The worst consequences of monoculture and monovorism (and of post-colonial proxy war).
The worst consequences of monoculture and monovorism (and of post-colonial proxy war).
There’s a lot to unpack here: the portrait of Luxottica's founder as the Vince McMahon of the spectacle frame world; rising rates of myopia tied to lack of sunlight and tech-related dopamine hits; the world at the mercy of an optics giant that “can choose to interpret its mission more or less however it wants”.
I did not expect this story to go where it went. [c/o Noticing]
Here’s a damning indictment of the smug, self-absorbed, ignorant parasitism of libertarian ideology as professed by the odious likes of Peter Thiel, Elon Musk et al. It’s a tad overwritten (self-indulgent meta-analysis and all) but worth the read nonetheless.
A sobering contrast to my previous link.
“[Sensitivity] to the experiences of racial, cultural, sexual, and gender identities besides one’s own, and [being] attuned to the injustices that shape our world” is the best definition I’ve seen for the concept of ‘woke’, and this is a good essay about the related societal shift. It is ironic, though, that this article has since been affected by the very shifts it examines; that section about Aziz Ansari’s Master of None doesn’t sit too comfortably today next to the excoriation of Louis CK.
And he’s working on a new album, eh? I’ll believe it when I hear it. Particularly since he’s spent the last few years working on an analogue-only version of a near 30-year-old album he can’t let go of. (That’s another great conversation, though, in fairness.)
This is incredible stuff. But I’m not the only one given pause by the scale of detail here, am I?
There was more to the story of Snopes losing control of its domain, as Wired reports.
It’s amazing to me how many people took this article as a personal attack when it’s really about ‘Armie Hammer’ the carefully crafted phenomenon, not necessarily a judgement of the person. I mean, there’s no doubt he’s one of a long line of white male Hollywood stars who’ve benefitted from the privilege that gives them the chances so often denied to others, whether through unconscious bias or Weinstein-esque bad faith acting.
So much of T2 absolutely holds up today because of the vision and pride of everyone involved — something noticeably lacking from much CG in movies today, nearly three decades and countless incredible advances in technology later. [c/o Interconnected]
Do take the time to read these various but connected musings on the value of ‘nothingness’, of removal from the noise and bustle of life — and the demands of Work with a capital W — for deeper reflection, within and without, to exist. It's cut with an endearing wit, as per her observation on birdwatching: “Actually, I’ve always found it weird that it’s called birdwatching, because half if not more of birdwatching is actually birdlistening. I personally think they should just rename it birdnoticing.”
“For Tinsley, the spiritualist, the metaphor of checkers as a well without end was both poetic and true. But Schaeffer, the engineer, knew that no well is bottomless. And humans will always sound the depth.”
When you combine the refusal to take anything seriously with the refusal to take responsibility, this is what you get.
Two electronic music nerds, geeking out over the artistic possibilities of hardware. See also: CDM takes a peek at Aphex Twin’s use of trackers.
“More than 90 percent of GoFundMe campaigns never meet their goal.” And for those who are successful, it’s as much a matter of luck as careful planning — even more so for those raising crisis funds, to pay for medical bills and the like.
The ‘pivot to video’ is just a shiny new distraction from the real problem of advertisers’ quest for a holy grail metric that doesn’t exist. Also, the ‘music business’ is bullshit.
What an incredible story; might this be only step one towards helping unlock such people’s minds from their prisons of their bodies?
Parish-pump politics strikes again; this time it’s pandering to parents under the sway of anti-vaxxer bullshit artists.
It’s a maddening catch-22 situation. Such mass preservation of knowledge is the kind of thing governments should be doing, but they can’t justify the expense. Private enterprises like Google can, but the fear of proprietary ownership of knowledge shuts the whole thing down. Gah! The best we can hope for is that Google (or someone else) continues the project for a future generation that will see its value to the whole over the objections of the few.
And by extension, this article is a tertiary source. But it’s still a revelatory insight into a particular brand of American feature writing. And it reminds me that I’ve still yet to see Page One, which alas is no longer on Netflix.
Part investigative journalism, part musing on our cultural propensity to idolise inspiring figures: it’s simply great writing.
‘Complicated’ is putting it mildly. [c/o LinkMachineGo]
It does the remarkable job of making me want to watch his movies.
It’s wrestlers talking so much of this is bullshit, but it’s the kind of bullshit I never tire of.
Ross Andersen on a fascinating project in Siberia, already decades old, that’s attempting to resurrect the Mammoth Steppe ecosystem. It’s not just the scale of the biome itself in terms of both the space and time required (it’s a ‘Long Now’ kind of deal, for sure, when we’re talking about “a global land war” between grasses and forests over tens of millions of years) but the mind-boggling accelerated futurism involved in creating the approximation of an extinct species that might be the key to such a biome thriving beyond human hands. That’s not to mention the intersections of and implications for climate science and geopolitics and biotechnology and ethical philosophy. Wow, just wow.
Whatever the perceived benefits of wearing a helmet (which I do) or high-vis clothing (which I don’t), let’s be honest here: drivers are getting off scot-free on this ‘debate’. We in Ireland and the UK live in a car-centric culture, not to the extent of the US but real enough to stymie any real investment in and commitment to cycling safety via proper infrastructure and legislation. By the way, how about also factoring into safety studies the kind of driver that passes closely: in my anecdotal experience, it’s usually a taxi or similar professional road user, or a private individual in an expensive saloon like a Mercedes or a BMW. Let the sociologists unpack that one.
Times are changing, but it’s a fear so deeply rooted in American culture, as seen from the outside — though since American cultural imperialism reaches so far, we can’t help but internalise its values.
Too many good nuggets in here to pick just one. Read it for yourself, it’s well worth the half hour or so.
I really like Saunders’ short stories, but was wary of the prospect of his new novel, till I read this and remembered how self-effacing he is about his writing and his process. See also: the Chekhov–Saunders Humanity Kit, a sort of web-based riff on Saunders’ short fiction MFA class at Syracuse.
More than a little deep-digging on one of the faces of the Dark Illuminati.
Chyna’s story needs to be told, beyond the exploitation of the woman, Joanie Laurer, and her memory. But what also needs to be said, amid all the historical revisionism, is that there’s a reason she was billed as ‘the ninth wonder of the world’: like Andre the Giant, she was booked as a novelty, a freak-show attraction. Any boundaries she might have broken for women are only in hindsight, or out of context. Few are willing to address that; wrestling remains deeply problematic.
Steven Thrasher nailed it, six years ago. But is it insanity? Or just plain old bigotry? I vote the latter; it explains not only what’s happened in the horror clown’s America since last year, but also the omnishambles of contemporary British socio-politics. [c/o @maura]
A fascinating read about a genuine issue — a single university degree as a training course for the British political class, more or less — that loses its way a bit when it mistakes balance for fairness in giving space to critical right-wing voices without explicit context for their own biases. (That Tariq Ali reference is money, though.)
I’m not a Cohen fan but this in-depth profile, published just weeks before his death, was still an enthralling read.
I won’t say it’s not gratifying that more mainstream outlets are finally grokking what makes WWE so compelling, and not purely from a ‘business’ standpoint. I’m talking about investigating things often glossed over or even missed entirely by fans or fan media, like Vince’s compulsion to inflate attendance figures, or Shane’s friendship with noted fake memoirist James Frey. (Factual errors aside: Ali didn’t fight at the first WrestleMania; he was a guest referee, being already diagnosed with Parkinson’s.)
So many stories going on here: the meaning of consent; how urban legends take on lives of their own; how notoriety masks tragedy. A wonderful design job by the BBC team here, too.
You’re deluded if you think she’s the only one.
It’s one that turns out to be not so much strange as particularly complicated, as copycat acts in the pre-video age were all the rage.
It’s not even about fashion, really; it’s a touching tribute by a father (the novelist Michael Chabon) to his son, a young man he doesn’t fathom at all and yet understands profoundly.