A society should really only be judged on the quality of its trolling. Some trolls are obvious, some are subtle, some are dumb. (Some are all three.) But some trollery approaches pure critique, is made of the finest digital intervention, and only performed for a limited audience. It's artisanal trolling! Hand-roll troll! (Is it really trolling if you're not chasing a huge audience? Hmm!) Here's Greg Allen going in on Twitter with the Cambridge University's Digital Library's... let's say "ironically orientalist" take on a very beautiful 16th century Islamic manuscript version of Zakariya Qazvini's cosmography. READ MORE
"He and I had a huge fight about the editing of that piece.... We even fought about that title."
Over on New Books In Food, hosted by Allen Salkin, Ruth Reichl talks about the editing of David Foster Wallace's "Consider The Lobster" for Gourmet. Reichl had worked to get Wallace to cover something for ages, and finally he settled on a lobster festival. And then... he returned with a piece that was mostly about the agony a lobster must feel: "Is it all right to boil a sentient creature alive just for our gustatory pleasure?" Chaos ensued. Advertisers ran.
You can listen to the whole episode here, in which Reichl discusses everything from New York City hot dogs to James Beard to the history of Gourmet to her writing cabin. Mmm, writing cabin.
We are flipping the polarity here today, give or take. From now on, we—your faithful Awl servants Alex Balk and Choire Sicha—will be answering to the new editors of The Awl, Matt Buchanan and John Herrman. They will now officially be in charge, and will begin finding their way. They will make the decisions. We will take our demotion to feature writers and guest editors in stride. READ MORE
Last night The-Dream tweeted out a link to this video? Which he put on YouTube, as his first video, on some random account? With just the text "Classism is the New Racism..."??? It's a crazily political song for him; also he's been kind of MIA off and on for the last year, though back in March he said "At work it's a very personal album that is coming to Fruition!" Also there's the whole wanted by the NYPD thing this week. (via)
The norovirus and various other lesser but still debilitating stomach-oriented bugs are making the spring rounds—"Rhode Island Wedding Results in 74 Norovirus Victims"!—including possibly around the edges of our office. I recently missed four days of work—really my first stretch of sick time in five years. I did, basically, think that I was going to die. There were some dark nights of solemn contemplation of life, and if it was worth living. I also got a great head start on my swimsuit season weight loss, so boo-yah! Also I can eat again now. READ MORE