That’s empathy, and nothing ever happens in writing that has that kind of moral heroism about it.” John Jeremiah Sullivan talks to Notre Dame’s The Observer.
Over at The Atlantic, here’s Ta-Nehisi Coates on how black America talks to the White House.
Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey was memorable for many reasons. Typography wasn’t one of them.
Could this be the largest collection of Soviet wartime posters ever?
Dave Holmes revisits the top 40 songs from Super Bowl Sunday in 2004. Good god, remember when we were listening to Evanescence? What a nightmare.
Here is a brief history of idiots on the Internet asking what time the Super Bowl is.
J.K. Rowling ruins all our fan fiction by saying she regrets pairing Ron and Hermione up at the end of the Harry Potter series. How can she even consider that a mistake!? If we’re going to talk about terrible pairings, how about that Ginny/Harry duo? THAT’S NONSENSE.