Culture

'Double Down' Excerpts Recall the Night Obama Almost Lost It

Barack Obama/Photo © Spirit of America/Shutterstock

Editor's Note: From Double Down to looking up, and from NaNoWriMo to ... Jackass, here's looking at you, Monday.

By pretty much all accounts, President Obama blew it during the 2012 election's first debate pitting him against Mitt Romney. A new book called Double Down covers the panic that followed that night, as well as the intense training to make sure he came back swinging for round two; New York Magazine has got a lengthy excerpt that savors every tense moment of that pivotal point in what turned out to be -- despite appearances on October 14 -- an overwhelmingly successful campaign. The authors of Double Down, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, are also the authors of Game Change, which was adapted for HBO by Jay Roach -- and served as a platform for Julianne Moore's Emmy-winning 2012 portrayal of Sarah Palin.

When Ben Affleck appears as Batman, he's not going to look anything like Christian Bale -- his costume will be modeled after the graphic novel Batman: Noel, itself an adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Here's a look at the costume, which has ... vaguely shorter ears and stuff. At this point we've sort of seen it all from Batman, fashion-wise. Let's leave it up to fans: They can either have George Clooney back in the role -- nipples and all -- or they can have Ben Affleck with no nipples. Now that would be a close electoral race.

Every year we barely survive the debauchery of Halloween, only to be plunged headlong into National Novel Writing Month. So far, more than 265,000 people have signed up to participate in this year's big write-off, each pledging to commit 50K words to the page by the end of November. Got a vague idea that you'd like to flesh out into a shaggy rough draft? Carpe diem.

The Mötley Crüe oral history The Dirt contained unbelievably wild details about the band's personal and professional habits. Who better to bring it to the screen than "Jackass" director Jeff Tremaine? In a Deadline interview, Tremaine commented on how his touring with Johnny Knoxville and the boys measured up to the dirt in The Dirt: "We thought we were being crazy on the road. You read about these guys and it was like ten times worse." Is it too early to start petitioning for him to film it in 3-D?

Live a Life Well-Read Get the best of news, culture, and books delivered weekly. Join the Signature newsletter