kottke.org posts about Tad Friend

Pitfall Jack BlackMay 12 2015

I remember this commercial for Pitfall! but I had no idea Jack Black was in it.

I learned about this from a short profile of Black by Tad Friend, in which the pair hit up Barcade in Chelsea.

He played Punch-Out, Atari Basketball, Donkey Kong, and Lunar Lander, increasingly nimble on the joystick. "It's all bringing back some foggy déjà vus," he said. Inside the Discs of Tron cabinet, the black light lit up his checked shirt. "Dude, this!" he said. He commenced making his avatar leap from platform to platform, as he sought to "de-rez" his opponent by throwing disks at him. At every level-completed chime, Black snapped his fingers and did a little dance. "He's one tough cookie -- you gotta get him with a ricochet," he said, manhandling the controls. "Taste it! Oh, God -- why? Why?" Regally, he entered "JA" atop the roll of honor.

Tomorrow's advance manMay 12 2015

The New Yorker's Tad Friend on Marc Andreessen's plan to win the future.

Pessimism always sounds more sophisticated than optimism -- it's the Eden-collapse myth over and over again -- and then you look at G.D.P. per capita worldwide, and it's up and to the right. If this is collapse, let's have more of it!

YouTube goes proDec 09 2014

There's a good reason your cat looks so depressed. The days of her antics dominating YouTube are long gone. As the New Yorker's Tad Friend explains, in addition to cats "YouTube was adults with camcorders shooting kids being adorably themselves. It was amateur hour." Since then, YouTube has gone pro. Jeffrey Katzenberg predicts that "within five years, YouTube will be the biggest media platform of any, by far, in the entire world." It's where your kids are. It's where the new stars are. And it's where your cat isn't. Welcome to the new Hollywood and Vine.

Off the avenuesSep 10 2010

Cutting through parking lots, hotels, and department stores, Tad Friend one-ups John Updike by walking all the way from 33rd Street to Central Park without walking on 5th or 6th Avenues.

It was after 5 P.M., so I ducked in for a drink a few doors down at the Whiskey Trader bar, where the weekend was noisily under way. Downstairs, by the rest rooms, was a door with a sign warning "Siren Will Sound." But siren didn't sound. In the adjacent basement were a mop and a bucket, odds and dead ends-and a stairwell, leading up. On the landing I eased open a fire door... into a gleaming lobby off Fifty-sixth. Ha!

Updike only made it to Rockefeller Center. You may remember a similar effort from last year. Who will take up Friend's mantle and stretch this down to 14th Street? And would Broadway be allowed? (I think not.)

Steve Carell leaving The OfficeJun 28 2010

Unless the producers pull a Darrin Stephens, Michael Scott will no longer appear on The Office following the next season.

"I just think it's time," Steve told our Kristina Guerrero. "I want to fulfill my contract. When I first signed on I had a contract for seven seasons, and this coming year is my seventh. I just thought it was time for my character to go."

But according to Steve, The Office could go on without him. "It doesn't certainly mean the end of the show. I think it's just a dynamic change to the show, which could be a good thing, actually. Add some new life and some new energy...I see it as a positive in general for the show."

Carell added:

I didn't see it as a huge thing and I certainly didn't anticipate any sort of hubbub over it.

All together now: that's what she said.

P.S. Tad Friend has a profile of Carell in the New Yorker this week...sadly offline without a subscription.

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