1. millionsmillions:

    Canonical literature isn’t the only way to learn about America. The bestseller list can be equally as telling. Matthew Kahn is reading 100 years of No. 1 bestsellers from 1913 to 2013. He blogs about the books and discusses the project in an interview with Salon’s Laura Miller. When Miller asks what makes a bestseller, he claims, “A lot of it is just a matter of accessibility. A focus on plot and character rather than structure and the prose itself.”

    This looks cool. After reading the list though my primary thought is “good god, John Grisham must be extravagantly rich.”

    (via katherinestasaph)

     
  2. imathers:

    abloodymess:

    abloodymess:

    party-wok:

    seraphknights:

    cultureshift:

    This is the Memorial to the Missing and contains over 50,000,000 pennies to represent the lives of each American child abandoned to abortion by a society and a culture that has embraced their destruction. We must prevent the need to add to this memorial. Take a stand. Get involved.

     ”How we treat the least of us defines us.”

    "should I use this $500k to help struggling parents and pregnant people or should I put it in a glass box"

    LOOK AT ALL THIS MONEY YOU CAN’T HAVE

    Just one well placed hammer whack. 

    Also

    Do you have any idea how long I could pay rent + buy groceries for with this bullshit?

    One life = $0.01 is a hilariously terrible metaphor, good job.

     

  3. Some numbers on the audience for music

    barthel:

    The NCAA basketball finals, held last night, were watched by over 18 million people at their peak. That’s 6% of the U.S. population. In contrast, Pharrell’s “Happy,” currently the #1 single in the country, has sold about 3 million copies, or 1% of the U.S. population. (If single sales seem like a poor metric of listenership, the official video has 168 million views.) That’s months after its release, and a clear outlier. The #10 song on the chart this week, “Turn Down for What” by DJ Snake and Lil Jon (which has been on the chart longer than “Happy”) has sold a million copies (0.33% of the U.S. population), while the #10 movie at the box office, Liam Neeson’s “Non-Stop,” has been seen by 10 and a half million people, or 3.5% of the population[1].

    More broadly, two-thirds of the adults in the U.S. and Canada go to the movies at least once per year. Only half buy music in any form. When people do buy music, one-half to two-thirds of their purchases are catalog (old) music.[2] Taken together, it seems fair to say that the audience for new music in America is somewhere between 16 and 25 percent of the population, versus 67% for new movies and around 95% for TV.

    Read More

    To continue a theme, here’s some hard data on why making facile analogies between different art forms obscure more than clarifies.

     
  4. makingmodern:

    Lygia Pape. Divisor. 1968.

     

  5. murkytimeistimeschool asked: another thing that occurred to me: "winners" in particular seems like an extraordinarily misguided angle of comparison there bc it's not even a competition. fast food is cheap and everywhere whereas i feel like the kind of restaurants food critics would review would probably often be out of tons of people's price ranges?? i mean not that music is all perfectly accessible either (+ marketing budgets obv) but i think there would be a lot less stratification. iunno this is fumbling/maybe reaching

    No, I think you’re totally right—it’s classist as well as dumb to think of Wendy’s, an international mega-chain, as the “winner” over the supposedly “underappreciated” restaurants reviewed in the NYT. 

    Laughed pretty hard when I searched for the NYT’s best restaurants of 2013 piece, which opens with this:

    In the pre-opening rush of publicity, restaurants don’t look much different from books or movies: the ones everybody talks about come from proven hitmakers. But after the buzz recedes, a key difference becomes clear. Novelists and directors can focus their full attention on the next project, but successful restaurateurs have to keep winding up the springs of their earlier places as they build the gears for a new one.

    Jesus christ, maybe it’s an editorial imperative to pretend these things are all the same.

     

  6. murkytimeistimeschool asked: i was kind of joking, part of it being exactly that: he (saul austerlitz; in an nyt article "the pernicious rise of poptimism") goes for a paragraph on "what if there was poptimism in other fields? hehehoho" & sure it's funny i guess but that's because it's a ridiculous comparison (also, i think, bc he has a pretty caricatured sense of poptimism anyway). i mean i'm dead serious that i'd love to read critical writing about fast food but yeah, was not seriously suggesting that as a framework

    Oh yeah I totally got where you were coming form and knew the NYT piece you were quoting. I was just doubling down on the “ridiculous comparison” aspect of it, since ridiculous comparisons are what’s on a pernicious rise in my opinion (could be a pernicious plateau I guess).

    I find that many pundits (and other people) act like analogies are some kind of irrefutable rhetorical device. When you alluded to the laughably worthless “if men can marry men, why not marry your dog?” slippery slope argument, it reminded me of how many arguments about politics and culture are just bad-faith, first-week-on-the-debate-team posturing. Austerlitz uses the Wendy’s example as a distraction so you don’t question the claim he makes immediately afterward (“No matter the field, a critic’s job is to argue and plead for the underappreciated, not just to cheer on the winners.”), despite it being pretty fucking contentious as a few people on my dashboard have already pointed out.

     

  7. aintgotnoladytronblues:

    “What if New York food critics insisted on banging on about the virtues of Wendy’s Spicy Chipotle Jr. Cheeseburger?”

    — some dude complaining about poptimism, in roughly the same tone that people use for “well, why don’t we legalize men marrying dogs while we’re at it?” personally i would love to read that. (fuck you again, as always, america, for your surfeit of cool-sounding exclusive fast food.) i think food poptimism should be a thing. let’s make it happen guys (via murkytimeistimeschool)

    Putting aside the excellent point that arguing against analyzing human culture makes you a willfully ignorant snob, did facile analogies dominate debate over every subject on earth before the internet? I mean, don’t you have to do at least a little bit of work before claiming that music and food are put under critical scrutiny in essentially the same ways just because we have both music and food “critics?” Why would a critical lens like poptimism that was developed in relation to very specific trends, events, discourses, and ideas in music be just as easily applicable to restaurants?

     

  8. Leftie chat lingo to help you understand your Maoist teen

    beshitted:

    DTF: Death To Fascists
    LOL: Leave Others’ Land
    OMG: Observe Mao’s Guidelines
    ROFL: Radicalize Our Failing Liberals
    WTF: Weaponize The Farmworkers

    (via beautravail)

     
  9. aintgotnoladytronblues:

    unatheblade:

    biscuitsarenice:

    We Can’t Get Out Of The Bedroom Now.

    Shirley Maclaine on Parkinson in 1975

    Mind. Blown.

    boom fucking boom.

    Defenses of the Hays Code are usually misguided but this gets a big YEP

     
  10. scificorridor:

    Tron (1982, Steven Lisberger)