It took me a couple of listens to Ludovico Einaudi’s Taranta Project to really get into it, but I stuck with it and I’m glad I did. You will, of course, have a different level of appreciation and/or commitment, but that’s what makes it such an interesting and diverse world, don’t you think? Anyway, if you’re not a fan of Einaudi’s usual neo-classical approach be assured that this is very different. I won’t say much more so you can come to it fresh and, hopefully, enjoy.
“Congestion could someday plague the information superhighway, thanks to all the Netflix we’ve been watching. There’s only so much information that can pass through internet cables at any one time, and we’re starting to edge towards that limit.”#
★★★★★ A chatter of machinery, punctuated by a truck-horn blast, came in with the cool fresh air. A distinct stripe of tan separated the green on the Jersey bank from the water of the Hudson. The leaves on the shrubbery were shiny and the sun was almost hot where it landed directly. A girl scootered by wearing a paper crown over a pink helmet that had built-in kitten ears sticking out. Long rolling whitecaps moved up the river. Inland, on the Lincoln Center plaza, little ripples ran across the black pool. Shadows and reflections went back and forth across the ramp outside Alice Tully Hall. The concrete seats extending above the sidewalk were warm to rest on and the light was warm on the face. The bright towers of Broadway swelled and flexed in the windshield of a passing bus. A policeman rested his forearm on the sill of his open prowl-car window, a small cigar smoldering in his hand. A housefly kept vanishing whenever the flyswatter came to hand, then finally letting itself get caught by a straight downward smash as it hunkered over a crumb, a cartoon of a fly and a flyswatting.
Taking the late night talk show on the road to another city is generally a pretty safe bet for comedy. You get to perform in front of a different live audience that’s particularly hungry for what you’re dishing out, you’re in a new locale that opens you up to new sources for jokes, and you’re able to inject a little something new into your formula. Late Night with David Letterman picked up this ball pretty early on, doing shows in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Chicago throughout its run. On November 26, 1985, the show opened a little differently. NBC president Grant Tinker sat behind a desk, addressing the viewers at home. “Last May I sent Late Night to California. Some people…said it would cheapen the show. I said ‘Hard cheese! I’m Grant Tinker! I get whatever I want!’ …Those who doubted me, well… they don’t work here anymore. So tonight, I’m sending Tom and the gang to the land of the Rising Sun.” And so Tom (henceforth referred to in this article by his actual name, Dave) and the rest of Late Night did just that. They filled up a Japanese talk show set with Asian fans, brought out a translator, and entertained a crowd across the sea.
Except… the set looked an awful lot like Dave’s regular one in New York, except for the paper lanterns and umbrellas hanging up. And the view behind Dave’s desk kind of looks like they’re showing footage of a busy Tokyo street on a green screen. And for some reason Kenny Rogers was also in Tokyo and available for booking. And whenever Dave mentions the fact that they’re in Tokyo the translator laughs at the idea. But I’m sure they couldn’t say it if it weren’t true.
“Only one-third (34 percent) of Americans age 18 to 35 say that they’re a ‘millennial,’ according to PRRI’s millennial report, while the remaining 66 percent say that the term doesn’t describe them well.”#
Geniuses is a series where we interview geniuses from all walks of life. For our first installment of Geniuses, we’re talking to Twitter sensation and sad girl @sosadtoday.
Do you consider yourself a genius?
When I see the word ‘genius’, what first comes to mind is the word ‘tortured.’ Someone who is ahead of his or her time, or operating in a different dimension, and this dimension is painful or difficult as a result. Like, I see Van Gogh alone in his room and the room is spinning and he’s like ‘help!’ I don’t want to say that you have to suffer to be a genius, but that’s what comes to mind. But I guess people who are good at reality are also geniuses. I don’t think I’m a genius. I think I’m verbally gifted. Do you think I’m a genius?
I do think you’re a genius. I don’t think every genius is tortured but I like your definition. When did you first notice you were verbally gifted and what did you to hone that ‘gift’?
A teacher in elementary school saw how uncomfortable I was in my body and in reality. She saw potential in my writing, so she gave me a special blank book in which to put everything I wrote. It was a hardcover book and it made me feel special. Ever since then, the act of writing down words, and then sharing some of them, has helped me feel a little less uncomfortable. Or at least, it makes me feel like the discomfort isn’t its own end. It can be transformed into something beautiful or funny. Later in life my mom told me that my childhood verbal IQ test came back very high. But I think the other part of my IQ was normcore.
“For the callow reader, who might not have minded some repetitious bawdiness in a movie review, who enjoys nonfiction that reads like a novel, who has indulged in New Age metaphysics, who suffers white guilt or black anger, who fails to crosscheck the long, verbatim transcripts: It is not for such a reader to be disappointed in Adler; she has already expressed her disappointment in us.”#
Even false creation stories become true in time. First there was Adam and Eve, and now there’s Western misogyny. First there was John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, and now tuna melts. Even the tamest packaged loaf owes its ancestral rise to wild yeast.
Is a tuna melt even a sandwich? That depends on whether you demand that a sandwich consist of two bread slices with an interior filling, and whether the person broiling your fish leaves it open-faced. Open-faced sandwiches, of course, are inconvenient. The Danes eat their smørrebrød (meaning, roughly, buttered bread) with a fork and knife, thus negating the efficiency of the sandwich altogether.
I’m ahead of myself: Is a sandwich efficient? John Montagu’s was, apocryphally so—just meat between slices of bread, brought to him so he wouldn’t have to leave the gambling table for a meal. Remember, though, that John was an earl, and this was his leisure time. The sandwich wasn’t something that helped him clock in sooner at an hourly job. How did it get that way? How much were the servants being paid, the ones who slapped together a dry sandwich, newly christened, for the earl. Was he the earl, also, of sandwiches? If we go by his definition, that which faces open is no sandwich at all; not serving its purpose, not eaten by him.
Here’s a theory.
It’s shocking how quickly the world got used to Makonnen’s voice, which was jarring and novel on “Tuesday” but which sounds, here, not just comfortable but almost obvious. Charisma: it has a sound.
You know what I’m really into? That new Stealing Sheep record. Have you heard of it? It’s pretty great. Here is another opportunity for you to enjoy the band, in a live session at the BBC. Skip ahead to the three minute mark if introductory chatter is something that sets you off, but be warned there is some chatter in between the tunes. (I find it delightful, but you have surely heard the maxim respecting mileage, so maybe just take that time to appreciate the accents.) Enjoy.