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Media

Molly Shattuck: Cheerleader, Secret Millionaire

Back in 2005, Molly Shattuck was the subject of one of the most poorly received Rick Reilly columns to ever land in Sports Illustrated. At 38, the super-hot wife of a super-rich CEO was not only a super mom, she was also a super cheerleader for the Baltimore Ravens! Super awesome! Thank God someone was there to make her feel even better about herself by giving her head on the back page of a national magazine! Luckily, her well-deserved time in the limelight isn't quite over.

Media

An Instant Op-Ed on the Instant Op-Ed

The New York Times has never been a marker of avant-garde media innovation. But the waters are choppy and they've already had to mortgage their glorious West Side palazzo against itself, so they have apparently decided to go rogue, throwing caution to the wind by debuting a radical new online strategy. Dubbed "Instant Op-Ed," this new technology will reportedly allow the Grey Lady's online presence to post immediate expert viewpoints on breaking news. The paper is keeping tight-lipped on the logistics, but right now, Gelf is prepared to call this one the Game Changer.

Arts

Analyzing the Romantic Comedy

As Gelf has noted, academic studies of the influence of successful Hollywood films on society at large are inherently problematic. Despite their best efforts, researchers often overplay their hands by trying to draw real cultural implications from terribly silly movies. Case in point: a recent study that finds that adolescents who expect their own relationships to resemble those of romantic comedies are "likely to be left disappointed."

Media

Party Like It's 1984

Need a shorthand expression for the increasing loss of privacy in the digital age? How about a single word to summarize the paradoxical messages espoused by someone in a position of power? Or an easy way to characterize a government that oversteps its bounds? Lazy journalists have been partying like it's 1984 with their reliance on the misused cliché "Orwellian."

Sports

Nick Saban Never Smiles

Nick Saban, the head coach of the top-ranked Alabama football team, has something of a dual reputation. Outside of fan circles, he's widely known as the prime symbol of college football's corporate excess and deceitful posturing. Among college-football aficionados who think $32-million contracts are not necessarily appalling, though, he's known as the ultimate hardass; the heir to the stern Bear Bryant legacy. Or as Buzz Bissinger puts it, his face is "locked most of the time in a constipated grimace."

Media

Anil Dash Saves Journalism

The concept of the "bailout" has at this point officially and unequivocally lost all meaning. The term, once a polarizing Hot Topic used to describe the debate about the federal government's financial rescue of major financial institutions, is now being bandied around by every major industry that can no longer look at itself in the mirror—mainly because the mirror had to be sold off. Case in point: print journalism. As an industry, journalism has been hobbling around on broken legs and unwilling advertisers for awhile now, leaving all kinds of staff crushed and unemployed in its wake, wondering where their goddamned bailout is.

Media

Fake Pundit Dupes Real Media

Martin Eisenstadt, the punditing fictional creation of filmmakers Eitan Gorlin and Dan Mirvish, has gotten quite a bit of press lately, especially for someone who doesn't exist. He claimed to be—though he was not—the source of the infamous Sarah-Palin-thought-Africa-was-a-country rumor. He also implied, on his phony blog, that Joe the Plumber had a tryst with SNL cast member Kristin Wiig, and that the Hiltons were angry over John McCain's "celebrity" ad. And he was the star of some seemingly pro-Giuliani YouTube clips that received an inordinate amount of attention last year.

Media

Martin Eisenstadt Is Not Deep Throat

You may want to take a seat for this one. As you've surely heard by now, until she was nominated for vice president, Sarah Palin though Africa was a country and not a continent, according to Fox News. But if that sounded fishy to you—in spite of Palin's rather obvious lack of intelligence, it sounded fishy to us—you may have been unsurprised to learn that the source of the rumor was fake pundit Martin Eisenstadt. Or was it? Nobody quite knows.

Media

Flat Tommy

New York Times foreign affairs columnist Tom Friedman sees things in 2-D. Based on the titles of his recent books, not only is the world flat, but it is also hot, and crowded. Al Qaeda's flat, too, and something called "Globalization 3.0" (apparently the web has yet to catch up with globalization) is "shrinking the world from size small to size tiny, and flattening the global economic playing field at the same time." Fuck you, Galileo!

Politics

Smoking Bloggers Out of Their Caves

If it weren't for those meddlesome bloggers, Sarah Palin might have become the vice president of these United States. Instead, though, she was run back to Wasilla on a rail of unfounded speculation created by the laptoparazzi in their dank, underground abodes. Palin joined the ranks of her fellow sports reporters Rick Reilly, Bob Costas, and Dan Shaughnessy when she told FOX's Greta Van Susteren, "I'm going to characterize them as those bloggers in their parents' basement just talking garbage." Well put. But how could Palin know the exact location of these evildoers' hideouts? Perhaps she's been collecting intelligence from two particular conservative cognoscenti.

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