Welcome to Conversation Pieces, where Flavorpill curates five articles from the past week that you should read. Some are long, others are short. Some are from major publications, others aren’t. The only thing all these articles have in common is that they’re interesting. This week features articles on the redeeming power of video games, the genius of Damien Hirst, how to thrive as a woman in workplace dominated by men (e.g. Mad Men), the many ways our planet will end, and more. After the jump, find something exciting to discuss this weekend in the home, at the bar, or on the street.
1. Can Video Games Save the World?
This is not hyperbole. Some believe it. This article reviews two books by authors who argue that we shouldn’t view video games simply as means of escape, but rather an opportunity for us to problem solve, think strategically, complete goals, and receive immediate feedback for our decisions. Video-game stress, it could be argued, is healthy stress. And the world could always use some more healthy stress.
Idiom: “Extra Broken Real Lives”
2. The Rise and Fall of Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson used to be big-time. Mad Max, Lethal Weapon, Braveheart — all were great films, not to mention serious money makers. The Passion of the Christ alone grossed over half a billion dollars. That’s a whole lotta success, despite what anyone thinks about the film’s message. Then Gibson started to make a few bad choices. This is the story of that, and the friends who stood by him throughout.
Vanity Fair: “The Rude Warrior”
3. How to be a Girl in a Boys’ Club
There’s some great advice in here! With subtitles like “Befriend The Other Woman,” “What If She Sucks?,” “What If I Complain And Get Laughed At And Dismissed?,” and “If You Are A Straight Guy Who Figured Out Girls And Gays Are The Most Fun,” this article delves into everything workplace related. And feminism.
This Recording: “Can’t Be Tamed: A Manifesto”
4. Damien Hirst Isn’t a Crap Artist
“Contemporary art should reflect the contemporary world. Yes or no? If yes, the most honest work of art of the first decade of this century was obviously Hirst’s diamond death’s head.” So says British art critic, Jonathan Jones. Do you agree?
The Guardian: “Damien Hirst’s skull tasteless? That’s the point”
5. Past Predictions of Our Future Doom
Most seem to agree: the world will end. The debate is over how it will happen. Flip through this slide show of a dying sun, rampant disease, death by meteorite, and all kinds of cosmic and planetary disasters. Although dwelling on these sorts of events isn’t healthy, the vintage art is worth a look.
Popular Science: “Doomsday Predictions”
Bonus link: Drake and the Current State of Jewish Rap