“But let’s not forget the foxes, lots and lots of foxes. There are foxes with menacing snarls, winking foxes, and foxes with goofy grins. There’s a lady fox, a motocross fox, a Robin Hood fox, and a fox dressed as a Boy Scout. One fox is in swim trunks with a bulge the size of a small dog. A fox with glowing eyes perches on a barstool surveying the crowd with detached arrogance. He has reason to be cocky: We later see him talking, his animatronic jaw moving in sync with every word. This is some next-level shit. Blank”—
I don’t understand anyone who isn’t fascinated by magic - the act of your own brain deceiving you, the secret societies, code of conduct, storied lore, socially awkward young men - basically, it’s everything I love in one place. And the fact that I have no business and am not welcome in magic’s backrooms only makes it more alluring. In Fooling Houdini, Alex Stone does for magic what Susan Orlean did for orchids, Stefan Fatsis did for Scrabble and David Sedaris did for department store Santas.
“Sitting in his seat, a seat broad and broken
In, sprinkled with ashes
Pop switches channels, takes another
Shot of Seagrams, neat, and asks
What to do with me, a green young man
Who fails to consider the
Flim and Flam of the world…”—
excerpt from “Pop” by Barack Obama, spring 1981, Occidental College
“Midnight screenings are big, hyped, advertiser-driven events that have become a source of new information to feed the Hollywood data beast […] But they’re also a product of genuine enthusiasm and an expression of collective joy. Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has meant a lot to an enormous number of filmgoers. And as someone who writes about movies, and who cares about the big, flawed thing we call fandom, I’m saddened by someone turning that shared enthusiasm into a weapon. And even if this tragedy hadn’t happened at the premiere of one of a dwindling number of genuinely mass cultural events, I hate the idea of using an audience’s suspension of disbelief, their openness to and absorption in the spectacle unfolding before them, as cover—the gunman reportedly started shooting during a sequence involving gunfire, meaning the audience was slower to react. We are vulnerable when we go to the movies, open to fear, and love, and disgust, and rapture, surrendering our brains and hearts to someone else’s vision of the world. We don’t expect to surrender our bodies, too.”—alyssa rosenberg(via)
“The rise of the online-only brand marks a new generation of e-commerce. For consumers, it represents the rise of more-affordable, higher-quality brands that will come to replace many things previously purchased through traditional retail. Watch in the next year as more online-only brands emerge. How about online-only watches? Cereal? Makeup? The opportunities to build mega-brands online are just beginning. Entrepreneurs and investors are already piling in. Now it’s up to the consumer to decide the winners.”—Death to Retail: The Rise of the Online-Only Brand - The Next Web (via culturelabagency)
1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things–reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them–in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
I think this every time I watch Morning Joe on MSNBC and Mika Brzezinski jumps on her fitness/diet high horse. It’s infuriating. I’ve seen Mika Brzezinski on the news for decades. To the best of my knowledge she’s always been blonde, fit and beautiful. I can’t deal with someone like that lecturing…
“A third fell under the wheel (and this one was particularly heartbreaking to all of us) when we reluctantly acknowledged that although it was wonderfully written and fabulously inventive, its central love story, while moving, was insufficiently complicated and a bit sentimental; that it failed to depict the body of darker emotions that are integral to love: moments of rage, disappointment, pettiness, and greed, to name a few. All three of us wished love to be as simple as the author imagined it to be, but we acknowledged that love, as far as we could tell, is not only not simple, but that part of its glory is its ability to survive incidents of rage, disappointment, and etc.”—
“Eventually my fellow New Yorkers started to feel more like teammates than neighbors. The tumult the City throws in your way daily engenders a sense of community the way getting its ass kicked on a rink might galvanize a hockey team. Stuff like complaining about real estate—the price of it, the rotten brokers, the changing neighborhoods—is like a secret handshake for New Yorkers, thrown out quickly to differentiate between those in the know from everyone else, who probably talk about reality television at dinner. Then there’s the knowing nods from strangers on the street in times of extreme heat or cold, their meaning being “This shit again.” In the cases of literal shit, like when I saw an old lady pooping on the street by my office, there’s the “What are you gonna do?” shrug New Yorkers give one another. At the sight of the pooping woman, I heard a man to my left say to his horrified companion, “It’s, like, New York, y’know?”—
“But you’re not an activist. You’re a Black man in America whose star is on the rise, working in hip-hop and soul, where gender constructs are cartoonishly fixed. Your colleague Drake is often attacked with homophobic slurs when he simply displays vulnerability in his music. He seems to respond by following those moments of real emotion with bars that put “hoes” in their proverbial place. But you’re a beautiful songwriter (your question to Jay and Kanye, “What’s a King to a God?” on their own song on an album about their kingdom, was brilliantly sly). Your letter is revolutionary not least of all because it is about love. It is about falling in love and feeling rejected and carrying both that love and rejection with you through life. The male pronoun of the object of your desire is practically incidental.”—
467 ways to spend $15M in venture capital funding on lists.
9 ways to present information in bullet or ordered numerical form.
14 listicles about digesting information in a particular fashion.
11 New Yorker articles you won’t read but we’ll break down for you in a linear, numbered way.
16 pictures of cats entirely free of any context because it was a slow, slow news day.
12 reasons why the Buzzfeed Politics section is incredibly well-done yet largely unreferred to on the front page.
10 people we poached from other media companies in a shrewd yet applaudable power grab because god knows America just wants well-written lists from some of New York’s most well-connected writers and editors which is kind of a brilliant move even if it means people read actual articles less and less over time.
∞ number of echo-chamber-esque reactionary think-pieces to the HBO show Girls and/or the New York media scene.
“Heat. This is what cities mean to me. You get off the train and walk out of the station and you are hit with the full blast The heat of air, traffic and people. The heat of food and sex. The heat of tall buildings. The heat that floats out of the subways and the tunnels. It’s always fifteen degrees hotter in the cities. Heat rises from the sidewalks and falls from the poisoned sky. The buses breathe heat. Heat emanates from crowds of shoppers and office workers. The entire infrastructure is based on heat, desperately uses up heat, breeds more heat. The eventual heat death of the universe that scientists love to talk about is already well underway and you can feel it happening all around you in any large or medium-sized city. Heat and wetness.”—Don DeLillo, White Noise (via mllehazelwood)