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Steven Hyden: Why being a pop-culture “hater” is okay (and sometimes even necessary) (The A.V. Club)
Steven Hyden: Why being a pop-culture “hater” is okay (and sometimes even necessary) (The A.V. Club)
While I’m loathe to discuss the presidential race or the existence of God with strangers or even close friends and family members, I’ll gladly enter into conversations about whether it’s plausible that Joan did what she did with the dude from Jaguar in that recent episode of Mad Men, or why my beloved Packers will return to the Super Bowl this year. And I’ll do this even if I think the other person disagrees. If we end up jousting verbally for a few hours, it’s still fairly certain that we’ll be friends at the end of the night. I wouldn’t be as confident over a difference in party affiliation or spiritual beliefs.
·avclub.com·
Steven Hyden: Why being a pop-culture “hater” is okay (and sometimes even necessary) (The A.V. Club)
Julian Sanchez: Protectionism Against the Past (or: Why are Copyright Terms so Long?)
Julian Sanchez: Protectionism Against the Past (or: Why are Copyright Terms so Long?)
Here’s an alternative hypothesis: Insanely long copyright terms are how the culture industries avoid competing with their own back catalogs. Imagine that we still had a copyright term that maxed out at 28 years, the regime the first Americans lived under. The shorter term wouldn’t in itself have much effect on output or incentives to create. But it would mean that, today, every book, song, image, and movie produced before 1984 was freely available to anyone with an Internet connection. Under those conditions, would we be anywhere near as willing to pay a premium for the latest release?
·juliansanchez.com·
Julian Sanchez: Protectionism Against the Past (or: Why are Copyright Terms so Long?)
Andy Greenwald: Conan O'Brien Didn't Stop: Checking In on the Post-Buzz Era of TBS's Flagship (Grantland)
Andy Greenwald: Conan O'Brien Didn't Stop: Checking In on the Post-Buzz Era of TBS's Flagship (Grantland)
Now, tasked with little more than delivering a modest number of age-appropriate eyeballs, O’Brien seems both stunted and settled, lavishly rewarded for doing what he loves most for a company that seems to value the end product the least. It’s been well established by now that Conan O’Brien can’t stop. But it seems he’s only transcendent when someone is trying to make him.
·grantland.com·
Andy Greenwald: Conan O'Brien Didn't Stop: Checking In on the Post-Buzz Era of TBS's Flagship (Grantland)
Anil Dash: Racist Culture is a Factory Defect
Anil Dash: Racist Culture is a Factory Defect
I believe the company has good intentions, and is run by people who do not want to be racist or to create racist contributions to culture. Nevertheless, the company made a cultural contribution that was predicated on racist ideas. It's particularly egregious to trade in racist ideas when it's not for artistic purpose or to comment on society, but to sell a product. Therefore, the most helpful thing I can do is to help them fix the broken process within their company that produced this unfortunate result.
·dashes.com·
Anil Dash: Racist Culture is a Factory Defect
GLAAD: Actor Jason Alexander Apologizes for Jokes Made on CBS' The Late Late Show
GLAAD: Actor Jason Alexander Apologizes for Jokes Made on CBS' The Late Late Show
Now this is how you apologize. But more importantly, this is how you learn from your mistakes. On last Friday night’s episode of The Late Late Show on CBS, actor Jason Alexander repeatedly joked with host Craig Ferguson about the game of cricket being a “gay sport” as opposed to a “manly” one. Having had time to more carefully consider the jokes he made though, the Seinfeld actor released a new statement through his Twitter account, explaining how conversations with his gay friends made him realize the effect that kind of denigrating humor has on the adolescents that so often find themselves the subject of it.
·glaad.org·
GLAAD: Actor Jason Alexander Apologizes for Jokes Made on CBS' The Late Late Show
Brandon Soderberg: Rappers and Same-Sex Marriage: How Much Do You Really Care? (Spin)
Brandon Soderberg: Rappers and Same-Sex Marriage: How Much Do You Really Care? (Spin)
Rappers are presented as violent, vulgar sexists and homophobes, and then they're not only expected to have fully-formed opinions on social issues, but progressive ones. This is an ugly update on the always implicit, often explicit demand that hip-hop, if it is to be lauded and celebrated, must espouse a strong, left-leaning political message.
·spin.com·
Brandon Soderberg: Rappers and Same-Sex Marriage: How Much Do You Really Care? (Spin)
Anil Dash: Readability, Instapaper, the Network and the Price we Pay
Anil Dash: Readability, Instapaper, the Network and the Price we Pay
Readability and Instapaper are two awesome reading tools that actually aren't in competition since Readability is mostly a network and Instapaper is mostly an app. But, foolish fanboy enthusiasm on both sides has got people choosing "sides" between the apps and turning legitimate feature debates into some sort of moral judgment of the people building the tools. Based on what I learned during a similar stage in the evolution of the blogging market, I fear these petty squabbles will hurt both tools and leave the market open only to the biggest, best-funded, most soulless competitors and that both these cool, innovative tools will lose.
·dashes.com·
Anil Dash: Readability, Instapaper, the Network and the Price we Pay
Why don’t Americans walk more? The crisis of pedestrianism. (Slate)
Why don’t Americans walk more? The crisis of pedestrianism. (Slate)
Look on online travelers forums and you’ll see one of the most common threads is people on the verge of visiting Europe (or New York City), embarking on a panicked quest for “walking shoes”—as if they were taking up some exotic new sport, procuring strange equipment. For these people, one must assume, walking is as foreign as the place they are visiting.
·slate.com·
Why don’t Americans walk more? The crisis of pedestrianism. (Slate)
Daphne Carr: It's 2012 and it's Nicki Minaj's world to make, but this album is not going to make it (Capital New York)
Daphne Carr: It's 2012 and it's Nicki Minaj's world to make, but this album is not going to make it (Capital New York)
Her flow, including the corny hashtag raps and the growls and all the other forms of play that make her simultaneously so old school and so fresh, have already shifted the zeitgeist and inspired a new generation of pop lovers in one short year. Now it's time for her to figure out how to step up to sound like she what she says on the album’s third track: “I Am Your Leader.”
·capitalnewyork.com·
Daphne Carr: It's 2012 and it's Nicki Minaj's world to make, but this album is not going to make it (Capital New York)
Lindsay Zoladz: The Only Girl (In The World)
Lindsay Zoladz: The Only Girl (In The World)
Now I am older than Keats was when he died and I live in a room whose walls somebody else painted this very soothing shade of taupe and I’m still the same age as Lena Dunham but I’m not jealous of her anymore. I am making a living doing a different thing that I love and I feel as lucky as she has probably at some point felt, and I catch myself whenever I start buying into a worldview that mandates I see anyone a little bit like me as my competition. So good luck to her. May she make the space expand.
·lindsayzoladz.tumblr.com·
Lindsay Zoladz: The Only Girl (In The World)
Keith Calder: vhxtv: We’re very proud to announce that VHX is powering the worldwide release of Indie Game: The Movie on June 12
Keith Calder: vhxtv: We’re very proud to announce that VHX is powering the worldwide release of Indie Game: The Movie on June 12
But this is it. This is where we start. Crowd-funded on Kickstarter; self-released on iTunes, Steam, and VHX. Our Edison is Steve Jobs, our Chaplin is Louis CK, our multiplex is VHX, and our Warner Brothers is Kickstarter. I hope you can be our Hitchcock, our Curtiz, our Méliès, or our Griffith.
·keithcalder.com·
Keith Calder: vhxtv: We’re very proud to announce that VHX is powering the worldwide release of Indie Game: The Movie on June 12
Lindsay Zoladz: Mind Is Your Might: Fiona Apple's Oversharing (Pitchfork)
Lindsay Zoladz: Mind Is Your Might: Fiona Apple's Oversharing (Pitchfork)
…the way that people have written and talked about the searing physical images of her recent performances—her sinewy muscles and berserk movements and haphazardly-scrunchied hair—suggest that she’s providing [an unexpected jolt of humanness in the ever-churning, willfully plastic cultural machine], that she's a savior for those who need one (and, to be sure, not all of us do) from these airbrush’d, cyborg’d, sea-punk’d times. Because the wild physicality of these performances reminds us of our own muscle and bone.
·pitchfork.com·
Lindsay Zoladz: Mind Is Your Might: Fiona Apple's Oversharing (Pitchfork)
Glenn McDonald: The War Against Silence 495: (We Can Decline)
Glenn McDonald: The War Against Silence 495: (We Can Decline)
We can decline. We can change our patterns. Identity is far deeper than any of these labels and habits. We are not what we do, or even how we do it or why. We are what we feel. Identity is in the surge when you recognize unverifiable truth, or the pang when something snaps that you can't see, or the way you know that you love something you'd never even contemplated. We are not the sum of our fears or our atrophies or our helplessnesses, we are the product of our hopes and our surprise and our inexplicable instincts. We are broken as a test; we are repaired as a challenge. We contain divinity and infinity and infamy. We are beautiful under these terrible layers and clothes, in motion where we sit, warm in these climes, improvised in panic. We can walk away from the stories they're trying to sell us, and write our own. If they hang on us, we can throw them off. If they pursue us, we can run.
·furia.com·
Glenn McDonald: The War Against Silence 495: (We Can Decline)
Drew Magary: Man Up, Bieber (GQ)
Drew Magary: Man Up, Bieber (GQ)
The label's mission is to make a man out of Bieber. The only person who isn't ready to make a man out of Bieber is Bieber. He wants to be 18. He wants to be a swaggy bro—he seems incapable of being anything else—and that's as it should be. Manhood can wait.
·gq.com·
Drew Magary: Man Up, Bieber (GQ)
Noel Murray: Our “white people problems” problem: Why it’s time to stop using “white” as a pejorative (The A.V. Club)
Noel Murray: Our “white people problems” problem: Why it’s time to stop using “white” as a pejorative (The A.V. Club)
But increasingly, people aren’t sniping about “whiteness” to be funny, or even defiant—at least not entirely. They’re using the term as a form of criticism, meant to be dismissive. “That movie looks very white,” or, “That sounds like music for white people,” is another way of saying, “That can’t be any good.” And I do have a problem with that.
·avclub.com·
Noel Murray: Our “white people problems” problem: Why it’s time to stop using “white” as a pejorative (The A.V. Club)
Paul Ford: Why Facebook Has Not Already Peaked (New York Magazine)
Paul Ford: Why Facebook Has Not Already Peaked (New York Magazine)
Which brings us back to the question: Have we reached peak Facebook? And no, we haven’t. Even if Facebook never adds another user, it will keep growing: It has become a fundamental substrate, a difficult-to-avoid component of any site or app that requires users to register—making it essential to nearly every major web innovation now and in the future. There’s a related question: Is Facebook ever going to be cool again? That’s like asking “Is the phone company cool?” The interface may not be exciting anymore, but the network is very, very cool, in the disruptively awesome way that enormous things are: volcanoes, aircraft carriers, the New Deal.
·nymag.com·
Paul Ford: Why Facebook Has Not Already Peaked (New York Magazine)
Andy Baio: Criminal Creativity: Untangling Cover Song Licensing on YouTube (Waxy.org)
Andy Baio: Criminal Creativity: Untangling Cover Song Licensing on YouTube (Waxy.org)
There are millions of cover songs on YouTube, with around 12,000 new covers uploaded in the last 24 hours. Until recently, all but a sliver were illegal, considered infringement under current copyright law. Nearly all were non-commercial, created out of love by fans of the source material, with no negative impact on the market value of the original. This is creativity criminalized, quite possibly the most popular creative act that's against the law.
·waxy.org·
Andy Baio: Criminal Creativity: Untangling Cover Song Licensing on YouTube (Waxy.org)
Nitsuh Abebe: "white" (a grammar)
Nitsuh Abebe: "white" (a grammar)
The ability to use “white” to mean “middle-class” to such an overwhelming extent that you actually start to misidentify people—all so that race itself, not class or background or culture or manner, can still remain the difference, the Other. There’s an odd habit here.
·agrammar.tumblr.com·
Nitsuh Abebe: "white" (a grammar)
The State Of Music: Part 47: Hawaii — Welwing (Choose My Music)
The State Of Music: Part 47: Hawaii — Welwing (Choose My Music)
Hawaii was always going to be a tricky state to cover, detached from the mainland by some 2000 miles its music scene is naturally very insular. Of course I found the usual Ukulele music, but in my eyes no one plays the Uke as wonderfully as Elsa Rae. I also found a lot of hip hop, reggae, a little bit of indie and of course my Hawaii representative Welwing. The first and only instrumental entry into the State Of Music project, Welwing is a one man show headed by Matthew McVickar, a mainland exile doing his thing in the Pacific Ocean.
·choosemymusic.org·
The State Of Music: Part 47: Hawaii — Welwing (Choose My Music)