The Awl has obtained a copy of a memo from Scott Dadich (Wired Editor in Chief) to all Wired employees in San Francisco.
From Facebook's blog: What the shift to video [posts on Facebook] means to creators. From The Awl: What the shift to video [posts on Facebook] means to Facebook.
When Your OkCupid Date to the Museum Shows Up Totally Wasted.
Never Better is The Awl’s goodbye to 2014. The most recent one is Last Year's Punch by Dan Nosowitz. Another notable one is Good Things of 2014, a complete list. Including: [more inside]
But if you look at a Shitpic, you can instantly tell the level of virality by how worn it looks, how legible its text is, how many watermarks adorn it. You can count them much like you would rings on a tree. A pristine-looking meme engenders skepticism—“This can’t be that funny, it hasn’t been imperfectly replicated enough.”The Awl on the rise of the shitpic.
"Despite its youth, the section has a much longer history, one that encompasses the long effort of women in journalism to be taken seriously as reporters and as readers, the development of New Journalism, large-scale social changes that have brought gay culture into the mainstream, shifts in the way news is delivered and consumed, and economic consolidations and disruptions that the section has, sometimes in spite of itself, thoroughly documented and cataloged. The Styles section may well be pretty stupid sometimes. It’s also a richer and more complex entity than any of us would like to believe." - Bonfire Of The Inanities - Jacqui Shine writes a long, detailed history of the New York Times Style Section.
"In my experience, the reminder that the sexual fantasy isn’t real, that the women who perform availability aren’t ACTUALLY available, that we aren’t ACTUALLY clamouring to be sexualized by men, that we control when the fantasy starts and stops, and that our performance is just that, a performance that requires compensation… well, some men find that hard to swallow." [more inside]
"In reconsidering the metrosexual, we must first distinguish between the metrosexual’s imagined and actual properties. Like hipsterism, metrosexuality is an insult more readily slung than substantiated. According to canon, David Beckham is the ur-metro. Although Beckham initially goes unmentioned in the word’s first printing (in 1994), the word’s progenitor, Mark Simpson, introduced American readers to metrosexuality through the British football star in 2002, when he called Beckham a "screaming, shrieking, flaming, freaking metrosexual…famous for wearing sarongs and pink nail polish and panties…and posing naked and oiled up on the cover of Esquire." " - Johannah King-Slutzky for The Awl on the 'Metrosexual' situation a decade later
"You're a rich white man. You're used to being listened to. But while you're jabbering away, all anyone can see is your garbage shirt that you bought for twenty bucks and have been wearing all year, shoved nastily into your shiny off-the-rack suit. Why would you do this to your brand?" - Shirterate, a clothing consultation service for tech moguls by opinionated homosexuals.
There's no simple or singular means of explaining why publications thrive or die. Entertainment Weekly rose and declined with larger waves affecting the entertainment and publishing industries at large, but its story is more than just that of print media at the turn of the century. That might be the environment, but the larger narrative is that of widespread deregulation in terms of media ownership and the resultant flurry of mergers, acquisitions, and conglomerate masterplanning.The history of the business of EW.
You could call summers like this a colossal waste of time. But that’s what feels immortal about them—wasting time, colossally, as the gods must do. Taisia Kitaiskaia writes an ode to summer on the Hairpin. The author, a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers, also channels Baba Yaga in a regular advice column for the same website. [more inside]
As it turned out, when I started working in Brooklyn, the most difficult to serve were the ones who wanted—or expected, really—for you to be cool, or at least receptive to a certain projection of hip-and-coolness. It was nice, at first, to have a job that let me swear and show my tattoos, but the pleasure of that freedom waned somewhat when most of my interactions became about the "fucks" and body modifications. If I had a quarter for every time I showed off my expensive liberal arts degree, holding up my end of a conversation about New York’s small presses or the most recent issue of The New Yorker, my tips certainly would have been better.Molly Osberg: Inside the Barista Class
"Liquid Sky is one of the most visually ambitious films ever made about fashion, heroin, New Wave clubs, UFO saucers, ordering Chinese food and having them put it on your tab, the Empire State Building, androgyny, neon and tin foil. The 1982 cult classic may be the perfect embodiment of camp. " The Awl talks to the director of the film about his plans for a sequel.
The Awl presents the article that would've accompanied that Atlantic Monthly cover from Ghostbusters.
"Am I safe? Is what I have, my memory of the event and your scribbled notes, enough to get this guy? Should I tweet about this?" C. D. Hermelin is mugged in broad daylight in Manhattan’s Financial District.
Sullivan’s book was a hit. It was the single best-selling book of 1947, ahead of de Beauvoir, ahead of Sartre, ahead of Camus. People wanted to meet him. The press wanted to talk to him. He was also the plaintiff in a civil suit that could carry a heavy fine or even lead to time in jail. He had to appear in court, which was tricky, because Vernon Sullivan didn’t exist. (SLTheAwl)
This was not the act of a fringe contingent. The letter—which, until now, has never been published in its entirety—is signed by 154 staffers, including J.D. Salinger, Calvin Trillin, John McPhee, Jamaica Kincaid, Saul Steinberg and Janet Malcolm. There are a few notable abstentions, including John Updike and Charles McGrath, who would soon be named Gottlieb's deputy. At the bottom, it reads "cc: S. I. Newhouse."The Letter: Robert Gottlieb's Tenure as the New Yorker's Managing Editor, Elon Green, The Awl (SLTheAwl)
Garry Winogrand, best known for his street photography, left behind "three hundred thousand pictures (at a minimum), barely sorted, unorganized, with no indication of why or when they were taken" after his death in 1984. Jacob Mikanowski from The Awl. previously
"In the 1950s, a DJ named Jean Shepherd hosted a late-night radio show on New York's WOR that was unlike any before or since. On these broadcasts, he delivered dense, cerebral monologues, sprinkled with pop-culture tidbits and vivid stretches of expert storytelling. 'There is no question that we are a tiny, tiny, tiny embattled minority here,' he assured his audience in a typical diatribe. 'Hardly anyone is listening to mankind in all of its silliness, all of its idiocy, all of its trivia, all of its wonder, all of its glory, all of its poor, sad, pitching us into the dark sea of oblivion.' Shepherd's approach was summed up by his catchphrase: a mock-triumphant 'Excelsior!', followed by an immediate, muttered 'you fathead ... '" (via) [more inside]
"There are reasons why this film is obscure. It is, in the most charitable possible evaluation, a mess: Bowie has described it as "my 32 Elvis films rolled into one." And yet life on that ever-dwindling island of not-on-region-one DVD films is a harsh fate for any film and particularly for this one, which is at least as interesting as its cast suggests and a good deal more. You don't need to dig out the VHS player to watch Mick Jagger run an agency of gigolos in The Man From Elysian Fields—you shouldn't have to do so to watch Bowie play one. " David Bowie's Lost 70s-era Weimar Berlin Movie: Just a Gigalo.
Gerbil-stuffing, urban legends, celebrity gossip, and homophobia: Jane Hu in The Awl with A Complete History Of Gerbiling So Far. [more inside]
But I couldn't do it. I spent three months and I just couldn't do it. And the reason was because I kept on meeting people who worked in the credit industry and they were really boring. I couldn't make them light up the page. And, as I said in The Psychopath Test, if you want to get away with wielding true malevolent power, be boring. Journalists hate writing about boring people, because we want to look good, you know?A Chat With Writer Jon Ronson [more inside]
Mike Sui and the new laowai: "...speaking Chinese is still just rare enough that Sui's instant fame has scratched a blister of resentment than never really heals in China's Chinese language-learner community, and his success has highlighted how Chinese demands on laowai [foreign] entertainers have drastically changed in just a decade."
All I remember about it was that I was having sex with Pierce Brosnan in a hot tub. Except that he had a vagina.
"Emma Stone was my dream best friend for a number of weeks. We'd see movies together. Get drinks and gossip. I remember one dream where we just texted. She resurfaced as my best friend last fall after I saw The Help. An actual friend of mine once told me a story about meeting Andrew Garfield's best friend, which meant Andrew Garfield and I were dream best friends for the following few nights. Again, there was texting." The Awl asks people: What Was Your Weirdest Celebrity Sex Dream?
How Silence Works: Emailed Conversations With Four Trappist Monks
A new piece for the Awl, by writer Amy Sohn "The 40-Year-Old Reversion" satirizing the group of parents she parties with in Brooklyn, has sparked some pretty harsh criticism around the web, from scenester blogs, mainstream sources, and parenting sites alike. But others see it as a very useful lesson about contraception.
Baked salmon, oyster rolls, codfish cakes, Baptist cakes, cream of corn soup, green turtle soup, scootin-long-the-shore, Plymouth succotash, Indian pudding, beggar’s pudding, flummery, syllabubs...
Drew Dernavich at The Awl has taken it upon himself to analyze the artwork in the 2012 Thomas Kinkade wall calendar. He has analyzed January, February and March. [more inside]
The Awl sends correspondent Ben Worcester to the newest tennis hotspot in Manhattan: The Vanderbilt Tennis Club in Grand Central. [more inside]
The cast and writers and crew of Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip recently all joined twitter and began tweeting about their lives and the live comedy sketch show they all create each week. The catch is, Studio 60 is the fictional creation of Aaron Sorkin and was the subject of a failed weekly drama from five years ago, and nobody knows who is performing this remarkable charade.
"God is totally down with sexpionage, at least according to the Zomet Institute, an organization dedicated to interpreting Jewish law for modern living" -- on the Mossad's precursor to Russia’s femme fatale spy Anna Chapman.
Why Minnesota mothers are doing pretty good. Cripes we all know about Tiger Mothers already, but what the heck can we learn from Minnesota Mothers?
Like many of the ibex farms sprouting up across the northeastern United States, Yael offers an intensive Chinese-language immersion course. The most emailed New York Times article ever.
“I’m surprised that there aren’t a lot of independent, owner-operated editorial Web sites out there,” Mr. Sicha said. “We will be two years old in April, and we are self-sufficient and stable. That’s pretty fast.” The NYT on the ups and downs of The Awl, which happens to be launching their new site, The Hairpin, today.
How do black people use Twitter? Why is Twitter more popular with black people? (The Root asks, "Really?") What were black people talking about on Twitter last night? [more inside]
"Madonna’s sexuality could be scary because it was intimidating; Gaga’s sexuality is scary because we don’t quite know what it is." Lesley Kinzel of Fatshionista compares and contrasts Lady Gaga's new Alejandro video with Madonna's 1989 video for Express Yourself, making the argument that Gaga's take on female sexuality is less reliant than Madonna's on male perception. Choire Sicha of The Awl disagrees.
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