Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
3

All The New Yorker Story Roundups You Should Read While The Stories Are Still Unlocked, As Well As All The New Yorker Stories They Link To

Featured Collection: Profiles, New Yorker

"Isadora," January 10, 1927

"Secrets of the Magus," April 5, 1993

"Covering the Cops," February 17, 1986

"Two Heads," February 12, 2007

"The Man Who Walks on Air," April 5, 1999

"Delta Nights," June 5, 2000

Love Stories, by Deborah Treisman, New Yorker

"What Is Remembered," Alice Munro, February 19, 2001

"The Love of My Life," T. C. Boyle, March 6, 2000

"Reverting to a Wild State," Justin Torres, August 1, 2011

"Jon," George Saunders, January 27, 2013

"The Surrogate," Tessa Hadley, September 15, 2003

"Clara," Roberto Bolaño, August 4, 2008

The New Yorker Opened Its Archive — Here's Where To Start, by the Digg Staff

Regrets Only by Louis Menand

A Pickpocket's Tale by Adam Green

The Apostate by Lawrence Wright

Life At The Top by Adam Higginbotham

Being A Times Square Elmo by Jonathan Blitzer

An S.O.S. In A Saks Bag by Emily Greenhouse

The Chameleon by David Grann

READ MORE

---
0

New York City, July 22, 2014

★ It was still cool in the morning, though with an undercurrent of dread at where the humidity might be taking things. At the far end of the West Fourth basketball court, a lone figure shot free throws. The oncoming sun, clearing the buildings, found haze on the air and greenish dust on the parked cars. A pale scrap of a butterfly, with black-tipped wings, bobbed out over the sidewalk and into a fenced-off bed of weeds. Cornering out of the shade of Broadway into Houston was like stepping into a sluggish river and beginning to wade upstream. But the struggle passed. Midday approached and the sky showed brown around the edges, but it was still comfortable up on the roof. Down on the streets at lunchtime, the shade continued to offer refuge. The Ukrainian church and the firehouse beside it had their doors open, offering a glimpse of the showpieces in their high dim interiors. Elderly shoppers paused to marvel at a white Mustang with red-and-white seats, parked with its top down. On through the afternoon, whenever the heat threatened, clouds kept intervening.

---
---
0

Insufferable Parenthetical Asides, Ranked

( . )52. (the saying goes)

51. (well, not strictly)

50. (incidentally)

49. (it’s in the Pacific, somewhere)

48. (which I don’t normally do)

47. (which I’ve finally perfected)

46. (humility is underrated)

45. (consequently)

44. (practically speaking)

43. (if he’d remembered)

42. (as a matter of fact)

41. (which is no excuse)

40. (when they were still of quality)

39. (or was it ramps?)

38. (or so he claims)

37. (just like 1804)

36. (though no one seems to hear me)

35. (whoever still does that)

34. (which I’ve never heard of)

33. (or so it seems)

32. (she meant well) READ MORE

---
31

Ask Polly: I Want to Get Laid But I'm Afraid of Oppressing Women

leeeegendDear Polly,

First of all, let me assure you, I feel like a huge asshole just for asking this, but I've been chewing on this question on and off for more than a year without any real resolution, so I thought I'd turn to you. Here's the deal: I'm wondering whether I'm abusing feminist ideology in order to justify a natural shyness around women and, if so, whether you could find me a new narrative that would help me feel less bad about acknowledging and acting on attractions.

I've always been seriously shy about any aspect of dating, sex, hooking up, whatever. It's not that I have trouble interacting with women—indeed, my female friends greatly outnumber my male friends. I have no problem making friends with women and, in general, I feel I am generally more comfortable in mostly female environments (this probably came from being thirteen and being constantly made fun of by the other boys in my class, as well as growing up with two older sisters). While I'd hesitate to call myself a feminist, mainly due to my concerns about being appropriative, I would say that I have an enduring interest in gender politics that I do my best to express through my actions.

This interest began to manifest after unrequited crush no. 4,523, around my mid-twenties (I'm in early thirties now) when I began to wonder whether the reason I was so unhappy about my lack of meaningful romantic relationships was because of my attitudes towards women. It has, I believe, helped a lot internally: by working to change a lot of my problematic behaviors and mindsets, I'm not nearly as hung up about sex and relationships as I used to be, and overall I do feel like I approach thoughts about women in a much more healthy way than I used to, helping me get out from being the seething ball of bitterness and anxiety that I was when I was younger.

Despite this, however, dating still fills me with dread, and even though I no longer look at my lack of a love life as some sort of scathing indictment of who I am as a human being, I'll admit that I'm still kind of lonely and would like a relationship, or at the very least to get laid more than once or twice a year. However, I seem to not want to do anything about it because I can't help but think that everything that could be done to do so upholds some unhealthy societal norm.

So, for example, when my friends comment that a cute woman has been flirting heavily with me all night, and tell me to go for it, I say that there's no way to tell what she's really thinking and that the last thing any woman needs is to feel like she can't communicate the way she wants to without some entitled creep getting entirely the wrong idea, and that some people are just naturally flirty and we shouldn't assume that that's some sort of indicator for desire, and that if she REALLY liked me that way she would have made it much more clear, and I don't want to assume that any display of friendliness is automatically some attempt to get something going, because that's a real problem in the way men and women interact nowadays. And then I bring up that she has a boyfriend, and I should respect her choice and it's creepy to hit on someone in a relationship as if I know more about what she wants than she does. And my friends go, maybe she wants a new guy, to which I say, “If that were the case then she can say it and make things clear and unambiguous because I'm not going to try and override a decision she made about her own life.” This, incidentally, is the point where one of my friends says, "You're letting your feminism get in the way of your game," which makes me think but, at the same time, I think it would be safer to err on the side of not doing anything to avoid contributing to a toxic environment.

Or, talking to my one sister about a very attractive woman at one of my group activities, she said why not ask her out, and I said that she probably didn't join the group to meet guys and I shouldn't create an atmosphere where she has to worry about being hit on constantly. Besides, I just *know* she doesn't think of me that way (I mean I don't really know for certain, but I generally make the assumption that women aren't interested in me that way, so why bother with someone I think isn't interested?). So I don't want to make her uncomfortable or anything. Or when my sister’s husband asked whether I ever talk to attractive people I see on the subway, and I respond that that's the LAST place anyone wants to talk to a stranger and that women are harassed all the time by people who can't take a hint and I don't want to be one of them because nine times out of ten everyone on a subway, men and women, just want to be left the fuck alone.

Or, last week, I was hanging out with two friends of mine, both female, and one of them began giving me some sort of vibe that involved sitting MUCH closer than necessary, initiating much more physical contact than she had ever before, and also briefly and purposefully stroking my fingers under the blanket. When the other friend left for a bit to walk her dogs, she looked up at me and said she couldn't concentrate on the movie, and I kind of just froze and said that I thought we should watch (stupid, stupid, stupid) and she harumphed and moved across the couch and bundled up her blanket and crossed her arms and acted weird to me the rest of the night. But I've known her for two years and she never had given me any indication that she was interested in the past, and neither of us were at all sober and I don't want to be predatory and take advantage of someone, and she shouldn't have to be concerned that I would try, she should be able to have fun and get fucked up with guy without having to worry that he'll try to fuck her. And how do I know that what I perceived as flirty behavior isn't just all in my head and she didn't mean anything by it? Because that happens, not just to me but to people everywhere. But her reaction made me think I fucked up somehow, and I ALSO don't want her to think I was necessarily rejecting her because she's WAY cute and awesome and smart and principled and if I'd known I was good to go I totally would have gone for it, but I felt the situation was too ambiguous and now I'm worried I made her feel unattractive in that moment, which I know from experience is a terrible thing to feel.

So, things like that. Not helping matters is that the times when I have thought I was good to go, it turns out I had miscalculated, which made me feel awkward and probably made her feel that way too, and so I'm just crappy at trusting my instincts when they're telling me "say you want to kiss her!" because I've been wrong so often in the past and it's felt terrible and I don't want to feel that way.

And so I'm wondering whether all those fancy explanations that I wrap up with deep political meaning are just excuses to justify me not pursuing the relationships I want, like the problems I've always had with sex and dating just went to grad school and came back with an MA in women's studies and philosophy but, at heart, is still the exact same problem. It's the same fear—that there's something fundamentally unlovable about me and if I ever express a desire for someone in any way, they won't like me anymore because how could I even SUGGEST such a thing—except dressed in big words and given some sort of political justification. Like, it's not that I'm shy and need to learn to take some risks, it's that I'm not going to impose myself on someone who just wants to be left alone and live her life and have male friends who don't try to hit on her, because I refuse to be That Guy. They're different mindsets, but it's the same result: I don't bring up the topic of possibly dating people I'm attracted to and decide it's not that bad having a new friend, because, obviously, awesome people don't stop being awesome just because they're not sleeping with me, and I want to have awesome people in my life.

One thing I've been thinking about is that my mindset could be making this assumption of sexlessness on the part of women, as if they don't also have bodies that get horny as well, but I'm not sure if that's really reflective of my thoughts because I acknowledge that women also want to have sex, I just have a very difficult time thinking they want sex with me. And then I've been thinking that it's unfair to expect women to take on all of the risk in romantic interaction by wanting them to make the first move and not responding to anything unless they make their desire abundantly clear, because as a man who was raised with the expectation that I'm the one supposed to do all the asking, that fucking sucks and why do I want to burden women with having to do that. But, on the other hand, it sounds like WAY too convenient an excuse and could just be my mind trying to rationalize the predatory hunter/prey model that has caused so many problems in the first place! We must always police ourselves for bad thoughts, I believe, for the oppressor within can be far more tenacious than the oppressor without, and I wonder whether this is just the inner enemy speaking.

So you can see I've been having a rough time and possibly missing opportunities to find what I want in other people. It's only recently, though, that I've started wondering whether I'm hurting other people by doing this, people who may have actually wanted me but I refused to respond because I didn't think things were clear enough and I didn't want to risk making them feel shitty, which in turn could be making them feel shitty (admittedly, it's the final example that got me wondering this).

Am I overthinking all this? How do you both pursue the relationships you want while still staying true to ideals of gender equality? How can you be more comfortable expressing what you want while not going overboard and becoming an entitled creep? And, finally, should I have kissed that girl in the last example?

Sincerely,

Just a Dude

Dear Just a Dude,

Dude. There's this movie, "Legends of the Fall," that's ostensibly about three brothers, all in love with the same woman (Julia Ormond). But really, the movie is a soft porn bodice-ripper for ladies who saw Brad Pitt in that one small role in "Thelma and Louise" and decided that he was tasty man candy. If that sounds hard to believe, go watch "Thelma and Louise” (Again. You're a male feminist, so I know you've fucking seen it.) and you'll understand why Pitt had a certain undiscovered-fuck-toy appeal back then. He had this weird country-cousin allure that made him exactly the sort of squeaky plaything you wanted to ferret away to a secret corner of the house and chew to tiny little bits. READ MORE

---
---
0

Toward a Theory of Manhattan's Surrender to Brooklyn


Nearby, Nick Krevatas, one of the workers who were to hoist the new 12-by-18-foot red, white and blue flags that arrived in a Transportation Department truck by early afternoon, pulled on an elaborate harness.

"I feel we’ve been tampered with on our soil," he said, a fat cigar clamped in the corner of his mouth. (He was still smoking it as he walked up the suspension cable to the towers.)

His theory?

“Something political, I guess," he mused. "It’s got to mean something."

The supposed mystery of the white flag over the Brooklyn Bridge is itself deeply mystifying: While bleaching the stars-and-stripes to produce an all white flag, rather than replacing it altogether, is impressive, methodologically speaking—as was the use of "large aluminum pans, like those to cook lasagna for a crowd," to cover the lights, according to the Times—the clear meaning is Manhattan's complete and unconditional surrender to Brooklyn.

How it could possibly indicate the reverse? Brooklyn, producer of New York's finest pizza, coffee, television, pickles, thinkpieces, bicycles, tattoos, beer (but not cocktails), and faux mid-century modern furniture, only grows more Manhattan-like by the day, rendering the island borough increasingly unnecessary for city essentials like unfathomable rents, finance bros roving in packs, a "downtown," or even cabs?

---
0

From Night Shift Obit-Writer to Corporate Monkey: An HR Exec Reflects

girls-gq-snack-room

I spend most of my job coaching people on what to do with their careers. You might think this means I have my own life figured out. In reality, my job history shows a lack of focus and intense desire to live in locations that please me. From the mouth of a person who has likely looked at your resume, here is my career history:

Annual Conference Intern, Non Profit in D.C.

I was hired to do all of the logistics planning for the organization’s annual conference in Boston, MA. I found the job on idealist.org because that was back when I still had ideals and didn’t mind being broke. I believe it paid $10 an hour with a monthly metro card. My boyfriend at the time drove me out to D.C. for the summer where I lived in a married couple’s guest bedroom. The job was fairly low stress and my coworkers were nice. One time I won free burritos for the whole office when I dropped my business card in a fish bowl at Chipotle so I like to think that I was their favorite intern of all time. I also got a free trip to Boston out of the deal, where I learned the key lesson that networking is really about a bunch of highly paid people boozing.

I briefly considered staying in Washington D.C. because it’s an amazing city and you make friends at Front Page over pitcher beers and making fun of people who wear their Yale jacket to bars. I sadly left D.C. in favor of returning home to go to graduate school. Somewhere lingering in Dupont Circle is the ghost of the woman I would have been had I stayed.

Lesson learned: Sometimes the city makes the job.  Also, if you are going to live in D.C. for the summer, live somewhere with air conditioning.

*

Obituary Editor, Night Shift

Ah Craigslist, you wanton beast. I was going to graduate school and looking for a gig that could accommodate my erratic student schedule. I found a posting on the old craig'ers for a part time editing position. The job was at a subsidiary of a legitimate newspaper. They had a snack room so I was sold. I worked all kinds of crazy hours, usually starting at 8pm after my evening class. Sometimes I worked onsite and sometimes I worked from home. It’s amazing what kind of people you run into when you live your life like a vampire, waking up at 2pm to start your day. For example, I encountered a crackhead that chased me on the el with a handful of Monopoly money. I fell in love with literally every boy I met at that job because they were all geeky writer/musician types who would crack jokes about punk bands and Russian history. We were allowed to listen to music while we worked and we tried to amuse ourselves with obscure covers of pop songs. When I reflect, these were the best coworkers I’ve ever had and sadly it was the lowest paying job I had in my adult life.

READ MORE

---
0

Low, "I'm on Fire"

Low covers Bruce Springsteen, 30 years later. Here, from the same upcoming tribute, are Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires with a rendition of "Born in the USA." [Via Stereogum]

---
3

Future Foretold

Buried a little too deep in The New Yorker's content mines for the site's recent excavation, but available here, is John Seabrook's legendary 1994 embed with MTV. From the office of the president of the network, Judy McGrath:

From the windows there is an amazing view of lower Manhattan, the Hudson River, and northeastern New Jersey, but the dominant view in McGrath's office is of the television set, and when you go there for a meeting you have to remember to sit so that you, McGrath, and the TV are in the proper relationship to each other. At one of our early meetings, I made the mistake of choosing a seat across from McGrath at the round glass table that she uses as a desk, which gave me the best possible eye contact with her but put the TV behind me. What happened was that McGrath made eye contact with the TV, and I looked over her shoulder and out the window at two of the four faces of the huge clock atop the old Paramount Building, right across Forty-fourth Street, which stopped years ago (one face says 4:35, and the other says 5:50), and which McGrath says serves her as a convenient symbol of her peculiar state of arrested development. During the meeting, I found my body turning almost instinctively away from McGrath and toward the TV, until by the end of our conversation we were deployed in a triangle familiar to anyone who has sat around watching MTV with friends.

Who would have guessed that this odd and stressful physical negotiation, between bodies and screens, would be a constant feature of waking existence just a few years later? Probably plenty of people, in horror books about space. Anyway:

MTV is visual radio; it's something you just have on. This is a fairly easy environment for kids who grew up in the seventies and eighties to adapt to, since the television was on pretty much all day while they were growing up, and the Bradys, the Fonz, and Mr. Kotter were like people they hung out with. But MTV ambience is surprisingly disorienting to people who grew up in the fifties and sixties, maybe because when Dick Van Dyke and Ed Sullivan were on the tube you sat down to watch them as though you were sitting in the audience.

I think about the "MTV ambience," mute music videos playing on some screen in the periphery, and it sounds relaxing. Ruined!

---
---
0

A Night at the Ostrich Races

jtm_ostrich_camel_4Past the array of simulcast screens with hypnotized leather-skinned regulars clutching bettor's tickets like Blackjack hands, and beyond the families seated on long, wooden benches exchanging crumpled dollars for informal wagers, were the chariots. They were enameled and gleaming in candy apple red, cobalt blue and, pearl white. Beyond them were the tiny, darting heads of the ostriches that will pull them to glory.

The Cameltonian and Ostrich Derby is a Meadowlands Racetrack innovation, squeezed in between a few of the night's regular horse races in the hopes of attracting spectators beyond the usual racetrack diehards. The camels and ostriches come from Hedrick’s Exotic Animal Farm in Nickerson, Kansas, a purveyor of dozens of game animals from Africa, Asia and other climates. It doubles as a bed and breakfast. READ MORE

---
0

New York City, July 21, 2014

★ There was a little light in the sky when the artificial voice built into the portable speaker began announcing, loudly and repeatedly, that its battery was dying. There was full daylight when the alarm went off. Despite the promises on the front page of the newspaper, the air was damp, as if it had rolled in with the morning tide and up the island. Children were out wearing camp t-shirts or packing tennis rackets or dressed in dance clothes. Two sparrows had a dogfight in the air over the mouth of the West Fourth Street station steps, sending a feather pinwheeling down and away from them to the sidewalk. In the back room of the bar, the chess tables were still being set up. Further east on Third Street, sheets of sycamore bark lay in the planting beds and on the pavement and draped in the tops of the shrubs. The upper branches were bare waxy yellow. Out of the shade, the sky was full of glare. Clouds covered the midday sun for a moment, then let the shadows fade in again. The sky to the south was yellowish. In the later afternoon, pedestrians on Broadway were sluggish even as a sprightly breeze passed them. The room around the chessboards was still; the chess-campers were lingering somewhere out of doors. They returned at last in their own matching orange shirts, a bright file in the late sun. 

---
2

The Legend of the Legend of Bunko Kelly, the Kidnapping King of Portland

poooortlandia

In the late eighteen hundreds, the port cities of the American West were dangerous nests of sailors, prostitutes, and gangsters—none more so than Portland, Oregon. The most infamous relic of those bad old days are not the wooly beards of its male population, but the Portland Underground, the city’s network of so-called "shanghai tunnels," which tourists today are often told were used to spirit unsuspecting men, perhaps lured by a half-naked prostitute to an establishment where they were drugged and kidnapped, toward their final destination: pressed into service on a ship.

These kidnappers were known as crimps, and the "king of the crimps," according to folk legend, was a man named Joseph Kelly. By his count, some two thousand souls owe their time at sea to him. Kelly spent his early life on the sea as well: In his memoir, he wrote of once being shipwrecked on the island of Madagascar. Rescued from the shipwreck by the natives, Kelly was fed soup. Afterward, he looked into the clay jug that stored the rest of the stew and discovered the right hand of one of his shipmates. When a typhoon struck, he and some other sailors followed the lead of a man described as an old pirate, and escaped from their rescuers; they were promptly picked up by pirates. Fortunately, Kelly and his band managed to lock the pirates in the ship’s belly before heading ashore in India.

In 1879, Kelly got off a ship in Portland. In those days, since sailors weren’t allowed to leave their ships until they reached their final port, many sailors disappeared when they arrived—fleeing for jobs in the local logging industry, for instance. About three-fifths of all sailors who arrived in Astoria or Portland ditched their ships. These desertions were a problem, since captains needed able-bodied men to set sail again. This gave rise to the crimps: If a ship needed to find more men, the captain sent for a crimp, who supplied bodies for up to fifty dollars a head. Kelly took up the trade and became so good at it that Stewart Holbrook, a "rough writer" who specialized in selling local Portland history to the reading public of the East Coast literary establishment, and Kelly’s somewhat besotted biographer, described him as "an artist, for the magnificent imagination he applied to his occupation was nothing short of creative."

According to Holbrook, one October, while looking for seamen for a ship leaving the next morning, Kelley went through his usual stops on skid row—Erickson’s, Blazier’s, the Ivy Green, the Senate—and could not find a single man to press into service on a ship. Standing across the street from a cigar store, about to give up, Kelley noticed a wooden six-foot tall cedar statue Indian state outside; he wrapped the statue in tarpaulin and hauled it onto the ship’s bunk. After discovering the deception, the sailors threw the statue overboard. "Two days later," according to Holbrook, "the Finn salmon fisherman of Astoria, a hundred-odd miles down the Columbia [River] from Portland, were astonished to drag in their nets and find a cedar Indian amid the struggling fish." Kelly earned fifty dollars and the nickname "Bunko," turn-of-the-century slang for a con man.

READ MORE

---
0

Our Attempt at a $20-a-Day Budget

Louder Than WordsHistory
I am a 29-year-old woman, married for four years. I am a playwright, actor, blogger, screenwriter, tutor, and babysitter. My husband is a software engineer. My money-making schedule is varied and inconsistent and sometimes I will just freak out about it—especially now, because I’m pregnant.

If you’re like me, getting pregnant means you immediately start Pinteresting and reading magazines about pregnancy and you start thinking that you need a lot of Things. The baby needs lots of Things and you need to buy them. Your baby needs his own room, his own thoughtfully organized closet, his own bookcase and nightlight and humidifier and small appliances that warm up various items. These things all cost money.

Not only do baby things cost money, but my husband and I recently made a big financial mistake, which required us to take a hard look at our finances. We recently bought a condo. There are a lot of things you have to do as a property-owning adult. One of the things one must do on a yearly basis, in the town we live in, is reapply for a residential tax exemption (ugh so boring. So boring! I know). But listen: I live in a city where enough people rent out their property that the city likes to encourage owner occupancy, which means our local government created what is essentially a property tax discount if you live in your own condo.

We learned this year that we missed the deadline for the residential tax exemption, which means we are at a deficit on our taxes, which means we have to pay an extra $500 (roughly) a month to catch up. I tried to fight it for a while, but it was more trouble than it was worth. It would have involved me having an argument with the bank that handles our mortgage payments, and as a pregnant person, I was not up for that noise. And when I actually crunched the numbers, even with just my husband’s income, not counting anything I might take in for writing for a blog here or there, tutoring pay, and the odd commercial, we should be able to survive and also pay our big tax bill every month. It just requires that we buckle down and be careful with our money. READ MORE

---
5

Everything You Have Needed to Know in 2014 (So Far)

Today, in the Washington Post, Eve Fairbanks asks:

Could "all you need to know" be the most insidious, reductive, and lame story formula currently conquering our reading life? Everywhere you turn there’s another purported ne plus ultra explainer purporting to tell us "absolutely everything we could possibly need to know" about some current event, some curiosity of history, some deep mystery of life on Earth.

Good question! "All you need to know" can be distilled down further to the no-less-demanding formulation of "need to know." It's still just as chiding, just as exhaustive, just as needy, when you consider the full range of its implications: You are required to know what is in this document in order to be a complete human; what is contained herein is Soylent for your brain, the stripped down, crucial bits required for intellectual survival; and all knowledge that exists out of this space about a given topic (or anything, really) is wholly unnecessary. Once the diktat of "necessary knowledge" has been whittled down to its core, the true scope of its permutations can reveal itself in full.

And there are so many things to know. Here is everything (or at least most of the things, since I gave up fourteen pages into the Google search) that you have needed to know in 2014, according to the Washington Post:

July 22
What you need to know about the AFC East

What you need to know about the NFC North

What you need to know about the AFC North

What you need to know about the NFC East READ MORE

---
0

A Smart Girl's Guide To Responding To Pop Stars

We've all been there: You're having a great day, just hangin' out with your friends, enjoying your space, when one of those pesky pop stars shows up thinking he can seduce you with his sexist lyrics and gyrating hips. Sometimes it's so vulgar and obscene you're flabbergasted and stand there, wondering what you should say! Well, wonder no more. Here's a handy guide of appropriate responses and clever come-backs that will banish the know-nothing chauvinists who have somehow weaseled their way onto the radio.

IF HE SAYS: 

Tiesto

YOU SHOULD SAY:

Ok, first of all, not a big deal or anything, but just so you don’t get embarrassed in the future: it’s “LIE in it instead” not “LAY in it instead.” Lay is the past-tense of lie. That’s a common mistake. Don’t be too bummed out about it—language is evolving and everything, I’m just saying.

Now that that’s out of the way: You don’t get to decide how much I have to drink when I hang out with you. I don’t really care how much you “like it better.” I mean, you can go ahead and get wasted all you want, but I gotta warn you, you’re kind of a sloppy drunk. Maybe you think that whole throwing-yourself-on-the-bed-where-I-JUST-folded-my-laundry-while-I’m-getting-you-a-glass-of-water move is sexy, but I don’t know WHY. I’m much more interested in spending my time with people who want to have conversations with me in which they are able to complete sentences and remember topics. Pro tip: sober up, dance like no one’s watching, and then see if you can make an honest connection with another human being, OK?

Also, please fix my laundry. You fucked it up, and I have other stuff to do.

+++
IF HE SAYS:

DERULO

YOU SHOULD SAY:  READ MORE

---
1

History Recorded


Hacked? EPA Office of Water tweets about Kardashian App

EPA tweet about Kim Kardashian confuses and entertains the Internet

Kim Kardashian App Takes Over Environmental Protection Agency's Twitter

EPA Office of Water Is Caught Playing Kim Kardashian Mobile Game

‘That Happened’: The Head-Scratching Tweet From an Official EPA Account That Had Some People ‘Howling’ With Laughter

Kim Kardashian App Takes Over Government Agency's Twitter Account

READ MORE

---
0

Twin Peaks, "I Found A New Way"

A screamy and memorable addition to the under-served "walking around music" genre, from Chicago's Twin Peaks. [Via]

---
0

Thomas Berger, 1924-2014

"More than anything, the paradoxical logic by which Berger unfolds his scenes connects him to Kafka. Too many contemporary writers kowtow to Kafka in mummery: ostentatiously dreamlike settings, Shadows and Fog-ian Eastern European atmosphere or diction. Berger engages with Kafka's influence at a more native and universal level, by grasping the way Kafka reconstructed fictional time and causality to align it with his emotional and philosophical reservations about human life. Berger's tone, like Kafka's, never oversells paranoia or despair, and the results are, actually, never dreamlike. Instead, Berger locates that part of our waking life that unfolds in the manner of Zeno's Paradox, where it is possible only to fall agonizingly short in any effort to be understood, or to do good."
—Jonathan Lethem wrote this about the great Thomas Berger over a decade ago. Berger died earlier this month. This is his most famous book, and it's probably still a good starting point, but this is pretty great too. Also: the rest of them. Berger was 89.

---
0

New York City, July 20, 2014

★ Bubbles drifted west on 68th Street in the sunshine. Wheeled conveyances were everywhere: scooters, bicycles, strollers, a wheeled walker. The two-year-old weaved upstream on his scooter through an oncoming line of them. He rolled expectantly up to the fence of the playground, missing the gate, looking over his shoulder at a pony-sized Parks Department garbage truck. Two games of frisbee were going on in the open schoolyard, and a boy in an Eli Manning jersey was place-kicking a football off a tee into the fence. There was humidity on the air, but still it was cool. After the playground and a long, sunny uphill, hot vapor was rising through the vent holes in the crash helmet. He woke from a nap with his head drenched in sweat, the pillow puddled with it. Down the river, in a bleary haze, a cruise ship was slowly heading off. Toward the day's end, the humidity was gone, the sky cloudless, the air near crispness. It was a little chilly for shorts, though it would have been ludicrous to call that discomfort. The sun was still warm on the nape of the neck, even on the rebound from windows on the far side of Columbus and Broadway. Ugly steel balcony railings looked like smoked glass. Groups had formed discussion circles on the edge of the artificial grove at Lincoln Center; one participant, in a surfeit of abandon, was stretched out prone on the hard pavement. The western sky at dinnertime had one swath of tiny clouds in it, strewn like barely cracked peppercorns. The sun had declined enough now that the two-year-old could no longer object to it shining in his face at the table, though if he fidgeted far enough back in his chair, he could play with his silhouette and complain or marvel that it had no eyes. 

---
4

Selfies from the 9/11 Memorial

selfiesOn a recent afternoon, an older man and woman self-consciously configured themselves in front of the south reflecting pool at the 9/11 Memorial. The man placed his hand on the woman’s hip in an awkward clasp and grinned broadly as another person took their picture with a digital camera. A girl in a Yankees cap took a selfie with her camera phone, the Freedom Tower soaring into the sky behind her, the reflecting pool draining into nothingness. She was smiling. An Ethiopian man asked me to take a photo of him and his family. They wore blank expressions, though the youngest girl with them hammed for the camera with her scooter.

The 9/11 Memorial, officially titled “Reflecting Absence,” is a superlative site. It is the most expensive memorial in America, at a cost of five hundred million dollars (up from a preliminary estimate of a hundred and seventy-five million dollars). The two reflective pools are built in the footprints of the twin towers, and contain the largest man-made waterfalls in the country. The contest for the memorial design yielded more than fifty-two hundred entries from sixty-three countries. Other ideas included towers built from Lego blocks and clocks stopped at 9:11. Michael Arad, an architect from New York, won the project, along with Peter Walter, a landscape architect.

The south reflecting pool of the memorial gets considerably more traffic than the north pool. Panel S-38, at the southeasternmost corner of the south pool, near the memorial’s entrance at Liberty and Greenwich streets, sees a bounty of visitors, probably because it's closest to the entrance. Children climb on it. Families pose for photos. Tired tourists hang their bodies on the marble slab, obscuring the panel’s names—Sebastian Gorki. Hernando R. Salas. Joni Cesta. The memorial, as it stands, often functions more like a tourist rest stop than a place of somber reflection. When I visited on an oppressively hot early July day, visitors dipped their hands into the reflecting pools and poured the water onto their heads and legs to cool off. They leaned on the marble panels with the names of the dead to eat snacks, even though there are no food vendors or trash cans allowed on site. READ MORE

---
0

Weezer, "Back To The Shack"

There is an alleviating simplicity to this song, which goes mostly where you expect it to until Rivers Cuomo starts talking about "rocking out like it's '94" and then suddenly things become quite dark.

---