This year everyone one was saying (again!) that the Internet is a nice place to hang out. Listen, I grew up as the Internet grew up, and between the mystery AIM screen names we used to bully each other, the group Xangas where we trashed our friends, and the real life Gossip Girl clones and college slut-shaming sites that popped up as I grew up, I know that the Internet can never be a nice place. Also, I'm not sure what Internet everyone else has been using, but my Internet in 2012 was filled with [...]
I grew up in Massachusetts but at the other end of the state from Boston, so I never really got into the Boston Globe. Not that I imagine my friends who grew up near Boston were all obsessed with the Boston Globe or anything. God, I am being so boring right now, aren't I? This boringness is not something I would indulge in on a blind date. But what I am trying to do—and this is a segue I would never use on a blind date—is talk about my absolute favorite thing on the internet, which [...]
In my case, this year's Internet experience didn't suck, exactly, but it was—at least in the precincts I frequent—drearily focused on the predictive. Ninety percent of what I read, excluding pornography, maybe, was either authored by, a celebration of, or a brief against Nate Silver. And that's nice! On balance, that a smart, gay adopted son of Brooklyn is a big deal is a good thing. But oh, how I wish we purveyors and consumers of the written word would spend a bit less time quantifying the probability of future events and a bit more [...]
Watergate, The Night Stalker, the Church Committee, Rod Serling's "Night Gallery," the Pascagoula Abduction and the Jonestown Massacre: this was my 1970s youth. My mom, who recalls taking pro-communist flyers from Lee Harvey Oswald outside the downtown New Orleans building where she worked as a secretary, once lifted a tobacco pipe left behind by Jim Garrison at a cocktail party, and kept it in a place of honor. My dad would occasionally reference the mysterious classified part of his job at NASA in Texas, on the team that prepared the Eagle [...]
There was something atypical and fun in Monday's New York Times: a review of a concert that happened over the weekend in… Washington, D.C. Staff critic Acela-hopping to the latest jam at the Kennedy Center is not common, as Times critics have all they can cover here in town, usually.
But the reason for last weekend's exception was plenty good, as recent MacArthur Award winning pianist Jason Moran had invited the great (and also MacArthur-winning) avant-music legend Anthony Braxton to present a band that included Braxton’s former student, the guitarist (and Awl favorite) Mary [...]
Show of hands for yes: did the internet turn on you this year?
Oh thank God, I'm not the only one. What in the world happened to the internet this year, you guys? The internet had, heretofore, been so delightful! Filled with all manner of fascinating learnings and point-and-stare characters and all those exclamation points!! Exclamation points for days!!! An embarrassment of exclamation points!!!!
It seems, however, that this year brought a new internet. A sullen one. A teenaged one, but without any of the fun teenaged antics like kegstands or unwanted pregnancies. This internet was all moderate-to-severe acne and monosyllabic responses.
There were, however, a few shining stars among [...]