In July, the Post editorial page cited a Penn State study suggesting the benefits of fracking outweigh its costs, but failed to mention that the research had been funded by an industry lobbying group. “Just the Fracks,” the headline read. But the fracks can be deceiving.
Admittedly, the piece could've benefitted from a fresh viewpoint, or at least a little bit of nuance in its selections, as it ultimately namechecked every indie-leaning band considered popular in the last six or so years. Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, The Black Keys, Death Cab for Cutie, check, check, check, check. It could've been titled "The 20 Biggest Indie-Rock Bands of the Aughts" and wouldn't have to change a word, with the subtext that "hipsters, man, they're the worst" firmly in place. One of the more stale jokes in 2012 pop culture, if you're just joining us.
But then he started talking to reporters and tweeting a bunch. And now with every wink to the camera, every hilariously unaware interview about the sexual prowess of Olympic athletes, every frat-sourced response to inquiries about his dating life, every public confession to peeing in the Olympic pool, every mention of his fancy shoe collection, every time he wears P.Diddy's wardrobe and thinks he's being original, we die a little on the inside.
He also does this awful thing in interviews where he responds to a question by rhetorically asking, "You know what?" before giving his answer, as if we're going to be totally blown away by what he has to say. "Do you want to win a gold medal?" "You know what? I do want to win a gold medal." Like that. It really bugs me.
In honor of our American hero's unwavering confidence and our waning hearts, we took to his very active Twitter account and rounded up the the best examples of his unaffected self-promotion (and run-ins with grammar) during the course of his Olympic competition. And yet, he remains, as you're about see, inexplicably hard to hate, that wily merman. Ryan Lochte, how do you do it?
You seemed to enjoy the first edition of Hipsters Throughout History (perhaps as much as I enjoyed putting it together), though of course, the term "hipster" remains deeply contentious—for what I mean by "hipster," read this. Or not. Just please enjoy part II of Hipsters Throughout History...
"Black Box," which will also be published in the magazine and features a character from Good Squad, is being tweeted in installments, one per minute for an hour, starting nightly at 8 p.m., the Local Fort Greene reports. The tweeting began on Thursday, and continues through Saturday.
Last week, Franco started his part-time writing gig at the Huffington Post, where he first published a long-ish, meandering rumination on the value of mass culture by comparing the Maysles brothers' Gimme Shelter (a Rolling Stones concert doc-turned-tragic account of the Hells Angels stabbing an audience member at the Altamont Speedway show) to the likes of the Jonas bros, Twilight, Hunger Games, etc. "But what happens is, the teen fandom is transformed into sales, and all the world appreciates is the money," Franco wrote. "When something sells, it is automatically considered good, regardless of who does the buying." This week, the star of Eat Pray Love and The Rise of the Planet of the Apes published his second post for HuffPo, an account of some time he spent in New Orleans, as well as some choice commentary on Nicholas Cage and ghosts. Dammit, we give up. If you can't beat the omnipresence of James Franco, you might as well make fun of him. Here are the five most befuddled things he wrote for the Huffington Post this week.
As the founder and editor of Bushwick Daily, you have quickly developed it from a personal blog featuring photos of and notes about your beloved part of Brooklyn, to a more broadly functional website incorporating a number of different writers contributing news items, opinion pieces, reviews, events listings and profiles of local artists, musicians, fashionistas, and new and longtime residents alike. You have also created an online art gallery as a branch of Bushwick Daily, which has taken physical form several times as well and even held down a booth at Fountain Art Fair this year. As if all this weren't impressive enough—especially given that you launched the whole thing not even two years ago—you have recently added yet another significant appendage to the Bushwick Daily operation, a radio station. Am I missing anything?
At Bushwick Daily we love to use new forms of journalism and new media, and we encourage experiments with text, visuals and sound. We are trying to be as innovative as our neighborhood, and to treat the blog as a good Bushwick house party. We want to show a lot of good art and music, introduce inspiring people and start good conversations. The Internet gives us great tools for this, and I believe that blogging is the perfect format to encapsulate this vibrant scene.
I respect Rex Reed a lot less after reading his review of the movie we saw together.
The man just had a "Bosley Crowther Moment," after the Times critic who, as the old story goes, got canned after he panned Bonnie and Clyde, proving himself so out-of-touch with the then-contemporary cinema. Sure, Cabin in the Woods is unlikely to join the pantheon of American classics. But Reed's dismissal of it amounts to smug, confused ramblings.
The two men aren't described beyond their age—not by their height, not by their weight, and not by their skin color. That last one, of course, is part of a conspiracy. "If theyre black, they can't give a description except that theyre looking for 'tall male wearing dark clothes,'" Darwinious Oppenheimer writes. This a common complaint in the Post comment section—that political correctness has run amok. So the commentariat seems to have developed its own code for discussing race.
Many viewers respect Simmons for her knowledge and talents, though she's also likeable for her saucy personality. In 2009, she admitted on air that she used to anchor in the 80s after a cocktail; she only stopped because it made her eyes look red on television, she said. And the year before, she famously said "fuck" during a short live promo. That, of course, is what we'll always fucking remember her for.
Kali runs the Twitter feed @BumsofMyrtleAve, a chronicle of her "interactions with the bums on the corner," a recurring cast of characters like supporting players on a sitcom. In her late 20s, working in fashion, and from a small town in the Midwest, Kali has lived in Fort Greene for the last three years ("lovin' it") after a stint in Boston. We caught up with her by email to ask about how she started tweeting and how well she really knows these people on her street.
Is your Twitter for real?
Haha. This one cracked me up. Of course it's real.
When did you start interacting with the "bums"?
They actually started interacting with me! I was waiting at the bus stop where The Mayor of Fort Greene hangs out and he turned his boombox up and serenaded me with "Love Lockdown." I don't know why he seemed to pick me out of the crowd, but I'm glad.
Hello dear readers. As Mark already mentioned, today is my final day here at The L. After just over four years of frantically writing about seemingly every single thing about which I feel strongly—from fine art to fine rap, from deathly serious cycling issues to delightfully trivial Tumblrs—I am optimistically but sadly taking my leave. Should you care to follow my travels in the land beyond L, you may do so on Tumblr or Twitter. Or, if you consider that there is no life beyond The L—indeed, "life" is one of the many things for which the "L" in "The L Magazine" has been rumored to stand—well then I guess this is goodbye forever. I leave you with this excerpt from Rashaad Newsome's short video "The Conductor," an artwork made up of short clips from rap music videos that I like very much, and which also happens to double as a symbolic wave goodbye.
Although he may try to slip out without saying goodbye, today is in fact Ben Sutton's last day at The L Magazine; he's leaving us to become Senior Editor of Brooklyn Art News, Bike Wars, 90s Hip-Hop and Listicles at Top10BushwickGalleryBikeTours.Info.Vibe, a new startup website reverse-engineered around this human-shaped lump of SEO gold.
Now, he's too modest to ever talk about this, but: Ben, as you know, has a deep love of the cinema, especially animation; he's a dedicated cyclist; and he's a fluent Francophone, having spent a significant portion of his youth in France. It is for all these reasons, along with his frankly astonishing uncomplaining indefatigability, that Ben Sutton, before coming to The L, was cast in the role of "Champion" in The Triplets of Belleville:
Till our next rendez-vous.
He told Daily Intel that he was "shocked, but not surprised... It's not the same paper that I started working at," and elaborated on his adulthood-spanning tenure at "the greatest job imaginable," and his thoughts on the paper ("there is unlikely to ever be an institution like that Voice again—unfortunately") in an email to his colleagues, posted on his website.
That website, incidentally, was launched just this past fall, though establishing his own web presence independent of his Voice author archives was "a happy coincidence," Hoberman said when I emailed him last night.
Combined Sewage Overflows—CSOs—occur during rain, generally, when the combination of wastewater and rainwater overwhelm the city's water-treatment facilities, releasing raw sewage into nearby waterways. Less than an inch of rainfall is sometimes enough; it happens dozens of times a year, and will only get worse as more and more people move in on top of Brooklyn's ancient sewer system. In 2010, the L's Henry Stewart reported on the coming literal shitstorm in North Brooklyn (where the Newtown Creek was also Superfunded, shortly after the Gowanus):
We've told you our favorite albums, movies, and exhibits. We told you what we thought were the biggest local news stories of the year. But what about you? Isn't the internet all about indulging you about what you thought? Here are our most read blog posts of 2011.
10. "The L Mag Questionnaire for Writer Types: Drew Magary"
This Q&A, timed to a BookCourt reading, did almost all of its traffic in a single day, thanks to Twitter. It's heartening to know people use the internet, and Twitter, to read about readerly things.
Yeah, I just got my copy of the New Yorker's annual "World Changers" issue, a holiday tradition since 2009, when, as David Remnick explained at the time, it was decided that far-flung correspondence and profiles of innovators not included in the "Innovators" issue could draw two dozen more ad pages from bigger luxury brands.