Author Archives: Lilit Marcus

The Steve Martin Fiasco

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I’m just going to put this out there: I would probably pay $50.00 to watch Steve Martin sit on a stool and look up quiche recipes on his blackberry for ninety minutes. Because I’m pretty sure it would be fairly entertaining. Not fantastically entertaining; it’s not that I idolize Martin because he happens to be a great writer, actor and comedian, or that I think he’s exponentially much more interesting than your average person. It’s just that I’m pretty sure that throughout my life, I’ve paid more for less. For example, thanks to a vigilant NYC traffic cop, I once spent $175.00 to double-park on 3rd Avenue for ten minutes.

ZOË RICE: In 2003 when Steve Martin’s Bringing Down the House came out, I remember thinking, “Aha! Another pay check for the art collection.” Martin’s passion for art is well-known, and I’ve always pictured him accepting a mediocre script in return for a new de Kooning or David Hockney. Also, the man can write. He’s a New Yorker “Shouts and Murmurs” darling, and his plays and novellas are no bits of vanity publishing. I would in fact love to read An Object of Beauty, the novel Martin and Deborah Solomon now infamously discussed at the 92nd Street Y. But what’s more, I’d much rather hear Martin talk about art and writing than I would about comedy. His insights about collecting would be far more valuable than an anecdote about those crazy kids in Cheaper By The Dozen.
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Things That Make No Sense: Scientology and the Electoral College

LILIT MARCUS: So, I’m a religion journalist. Can you imagine a less glamorous job? No one wants to make dinner party conversation about the Pope’s latest speech. However, if I want people to sit rapt and stare at me, all I have to do is offer to explain what the hell Scientology is about. I was going to do that here, and then I realized that a) it’s been done already, and b) I can provide it right here in all its brilliant South Park glory.

MATTHEW DAVID BROZIK: At least you get invited to dinner parties. As a lawyer, I don’t get called unless and until a guest slips and falls! Okay, I’m not that kind of lawyer. But I too have an excess of information no one wants. For example: I understand the Electoral College (U.S. version). You can too! Continue reading

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Sexiest Man Alive

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: There are a fair number of things wrong about People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” award – mainly that the award is incredibly poorly named. If the recipient were truly this sexiest man alive, would the honor rotate every year? I think not. I think that person should retain the title until he became unsexy and therefore demoted, or until he dies.

LILIT MARCUS: Let’s just be honest here. Sexiest Man Alive is a euphemism for Person With the Most Hardworking Publicist. I mean, do you think that ridiculously good-looking bartender or buff firefighter will be chosen, even though they’re way hotter than inaugural winner Mel “Sugartits” Gibson ever was in his prime? No. And do you know why? Because they can’t afford publicists.
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LILIT MARCUS: Have you ever played the game Bullshit Bingo? My coworkers and I were big fans back when we worked for a corporation that shall remain nameless. The idea is that you grab a Bingo board and instead of numbers and letters, each box gets a buzzword or buzzphrase. Popular terms include “24/7,” “circle back,” “at the end of the day,” “it is what it is,” “all hands on deck,” and “conference” (used as a verb). Then, each of you brings one sheet in with you during a long staff meeting and while the boss pontificates you check off terms as he or she uses them. The first person to get Bingo has to announce it some sneaky-yet-obvious way. (My coworkers and I would use the good old “fake coughing fit” gambit.) Advantage goes to people who have been at the company a long time and are familiar with each executive’s annoying phrases of choice.

MATTHEW DAVID BROZIK: In the field of law, there is no small number of terms of art (there is a large number), and as many asserted reasons for keeping them in use as there are for letting them die. The best–and by best I mean dumbest–terms I’ve encountered, though, came not from lawyers but from emails sent by executives at a certain international company being sued by three of my clients. Continue reading

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