Art: MRCokeley Design

‘Uncut Gems’ is a movie about the perverse need to win at all costs

After over an hour and a half of tense bets, frightening car rides with gun-wielding henchmen, creepy brothers and some naked time in a trunk, Uncut Gems finally gave me the sense of unease I had been promised.

In one of the pivotal scenes of the movie, the one that launched thousands of memes, Howard Ratner, a diamond-encrusted Furbie-selling jeweler played by Adam Sandler, explains to basketball great Kevin Garnett his philosophy about winning, a dark look into the thinking of a man completely consumed by, for lack of a better term, toxic masculinity.

For Howard, toxic masculinity presents itself…

Art: MRCokeley Design

The laidback hero of ‘The Big Lebowski’ is an icon of gentle masculinity

If there is one thing I know about men, it’s that they love making pop-culture lists. One of the most contentious list-making propositions is ranking their favorite Coen Brothers movies. With every new release lists are revised, and as time goes on films can rise and fall as maturity brings a new perspective to films you once loved or hated. No matter what your rankings are, however, the only thing more certain than Intolerable Cruelty being at the bottom, is that The Big Lebowski will be near the top.

Of all the great films by the Coen Brothers, The Big…

Art: MRCokeley Design

A splash of old school cologne can bring back bittersweet memories

Growing up there was a clear line as to what constituted safe scents and scary ones.

My dysfunctional home was scary. It smelled of cheap beer piss frothed up in the toilet after one of my Dad’s benders. It smelled of hands covered in car grease and blood and the powdery sweet concealer covering up my mom’s bruises. When I went to my Grandparents’ home things smelled much better. It was a combination of rose-scented Avon products and the greasy joy of Kentucky Fried Chicken and biscuits with a Dr. Pepper to wash it all down.

But the safest smell…

When my mom sent me to live with my dad at the age of 12, in addition to finding out I was living in a total shit hole, that shit hole was completely devoid of anything a child might enjoy doing.

Well, OK, there was a TV, which I most definitely do consider to be my most beloved childhood playmate, but I was already cable spoiled, and this TV picked up reception via a wire hanger covered in aluminum foil. …

Desi Jedeikin

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store