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Please, My Wife, She’s Very Online | The New Yorker
The figure of the wife has also become an important trope within a specific, baroque type of Internet-based humor, and this isn’t accidental. Like Borat, the online world is profane and disorderly and constantly agitated; the wife, on the other hand, is imagined as sacred, eternal, controlled.


so great
#xxi#culture  #xxi#gender  #dating  #marriage  %words 
9 days ago by lemeb
Losing Religion and Finding Ecstasy in Houston
That year, I got on a bus and rode in a convoy east toward Alabama with a thousand other kids. On a middle-of-nowhere beach, we participated in mass baptisms, put our hands up in huge services where everyone cried in the darkness. We groped one another on the bus afterward, and in the morning we talked about how good it felt to be saved. Later, it was one of the boys from that trip who chopped lines on my friend’s kitchen table as I waded through her pool, drunk on syrup, staring at the stars. There are some institutions—drugs, church, money—that align the superstructure of white wealth in Houston with the heart of black and brown culture beneath it. There are feelings, like ecstasy, that provide an unbreakable link between virtue and vice. You don’t have to believe a revelation to understand that something inside it was real.
%words  #xxi#religion  #xxi#culture  #xxi#drugs 
15 days ago by lemeb
The Real Reason Fans Hate the Last Season of Game of Thrones - Scientific American Blog Network
Even if the new season had managed to minimize plot holes and avoid clunky coincidences and a clumsy Arya ex machina as a storytelling device, they couldn’t persist in the narrative lane of the past seasons. For Benioff and Weiss, trying to continue what Game of Thrones had set out to do, tell a compelling sociological story, would be like trying to eat melting ice cream with a fork. Hollywood mostly knows how to tell psychological, individualized stories. They do not have the right tools for sociological stories, nor do they even seem to understand the job.

and
Well-run societies don’t need heroes, and the way to keep terrible impulses in check isn’t to dethrone antiheros and replace them with good people. Unfortunately, most of our storytelling—in fiction and also in mass media nonfiction—remains stuck in the hero/antihero narrative. It’s a pity Game of Thrones did not manage to conclude its last season in its original vein. In a historic moment that requires a lot of institution building and incentive changing (technological challenges, climate change, inequality and accountability) we need all the sociological imagination we can get, and fantasy dragons or not, it was nice to have a show that encouraged just that while it lasted.
*tv  %criticism%film  %words  #xxi#culture 
29 days ago by lemeb
Why “Phantom Thread” Is Propaganda for Toxic Masculinity
Personal as it may be, the film is about a male genius so supreme that it can choose even when and how to be weakened in the presence of a woman, who, in exchange for monogamy, is ever willing to serve it. Anderson dazzled critics into believing that they’re not reproducing power but affirming the art of the personal. Disguised as art-house cinema, the film spectacularly endorses the inherent genius of masculinity. “Phantom Thread” is nothing if not propaganda for patriarchy.
!film  %criticism%film  %🔥  #xxi#culture  #xxi#sex 
5 weeks ago by lemeb
The Owner of One of the Biggest Comedy Clubs in the Country Tells Us Why She Said No to Booking Louis CK
“On a personal level,” Curtis says, “I respect his comedy. I’ve come up with his comedy ... And I believe in second chances. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made so many myself.” But she has the strong perception, she says, that CK has not yet done the work to make amends. “From what I’ve heard from comedians in New York who have regularly seen him come into the Cellar and the other things I’ve read, I don’t think he’s in a place,” she says simply. “It seems like he thinks, ‘I did a fuckin’ year, fuck you, I’m coming back.’ That’s my speculation, though I don’t know. So I did say this, from my club, from me right now, it’s just not the right thing.”
#discourse  *comedy  #xxi#culture  #$#entertainment 
january 2019 by lemeb
Sally Rooney Gets in Your Head | The New Yorker
an exceptional profile of an exceptional writer:
Rooney’s most dazzling argument, her riskiest proposition, is for a sort of transcendence through interdependence. At the end of “Conversations with Friends,” Frances decides to continue her relationship with Nick, despite its deficits. “You live through certain things before you understand them. You can’t always take the analytical position,” she asserts, abandoning herself to the generosity of trust. There is salvation, Rooney seems to be saying, in giving oneself over completely to another person. She is positing a world in which we might stop apologizing for apologizing, in which we might seek compromise and see vulnerability as a form of courage. We might stop protecting ourselves. We might love with bleeding, imperfect hearts. ♦
#xxi#sex  *lit  #xxi#lit  !write!dystopia  #$#ineq  #$#👺  %philosophy  #p#philo  ?love  #xxi#culture  %portrait  %itw  #eu  ~abortion  #gender 
january 2019 by lemeb
How the Surprise Interactive 'Black Mirror' Came Together | WIRED
The episode Brooker and Jones kicked back to Netflix wasn't a script in any conventional sense of the word: It was essentially a vast, sprawling outline written in the videogame programming language Twine, which Brooker had taught himself because it was the only way to capture the intra-linked complexity of all the various tributaries and recursions of the Bandersnatch story. "Every time I had an idea I put it in a box, and you can move them around. It's a bit like making a giant patchwork quilt," he says.

Not that it was without its hiccups. "It's the only thing I've ever worked on where the story treatment crashed," Brooker says. But through a combination of Twine, Scrivener, Final Draft, and what he calls "various iterations of Notepad," they finally got everything hashed out. And from then on, it wasn't all that different from creating a typical Black Mirror installment—other than costing twice as much and taking twice as long to produce.
#$#entertainment  *visual*film  *tv  ~infoviz  !tech!humancomputing  *wtf  *whatatime  ~programming  !write!technologist  #writing  *vintage  #xxi#culture 
december 2018 by lemeb
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Passion for Puerto Rico - The New York Times
lin maniel miranda is back to san juan, where he is intensely beloved. well, almost:
Mr. Miranda’s passion for Puerto Rico has also led to controversy — particularly because he supported a debt restructuring plan that is overseen by an unpopular federal oversight board, and then chose a theater for “Hamilton” at the University of Puerto Rico, which is being roiled by the board’s fiscal plan as well as a union dispute. For some, the musical, a blockbuster hit about colonists fighting for independence, offered a tempting opportunity to call attention to their concerns.

So earlier this month, with Mr. Miranda’s blessing but also to his great disappointment, the producers of “Hamilton” decided to relocate the San Juan production from the demonstration-prone university to an easier-to-secure off-campus theater.
#p#philo  %portrait  ~theater  #xxi#culture  ~nylove  #is#postcolonial 
december 2018 by lemeb
Lena Dunham Comes to Terms With Herself
a complex profile of lena dunham:
This is a point at which many celebrities, on the advice of their management, would step back from the public eye. Dunham is trying. While she’s in L.A., she’s doing some promotional work for Camping but less than she might have done in the past. It’s the last project she and Konner worked on together before they abruptly announced plans to dissolve their production company this past summer. Dunham doesn’t seem particularly attached to it — she was in the writers’ room only sporadically, owing to health issues.

Mostly, right now, she’s trying to figure out who post-Girls Dunham is and how, maybe, she can distance herself from the meta-version of Lena Dunham that has overshadowed the work in recent years. But as she texts me increasingly intimate details that she knows I’ll put in this article, as if she were trying to be the director of her own candid, sympathy-generating magazine story, I begin to wonder if Lena Dunham, the performance artist daring us to hate her, is the work.
%portrait  #$#entertainment  #xxi#culture 
december 2018 by lemeb
Athletes Don’t Own Their Tattoos. That’s a Problem for Video Game Developers. - The New York Times
ready for some insane shit?
Any creative illustration “fixed in a tangible medium” is eligible for copyright, and, according to the United States Copyright Office, that includes the ink displayed on someone’s skin. What many people don’t realize, legal experts said, is that the copyright is inherently owned by the tattoo artist, not the person with the tattoos.

For most people, that is not a cause for concern. Lawyers generally agree that an implied license allows people to freely display their tattoos in public, including on television broadcasts or magazine covers. But when tattoos are digitally recreated on avatars in sports video games, copyright infringement can become an issue.

“Video games are an entirely new area,” said Michael A. Kahn, a copyright lawyer who represented the designer of the face tattoo on the boxer Mike Tyson. “There is LeBron James, but it’s not LeBron James. It’s a cartoon version of him.”

solution?
Players’ unions, many of which license the players’ likenesses to video game publishers, and sports agents have advised athletes to secure licensing agreements before they get tattooed. Artists have an incentive to sign rather than pass up a client who could be a billboard for their work.


right.
#copyright  %law  #xxi#body  *sport  #xxi#culture  ~videogame  *wtf  *whatatime 
december 2018 by lemeb
on tw: pity the music critic
i think the hardest kind of writing is music writing because it seems virtually fucking impossible to write anything about music that makes sense even 60 days later

also, it’s so hard with the internet and the amount of music out there. maybe that’s why list are so important?
%criticism%music  #xxi#culture  #writing 
december 2018 by lemeb
Impossible and Beyond Burgers made 2018 the year of vegan junk food - Vox
As Abigail Higgins laid out earlier this year at Vox, there are a number of reasons for vegans’ relative unpopularity (a 2017 analysis suggested that just “labeling a product as ‘vegan’ causes its sales to drop by 70%”). One is that vegans make people feel bad. “People tend to interpret someone’s choice not to eat meat as condemnation of their own choices, which can make them pretty defensive,” Higgins explained. And this defensiveness isn’t totally misplaced. It’s true that a lot of vegans believe, for any number of reasons, they are doing the right thing, which indeed indicates that they believe a) there is a “right” thing, and b) you’re not doing it.

Meat is also pretty ingrained into our lives, and in general, people do not like their lives disrupted. Plus, vegans tend to be annoying about their veganness. (Not all vegans, etc; I, for one, am a casually vegan delight.)

That is what makes the rise of mass-market vegan junk food so powerful. It defies stereotype: Vegan food in America is supposed to be joyless and unfulfilling, seasoned only with the fermented tang of the moral high ground. And to be vegan is not simply a lifestyle choice but a statement of identity: It’s to declare that you have enough time and energy and resources to devote to the care and keeping of your electively restrictive diet. It is also to announce, however passively, that you believe so strongly in this cause — for ecological or ethical or animal rights-related reasons — that you are willing to change how you eat, likely every day, maybe forever.
#vegan  ~food  #xxi#culture  !write!utopia 
december 2018 by lemeb
The 'Future Book' Is Here, but It's Not What We Expected | WIRED
But I couldn’t. For my Kindle Oasis—one of the most svelte, elegant, and expensive digital book containers you can buy in 2018—is about as interactive as a potato. Instead, I left a note for myself: “Write something about how this isn’t the digital book we thought we’d have.”

Physical books today look like physical books of last century. And digital books of today look, feel, and function almost identically to digital books of 10 years ago, when the Kindle launched. The biggest change is that many of Amazon’s competitors have gone belly up or shrunken to irrelevancy. The digital reading and digital book startup ecosystem that briefly emerged in the early 2010s has shriveled to a nubbin.
...
Yet here’s the surprise: We were looking for the Future Book in the wrong place. It’s not the form, necessarily, that needed to evolve—I think we can agree that, in an age of infinite distraction, one of the strongest assets of a “book” as a book is its singular, sustained, distraction-free, blissfully immutable voice. Instead, technology changed everything that enables a book, fomenting a quiet revolution. Funding, printing, fulfillment, community-building—everything leading up to and supporting a book has shifted meaningfully, even if the containers haven’t. Perhaps the form and interactivity of what we consider a “standard book” will change in the future, as screens become as cheap and durable as paper. But the books made today, held in our hands, digital or print, are Future Books, unfuturistic and inert may they seem.

...
We have arrived to the once imagined Future Book in piecemeal truths.

Moving images were often espoused to be a core part of our Future Book. While rarely found inside of an iBooks or Kindle book, they are here. If you want to learn the ukulele, you don’t search Amazon for a Kindle how-to book, you go to YouTube and binge on hours of lessons, stopping when you need to, rewinding as necessary, learning at your own pace.

Vannevar Bush's “Memex” essentially described Wikipedia built into a desk.

The "Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is an iPhone.

In The Book of Sand, Borges wrote of an infinite book: "It was then that the stranger told me: 'Study the page well. You will never see it again.'" Describing in many ways what it feels like to browse the internet or peek at Twitter.
%criticism%tech  #xxi#culture  #xxi#lit  #t#👺  ~infoviz 
december 2018 by lemeb
The Tortured Mind Of Dan Harmon | GQ
dan harmon profile:
So I've been watching him—typing and tugging at his graying beard and not masturbating—for the better part of the day. The lull of '90s female alt-rock (Liz Phair, Fiona Apple, lots of Tori Amos) from Harmon's Spotify is broken by the barking of his bulldozer goldendoodle, Harvey, who keeps trying to hump me, and Harvey's little buddy, Nigel, who also likes to watch. Harmon and I haven't spoken since this morning, although he'll occasionally throw his arms up and sigh things like, “Logic!” Sometimes he paces while acting out filler dialogue. (“Well, you're a piece of shit”; “No, fuck you.”) During one of these spells, he wanders off. I page through two books carefully arranged on a table next to me—Mel Brooks's Young Frankenstein: The Story of the Making of the Film and Melody Beattie's The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations on Codependency—until he finally returns, carrying a tumbler with his own face on it. He pours vodka from a bar cart and silently resumes typing.


i didnt know he was such a tortured and tyrannical mind
%words  %portrait  #xxi#culture  #creativeprocess  #writing 
december 2018 by lemeb
The Denial Diaries: On #MeToo Men With No Self-Awareness
If 15 percent of the public is self-aware and about 250 powerful men have been accused of sexual misconduct since last year, about 38 of these men should have had a personal reckoning. But when you ask these men to write a “soulful, introspective exploration of their own misdeeds,” Stephen Metcalf argued on Slate’s “Culture Gabfest” podcast recently, “you get the very kind of person who committed those misdeeds, and you get them repeating all of the mentalities, exhibiting all of the mentalities that allowed them to commit them in the first place.” It’s been a year since #metoo went viral, and Dan Harmon appears to be the only man who has had the self-awareness to publicly acknowledge his behavior and parse it. The others have proven Metcalf right.
#$#entertainment  #diversity  #is#metoo  #is#fem  #gender  #xxi#culture  %criticism 
december 2018 by lemeb
Musical Trends and Success Prediction of Contemporary Songs
We analyse more than 500000 songs released in the UK between 1985 and 2015 to understand the dynamics of success (defined as ‘making it’ into the top charts), correlate success with acoustic features and explore the predictability of success. Several multi-decadal trends have been uncovered. For example, there is a clear downward trend in ‘happiness’ and ‘brightness’, as well as a slight upward trend in ‘sadness’. Furthermore, songs are becoming less ‘male’. Interestingly, successful songs exhibit their own distinct dynamics. In particular, they tend to be ‘happier’, more ‘party-like’, less ‘relaxed’ and more ‘female’ than most. The difference between successful and average songs is not straightforward. In the context of some features, successful songs pre-empt the dynamics of all songs, and in others they tend to reflect the past. We used random forests to predict the success of songs, first based on their acoustic features, and then adding the ‘superstar’ variable (informing us whether the song’s artist had appeared in the top charts in the near past). This allowed quantification of the contribution of purely musical characteristics in the songs’ success, and suggested the time scale of fashion dynamics in popular music.
*music  %stats  #xxi#culture  #musicstats 
december 2018 by lemeb

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