Longform multimedia journalist has seemed to found a standardized format: 1.) Layouts should stretch all the way across the screen. 2.) The story should be broken up into chapters but page breaks occur in the format, not by loading a new page. 3.) they should be accompanied by maps that update upon scrolling. 4.) stories need to take place outside in the snow.
- Out in the Great Alone (Grantland)
- Lost on Everest (Outside)
- Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek (NY Times)
The Times piece preceded the other two, which appeared this week, by a few months. Anyway, all are worth your while but someone should really make the 3D model of Everest I need to really understand these routes.
My favorite Justin Metz illustration. So. Good.
Unrest live at the Middle East (Cambridge, MA), circa 1991. Full performance.
EdithWithGooglyEyes Valentine #5
Why was I never in a band that sounded like JAMC? Anyway I think I posted this already but it is awesome. NSFW cover art.
Haunted Hearts (Dum Dum Girls, Crocodiles) - Something That Feels Bad Is Something That Feels Good
Damsels in Distress (Whit Stillman, 2011)
Whose head would explode first?
I love things like this. See also this.
“And I think she who loves last loves the longest.”
I want to talk about the ethics of vengeance in Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained, and why the former troubled me a lot when I first saw it while the latter did not.
Quentin Tarantino has been called “Godard’s stupidest disciple”, and up until seeing Django Unchained and reading/viewing some of the attendant press around it I would have largely agreed with that. Not that I thought Tarantino’s movies were shitty but that they were pure exercises in style and genre, with any deeper meaning an unintentional byproduct of his hyperlurid fantasies. And his manic public appearances made him seem like a dingbat. But QT has revealed himself as a smart and more cerebral guy than I had thought, see for instance this affable conversation with Henry Louis Gates Jr. on The Root website.
While the climax of Inglorious Basterds hinted at an auto-critique of the filmmaker and his audience by being so explicitly set in a movie theater (and the running joke that knowing film history was essentially a life or death proposition, and that film CAN change the world), these ideas seemed like so many brains splattered on the balcony, looking for something to stick before an overheated conflagration rendered it all to ashes.
What troubled me most was the equation: “Nazis are the ultimate moral bad guys. Therefore it is okay to do WHATEVER to them, including torture, scalping, etc.” That seems to me to be exactly backwards: If the Nazis are the most serious evil one can think of, it is paramount that they be dealt with in the most ethical fashion possible. Particularly when the engine of vengeance is state-sponsored! Yet we encouraged to enjoy an extension of the US Army torturing these evil fucks, in the name of catharsis.
“Playing by the bad guys’ rules” is common enough in Right-Wing action fantasies (both filmic and real life) but has traditionally been forbidden fruit for Liberals and those who believe in the Rule of Law and Due Process and such. (Until the Obama administration, where we don’t give a shit about those any more). Anyway, watching
Now if the revenge had just consisted of the Shoshanna arc I think I would find it much more palatable, as it is personal in nature rather than the actions of supposedly civilized state. And that’s the kind of vengeance we find in Django Unchained, and why I think I was far more comfortable with the “justice” being meted out. Furthermore, Djangoexplicitly exposes those liberal concepts such as “due process” etc. that I was so concerned about above as the enabling fictions of the ruling class, rather than inviolable principles. The buying and selling of slaves, the institution of “dead or alive” bounty hunting, these things are prima fascia a mockery of Liberal ideas. Life is cheap and death is expensive. It’s okay to destroy society and its trappings because society is bankrupt. “Humanistic” principles are used to protect the strong, not the weak, and that is why it is thrilling for the weak to ignore them and shoot some slavers in the face.
Now think about drones.
I really hate when people use the phrase “real talk” as a preface to saying something that they KNOW will offend someone else. It’s equivalent to “I don’t want to be an asshole, but…” You want to be an asshole! I prefer the in vogue “sub-tweet”. In fact, I think that “subtweeting” is a necessary social network lubricant (ewww on purpose!). To paraphrase Saul Bellow, “Compulsive honesty is a disagreeable affliction and may be a neurosis.” In other words, stop taking fleeting feelings, and the fleeting feelings of others AS EXPRESSED BY THE CLUMSY MEDIUM OF TWEETS AND STATUS UPDATES so seriously.