So I wrote my year-end piece for Wonkette, and it’s basically a very long Mayan Apocalypse/2012 rant that ends up yelling at Radiohead for being frauds, because they wouldn’t go play their guitars for 10 minutes at Occupy Wall Street.
On one hand, doomsday predictors have always been wrong. On the other, they only need to be right once.
"Though it was promoted as a sitcom, Seinfeld wasreally a commercial designed to promote the city as the rightful home for the elite. With the threat ofclass war vanquished, the rulers determined thecity to be the most effective device for deliveringgoods, showcasing products and inculcating thepopulation with “the Joneses” – the desire to liveup to the standard set by the fashion, beauty, andluxury industries.
The city was reborn as the super mall, its allure augmented by its storied history, born of the diversity which would be abolished. Cheap white labor, in the form of aspiring artists, could be lured via this history, mythologized in books which marketed the city through the very idiosyncratic or marginal character its advertisers had helped to systematically exterminate.
The city’s new privileged inhabitants would wear their city’s outlaw image as a badge of honor and even venerate it with fervor, fiercely proud of a history they had never experienced, let alone contributed to - like suburbanites living on a Civil War battlefield and boasting about Pickett’s charge.
In a sense, though, they earned bragging rights: the city’s premium rents and boutique prices came with this fantasy narrative. Ethnic cleansing would be accomplished via eviction: the mass deportation that had worked so well on the Native Americans.
The indigenous city people, who had survived urban blight, gangs, systemic unemployment, police brutality, the state-sponsored crack epidemic, and PCP, finally met their match when faced with Seinfeld Syndrome.”
“In sum: the President can kill whomever he wants anywhere in the world (including U.S. citizens) without a shred of check or oversight, and has massively escalated these killings since taking office (at the time of Obama’s inauguration, the U.S. used drone attacks in only one country (Pakistan); under Obama, these attacks have occurred in at least six Muslim countries). Because it’s a Democrat (rather than big, bad George W. Bush) doing this, virtually no members of that Party utter a peep of objection (a few are willing to express only the most tepid, abstract “concerns” about the possibility of future abuse). And even though these systematic, covert killings are widely known and discussed in newspapers all over the world — particularly in the places where they continue to extinguish the lives of innocent people by the dozens, including children — Obama designates even the existence of the program a secret, which means our democratic representatives and all of official Washington are barred by the force of law from commenting on it or even acknowledging that a CIA drone program exists (a prohibition enforced by an administration that has prosecuted leaks it dislikes more harshly than any other prior administration).” —Glenn Greenwald
Still, the pilots continue to ignore it, and the reason may be that they believe it is impossible for them to stall the airplane. It’s not an entirely unreasonable idea: The Airbus is a fly-by-wire plane; the control inputs are not fed directly to the control surfaces, but to a computer, which then in turn commands actuators that move the ailerons, rudder, elevator, and flaps. The vast majority of the time, the computer operates within what’s known as normal law, which means that the computer will not enact any control movements that would cause the plane to leave its flight envelope. “You can’t stall the airplane in normal law,” says Godfrey Camilleri, a flight instructor who teaches Airbus 330 systems to US Airways pilots.
But once the computer lost its airspeed data, it disconnected the autopilot and switched from normal law to “alternate law,” a regime with far fewer restrictions on what a pilot can do. “Once you’re in alternate law, you can stall the airplane,” Camilleri says.
It’s quite possible that Bonin had never flown an airplane in alternate law, or understood its lack of restrictions. According to Camilleri, not one of US Airway’s 17 Airbus 330s has ever been in alternate law. Therefore, Bonin may have assumed that the stall warning was spurious because he didn’t realize that the plane could remove its own restrictions against stalling and, indeed, had done so.
This is a recommended #longread of the year (via) and holy crap is it intense. With the improbable recovery of the black boxes two years after the crash, aviation experts outline the horrifying cockpit play-by-play.
“It’s like you’re going to see “Husbands and Wives” by Woody Allen while knowing that you want to see “Shrek 2.” It would be absurd to feel disappointed in (and even more absurd to feel disapproval and condescension toward) Woody Allen for having not created a Shrek-2 like movie. It would, I feel, be reasonable to just go see “Shrek 2” (and you also wouldn’t be “shit-talking” the efforts of people you don’t know and have never met and have no direct information about and who themselves are not “shit-talking” others but simply creating the art that they want to create).”
The domain “nypost.com” doesn’t appear registered with GoDaddy. The domain “observer.com” doesn’t appear registered with GoDaddy. The domain “nymag.com” doesn’t appear registered with GoDaddy. The domain “nytimes.com” doesn’t appear registered with GoDaddy. The domain “salon.com” doesn’t appear registered with GoDaddy. The domain “thenation.com” doesn’t appear registered with GoDaddy. The domain “newyorker.com” doesn’t appear registered with GoDaddy. The domain “theatlantic.com” doesn’t appear registered with GoDaddy. The domain “huffingtonpost.com” doesn’t appear registered with GoDaddy.
The domain “tigerbeatdown.com” is registered with GoDaddy. The domain “theawl.com” is registered with GoDaddy. The domain “buzzfeed.com” is registered with GoDaddy. The domain “thoughtcatalog.com” is registered with GoDaddy.
“Smith arrived at The Atlantic‘s offices in mid-2007. He worked doggedly his first few months, announcing in October that The Atlantic was going to adopt a digital-first strategy. “We decided to prioritize digital over everything else. We were no longer going to be ‘The Atlantic, which happens to do digital.’ We were going to be a digital media company that also published The Atlantic magazine.”—
Throwing this out there, as hoping one day my delusions of grandeur will become a self-fulfilling prophecy:
I am looking for work in the media industry: writing, editing, social-type stuff. Whatever. I want to be in a newsroom or somewhere I can create content. Most importantly, I want to learn. It’s pretty amazing that if I die today, I can say I’ve had pieces published at some pretty awesome publications. But. I want to be a better writer and to do that, I need to write more frequently AND have guidance from editors. So, if there are any media properties out there that happen to be looking for an intellectually curious (and, most times, sound) aspiring journalist with an eclectic background (former professor, former flack, former business owner, former rock star), please get in touch.
This is the last time I reblog this, I promise! Just wanted to get one last appeal out before the end of the year, in the odd chance a media property is planning on hiring in early 2012.
I think if I have taken anything away from this and this and this and this and this and every other post (including the ones on this blog right here) it’s that I couldn’t care less about girls fucking dudes. Congratulations to everyone involved, you really blew the lid off fucking! Now, please find me a story about someone who isn’t a young white woman who hasn’t lived long enough to see beyond her own asshole, preferably someone non-white or non-heterosexual, and then let’s see if anyone else gives a shit. (Spoiler alert: NO ONE WOULD.)
Man, after a long hard day of SEX TO ME, you just want to settle into some nice comfy white people problems that don’t involve the gentials. Reader, I Grantlanded.
I was ecstatic, and hopeful that this show would gel and become a hit. Instead, we were pulled off the air after two episodes. It felt as if my wife had turned to me the instant we’d finished having sex and said, “I want to have an abortion.”
What is being billed as a fundamentally feminine and feminist document is primarily an expression of the absurdity of white heterosexual sex. The trend in internet feminism of telling personal stories as a way of arriving at political positions unconsciously feeds into the popular blogging model, in which amateur sociology is king and pageviews suggest we should celebrate the confessional ability of unformed humans. It is in this peculiar and upturned universe that you will experience Tao Lin congratulating the honesty in your misuse of “laid.” It is here that you will find this specific kind of story, about relative abdominal grace ineffectively deployed, where you hope someone might have learned something by the end, except both parties definitely didn’t, because this is how they chose to treat it. They turned it into an internet story in which two people can be irresponsible toward each other and become completely absorbed by it.
I had been emailing this girl for weeks. I stumbled onto her tumblr through an acquaintance and found her thoughtful, incisive, and full of good wisdom. I thought we might be friends, and had talked it over with my girlfriend, Eloise, before I began emailing her. Eloise was alright with the idea, knowing full well that I had no intention of sleeping with her. I didn’t want to make her jealous or suspicious. My friend pool had just shrunk in the past few months, and so I was on the look out for intelligent conversation. Ever since I’d graduated, I found myself suffering for lack of new ideas and inspiration. The girl seemed nice. She was into the idea of meeting up, and to put her at ease about my intentions, I invited Eloise along. We agreed to meet the next week at a local bar.
Eloise and I rode our bikes over to the bar. We were early, so we took a seat outside and I ordered a club soda with lime. Eloise ordered a coffee.
"It’s a little too early to drink," she said. I agreed, but, then again, I didn’t drink much. My stomach was sensitive and I had to get up in the morning. My phone vibrated, so I checked my texts.
"hey, im on my way. little late. wearing a blue hoodie"
"She’s on her way. Gonna be a little late," I said to Eloise.
"That’s alright. It’s nice out anyways. Where did you meet this girl?"
"Isn’t that weird? How people are meeting up with each other just because they happened to find each other online?"
"It feels strange. It’s certainly nothing I’m taking for granted, that’s for sure."
"Would you ever have sex with someone you met from the internet?"
"Me either. It’s like you’d have to wade through an entire extra layer of subconscious emotional baggage."
"I’m kind of iffy on meeting this girl, to be honest," I said. "I mean, I like what she’s written online, but I know it can’t possibly be an accurate reflection of who she truly is. There’s too many extra motives at work."
"It’s too veiled?" she asked.
"No, it’s too transparent. People normally have a modicum of obfuscation to shield themselves. On the internet, whether it’s because of the audience, or the implied role of the writer, or the sheer disconnection between author, medium, and audience, there seems to be a great discarding of the personal affectations that we put in place for our own safety and the safety of others."
"Why are we meeting this girl then?"
"Do you feel weird about it? We can leave."
"No, no. I’m just genuinely interested. If I didn’t want to meet her, or felt weird about you meeting her, I would just tell you and we could figure it out."
"Alright, I’m happy to hear that. I think I want to meet her because if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be having this conversation."
"You want to meet someone because of causality?"
"That sounds shallow, but maybe."
"Sounds shallow or is shallow?"
"Well, since I’m only judging this person who I’m about to meet on the shallowest elements of their personality - their willingness to please others, their confidence or lack their of, their projection of themselves onto themselves - it’s shallow by definition, isn’t it?"
A shadow moved towards us. It was a girl in a blue hoodie.
"Hi. Caroline," she said, reaching out her hand.
"I’m Chris," I said, shaking her hand.
"Eloise." She took Caroline’s hand too.
"Sit down, please," I said. Caroline took a seat on the far side of the table and signaled for the waiter.
"How’s the food here?"
"It’s pretty good. Good cheese plates," Eloise said.
"I’m starving. I haven’t eaten a real meal all day. Are either of you hungry?"
"Not really. I ate a large lunch," I said.
"I’ll get an appetizer, I think," Eloise said. Caroline looked at the menu and the waiter asked her if she wanted anything to start with.
"It’s a little too early to drink," Caroline said.
"They’ve got great tea," I said. We sat and lounged. I asked Caroline about her tumblr, and then about her life. She had just graduated with a masters in french literature and was looking for a job. She asked about Eloise and I. Eloise was a fourth grade teacher and I worked part-time at a bookstore. She asked me who I read and I said I had just started a Michael Chabon. We talked for awhile about books, and then the conversation steered towards the internet.
"Eloise, are you on tumblr?" Caroline asked.
"I have one, but I don’t use it. I don’t get the appeal."
"Do you follow people?"
"That’s such creepy language. I really don’t understand it at all. I guess I don’t. I follow Chris."
"I think it’s fascinating how it works. You follow people who you think have something interesting to say, they follow you, you both pop up on each other’s computers, and, of course, you get to feed off of who you both follow by reblogging and whatnot. It’s like being in a loud, echoing room," I said.
"Some might call that an echo chamber," Eloise said.
"It has the potential to be self-aggrandizing, for sure. But it has a lot of good, substantive uses. I find good music or interesting news articles. I follow someone who posts old pictures of city libraries. It’s really intriguing. It’s like people have been waiting for years to unload massive loads of content and just needed a forum to do so effectively," I said.
"Alright, so it’s not without merit," Eloise said.
"And another interesting thing is when something happens or gets written that a lot of people in your little friend circle will hear about, it becomes a round table, a constant chatter of discussion. Like this article the other day I read from the Observer. It was about a girl, a real Molly - "
"A real what?" Eloise asked.
"A real Molly. It’s sort of like an online joke. Apparently the name Molly has become synonymous with this whole female archetype of women who will do, say, or write anything to get a little bit of fame on the internet," I said.
"Yeah, so the article was about this girl who has sex with men, presumptuously with the intent to write about it. She wrote a 15,000 word memoir piece about a two day affair with a kind of famous blogger in New York," Caroline said.
"15,000 words about two days? What, did she describe the kinds of candy bars she ate?"
"I saw that thing blow up," I said. "Did you read her pieces?"
"Yeah. They were pretty… Well, what’s the word?"
"Scary?" I said. Caroline laughed.
"Maybe. I think they could be interesting if they weren’t so intensely self-aware."
"I was telling Eloise before you got here about the destructive transparency of internet culture. It’s like I could see her whole underlying train of thought throughout her pieces. You aren’t supposed to be able to do that in good writing. Or in life really," I said.
"No?" Eloise said.
"I don’t think so. I think it’s dishonest, in a lot of ways. Or, if not dishonest, just misguided. It’s the same as masquerading subjective opinion as truth."
"Tao Lin was saying something in that Observer article about how he likes the objective distance this girl gives to her experience," Caroline said.
"See? That’s the problem. Well, the first problem is that Tao Lin doesn’t understand what his own fundamental problems are. The second big problem is that just because something is detached from meaning or tries to distance itself from itself doesn’t give it all powerful meaning. It’s like feeling sad and trying to convey that to someone. But instead of saying, ‘I am sad’, you say, ‘This is sad’. It’s dishonest because it doesn’t know where its center is," I said.
"So this woman just goes around having sex and writing about it? Doesn’t seem new. What’s the big deal?" Eloise said.
"She, and a few others, claim its an act of autonomous power. That its subversive to act in this way because it bucks the whole Virgin/Whore binary," I said.
"And because it’s on the internet, so therefore it’s somehow infused with about twenty extra cultural signifiers and meanings," Caroline said.
"Ok, so why does the idea of female subjectivity, of sexual women, seem to scare you so much?" Eloise said.
"It’s not sexual women, or female subjectivity, so much as it is anyone, a person, debasing themselves to such an extent and thinking they are doing it in the name of empowerment. And in that wise, judging by the pieces I’ve read, this person kind of acts in a really shitty way towards others. Some could say that’s a win for feminism because it’s a woman being shitty this time instead of a man; even though the men in the stories are kind of shitheads too. The messages aren’t consistent enough to mean anything significant or unified. And it sucks that someone is claiming their shitty behavior and attitude is part of a nebulous system like ‘feminism’ that, in general, has a devoted set of goals and morals. The difference is, this person seems to have none, or is just really confused about what they are," I said.
We sat in silence for a minute. Our food had come and we’d eaten as we talked. It was growing dark.
"Why is it that people can’t ever seem to find the meaning in the truthfulness of existence?" Eloise said.
"Like this encounter right now. It’s so boring, in a certain sense. There’s no rampant, teenage sexual tension. It’s just adults talking sensibly about their values and ethics."
"It certainly is."
"No one can dispute that. Well, I suppose one might dispute it on semantic grounds, but in the end we, as the subjects, are deciding it’s an indisputable fact."
"Feet, once again, back on solid ground." She inhaled and breathed out through her nose loudly.