- This is what August feels like.
August, like heaven, is a place where nothing, nothing ever happens, especially in years like this year and last year, when a late Labor Day effectively extends the month by another week, turning the dog days of summer into an interminable bog of sweat-dampened ennui. So, what better time than now for Slate’s Daniel Engber to pen a 5,500-word article on the rise and fall of quicksand in the American cultural imagination? Is there an accompanying video slideshow featuring nearly a dozen annotated film clips? There is an accompanying video slideshow featuring nearly a dozen annotated film clips.
The piece spans film history, biology, geopolitics, rhetoric, playground engineering, and internet fan culture. The best line comes near the end—”[Q]uicksand fans gradually shed their nostalgia. These days, they’re spending less time digging up classic scenes from the 1960s and more time downloading low-budget quicksand porn—soft-core fetish videos showing female models floundering in bogs and mud pits”—but really, just read the whole thing. You have time.