A Conversation With My Closeted 17 Year-Old Self

Seeing old pictures of yourself is both mortifying and life-affirming. On one hand, I’m so glad I no longer have a nose ring and wear mismatched Puma shoes. On the other, I can’t believe I even pierced my nose and thought mismatched Puma shoes were a good idea.

Ethnographical Survey of Beverages

Many social functions are clarified and maintained by this fermented grape juice. It can serve as “admission” to dinner parties, as the host implicitly expects guests to bring a ~$15-20 bottle in order to offset the cost of food—as chronicled in a Seinfeld episode in which George Costanza laments having to buy a bottle for a party.

Ten Great, But Oft-Overlooked, Beatles Songs

As a temporary resident of Liverpool, a city which plays up its Beatles-related legacy with almost religious zeal, I learned a few things very quickly. The first lesson? When you’ve seen one Beatles tribute act, you’ve seen them all. Although the Fab Four had a wildly prolific career, writing more than 300 songs (not even brushing solo material), the same 40 or so selections seem to make up the core of the regional tribute repertoire here.

Annette Bening vs. Natalie Portman: Who Deserves Oscar More?

Once again, I respectfully dissent. This time, with the Oscar prognosticators, whose general consensus is that Annette Bening is egregiously overdue. I understand where they’re coming from: She’s a first-rate actress and one of the few who has allowed herself to age gracefully onscreen. She also accomplished the seemingly impossible Hollywood task of taming Warren Beatty. But how overdue is she?

I Was a Cartier Gift Wrapper

Two months in New York, and I was begging for a chance to prove myself as a gift wrapper. The worst part was, I knew I couldn’t do it. My presents often looked like I wrapped them while riding a roller coaster. Even for items as easy as books I ended up using a half a roll of tape.

Leor Galil’s Best Albums of 2010

This year, I’m not entirely sure I’m fit to write a “best of” list that speaks for all of society. Then again, lists like these shouldn’t be thought of as the final word on a year’s cultural output, even for the person who wrote the list. Tastes change, people discover music from years past and realized they overlooked it.

Will The Vice Guide to Everything Save MTV?

It’s been years since the world stopped holding its breath for MTV to return to playing music videos. And I’m pretty sure we’d also given up hope the network would ever run any programs of substance. (Sadly, Jersey Shore and Teen Mom just don’t cut it.)