... the excitement over Super Bowl *advertisements* ...
NY Mag: Not a Very P.C. Thing to Say.
Playing Devil’s Advocate seems to fly over more and more peoples’ heads these days. And that’s almost the whole fun of conversation/civil argument.
ConsumerismCommentary: How Your Positive Posse is Destroying You.
If you’ve read here long, you’ll know I disdain empty ‘support’ statements. I want to be better, not artificially fulfilled. Take off the kid gloves, rip it up. I like it better that way.
Paris Review: Shying.
“... people don’t look at you sitting by yourself and think, ‘she’s shy.’ They will, perhaps, attribute to you all the power you give them. In short, they will merely think you aloof.” I can’t remember the last time I used the word, “shy”. Worthy of thought.
Youtube: Nobody Tells This To Beginners.
Yes. In my parlance, “Iterate faster, iterate better.” It’s not enough to do the same thing over and over again. One has to do it, judge it, do better the next time. Keep refining. Or keep stretching. Whatever it takes!
Guardian.UK: Can art still shock?
I always get disappointed when people only consider art within a ‘shock’ framework. Eliciting emotion should not be limited to outrage or disgust. What of thrill, what of inspiration, what of happiness? Why are these considered ‘lesser’ emotions in the artworld? Boring, even?
Guardian.UK: The boy who didn’t come back from heaven: inside a bestseller’s ‘deception’.
“The word exploitation is very appropriate. The children are exploited. The Christian public is exploited. The buyers are exploited.” For related exploitation, see the LRB link yesterday.
LRB: Hilary Mantel reviews ‘The Voices of Gemma Galgani’.
“It ought to be possible to live and thrive, without conforming, complying, giving in, but also without imitating a man, even Christ: it should be possible to live without constant falsification. It should be possible for a woman to live – without feeling that she is starving on the doorstep of plenty – as light, remarkable, strong and free.” Powerful load of baggage to load on a book or four. But worth the read.
Paris Review: The Literature of the Fear of Flying.
“Sean Bean (Game of Thrones’s Ned Stark) drives to all of his European film locations. He was finally forced onto a plane to shoot The Lord of the Rings in New Zealand, though he refused the helicopter ride to top of the mountain where they were filming, forcing the rest of the cast to wait while he walked up.” My italic emphasis. Might as well enjoy the scenery while you’re there.
NPR: What If Heaven Is Not For Real?
“... even though none of us existed 1,000 years ago, you don’t find many people worrying about their nonexistence during the Dark Ages. Our not-being in the past doesn’t worry us. So, why does our not-being in the future freak us out so much?”
NBC: A Rising Economy Lifts Obama Going Into State of the Union Night.
“You can hardly tell from our NBC/WSJ poll that the Republican Party was the big winner from the midterm elections just two months ago. Somehow, Obama and the Democrats stole the Republicans’ post-election honeymoon. Or the Republicans somehow lost it.” Are you kidding? “Somehow”?!! They shat upon it by going ideological right out of the gate. The low turnout numbers were a limp desire to simply maintain the status quo, not a mandate to go batsh-t crazy. If there’s one thing blogging over many political seasons has shown - it’s that ‘there are no unimportant elections’.
NY Times: Why Are We Obsessed With the Great American Novel?
LRB: Diary/Bad Captains.
Ferry and cruise captains, and their cowardices. And the boorish, selfish behavior of terrified passengers.
Time: How Religion Can Move Us to Do Terrible Things.
“Them.” When we stop them-ing, we’ll have a civilization worthy of the name.
SciAm: No Increased Stress from Heavier Social Media Use.
Personal expression as a form of destress. I suspect folks participate based on what’s best for them. Overdo, and it’ll eat you alive. Can’t be maintained long-term without visible cracking at the seams.
NY Review of Books: They’re Watching You Read.
“These statistics are certain to perplex writers who have so often been told by their publishers that a book’s popularity will not be affected in the least by costly newspaper or magazine advertising, but only by the more unpredictable, much desired — and free — publicity generated by ‘word of mouth.’ Are we now to assume that readers are telling their friends to read books that they themselves have failed to finish?”
WaPo: Why women don’t leave comments online.
Mother Nature Network: 7 cultural concepts we don’t have in the U.S.
I love this link. Declared link o’ the day. I can relax now.
Poynter: Most of The New York Times’ most popular items last year weren’t news stories.
No wonder we end up with things like Buzzfeed and Upworthy. “What You Learn In Your 40’s” just went viral last week, didn’t it? That’s fast, for a throwaway piece of writing.
This morning, opinions galore via the Golden Globes.
Amazing, how many people mortgage their opinions to a television awards show. Not that any given opinion isn’t good; it’s just odd where we Americans gather closely-held beliefs.
NY Times: To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This.
If you use it more than once a day, and succeed, what does that say?
Smithsonian: Did Civil War Soldiers Have PTSD?
Of course they did. “When over 5,000 Confederates fell in a failed assault at Malvern Hill in Virginia, a Union colonel wrote: ‘A third of them were dead or dying, but enough were alive to give the field a singularly crawling effect.’” The archetype of the mentally scarred warrior has existed for a very, very long time. Even The Iliad talks of battle disgust.
Paris Review: Notes on Becoming a Crank.
“While a crank’s crankiness may manifest in an adherence to social issues (and it often does), a true crank is equally committed to petty concerns, and, indeed, does not distinguish between the two.” And look at the kerning on that font they use ... oops ...