Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog

May 4 2015 10:38 PM

The Creator of "Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal" Died, and Ryan Gosling Ate Cereal in Tribute

In 2013, a Scotsman and Vine creator named Ryan McHenry started posting a series called "Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal." The series played off Gosling's extremely serious mien in so many of his movies; in each Vine, McHenry held a spoonful of cereal up to a televised image of Gosling's stone face. It was simple and perfect and became delightfully popular.

McHenry was diagnosed with osteosarcoma that same year, and died on Sunday at the age of 27. Monday night, Gosling—who had previously noted that in all seriousness, he actually likes cereal—made a Vine of himself eating cereal. It was a weird, appropriate, and touching tribute to a creative guy who seemed to delight in making people smile on the Internet.

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May 4 2015 10:15 PM

Louis C.K. Will Write, Direct, and Star in I’m a Cop

Fourteen years after Pootie Tang, Louis C.K. is back in the director’s chair. As reported by THR, the comic will write, direct, and star in I’m a Cop, a film about a depressed, middle-aged man living under the shadow of his ex-cop mother, whose death and legacy force him to become a police officer. Scott Rudin will produce the movie, which looks to be C.K.’s shot at cinematic redemption: The not-so-good Pootie Tang was the last film he directed, and he’s been forthright about not being prepared for the task at the time. The rest of his work behind the camera, whether in Louie or the zany Tomorrow Night, betrays a sharp, off-kilter sensibility that will hopefully find its way on screen this time around.

It’s also worth noting that police have been, if not a theme, a recurring motif in C.K.’s work. He played a lovelorn cop in Parks and Recreation, donned a uniform in the hilarious Louie episode “Heckler/Cop Movie,” and in this season of Louie said a lot about police brutality despite the episode in question, “Cop Story,” not actually having anything to do with police brutality. I’m a Cop seems like a pretty straighforward comedy, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see it plumb some darker depths as well. 

May 4 2015 9:02 PM

Ray Bradbury on Madness, Realism, and How to Write a Proper Story

When Ray Bradbury died in 2012, he left behind a massive corpus, the result of a very long life and an uncanny prolificacy. Bradbury often described his incessant need to write as a sort of madness, and in the latest installment of PBS’s Blank on Blank interview series we hear firsthand how that madness informed his process and philosophy.

May 4 2015 5:32 PM

The Binks Awakens Is Every Star Wars Fan’s Worst Nightmare Come True

The Star Wars name has been attached to more than its share of questionable projects over the years, but nothing would be more hilariously misguided than a movie centered on Jar Jar Binks. Here to provide video proof is Star Wars: The Binks Awakens, a parody by Michael Murdock, a lighting technician and motion graphics artist.

Watch Jar Jar ruin everything you and Matthew McConaughey loved about the glorious trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But don’t worry about Jar Jar getting delusions of grandeur—word on the street is he’s dead in the upcoming movies.

May 4 2015 4:08 PM

The Last Man on Earth Would Have Been Better as a Story About Female Friendship

With its bold and divisive first season coming to a close last night, The Last Man on Earth set its two main characters on the path for something of a re-boot in Season Two. It was probably time for us to leave Tucson, even if the new Phil Miller (Boris Kodjoe) hadn’t forcibly dragged our erstwhile Phil, now Tandy, to the edge of the desert. The pleasant surprise, for Tandy anyway, was that he was joined on his journey out of town by Carol (Kristen Schaal), who started out as the wife he never wanted. As happens on TV, of course, once Carol had moved on to New Phil, our Phil realized he really did have feelings for her. (Note: For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to call Will Forte’s character “Phil” and Kodjoe’s character “New Phil,” even though the show’s commitment to spending the last two episodes calling Phil “Tandy” was one of the season’s most delightful recurrences.)  Ultimately, Carol decided she’d rather be with Phil, the kind of guy who’d drive someone out to the desert only to change his mind about leaving him there for dead, rather than someone who’d actually go through with it. Look, in post-Apocalyptic Arizona, our choices are limited.

May 4 2015 3:26 PM

A Video Guide to The Avengers’ Infinity Stones, Tracking Them Through All Marvel’s Movies

This post contains spoilers for Avengers: Age of Ultron.

If you weren’t sure what to make of the big purple guy (Thanos) and his shiny Michael Jackson–style single glove in the mid-credits sequence for The Avengers: Age of Ultron, you’re not alone. The so-called Infinity Stones only came to the fore in the latest Avengers movie, but Marvel superfans have been tracking Thanos’ quest to collect them all, along with that blinged-out Infinity Gauntlet, for years now. Here’s a guide to the Inifinity Stones as we’ve seen them in the Marvel movies thus far—where they’ve been, where they are now, and where we can expect them to take us in The Avengers: Infinity War.

Read more in Slate about The Avengers:


May 4 2015 3:04 PM

Hear the Rolling Stones’ Never-Before-Heard Extended Version of Sticky Fingers’ “Bitch”

The Rolling Stones will re-release their 1971 album Sticky Fingers in June, and the band is continuing to tease the release with never-before-heard versions of classic songs. The latest is an extended version of “Bitch,” the first track on the original LP’s second side.

The song always showcased the Stones’ ability to jam out, but “Bitch (Extended Version),” at nearly two minutes longer, is more freewheeling and high-octane than the original. Not that the sound quality itself is rough: It’s crystal clear, with more chances to hear the interplay between Keith Richards’ and Mick Taylor’s guitars. And the horn section takes a different tack than on the original, providing alternate harmonies on the bridge.


This alternate version of “Bitch” follows the release of an acoustic take of “Wild Horses” last month and an alternate recording of “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.” The album is available for pre-order in several deluxe formats; you can hear the whole thing on June 9.

May 4 2015 12:51 PM

Why I Was Obsessed With Finding Out the New Royal Baby’s Name

Unto us was born this weekend a new royal baby, and the first big questions were answered quickly: Kate labored in the hospital for less than three hours, apparently without an epidural, and she looked radiant and slim afterwards. Congratulations! We’re all so, so happy for her! But the more important question had to wait a few days: What was the noble newborn’s name?

The name, I told myself as I checked my phone obsessively over the weekend for news about an infant fifth in line to the meaningless crown of a foreign country, is much more important than the first photo. All infants look like Winston Churchill. The little princess will develop her own look and personality over time, but her name is her first truly distinctive feature. A name turns a wriggling blob into a person.

May 4 2015 10:49 AM

Lauryn Hill Performs a Perfect Acoustic Version of “Doo Wop (That Thing)” on Her Couch

In recent years Lauryn Hill has given the occasional performance that reassures her legions of fans that she still has what it takes. She took that even farther this weekend with a live version of “Doo Wop (That Thing)” that’s maybe even more joyful than the original tune.

May 4 2015 9:02 AM

The Artful Montage of Heck Makes Us Feel We Know Kurt Cobain Better Than We Actually Do


This article originally appeared in Vulture.


About a half hour into Brett Morgen’s new documentary Montage of Heck, the camera lingers on a note written in the slanted, scratchy handwriting of a teenage Kurt Cobain. It’s intended for his first girlfriend, Tracy Marander, with whom he lived for a little while in Olympia, Washington, while he was first putting together a band he briefly thought of calling Man Bug or Fecal Matter before finally settling on Nirvana. “Don’t read my diary when I’m gone,” the note says. Then, just below it, in the same script: “When you wake up, please read my diary. Look through my things, and figure me out.” What are we to make of this contradiction? What is its tone? Sarcastic? Playful? Needy? Marander hints that it might be all of the above, but the only person who can really tell us for sure has been gone now for 21 years.