Media

Longform You Have to Read: Race in America

In a world where you have more options for satisfying longform reading than ever, your friends here at Flavorwire are taking the time once a week to highlight some of the best that journalism and longform has to offer. Whether they’re unified by topic, publication, writer, being classic pieces of work, or just by a general feeling, these articles all have one thing in common: they’re essential reading. This week, we’re looking at writers wrestling with the topic of race in America. … Read More

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Why Book Criticism and Literary Culture Needs a Poptimist Revolution

When bestselling author Jennifer Weiner was profiled by The New Yorker in January 2014 in an article called “Written Off,” writer Rebecca Mead made sure to outline Weiner’s two audiences: one, the loyal readers of her books, who propel them onto the best-seller list, and number two, a pricklier sort, consisting of the “writers, editors, and critics… who have given Weiner a parallel notoriety, as an unlikely feminist enforcer.” The short version is that, through Twitter (and her following, which currently numbers about 93K), Weiner used her platform to needle such august institutions as The New York Times Book Review and everyplace else with mediocre VIDA counts regarding the amounts of space they give to reviewing and considering the three books that “matter” for the season written by male authors like Jonathan Franzen and Jeffrey Eugenides, while simultaneously ignoring the span of women’s writing, and, additionally, commercial fiction. … Read More

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‘The Daily Show’, Fox News, and Ferguson: The Dangers of an Alternate News Reality

Unlike the regular news shows it began skewering and ended up, for many, supplanting, The Daily Show goes on vacation. They time these breaks carefully — over holidays, or during stretches of the summer (like, say, mid-August) when news usually isn’t happening. It didn’t time out that way this year. The Daily Show aired on August 7 and then went on a two-and-a-half week hiatus; on August 9, Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri. As that shock over that shooting gave way to protests, tear gas, police militarization and threats, looting, and general horror, those of us who increasingly look to Stewart and company for a bit of levity and/or indignation had to wait. Last night, Stewart returned, with a reminder that while alums Colbert and Oliver may give TDS a run for their money in the social/political satire department, Stewart’s program remains untouchable in the area of fierce, stinging media commentary. … Read More

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Fuck Suicide? No, Henry Rollins, Fuck You

Last week, I wrote here about depression and suicide, apropos of the death of Robin Williams. In the week since, I’ve thought a lot about the media coverage of his death, and how impressive and non-sensationalist most (albeit not all) of it has been. Well, the tone changed yesterday afternoon, when Henry fucking Rollins waded in with a column for the LA Weekly entitled “Fuck Suicide.” In it, Rollins addressed the death of Robin Williams with his usual sledgehammer subtlety — leading with an acknowledgement that “I am sure some will strongly disagree with what I’m about to say,” and wheeling out pretty much every manifestation of the “suicide is weak/selfish/etc” trope one can imagine. … Read More

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James Foley, Ferguson, Gawker, ‘NY Post': The Whiplash of Journalism at Its Best and Worst

James Foley was a 40-year-old freelance photojournalist. He was born in New Hampshire, and was a graduate of Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. In 2011, he was abducted (along with three other journalists) in Libya, while covering that country’s civil war; 44 days later, he was released. But in 2012, he was kidnapped again, and his whereabouts were unknown — until last night, when ISIS posted a YouTube video of Foley’s beheading, announced as retaliation for recent airstrikes in Iraq. And then Gawker linked to that video, a fucking monstrous but not uncharacteristic editorial decision. And then, loath to let anyone else win the race to the bottom of the sewer, the New York Post put a screen-grab from the same video (of the knife to Foley’s throat, even) on their cover. And tweeted it. (We’re not linking to either of those outlets in this piece, because fuck them.) … Read More

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Longform You Have to Read: Wells Tower on Burning Man, Elephants, and Porn Star James Deen

In a world where you have more options for satisfying longform reading than ever, your friends here at Flavorwire are taking the time once a week to highlight some of the best that journalism and longform has to offer. Whether they’re unified by topic, publication, writer, being classic pieces of work, or by just a general feeling, these articles all have one thing in common: they’re essential reading. … Read More

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The Crisis in Ferguson and Why a “Free” Press Needs Social Media

Watching live streams of what’s been happening in Ferguson, Missouri, this week might make you question the worth of pretty much everything — not least writing about art and culture. Seeing a town of 20,000 people devolve into something that looks like a war zone is terrifying, as are the visions of the city’s police force pointing weapons at unarmed men and harassing journalists. Meanwhile, the rest of the country is dumping ice water on its head and playing the Kim Kardashian game. But if there’s anything remotely positive to come out of Ferguson, it’s this: the ubiquity of social media, and of cameras in the hands of citizens, means that events like this can no longer happen in a void. … Read More

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Longform You Have to Read: Cool Surfing Articles, Brah

In a world where you have more options for satisfying longform reading than ever, your friends here at Flavorwire are taking the time once a week to highlight some of the best that journalism and longform has to offer. Whether it’s unified by topic, publication, writer, being a classic piece of work, or just a general feeling, these articles all have one thing in common: they’re essential reading. This week, we’re in the lazy, hazy days of August, where thoughts turn to the beach, and that evergreen topic of surfing. Here’s a collection of articles about our obsession with endless summer and the perfect wave. … Read More

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The Best Things We Read on the Internet This Week: Helen DeWitt’s Diary, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Listicles, tweets, your ex’s Facebook status, picture of dogs wearing costumes — the internet offers no shortage of entertaining stuff to look at. But there’s plenty of substantial writing out there, too, the pieces you spend a few minutes reading and a long time thinking about after you’ve closed the tab. In this weekly feature, Flavorwire shares the best of that category. This time around: Helen DeWitt’s diary entry, the history of pants, the weird history of the heroes in a half shell, and more. … Read More

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The Best Things We Read on the Internet This Week: From ’80s Thrash Metal to Cybersex in the ’90s

Listicles, tweets, your ex’s Facebook status, picture of dogs wearing costumes — the internet offers no shortage of entertaining stuff to look at. But there’s plenty of substantial writing out there, too, the pieces you spend a few minutes reading and a long time thinking about after you’ve closed the tab. In this weekly feature, Flavorwire shares the best of that category. This time around: borderline NSFW stuff, heavy metal in the ’80s, and more. … Read More

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