If you’re even a little bit of a magazine nerd, you’ll appreciate this: with the help of Elon Green Gay Talese annotates his celebrated celebrity profile, Frank Sinatra Has A Cold.
EG: The punctuated alliteration is gorgeous — “preened and polished”; “matured” and “molded”. How much time would you spend on such a sentence?/eg
GT: Oh, I could spend days. Sometimes these phrases come to you and sometimes they’re terrible. Sometimes you think, “Maybe that’s okay” and you let it in. I throw a lot of stuff away.
EG: What percentage of what you write for any given story do you get rid of?
GT: More than half. Because it’s so easily the case that it’s turgid or overwritten.
EG: Do you throw away more now, now that you use a computer?
GT: I don’t think so. I’ve always thrown a lot away, even when I was working on daily deadlines for newspapers. That was really expensive because at the New York Times we were typing what they called a “book” — it had seven or eight pieces of carbon. A thick thing. If you threw it away, you were destroying 11 cents worth of, well, something.
Ernest Hemingway liked a good burger and had a specific recipe he wanted his staff to use when preparing meals. Using his instructions, Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan recently recreated the Hemingway burger.
Fingers deep, I kneaded. Fighting the urge to be careless and quick, I kept the pace rhythmic, slow. Each squeeze, I hoped, would gently ease the flavors — knobby bits of garlic, finely chopped capers, smatterings of dry spices — into the marbled mound before me.
I had made burgers before, countless times on countless evenings. This one was different; I wasn’t making just any burger — I was attempting to recreate Hemingway’s hamburger. And it had to be just right.
Surprisingly, with 11 different ingredients, Hemingway’s burger is not as stripped down as his prose. For a more minimalist burger, you have to turn to Dean Martin:
Frank Sinatra’s is perhaps even easier:
One thing is for sure: none of these gentlemen would cotton to the idea of the ramen burger, homemade or no. (via open culture)
After an LA Times interview of George Michael in which the singer talks of his desire step away from the limelight, Frank Sinatra wrote the Times and Michael a letter.
Come on George, Loosen up. Swing, man. Dust off those gossamer wings and fly yourself to the moon of your choice and be grateful to carry the baggage we’ve all had to carry since those lean nights of sleeping on buses and helping the driver unload the instruments.
And no more of that talk about “the tragedy of fame.” The tragedy of fame is when no one shows up and you’re singing to the cleaning lady in some empty joint that hasn’t seen a paying customer since Saint Swithin’s day. And you’re nowhere near that; you’re top dog on the top rung of a tall ladder called Stardom, which in latin means thanks-to-the-fans who were there when it was lonely.
The letter is much better if read in the voice of Phil Hartman’s SNL impersonation of Sinatra. In fact, Hartman did a SNL skit as Sinatra with Dana Carvey as George Michael shortly after this letter was published. Can’t find that anywhere online, but I did find one of my all-time favorite SNL skits: the Sinatra Group.
You don’t scare me. I got chunks of guys like you in my stool.