In the June 25, 2012 issue of The New Yorker, staff writer Adam Gopnik notes that “we are about to enter that period, which occurs every four years, when [we] become passionate about athletes we have never heard of participating in games we do not follow trying to please judges we cannot see according to rules we do no know.” He attributes our irrational infatuation with the Olympics to nationalism, or internationalism, or something else very brainy, yet he fails to underscore why most of us really tune in. Hot jocks! I don’t know a thing about rhythmic gymnastics or synchronized swimming, but I’m always willing to watching tight buns, and biceps and brawn. Here’s who I will be eying in London (and because I’m such a good nationalist, they are all from Canada’s team).
Is he really Canada’s Messiah? No, that’s insane. But the Thornhill native is the highest ranked singles tennis player in Canadian history (he’s currently no. 22 in the world), and, at the young age of 21, has already won over a $1 million in prize. Plus, he’s 6’5″ tall. Just saying.
Lena Dunham plays Hannah and Adam Driver plays Adam Sackler on HBO’s Girls.
In She Did, the final episode of HBO’s Girls, a lot happened. Marnie moved out (because she lost the cage match); Jessa got married to an investment banker (who probably didn’t sign a prenupt, but probably should have); Shoshanna finally lost her virginity (to Ray — yes, she was that desperate); Elijah confessed to Hannah that he did, in fact, give her HPV (before she turned him gay); Jessa peed in front of Hannah (because this is Girls, so she had to pee in front of someone). But the only really important thing that happened was that Adam told Hannah that he loved her. Hurray? Finally? Victory? No. After the declaration, everything went sour. Why? Because nothing in this world makes any damn sense.
Note: This is a (mostly) fictional account of a sheltered, Canadian university student arriving in notoriously violent Johannesburg for the first time. Enjoy.
By the time I arrive at Tambo International Airport, it’s midnight. My flight is almost seven hours late. I was hoping to catch Johannesburg’s legendary crimson sunset from the plane, but the sky is black as I land. More worrisome, the driver who was supposed to pick me up and take me to my hotel downtown is no where to be found. I wait in arrivals until it’s almost empty — save for a few security guards — before I accept that whoever was supposed to meet me has long ago come and gone and isn’t coming back.
It’s June. When I left Toronto it was warm and summery. South Africa feels like winter. I’m wearing a black fleece zip-up, gloves, dark wash jeans, hiking boots and a hat. I’ve come for a two-week student workshop on urban design in post-apartheid Johannesburg. Its tagline is Can the Divided City be Reunited? I watched Sarafina as a child and Tsotsi as a teenager but otherwise didn’t know anything about the city or the country when I signed up four months ago. I was half way through my third year of architecture school and sick of sitting in a classroom. I wanted to feel some dirt beneath my finger nails. I wanted to see the world. Plus, my professor said I could use the conference for extra credit. That’s why I came.
In episode nine of Lena Dunham’s Girls — Leave Me Alone — best friends Marnie and Hannah get into a toothbrush-whipping, insult-hurling, door-slamming fight. Yawn. That spat was in the offing since episode one, when Marnie got to see Hannah’s boobs but wouldn’t reciprocate the kindness. Clearly, the friendship was one sided, and based on Hannah giving and Marnie taking. Well, until Marnie gave unemployed Hannah a roof over her head and food to eat, all in return for the displeasure of hearing Adam molest Hannah through the paper thin walls. How did Marnie cope with the smell? Anyway, the real question is, when the hair pulling, cat scratching, boot stomping part of the fight begins — one can only hope, in episode 10 — who will win? Here’s how I think it will go.
Lena Dunham plays Hannah on HBO’s Girls
Hannah: 24-years-old, short, stocky and unemployed. She lives on a self-destructive mix of opium tea, cupcakes and misery (also known as Adam), and what she lacks in stamina — she once collapsed in the middle of the street during a light jog — she makes up for in complete and utter shamelessness (would she have really slept with her old, pervey boss?).
The Place: A 5-bedroom, $675,000 Victorian in Toronto’s west end. It has 2 kitchens, so it’s either a live-in/rent-out property or the home of a food-hoarding over eater. I wonder what kind of house it would be for me: a way to boost my income, or my waist size? Actually, why not both? I could use all the rent money to buy fancy snacks, like prosciutto…and chocolate-covered prosciutto. It’s win-win-win, because then I could use the rent money to get lipo when I’m too heavy to breath. Yay.
When Lena Dunham’s Girls first premiered, I thought Adam Sackler was straight up repulsive. Eight episodes in, I’m on the fence. On one hand, he’s a foul-mouthed perve with no job, no prospects and no shirt. But there’s an endearing quality to someone as unfiltered, boyish and impulsive as Adam. He basically says everything that crosses his mind and does whatever he wants to. So, like Jessa, I’m not sure if he’s “a great thinker, or just a total fucking idiot.” Below, what makes me want to vomit, and what I find sweet.
Adam Driver plays Adam Sackler on HBO’s Girls
Two words: Golden showers. No, three words (because there are some people who would actually find that hot): Unsolicited golden showers. The only thing more disturbing is that Hannah didn’t break up with him instantly. Or call the cops or the fire department or Amnesty International. Nasty.