Lindsay Beyerstein defends Y Tu Mama Tambien from a detractor who implicates the movie's female lead Luisa as a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. What is a MPDG?

Onion AV writer Nathan Rabin coined the term to describe Kristen Dunst's character in a scathing review of Elizabethtown: The Manic Pixie Dream Girl exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures. The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is an all-or-nothing-proposition. Audiences either want to marry her instantly (despite The Manic Pixie Dream Girl being, you know, a fictional character) or they want to commit grievous bodily harm against them and their immediate family.

Natalie Portman is usually trotted out as Exhibit A in MPDG litigation.

I liked Y Tu Mama Tambien and endorse Beyerstein's defense against said charges. But I also enjoyed adding MPDG to my vocabulary.


A touching Roger Ebert story. No, not that one, though that is a great one that's gotten a lot of coverage recently, and deservedly so. In losing his voice, he found a new one in his online journal (his output has expanded into Twitter as well). I have my own Roger Ebert stories from having chatted with him a few times at Sundance, but I'll share those another day.

I DVR'd Ebert on Oprah today, but I'm not sure tonight is the night to watch. I must brace myself for the emotional impact.


"All the Good Stuff Always Happens in the Ladies Room" by Paulina Porizkova

It's a funny read, honest and not ironic. It evokes my sympathy when I read about her "frequent bouts of self-doubt and the occasional humiliation of being a celebrity past her prime" and I don't often feel sympathy for supermodels, the title granted her in her byline.

I link to it mostly because it reminded me that we live in an odd age when celebrities are writing at us in an unmediated fashion more than I can ever remember. Celebrity Twitter accounts, blogs, websites, and iPhone apps. I'm not sure what I should feel when a celebrity tweets from their high life: what other celebrity they just ran into, what it's like on the red carpet or on the movie set or the exclusive party they're at. It seems like vanity, or perhaps insecurity, or maybe they have nothing else to write about because their lives are really one long string of parties punctuated by an occasional gig that resembles work. I'm not sure how I feel about this other than it should be the subject of a Chuck Klosterman essay.


Shawn Blanc makes his plea for a good iPhone feed reader. I made a similar wish earlier this month.

I use three newsreaders on my iPhone today: Byline, Reeder, and NetNewsWire. Use might not be the right word. I bounce between them depending on my mood, but none of the three thrill or delight me yet.

I differ from Shawn a bit in my primary complaints about the three. Byline is the fastest of the three and allows offline reading which I love, but a few things about its UI irk me. One is that after loading its initial set of items, you have to click a link at the bottom to load more stories from your feed. But that link is placed right below a Mark All As Read link which I hit by mistake all the time. The second is the inability to select stories from an individual feed. Sometimes I don't want my full newsfeed, I just want the latest from one feed. I'd also love the option to save state the way Tweetie does so i can start browsing forward from the last article I was shown in my previous Byline session.

Reeder allows me to select individual feeds, but it doesn't save state. The worst problem is that it chokes on syncing all the stories from all my feeds. I spend a lot of time waiting for Reeder to register my screen gestures as it syncs; those long delays drive me crazy. I can't tell if my iPhone has frozen or if Reeder is just constipated (I have syncing turned on at startup so every time I launch the app I'm waiting around for something to happen). I've had to all but turn Reeder syncing off to use the app which is too bad because it has a lot of other features I appreciate.

As for NetNewsWire, on the iPhone it is essentially unusable for anyone with any healthy number of feeds. It feels as if my phone has just frozen.

My hope is that someone solves this on the iPad because that has the potential be a fantastic newsreader device, especially as the Kindle is not great in that area. An iPad with a great Google Reader app and access to browsing all the usual news websites through mobile Safari and a great ebook reader would be something I spend a lot of time with on the toilet. Did I say toilet? I meant "around the house."


Is this the same old woman who looks like a little girl from Orphan?