May 1, 2014 / From the Editor, Uncategorized
Each Friday we compile a list of interesting links and articles our editors find from …
June 12, 2015
Each Friday we compile a list of interesting links and articles our editors find from across the web. Here’s what’s catching our eye this week.
The ongoing quest for musical convenience often comes with a tradeoff:
There’s not even a single standard playlist format to make switching services easier, like the old .m3u playlist files my friends and I used to swap back and forth between iTunes and WinAmp and whatever else. There’s just lock-in, endless lock-in.
Is this what we wanted? Am I really despairing for the days when I maintained a huge collection of legal and not-so-legal MP3 files that could play on any device I owned without any hassle? I don’t know.
What do the favorite books of famous authors say about them?
Papa Hemingway once said “there is no friend as loyal as a book,” and in a 1935 piece published in Esquire, he laid out a list of a few friends he said he would “rather read again for the first time … than have an assured income of a million dollars a year.” They included, he wrote, “Anna Karenina, Far Away and Long Ago, Buddenbrooks, Wuthering Heights, Madame Bovary,War and Peace, A Sportsman’s Sketches, The Brothers Karamozov,Hail and Farewell, Huckleberry Finn, Winesburg, Ohio, La Reine Margot, La Maison Tellier, Le Rouge et le Noire, La Chartreuse de Parme, Dubliners, Yeats’s Autobiographies and a few others.”
Alain de Botton’s polarizing perspectives on life, love, and art draw as much praise as ire:
The media’s rejection of de Botton’s ideas reflects queasiness at a mass culture organized around solipsism. But this ire is misplaced: the ironic, detached stance, with which they seem most comfortable, is ultimately more vacuous—so self-absorbed as to fall short of asserting anything. His detractors accuse de Botton of being addicted to individual enchantment, but they are addicted to cynicism.
Christianity Today finds that support for gay marriage has largely failed to find purchase in the Church:
But it’s not at all certain that the rapid cultural shift in America on gay marriage will be mirrored in the Christian church. North American and European Christians who believe in gay marriage are a small minority in these regions, and churches that ascribe to a more liberal sexual ethic continue to wither. Meanwhile, poll Christians in Africa, Asia, and practically anywhere in the world, and you’ll hear a resounding “no” to gay marriage. Scan the history of the church for 2,000 years and you’ll have a hard time turning up any Christian who would support same-sex marriage. The church has been and remains overwhelmingly united. It’s undergoing stress, certainly. But the evidence doesn’t support a narrative of division and collapse on this point.
The new film Love & Mercy explores the abundance of both titular elements in the life of Brian Wilson:
While love and mercy may have both landed in the title, justice is also central to the film. In the scene that generates the largest applause, Dr. Landy is served papers for the lawsuit that ultimately cost him his license to practice psychiatry. That may suggest why Love & Mercy is so compelling. It avoids the formulaic quality of so many recent biopics, but it’s not ashamed to tug at our heartstrings. And above all, it captures the joy of creation.
Helen Castor’s newest book, Joan of Arc: A History, peels back some of the mystery surrounding the French icon.
However, Castor also notes that success seems to have gone to Joan’s head. The peasant girl came to enjoy the finer things, including fur cloaks and wine. She was dismissive of others like her, and had little subtlety as a military strategist. And despite her orders from God, she did lose—at Paris, La Charité, and Compiègne, where she was captured.
The “Hidden-Ball Trick” is one of the oldest in baseball, dating back to 1874:
I first started “collecting” hidden-ball tricks in the 1980s. Employed as Senior Research Associate for the National Baseball Library from 1986–1994 and working on my own projects after hours, I spent hundreds of hours a year doing research for myself and others. Inevitably, I stumbled across interesting tidbits which had little or nothing to do with what I was working on, and I kept various lists based on these findings. Many of these feats, like three-pitch innings, and scoring from first base on a single, turned out to be not as uncommon as I thought. But the hidden-ball trick held up as a rare and remarkable event, roughly as uncommon as a no-hitter.
How we talk about the apocalypse says plenty about ourselves:
What does the sky hold?
Too many birds. Broken freeways. The frail limbs of a charred forest. Blindness if you stare straight at the sun. Helicopters swarming the sky like mosquitoes, then smoked propellers falling past the sign reading BUY LARGE. We did.
Where does danger live?
In the salt swell and the spider’s web; in the burnt trees and the child at the door and the parking lot where the undead hordes are wandering. A woman in suburbia has blood on her shoulder. Something explodes in the distance. Look closer: also blood on her hands. She killed for breakfast. She smeared the dead thing on her toast.
Fareed Zakaria posits that the Millennial Generation isn’t selfish, or if they are, it’s due to the world they inherited.
The notion that young people are somehow callow is not a new charge. In 700 BC, the Greek poet Hesiod wrote about it. The philosophers Xenophon and Plato were dismayed by the moral decay of their youth. The Romans saw loss of virtue all around them. The Victorians decried the decline in religiosity in the next generation. And while America has always been different—born new, focused on the future, itself an experiment in modernity—it has had its own tradition of jeremiads. From the Puritans to Henry David Thoreau, conservatives horrified by the 1960s to Christopher Lasch, who wrote The Culture of Narcissism in 1979, they all worried about a new generation that was self-centered and unserious.
And finally, the first trailer for a movie that we’re all rather excited for:
David A. Garner