Carrie Brownstein is a rock star and a sketch comedy star. She's about to be a memoirist. She's been a rock critic and an advertising executive. She has the best shimmy this side of Mick Jagger and a leg kick that has made every living, breathing person want to pick up a guitar and dance. If you haven't noticed, we think she's awesome.
After a spell back on the road with her now former band Wild Flag, Brownstein and her "Portlandia" partner Fred Armisen are back for a fourth season of their acclaimed IFC show, a show that sends up hipster culture with exactly the right sense of satire and absurdity.
Season 4 is loaded with brilliant moments -- a date fact-checker who reminds a guy that he actually liked "Juno" when it came out and hasn't actually watched all of "Breaking Bad," a beleaguered celery salesman whose wife considers an Indecent Proposal to learn kale's hipster secrets, crazed fans of Garrison Keillor who tailgate outside a "Prairie Home Companion" road show only to fall asleep in the parking lot before show time.
Based on the four episodes we've seen, it's the smartest and most satisfying season yet -- and also the sexiest. We talked with Brownstein about it late last month over cappuccinos at the, yes, very "Portlandia" Intellegentsia coffee shop at the, yes, very "Portlandia" High Line Hotel in Chelsea.
When President Obama declared in December that gross inequality is the “defining challenge of our time,” he was right, and resoundingly so. As is his habit, however, he quickly backed away from the idea at the urging of pollsters and various Democratic grandees.
I can understand the Democrats’ fears about venturing into this territory. It feels like a throwback to an incomprehensible time — to a form of liberalism that few of them understand anymore. Unfortunately, they really have no choice. Watching first the way the bankers steered us into disaster in 2008 and then the way they harvested the fruits of our labored recovery — these spectacles have forced the nation to rediscover social class, and as we dig deeper into the subject we are appalled to learn what has been going on for the last three decades.