In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, volunteers have spontaneously organized to help the many, many people whose homes were destroyed or damaged by the storm. Many displaced or electricity-lacking NYC residents are still in need of hot meals. Occupy Sandy has been coordinating deliveries and making some food at their hubs in Brooklyn, but a lot of the food they're distributing is coming from various kitchens in churches and schools and even homes, and some of those volunteers are also finding ways to deliver the food themselves. (Here's what's happening and where to help for Thanksgiving.)
This outpouring of community support gives me a schizoid blend of alternately [...]
Starting today on Awl Music: "Gossip," a playlist by Emily Gould, that'll be unrolled throughout the week. (You can follow along on Tumblr and Twitter too for when new videos go up, if you like.)
"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about," said Oscar Wilde, who never had the opportunity to Twitter-search himself. Gossip is an enduring theme of pop music: being talked about, whispering behind someone's back, admonishing listeners not to believe the rumors, feeling apologetic about having let slip something you shouldn't have ("sweetness, I was only joking"), or feeling peeved because someone else did ("you had to [...]
I've actively avoided reading a lot of the recent news articles and blog posts about the spate of controversies, both trumped-up and real, that have lately befallen the yoga industry. By actively I mean: people send me links to these and I refuse to read them. This is part of a self-awareness practice rooted in Sutra 2.16, which is usually translated along these lines: "The suffering which is yet to come may be avoided." Of all 196 this is probably the Sutra I think about most often. Are you getting the sense yet that, when it comes to yoga, I'm not exactly an unbiased outside observer?
"A new law is threatening to cut short the purrs of delight, which don't just come from the pets each night." A new curfew law threatens Tokyo cat cafes. We'll stay on this important news story as it develops!!!
Getting into a PhD program, getting a prestigious residency, getting a book deal, getting married, getting a raise — these things happen. (YAY! GOOD JOB!) But so often, it seems, they happen to people who have no idea how to judge who's an appropriate audience for their understandable joy. The Internet has made it harder to figure out how and with whom to share, we've heard. But one thing even otherwise clever people with otherwise good judgment seem not to have figured out is how not to be obnoxious when their lil' cups overfloweth. So let's talk about it, and figure out handy rules that will help eliminate the [...]
Yesterday VIDA, an organization devoting to promoting women in the literary arts, released its annual slideshow of pie charts representing the proportion of female to male publication in literary journals and book reviews, including The Atlantic, Granta, Harper's, the LRB, the NYRB, the New Yorker, the Paris Review and the Nation. It was not remotely news to anyone that far more men than women write for these publications. Reactions were varied, and ranged from knee-jerk to profound. Some men piously proclaimed that their publications needed to do better; some women found the idea that women need affirmative action to succeed "offensive." Some people interpreted this data [...]
So everyone grew up watching the 1983 film of Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta The Pirates of Penzance repeatedly, and had their budding brains shaped by it, and gets its songs stuck in their heads on a scarily regular basis, right? Thought so! If not, it is on YouTube in its entirety and Leap Day is a major plot point (something something, the protagonist must do something by age 20, but he was born on Leap Day so he's actually only five, see above). It stars Angela Lansbury and Linda Ronstadt in addition to Kevin Kline at the peak of his ridiculous oddball hotness. Seriously, give me 1983 Kevin Kline [...]
This adorable hack takes people's tweets and puts them onto their pics, so they look cuter when you post them on your Tumblr.
Jonathan Franzen is in my estimation America's best living novelist (OKAY?) and a substantial number of people get upset whenever he writes or says basically anything. It's interesting to ask why! In part it's because his ideas about novels and what people respond to in them are provocative and controversial, and sometimes, as in his recent essay about Edith Wharton, he projects his own responses onto "us" in a way that can be irritating, if we disagree with him. Our opinion about his writing is also affected by of how rich he is and his gender and what he looks like, and that's very hard to talk about. But [...]
When people ask me what I do for a living, I am going to just start saying "I look at Twitter" because honestly that is what I spend 90% of my "writing" workdays doing. Here are some of the strangers who make this lifestyle so rewarding.