July 10, 2023

The Replacement of the Magical by the Strictly Prosaic

Whatever his religious belief or unbelief, theological elements are central to his imagination, and over the course of his long career have assumed a distinctive shape that is worthy of our closest attention, above all because these elements so powerfully address American culture today: a culture that wants to be thought spiritual but never religious, to use history as a weapon but never acknowledge it as an inheritance, to worship its own technologies while simultaneously lamenting their tyrannical power. from The Far Invisible: Thomas Pynchon as America’s Theologian [Hedgehog Review; ungated]
posted by chavenet at 11:50 PM PST - 16 comments

Hugo, we have a problem

The 2023 Hugo Award Nominees were announced on July 6. The 81st World Science Fiction Convention will be hosted in Chengdu, China, netting substantive objections from industry authors due to human rights abuses. To make matters worse, one of the Guests of Honor will be Sergei Lukyanenko, Russian author and noted supporter of the war in Ukraine. [more inside]
posted by bq at 9:08 PM PST - 53 comments

The Most Hated Man in Hollywood

The reviews are in on you sir, and they are not good. On Monday, GQ published a story from freelance film critic Jason Bailey summarizing Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav's rapid and shameful ascent from anonymous executive to widely loathed cultural villain. Bailey's key observation is that Zaslav seems neither to care about nor especially like movies, which makes his leadership of such a powerful company a tragic outcome for everyone who does. Within hours of the article's publication, readers observed that the piece had been heavily edited and its sharpness sanded down. Shortly after the edited version of Bailey's story went live, GQ deleted the entire blog from its website. [more inside]
posted by Toddles at 8:34 PM PST - 41 comments

Push to Add Drama

Somewhere in a little town in Belgium, in a square where nothing really happens, we placed a button. And waited for someone to push it. Belgian TNT Advert from 2012. [YouTube] TW: Fake violence/gunshots. [more inside]
posted by Glinn at 4:52 PM PST - 22 comments

Printing Hokusai's Great Picture Book of Everything.

A collection of Hokusai's drawings are being carved onto woodblocks and printed for the first time A few years after their discovery and exhibition at the British Museum, Dave Bull and the team at Mokuhankan are taking the final steps to publish some of Hokusai's drawings that have not previously been printed as wood block prints, following the same processes that would have been used during Hokusai's lifetime. You can subscribe to the production run to receive copies of these prints as they are produced.
posted by cubby at 3:13 PM PST - 9 comments

The Aeron Economy

What happens to all the office furniture left behind in the downsizing of office space? Sometimes, it finds a new life in a home or school (Ungated). Other times, it becomes part of the 10 million tons of office furniture added to the landfill every year (Ungated).
posted by meowzilla at 2:49 PM PST - 37 comments

I saw a boom shadow on Fart Face

Seth Meyers and Bill Hader sit down in front of cameras to talk about their careers [30m], and each other's careers, and to reminisce about working together at SNL. It's a charming conversation between friends, and I thought I might share it here.
posted by hippybear at 10:28 AM PST - 12 comments

"The memory, news story you told me a week ago..."

Poet, essayist, activist Minnie Bruce Pratt has died. "Her books and poems have received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the American Library Association, the Poetry Society of America, Lambda Literary and the Publishing Triangle." "All the Women Caught in Flaring Light".
posted by clavdivs at 10:13 AM PST - 13 comments

That giant owl is dynamite

Goblin Bet, akin to Salty Bet (previously), lets you wager pretend gold pieces on the outcome of monster fights. Fighters use their 5th edition D&D attributes. Stats are displayed on the sides of the screen, and you can click on the little question mark by a fighter's stat block to go to a page with information about them. Look out for random special abilities some fighters have, listed at the bottom of their stat block.
posted by JHarris at 9:53 AM PST - 27 comments

James Lewis, the sole suspect in the 1982 Tylenol murders, has died

James Lewis, the lone suspect in the 1982 Tylenol murders, was found dead Sunday at his home in suburban Boston, multiple law-enforcement sources confirmed to the Tribune. ... With the investigation’s only suspect dead, it now seems unlikely that charges will ever be brought in poisonings that killed seven people and caused a worldwide panic.
posted by Etrigan at 8:25 AM PST - 52 comments

WaPo Opinion: Men are lost. Here’s a map out of the wilderness.

Past models of masculinity feel unreachable or socially unacceptable; new ones have yet to crystallize. What are men for in the modern world? What do they look like? Where do they fit? These are social questions but also ones with major political ramifications. Whatever self-definition men settle on will have an enormous impact on society. Yet many people, like Taylor, hesitate to be the one to try to outline a new standard of manliness. Who are they to set the rules? Only one group seems to have no such doubts about offering men a plan. (WaPo gift article)
posted by PussKillian at 8:10 AM PST - 204 comments

As Christmas approaches, here's your weekly Free Thread

In only eight weeks time, Christmas puddings, mince pies and other seasonal foods, plus cards and wrapping paper, will start to fill the supermarket shelves. Christmas spirit? It's never too early as Boston hope to do better than last year, Fakenham reveal their plans, sensible people have completed shopping, and the Christmas birth is anticipated. Some tree advice and potato advice. So throw a log on the fire, put on your wooliest jumper, pour yourself a glass of mulled wine and type into the freethread, or Free Thread, or #FreeThread, for this week. Bonus: some pleasant Holst.
posted by Wordshore at 7:26 AM PST - 107 comments

Pain ignored at Yale Reproductive Health Clinic

Patients had agonizing pain in spite of fentanyl when their eggs were collected. It wasn't taken seriously. This is the first of a series from the NYTimes. Free link. These are podcasts with transcripts. In case you want the story without spoilers, I'm putting the explanation in the first comment.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 4:50 AM PST - 33 comments

Conferences moving out of Florida due to LGBT discrimination

Some Conferences Steer Away From Florida, Citing State’s Divisive Laws (ghostarchive link)
posted by buffy12 at 1:48 AM PST - 49 comments

Artisans Cooperative: a new co-op for handmade goods

The member-owned arts and crafts marketplace is being thoughtfully, deliberately organized by ex-Etsy sellers (remember the Etsy strike?), volunteers, and now a growing number member/owners. An innovative buy-in system is designed to make ownership very accessible. The site opens for business in October, and there's a Reddit AMA today (Monday) 6 AM-midnight Eastern Time. [more inside]
posted by amtho at 1:15 AM PST - 15 comments

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