Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Classic Sesame Street: Ronald Grump cons Oscar the Grouch into moving to Grump Tower

March 25, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Television

via BoingBoing

Roger Federer is back to be our antidepressant in a horrible world.

March 24, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Tennis

A few days ago he won Indian Wells for the fifth time. I’m caving in and buying an RF jacket.

To start, Federer looked relatively normal when we met, and definitely Swiss: dark turtleneck sweater, crisp wool pants, black boots. Hiking is Federer’s favorite hobby (his only hobby), but snow was falling and his legs were tired from Australia, so we went out to lunch, for raclette (at his suggestion), a traditional Swiss dish for après-ski, basically a plate of melted cheese. Not what I expected. But what did I expect, really? On the court, Federer is known for almost inhuman focus. Humorless determination. A steel-cut perfectionist with a stevedore’s nose, the finest forehand of all time, and the coiffure of James Bond circa Timothy Dalton. In the stiffest of all countries, why should he be any different? But frankly, he was so easy going from the start, so relaxed, for a second I thought he was stoned. (He wasn’t stoned.) He drove us to the restaurant in his Mercedes. We chatted about our families. I wound up telling a story about the time I did heroin by accident—look, it was in South Africa, and Federer’s mother is from South Africa, and I was trying to find some common ground out of the gate, the way you do when you’re riding in a gargantuan vehicle with a global celebrity you’ve just met—and he barked out laughing. Federer, a big laugher, who knew? Though it got to a point, by mid-meal, where I started to get suspicious—was it for show, to play the Everyman? Who likes melted cheese like the rest of us? (Maybe he was stoned?) This is a guy, I’d learn, who still makes reservations at a nearby public tennis facility rather than build his own private court. Think about that. Consider the fact that Federer has made over $100 million in career prize money, never mind endorsements. Now imagine being the local dude who has to kick Roger Federer off a tennis court because his practice session goes a little long.

Read the story in GQ.

It’s illogical to say that Roger Federer has returned to top form because reading the daily news gives us nervous breakdowns and we really need him to win. But we’re fans and will make the connection.

The genius of Get Out is treating benign racism as the horror.

March 21, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies

Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams (Marnie from Girls) star in Jordan Peele’s Get Out

You need to see this movie. It’s genuinely scary and funny AND it tackles oppression without once mentioning oppression. It’s consciousness-raising without the lecture. People who fancy themselves broad-minded think that because they voted for Obama, idolize black athletes and have black friends, they can’t possibly be racist, but benign racism is particularly insidious. (And the movie is produced by the studio that made Insidious.) Some of the horror comes from the shock of recognition.

Director Jordan Peele takes your expectations and turns them on their heads. Unrelentingly clever and expertly orchestrated, Get Out is required viewing for the year 2017. Bravo.

The Money Diaries of famous people will make you feel less inept about your finances

March 21, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Money, Movies, Television

It’s heartwarming, discovering that clever people whose work we admire can be just as stupid about money as we are.

Richard Linklater, the director of Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight and many other movies we love, explains why he’s glad he got downsized.

Anthony Bourdain seems to have all the answers, but when he was 44 he had never had a savings account, hadn’t filed taxes in 10 years, and was AWOL on his AmEx bill.

Now you can watch Trippies online!

March 20, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Television, Traveling

Watch TRIPPIES online at PhilStar TV. (Thanks, jaypee, for sending the revised link.)

Answers to questions you might ask:

1. Yes, it is completely unscripted and spontaneous.
2. Yes, Pepe and I were acquainted but we never hung out until we started filming Trippies.
3. Yes, we have no make-up or styling because we have enough to do without worrying about how we look. Yes, we could do with make-up and styling. (After I viewed the first two episodes I realized I should go back to wearing black because I look even weirder in color.)
4. No, I have the easiest job on the show because I just stand there and yak while everyone has to plan and execute shots, etc.
5. No, the age difference is an advantage to me because I can use it as an excuse. Example: Naah, I won’t go down the loooong stairs to the underground tunnel, I might re-injure my knee.

TRIPPIES airs on Sundays at 730pm on CNN Philippines, with replays Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at lunchtime. Pepe and I guest on Real Talk with Christine Jacob Sandejas and Rachel Alejandro this week.

Why do the arrogant and obnoxious become popular?

March 19, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Anthropology

Possibly because the arrogant and obnoxious have no problem doing what most people would not allow themselves to do.

Most Urapmin spend their lives trying to find balance between wilfulness and lawfulness. Moving back and forth between their two values, most people never realise either one completely, but at the same time, they never fail to fulfil each of them in partial ways. I think Kinimnok captivated other Urapmin because he showed them what wilfulness in its fullest form looks like. Most of them would never follow him in realising wilfulness so absolutely, but in Kinimnok they saw what wilfulness looked like when it was given free expression.

Read the article in Aeon.

Meanwhile, in other political matters