A Poem by Joyelle McSweeney


run it again
double the charge
what’s the damage
sign for it
the universe wheels around in its dishevelment
like an afternoon drunk
rolls a wild eye which is a loophole
everything crawls out or goes in after it
this endtime’s gonna last awhile
a cartoon toucan flies through the chemo suite
dripping sugar loops from its beak
it’s on life support, on repeat
its ink flows antigravitational
flinks from its flank
both a ballpoint pen and a butane lighter
also useful for tracheostomy
an astronaut writes a cheque
a digital door swings open
debt falls out like breasts from the cargo bay

Miguel, "Coffee"

SURPRISE, a Miguel EP materialized, without warning, at some point in the early hours of the morning. It is excellent; my favorite song is embedded above, and the whole thing is streaming here.

"The Fall"

New York City, December 17, 2014

weather review sky 121714★★★★ Puffy white-and-gray clouds were gathering in the west and moving eastward against a gentle blue sky. The sun shone up Broadway onto the taxis and the taxi-colored cases of the crosswalk signals. It was possible to remember that the steel drum playing “O Come, All Ye Faithful” was capable of signifying the tropics and not merely the subway platform. Overhead, downtown, the clouds bridged the rooftops; off above Lower Manhattan they were dense, with an intense glow seeping between them. Red roses and other spilled garbage lay crushed in the gutter. The breeze put a gentle chill on the jaw hinge and earlobes. There couldn’t be a whole day’s worth of this, and there wasn’t: the clouds closed over the afternoon, shutting the light off even earlier than early. The cold after dark had a pinch to it, leaving fingers and thumb tips feeling raw.

The Internet's Wine

Snobbery may be nearly dead: The Brandenburgs are big on YouTube; ballet sells undershirts; and winemaking has been crowdsourced. “There’s no right or wrong way to transform a bucket full of grapes into wine,” Juan Muñoz Oca, the head winemaker at Columbia Crest, a Washington-state vineyard, told me the other night. “There’s just maybe the way that you would like to see them.”

Muñoz Oca, dressed as the aesthete, wore a sharp black suit, a lavender shirt, and a neatly folded turquoise-and-purple pocket square. At his ankles, a more experimental touch: gray socks with orange and magenta squiggly stripes. “When I get talking and really dive in deep to the nuances of the process, I get geeky, like, in no time,” he said. “And people are, like, ‘I really don’t know what you’re talking about!’” Wine is for sniffers, swirlers, tannin inspectors—people with a nose for detail and the funds to support the burden of discerning taste. Those who run the vineyards are the keepers of mystery, enabling the conceit that acquired knowledge—experience itself, one might say—can be sipped upon and make you tipsy with rarefied pleasure. Still: Thomas Jefferson—wine collector, Bordeaux admirer, American president though he may have been—failed to produce Cabernet at Monticello; the feet-crushers have long persisted. So Muñoz Oca decided to share the mantle with anybody who’s got an Internet connection and an opinion: CrowdsourcedCabernet.com is a vote-for-your-vino system that, starting in August, began to call upon the masses to dabble in the domain of the genteel.

Unlock a New App Experience on Your Windows Devices

Brought to you by Windows Store.

Windows Store gives you access to tons of gaming, lifestyle, entertainment and social apps. With so many to choose from, you are sure to find some gems. Here’s a handful of the coolest to get you started:

Facebook: Stay connected with friends, family, coworkers and more

Instagram: Capture and share your favorite moments with friends and family

Fitbit: Track your fitness activity, exercise, food, weight and sleep to stay motivated

WhatsApp: Keep in touch with friends for free! Use the same internet data plan you use for email and web browsing to send messages, video and audio to those closest to you

Vine: Shoot, import, edit and share videos for your friends and family to see

Candy Crush Saga: Make your way through hundreds of levels on a sweet adventure through the Candy Kingdom

Songza: Play the right music for any situation

Even more, apps run smarter on Windows, up to four at a time and side-by-side on the same screen to get more done. Don’t wait, discover and download thousands of apps for phones, tablets and PCs by visiting Windows Store at microsoft.com/windowsapps

The Selfie Aesthetic

Kate Durbin's "HELLO, SELFIE!" Performance Project

Kate Durbin, the Los Angeles-based artist, first came to my attention when I discovered The Teen-Girl Tumblr Aesthetic. Co-authored with Alicia Elar, the article focused on the contemporary adolescent female aesthetic and experience, the adult re-appropriation of said aesthetic, and the hazy lines between IRL, URL, and performance. As a woman barely out of my teenage years, it was SO EXCITING to read a serious, critical analysis of a female-centric online aesthetic that is often ignored for being too feminine.

Recent projects like Women as Objects and Girls, Online, curated collections of female-identifying Tumblr posts, show the Teen-Girl Tumblr Aesthetic in practice as well as theory. The images she pulls from the popular microblogging site are collected to show, as Durbin writes, that “the art ‘object’ extends to the bodies of girls both on and off-line.”

In the same way she validates the lives of teenage girls, Durbin probes pop culture icons to discover their humanity. Durbin is the founder of Gaga Stigmata: Critical Writings and Art About Lady Gaga, an online journal about the “meta-pop star”. She has also published two books, The Ravenous Audience and E! Entertainment, the latter of which is a meticulously transcribed and dissected examination of reality television, such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians and The Hills.

The themes from Durbin’s various works coalesced in her most recent performance piece, Hello, Selfie! The first iteration of the performance occurred in Los Angeles in July, the second in Manhattan’s Union Square in October, and the third was just performed at this year’s Art Basel. Durbin’s piece consists of a group of young women who take selfies for exactly one hour. The women do not interact with their IRL audience; instead, their selfies are uploaded to various social media sites in real time.

When I called Durbin, I was at work on a larger project about Hannah Wilke, an artist who was often criticized for using her own naked body as part of her works. Selfies and other images by women, of women, are critically considered Narcissus’ reflecting pool, a slippery slope into vanity. But for Durbin and I selfies are a tool of empowerment. During our conversation, we talked about owning your own images, the ways Los Angeles is like the Internet, and the selfies we choose to see.

The layoffs of twenty people earlier this week by the New York Times leave the paper without a single black reporter in its Culture section.#

9 Things From The 90s That Should Be Made Into Emojis

From plastic see-through phones to J.T.’s bleached head of hair, the 90s is a colorful decade full of awesome (and terrible) ideas that’d provide the perfect inspo board for the next batch of Emojis. Check out some proposed ideas below for Emojis based on the best decade EVER that will make you realize just how weak your Emoji game truly is without these tiny little cartoons at your disposal.

Brought to you by VH1’s Hindsight.

1. Michelle Tanner from ‘Full House’

Her little OMG face is just adorbs (you know, the same OMG face with both hands on face that Kevin from Home Alone mastered as well) and everything you need in your Emoji portfolio right now for all those OH MY GOSH moments in your life.
2. A Lisa Frank unicorn

Move over, ordinary pig, cat and dog – a Lisa Frank unicorn would just shut down the use of any other animal Emoji with its rainbow color palette alone. There’s a reason why only carried our art creations from Kindergarten in Lisa Frank folders.
3. Tamagotchi

We mean… why wouldn’t you want a Tamagotchi Emoji? It’s only the best toy of the 90s and think of how great it would be to share the joy of a Tamagotchi over text.

The Best Shortreads Of 2014

002qI used to have misgivings about year-end lists, finding them somewhat self-aggrandizing and maybe even a little desperate, particularly in cases where publications resurfaced their own previous work as if it were some special secret that your having missed upon its original appearance resulted in your becoming desperately deficient in cultural cachet. That said, what with the ever-increasing abundance of content on the Internet in our wonderful data-driven era there is a convincing case to be made that readers are unlikely to have seen the things that might be meaningful to them over the course of the day, or month, or year. Still, everyone seems to focus on the more extensive selections from their output. What about the less verbose efforts? Those tiny essays that say so much in so few words? They deserve even more acknowledgment, don’t they? They almost certainly do. In that spirit and without any further explanation I would like to direct you to a collection of the finest shortform essays we published this year on The Awl. Savor them slowly. Who knows when brilliance like this might come along again?