• Culture

    The Time for Westerns Has Come. And Clifford Jackman’s Debut Novel Is the Perfect Example

    The western is a genre that seems forever on the verge of absolute relevancy, like stories about superheroes, mob bosses, and sad contemporary white men. Signals from the Wild West get launched every few years, it seems: think Deadwood, Justified, or, in the world of literature, Patrick DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers, or last year’s The Son by Phillip Meyer. But whether these represent the first salvos of an upcoming cultural onslaught or the last shots of a dying genre is never very clear. And if it’s any indication, the coming Western boom is going to be good. Bloody good.

  • Culture

    EDITOR’S LETTER: Welcome to Manhood. It’s a Good Place to Be

    Behind me somewhere, tucked between back issues of Sharp and cologne samples, is the first copy of Esquire I ever bought. It’s the June 2001 issue. Jon Stewart is on the cover. This was before The Daily Show became essential viewing for lefty millenials, but things were obviously looking up for him (although, things are […]

  • Women

    Linda Cardellini is a Powerful Woman (And That’s Just One Thing We Like About Her)

    I’m trying to discern what it is about Linda Cardellini that makes her impenetrable to cynicism. Or rather, makes her so good at penetrating it, the kind that accumulates in the brains or hearts (or wherever cynicism metaphorically builds up) in even the most seasoned consumer of culture. Because, it’s like a super power for her. She deploys it in every role, not to mention real life, too. It’s a part of her identity. She appears, and you suddenly, you’ve fallen for her.

  • Culture

    The Books You Should Have Read This Year

    Winter is the beach season for the mind. The time you flex your mental faculties to impress the bookish honeys with their dark framed glasses, MFAs, and discreet punctuation tattoos. But, that means you have to lift, bro. Literally, because a lot of the books you should have read this year are legitimate tomes. You can pick up the lightweight, Lee Child burner again when the sun comes out. Right now, it’s time to get huge, literarily speaking.

  • Culture

    It’s All a Game to Channing Tatum

    Two moves in, Channing Tatum has already won. I successfully removed a block from the middle of the tower of small wooden bricks, but as I try to place it gently on the top of the tower, according to the dictates of the game, two blocks tumble from the top. If there’s one skill required to play (and win) the game of Jenga, it is steady hands. But, the dynamics of this particular game are a little uneven. He’s Channing Tatum. I’m not. I’m a little nervous. He says he is, too, but this is not honest.

  • Culture

    A Man Worth Listening To: Aaron Sorkin

    You expect Aaron Sorkin to speak in a certain way. His characters, whether President Josiah Bartlet in The West Wing, Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, or the hard-charging news team in The Newsroom, are all super-competent and uncannily eloquent. They speak in paragraphs peppered with impossible stats and zinging repartee. And, as a result […]

  • Culture

    5 Podcasts To Make You A Better Man

    In the pop cultural hierarchy, podcasts—those not-quite-radio shows meant to be downloaded from iTunes—fall somewhere between public radio and theatre. People listen to them, just not as many as it sometimes seems. The reason is that these listeners tend to be the educated, tote-bag carrying sorts who write our blogs and produce our newscasts. Something like the audience of Mad Men.

  • Culture

    Chris Pine is a Horrible Boss

    Chris Pine might as well be giving me an acting lesson. It’s about motivation. It’s a reminder that for a scene to work, to have thrust and gravity, you need two characters who each want something, ideally from each other. I’m reminded of that famous scene in A Few Good Men where Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson verbally duke it out in a military court. One man wants the truth, while the other resolutely maintains that his opponent can’t, in fact, handle said truth. That scene’s got it all: a power imbalance, competing desires, machismo, drama. You can’t handle the truth! That’s some good stuff right there.

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