The Cult of Gekko
Gordon Gekko is back, and boy, does he look refreshed. In Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, released wide Friday, Michael Douglas resurrects his Oscar-winning insider trader for the modern world. Oliver Stone's latest big-screen foray is deemed "the rare sequel that feels not only relevant but necessary" and Douglas' moral shape-shifter Gekko is "reinvented," writes The Daily Beast's Randall Lane. "Gekko has resonated across three bubbles because he was authentic," and now he has a worthy sidekick in slick young Shia LaBeouf, who's gamely making the talk-show rounds while Douglas undergoes chemotherapy for throat cancer. Critics are nitpicking the film's supposed lack of focus, but can you think of a better way to capture the nation's frenzied last few years? Randall Lane investigates the two hedge-fund managers who had a surprising amount of influence—more than even they know—in crafting Gekko 2.0.
Sesame Street's Cleavage Problem
Big Bird, we have a problem. Katy Perry's attempt to expand her fanbase with a cutesy music video filmed on Sesame Street has backfired after parents complained about her low-cut dress. Sesame Workshop, that bastion of wholesomeness, responded to critics, saying their show has "always been written on two levels, for the child and adult. We use parodies and celebrity segments to interest adults in the show because we know that a child learns best when co-viewing with a parent or care-giver." The video of "Hot 'N Cold" with Elmo was pulled from their YouTube channel and won't air on television. Luckily for fans of the "California Gurl," the Not Safe for Pre-schoolers video can still be seen here.
O's Editor Hunts Down the Biggest Waves
Formerly an editor of outdoor and adventure stories for magazines like Outside, Susan Casey, the current editor in chief of O: The Oprah Magazine, has evolved into a first-rate eco-author. Like her first book, the bestseller The Devil's Teeth which examined the habits of great white sharks off the Farallon Islands, in her latest, The Wave, she travels all over the world, this time investigating the world's biggest waves. The author approaches waves from all angles, including following groups of fearless surfers as they attempt to ride giants, interviews with scientists about global warming's effect on wave size, and exploring the monstrous bodies of water themselves. "In the end, you gain a healthy respect for the power of these waves and the people who surf them, and for the challenges facing those trying to understand them," wrote The Los Angeles Times. "But you also come away sharing Casey's nagging fear about how global warming will influence the size and frequency of these monster waves, and the tenuous nature of human existence within the permanence of the natural world."