May 25, 2011

NOH HAO, at 25 the social media's youngest - and first female - multibillionaire, explains her meteoric success in an exclusive interview with MARTHA BAYLES.

Cambridge, MA, March 15, 2014 - "Meet me at the Harvard Square Peet's!"  The suggestion evokes a legend.  Only three years ago, Hao was sipping chai in that same Peet's when she got the idea for Bod-E, the ultra-hot social networking site that recently topped Google, Facebook, and Twitter in user volume and revenue.  On Monday Bod-E rocked global markets by gaining access to China, using the same sales pitch that had already helped it penetrate Burma (Myanmar), North Korea, Belarus, and the military dictatorships of Egypt, Iran, and the Persian Gulf Republic.  According to, the essence of that pitch is: Bod-E means stability.

Breathless from dodging traffic, Hao arrives and settles into her favorite corner.  Asked to describe her Eureka moment, she says,
May 25, 2011 4:59 PM |
December 27, 2010

If you need a few minutes of joy, open this link to a live performance by Straight No Chaser (after the ad) .
December 27, 2010 1:04 PM |
December 24, 2010


December 24, 2010 5:28 PM |
November 27, 2010

"Later that night I got to thinking about safe sex. We talk about it as something physical. But what about the emotions? Is sex ever safe?" So writes Carrie Bradshaw, trendy newspaper columnist in Sex and the City. Played by Sarah Jessica Parker, Carrie is one of four single women in their thirties, living in affluent Manhattan, whose erotic lives are chronicled in the HBO television series (1998-2004) and two subsequent feature films (2008 and 2010).

Each episode in the TV series begins with a question, some more portentous than others. To the one about safe sex, the answer will depend on a conception of the good - or rather, goods - associated with sex ...
November 27, 2010 3:35 PM |
August 15, 2010

Tortoise.jpgIf you are still checking Serious Popcorn, you are a true and loyal reader.  You also may have noticed that SP has been estivating (the summer version of hibernating).

Snails do it, frogs do it,
Tortoises and salamanders do it,
Let's do it, let's estivate.

Apologies to Cole Porter.  What I'm trying to say is, the book is not yet finished, and I am on a publishing diet until it is done.  When I do publish something, I'll post it here.  But for the time being, that and perhaps the occasional mini-post is all I can muster.  Hope to be back soon.
August 15, 2010 7:20 PM |
April 2, 2010

Spirited Away.jpgGeorge Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, once quipped, "Creating a universe is daunting."  This is true, as anyone can tell from a quick perusal of the book of Genesis.  But for animators, being daunted does not pay.  From the painstakingly hand-drawn classics of Walt Disney to the latest performance-capture and 3-D bells and whistles, the prizes in this realm go to the boldest, most obsessed visionaries.  Animation begins in comedy, but by its very nature, it aspires to higher things.

I recently wrote about this for the Claremont Review, and if you liked Avatar in spite of its heavy-handed "message," I invite you to read the whole essay...

April 2, 2010 3:08 PM |
March 18, 2010

Charlie-Gillett.jpgIf you have never heard Charlie Gillett, you have missed something.  His 1972 book, The Sound of the City, is still one of the best books ever written about rock'n'roll during its formative years.  And his website will tell you what an indefatigable and generous radio host he was to musicians from every continent (and the occasional author, as I can attest).

Gillett died yesterday, and while his obituary is worth a look, his real legacy is all the terrific music he shared with the world.

March 18, 2010 8:58 AM |
February 22, 2010

Scorsese.jpgI am not a Scorsese fan, and if you want to know why, here's my review of The Departed, in which I compare it with Infernal Affairs, the Hong Kong thriller on which it was based.  My conclusion, in the words of Dr. Johnson, is that The Departed is both original and good, but unfortunately the part that is original is not good, and the part that is good is not original.

I confess to not having seen Shutter Island, Scorsese's latest, which like The Departed bottom-feeds on my home town of Boston.  But after reading A. O. Scott's scathing review, I suspect this murky mess does not even deserve Dr. Johnson's faint praise.

Of course, I reserve final judgment on Shutter Island until somebody pays me to see it.

February 22, 2010 2:44 PM |
February 15, 2010

SRK-2.jpgI confess to having started another blog, "Hearts and Minds" at  And because they are actually paying me (just a pittance, fellow bloggers, just a pittance), I agreed not to post those entries here.

But that doesn't mean I can't direct interested readers to the site, which has four entries so far: two on Avatar in China and two on the Indian superstar Shah Rukh Khan (pictured above), whose new film, My Name is Khan, premiered in the U.S. this weekend.

I could use this new blog as an excuse for neglecting Serious Popcorn, but as loyal readers know, SP already suffers from chronic neglect.  Who knows?  Maybe my two-timer's guilt will goad me to better behavior.

February 15, 2010 3:02 PM |
January 30, 2010

Looks like Confucius is not going to whip any blue butt this movie season.  According to this latest report, the sage is not attracting enough business to justify keeping him on all the 2-D screens in China.
January 30, 2010 4:18 PM |


Serious Popcorn Where are the great films nowadays? Not in the cineplex, typically - or even the video store, more

Martha Bayles For several years I have been a vernacular (meaning not academic) critic of arts, music, media, and cultural policy ... more

Contact me Click here to send me an email... more


Archives: 271 entries and counting


PRC Pop 

The Chinese pop music scene is like no other ...

Remembering Elvis 

The best part of him will never leave the building ...

Beyond Country 

Like all chart categories, "country" is an arbitrary heading under which one finds the ridiculous, the sublime, and everything in between. On the sublime end, a track that I have been listening to over and over for the last six months: Wynnona Judd's version of "She Is His Only Need." The way she sings it, irony is not a color or even a set of contrasting colors; it is iridescence.

Miles the Rock Star? 

Does Miles Davis belong in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame? Here's my take on his career ...

Essay Contest 

Attention, high school jazz listeners ...

more trax

Me Elsewhere

Edward Hopper 

Painter of light (and darkness) ...

Dissed in Translation 

Here's my best shot at taking Scorcese down a few pegs ...

Henri Rousseau Revisited 

"Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris" appeared at the National Gallery of Art in Washington this fall ...

Paul Klee's Art 

Paul Klee was not childish, despite frequent comparisons between his art and that of children...

Our Art Belongs to Dada 

Rent my "Dadioguide" tour of the Dada show (before it moves to MoMA) ...

more picks


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