Live Alone, But Die in a Very Large Group If You Can

And other answers to questions you didn't ask.

Lockhart Steele Fired From Vox Media

In what appears to be the first and probably not the last repercussion of last week’s Shitty Media Men list, and the larger floodgates of assault and harassment survivors speaking out against their attackers, Lockhart Steele, Vox Media’s Editorial Director and former Curbed CEO and founder, has been fired, effective immediately. Vox employees were alerted by a message in the company’s CEO AMA slack channel:

Hi team, I am writing to let you know that earlier this evening Lockhart Steele was terminated effective immediately. Lock admitted engaging in conduct that is inconsistent with our core values and will not be tolerated at Vox Media.

Our investigation into issues raised by a former employee in a post on Medium continues.  Anyone with information should contact our external investigation leads, [redacted].

Vox Media is committed to fostering a safe and welcoming community, and appreciates everyone who has been willing to speak up and share information during the course of this investigation.

Last week when the spreadsheet was still circulating, several women I know remarked at the lack of Vox representation on it, especially given the outsize number of Buzzfeed employees who were named. The aforementioned viral Medium post by Eden Rohatensky alleges misconduct by more than one Vox employee; one wonders how many more firings are yet to come. I would be remiss not to point out that Steele would likely have been leaving the company within a month anyhow; November 2017 marks four years from the sale of his Curbed properties (Curbed, Eater, Racked) to Vox for a reported $20-30 million. Looks like the golden handcuffs are off, one month early to boot. I’d be further remiss in not noting that Steele was also the editorial director of Gawker Media, which had its own notorious problem with women.

The newest, wokest media conglomerates on the block are no more immune to the same kinds of abuses of power and workplace sexual harassment that we’ve been reading and writing op-eds about for the past two weeks since the Harvey Weinstein bubble burst than any other old company made out of women and men behaving badly. What a world!

New York City, October 18, 2017

★★★★ Light was in the leaves of the plane trees; a smell of bacon was on the air. The southwest corner of Union Square was full of birdsong. A man in a sportcoat and faintly tinted glasses stared at the chess players for a moment, then made his way down to the Citibikes. In the mesh side pocket of his backpack was an apple. A fine springlike haze crept over everything. A sunbeam was no wider than the yellow sweatshirt of the figure walking in it down an otherwise dim street. The top of a polished stone bench by Lincoln Center pulled the eye vertiginously down into the inverted heights of reflected sky and building. Sunset was a smooth, darkening full spectrum, part rainbow and part bruise. The forecast had specified a starry night, and so the children clambered up by the bedroom window—lights off, doors shut, blinds raised—and stayed there till Altair had revealed itself high up and certain. Other, fainter stars were with it, off and on, for the eye to catch if not hold.

NFL Haiku Picks, Week Seven

Image: Dave Parker via Flickr

10/19 8:25 ET Kansas City -3 At Oakland

The once-defeated
formerly undefeated
Chiefs probably win

PICK: CHIEFS

 

10/22 1:00 ET Tennessee -6 At Cleveland

These teams play once a
Week against each other in
Hell’s hottest circle

PICK: BROWNS

 

10/22 1:00 ET Jacksonville -3 At Indianapolis

Instead of watching
This game take some little kids
to the library

PICK: JAGS

Meet Sebastian Kurz, the 31-Year Old Opportunist In Charge of Austria Now

Wiener Wiener Chicken-Diener. Screengrab: WIENER ZEITUNG

Well, I guess “congratulations” are in order to everybody’s most annoying freshman roommate who never left his Ayn Rand phase, 31-year-old Austrian politician Sebastian Kurz, who has just (presumably) become the youngest national leader in the European Union—a thing he probably hates, or is at least pretending to hate to appeal to the new far-right base of his revamped party, the ÖVP, or Austrian People’s Party.

On Sunday, Kurz and the ÖVP won the Austrian Nationalratswahl (NOTT-see-oh-NOLL-rotts-VOLL), or national legislative election, with 31.5 percent of the vote. On the surface, this doesn’t seem too bad. The ÖVP have long been the Austrian center-right sister party to Germany’s CDU, headed by your mom and mine, Angela Merkel. Alas, Mutti-Style centrism wasn’t winning elections in the land of Mozart (perhaps it just had too many notes). So, what better thing to do to Austria—a country where it legit still feels like 1910 many places, and an impressive portion of the population still spends 5 hours a day nursing a single cup of coffee and reading print newspapers in a Kaffeehaus whilst still somehow being gainfully employed—than “disrupt” that motherfucker with some good old Millennial populism?

A Poem by Matthew Zapruder

When I Was Fifteen

 

When I was fifteen
I suddenly knew
I would never
understand geometry.
Who was my teacher?
That name is gone.
I only remember
the gray feeling
in a classroom
filled with vast
theoretical distances.
I can still see
odd shapes
drawn on the board,
and those inscrutable
formulas everyone
was busily into
their notebooks scribbling.

D.K. / S.K.


You know the part of the Bible where it talks about how terrible things are gonna get and it’s like, “In the morning you will wish it were evening and in the evening you will pine for the day, because everything your eyes see around you will be so fucking horrible all the time”? I am not by any means a religious man but I can’t help feeling like we might have pissed off God or something. Anyway, here’s the new collaboration between Suzanne Kraft and Dang-Khoa Chau. Pitchfork is lukewarm about it but if you’re looking to Condé Nast for music recommendations that’s on you. Anyway, enjoy.

New York City, October 17, 2017

★★★★ The sun and the reflected sun sparkled together relentlessly, lighting up individual strands of hair. The exertion of hurrying from the school to the apartment to fetch the forgotten viola music served to take the edge off the chill. A ray of light did a trick shot off a high window of the Lincoln Building, under the subway canopy, and down the stairs to hit the mezzanine floor. The cool air tightened up the scalp. The lit-up teeth on the top of the Parsons building looked like the cutting edge on a box of aluminum foil. At lunchtime, the whole Flatiron Building, with the sun behind it, seemed to be levitating in an aura. Air conditioners threw afternoon shadows 10 or 15 feet long. Once again the shade in the cross street did a passable imitation of premature nightfall.

Let The New York Times Google That For You

Image: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr

In 1908, there was no sparsely decorated webpage with a blinking cursor silently begging to answer every stupid question that had ever decided to staycation in your brain. So when New York Times reader F.S. Shaw wanted to know the know the heights of the Eiffel Tower and the Singer Building in order to settle a bet, his best option was sending a letter to the newspaper. When fellow subscriber David Levy was curious about the population of Salt Lake City, he did the same, as did the person who just wanted to know how Benedict Arnold’s descendants were doing. Eventually, the answers appeared in a column in the fashion and society section, forbear to the Sunday Styles, next to articles about the Long Branch dog show, the fine weather at Bar Harbor, and diatribes against the dearth of small hats this season. It was called “Queries from the Curious and Answers to Them.” It was mail-order Google for the exceptionally patient.

The column could stretch for more than a page if the answers or questions were complex two-parters, which they often were. It began with a disclaimer: “This department does not pretend to be infallible.” The ink-stained sleuths refused to answer questions about “the correctness of English sentences,” as discerning New York Times readers should be more than capable of consulting a reference book, or the cost of coins or stamps, because no one else cares about your philatelic concerns. If you complain about the word “cocktail,” prepare to be shamed. (“Avast there! Let the cocktail alone. Its name comes from the hoary past and is not a thing to be lightly treated.”) And don’t even think about asking for “a list of all persons who have died in England leaving fortunes. Obviously it would be impossible to give such a list.”

Souls

Max Cooper, "Stacked Moments"


Question for you: When was the last time you were able to say, “Wow, today just flew by”? I’ll wait. That’s all I do now, is wait. That’s all we all do. We wait and wait and wait and wait and an ending never arrives. Each day is longer than the one that came before and the hours you spend wishing it would all be over only take seconds off the clock. Want to feel old? Monday was nine million years ago. Anyway, here’s music. Enjoy.