Monday, December 5, 2016

Only built for internet linx

I had an pre-election post, and then the election happened, and here we are. I don’t have anything particularly profound to add to the conversation. I’m tired, just like everyone else I know - there’s an endless stream of bad news and hot takes and tweet threads and poor decisions and it’s exhausting. The good news is that the internet is vast - there are other things to read! Here are some of those other things.

1. "We're launching The Outline today, but that's not the end of our work. Actually, it's the start of it. We have ideas about how people will use this product and how an audience will respond to what we put into the world, but we won't really know until you start playing around with this crazy thing we've made. And since a lot of this is unexplored territory, we expect that you'll see some unexpected / unusual results depending on how and where you look. The future is scary and wonderful and weird. Embrace it."

2. Is it rude to recline your seat?

3. I'm not exactly a fan of "Instagram makeup" personally (gradient eyebrows????? hwhy), but I get so annoyed by articles like this one from the New York Times that seem to imply that social media alone is responsible for so much sameness in beauty, as if beauty trends haven't existed for fucking centuries. The article makes some good points, but criticizing social media for its popularization of certain styles seems lazy and maybe even deflective, considering some of the beauty industry's other problems.

4. Speaking of beauty, I enjoy reading critiques of Glossier’s vaguely Gallic “cool girl” ethos/marketing style for a number of reasons, one of which being that I always thought it was sus of them to elicit market research on their website in such a middle school slumber party “we’re all friends here!” kind of way with no compensation for those involved except, I guess, another fucking moisturizer to buy. It is no surprise to me, then, that Glossier seems to still be asking for shit for free, this time in the form of blog posts mentioning their products, the reward being that you get to signal to others that you, too, are part of the cool girl club, I guess. Marketing’s marketing and brands are going to try to hook you one way or another, but I do think it’s important to stay critical of the ways that they do, especially when they position themselves as some sort of BFF feminist empowerment cheerleader or whatever - remember Jia Tolentino’s NYT article from earlier this year? Commodified empowerment is tricky - even those selling it may not even be buying it, something made apparent with Lil Kim’s ever-changing face and body and the low self-esteem that seems to fuel it. I guess this is just a long-winded word of warning: BFF brands will not and can not do the work of making your body and/or the world a less horrifying thing to inhabit better than any other brand can which is, like, fine, I guess. Just so you know.

5. Other things I enjoy: dragging nerds!!! Here’s Om Malik on Silicon Valley’s empathy problem.

6. “Just across the bay from San Francisco, one of Alameda County's deputy public defenders, Jeff Chorney, says that since the county switched from a decades-old computer system to Odyssey in August, dozens of defendants have been wrongly arrested or jailed. Others have even been forced to register as sex offenders unnecessarily. “I understand that with every piece of technology, bugs have to be worked out,” he said, practically exasperated. “But we're not talking about whether people are getting their paychecks on time. We're talking about people being locked in cages, that's what jail is. It's taking a person and locking them in a cage.”

7. Social media and sex work.

8. The rise and fall of Ted Ngoy, the former doughnut king of Southern California, featuring photos by Stephanie Gonot, one of my favorite commercial photographers.

9. I’ve retired from being annoying about music but when I first got started as a teen I spent countless late-night hours trawling AllMusic - this site and long-defunct Pulse! (Tower Records’ in-store mag) introduced me to music criticism and the idea that there was more to say about music aside from “sounds alright.” Anyway! a short history of AllMusic.

10. "The conception of a lawn, its very idea, is, at least in Sontag’s terms, camp."

BONUS: I slang in my white tee, bang in my white tee, all up in the club spittin game in my white tee

No comments

Post a Comment

Maira Gall