Oh John Carroll

David Carr didn’t believe that John Oliver’s HBO show would succeed. He wrote today about how he got that wrong.

This is a good article about a great show.

Go read this excellent piece by William Hughes at The AV Club:

I began to notice that my reactions to pop culture had changed, in some ways drastically. I picked up a nasty aversion (which has lessened over time) to ambulances or heavy breathing, both of which could send me into memory-tinged panic attacks. Podcasters making jokes about strokes or embolisms would force my hands into fists. But more than that, I became horribly conscious of death in the media I consumed, and how often it was employed as a plot device for cheap effect.

Deadspin’s Kyle Wagner wrote a great piece about GamerGate:

What we have in Gamergate is a glimpse of how these skirmishes will unfold in the future—all the rhetorical weaponry and siegecraft of an internet comment section brought to bear on our culture, not just at the fringes but at the center. What we’re seeing now is a rehearsal, where the mechanisms of a toxic and inhumane politics are being tested and improved. Tomorrow’s Lee Atwater will work through sock puppets on IRC. Tomorrow’s Sister Souljah will get shouted down with rape threats. Tomorrow’s Tipper Gore will make an inexplicably popular YouTube video. Tomorrow’s Willie Horton ad will be an image macro, tomorrow’s Borking a doxing, tomorrow’s Moral Majority a loose coalition of DoSers and robo-petitioners and scat-GIF trolls—all of them working feverishly in service of the old idea that nothing should ever really change.

Steve Duncan and Andrew Wonder explore some of the hidden sights of New York. Worth it for the look at the abandoned City Hall subway station alone.

Joe Posnanski writes about the Phillies and their terrible general manager — a depressing, but on-point takedown.

With the New Yorker online archives free to all this summer, you should go read this Simon Rich piece. If you like it, go buy Ant Farm. You won’t regret either decision.

Some Come Blogging Through

I was searching for a publication date for a story of mine today, and thought Google might be the quickest route. Instead of finding my answer, though, I was pleasantly surprised to find a 2-year-old blog entry about the story in question.

I wish this upon any writer, as I was incredibly moved!

I loved David Hill’s article about the board game Diplomacy for Grantland:

I still don’t know whom I should have trusted, if anyone. All I know is that I felt stupid, stressed out, humiliated, and sad. I had several shouting matches with a few of these guys. Some of them got personal. And all I had to show for my loyalty to Brian Ecton and my righteous indignation toward the other players was nothing at all. I was physically exhausted and emotionally abused. I hated Brian, the other players all hated me, and I hated myself most of all. I had to purse my lips extra hard to fight the urge to cry.

Is it weird that I really want to play this after reading, even though all of the evidence suggests I should feel otherwise?

If you need more prodding, here’s the video for “Don’t Come Back”. If you like that, go track down the other 10 minutes of Dissed and Dismissed.

My favorite record of the year so far might be Tony Molina’s Dissed and Dismissed, which is like a lo-fi, mid-90s Weezer record stripped of structure and length. Seriously, it’s just hooks and solos without any filler. The record label page even warns: “Also, please note that this album runs just under 12 minutes. Just so you know.” But yeah, this is most definitely an LP, and well worth your attention.

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