Posts Tagged: Very Recent History

Fashion Blogging Used To Be About The Fashion, Man

“The thing that was different for the first generation was [most of us] rarely put ourselves on our blogs. The newer generation is all about themselves. What can we get out of this? It’s much, much more about self-promotion. It’s me, me, me. Look at me. Aren’t I cool? Look at this [...]


Albums Return

This somehow blew by me when it was announced back in 2013 (Remember last year? You might not, seeing as 2014 has somehow lasted for the span of three winters so far) but this Tuesday sees the reissue of two of the most unlikely albums to be released by a major label at the end of the '80s. You should buy them.


5000 New York City Pay Phones Transformed Into Time Capsules

Pretty genius. In association with the exhibition at the New Museum, they've installed 5000 New York City pay phones with recorded messages about what was happening around you in 1993. Find a phone, call (855) FOR-1993, and suddenly Robin Byrd and James St. James (girrrlll!) are telling you about the good times.


Drink 'Til You Explode

"The evils of alcohol abuse have long been known and preached against by the more sober-minded, but for a period of about two hundred years imbibers had a particularly dire consequence to fear: that too much drinking would cause them to catch fire and be reduced to a small pile of greasy ash. "


The Ten Most Surprising Vice Presidential Nominations From The Last 52 Years

Mitt Romney is poised to announce his VP nominee any day now, and speculation continues to swirl around his choice. The current favorites—from the media's perspective, at least—are Tim Pawlenty, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan and Rob Portman, but who knows? Presidential nominees have shocked the world with their VP choices more than once in the past, and maybe Romney will choose someone surprising and exciting (probably not). As we wait to see, let's take a look at ten of the more question-mark-worthy picks of recent memory.


'The Dreadful Woman' Who Ruined London's 1948 Olympics

This is a story—a true story—about Olympic highs and lows, triumphant wins and crushing defeats, the old and the new, and my grandmother and a horrible Dutch woman who leapt over her dreams like they were just another hurdle on her path to the gold.

The Olympic Games are coming to London this week, and with them will come crowded airports, crowded subways, crowded streets, and crowded stadiums—most built for the event and covered in corporate sponsor logos (which is better, aesthetically, than that heinous official Olympics logo or the terrifying mascot whose face is just one giant eyeball). British taxpayers will end up footing a bill of at least [...]


Are You Smarter Than a Legal Rockstar? Obamacare at the Supreme Court

"Perhaps," Ezra Klein wrote last week, "the Supreme Court will surprise us on this one"—meaning the Court might not overturn the part of the Affordable Care Act that would require nearly all Americans to maintain at least some amount of healthcare insurance. "But if they don’t, I think the right question will be why so few in the legal academy saw it coming."

The list of constitutional law scholars who have stated publicly that the individual mandate is constitutional includes some of the most famous legal minds in the nation. Laurence Tribe. Kathleen Sullivan. Ronald Dworkin. Lawrence Lessig.


The Club Scene Thirty Years Ago

"This is a special feature from a UK programme 'The Tube' broadcast in the early 80's. The presenters are Jools Holland & Leslie Ash. This excerpt try's to give a brief insight into the current New York dance club scene. It features famous clubs such as the Paradise Garage, Danceteria, The Roxy and a quick outside look at the grunge/rock club CBGB." [Via]


“I don’t know how anyone approved of that story”

"Description of a village lottery. The entire town of about 300 people assembles in the village square where the time-honored ritual is observed. First all the heads of families draw slips of paper out of a box. Bill Hutchinson gets a certain slip after which his entire family draws slips. His wife, Tessie gets one with a black mark on it. The villagers surround her and start throwing stones at her, while she screams, 'It isn't fair.'" —Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" was published in the New Yorker on this day in 1948. Jackson biographer Ruth Franklin goes over some of the responses.


Barack Obama Is Okay, But Superstorm Sandy Is The "Person Of The Year"

Aren't there any other black presidents who win historic elections against old white rich guys? No? Well then, Barack Obama is the Person of the Year, according to TIME, which is not even trying anymore now that Newsweek is gone. Obama was chosen because, let's see, "We are in the midst of historic cultural and demographic changes, and Barack Obama is both the symbol and in some ways the architect of this new America. In 2012, he found and forged a new majority, turned weakness into opportunity and sought, amid great adversity, to create a more perfect union."

If taking our guns away and taxing the Koch Brothers at [...]


The Way We Electronically Sex Now

Remember when "the equivalent of phone sex over e-mail" was called "cybersex"? RT (via @moorehn)

— Farrah Bostic (@farrahbostic) November 14, 2012

Well? Do you???


Common People: Class And The 80s

In the 1970s it was unusual to see wealthy families on television. The Jeffersons with their deluxe apartment in the sky, the occasional rich couple flitting over to "Fantasy Island" or booking a cruise on "The Love Boat"—these were the exceptions. But as the economy accelerated, mass culture was suddenly inundated with images of affluence. The wave hit around 1981, as the economy slowly recovered from the stagnant wages and inflation of the 1970s. Rabbit Angstrom, John Updike's scampering everyman, began to make serious money on his appreciating property and selling Toyotas on his father-in-law's lot in Rabbit is Rich; Joan Collins joined the cast of "Dynasty" as the splendid [...]


The Politics Of McCarren Park Pool

On June 28th, public officials, neighborhood civic leaders, parents and their eager toddlers, poured under the iconic vaulted archway of the McCarren Park Pool.

For the actual poolgoers, it was their first visit inside the building since at least 2008, when the Parks Department permitted a series of ticketed and free live shows in the pool's empty basin. For some, it was step all the way back into their childhood, when summer meant splashing around Greenpoint with thousands of their friends.

On Thursday, everyone saw what the outdoor pool had become, for $50 million, here were one million gallons of cerulean blue water with tufts of surf, a mirror to [...]


The College Journalism of 'Prometheus' Dreamboat Logan Marshall-Green

Just a few of Logan Marshall-Green's late-90s college newspaper clips were uploaded to the website of The Daily Beacon, the paper of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. What can we learn about him? Well he has taste, as we learn in this review of a newly opened music venue: "I was tempted to ask for a some [sic] matzo and kir but decided to go with a Miller Highlife instead…. There is also a free foosball table and the original arcade version of Asteroids. No that is not typo, FREE foosball." Right: and he was stoked about foosball. Reasonably.

And he has/had garbage taste in music, apparent in what [...]


Maybe Thing From The '90s Will Work As An App

"The automated telephone service — once so popular that it was lampooned on “Seinfeld” — will be disconnected in about a month, before a planned reintroduction of the Moviefone brand by AOL and BermanBraun, a web and television company." [Audio via]


How the 'New Republic' Touted Itself in 1940

This is the New Republic's ad strategy from 1940. I wonder which Supreme Court justices were readers! I hope it was that dreamy and probably gay Frank Murphy, then just-confirmed!

Adjusted for inflation, by the way, $5 a year is $82.92 in 2013 money. Not terrible news: then it really was a weekly, and now it's 20 issues a year, for a subscription price of $34.97.

40 East 49th Street is 425 Madison Avenue, built in 1927. It has a lot of doctors and dentists, and it's where I get my eye exams. Also there's a Starbucks, go figure.


Newspaper Article From 1694 Misreporting Activities Of Heathen Chinese Emperor Holds Important Lessons For Twitter, Breaking News, Etc.

"[T]he reporter announces 'no considerable News, except that the Emperor of China, his Court, and a great Part of his Kingdom have embraced the Christian Religion; but this is too extraordinary to be believed without farther Confirmation.' It got me thinking about the media conversation in the wake of the Newtown shooting—about how, like during so many breaking stories, reporters were too quick to report details that turned out to be incorrect."


How To Accidentally 'Invent Liveblogging'

When Joe Biden and Zombie Ayn Rand Paul Ryan begin their televised debate Thursday night, hundreds of professional media employees will be "liveblogging" the proceedings for hundreds of topical websites, from the New York Times to (maybe?) Millions of otherwise sane humans will turn on the television and then frantically reload the websites of their favorite bloggers while simultaneously making their own jokes on Twitter, Facebook and probably in the comments of the aforementioned websites. After digesting and processing thousands of one-liners and spot reactions and weird jokes about the candidates' genitalia, the now-informed electorate will "pick the best candidate," which is a fake Big Bird account on [...]


Maureen Dowd, Cub Reporter

It’s easy to look at our media industrial complex and forget that its members were once young and hungry, that they had to hustle, grease sources and report stories within an inch of life. One can imagine these scrappers delirious just to see a byline buried on B4 or, God forbid, a sidebar. They sammy glicked their way through the newsroom. No one exited the womb a star.

Even so, these people seem to exist only in the ever-present. We see Juan Williams as Hannity’s graying foil—who sold out for the change in Roger Ailes' pocket—but not the guy who, in 1987, churned out a gorgeous profile of a [...]


Angelina Jolie, Martin Amis and Prince William: Where Are They Now?

Once upon a time there was a princess who lived in a castle before she ran away and married an ogre. Together they spawned Talk, a magazine sprinkled with synergy dust and celebrated across the land. It was so wonderful, it only lasted two years….

Here are some of the things you'd learn reading the June/July 2000 issue of current Newsweek/Daily Beast honcho Tina Brown's Talk: Now that he's 18, Prince William ("'Wills,' his mother called him") "needs a bride"; Erica Jong burned her prenup with husband, Ken Burrows; Gigi Levangie Grazer "lives in Pacific Palisades with her second husband, superproducer Brian Grazer"; "Amy Smart has played it like her [...]