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06.24.11

The Yes List

Each week, The Daily Beast sifts through the cultural landscape to choose three top picks. This week, Bristol Palin tells all in her literary debut, Jill Scott soul searches for her new CD and 'Twilight' director Chris Weitz goes indie with 'A Better Life.'

Bristol Palin Reveals All

The most notorious Palin offspring released her memoir, Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Fa,r this week and revealed previously unknown details of her very public life. From Bristol Palin’s early brushes with sex and alcohol to her drama with Meghan McCain, the teen mother does not leave any stone unturned in her foray into the literary world. Palin opens the book with the story of how she got drunk on wine coolers and wound up sleeping with Levi Johnston, the notorious father of her son. “It felt more like it was stolen,” Palin writes of “losing” her virginity, opening the door to a serious date-rape question. Palin and Johnston continued to sleep together and upon finding out she was pregnant, he allegedly said, “Better be a f---ing boy.” But those aren’t the only harsh worlds Palin touches upon in her book—she also recalled interactions with Meghan McCain, the daughter of her mother’s running mate, who she claims was a brat on the campaign trail. “Every time we saw Meghan, she seemed to constantly be checking us out, comparing my family to hers, and complaining. Oh, the complaining,” Palin writes. At the young age of 20, she seems to have made many enemies.

Jill Scott's Soul Searching

jill-scott-samuels
Hal Horowitz / AP Photo

The Grammy-winning soul singer’s fourth studio album, The Light of the Sun, which was released this week, is full of heartache and yearning to understand love. “A lot other things that happened to most women have happened to me in the last few years, and that is always going to come through in my writing,’’ says 39-year-old Scott, a single mom. “But honestly, I can’t say I wrote this album. I just stood in front of a microphone, had a few drinks, blacked out, and this was the result.’’ Scott also opened up about the flap over socially conscious rapper Common performing at the White House for their annual Poetry Jam. She and Common were among a number of artists asked to do readings for the event, but a firestorm of criticism was unleashed. Some members of the GOP questioned Common’s controversial lyrics, leaving Scott in the crossfire. “I try not to pay attention to foolishness and that was just a mess with Common and myself,” Scott said.  “At some point I thought, ‘Is this what the Republicans have to do to hurt the Obamas? Is this really all they have?... Now that’s very sad.’’

From Twilight to A Better Life

Chris Weitz
Summit Entertainment

Chris Weitz, known for big-budget films like Twilight sequel New Moon, has directed a small, personal movie called A Better Life. The film follows a Mexican gardener named Carlos and his 14-year-old son, Luis, in East Los Angeles, where gang life dominates social interactions. And while they may not have money, Weitz wrote for The Daily Beast, they do have love, which is what “makes Carlos take a tremendous risk to try to lift his little duo out of poverty.” It’s that kind of love that motivated Weitz to make A Better Life. “I’ve not exactly made my bread from this sort of movie,” he admitted. The director also struggled to learn Spanish while filming, but he started listening to Mexican radio stations. Weitz came to the realization that “the lyrics were all about love. Love of ones left behind, love of country left behind, love of this new country and the chance to stay, against the odds, as the cars pass us by on the corner.”