REVIEW: Benjamin Markovits - 'A Weekend in New York'

‘However, it is also in the broadness of its ambition that the novel finds its undoing. It is hard not to think that maybe the novel would have been better if it hadn't made such a commitment to a democratic coverage of its characters, over such a short space of time. In his previous novels Markovits elegant, effortlessly readable prose was so good at showing the passing of time: how an attitude became weathered, lived in, how easy it might feel just to go along with the force of a long suffered habit and how eventually moments of unshakeable change don’t present themselves that dramatically.’

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Nicolas Cage and the Blurred Lines of Artistic Delusion

“The start of Face/Off, in which Cage feels up a choir girl and head-bangs to Handel’s Messiah, was inspired, it turns out, by the “abstract, ontological facial expressions” of German Expressionism. His performance in Moonstruck, he also explains, originally featured a French accent in reference to Jean Marais’ performance in the 1946 version of Beauty and the Beast. Cage goes on to say, completely deadpan, that the accent was dropped because director, Norman Jewison, had to call him up personally and ask him to abandon it.”

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The State of the NBA: Inside the League's Failed Attempts at Parity

“Through instruments such as the draft, salary caps and luxury taxes, the NBA has tried to spread talent out amongst teams, attempting to minimise the effect super-rich owners and larger market cities like LA, New York and Chicago can have on financial means. In the NBA there aren’t supposed to be teams like Real Madrid or Manchester United who dominate for multiple generations by means of astronomical financial advantages and a monopoly on talent. The best a team should feasibly be able to do within the rules of the NBA probably looks something like the 2016 Golden State Warriors — a transcendentally good team that also got extremely lucky.”

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Stat-Padding: The Arbitrary Obsession with the Triple Double

"The easier it is to quantify a star’s contributions the easier it is to market them as ‘exceptional’ and the more appealing that player might be to fans. People like to watch exceptional athletes and people like even more to watch the ones who stand out among an already elite group. To be a top player in the NBA is not just to beat out your 500 or so compatriots, it is also to beat every player playing in college or every player playing in Europe or in Asia; there is a sense of cumulative talent in the NBA that makes a dominant performance carry tonnes of extra weight."

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REVIEW: MGMT - Little Dark Age

"2018 marks the arrival of Little Dark Age and a well awaited return to form. If Congratulations can be seen as a successful attempt to recapture the spirit of the late 60s and early 70s, this new album channels the synth-laden pop of the 1980s. It is a pleasant reminder that MGMT, at their most fundamental level, are capable of making undeniably catchy music."

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Lebron James - 'The Hardest Road'

"We have got used to Lebron’s teams taking the hardest possible road, neglecting the process on which other teams base their identities and relying instead on the monumental individual brilliance of his play. We expect Lebron to reach the The Finals and then we get ourselves primed, with the force of a long-suffered habit, for the usual toss up between success and failure that has defined his career." 

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