. 7 min read

Things I thought you might want to know about, and some you probably don’t.

I love this quick televised interview with the great French actor Alain Delon. And not just because when asked (at the end) what animal he’d like to be reincarnated as he responds, immediately, with “a malinois. It’s a Belgian Shepherd.” (And that’s what my dog is.) I love that he does not come across as studied or overly pondering - he responds naturally and with ease. For instance, his response to one of the first questions he is asked “Favorite drug?” Is “L’amour.” (Love.) So French. And so true. It’s a drug, for sure.

Wondering how polyamory became so popular? I wasn’t, but how could you not notice it? I started seeing it ever since I saw Tim Ferriss’s 2015 twitter post asking: “If you’ve had a winning “polyamorous” relationship, how the fuck did you make it work?”  A year after that I was at a (professional!) cocktail party in Silicon Valley when not one, but three, tech executives “let it drop” that they were polyamorous (followed by a lengthy pause, apparently giving me an opportunity to respond). Anyway, if you were wondering about why, Jennifer Wilson reviews American Poly, a new book by Christopher M. Gleason, for the New Yorker. Along the way, Wilson does a scan of recent pop culture for all the loaded references to this lifestyle choice increasingly popular with those from Park Slope to San Francisco.

Rich Dudes Driving in Circles is an excellent podcast episode to listen to if you (like, ahem, some of us) were thrown off by the whole F1 thing. In it host Anne Helen Peterson of Culture Study talks with Nicole Washington about what’s behind the rich dude F1 craze that started for a lot of people with Netflix’s Drive to Survive over the pandemic. (You can listen to it with a free 7-day trial.)

People have gone crazy for Saltburn (Prime Video), the ultra stylish, sinister British class film by Emerald Fennell, even (uncomprehendingly) comparing it favorably to one of the best movies of the nineties The Talented Mr. Ripley. It‘s too long by at least a half hour, but what’s worse is that the last half of it collapses into something resembling more of the 1976 Carrie horror film. The best scenes start (and end) with Rosamund Pike’s off-hand upper-crust cruelty about 40 minutes through. My suggestion is to take it from there and fast-forward all the way through to the end, when Barry Keoghan (as the newly triumphant Oliver Quick) closes the movie with a hypnotic, sexy, nude dance scene (and what a body).

Murder in Boston: Roots, Rampage and Reckoning (Max) is a documentary produced and directed by Jason Hehir (of The Last Dance) that wrestles with the well-deserved reputation Boston has long had as one of the country’s most racist cities. It examines the city’s systemic racism through the lense of Carol Stuart’s murder by her husband, which was falsely pinned by him (and then the police, media and politicians) on “a black man in a track suit.” I just moved out of Boston after twenty years, and I remember reading the Pulitzer winning Common Ground about Boston’s turbulent busing decade when I arrived in 2001 and thinking the same thing then I felt after finishing Murder in Boston: “holy shit, can this city still really be that tribal?” 

Speaking of Flight of the WASP, (well, not right this moment, but we were in The CRUSH Letter No 138 because it is on Dish’s Bookshop “shelf” Up Next: On Dish’s Nightstand, this story from Messy Nessy, complete with archive photo’s on New York’s Forgotten Outpost of European Aristocracy, is a fascinating look at the history of Gardiner Island in Long Island.

My good friend Nina and I started playing backgammon regularly from afar using the cool Backgammon NJ HD app. One of us sends an invite to the other through the app, and then, if we’re both free we also call and chat over speaker phone while playing. It really feels like being together.

The PBS documentary The Gilded Age (from 2018) is delightful, gossipy, informative look at the world covered far less compellingly in HBO’s series. If you want to know what really went down during this fascinating, volatile, formative period in America’s social and economic history, check out PBS’s full American Experience treatment.

The Most Beautiful Book Cover Art of 2023. A great book cover evokes the tension of the story itself, while startling us with catchy graphic design. Here are two of my favorites, but the full list is gorgeous.

Film at Lincoln Center published its Film Comment list of Best Films of 2023I haven’t seen most of them (lots of esoterica here), so in some sense it’s aspirational? But I did see May December, its number one film of the year, which I had told you earlier I thought was “exquisitely well-acted.” And creepy as shit. Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon was on the top of a lot of the individual lists contributed by critics I admire to Film Comment, as were Anatomy of a FallPast Lives And The Boy and the Heron (all on my list).

Radical Wolfe, the documentary on American writer Tom Wolfe, is now out on Netflix. When it aired in theaters in NYC this past fall I wrote this to a friend: “It covers a bibliography of his life and major works, putting both into cultural context (of the period, as well as situating him outside of New York intellectual elite circles). There is some great footage, since he was in the media so much. Lots on his brilliantly written 1970 piece skewering the fundraiser the Bernsteins threw for the Black Panthers. But at 100 minutes there’s too much ground to cover. (In contrast, the Didion documentary was 40 minutes longer, though she was not nearly the cultural blockbuster). So it is an appreciative, fun and entertaining, but I’d argue, thin treatment.”

The Atlantic Theater’s off-Broadway production of Buena Vista Social Club is a fun, joyous ride, raking in great reviews. It is the musical story behind the wildly popular original album released in 1997, which inspired a critically-acclaimed 1999 documentary by Wim Wenders. Written by playwright Marco Ramirez, the new theater production was a thrill to watch, agreed me and my friend Philip, as we walked out. The fine music and dancing carry the narrative, which is more of a backdrop.

Kendall Roy is a teenage girl and that‘s why women love him. From The Face‘s ”best of” articles, this one dissecting the millenial tik tok “love” of Kendall Roy is incisive and fun. “A chunky subset of the always-online world loves and nurtures the media mogul’s second eldest, hopeful inheritor of dad’s ​“dinosaur” media empire. To them, Kendall (played by Jeremy Strong) is a misunderstood teenage girl – a baby girl or Kendoll, whichever feels cringiest to you. They stan him with the ferocity of the BTS Army …

Picture a montage of Kendall’s most vulnerable moments on the show, each one embodying the overwhelming ​“please, just love me” mood of a volatile teen girl.“

Sex & Good, which sells good sex products, just published this post These habits are bad for your V. And it’s good, but it’s missing one thing. Bad lube. And by that I mean lube that has bad ingredients in it. Please, CRUSHes, check the ingredients in your lubes. I write about what to avoid, and which safe lubes our PrimeCrush Toy Testers like in Everything’s Better Wetter.

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