Things to Read
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"I love when you can combine the weird with the functional."

If you can't listen to that amazing Todd Terje/Bryan Ferry cover of Robert Palmer's "Johnny and Mary" without being overcome by a sadness so intense that your heart feels constricted and you need to look away from anyone nearby so they don't see your eyes starting to water up then you are either me or someone just like me, which puts you in a world of tragedy even without having to listen to the song. The rest of you can probably just appreciate the song for what it is. Either way, here's a pretty good interview with Todd Terje that [...]

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Things Are Never Different

"We fancied ourselves renegades, rejecting the path well trodden by the herd, but we were never above accepting the lucre therein. Against a backdrop of buzz words and obscenely expensive launch parties and former IT guys partying like rock stars, we were alternately envious and disgusted, egocentric and self-loathing. We knew lots of people who would get rich for reasons as stupid as registering the right domain name, and people who would go broke for reasons as stupid as getting hired by the wrong company at the wrong time. We stayed late at the office and savored the excitement and tried to feel grateful and [...]

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Fate Tempted

"When I was young, my mother had a feverish conversion and started a church in our living room. I’d always been a tiny bit anxious that I might one day follow suit, hear the calling myself, start roaming the streets, preaching salvation. A committed but fearful agnostic, I’d never intended to tempt fate by visiting the Holy Land." —Awl pal Maud Newton tempts fate by visiting the Holy Land.

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Absurdity Appreciated

"The modern-day cocktail renaissance has influenced many businesses beyond bars (start-up syrup companies, vintage cocktail book reprinters, bar tool makers, etc.), but the specialty cocktail ice industry must be one of the most wonderfully absurd."

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Here Is Another Reason Why Everything Sucks

"Most of our second- (or third-) generation success stories refuse to allow themselves to believe that they haven’t earned everything they’ve got — even Mitt Romney indulges in the fantasy of being a self-made man. In fact, Bellow’s formulation seems precisely backward: The age of the Brahmins was also the age of noblesse oblige. This is the age of Luke Russert. (And Ronan Farrow, WORLD’S MOST ACCOMPLISHED MILLENNIAL.) This insistence on merit — the successful person’s fantasy of earning what you got by out-working people from less privileged backgrounds — defines our unequal era of naked, unabashed favoritism. That comforting fiction is basically why it’s been difficult to [...]

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Finance Justified

"[New York Times financial reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin] is something of a prototype of how industry reporters have evolved into digital entrepreneurs," says Alex Pareene. Then he says some other stuff about him which is a little less flattering.

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How Your Antibodies Get Made

"Goat No. 11765 spent the last few days of her life foraging on a hillside near Shandon, a pretty town on the central coast of California. On the morning of May 2, 2012, she was placed in a truck and moved to a pen for goats in poor health. A few hours later, a Department of Agriculture inspector watched her struggle in the afternoon heat and, before the accompanying veterinarian could put her down, the goat died." —I am not going to pretend that this in an upbeat piece that will make you feel better about life, but so few of them are anyway that you may as well go [...]

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Karl Ove Knausgaard, Part Three

With the latest volume of Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle appearing in English soon, a flurry of Karl Ove Knausgaard coverage is bound to accompany it. As a big Karl Ove Knausgaard fan, I approve.

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State Corrupt

This is actually a surprisingly comprehensive look at the state of play in New Jersey. If you are someone who doesn't know much of this already it is the kind of thing that you should read with the pleasant awareness that you won't need to read anything else on the topic because you've put in enough work with this one.

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Book Cheap

I probably should have told you about this earlier but things have been CRAZY lately oh my God you wouldn't even believe it but I won't get into it because I think we both know how tedious other people's protestations of how frantic they have been can be—not to mention how insulting, because, what, you don't have a life? You're not busy too?—so I will just say that today is the last day to get Bohumil Hrabal's Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age at half off, which if you have not read the book you absolutely should do.

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Books Similar

What do Harriet the Spy and To Kill a Mockingbird have in common? The answer may surprise you.

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South By Southwest Interactive: So Many Memories

"I went to do a panel. It must have been entertainment related. I was very involved in early music on the web. I was part of the team at Apple that helped do the earliest webcasting. The guy who picked me up at the airport was incredibly drunk. I was like, 'I need to get out of this car.' We went right to the opening event. I looked for the safest-looking person in the room, walked up to him and said, 'I need you to give me a lift back. I can't get in the car with this person.' That guy and I are still good friends to this day. [...]

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Internet Fucked

"Here’s a simple truth: the internet has radically changed the world. Over the course of the past 20 years, the idea of networking all the world’s computers has gone from a research science pipe dream to a necessary condition of economic and social development, from government and university labs to kitchen tables and city streets. We are all travelers now, desperate souls searching for a signal to connect us all. It is awesome. And we’re fucking everything up."

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Some People Were Hating Silicon Valley Before It Was Cool

"2013 may be the year San Francisco turned on Silicon Valley and may be the year the world did too."

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Tom Lehrer, American Hero

"In the recent history of American music, there’s no figure parallel to [Tom] Lehrer in his effortless ascent to fame, his trajectory into the heart of the culture — and then his quiet, amiable, inexplicable departure. During his golden decade, he appeared on The Tonight Show twice, drew a denunciation in Time magazine, and by the early 1960s, seemed poised for a lasting place on an American cultural scene that itself was undergoing a radical upheaval. Then Lehrer simply stopped performing. His entire body of work topped out at 37 songs. He bounced around Cambridge, never quite finishing his doctorate on the [...]

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A Book For The Leonard Cohen Fan In Your Life

"The older I get, the surer I am that I’m not running the show," said Leonard Cohen a few years back and it is something that resonates with me for all sorts of reasons, but especially because it is so difficult to deny. You will not find that particular quote in Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen: Interviews and Encounters but you will find so many other that are just as good that it would be silly for you not to own a copy. If we have to grow old—and if you know of an easy alternative please do not keep it to yourself—it is nice to [...]

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Live Bear Show

"I live in Anchorage, two hours from McNeil as the floatplane flies, and suffer from a fear so extreme and yet so common here it has earned its own nickname: Bearanoia, a condition in which one’s time outdoors is accompanied by a lingering assumption that every sound in the brush signals an approaching bear with a premeditated plan to drag one off for a good mauling."

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Website New

Do people still have media diets? If you do, here is a new thing on the Internet that you should add to your media diet. It is about the outdoors and the environment, but not in the preachy, annoying way which characterizes so much of that discussion and causes even the most ardent conservationist to dream of a world that has been entirely plowed under, paved over and fracked like there is no tomorrow. You won't find that here! Plus, they've got a very amateur logo, which means they are sincere in the best kind of way.

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Writers No One Reads

Between 1918 and 1928, Alexander Vasilievich Chayanov (1888-1937) wrote and published (at his own expense) five short Gothic-fantastic tales in separate volumes with print runs of no more than 300 copies, mostly under the whimsical pseudonym “Botanist X.” In his lifetime and until the 1990s, Chayanov was better known as an expert in agricultural economics, particularly peasant labor – and his objections to Stalin’s program of forced collectivization caused his arrest in 1930, exile from Moscow to Kazakhstan, and eventual execution.

Have you read Alexander Chayanov? Me neither! He is among the variety of things you may discover at Writers No One Reads Dot Tumblr Dot Com.

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Books We Like: "Young Money"

Kevin Roose's Young Money, in which he spend a couple years with the bright young things from fancy schools who end up populating the analyst desks at Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs and the other sad and storied firms of Wall Street, is out today, and you may enjoy it! It is a tale of millennials wrestling with greed, sexism, stupidity, New York City, expectation, dumb-ass bosses, the rising lure of Silicon Valley, privilege and the meaning of life. Like all books, you can find it at Amazon, McNally Jackson, B&N, a bookstore near you. This is not a sponsored message, this is just [...]