Ah, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, that tricksy little hobbit. The shortlist of Oscar nominees released this morning made it clear that it would take a modern-day Alan Turing to decode the mysterious workings of the collective mind of the Academy (The Imitation Game, incidentally, managed to score eight Oscar nods). I can’t even talk about the injustice that is the Academy’s decision to leave Ava DuVernay out of the Best Director race. And The Lego Movie snub! Well, I’m ambivalent about that one, to be honest, but my Twitter feed tells me it is an outrage.
While the Oscar nominee selection process will probably remain a mystery for all eternity, the method of selecting winners might be a little easier to parse. UPROXX’s Vince Mancini has come up with a list of probable victors based on a 2012 piece called “How To Win An Academy Award.” Not mentioned in Mancini’s piece is the seemingly undeniable truth that if you want to walk away with a statue for Best Director, it really helps if you are a middle-aged white dude.
In another instance of Writer Decodes Cultural Phenomenon, Ruth La Furla tries to explain the bizarre reaction to Amal Clooney’s Golden Globes outfit. For reasons that are not entirely clear, Clooney’s decision to wear long, white gloves to the ceremony sparked an avalanche of disdain. Could it be that Amal’s “arm hosiery” didn’t quite fit? “Though there is nothing in the 1961 style primer ‘Gloves: Fashion and Etiquette’ to suggest it,” La Furla writes, “common sense would seem to dictate that opera gloves be stretched taut.” But of course.
An equally impressive (actually, way more impressive) feat of decoding is described in Rolling Stone’s longform piece about a teenage boy named Marcus Wanner who cracked the infamous Cicada cypher and found himself entrenched in the darkest corners of the Internet. Rife with shadowy figures, ominious phone calls, and a scary-sounding thing called darknet, the article makes for a pretty creepy read. Amusingly, though, Wanner seems most terrified of his mother, whom he describes as “Big Brother.”
Not to be overly dramatic or anything, but a guy named Louis Cole has basically figured out the secret to life. He films himself exploring beautiful places around the world, posts clips of his adventures to YouTube, and finances his travels with money generated by his YouTube channel. For a guy who launched his Internet career by eating pig eyeballs, Cole’s success is pretty impressive.
Vogue managed to get Daniel Radcliffe to reveal something about Harry Potter that nobody else knows. Spoiler: the secret isn’t all that shattering. Much more intriguing is the title that Radcliffe would give to his autobiography: Bring on the Empty Broomsticks.
Over at Narratively, Jenny Jedeikin writes about an afternoon when her elderly father shared his memories of her mother’s first climax (which took place at a Masters and Johnson sex therapy clinic). Transparency is great and all, but seriously, TMI.