Tonight is exciting! Tonight I get to see Aziz Ansari at the Chicago Theater, a comedian I have never seen live in an iconic venue I’ve never manage to hit up. In celebration of that, and of the brilliant, funny and wonderful Analicia, my hairstylist who knows how to make curly hair all that it can be (pictured above with her stunning yellow locks), I’m offloading some of the links I’ve been hoarding and meaning to share for *mumblemumble.*
This coming Memorial Day weekend will be the first since Band of Brothers paratroopers and all-around excellent South Philly boys Bill Guarnere and Babe Heffron passed away, 14 weeks apart. Robyn Post, who co-wrote their excellent autobiography Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends, shared some memories of the two that had me belly-laughing. For a pair of guys I never met, I am awfully fond of them.
I am one of the five remaining people in the world who doesn’t have Netflix, but apparently a glitch in its software is creating amazing program summaries of offerings we really wish existed.
Barry Underwood makes gorgeous sculpture with light; that’s the nearest way I can describe these photographs.
I always notice when I find myself collecting clusters of stories. The first is about disappearing online, and the attendant anxieties of data mining, electronic tracking and surveillance, government or profit-driven:
- Behind the Machine’s Back: How Social Media Users Avoid Getting Turned Into Big Data (The Atlantic)
- Infographic: How to Disappear Online (Taxi)
- Do Not Link allows you to ethically criticize bad content
The second cluster is about the Beatles, whose music I lived and breathed (and would not let my parents, friends or family members escape) from late 1995 well past 1998:
- Reading the Beatles argues that you only need one book about the Fab Four, music critic Ian MacDonald’s song-by-song guide to their catalogue, Revolution in the Head. Interestingly written review.
- Salon assembled 30 amazing Beatles covers you need to hear, which I look forward to spending time with.
- However, I don’t know if any of them can be as unsettling, beautiful, eerie and terrifying as slowing down “Because” to 800% of its normal speed, without distortion. The track is almost 20 minutes long, and I’m sure some of it is in Parseltongue, but it’ll stay with you. Wow, is that song good.
Inside the Corporate Fandom Marketing Machine gets inside the process of successful social media campaigns and leveraging fan passion to make waves (and money) and stay on the air. A good breakdown of differences in behavior from fans of different ages too.
Diversity Cross-Checking Reference for Writers offers a directory of contacts who are happy to answer questions about culture, lived experience and whether that thing you’re writing is on the right track or totally, completely, embarrassingly wrong. Pair with Disability After the Singularity, which questions why sci-fi is so hellbent on a universally able-bodied future, and what we’re missing when we “fix” disability in fiction. (Also, this interview with the woman who coined the term “white privilege” is worth a read. I guess we found my third link cluster.)
- On workplaces: The Results-Only Workplace Environment and Jason Fried’s TEDTalk on why work doesn’t happen at work argue that there are better ways to manage how we spend the bulk of our professional day.
- On journalism: Photojournalist Killings Make My Work Dangerous, about the murder of 26-year-old French conflict report Camille Lepage, and Nieman Lab’s breakdown of the New York Times’ innovation report are very different, but both worth your time.
- On best-ofs: I’m a sucker for these, and always mean to go through the lists more closely. Conor Friedersdorf (The Atlantic) has assembled his 100 best nonfiction stories of 2013, while NPR is set to release a massive database of commencement addresses, since it’s that season.
Finally, because perhaps not all of you are watching me utterly lose my mind over Captain America: The Winter Soldier over at Tumblr, I have to share this incredible fanvid here. It’s not what you think; give it a watch. If you have feelings about Bucky Barnes, this one is going to give you more.
So simple, but also completely devastating, especially when you note the edge of the window in the corner and think about what that means for you the viewer. (Pair with this Leyendecker-inspired portrait of Steve Rogers, which has incredible details layered in. Look, I really love this movie, okay?)