Riding Metro North. Don’t Sit Here.

You, yes You, are standing on the platform waiting for the next train. The train approaches.  You flip open an app that displays which seats are open and…the app flashes a profile of your seat mate. Profiles are pulled together using a composite of the individuals’ blog posts, google searches and social media activity. So, what you have here is a form of seat match-making, with no names or addresses disclosed.

You, yes You, see that there are only two seats open. You scan the first profile, and you move to the second, mine, needing to quickly decide where to sit as the train pulls into the station. [Read more…]

He burns really, really hot

inside-llewyn-davis-john-goodman

…At 61, with more than 80 feature films under his belt, Mr. Goodman has cemented his role as one of the great character actors of this generation. He’s not of the “I-know-him-but-I-don’t-know-his-name” variety, though—he’s a star…

…Short but forceful performances have become Goodman’s specialty.  He is in the movie for 15 minutes and 54 seconds. He creates a never-before-seen character but one that is quintessentially John Goodman. He berates the people around him, burns up his scenes. And his work is done…

…Goodman has spent the last two decades as master of a certain type of role: the potentially menacing regular guy, the teddy bear you don’t want to annoy because you might remind him he is a bear. There’s a video online called “John Goodman Loses his S—,” a mashup of his work, scene after scene of him blowing his stack, from TV’s “Roseanne” to Coen films like “The Big Lebowski” to his lead role in the baseball movie “The Babe.”…

…”The moment he appears you feel, ‘Oh, here we go, he’s gonna deliver,'” Mr. Thomson says. “He always gives it a twist. As a character actor he’s on a par with Sydney Greenstreet, He had nastiness in him, he had menace, but once he started talking you just wanted him to go on and on.”  Thomson says Mr. Goodman allows viewers to “imagine the madman inside” his characters: “So much of the time he is a sweetheart, but the rage is there. I suspect it’s directed against himself in lot of ways.”  “I guess I’m able to tap into some undealt-with anger a lot,” Mr. Goodman says. He laughs. “My innate rage.” [Read more…]

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