A great deal of Internet ink was expended yesterday over a scene in the third episode of Season Four of Game of Thrones, HBO’s runaway dungeons-and-dragons hit. Spoiler alert: In case somehow you missed it, in the scene Jaime Lannister rapes his twin sister Cersei in the shadow of a bier bearing the corpse of their eldest son, Joffrey, a.k.a. The King Nobody Liked. The commentariat rose up en masse because in the scene, Cersei protests vehemently when Jaime starts to kiss her; her protests heat up even further as his passion (or wrath, or resentment) does; finally, she returns his kisses as they fall to the floor to consummate the act.
Marc Mezvinsky and Chelsea Clinton attend the 2014 amfAR New York Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on February 5, 2014, in New York City. Photo | Debby Wong, Shutterstock.com
A great big mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky, who announced late last week the impending birth this autumn of an heir to the Clinton dynasty. You may remember their wedding back in the summer of 2010. It was the American equivalent of one of Britain’s royal marriage hullabaloos, and cost, cognoscenti guessed, about three million bucks. But for all its heritage and privilege, Marc and Chelsea’s baby, when it’s born, will be part of a minority — the less than 50 percent of all babies born in this country today whose parents are wed.
Three years ago, Don Dodson planned to make a killing selling the Civil War artifacts he and his metal detector have uncovered near his hometown of Ringgold, Georgia. In Jersey City, New Jersey, Jamie Delson designed and packaged up special sets of toy soldiers from famous Civil War battles that he planned to sell. Louis Varnell opened a military memorabilia store near Chickamauga, the site of a bloody 1863 battle. They—and a lot of historians, reenactors, hoteliers, restaurateurs and fellow businessmen—were counting on the sesquicentennial of the Civil War to stir up a flood of action commemorating what was, arguably, the most cataclysmic event in American history.
Today, according to a story last week in the Wall Street Journal, the relics sit unsold. So do the toy soldiers. And Varnell is shipping more World War II collectibles than Civil War stuff. Three-quarters of the way through the four-year commemoration of the war that pitted brother against brother, the general consensus is, nobody gives a damn. “If it’s a celebration,” Delson told the Journal, “it’s a celebration that the public is either not aware of or not interested in.”
The first round of announcements regarding May college commencement speakers has wound down, and if you think college admissions are competitive, you should see the commencement-speaker arms race. Is our school’s smarter than yours? More famous? Better looking? We took the trouble to arrange the first 20 announcees according to overall desirability as we see it from here.
John Legend at Penn. Not because we give a damn about anything he has to say, but because “We had John Legend” sounds way cooler as a retroactive commencement-speaker boast than “We had Dominic Pileggi.”
Jeffrey Brenner at Rutgers-Camden. He may not have much name recognition, but the MacArthur Fellow is a major force in what may be the biggest story of our time: the changing American health-care system.
Portia Simpson Miller at Lafayette. She’s the prime minister of Jamaica, for chrissake. How cool is that?
Donna Brazile at Thomas Jefferson University. We love her. She’s bossy.
Ed Herr, president of Herr’s Foods Inc., at Immaculata. He could bring chips!
I’ve often marveled at how tone-deaf my friends’ tweets can seem—something about the limitations of those 140 characters, perhaps? Too much striving to be witty in too small a space? So I really can’t say I was surprised at a new study indicating that those who can’t start or end the day without checking their Twitter feeds could find themselves with a lot more free time in which to do so. According to the study’s author, the more active you are on Twitter, the more likely your relationship will blow up.
The Thursday Styles section of the New York Times last week contained a big bloomingarticle on the fashion trend known as “normcore,” which the article helpfully defined in the following way:
A fashion movement, c. 2014, in which scruffy young urbanites swear off the tired street-style clichés of the last decade — skinny jeans, wallet chains, flannel shirts — in favor of a less-ironic (but still pretty ironic) embrace of bland, suburban anti-fashion attire. (See Jeans, mom. Sneakers, white.)
Accompanying the article were a lot of photos of my clothes. Specifically, there were Nike sneakers, cargo shorts, t-shirts, a hoodie from a random college, Champion sweatpants … Well, hello, old friends!
The fourth season of the dungeons-and-dragons epic premieres on HBO this Sunday, April 6th, at 9 p.m. Are you worthy to watch it? Depends on how well you remember Seasons One, Two and Three. Take our torturous quiz and find out where you rank in GOT fandom.