The Other Red Bull

It's hard to buy and it doesn't taste good, but Club-Mate is coming.
Sponsored

New York City, June 30, 2015

weather review sky 063015★★★★ Now the sun bore down a bit, and the air in the park felt dusty. Starlings, one drab with new plumage, foraged in the clover and grass. Honeybees cruised low. A white stretch limousine, its rearmost window partway down, rolled to a stop outside the brassy Trump Internarional canopy. A sawdust smell rode the breeze up Lafayette. Out on the fire escape in the afternoon, the patch of sun went away and a chilly wind began blowing. A crow cawed loudly and flapped down to perch on a coil of barbed wire against the suddenly dark sky. The clouds thinned again, but there was still something damp and feverish on the air. The radar map on the phone couldn’t quite make the case against fireworks in Astoria. Some drops fell in the late Manhattan sun on the way to the subway. When the N train emerged in Queens, the light was dim and the wind tossed hair and branches. On the walk west to the park, orange rifts and a drifting mass of darker gray met in the big sky afforded by the ahuman scale of the expressway leading to the Triboro Bridge. Hip-high weeds pressed in on the edges of sidewalk. The lower clouds moved north so fast that the higher ones seemed to be moving in retrograde. Under the weight of the three-year-old, jumping and smashing down onto a supine body on the lawn, water seeped up through the blanket to dampen the back of the shirt. The ebbing light raised a few pinks and warm browns in the sky. The fireworks went up; now and then a raindrop came down. After the display was over, a yellow smudge opposite resolved itself into a blurry near-round moon, and then into a crisp one.

The Whole-Grain Startup

you're going to guac this week. #monday 👊

A photo posted by sweetgreen (@sweetgreen) on Jun 8, 2015 at 8:25am PDT

It may seem a little weird that a company which primarily sells leaves has raised nearly as much venture capital as the most insurgent advertising agency of our day, but when one considers in full the context in which Sweetgreen has amassed ninety-five million dollars, the logic of it will comfortably subsume you like a warm grain bowl.

Platform Creep

The platforms: they’re creeping. There’s Twitter:

On Twitter’s mobile app, there will be a new button in the center of the home row. Press it and you’ll be taken to a screen that will show various events taking place that people are tweeting about. These could be based on prescheduled events like Coachella, the Grammys, or the NBA Finals. But they might also focus on breaking news and ongoing events, like the Nepalese earthquake or Ferguson, Missouri. Essentially, if it’s an event that a lot of people are tweeting about, Twitter could create an experience around it.

And YouTube:

In partnership with Storyful, a social news agency we’ve worked with since protests broke out in Tahrir Square in 2011, we’re rolling out the YouTube Newswire, a curated feed of the most newsworthy eyewitness videos of the day, which have been verified by Storyful’s team of editors and are embeddable from the original sources.

And Instagram:

Instagram has real-time coverage of almost everything happening in the world. Now its unlocking that content with a revamped Explore tab featuring Trending Tags, Trending Places, curated content, plus a new Places Search. You’ll be able to see all the photos from Father’s Day or Coachella, scope out your next vacation spot, or see photos of important topics chosen by Instagram’s team.

About which founder Kevin Systrom tells Recode:

The Holy Grail is to give people the sense of now and what’s happening now. The gap between something happening in the world and you knowing about it is becoming fractionally small. I think we’re all in a race as companies to provide you that information.

For some time now, Snapchat has been offering something similar: collections of videos and photos created in or about places and events, slotted in between your contacts. These “Stories” feel like a more natural extension of Snapchat than the channels in its Discover page, a strange and sickly panel inhabited mostly by outside media companies. Vine’s human-moderated channels are, in addition to the platform’s homegrown celebrities, which they routinely feature, the app’s main attraction. Instagram’s human-moderated tags alternate between broad bordering on incoherent (collections like #lightning and #calendar) and focused, deep documents about cultural events. (It’s effective mainly as a showcase of the sheer amount of primary material posted to Instagram; it’s more thorough, in this respect, than almost any conceivable celebrity publication.)

Since channels like this feature at least some editorial oversight, it is tempting to see them as a sign of the re-humanization of the platforms; to suggest that they are evidence, or confirmation, that audiences cannot survive by algorithm or feed alone. This is comforting because it implies a basic flaw in the systems that are increasingly dominating the internet—a flaw that, in a satisfying turn, can only be fixed by the very people who feel most marginalized. It is also wrong.

“The open secret is that literary fiction does not pay big dividends. At least not to most of its writers and publishers. Even with excellent reviews, there’s no guarantee that your book will sell.”#

The Sounds In My Head So Far This Year

We’re halfway through 2015—I mean, summer is practically done already and the next six months will be gone before you know it, even though each goddamn day will take an eternity to get through—so let’s take a look at what’s been good so far this year if you’re me listening to music. Rather than load down your page with a ton of sound and video I’ve placed a link back to tracks from each selection, where available; those albums without links are just as worthy of exploration, particularly the Ensemble Signal take on Steve Reich, which I can’t stop listening to. Anyway, you will notice that most of this music is wordless and fairly blippy-bloppy-meer-meer intensive, which is deliberate because fuck words, but I will still vouch for the albums that maintain a traditional “rhymes set to music” scheme. These are listed more or less in order of release but I probably screwed up one or two dates. Also I’m the last person who listens to actual albums, right? These should probably just be singles you saw on Snapchat or whatever. I don’t know what to tell you except I liked these records and maybe you will too, enjoy.

“In a weird way it enhances the sex, because it’s not about necessarily losing yourself as it is about being focused on what’s happening, and being aware of what the other person is experiencing, and what you’re experiencing. Which is not to say you get all rational, either, or you step back like, Oh, I’m going to be Mr. Safety now.
Three Men Talk About Rough Sex With Women#

Nice Man Chastises Mean Man

wopfightIn one of the great self-pitying speeches towards the end of the show’s run, Tony Soprano, ruminating over the decline in his relationship with nephew/protege Christopher Moltisanti, whined, “All those memories are for what? All I am to him is some asshole bully.” The parallels are not exact—Tony Soprano is an infinitely more sympathetic character than Andrew Cuomo—but you wonder if, even for a second, that same kind of response emerged from the governor of New York in the wake of comments from his former protege, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, describing Cuomo as a bitter, vindictive prick who is more interested in revenge than he is in helping people in town. For those of us who have feared that, rather than craftily allowing himself to appear as an amiable dunce in an attempt to do liberalism by stealth, de Blasio actually is just a big fucking dummy who means well but couldn’t tie his shoes without asking for four different perspectives on whether you put the left lace over the right or the other way around, it’s a pleasure to see him finally stand up for himself, whether or not it will have a negative effect on how the governor treats the city from now on. (What’s Cuomo going to do, fuck New York over worse? He’s boxed out from running for president and if he wants a third term he’s not going to get it on votes from Utica and Plattsburgh alone.) Maybe it’s even possible that Cuomo will develop a new respect for de Blasio for showing enough spine to—hahahah just kidding, it’s good to have a laugh as everything falls to shit and giant glass boxes where the world’s wealthiest scumbags can park their money in case things go bad at home continue to rise all around us. In the meantime we might as well enjoy the spectacle of two grown men bitching about each other through the press while the city is once again run by a man from Boston.

Kendrick Lamar, "Alright"


There is nothing I could possibly say here except “enjoy,” so I’ll leave it at that because you have hopefully clicked play already.

New York City, June 29, 2015

weather review sky 062915★★★★★ Glowing-edged blue gaps in the clouds let the sun come and go. It was cool out, blessedly cool, cool enough for the three-year-old to stick to his plan to wear his knit winter hat with the Batman ears, all the way past Columbus. A treacherous wet spot slid out from under a sneaker heel on the downslope to the soccer encampment. A woman in the Park was talking loudly and with grief on the phone about needing money. A robin with its breast not fully reddened flushed from beside a puddle and launched itself across the park roadway, inches from the bumper fairing of a passing taxi. The narrow vertical sets among the Time Warner Center windows captured details of the clouds in triplicate. Crushed and twisted umbrella wreckage, completely dry, lay in a crosswalk. A woman in the subway entrance was talking loudly and with fervor about Jesus. The coolness held downtown. Up on the roof, a fly lay drowned atop a bowl of salsa dregs and rainwater. In the late-day streets were light and birdsong and the clink of cutlery. Now the clouds were single and widely spaced. Everywhere were paper shopping bags, brand-labeled and open-topped in the air, the people stimulated to commerce. The sun went down with no chromatic fuss, clean and tranquil, nothing to add to its accomplishments. In the bath, the three-year-old recounted how a butterfly had landed on his brother’s head when they were on the grass roof. Cross-checking the story revealed that the head was the shoulder, but the butterfly was an accurately described red admiral. The conjunction of Venus and Jupiter shone in the darkening west. The telescope could pick out a tiny bright speck of a Jovian moon and, at a higher power, the horns of the crescent Venus. To say nothing, between those, of a third, ghost planet, a smudge or other optical artifact of over-enthusiasm.

I created the Isis dildo flag at London Pride to start a dialogue, not get a laugh#