Snapped at Bungalow 8 around 1:45 this morning….notice the young portly guy eyeballing whatever, and the thinner guy sitting down alone and feeling momentarily adrift and wondering what his life has amounted to; former Rush & Molloy go-getters Jett Wells and Baird Jones at Fusion on West 28th — 12.31.06, 9:50 pm; at Koi, a restaurant inside the Bryant Park hotel — 12.31.06, 10:55 pm
Contrary to Anne Thompson‘s recent Risky Biz blog impression, there is not and never was “an ongoing blog wrangle between Hollywood Elsewhere‘s Jeffrey Wells and Factory Girl director George Hickenlooper having to do with the suggestion that the director may have been pushed off his problem-riddled late-awards-season entry,” etc. The wrangle was between Hickenlooper and a guy who calls himself JWEgo who’d posted some reader replies that I’m not going to get into here. I was a mere bystander.
“For the last two months, no snow has fallen on Central Park, and it probably won’t fall anytime soon, forecasters say. Indeed, not since April 8th has there been even a flurry.
“The National Weather Service said that last month appeared to be the first December without a snowflake here since 1877, when Rutherford B. Hayes was president. Moreover, New York City is not alone. Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, Vienna and Stockholm report little or no snow this season.
“It has been so warm in Yaroslavl, a city about 150 miles northeast of Moscow, that Masha the bear, a resident of the city zoo, woke up last month from his hibernation after only a week.
In Central Park on Saturday, where children were gliding along on roller skates and rumbling around on three-wheelers, Rob Flanagan, 35, a general contractor from Hoboken, N.J., was peeved.
“Global warming!” he said. “Al [Gore] might be right!” The mild weather stinks, he said. “I like the snow!”
Julianne Warren, 40, a conservation biologist visiting New York from Lexington, Va., is concerned. She said she heard a white-throated sparrow in Central Park and saw an azalea blooming.
“Things seem a little…” she said, and then wiggled her outstretched right hand as if it were an airplane in turbulence. “It may mean the flowers don’t bloom at the right time and birds may not know to migrate at the right time.” — from a story by Anthony Ramirez in today’s N.Y. Times.
Observations and comments like these, which one hears often these days, are the reason An Inconvenient Truth is going to win the Oscar for Best Feature Documentary. Partly because doing so will assuage people’s guilt about not really doing anything about an obviously worsening situation, and because giving an award is a lot easier than changing carbon consumption habits.
“I’ve always been a media junkie,” producer Michael London (Sideways) tells L.A. Times writer Rachel Abramowitz in a good piece called “Admit It — We’re All Video Junkies Now.” Digital- media junkies, I think she meant to say.
down the rabbit hole,” London continues. “When the rabbit hole has gotten bigger and deeper through the internet, for people like me who multitask, it’s created a real danger. It creates a perfect meltdown scenario to people who are vulnerable to trying to do too much at once.
“You can sit in your office, and you can be having a phone conversation while reading Variety online, and answering your e-mail and having an IM chat with somebody. It sounds crazy, but it’s not an exaggeration.”
“The thing that suffers,” London says, “is your focus and your creativity. It limits the time you have for sitting and watching a movie, or reading a script, or thinking about an idea. The things that suffer and get thrown away are the things that require the most sustained thought.”
“Which is why I’ve trying in my own humble way to disconnect a little bit. You have to force yourself to go cold turkey. I literally tried to listen through an entire album a couple of weeks ago, to try to get back to that space where you listen to things as a whole instead of just sample. We live in a culture where everyone is sampling.”
This columnist lives in the rabbit hole, which is where all focus and creativity that I’m able to harness manifest. There is awareness, of course, of the ground and the grass above, and of the surrounding open-air, blue-sky environment and all the organic tactile things that go with that. Sometimes I even climb up and go out and do things in that environment — eating out, walking, seeing movies in theatres, patrolling the aisles of Koontz hardware or Best Buy, bike-riding, etc.
But I only do these things for four- or five-hour periods — six is pushing it. I used to live in that world but no longer and never again. The rabbit hole is home, hearth, nourishment, a playground, a temple….life itself. Such as it is.
London is right, of course: rabbit-holing does limit the time we have for the things that require the most sustained thought. Which is why I do my best thinking while (a) taking a shower, (b) driving in Los Angeles without the radio on or (c) walking the streets of Manhattan or Brooklyn.
And I’m proud to say, by the way, that unlike a good 30 to 40% of the people I see in Manhattan, I don’t indulge in the most hermetic, anti-life, anti-social rabbit hole thing you can do, which is walking around all the time listening to high- decibel iPod tunes with those little earplug headphones.