Every three days Nathan (not his real name), a 27-year-old venture capitalist in San Francisco, ingests 15 micrograms of lysergic acid diethylamide (commonly known as LSD or acid). The microdose of the psychedelic drug – which generally requires at least 100 micrograms to cause a high – gives him the gentlest of buzzes. It makes him feel far more productive, he says, but nobody else in the office knows that he is doing it. “I view it as my little treat. My secret vitamin,” he says. “It’s like taking spinach and you’re Popeye.”
Nathan first started microdosing in 2014, when he was working for a startup in Silicon Valley. He would cut up a tab of LSD into small slices and place one of these on his tongue each time he dropped. His job involved pitching to investors. “So much of fundraising is storytelling, being persuasive, having enough conviction. Microdosing is pretty fantastic for being a volume knob for that, for amplifying that.” He partly credits the angel investment he secured during this period to his successful experiment in self-medication.
Of all the drugs available, psychedelics have long been considered among the most powerful and dangerous. When Richard Nixon launched the “war on drugs” in the 1970s, the authorities claimed LSD caused people to jump out of windows and fried users’ brains. When Ronald Reagan was the governor of California, which in 1966 was one of the first states to criminalise the drug, he argued that “anyone that would engage or indulge in [LSD] is just a plain fool”.
Yet attitudes towards psychedelics appear to be changing. According to a 2013 paper from two Norwegian researchers that used data from 2010, Americans aged between 30 and 34 – not the original flower children but the next generation – were the most likely to have tried LSD. An ongoing survey of middle-school and high-school students shows that drug use has fallen across the board among the young (as in most of the rich world). Yet, LSD use has recently risen a little, and the perceived risks of the drug fallen, among 13- to 17-year-olds.
As with many social changes, from transportation to food delivery to dating, Silicon Valley has blazed a trail with microdosing. It may yet influence the way that America, and eventually the West, view psychedelic substances.
Read more at 1843 Magazine.
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — The last time Shania Twain released an album — the experimental country-but-not-quite opus “Up!” — it sold 874,000 copies in its first week, and went on to receive the Recording Industry Association of America’s diamond certification for 10 million copies sold, her third album in a row to reach that milestone.
That was in 2002, right around the peak of the CD age, and an era in which the pop mainstream hadn’t yet fully absorbed hip-hop. Napster had just come and gone. Barack Obama was still a state senator. Taylor Swift had just taken her first trip as a pre-teen to Nashville.
At that time, Ms. Twain was a cross-genre titan, a country singer who — with her then-husband Mutt Lange, the producer who boosted the sound of AC/DC and Def Leppard — made titanic, eclectic music that infuriated Nashville purists with its flashy embrace of pop theatrics, but still dominated the charts and made Ms. Twain a megastar with a Rolling Stone cover and rotation on MTV. On songs like “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” she was brassy and a little salacious, a feminist triumphalist.
Much has changed in the intervening decade and a half. Pop stars aren’t as grand scaled; country music now takes as givens many of the risks Ms. Twain innovated; and Ms. Twain divorced Mr. Lange following an outlandish tabloid scandal.
And yet Ms. Twain is not apprehensive about her return, 15 years later, with her fifth album, “Now,” on Sept. 29. “I really feel like I’m coming back into worlds that I already know,” the singer, 52, said one afternoon early last month in a room at the London West Hollywood hotel here. “Now” is, like most of her albums, not quite country music, though she has swapped the excess of her last albums for something smaller and warmer. It has little to do with country music’s traditional center, but to be fair, much of modern country music has little to do with what is thought of as country music’s traditional center.
By standing apart, Ms. Twain may well fit in, though the path hasn’t been clear thus far. The new album’s first single, “Life’s About to Get Good,” fizzled on the chart. But radio might not be Ms. Twain’s path, said Cindy Mabe, the president of Universal Music Group Nashville. “It’s the magnifier,” she said, “but frankly, does she need it? No. She’s a global icon.” She pointed out the breadth of Ms. Twain’s release plan — award shows in France and Germany, a concert in London’s Hyde Park, TV in this country and Canada, and much more — as proof that “no one has the reach that Shania does.”
As Ms. Twain spoke, she was preparing for this global rollout, surrounded by racks of clothes to wear for photo shoots and television appearances, and musing on another way the culture has changed during her break from promoting albums.
“It is way more acceptable to be different, to be a more normal shape,” she said, discussing how at her pop peak, she wore custom-made clothes when runway styles didn’t fit properly. “It’s actually fashionable to have a bigger butt now. I remember feeling, like, ‘I cannot get my butt into these pants!’”
Read more at The New York Times.
In a corner of Alphabet’s campus, there is a team working on a piece of software that may be the key to self-driving cars. No journalist has ever seen it in action until now. They call it Carcraft, after the popular game World of Warcraft.
The software’s creator, a shaggy-haired, baby-faced young engineer named James Stout, is sitting next to me in the headphones-on quiet of the open-plan office. On the screen is a virtual representation of a roundabout. To human eyes, it is not much to look at: a simple line drawing rendered onto a road-textured background. We see a self-driving Chrysler Pacifica at medium resolution and a simple wireframe box indicating the presence of another vehicle.
Months ago, a self-driving car team encountered a roundabout like this in Texas. The speed and complexity of the situation flummoxed the car, so they decided to build a look-alike strip of physical pavement at a test facility. And what I’m looking at is the third step in the learning process: the digitization of the real-world driving. Here, a single real-world driving maneuver—like one car cutting off the other on a roundabout—can be amplified into thousands of simulated scenarios that probe the edges of the car’s capabilities.
Scenarios like this form the base for the company’s powerful simulation apparatus. “The vast majority of work done—new feature work—is motivated by stuff seen in simulation,” Stout tells me. This is the tool that’s accelerated the development of autonomous vehicles at Waymo, which Alphabet (née Google) spun out of its “moon-shot” research wing, X, in December of 2016.
If Waymo can deliver fully autonomous vehicles in the next few years, Carcraft should be remembered as a virtual world that had an outsized role in reshaping the actual world on which it is based.
Originally developed as a way to “play back” scenes that the cars experienced while driving on public roads, Carcraft, and simulation generally, have taken on an ever-larger role within the self-driving program.
At any time, there are now 25,000 virtual self-driving cars making their way through fully modeled versions of Austin, Mountain View, and Phoenix, as well as test-track scenarios. Waymo might simulate driving down a particularly tricky road hundreds of thousands of times in a single day. Collectively, they now drive 8 million miles per day in the virtual world. In 2016, they logged 2.5 billion virtual miles versus a little over 3 million miles by Google’s IRL self-driving cars that run on public roads. And crucially, the virtual miles focus on what Waymo people invariably call “interesting” miles in which they might learn something new. These are not boring highway commuter miles.
The simulations are part of an intricate process that Waymo has developed. They’ve tightly interwoven the millions of miles their cars have traveled on public roads with a “structured testing” program they conduct at a secret base in the Central Valley they call Castle.
Read more at The Atlantic.
Three young women, dressed identically, stand in front of a large door. They yell-announce their names, their elected titles. They confess that they’ve been waiting for you all summer (they have?) and are so glad you’re finally here. The doors open. “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Your eyes adjust to the flutter of movement that you realize is hundreds of twinkling fingers, fingers that belong to more identically dressed women, standing in leveled rows that seem impossibly neat. The women are now yell-singing and clapping.
This is called a “door stack,” and if you haven’t seen one in real life, you very well may have in one viral sorority recruitment video or another. It’s easy to understand why the clips become internet sensations, with their eerie, Stepford-like quality that comes courtesy of the matching outfits, the plastered-on smiles, and the fact that most, if not all, of the girls are white. They probably have the same hairstyle, too — long and straight or tamely curled.
When the doors fly open, and the initial screaming and spirit-fingering evolve into choreographed chanting, the effect is so visually ridiculous that it feels like a sinister punchline. “Horror movie of the summer,” read one headline in response to last year’s most infamous video, from the University of Texas at Austin chapter of Alpha Delta Pi. More intrepid tweeters remixed the video to look like the doors were, in fact, opening the gates of hell. Get Out references will surely be incorporated into this year’s crop of memes.
Even to the literally initiated, those who have participated in sorority rush several times over themselves, the scene can be unsettling, dredging up memories of the worst week of the year. (Anyone who disagrees is lying.) The girls in that Alpha Delta Pi video will probably execute their routine a dozen more times that day, for several days. It’s Texas, in August, so it’s blazing hot. They’re packed in that doorframe like sardines; some schools have even banned this formation due to reported injuries, ranging in severity from minor cuts and bruises to concussions.
After the singing ends, the sorority girls will engage in small talk with potential new members, known as PNMs, for the remainder of the round. Then they’ll scurry to their voting groups, where they’ll rate the girls they just met, before setting up to do it all again for the next batch of PNMs. They’ve been rehearsing every aspect of this performance, down to their conversation points, for at least a week, and preparing for recruitment more generally since last spring — planning their coordinated outfits, scouting incoming freshmen, maybe even putting up pictures of girls they definitely want around the house. When they tell you, “We’ve been waiting for you all summer,” they aren’t exaggerating.
College is an opportunity to start anew — away from the watchful eyes of parents, from friends who knew you back when, from the reputation that stuck to you for the past decade or so. It’s a chance to be the Very Cool person you know yourself to be, but that your high school wouldn’t allow for on account of all that history and the unfair social politics of adolescence. In college, you get to leave all that behind. But when your labels — honors student, theater kid, “friends with Suzy and them” — are gone, you’re left with a difficult question: Who am I?
Fraternities and sororities offer a quick solution to the “who am I?” conundrum. Rush at the beginning of your freshman year and get a brand new label before you even step foot inside a classroom. It’s an identity to assume during those first few weeks of endless introductions: I’m a Delta Zeta. I’m an Alpha Chi Omega. I’m a Phi Mu. It provides you with activities to partake in and people who are obligated to socialize with you. For those who are used to in-group status, or who seek in-group status after being denied it earlier in their teens, Greek life promises not just a sense of self, but a sense of belonging.
Read more at Racked.
If you work in Silicon-something—Valley, Alley, Wadi, Beach, etc.—and your coworkers are disappearing right about now, they might just be finding their chi at Burning Man, also known as T.T.I.T.D., Black Rock City, or Home.
The attraction between Silicon Valley and Black Rock City is far more than a swipe right—it’s a relationship that goes back decades. The first Google Doodle in 1998, after all, was an homage to the Man, the effigy that is at the literal and symbolic heart of the event. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin went to Burning Man to find a new CEO—Eric Schmidt—and Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and other moguls have made pilgrimages there, too. (If you want to read about the more controversial side of tech’s invasion, read Nick Bilton‘s 2014 story for The New York Times about how the tech elite try to outdo each other on the playa.)
“Both Black Rock City and Silicon Valley embody a similar cultural ethos—the encouragement of rapid prototyping, a disregard for the status quo and how things have been done before, and the self-reliance to change the world around you for the better.”—Sarah Buhr for TechCrunch
So why do the world’s best-known tech founders and entrepreneurs (and the people who work for them) return year after year? A week in the desert turns out to be the ultimate life hack for people in Techland. (Funny how disconnecting from your phone and spending time with people, communing with art and music, can be so life-affirming.) It’s a hard reboot, a reset, and an enduring reminder of some of the basics that make life as a tech entrepreneur unlike any other.
Here are five things they discover—and re-discover—on the playa:
- A Clean Slate
There’s something about being in the middle of the desert that forces you to return to the basics. It helps when you’re cut off from ubiquitous electricity and wifi. “Being a tech entrepreneur is 24/7: there isn’t a moment that goes by where you’re not connected,” Christian Taylor, the CEO and founder of Chatcast, told us. “To have this week where you can internalize, where every moment is not about checking your email, was, at first, very jarring. I had a lot of anxiety about that the first year…but I realized very quickly that: No, that’s the point.”
Habitués also seek a clean emotional slate on the playa. Falon Fatemi, CEO and founder of Node.io (also the youngest person ever to work at Google), calls Burning Man the “healing experience you may not realize you need.” She found catharsis at the Wall of Shame, where people wrote down, anonymously, what made them feel sad, shameful or insecure. “As I was reading all of the powerful feelings on that wall, I was moved in a joyous way,” she said. “I realized that I am not alone. Writing out my own insecurities on that wall and then watching it be lit on fire was a symbolic way to let go of feelings of self-doubt and shame I didn’t realize I hold.”
Read more at Flipboard.
There’s a new way to dine out in America, and it has nothing to do with fancy restaurants. It almost has nothing to do with restaurants. It’s all about great food in odd, incongruous, or just plain cool settings. The problem is, these places can be a little hard to find. Great news! We found them for you.
The Place That Seems Like It Doesn’t Want Your Business
To find the best catfish in Mississippi, you drive deeper into the Hill Country than seems right (the best restaurants in the South are always a little terrifying to get to) until you reach the no-stoplight town of Taylor (pop. 372). You’ll know Taylor Grocery by the crowd milling around the front porch of an old general store that looks like a set for The Road. That unlikely congregation sipping brown-bagged bourbon and waiting for tables is what tips you off: Something interesting is happening here. (The walls, blanketed in graffiti like a folk-art CBGB, reinforce the point.) As a general rule, if you see people tailgating before dinner—especially if they’ve descended upon a nondescript storefront—go see what all the fuss is about. Because they’re probably there for really good food. In Taylor, that food is catfish, which is battered in cornmeal and crisped in oil to a deep golden crunch. Order more than you think you can eat. —Nick Marino
How To Spot A Great Southern Restaurant? Look for loiterers. For Gabrielle Langholtz, who traveled to all 50 states in search of the food in her new book, America: The Cookbook (Phaidon, out October 9), the rule is: “If there is a group of people smoking outside…yes! Construction workers, farmers, and so forth, yes! That’s the place.”
Read more at GQ.
After the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, 20 years ago, London felt like a city on the verge of a revolution. Suddenly everything was up for grabs, even the monarchy itself. For a few crazy weeks, this most enduring of institutions looked as if it might actually implode under the weight of so much emotion.
For anyone there at the time, it was as electrifying as it was bewildering. The mood was febrile, angry, reckless. Flowers were piled knee-deep at the gates of the royal palaces; grown men wept openly in the streets; mild-mannered citizens inveighed against the usually blameless queen for what they believed was an inadequate response to a national crisis. Centuries of stiff-upper-lipped repression boiled over in a great howl of collective anguish.
Eventually the public regained its grip, and the monarchy — chastened and battered, but a monarchy nonetheless — endured. But as Britain on Thursday marks the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death with commemorations, documentaries and books, a central, if unlikely, piece of her legacy is how she reshaped the monarchy that rejected her, and how she reshaped Britain, too.
Diana in life was a loose cannon, an unpredictable wild card; in death, she had a galvanizing effect. Britain is already a very different place from Diana’s era, partly because of a younger generation less enamored with old conventions. But her death also opened a door, for better or worse, for the country to become more emotional and expressive, and more inclined to value gut feeling over expert opinion even in such matters as “Brexit,” its vote last year to leave the European Union.
Faced with a clear choice — modernize or die — the monarchy elected to modernize, led by Queen Elizabeth II but bolstered by a new generation of better-adjusted, better-prepared royals.
“The Windsors, whose most perilous moment came at Diana’s death, in fact owe their endurance to her example,” said Jonathan Freedland, a columnist for The Guardian, a left-leaning newspaper. “The queen is particularly alert to learning lessons from experience, and in this case the lesson was, ‘Don’t get on the wrong side of public opinion.’”
Read more at the New York Times.
To former tennis champ Billie Jean King, the 1970s were “a very exciting and tenuous time.” After all, while women couldn’t get a credit card in their own name without having it cosigned by a man, and at best women were making 50 cents to the men’s dollar, Title IX did become law in 1972, prohibiting sex discrimination in programs receiving federal aid.
Moreover, during the height of the women’s movement in the ’70s, King solidified her place in history with another crack in that barrier. Already the top women’s tennis player, she took on former tennis pro Bobby Riggs, whose boastful taunts about women belonging in the kitchen (and bedroom) had deepened the gender divide across the nation. Riggs set out to show that women could never be equal to men and meant to prove it by trouncing King in a nationally televised exhibition match. But King turned the tables in that now infamous September 1973 “battle of the sexes,” taking the match in three straight sets.
“That year was a pivotal year in sports, but for women it was huge,” King recalls.
Now, nearly 44 years later, that match and the surrounding socio-political environment for women (and LGBTQ people), is the subject of the film “Battle of the Sexes.” Starring Emma Stone as King and Steve Carell as Riggs, the picture explores King’s efforts, and those of the other women who helped form the Women’s Tennis Assn., to achieve equal pay for male and female players. The film also stars Bill Pullman, Elisabeth Shue and Sarah Silverman.
Ahead of the film’s Sept. 22 release, The Times spoke with Stone and King in a joint phone call about the match, its enduring impact on the fight for gender equality and what that looks like for the pay equity conversation currently going on in Hollywood.
Describe the process you took to step into Billie Jean King’s shoes for the role?
Stone: It was pretty extensive. Obviously, I am not Billie Jean King, so I had a lot to learn [laughs]. For me, it was about learning so much about Billie Jean and watching footage of her and reading interviews with her, just steeping myself as much as possible in her particular story and learning more about the time period, how much was shifting and what a pivotal time it was for women and equality.
Read more at LA Times.
Kathy Griffin walked into her home office just before noon in late June, still wearing pajamas. The comedian, who regularly stays up late, had just woken up to news of President Trump’s latest Twitter tear. Trump had covered a wide range of topics in a series of tweets, from denouncing Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the election to House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer — or, as Trump called him in a tweet that morning, “Cryin’ Chuck.”
“Why are people still expecting me to apologize and grovel to a man that tweets like this?” Griffin vented to me. “I’m a comedian; he’s our fucking president.”
It had been 23 days since a photograph of Griffin holding a Donald Trump mask covered in fake blood completely altered her life. Cooked up as satire in a single afternoon, it first appeared on TMZ and then spread across social media rapidly, uniting Republicans and Democrats in outrage. Griffin released a video apology almost immediately after the photo’s release, but the damage was done; the next day, Trump intensified the backlash by tweeting a claim that his son Barron, 11, was having a difficult time dealing with the image. And members of the First Family, including Trump’s two older sons, launched an aggressive public campaign against Griffin.
In the following days, the Secret Service opened an investigation; Griffin was fired from the CNN New Year’s Eve broadcast that she had co-hosted with Anderson Cooper for ten years; a lucrative endorsement contract was canceled, and so were 15 scheduled live performances, owing to bomb threats, which she estimates cost her more than a million dollars. Thousands of death threats rolled in, some of her close friends abandoned her, and even her beloved Fox News–loving mother, Maggie Griffin, joked to her daughter that she would not have her support.
A carefully choreographed apology tour might have helped Griffin move past the controversy — the video she filmed the day the photo was released felt hasty, and a defensive press conference a few days later was widely criticized after Griffin (who had, after all, fired the first salvo against Trump) presented herself as a victim. But moving on doesn’t seem to be on Griffin’s mind: The short promotional video she just released for her new Laugh Your Head Off tour of Europe, Australia, and New Zealand concludes with an image of her in the same blouse she wore in the infamous Trump photo, holding a globe in her hand instead of a Trump mask. And she’s still angry with the president.
“President Trump just pardoned Joe Arpaio, who was essentially running a concentration camp in the Arizona desert,” she tells me over the phone this past weekend. “He said there are some good Nazis, and he’s kicking out young adults who were brought here as kids by their parents, and I’m the one who has to continue to apologize?”
Read more at The Cut.
Devon Shepard met Jenji Kohan, the creator of “Orange Is the New Black” and “Weeds,” twenty-four years ago, when they were writers for the NBC sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Shepard, a former standup comedian, got into the business serendipitously, after he clowned on a square producer at a black barbershop in Los Angeles. Kohan, who had recently graduated from Columbia, was a rung down from Shepard—a “baby writer,” in Hollywood lingo. But “she was fun, a whole lot of energy, a sponge,” he said. Kohan wanted to learn dominoes—the “loud and outrageous” street version—and they began playing bones in an office they shared, trading stories about growing up black in South Central and Jewish in Beverly Hills. “I made the room cool,” Shepard said. “People were, like, ‘What’s going on in there?’ ”
This was in 1993, a year after the L.A. riots, and at “Fresh Prince,” which starred Will Smith as a Philly street kid sent to live with rich relatives, the writers’ room was a toxic mess. The staff—which included Smith’s bodyguard and his cousin—kept crazy hours and fought non-stop. There were cruel pranks: someone peed in a colleague’s bottle of tequila. Kohan was one of two female writers, and the only white woman. Her nickname was White Devil Jew Bitch. Shepard was one of her few allies.
After “Fresh Prince,” they lost touch. In the mid-nineties, he wrote for “MADtv,” and she wrote for “Tracey Takes On . . . ”—wild, subversive sketch shows. Then, in 2004, Shepard’s agent handed him a script for a cable series about a pot-dealing single mother. One character, a black supplier named Conrad Shepard, echoed elements of Devon Shepard’s life story: Devon had dealt weed, even while working on “Fresh Prince.” He loved the script, which had no writer’s name on it, and told his agent, “I gotta be on this show.” The agent asked him if he knew the creator: Jenji Kohan. Shepard said, “Do I fucking know her? If your white ass don’t put me in the room, I’m gonna choke the shit out of you.”
Shepard wrote for “Weeds” for three years. Kohan was a dream boss, he said, because she was just as curious, energetic, and easily bored as she had been on “Fresh Prince.” “Jenji has A.D.D.,” he said. “It was like having a class clown as your boss.” The writers played hours of online poker, and to open things up Kohan issued weird challenges: “She would say, ‘I want you to end each scene with a curse word and then start with a curse word.’ Or ‘Have someone hold a cup, and then have a cup go through the whole episode.’ ” Shepard was used to being pigeonholed; at job interviews, he was told, “If we add a black character, we’ll call you.” Although, to his frustration, many people thought that he was responsible for the black dialogue on “Weeds,” he actually wrote more scenes for the white main character, who was played by Mary-Louise Parker. Kohan wrote for all the characters, including Conrad and Heylia, another African-American supplier. In Shepard’s view, empathy and talent outweighed identity. Outsiders could sometimes take bigger risks, because they were less constrained by the burdens of representation. “The person inside the party is always going to have a different perspective than a person looking in the window,” he said.
To break up the monotony, he and Kohan playacted an imaginary TV show called “Djembe,” about an African man who was married to a white suburban woman. The gag eventually made it into an episode. The premise was that Djembe couldn’t speak, and communicated by banging on a drum. “You would have thought we were all fucking crazy and racist,” Shepard said, cracking up at the memory. “We were just so free.”
Read more at The New Yorker.
Many people have asked if Amanda Gallo, the 29-year-old protagonist of my new novel, Amanda Wakes Up, is a thinly veiled version of me. The answer is yes and no. At 29, I was ambitious and resourceful like Amanda, but she figures things out faster than I did. I wish I’d been able to see my blind spots and tackle my personal and professional life challenges as quickly as she does. My learning curve was longer.
At 29, my career trajectory appeared to be blazing a meteoric trail. I was working at my dream job: national correspondent for a new NBC morning show. I’d done so well during my first few months of reporting in the field that I’d been promoted to substitute anchor. I’ll never forget the day the real anchor was on assignment and I got my big break to host the show. When the red camera light turned on, I was so excited that I thought I might spontaneously combust on set. At that moment, it seemed all my years of hard work, of dropping everything for breaking news, being sent on far-flung assignments, and pulling all-nighters in edits room, were paying off.
Then my show was canceled. My dream job went up in smoke and I had no fallback plan. I was devastated. It seemed like the bright future I’d imagined was a mirage. It was a rough year of feeling directionless and alone.
So now, with the benefit of time and age, here are the seven things I wish I knew at 29.
1. Any job can be therapeutic.
One scene in Amanda Wakes Up is directly cribbed from real life: Amanda’s career hits a giant pothole and she sinks into a funk, spending day after day on her sofa in her pajamas. I’ve been there. When my show was canceled, I, too, logged a lot of couch time. My weekly paycheck had vanished — but my rent and bills had not. I needed a job. So I took a freelance reporting gig at a local station that I quickly determined I hated, since all I really wanted to do was wallow in my misery, clutching a box of tissues, watching my favorite soap opera. I was grumpy every afternoon when I had to click off the TV and lug my sad carcass from the sofa to the shower to prepare for the late shift at a temporary job I didn’t care about. But then something interesting happened. I was so busy chasing stories that I forgot how sad I was. I learned that there is a psychological payoff to working hard every day. Get to work doing something, anything, even if it’s not your dream job.
Read more at Cosmopolitan.
Though the Golden Age of Hollywood refers to the period of cinema marked by the end of silent films in the 1920s, in our mind’s eye, it’s the 1990s. Perhaps it’s because the thought-provoking indie films, dystopic action flicks, and computer-animated cartoons of the time helped shape us. Or maybe it’s because they remind us of that thrill we used to get when perusing the New Releases section on a Friday night at Blockbuster. And while it’s nice to reminisce, the real fun starts once we sit down for a movie marathon of the best ’90s movies.
Whether you’re in the mood to cuddle up or you’re simply looking for something to do, our list of the 50 best ’90s movies to watch for every occasion, nostalgic whim or not. The only difference is that you won’t have to get off your sofa to rent a VHS this time. Our roundup of 50 films is categorized by genre, so you can take our pick from comedies, indies, romances, actions, fantasies, sci-fi, and more. Plus, we included the best one-liners from each to remind you why you loved it—or to convince you to get it on your watch list pronto. Ready to get the show on the road? Read up and then start screening the 50 films below.
Dazed and Confused (1993): And thus, our eternal crush on Matthew McConaughey was born (not on his character, though—he was sort of a creep). This fun and funny coming-of-age movie takes place in Austin, Texas, and follows the kids as they celebrate their last day of school, when hazing ensues.
Standout Line: “When you’re being inundated with all this American bicentennial Fourth of July brouhaha, don’t forget what you’re celebrating, and that’s the fact that a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic white males didn’t want to pay their taxes.”
Rushmore (1998): Directed by Wes Anderson, this dramedy is set at a prep school and focuses on the relationship between two men who both try to woo a first-grade teacher. Aside from the hilarious, quirky humor, Rushmore is stylistically and aesthetically delightful.
Standout Line: “I saved Latin. What did you ever do?”
Clueless (1995): No ’90s movie list would be complete without this witty fashion favorite. This comedy revolves around the lives of (charmingly) shallow, sheltered, popular teens from Beverly Hills. There’s a decade’s worth of outfit inspiration from the first half of this movie alone.
Standout Line: “As if.”
More Comedies From the ’90s: Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski, Wayne’s World, American Pie, and Pleasantville.
Read more at My Domaine.