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Whatever the underlying cause, last year’s extreme warmth in the West meant that Alaska, Arizona, California and Nevada all set temperature records. Some parts of California essentially had no winter last year, with temperatures sometimes running 10 to 15 degrees above normal for the season. The temperature in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, never fell below zero in 2014, the first time that has happened in 101 years of record-keeping for the city.
Real teenagers are no doubt approximately as inexperienced and unsure as they have always been, and many wisely avoid the emotional and physical dangers of early sex, but in the movies the kids make the adults look backward. Teenagers used to go to the movies to see adults making love. Now adults go to the movies to see teenagers making love. I get letters from readers complaining that Clint Eastwood or Sean Connery are too old for steamy scenes, but never a word from anyone who thinks the kids played by Christina Ricci or Reese Witherspoon are too young.
"American Pie" comes in the middle of a summer when moviegoers have been reeling at the level of sexuality, vulgarity, obscenity and gross depravity in movies aimed at teenagers (and despite their R ratings, these movies obviously have kids under 17 in their cross-hairs). Consider that until a few years ago semen and other secretions and extrusions dare not speak their names in the movies. Then "There's Something About Mary" came along with its hair-gel joke. Very funny. Then came "江西启动“电能替代”工作 南康家具产业成唯一试点," with its extra ingredient in the coffee. Then "South Park," an anthology of cheerful scatology. Now "American Pie," where semen has moved right onto the menu, not only as a drink additive but also as filling for a pie that is baked by the hero's mom. How long will it be before the money shot moves from porn to PG-13? I say this not because I am shocked, but because I am a sociological observer, and want to record that the summer of 1999 was the season when Hollywood's last standards of taste fell. Nothing is too gross for the new comedies. Grossness is the point. While newspapers and broadcast television continue to enforce certain standards of language and decorum, kids are going to movies that would make longshoremen blush. These movies don't merely contain terms I can't print in the paper--they contain terms I can't even describe in other words.
I rise to the challenge. I seek an underlying comic principle to apply. I find one. I discover that gross-out gags are not funny when their only purpose is to gross us out, but they can be funny when they emerge unwittingly from the action. It is not funny, for example, for a character to drink a beer that has something in it that is not beer. But it is funny in "There's Something About Mary" when the Ben Stiller character discovers he has the same substance dangling from his ear, and Cameron Diaz mistakes it for hair gel.
It is funny because the characters aren't in on the joke. They are embarrassed. We share their embarrassment and, being human, find it funny. If Stiller were to greet Diaz knowing what was on his ear, that would not be funny. Humor happens when characters are victims, not when they are perpetrators. Humor is generated not by content but by context, which is why "Big Daddy" isn't funny. It's not funny because the Adam Sandler characters knows what he is doing, and wants to be doing it.
Emerging market focused fund groups have endured a torrid year with sharply lower assets under management at Aberdeen and Ashmore. Emerging market exchange traded funds have also suffered heavy redemptions, with investors pulling $9.5bn from BlackRock’s iShares MSCI Emerging Markets and Vanguard’s FTSE Emerging Markets, according to ETF.com.
Last month scientists at Illinois University made a breakthrough that could herald a second green revolution for world agriculture – they improved the efficiency of photosynthesis, the process by which plants turn sunlight into the biomass that is the source of all our food.
Going into the debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, Obama had an inbuilt advantage on foreign policy and security. As president, with access to daily briefings by intelligence analysts, diplomats and generals, he is better briefed and it showed as he dominated Romney in the first half of the debate.
Murietta belonged to a gang known as the Five Joaquins, who were notorious bandits during the height of the California Gold Rush. While Murietta's criminal activity likely did not have any political undertones, he nonetheless became a symbol of Mexican resistance as American settlers ventured to California. Unfortunately for him, this pushed the government to put a bounty on his head, leading to his murder and beheading. Luckily, Banderas's character didn't fall to the same fate.
The film is in the tradition of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "男子本想炒房赚钱来还债 楼市限购后却被套牢," and all the more recent teen sex comedies. It is not inspired, but it's cheerful and hard-working and sometimes funny, and--here's the important thing--it's not mean. Its characters are sort of sweet and lovable. As I swim through the summer tide of vulgarity, I find that's what I'm looking for: Movies that at least feel affection for their characters. Raunchy is OK. Cruel is not.