Author Archives: Cameron

BADASS MONDAY: Eastwood

If you really need someone to explain to you why Clint Eastwood is a badass, then you are simply not an American. Or maybe you’re just not a very good one. Anywho, since many thick, leather-bound books have been written about the life and work of Mr. Eastwood, lets take a look at some of the lesser known facts about the Hollywood legend.

  • While Eastwood is frequently depicted smoking cigarettes in his films, he is in fact a life-long non-smoker. He also abstains from hard liquor, opting instead for cold beer.
  • On top of a rather strenuous exercise routine, Eastwood is known for practicing exceptionally healthy eating habits and Transcendental Meditation.
  • Eastwood, once a licensed pilot, was rather notorious for flying his helicopter to the studio to avoid traffic.
  • Box Office Mojo claims that Eastwood’s films have collectively grossed somewhere north of 1.68 billion dollars domestically. If you’re as desensitized to numbers as I am, it helps to look at this way: $1,680,000,000.
  • Eastwood originally intended to study music theory after honing his skills as a ragtime pianist in high school. His passion for music never declined and he eventually began composing scores for his own movies, including Mystic River and Changeling, whose score was nominated for a Golden Globe.
  • He has seven children, by way of five different women. This may or may not come as a surprise, but he is oft described as a womanizer.
  • Eastwood is currently married to California news anchor Dina Ruiz. She is 35 years his junior. Age is just a number.
  • Speaking of age, he lost his virginity at 14.
Eastwood has appeared as an actor in over 60 films. He has over 30 directorial efforts. Hes amassed 4 Academy Awards, 3 Golden Globes, and dozens of other recognitions and nominations for his acting, directing, producing, and score compositions. In short, Eastwood’s career will stand as one of the most impressive in film history. You know what they say, they just don’t make ‘em like they use to.


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BADASS WHATEVERDAY: Ernest Hemingway

*Bonus: LIFE just posted some previously unpublished photos of Hemingway. Don’t say we never gave ya nothin’.

Saturday was the 50th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s death. He wrote. He was succinct. He was part of the Lost Generation. Regardless of what you think about his character, or what you believe about his ideologies, he made an impact. If you’re not familiar with his work, you’re missing out, so we suggest you get that way.

He was, of course, a writer not a sartorialist. But when I look at his writing style, I learn things about my dressing style. In his writing, he was a master of “economy and understatement.” So, too, in his attire.

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master,” he famously said, talking about writing, not clothing. But I’d wager it’s applicable. Clothes are the means, not the end.

Hemingway wrote while he was in love, and he wrote when those women stopped loving him. Some quotes:
  • “I’ve been in love (truly) with five women, the Spanish Republic and the 4th Infantry Division.” โ€” in a letter to Marlene Dietrich (July 1, 1930).
  • “All good books have one thing in common: They are truer than if they had really happened.”
  • “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
  • “Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use itโ€”donโ€™t cheat with it.โ€
More bullets. There are a couple of things we like about Hemingway:

Fifty years dead. Let’s remember by reading. We like people who read.

BADASS TUESDAY: Phil Jackson

With the big man finally coaching his last NBA game just a few short weeks ago, there comes an end to perhaps the most dominating professional coaching career in sports history. And with the beginning of the NBA finals at our fingertips, it seems fitting to look back on the man that is Phil Jackson.

As a fan of professional basketball, I’ll always remember Phil Jackson as the most prolific, yet backhanded, trash-talker the game has ever seen. Phil always had something to say. A few words to the media to stir the pot for their upcoming series or a pointedly subtle insult aimed at his opponent’s best player. Basketball may have been Phil’s trade, but mind games were his specialty. Phil’s trash talk wasn’t a product of anger or intimidation as it so often is with others. Jackson opened his mouth to the media with a premeditated purpose to distract his opponents, to get in their head and throw their psyche off balance. Half of the fun of the NBA playoffs was checking SportsCenter to see what the Zen Master was going to comment on or even go on a rant about next. In a world where every player in professional sports seems to want to be friends the guys on the other team (or even plan an elaborate free agent trade to their side of the fence), Phil wasn’t afraid to make a few enemies in pursuit of championship rings.
Ahem, eleven championship rings. The numbers speak for themselves. Eleven rings in just over twenty years. A 50 percent success rate for winning it all. And don’t feed me any BS about how he had Jordan, how he had Kobe. With great talent comes great expectations and, moreover, huge egos. If anything, the guy deserves an award as the best manager of personalities the league has ever seen. And he thrived on making his best players peak at playoff time, when it mattered. Fanning the flame of their confidence when they needed it, humbling them when their heads ballooned, as they so easily do when you’re busy three-peating all over the place. I’ll remember Phil less for the triangle offense and more for his relational approach to coachingโ€”the approach that built him a dynasty of success that doesn’t look like it’ll be surpassed any time soon.
The league’s gonna miss you, Phil. And I will too.
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BADASS TUESDAY: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

I know that being a badass is not specific to actors, but… this week, I’m giving you another actor: Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (Editor’s note to Jeff: One more of these, and Cameron’s out.)

When I started to think about badass dudes that were closer to my own age, I struggled a little bit. That badass distinction is often earned through retrospection of someone’s life and career. Honestly, I think JGL has the earned the title. Why? First off, his meditated and careful acceptance of roles has manifested itself in a pretty stellar acting career thus far. He has the forethought to be judicious in selecting his roles, and I respect a guy who turns down millions for big budget films in lieu of smaller budgets and often more difficult roles. Quality over quantity.
Plus, he gets props for being a child actor who actually turned out to be a decent human being. That’s rare enough as it is. You all saw “Inception.” You’ve probably seen “500 Days of Summer.” You might not have seen “Brick,” but you should go see it ASAP. The man is good at what he does. At 30, he has successfully carved out a rather attractive niche in Hollywood. He’s also got that quirky-handsome thing going for him, and he’s sartorially sound. A future icon? Perhaps. A current badass? Absolutely.
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