"Internet comments have long been a conundrum. Like communism, they’re great on paper but not so much in practice. Done right, publishing comments can drive discussion and increase reader engagement. But more often than not, publishers have seen their comment sections devolve into a free-for-all in which decorum and even social norms are tossed aside in the name of some grievance, real or perceived. That’s why a small but growing number of publishers are turning their backs on the entire notion of Internet comments." —Quick question: How do you feel about Internet comments? Do you still leave them? Do you even read [...]
"Marty himself has been something of a hipster template for a while now: the double denim, the checked shirt, the high-tops. If only Marty had arrived in east London 2014 as opposed to Hill Valley 1955 (and, later, 2015 and 1885), he would have fit right in and instantly sparked a sleeveless parka revival…. Lorraine Baines (later McFly, then Tannen) has, waist up, a proper Alexa Chung look going on, with her Peter Pan collars and demure little jumpers. Biff Tannen's sports jackets are definitely in style this season, for men and women, while George McFly's thick-rimmed glasses have been a fashion staple for absolute yonks now (ie about five [...]
"I didn’t leave the house for almost five months. And then I got pneumonia. With my pneumonia and my mother’s death, I watched the entire first season of Game of Thrones. That certainly took my mind off everything…. I would love to write some music for the show. I’ve written a bunch of poetry about it — one for each of the characters." —After a certain point you need to stop fighting it and just admit that you are charmed by Stevie Nicks. [...]
"Like physical pain, which each individual is asked to assess on their own scale of one to ten, how much hurt you have received and how devastating it has been for you is too subjective to bear much comparison. I try not even to imagine the possibility of spending a crazed lifetime not just debating the one and ten of both kinds of pain against others’ assessments, but forever redefining the four, five and six. Whatever hurts you hurts, and however damaged you’ve been is how damaged you are."
"Kate is perceived to be more ‘one of us’ than other pop/rock figures, one of the extended family. There’s a feeling that she’s ‘stayed the same’, that success ‘hasn’t spoiled her’. She’s someone you might have known at sixth-form college, or at your Saturday job (the artier kind, obviously: knick-knack stall at the local market); but definitely a scream down the pub, with her packet of Silk Cut and pint of proper scrumpy. At the same time, people are drawn to her peacock’s-tail otherness, the slightly recherché taste for odd bods like Ouspensky, Gurdjieff and Wilhelm Reich. She has the soul of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but the robust [...]
"America has its own way of confronting unfathomable horrors: It makes them comprehensible by transforming them into porn. We have poverty porn, disaster porn and, in the ultimate American reconciliation of the sublime, weather porn. We seem to get off on destruction as a visual experience, removed from participation and consequence. Pornography has long been seen as prurient but inevitable, and, in the Internet era, so ubiquitous as to be banal. Now apparently pain is, too. In the era of disaster porn, watching people suffer provokes the same sly admission of guilt as watching people have sex."
"'The Pretty One' is intermittently charming, occasionally touching and entirely lacking in credibility. The script, in which self-consciously playful banter gives way to sudden floods of loud feeling, might have worked better as a string of emoji."
"During the holiday season, my matron’s bellicose gaze often searches wearily for the Hallmark Channel. Because of this, I know all about magic. I know it answers a child’s wish, brings unlikely couples together and turns the bitter toy store owner’s humbug into a carol. But seriously, what is Santa’s source of power? Goodness? Heaven? Does he bugger dour Blitzen in a Lucifer-raising ceremony? If the First Law of Thermodynamics simply does not apply when it comes to the North Pole — [...]
"If he could get treatment for his addiction to alliteration and stop using phrases like 'for you and I', this prodigiously talented 'small boy of 52', as he described himself two years ago, could walk away with the Booker prize." —Terry Eagleton likes Morrissey.
"Like most reasonable people, I have since adolescence felt a bit funny when confronted by large quantities of stationery, be this in a retail environment or that holy grail of regular employment, the office stationery cupboard."
Listen up, there are plenty of reasons to be irritated by the data supremacists of our age, so don't read this unless you want to find yourself sympathizing with them.
"It’s no secret that New York is having a bit of an identity crisis these days. Wall Street lost its swagger during the crash and hasn’t gotten it back despite the market’s broader recovery. Big banks are adding employees in Bangalore and Salt Lake City while cutting them in Manhattan. New York City’s budget wonks expect the city to add only 67,000 jobs this year, a sluggish number that faster-growing cities like Denver and Austin will look upon with pity. The city’s culture seems to be changing, too: Greenpoint and 'normcore' are in, stilettos and pinstripes are [...]
"The true subversion of The Lego Movie is its subversion of mindless anticapitalist showbiz liberals."
Have you heard of the Voynich Manuscript? Otherwise known as the best manuscript-based mystery in the entire world? If you haven't, read the Wikipedia page, which in its own right is a stellar #longread, but if you want a #shortread, okay, here it is, so you can beef up before learning about the newest plot twist in this mystery.
"The problem with the Hatchet Job of the Year Award isn’t just that it publicizes and rewards mediocre and shallow criticism by the kind of people who’ll shoot a baboon point-blank in the tits for their own amusement. It’s that it actively promotes such criticism, going out of its way to ensure that more of it gets written."