You can’t escape the phenomenon of YOLO even if you wanted to. The highly popularized acronym, short for "You Only Live Once," is everywhere. You can find it on shirts, hats, bumper stickers, all over social media, even shouted by drunk revelers, as it has become the unfortunate motto of 2012 (one we wish would end…). You can’t even escape it when listening to the radio: Drake helped spur the phrase’s popularity in his 2011 song "The Motto," which featured Lil Wayne.
Now, it seems as if Drake thinks he actually came up with the acronym, and wants to cash in on its unfortunate popularity. The 26-year-old rapper posted this Instagram of hats with the acronym being sold, saying, “Walgreens....you gotta either chill or cut the cheque.” He then posted this Instagram of a Charlie Brown shirt branded with the term, adding, “Macy's...same goes for you.”
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Drake, you need to calm down. You didn’t trademark YOLO. In fact, you weren’t even the first person to say it! The U.S. Trademark database actually shows several earlier attempts to use YOLO commercially. A company selling T-shirts, tank tops, hats, and sweatshirts filed an application in 1993 to obtain a trademark for YOLO. That filing was abandoned a year later, but other companies filed for trademarks or service marks incorporating YOLO and “You Only Live Once” for products like artificial suntanning, sportswear, and driver safety pamphlets, among others.
But the acronym – and the meaning behind it – actually has a long history before the '90s, dating all the way back to the 1700s, meaning no one alive today can claim the blame credit for it. While the exact wording changes a bit (with some incarnations employing “we” instead of “you,” or rearranging the order of the words themselves), the meaning is the same throughout history. Let’s take a look back at all the instances we could find of YOLO throughout the years:
Clarissa, the epistolary novel by Samuel Richardson, was published in eight volumes between 1747 and 1749. Richardson wrote, “And it teaches me to be covetous of time; the only thing of which we can be allowably covetous; since we live but once in this world; and when gone, are gone from it for ever.” Though the wording is different, it is in the vernacular of the time, and the meaning is still the same: time is precious, so make it count.
In February of 1837, YOLO turned up in a story published in The Lady’s Magazine and Museum urging readers to behave cautiously to avoid contracting a deadly disease: “Due respect for your prayer, my worthy master; but my principle is, the further from the danger the safer. We only live once; and life itself is so burdensome, and full of care, that it cannot at all be pleasant to be carried out of this world by such a naughty and ugly conveyance as this cholera.” Once again, “we” is used instead of “you,” but the meaning is the same.
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In 1858, a minister in Scotland used YOLO to encourage listeners to be morally upright, and said, “We cannot live always: we can only live once. It is then the dictate not only of piety but of sound philosophy that we lay a good foundation for the time to come.” And one year later, the novel Now or Never used YOLO to encourage the opposite, because life was so short one should act boldly: “Besides, we can only live once. Now or never. The present minute is all we are sure of, and it is best to get the most out of that we can.”
While the Russian novel Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky was originally written in the 1860s, the English translation was published in 1917. YOLO appeared in the internal dialogue of a character who was attempting to justify murder: “I only live once, I too want.”
In 1937, the film noir You Only Live Once was released, directed by Fritz Lang starring Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sidney.
Comedian Joe E. Lewis popularized the phrase in the '50s, when he famously opened his act by saying, “You only live once, but if you play your cards right, once is enough.” In 1965, Frank Sinatra turned 50 years old, and he quoted Lewis, saying, “I expect to swing for 50 more. You only live once and the way I live, once is enough. I stole that from Joe E. Lewis.”
So you see, Drake, you are hardly the first person to say YOLO, let alone come up with the phrase. You might have popularized the acronym with our generation, but it looks like even our grandparents were saying it back in the day! Drake's going to find himself in a tough battle if he truly pursues getting royalties from the sale of anything with YOLO on it.
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo credit: WENN]
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The agent designation: 007. You already know the name. The Bond franchise has been in existence for half a century, with Skyfall marking its twenty-third official entry. Not even the likes of Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger can boast sequels of that quantity. Why do we love James Bond so much? Is it his jet setting, womanizing lifestyle? Is it his ability to thwart even the most elaborate and well-crafted world domination schemes from a colorful rouges gallery of madmen? Whatever the case, with the next two films already in development, Bond shows no signs of slowing down.
The James Bond series has cast an overwhelming shadow over the landscape of film, particularly that of spy cinema. More particular still, American spy films have struggled to capture the same degree of phenomenal success as has been enjoyed by the Bond movies since the 1960s. While it is true that the various 007 films do not comprise the entirety of British spy cinema, it is without question the titan of the genre and therefore the paradigm by which the American counterparts must be judged. So how has America tried, and failed, to acquire this elusive cinematic target?
One of the earliest attempts for American films to capitalize on the James Bond trend, and indeed one of the first to yield any sort of franchise, were Bond parodies. In the late sixties, two separate American film series sprang up poking fun at England’s deadliest agent. The first starred James Coburn as Derek Flint, an agent of ZOWIE fighting the forces of evil in Our Man Flint and In Like Flint. At almost the same time, crooner Dean Martin starred as Matt Helm, a photographer/spy in a total of four film adventures including 1966’s The Silencers and Murder’s Row. Both of these series were takeoffs on the swinging, mod lifestyle that Bond was so often afforded by his occupation.
America has been monumentally prolific in the area of spy spoofs; rivaling and even possibly exceeding our output of more straight-laced fare. Movies like Hop Scotch and the movies based on the Get Smart television series eventually gave way to Spies Like Us, Top Secret, and the notably dreadful Leonard Part 6. The most interesting aspect of this is that the Austin Powers franchise, which netted three installments, riffs as much on the parodies of Bond as on Bond himself. It would seem we have long been of the mindset of “if you can’t beat ‘em, mock ‘em.”
James Bond is a loyal agent of Her Majesty’s government. This should be all rights limit his appeal to American audiences. But the writers, including Ian Fleming in the novels, were smart enough to design stories that placed the whole of the world in peril and not just England. However, Bond’s reverence toward his own country is one primary difference between Bond films and American spy movies. Where James is a willing instrument of his government, a vast majority of the spy films on this side of the pond illustrate a profound mistrust of our own government.
With Bond films, we are privy to the inner workings of MI-6, or at least the fictional version of MI-6 they had constructed. Our debonair lead, and therefore the audience, is hardly ever in the dark about even the most top-secret parameters of his missions. In the states, the heroes are often used and betrayed by shadowy factions of U.S. intelligence. This frightening cloak and dagger betrayal can be seen in the likes of Sidney Pollack’s Three Days of the Condor and more recent films like Spy Game, The Recruit, and even the Denzel Washington/Ryan Reynolds 2012 film Safe House.
While we could dissect the myriad historical headlines that may have influenced this movement in American spy films, the fact is that these movies don’t lend themselves well to sequels. Once the curtain is pulled back and either the villains are laid to waste or their ultimate scheme has gotten the better of our hero, there are few other places the story can go. Either result would not logically allow for that character to return to spy work so the overarching continuity would be completely absent. These films, by their very nature, can’t really latch on in the same way as did Bond.
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The two films that have managed their way around this problem are the two that have been the most successful, and in fact some of the only, non-comedy American spy franchises. In 1998, Brian De Palma adapted the television series Mission: Impossible into a film. Again, here we had a villain that was revealed to be an inside man, a former ally. However, the team dynamic added a new dimension to the proceedings and the action set pieces provided a nice counterbalance to the complex intrigue. That team dynamic would be somewhat lost in the next Mission: Impossible movie, but from then on it became more and more a staple of the series.
That team dynamic was divergent from the solitary hero that is Bond, however there were elements that made their way into the movie from the original TV series that play directly to Bond fans. The idea of the characters requiring their own theme song harkened back to Monty Norman’s fabulous signature Bond music. Again, this was not an invention of the movie, but a reflection of the days when America also used TV as a conduit for capitalizing on the Bond-inspired spy craze. The high-tech, and highly specialized gadgets used by the IMF team are also very reminiscent of the devices 007 uses to escape dire situation after dire situation.
A few years later, Universal produced a big screen version of the Jason Bourne character created by Robert Ludlum. Matt Damon’s amnesic CIA agent trying to reclaim his identity was enough of a twist on the concept of the treacherous government agency to enthrall audiences. The singular hero who was well skilled in the art of kicking ass found comfortable purchase in the hearts of those who idolized Bond. Plus, the Bourne series, like Bond, was drawing from a rich literary tradition. Also, like Mission: Impossible and the best of the 007 series, the Bourne movies often struck that perfect balance between captivating plot points and spectacular action sequences.
That last component may seem part and parcel with contemporary espionage actioners, but one of the most painful attempts to sell an “American Bond” to audiences was XXX starring Vin Diesel. Among its innumerable flaws, XXX was so singularly concerned with action sequences that the story was an appalling mess. This necessary balanced approach may also explain why The Bourne Legacy caused so much of a problem. It wasn’t the changing of the guard in the lead role from Damon to Renner, not playing the same character but certainly passing the torch, that caused the critical whiplash. We had become accustomed to that sort of changeover thanks to the Bond series and its seven different lead actors. But the story was so weak and the action scenes so poorly shot that it couldn’t possibly maintain the series’ energy.
Will we ever concoct the right formula to foster a spy series anywhere near as formidable as Bond? It’s hard to say. We’ve tried countless times to no avail, but the future of both the Bourne and Mission: Impossible franchises remains to be seen.
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Now that Thanksgiving is done, the holiday shopping rush has officially commenced. In order to help you shop for those on your list with more eclectic tastes, we’ve compiled some of the best offbeat DVD and Blu-ray releases of late. We’ve even arranged them so that you can present your loved ones with one gift for each of the 12 Days of Christmas. Here’s what they should expect…
“12 Angry Men”
Title: 12 Angry Men
Company: Criterion Collection
12 Angry Men is the preeminent courtroom drama. Legendary director Sidney Lumet crafts an unbearably tense, remarkably humanist depiction of strangers coming together to decide another man’s fate. As you would expect, Criterion’s high-def transfer is absolutely gorgeous.
Special Features Include: Frank Schaffner’s 1955 television version, production history, archival interviews with Sidney Lumet, new interview with screenwriter Walter Bernstein, “Tragedy in a Temporary Town”—teleplay directed by Lumet, original theatrical trailer
“A Show Boasting An 11 Season Run”
Title: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXII
Company: Shout! Factory (Release Date: 12/6)
If you’re already a fan of MST3K, there is absolutely no reason why you wouldn’t want to purchase this set. If you are on the fence about the show, these are some of the funniest episodes as yet released. The titles themselves are hysterically bad: Time of the Apes, Mighty Jack, The Violent Years, and The Brute Man. Shout! Factory’s animated menus and plethora of special features continue to pay sincere tribute to fans.
Special Features Include: Interviews with Delores Fuller and Kathy Wood, “The Making of MST3K” (1997 Sci-Fi Channel Special), 4 exclusive mini-posters by artist Steve Vance
“10 10 Different Kinds of Adventure”
Title: The Adventures of Tintin: Season One
Company: Shout! Factory
Before you rush off to the theaters this holiday season to see Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin, check out the animated series on which it was based. Join Tintin and his trusty canine pal Snowy as they solve mysteries and go on fantastic adventures. Here's our review.
“9 Shades of Red and Blue”
Title: Red vs. Blue Season 9
Company: New Video Group
Red vs. Blue comprises some of the best parody available online and now it can once again be viewed in the comfort of your living room. Based on the popular Halo videogame series, Red vs. Blue demonstrates action chops just as adept as its comedic timing.
Special Features Include: Director’s commentary, special videos and PSAs, outtakes, deleted scenes, cast interviews, and behind-the-scenes videos
“8 Hookers with Whom to Play Doctor”
Company: Synapse Films
If you are looking for a twisted take on the classic story of Frankenstein, you could not get any more twisted than Frank Henenlotter’s Frankenhooker. When a young scientist’s fiancé is cut to pieces by an errant lawnmower, he must harvest spare parts from a select group of ladies of the evening to put her back together. The scene in which he sizes up eight such ladies for his unholy creation is outlandish, crass, and hilarious.
Special Features Include: Audio commentary, three featurettes, photo scrapbook, and theatrical trailer
“7 Teams Racing for Glory”
Title: The Cannonball Run
Company: HBO Studios
The Cannonball Run is a schlock classic available for the first time on Blu-ray. Directed by ’s Hal Needham, the film weaves the whacky tale of seven teams competing in a cross-country race. The cast list alone should entice you to check out this film; Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Adrienne Barbeau, Jackie Chan, and Peter Fonda just to name a few.
“6 Featured Women-In-Cages Films”
Title: Machete Maidens Unleashed
Company: Dark Sky Films
It's one of the most entertaining documentaries on cult genre film you will ever see. Directed by Mark Hartley, this doco catalogues the very strange history of genre films from The Philippines, both native and made by Roger Corman’s visiting production company. Corman was known for his nefarious women-in-cages films and several of them were filmed in The Philippines.
Special Features Include: Commentary and trailers
“5 Heroic Stories”
Title: Marvel Knights Collection
Company: Shout! Factory
Fans of Marvel’s extensive catalogue of heroes will love this collection of motion comics from some of today’s leading genre authorities. The collection features motion comic stories of The X-Men, Iron Man, Black Panther, Spider-Woman, and Thor. Particularly recommended are Iron Man: Extremis by Warren Ellis and Adi Granov and Astonishing X-Men: Gifted by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday.
“4 Dysfunctional Siblings”
Title: Our Idiot Brother
Company: The Weinstein Company (Release Date 11/29)
Format: Blu-ray & DVD
Though predictable in many ways, Our Idiot Brother is more personable than a good many of Paul Rudd’s typical comedic fare. The film also features dynamite supporting performances from Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, and Elizabeth Banks.
Special Features Include: Director’s commentary, deleted and extended scenes, making of featurette
“3 Unlikely Heroes”
Title: Three Amigos
Company: HBO Studios
Finally available on Blu-ray, Three Amigos contains one of cinema’s most impressive comedy team-ups. Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short play three phony Hollywood heroes in this unquestionable classic. If you don’t already own this film, or even if you only own it on DVD, now is the time to get your little buttercups down to your local electronics store and pick up this Blu-ray today. Also check out our interview with director John Landis.
Special Features Include: Cast interview with Martin, Chase, and Short, deleted scenes
“An Evil Part 2”
Title: Evil Dead 2 (25th Anniversary Edition)
Company: Lions Gate
In 1987, Sam Raimi managed to accomplish the impossible; he created a horror sequel that many fans actually preferred to the original. Evil Dead 2 has never looked better and this release is an absolute must-have for any horrorphile.
Special Features Include: Commentary with writer-director Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, co-writer Scott Spiegel, and effects artist Greg Nicotero, “The Gore the Merrier” featurette, Evil Dead: Hailed to The King videogame preview, theatrical trailer, still galleries, and talent bios
“1 Terrifying Train Ride”
Title: Horror Express
Company: Severin Films
Horror icons Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing join forces with the great Telly Savalas in this fantastic 70s fright fest. A creature being transported by train breaks free and begins taking victims left and right. Horror Express is exquisitely shot (something emphasized by Severin’s phenomenal Blu-ray transfer), eerily claustrophobic, and incredibly exciting.
Special Features Include: Interviews with director Eugenio Martin, producer Bernard Gordon, star Peter Cushing, and composer John Cacavas, theatrical trailer
After garnering widespread praise (and an Oscar nomination for screenwriting) for his 2000 directorial debut You Can Count on Me Kenneth Lonergan was in-demand. In September 2005 the writer/director began production on a follow-up feature: Margaret which touted Anna Paquin Matt Damon Mark Ruffalo Matthew Broderick Allison Janney as well as legendary filmmakers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) as producers. The movie wrapped production in a few months time. The buzz was already growing.
Now six years later the movie is finally hitting theaters. So…what took so long?
The journey to this point hasn't been an easy one and it shows. If a film's shot footage is a block of granite and the editing process is the careful carving that turns it into a statuesque work of art Margaret feels like it was attacked by a blind man with a jackhammer. The film is a cinematic disaster a mishmash of shallow characters overwrought politics and sporadic tones. The story follows Lisa Coen (Paquin) a New York teenager who finds herself drowning in chaos after distracting a bus driver (Ruffalo) causing him to hit and kill a pedestrian (Janney). Initially Lisa tells the police it was all an accident but as time passes regret takes hold and the girl embarks on a mission to take down the man she now regards as a culprit. That's just the tip of the iceberg–along the way Lisa deals with everyday teen stuff: falling for her geometry teacher (Damon) combating her anxiety-ridden actress mother losing her virginity dabbling in drugs debating 9/11 and the Iraq War cultivating a relationship with her father in LA and more. There are about eight seasons of television stuffed into Margaret but even a two and a half hour run time can't make it all click.
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"I wish!" That's what pop crooner Enrique Iglesias told The Mail on Sunday's Popworld magazine about his so-called romantic relationship with bawdy tennis player Anna Kournikova. Iglesias insists that they had a great time shooting the video for his new single "Escape," but that's where it ended. "She's crazy, but in a cool way. I heard rumors that I would not kiss her because she had a cold sore," he told the magazine, "but that's not true."
Who knew comedian Bill Murray was such a baseball aficionado? Murray has apparently taken an interest in the new minor league baseball team in Brockton, Mass., and showed up unannounced at the team's offices last month to tour its new $17 million stadium. The Brockton Rox's principal owner, Van Schley, told The Associated Press that Murray might become an owner in the future.
Former Miss America Pageant CEO Robert L. Beck, who was fired in the wake of a rules-change scandal that would have let women who had been divorced or had abortions compete for the Miss America title, is taking the organization to court. Blake is suing the Miss America Organization for several issues, including wrongful termination and severance pay, according to the AP.
Franz Reuther, the man behind the 1989 Milli Vanilli lip-synching debacle, is in hot water again. According to the AP, Reuther's company demolished a 1928 mansion in Miami Beach, Fla., despite being denied permission by city officials. His company could be fined as much as $120,000.
It looks as though Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling might have a case of writer's block. The popular children's author is late on delivering her fifth installment, entitled Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The book was originally scheduled for publication for July 2002, but Scholastic, the book's publisher, told stockholders it now expects to publish before June 2003, The New York Times reports.
Four weeks into the filming of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, director Jonathan Mostow has replaced newcomer Sophia Bush with Claire Danes. According to Variety, Mostow felt Bush looked too young for the part.
In the Biz
Jennifer Lopez will star in and produce a film based on a modern version of Prosper Merimee's 19th-century short story Carmen for Universal Pictures, according to Variety. Craig Pearce, who co-wrote Moulin Rouge, will revamp the story, and Lopez will star as the Gypsy temptress.
The estate of late actor Walter Matthau has sued Columbia Pictures for breach of contract over profits on the films Cactus Flower and California Suite. The suit alleges Matthau was entitled to gross participation on the two films and claims Columbia reported only 20 percent of home video receipts, failed to report full cable receipts and obtained secret profits, according to Variety. The suit seeks at least $1 million in damages. Matthau died at age 79 in July 2000.
Emilio Estevez has written the script for and will likely star in a project tentatively entitled Bobby about the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy, Variety reports. Shooting is scheduled to begin in August.
More on the Kennedy front: CBS has commissioned a TV movie based on Richard Blow's biography of John F. Kennedy Jr., American Son. According to Variety, the network is currently looking for a writer to adapt the book, which hits bookstores this month.
The Price Is Right veteran Bob Barker will host the 29th annual Daytime Emmy Awards live from New York on May 17, Variety reports. Barker, whose Price Is Right is now in its 30th season, will also be competing in the game-show host category against Alex Trebek, Ben Stein and Nancy Pimental, and Pat Sajak. The Daytime Emmys will air from 9-11 p.m. on CBS.
Compensation, a film about black culture in Chicago, Ill., is one of four winners of the 2002 Paul Robeson Awards at the 28th annual Newark Black Film Festival in Newark, N.J., the AP reports. Other winners included the short narrative Monster, the documentary Keep on Walking and the experimental film In Check. The festival begins June 26 at the Newark Museum, and the award-winning films--chosen from 41 entries--will be screened Aug. 7.
George Sidney, who directed dozens of musicals, including Annie Get Your Gun, Show Boat and Kiss Me Kate, died at his home Sunday of complications from lymphoma. He was 85. The former child actor presided over the Screen Directors Guild for 16 years, founded Hanna-Barbera productions and worked with many legends--including Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Elvis Presley.
Roy Schatt, the photographer known for his photographs of actor James Dean, died Saturday at his Manhattan home of congestive heart failure. He was 92. Schatt photographed a multitude of celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, Grace Kelly, Elia Kazan and Joanne Woodward. His photos are exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Chicago Art Institute.