No, BuzzFeed-Style Scholarship Won’t Save (or Help) the Academy

Yesterday morning, the Chronicle of Higher Education called attention to BuzzAdemia, a new project spearheaded by Mark Marino, an associate professor of writing at the University of Southern California. With BuzzAdemia, Marino wants to “shake up” academic publishing by disseminating “scholarly arguments” on sites like Reddit, Gawker, and BuzzFeed (hence the name). Marino adds that his dream for the project is for readers to “get locked in a click-bait loop of scholarly arguments, rather than articles about Disney princesses and what to do in your 20s.” … Read More

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Taylor Swift and a Reevaluation of the “Basic Bitch” Craze: Links You Need to See

Today is all about the ladies. First of all, Taylor Swift released “Out of the Woods,” her latest single from her upcoming album 1989, and it’s amazing. Swift has said that 1989 is going to be a departure from her previous albums, and with “Out of the Woods,” that much is clear, even more so than from her previously released track, “Shake It Off” (actually, let’s not talk about that song). (Oh, and: Sally Holmes has a fun dissection of the lyrics of “Out of the Woods,” if you’re dying to know what it all means.) … Read More

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What It Means to Be “Wanted” : Saeed Jones on His Book ‘Prelude to Bruise’

“Thank you Max, for that maaaarvelous introduction,” seethes Bette Midler circa 1993, from inside Saeed Jones’s Twitter account. In fact, tonight, it seems he’s been live-tweeting Hocus Pocus. I’m oscillating between this amusing distraction and lines from his new book, Prelude to Bruise, like, “If I ever strangled sparrows/it was only because I dreamed/of better songs.” If this is how poetry works these days, then I’m all for it — Yeats might have been interested in the occult, but I don’t believe he ever wrote about Kathy Najimy’s witchcraft. … Read More

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Miley Cyrus Has a New Look: Links You Need to See

It’s midday. You’re tired, I’m tired, let’s stop pretending we’re not after the same things: let’s talk about useless shit related to celebrities. … Read More

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Against Ogling “Hot” YA Authors

Recently, BuzzFeed published a fairly absurd (even for BuzzFeed) article about YA author Pierce Brown. Or to be precise, about — and only about — the attractiveness of YA author Pierce Brown. It prompted a funny response from a BookRiot writer. It has some cute animals in it. But it might be bad for books — or at least bad for young readers. … Read More

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Plagiarism, Explained in ‘Forrest Gump’ GIFs

If Media Twitter seemed more jubilant than usual yesterday, it may well have been due to the news that BuzzFeed’s conservative-leaning “viral politics editor,” Benny Johnson (you may know him from such posts as “The Story Of Egypt’s Revolution In ‘Jurassic Park’ GIFs” and “What It’s Like Being Conservative On A Liberal Campus”), has been accused of plagiarizing from various sources to construct his highly considered political analyses. You’d think someone in Johnson’s position would know better, but look, surely it’s not all his fault — after all, the people making this kerfuffle are nasty liberal-media troublemakers, and anyway, how was he supposed to know not to plagiarize, eh? They never teach you that at the likes of Bob Jones University. Now he’s in trouble, and it’s not fair! So for the benefit of anyone else struggling with the concept of not lifting other people’s work, here’s plagiarism, explained in GIFs from a film that anyone sharing Benny’s political leanings will love: Forrest Gump! … Read More

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10 Ways We Totally Relate To BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti

Fusion’s Felix Salmon did a totally epic, 23,000-word “longread” with BuzzFeed founder and nascent media mogul Jonah Peretti, where we, the public, got to learn that even though Peretti is the king of viral content, he’s just like us! (Seriously, if you’re interested in the future of media and the internet, do read it. Peretti’s an emerging power and voice and what he’s doing with BuzzFeed will ripple out into the world.) But in the meantime, here are 10 things we learned about Peretti from the interview — with accompanying GIFs. Of course. … Read More

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Satire or Not, Clickhole Is Still Clickbait

I love The Onion. I really do. I think it’s a national treasure, a peerless source of political satire, and it makes me genuinely laugh out loud at least once every time I visit. I wish it every success. Its freshly launched spinoff site Clickhole, though — well, I’m not sure, put it that way. The idea of a site parodying BuzzFeed, Upworthy, and all the other viral content farms that fill everyone’s Facebook feeds with cat GIFs and inspirational videos seems laudable enough — but there’s something lacking in the execution, and also a feeling that this is a somewhat cynical exercise in luring readers into… well, a clickhole. … Read More

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