An overview of the paddock girls (or grid girls) who illuminate the biggest motorsport racing events worldwide.
In almost every racing competition, in the paddock or on the starting grid , a few minutes before the start of a race car or motorcycle, or even near the podium at the end of the race , race organizers generally rely on «grid girls» (or »paddock girls« ), professional models that are in charge of ensuring the show, traditionally wearing sponsored apparel signed by the competition partners.
Paddock girls are part of the Moto GP World Championship, and even have their own dedicated section on the official website. Below, some Valentino Rossi’s fans, at the Valence GP.
At one time or another, each of us has suffered through the anxious moments of silence after what seemed like a successful date with someone new. You had fun and shared a great connection… so why aren’t they calling? The silence has a lot to say.
What is the Silence Telling You?
1. They aren’t ready. Some people go on dates while they are still recovering from a relationship. The “closeness” they feel during your date can be transference from the familiarity of a previous lover. People often test the waters to see if they are ready for love again, only to have a great date trigger their unresolved feelings and create distance afterward. To learn more read “Relationship Red Flags”.
2. The expectations can`t be met. You each express your hopes and expectations during the date and your prospective lover feels they cannot meet yours or that you may not satisfy theirs. They determine that this relationship can’t give them what they want and there is no future. They don’t know how to tell you, so they let silence do the talking.
3. They have met someone else. Sometimes in pursuit of “the one”, people will date several individuals at once and realize only through trial and error who is their better match. If you are often attracting this kind of experience take the time to read “Are You Ready For Love”.
4. There are extenuating circumstances. Life has taken an unexpected turn and your prospective lover is tied up with urgent responsibilities or traveling.
5. They are commitment phobic. A sign of commitment phobia is a person who dazzles you with agreeable charm, warmth and enthusiasm only to feel the fear of commitment and boredom in the aftermath and not call again. …Until they feel you are at a safe distance and then reach out to you – and the games begin. To learn more read: “Are You Commitment Phobic”.
The bottom line is that this person is not “the one” for you.
How Do You Handle the Silence?
Don’t take it personally: This will challenge your self-esteem. If you aren’t sure what’s happening, drop the expectation that they need to be the first to reach out and make an authentic attempt to connect with a friendly message (text / phone).
Reveal What’s UnderMind: Silence is the perfect environment for you to check in with yourself and the beliefs you have about yourself worth and your ability to love and be loved. How much do you trust men or women? What is your level of cynicism about dating and long term relationships? Do you fear you are destined to be alone? Listen to your inner chatter. What is it saying? To learn more read UnderMind to Discover the 7 Subconscious Beliefs that Sabotage Your Life and How to Overcome Them: www.pnrt.ca/undermind
Embrace the Waves: Be kind to yourself and accept that if you actually liked this person, you may go through the various stages of disappointment, confusion, hurt, anger, and frustration that will likely reinforce your negative beliefs because you aren’t getting the attention you want.
Reach Out: By the time you are ready to check in with your love interest, you may be annoyed that they haven’t called. Make sure if you do reach out you sound like the same happy person they saw last time. Avoid being indignant, judgmental and entitled.
Before contacting them whether by text or phone, take a deep breath and go back to the time when you felt happy with this person. Reach out with a friendly message keeping it light and simple. Send a picture or a reference of something you enjoyed together.
If there is no response: Or it takes more than 24hours for them to reply (unless there are genuinely extenuating circumstances), be thankful for the silence as it indicates that this may not be the right person for you. This is NOT the time to try harder to get their attention but to receive the gift of early detection and recalculate your destination for someone that will give you the attention you deserve.
“The Sound of Silence”, originally “The Sounds of Silence”, is a song by the American music duo Simon & Garfunkel. The song was written by Paul Simon over the period of several months between 1963 and 1964. A studio audition led to the duo signing a record deal with Columbia Records, and the song was recorded in March 1964 at Columbia Studios in New York City for inclusion on their debut album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M..
Released in October 1964, the album was a commercial failure and led to the duo breaking apart, with Paul Simon returning to England and Art Garfunkel to his studies at Columbia University. In spring 1965, the song began to attract airplay at radio stations in Boston, Massachusetts, and throughout Florida. The growing airplay led Tom Wilson, the song’s producer, to remix the track, overdubbing electric instrumentation with the same musicians who backed Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”. Simon & Garfunkel were not informed of the song’s remix until after its release. The single was released in September 1965.
The song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending January 1, 1966, leading the duo to reunite and hastily record their second album, which Columbia titled Sounds of Silence in an attempt to capitalize on the song’s success. The song was a top-ten hit in multiple countries worldwide, among them Australia, Austria, West Germany, Ireland, Japan and the Netherlands. Generally considered a classic folk rock song, the song was added to the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important” in 2013 along with the rest of the Sounds of Silence album.
Originally titled “The Sounds of Silence” on Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., as well as on the single release and Sounds of Silence album, the song was re-titled for later compilations beginning with Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits.
The Sound of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel
“The Sound Of Silence”
(originally by Simon & Garfunkel)
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed
By the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs
That voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools,” said I, “you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you.”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
And the words that it was forming
And the sign said,
“The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.”
And whispered in the sound of silence
“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.” From this primal decree millions of human beings are now liberated. More and more men have more and more leisure.
The working day grows shorter, the week end longer. More and more women are released at an earlier age from the heavier tasks of the rearing of children, in the small family of today, where kindergarten and school and clinic and restaurant come to their aid. More and more people are freed for other things, released from the exhaustion of their energies in the mere satisfaction of elementary wants. No longer is the pattern so simple as that of Longfellow’s blacksmith, who “something attempted, something done, has earned a night’s repose.”
Released from what? When necessity no longer drives, when people own long hours in which to do what they want, what do they want to do? Where necessity is heavy upon men, they yearn for the joys of leisure. Now many have enough leisure. What are the joys they find?
The shorter working day is also a different working day. Nearly all men work for others, not for themselves–not the way a man works who has his own little plot of earth and must give himself up to its cultivation. For many, work has become a routine–not too onerous, not too rewarding, and by no means engrossing–a daily routine until the bell rings and sets them free again. For what?
It is a marvelous liberation for those who learn to use it; and there are many ways. It is the great emptiness for those who don’t. People of a placid disposition do not know the great emptiness. When the day’s work is done, they betake themselves to their quiet interests, their hobbies, their gardens or their amateur workbenches or their stamp collecting or their games or their social affairs or their church activities or whatever it be. When they need more sting in life, they have a mild “fling,” taking a little “moral holiday.” Some find indulgence enough in the vicarious pleasure of snidely malicious gossip. Their habits are early formed and they keep a modicum of contentment.
But the number of the placid is growing less. The conditions of our civilization do not encourage that mood. For one thing, the old-time acceptance of authority, as Godgiven or nature-based, is much less common. Religion is for very many an ancient tale, “a tale of little meaning, though the words are strong,” reduced to ritual or the moral precepts of the Sunday pulpit. There is little allegiance to the doctrine that every man has his allotted place. How could there be when competition has become a law of life? There is incessant movement and disturbance and upheaval. And with the new leisure there come new excitations, new stimuli to unrest.
So the new leisure has brought its seeming opposite, restlessness. And because these cannot be reconciled the great emptiness comes. Faced with the great emptiness, unprepared to meet it, most people resort to one or another way of escape, according to their kind. Those who are less conscious of their need succeed in concealing it from themselves. They find their satisfaction in the great new world of means without ends. Those who are more conscious of it cannot conceal it; they only distract themselves from the thought of it. Their common recourse is excitation, and they seek it in diverse ways.
The first kind are go-getters. When they are efficient or unscrupulous or both, they rise in the world. They amass things. They make some money. They win some place and power. Not for anything, not to do anything with it. Their values are relative, which means they are no values at all. They make money to make more money. They win some power that enables them to seek more power. They are practical men. They keep right on being practical, until their unlived lives are at an end. If they stopped being practical, the great emptiness would engulf them. They are like planes that must keep on flying because they have no landing gear. The engines go fast and faster, but they are going nowhere. They make good progress to nothingness.
They take pride in their progress. They are outdistancing other men. They are always calculating the distance they have gained. It shows what can be done when you have the know-how. They feel superior and that sustains them. They stay assured in the world of means. What matters is the winning.
“But what good came of it at last?”
Quoth little Peterkin.
“Why that I cannot tell,” said he,
“But ’twas a famous victory.”
Victory for the sake of the winning, means for the sake of the acquiring, that is success. So the circle spins forever, means without end, world without end. Amen.
The second kind have it worse. They are the more sensitive kind, often the more gifted. They want their lives to have some meaning, some fulfilment. They want the feel of living for some worthwhile end. But often there is something wrong with the seeking. They too suffer from the intrusive ego. Their seeking lacks adequate sincerity. The need of success is greater for them than the need of the thing that is sought. If, for example, they pursue some art, the art itself counts less than the renown of the artist. They would be great artists, great writers, opera singers, pathfinders. They aim high, but the mark is higher than their reach. When they miss it they grow disillusioned. They are thrust back on their unsatisfied egos, and the great emptiness lies before them.
They try to escape, but they run from themselves. They try to forget, but their only recourse is an excitation of the senses. This stimulant needs to be incessantly repeated. The little spell of liberation, the false glow, the hour of oblivion, leaves them the more desolate and adds new tensions to the returning emptiness. Then there is leisure no more, no relaxedness, no return to the things they once loved, no lingering ease of quiet discourse with friends, no natural savor of living, no perception of the unfolding wonder of things. But instead they pass from excitation to a hollow release, from release to tension, from tension to new excitation. Nothing is itself any more. And no more at the end of the day do they sink peacefully into the marvelous process of slowly gathering sleep.
Once they were so eager to make life feel real; now they shun its reality and are driven to pursue phantoms, the will-o’-the-wisp of sense-spurred distraction, the unseeing ghosts of once clear-eyed joys, the phantom Aphrodite.
But it is not only the more cultivated, the more sophisticated, and the well-to-do with their more ample opportunities, who feel the great emptiness. In other ways it besets large numbers who, finding little satisfaction in the daily work, seek compensation in the leisure they now possess. There are many besides, people who win early pensions or otherwise can get along without toil through legacies or rents or other sources of unearned income, women who have no family cares–the new, unopulent leisure class.
They have no training for leisure. They have, most of them, no strong interests or devotions. The habits of their work time convey no meaning to the time of liberation. Most of them live in cities, in drab and narrow confines within which they revolve in casual little circles. They see nothing ahead but the coming of old age. They want to regain the feel of life. Time is theirs, but they cannot redeem it.
So they too betake themselves, in their various ways, to some form of excitation. Having no recourse in themselves, they must get out of themselves. They take the easy ways out because they see no alternative. They have never learned to climb the paths leading to the pleasures that wait in the realm of ideas, in the growing revelation of the nature of things, in the treasuries of the arts, and in the rich lore of the libraries. They must seek instead the quick transport, the dream, the adventure, in the tavern or where the gamblers meet.
They would cover the emptiness they cannot fill. They make a goal of what is a diversion. The healthy being craves an occasional wildness, a jolt from normality, a sharpening of the edge of appetite, his own little festival of the Saturnalia, a brief excursion from his way of life. But for these others the diversion becomes the way of life and diverts no more. For them the filled glass is not the cheerful accompaniment of pleasant reunions but a deceitful medicine for the ennui of living. For them the gambling venture is no mere holiday flutter but a never-satisfied urge that forever defeats itself.
In 1946, in straitened England, the then equivalent of half a billion dollars was placed in bets on the horses and the dogs. Besides which, vast sums changed hands on the results of football games. For hundreds of thousands of people the major news in the daily papers, day after day and month after month, was the lists of the winners and the betting odds. England was not, is not, alone in this respect. It is only that the figures happen to be more accessible.
A former addict explained in the London Spectator why men do it. The gambler, he said, “gambles because it provides an emotional tension which his mind demands. He is suffering from a deficiency disease, and the only antidote he knows is gambling.” He is trying to escape the great emptiness. An English worker of the semi-skilled category once said to me: “A fellow has to do something, and what is there? Maybe I have a shilling or two in my pocket. Maybe I could buy an extra shirt. It’s no go. So I put them on the dogs.”
By these resorts people do not escape the great emptiness. What they get is a sequence of brief delusions of escape. In time the only thing they can escape to is what they themselves know for a delusion. The resort is only a drug to make them forget the disease. As with all such drugs, the dose must be continually renewed, and it becomes harder and harder to return to the pre-addict stage. They come to look on the great emptiness as something inherent in the very nature of things. That is all life is. Now they know the drug is a delusion, but they do not know that it has bred a deeper delusion.
There are other avenues of escape that, while they may still be delusive, have the merit of not being recognized as such. Which means that the escape is actually made. In every large city, and notably in those areas where people go to spend their retirement, where the climate is mild and sunny, all kinds of special cults flourish and new ones are frequently born.
To these places repair the hucksters of the supernatural and find a ready market for their wares. There are to be found the prophets of mystical union, robed and turbaned preachers of the Light of Asia, interpreters of the Rosy Cross, exponents of the heavenly trance, new healers of the soul, tuners-in of the Infinite, operators in spiritual magics. Considerable numbers flock to them, some to seek a new sensation and then pass on, but some to stay and be. come disciples or devotees.
These last are the credulous ones, the unsophisticate, the suggestible. They search no more. The emptiness is filled. They have undergone a kind of hypnosis. They live in the nebula of their mystical dream. They meet reality no more. But at least, in a manner, they have found their peace.
Back in the days when unremitting toil was the lot of all but the very few and leisure still a hopeless yearning, hard and painful as life was, it still felt real. People were in rapport with the small bit of reality allotted to them, the sense of the earth, the tang of the changing seasons, the consciousness of the eternal on-going of birth and death. Now, when so many have leisure, they become detached from themselves, not merely from the earth.
From all the widened horizons of our greater world a thousand voices call us to come near, to understand, and to enjoy, but our ears are not trained to hear them. The leisure is ours but not the skill to use it. So leisure becomes a void, and from the ensuing restlessness men take refuge in delusive excitations or fictitious visions, returning to their own earth no more.
lt’s often said that healthful eating takes too much time in planning and shopping and costs too much for the average budget. But don’t believe it. Healthful eating can be accomplished easily and within a budget by following many of the guidelines below.
. Plan menus; then make a list to enable you to recall all necessary healthy grocery items. Recipe preparation goes much faster when you have all necessary ingredients on hand.
. Eat before you shop to avoid impulse buying of nonhealthy foods.
. Use coupons and comparison shop to save money.
. Buy store brands or no frills to economize on healthy foods.
. Larger sizes are usually, but not always, the best buy.
. Read labels to become familiar with the products you buy and eat. The information on labels can help you take advantage of specials by telling you whether the food will fit into your diet.
In reading the ingredient list on food labels, you may come across a number of words that are unfamiliar. Some of these “foreign” words should become familiar to you.
For example, although a number of ingredients do not contain the word “fat” in their names, they are in fact high in fat content, particularly saturated fat. Such ingredient names include:
. hydrogenated shortening
. coconut and coconut oil
. palm oil and palm-kernel oil
These notorious fats are often found in breads and crackers. A label may read “Prepared with 100% vegetable oil,” yet contain coconut, palm or palm-kernel oils which are saturated fats. Nondairy creamers and whipped toppings also contain coconut oil.
Any ingredients that contain the word “sodium” should also be noted. The more mention there is of sodium, the more likely the food should be avoided. Examples of sodium compounds include sodium chloride (salt), monosodium glutamate, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), baking powder, disodium phosphate, sodium alginate, sodium benzoate, sodium hydroxide, sodium nitrite, sodium propianate and sodium sulfite.
Many of these sodium compounds are used as preservatives in food items and should be limited in your diet. The order in which ingredients appear is important. Listed by weight, an ingredient that appears at the beginning of the list is the ingredient in greatest quantity. Canned products usually contain high amounts of sodium. Purchase fresh or frozen or the law-salt variety.
Be aware of hidden sodium found in common medications such as antacids and same prescription medications. Ask your doctor or dietitian for advice about a particular food or medication if you are uncertain. If your doctor has prescribed potassium supplements for you, be aware that many salt substitutes and lowsodium products contain potassium chloride in place of sodium. Consult your doctor or dietitian about your recommended potassium intake.
Now that you will be making heart-healthier food choices, the supermarket shelves are brimming with possibilities:
There are a number of new oils that may be of interest to you for their exotic tastes. Examples are walnut oil, almond oil, sesame oil and canola or rapeseed oil. Bear in mind that food companies have responded to the consumer’s need for healthier, lower fat, cholesterol and sodium products. You can find low-sodium versions of such condiments as soy sauce and Worcestershire, and cheeses with reduced fat or salt. These products are sometimes found in dietetic and specialty sections of your grocery store, or they may be found alongside traditional versions.
The healthiest way to lose weight is slowly at up to 2 lbs per week. If more than this is lost then a large proportion of the weight lost is muscle and this will make it harder to keep the weight off later on. Please take some time to sit down and think about what you want to change and why – write down your goals – think of small things you can change in a week to meet your goals. Starting to make small changes will see results. You can do this in a healthy and sustainable way. You all need to make sure you are eating healthily.
You may lose a few more pounds in the first few weeks as your body gets used to the calorie controlled diet. Please do not worry as your weight loss will settle down so you have a constant loss of 1 lb per week.
Please give your body time to get used to the calorie controlled diet and you will see results. Its near impossible to lose a pound of fat a day. The body just doesn’t work like that. You have to understand that your body is 80% water weight and when you fast, and workout hard, yes you burn calories but you are mostly losing water weight. That’s why when most people get on a diet they lose a lot of weight at first and then start to lose a lot slower in following weeks.
First couple of days of a diet and exercise program you lose about 80% of that in water weight and about 15% fat and another 5% muscle (muscle is your metabolism, that burns energy throughout the day, even at rest). Now that you lost a lot of water weight, and you cut a lot of calories from your diet, your body goes into survival mode, thinking that you are in a situation that may keep you from food for a long period of time (kinda like the fat storing ability of a bear when he sleeps for the winter, his calorie burning furance is cut in half and the body starts to burn muscle more then fat to help you survive longer).
For every 5 pounds of fat you lose you will lose one pound of muscle, that is how the body works. By the time you get down to your weight goal you will still more then likely have a slightly high body fat percentage because you lost a lot of your muscle mass, and your ability to burn calories has dropped about 50% causing you to yo yo your weight back up to what you started at and more then likely increase to even more. The best way to lose weight and keep it off for a life time is to make a lifestyle change, everyone these days wants everything now, and don’t understand that its not about now, its about tomorrow.
Experience has taught me that I have to have at least 1200 calories a day to keep my body from thinking that I’m part of a famine. It very efficiently maintains my weight to get me through this time “when food is scarce”…So eating a few more calories daily spaced through-out the day seems to give the signal that “food is plentiful” don’t store fat.
Please stick to the calorie quota and drink plenty of water and you will see the weight come off. Exercise will help you earn extra calories that you can eat and stay on target. Remember all exercise and activity earns extra calories and is beneficial to your goals. Additional calories expended through exercise can ‘compensate’ for occasions when you think you may need more calories.
If you know you are going out or have a special event don’t starve yourself throughout a day to save calories. It is better to compensate for any excesses over the period of a week or so and through additional activity.
The actual calorie count is what it really boils down to, but what you eat is also important. For the sake of your arteries and heart and cholesterol and blood pressure and everything else besides weight alone. I’d much rather eat 4000 calories of healthy foods than 4000 calories worth of cheeseburgers. Yes, the calorie count is the bottom line when it comes to losing weight. But who wants to lose weight and clog their arteries at the same time? There are many people out there, be it genetics or diet-related, that are at a healthy weight but still have high cholesterol due to diets high in fat.
Your credit score is probably the single most important number in your financial life. Sadly, it’s become one of the only ways businesses can judge the creditworthiness of a person. Use of your credit report has infiltrated areas we never thought it would – from job applications to insurance premiums.
I recently learned the impact credit score has on interest rates after finding out a single point could cost you thousands of dollars in interest payments on a mortgage. That being said, there are several simple and legal steps you can take to improve your score.
Get It For Free
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that the three nationwide consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) provide a copy of your credit report every twelve months. You can learn more about the FCRA’s mandate at the FTC.gov website set up for this.
Once you get a copy of your credit history, look it over and dispute anything that’s wrong. You could have an account listed that isn’t yours or one that’s listed as delinquent when it’s not. The statistics on the number of errors in credit reports is astounding (79% may have errors)and chances are something in your report is wrong and adversely affecting your score.
Stop Applying for New Credit
10% of your score is based on your requests for new credit. 15% of your score is based on the length of your credit history. When you apply for new credit, both of those figures are negatively affected. Just think of it this way, if you were going to lend someone money, would you lend it someone who has been looking for credit recently or someone who hasn’t? Lenders aren’t that much different.
Pay Down Debt
30% of your score is based on the how much of your available credit is being utilized; the lower the better. If you have $10,000 of available credit and you’re using $8,000, your score would be lower than if you were only using $1,000 or $2,000. Again, think back to if you were a lender. If someone was using 80% of their credit, wouldn’t that set off some warning bells? They could be very creditworthy, payment history (which accounts for 35%) can attest to that, but a higher utilization figure means higher risk. By paying down debt, you’re lowering that figure.
Request Credit Limit Increases
These days, the number of credit issuers willing to do anything but decrease your credit line is dwindling. If you ask, some credit card companies are willing to offer a credit limit increase without a credit inquiry. These are the types of increases you should try to obtain as inquiries will occasionally decrease your score by a couple points. By requesting, and being granted, an increase, you lower that utilization metric used for 30% of your score.
Dispute Old Negatives
Finally, if you have some old negatives that you think the lender won’t, or is unwilling, to confirm if disputed – dispute them. Some smaller agencies or businesses may not care enough, or may be in such disarray, that they can’t confirm the bureaus investigation into the old negative. If there is no confirmation or paperwork officially stating that you owe them money, they cannot keep the claim active on your credit report.
With these six steps, you can improve your score without the use of any shady credit repair companies.
The start of summer and lulling heat is a beckoning call to the cool, cushioned seats of movie theaters. The cavernous rooms offer your home air-conditioner a well-deserved break, and you the chance to be engulfed in a different world of adventure, comedy and love.
But let’s wake up from the summer heat with some adrenaline. Here are five movies that will satiate any horror-appetite, whether it’s a haunting based on real events, sci-fi horror, or, of course, one that will make you second-guess turning off the lights.
Bite – May 6
After a seemingly harmless insect bite, a young woman undergoes a horrifying transformation. With Elma Begovic, Annette Wozniak and Jordan Gray. Written by Jayme Laforest, story by Chad Archibald. Directed by Archibald. Scream Factory
The Conjuring 2 – June 10
Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson return as demonologists investigating the haunting of a house in north London. With Frances O’Connor. Written by Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes & James Wan and David Leslie Johnson; story by Hayes & Hayes & Wan. Directed by Wan. Warner Bros.
The Purge: Election Year – July 1
The third edition of this sci-fi horror series in which the annual government-sanction 12-hour period when all crime is legal comes under attack. With Frank Grillo, Edwin Hodge, Betty Gabriel. Written and Directed by James DeMonaco. Universal Pictures
Lights Out – July 22
A young woman and her brother confront the terrifying reality of what happens in the dark. With Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia. Written by Eric Heisserer, based on the short film by David F. Sandberg. Directed by Sandberg. New Line Cinema
Don’t Breathe – Aug. 26
A trio of Detroit teens who target the home of a blind war veteran for an easy burglary have no idea of the horror that awaits. With Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto and Stephen Lang. Written by Fede Alvarez & Rodo Sayagues, Directed by Fede Alvarez. Screen Gems.
She said, “Are you gay?”
Kinda took me by surprise, I didn’t know what to do,
I just looked her in her eyes and I said, “No, are you?”
Prince, “Uptown,” 1980
October 31, 2011. I had exhausted my wardrobe options by masquerading as a skeleton and as a bird of prey on the two nights previous. But as was tradition among graduate students in college towns across the country, Halloween meant a week of elaborate parties and requisite disguises on a shoestring budget.
I rifled through my closet. Always a vibrant dresser, my eyes tried to make costumes of the patterns and textures hanging before me. They stopped on an eggplant-colored velvet smoking jacket my mother gave me. Then on a white, ruffle-collared blouse and a leopard-print handbag. “This will work,” I remember thinking, as I drew a mustache and goatee on my face with waxy black eyeliner.
It was my first time in drag. I am still surprised by the power I felt channeling Prince’s brand of androgyny as I walked through my conservative Missouri city to meet friends at a neighborhood watering hole.
Fast-forward to present day. I haven’t been to a proper costume party in years.
I am now a PhD candidate in mass communication at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where I research media’s interactions with gender and sexuality. My studies of straight-identified people who use social media to hook up with same-sex partners have been featured in the Journal of Communication Inquiry, the Huffington Post, and Cosmopolitan magazine, among other outlets.
As a Minneapolitan, and as someone who is finely attuned to the complicated relationships between behavior and identity, I was surprised to see so much posthumous media attention focused on Prince’s renunciation of same-sex marriage since 2008.
“Raunchy Prince was actually a conservative Christian who opposed gay marriage,” read one headline published Friday in the Washington Post.
“Prince’s alleged anti-gay stance is baffling, for good reason,” asserted the online women’s magazine Bustle.
But were Prince’s worldviews actually baffling, or are critics trying to stir up trouble?
I’ll try to untangle these tensions as a scholar of media, gender, and sexuality.
Here’s what I teach my students in diversity and mass communication: If people self-identify as something, we should take their words for it. If people don’t want to self-identify as something, we shouldn’t force it on them. But mainstream thought posits: “If a man dresses like a woman, doesn’t that make him queer? If a man has sex with other men, doesn’t that make him gay?”
Prince tried to help us understand the differences between identity (how we think of ourselves), behavior (what we do), and perception (how others think of us). Prince dismantled and queered what contemporary culture has tried to bracket.
For those of you who are too young to remember, or for those of you who are old enough to forget: Perhaps the apparent controversy demands a peruse through the archives.
Without Kristen Stewart as Snow White, Universal’s The Huntsman: Winter’s War flopped at the North American box office, grossing $20.1 million from 3,792 theaters despite a net budget of $115 million.
Rather, The Jungle Book remained king of the multiplex as it raced past the $500 million mark globally. The film continued to defy expectations its second weekend, falling a scant 41 percent to $60.8 million from 4,028 theaters for a 10-day domestic total of $191.5 million.
Overseas, Jungle Book roared to another $96 million for a foreign total of $337 million and global haul of $528.5 million. Huntsman took in $32.1 million offshore for a foreign total of $80.2 million (it began rolling out internationally two weeks ago) and global cume of $100.3 million.
Jungle Book’s performance further solidifies Disney’s prowess in spinning classic tales into live-action tentpoles. Other studios are having a much harder go of it, including Universal. In the 2012 film Snow White and the Huntsman, Stewart starred as Snow White. Instead of making a sequel to that film, Universal decided to go in a different direction, banking on Hemsworth’s star power, as well Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain.
The move didn’t pay off. Huntsman came in more than 64 percent behind the domestic debut of Snow White and the Huntsman ($56.2 million), and marks the latest disappointment for Chris Hemsworth who, outside of playing Thor, hasn’t clicked as a leading man.
The Huntsman is set before the events of Snow White and the Huntsman and centers on Hemsworth’s Huntsman and fellow warrior Sara (Chastain), who team up with Ravenna’s (Theron) sister Freya (Blunt) against the wicked witch. The female-skewing event film has been ravaged by critics, not helping matters. Audiences gave it a B+ CinemaScore.
Joe Roth produced Huntsman: Winter’s War, which is directed by first-time feature helmer Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, who worked as a visual effects supervisor on Snow White.
A pair of high-profile indie films debuted at the specialty box office; Amazon Studios’ Elvis & Nixon, starring Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey, and A Hologram for a King, starring Tom Hanks.
Hologram for a King, playing in 401 theaters, took in an estimated $1.1 million to come in No. 10 or No. 11. Elvis & Nixon, rolling out in 381 theaters, grossed an estimated $470,000.
Elsewhere in the top 10, Barbershop: The Next Cut placed No. 3 in its second weekend after Jungle Book and Huntsman with a projected $10 million, followed by Zootopia and The Boss.