Did You Help Weird Al?


I’ll bet you did, or many of you did. I did. I shared this video on FB and here. I didn’t know I was part of a savvy media machine.

It made the rounds on many of my friends’ Facebook pages. Al has been around for more than 30 years, and the story linked here (clicky-clicky) is for those who, like me, are media observers as well as consumers. 

 

 

House of Cards Isn’t The West Wing’s Polar Opposite — It’s Its Younger Cousin


HOUSE OF CARDS

Watching it right now, as a matter of fact. I liked West Wing, and like HoC, although the darker, cynical spirit of it does go make me want to get a drink.

jordan fraade

Been working on this Think Piece-y essay for awhile. I got a late start watching Season 2 of House of Cards, but after watching it and mulling it over, I think the similarities with West Wing are more striking than many people realize.

Also, thanks to the Twitter-er who pointed out that this needs a SPOILER ALERT for HoC.

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House of Cards has already earned its place in history. Even if the series itself were an artistic disaster, the fact that it’s Netflix’s first original series, available for streaming and binging on the viewer’s own terms, signals an important shift in the way we watch and analyze TV. But what’s not new about the show is the way it creates a hermetically sealed D.C. Fantasyland for viewers to lose themselves in. Everything about the show furthers the impression that you’ve stepped into a different universe. The show is heavily…

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Tracking love and loss, Big Data style


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“We observed a steady regime around the baseline before the day the relationship status changes,” the Facebook Data Science team wrote on their blog (a Facebook page) on Saturday, “followed by a discontinuity on that day with a more than 225 percent increase of the average volume of interactions.”

“This points towards people receiving support from their friends in times where they need it,” they conclude, “whether it comes in the form of private messages, timeline posts or comments.”

http://m.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/02/when-you-fall-out-of-love-this-is-what-facebook-sees/283902/#

Privileged Wellesley Students’ Knickers Twisted Over Fake Guy in Underwear


This brightened my afternoon. On my campus, this sort of nonsense is all too common, so I guess I’m just jaded.

“Yes, the statue of a hyper-realistic sleepwalking man on the Wellesley College campus is truly creepy. His outstretched arms and lolling mouth make him look like a pasty, middle-aged zombie. His flaccid penis sagging in his graying briefs will haunt your dreams forever, like the ghost of your future sex life….”

I suppose I’m missing something profound, but I found myself agreeing with this paragraph in the story:

But the problem with Awareness Culture is the expectation that once offended – or, in most cases, once a hypothetical offensiveness has been identified– the world must immediately act to make the “bad thing” disappear. There’s something spoiled about our knee-jerk reaction to abolish anything that could be considered even remotely insensitive. The message is, “it’s possible that someone somewhere might feel momentarily bad because of this, so get rid of it right this second! And by the way, you’re an asshole if you don’t agree.”

Read more: Wellesley College Sleepwalker: Tony Matelli’s Statue Is A Boogeyman | TIME.com http://ideas.time.com/2014/02/06/wellesleys-boogeyman-wears-tighty-whities/#ixzz2sahRekU1

Read more: Wellesley College Sleepwalker: Tony Matelli’s Statue Is A Boogeyman | TIME.com http://ideas.time.com/2014/02/06/wellesleys-boogeyman-wears-tighty-whities/#ixzz2saZkNcEA

Face Of The Day


This suggests some science-fictiony story possibilities. Anyone want to take a shot?

The Dish

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Artist Lucy Glendinning’s “Feather Child” series explores “the allure and dangers of artificially propelling human evolution”:

Inspired by the Greek myth of Icarus, she imagines future humans treating our DNA as a medium of expression and wish-fulfillment; in the poem accompanying the sculpture, she envisions feathers like “A decoration applied with / a gene, not a needle.”

The Art Circus Review adds:

Covered from head to toe, the feathers may act as a camouflage, keeping the children hidden or they may enable them with a unique ability to survive whatever landscape they now populate They may also just be tired freaks, taking refuge in art galleries. Glendinning’s tactile sculptures are beautifully crafted, showing a very sensitive and vulnerable side to her bizarre subjects, leaving the viewer uncertain whether to take the mutant child into their care or throw them into the fire.

More photographs of Glendinning’s sculptures here.

(Photo…

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The View From Your Window Contest


No frickin’ idea. But it’s fun to guess.

The Dish

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You have until noon on Tuesday to guess it. City and/or state first, then country. Please put the location in the subject heading, along with any description within the email. If no one guesses the exact location, proximity counts.  Be sure to email entries to contest@andrewsullivan.com. Winner gets a free The View From Your Window book or two free  gift subscriptions to the Dish. Have at it.

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Well Played Apple!


Love this, and it drove me to look up that Whitman poem.

…O ME! O life!… of the questions of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish;
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever renew’d;
Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me; 5
Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined;
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

Answer.

That you are here—that life exists, and identity; That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

I heard Steve Jobs give keynote addresses a couple of times, and he said that Apple’s DNA was to live at the intersection of art and technology. They still are. I don’t know another company that would dare do an ad like this one.