Just do it! Go and do it! There are no valid excuses [not to]. We see our excuses as real things, but they’re just a barrier you built between you and what you want to do because you are afraid to try it and fail. No one wants to fail, but you will never know if you don’t try it. Maybe the first few times, you’ll have a bad time…but then you won’t.
Isaac Butler: The Realism Canard, Or: Why Fact-Checking Fiction Is Poisoning Criticism
In real life, people don't talk the way they do in movies or television or (especially) books. Real locations aren't styled, lit, or shot the way they are on screen. The basic conceits of point of view in literature actually make no sense and are in no way "realistic." Realism isn't verisimilitude. It's a set of stylistic conventions that evolve over time, are socially agreed upon, and are hotly contested. The presence of these conventions is not a sign of quality. Departure from them is not a sign of quality's absence.
Eric Harvey: Let Me Get My Ideas Out: Why Kanye West Is Still Speaking Through the Wire (Pitchfork)
Kanye’s decade-long solo career has been a struggle between the non-stop ideas running through his brain and his skills at verbalizing them through a variety of communication obstacles, whether self-created or forced upon him.
Why Universal Health Care Is Unambiguously Necessary for America
Given the importance of medicine, I feel that it would be useful to clarify this issue. I will explain clearly, and with evidence, why it is that universal healthcare of any sort would be better than the current system in every significant way. If you find yourself disagreeing with this assertion, I ask that you read on before replying, as all conceivable objections will be addressed and resolved.
Alina Simone: The End of Quiet Music (NYTimes.com)
We’ve placed the entire onus of changing-with-the-times on musicians, but why can’t the educational, cultural and governmental institutions that support the arts adapt as well, extending the same opportunities to those whose music provides the soundtrack to our lives? If they don’t, Darwinism will probably ensure that only the musical entrepreneurs survive. I can’t say if the world of music will be better or worse off if that happens, but it will certainly be a lot louder.
Jeremy Larson: Got Me in My Feelings: Why Drake Isn't as Emotional as You Think (Pitchfork)
Love is a dog from hell, as it's said, and real emotion is ugly and uncomfortable, and it’s why some people giggle when they see a man keening or screaming or crying -- but Drake knows that all this has to be tempered and digestible to be disseminated and reach as many people as possible.
Jacob Bakkila could have made his own Twitter account to post gibberish to. But the point was to appropriate something people were already paying attention to. What we thought was marketing rediscovered as art has turned out to be art rediscovered as marketing.
Ta-Nehisi Coates: Why 'Accidental Racist' Is Actually Just Racist (The Atlantic)
I wouldn't call up Talib Kweli to record a song about gang violence in L.A., and I wouldn't call up KRS-ONE to drop a verse on a love ballad. The only real reason to call up LL is that he is black and thus must have something insightful to say about the Confederate Flag. The assumption that there is no real difference among black people is exactly what racism is. Our differences, our right to our individuality, is what makes us human. The point of racism is to rob black people of that right.
KATU: SNL-affiliated 'Portlandia' filmed, premiered in NE Portland
The world premier of a new television series about our city was held Friday night at the Hollywood Theatre—just blocks away from where the set-up sketch for the series was filmed. This sketch was filmed at Northeast Portland's San Da Roda apartments (Note: As of Sunday the San Da Roda apartments are fully rented. Also note, with fair warning, the sketch shows a man in patriotic underwear.)
Jana Hunter: Last week I wrote a review of the new King Krule record…
I’m saying the current model for sharing and more importantly for publicizing music is detrimental. Here’s what happens: young musicians make okay records that show they’ve got something but haven’t yet figured out what. The music industry then sells the shit out of it while the music press hypes it equally to death.
Nitsuh Abebe: Jana Hunter, King Krule, and when musicians are "ready" for the public
I’d like to think that, once we mentally calm ourselves and remember that reading a lot about an artist for a couple months is not a very big deal, we can imagine and try to foster a music world where a teenager can make a small splash with an interesting new sound and then, perhaps, grow and develop across his or her career until that first record is the footnote or rarity that only hardcore fans seek out. Today’s climate doesn’t foster that sort of thing very well, but I don’t think the answer is for everyone to woodshed longer. The answer might be to place a lot less importance on the marketing cycle around a record’s release, and keep in mind how unimportant it might look a few years down the line. Given enough time, the narrative of the musician is always larger than whatever people said for a month about a single release.
Linda Holmes: Hey, Kid: Thoughts For The Young Oddballs We Need So Badly (NPR)
Learn the difference between feedback and criticism. Feedback is primarily for you; criticism (in the sense of "a movie critic" or "an arts critic") is primarily not. Criticism is part of an ongoing cultural conversation that's designed to make everybody smarter and better and more thoughtful and to advance the art form itself; it's done even when the creator of a piece is long dead. It's not really for you.
Feedback, on the other hand, is aimed at you to make you better, and that's the only kind of feedback worth paying attention to. If you can't listen to it and take it in without your hackles rising, you will never become good. Period, boom, g'bye.
It turns out … spoilers don’t spoil anything. In fact, a new study suggests that spoilers can actually increase our enjoyment of literature. Although we’ve long assumed that the suspense makes the story—we keep on reading because we don’t know what happens next—this new research suggests that the tension actually detracts from our enjoyment.
Greg Kaufmann: The Expert Testimony of Tianna Gaines-Turner (The Nation)
Gaines-Turner closes by saying that “millions of Americans just like me will work with you to help you with the answers to poverty that you seek.”
“We invite you to come to Philadelphia to see where and how we live, to come to our grocery stores, childcare centers, and elder homes, and to visit with my neighbors. And then we can talk like equals, and join in the idea of putting poverty in the past, of investing in helping American people do and be their best. It’s the patriotic thing to do.”
Anil Dash: Shushers: Wrong about movies. Wrong about the world.
So, what can shushers do about it? First, recognize that cultural prescriptivism always fails. Trying to inflict your norms on those whose actions arise from a sincere difference in background or experience is a fool’s errand.
Ralf Herrmann: The Pronunciation of European Typefaces
So you’re an expert in typography? But do you pronounce Frutiger’s typeface Univers like the English word “universe”? Then you got it wrong. Here are some popular European typefaces and their proper pronunciation in German, French and Italian.