“Rachel Fershleiser’s impeccable taste in eyewear makes me trust that every book she recommends must be fantastic.”—longlostlullaby commenting on The Toast’s “In Which We Signal Boost the Creations of Some Cool People" (in which Rachel uses her signal boost to signal boost a bunch of authors because she is a burning star of wit and beauty and taste)
“The subprime auto-lending business — writing car-loans to people who can’t afford them — is fuelled by GPS-enabled immobilizers that let lenders track and shut down cars whose drivers violate terms of service, from missing payments to fleeing the tri-county area in order to move into a shelter for abused women.”—Class war meets the War on General Purpose Computers - Boing Boing
“Angry users on [Anon-IB, a forum used by nude-photo thieves] blamed the high-profile celebrity nude leak for ruining iCloud hacking techniques they’d used for months or even years to silently download backups from iPhone owners. “I’m pretty sure J-Law, Kate Upton, McKayla Maroney, their lawyers, and the people who released the nude photos fucked it up for us,” wrote one user, referring to some of the celebrity victims of the photo scandal. “I’d rather be able to download backups of all of the chicks I know than a bunch of random celebs,” complained another.”—
“An aside: I do not find comfort and companionship when I find that other people like Richard E. Grant in the same way that I do. You couldn’t possibly. Richard E. Grant doesn’t understand himself the way that I understand Richard E. Grant. No one else in the world has seen Withnail & I, even if they have watched it. Only I have. Please do not attempt to share in this experience with me.”—Mallory Ortberg in a piece about parody cooking show Posh Nosh
“Below an Atlantic piece, ‘Remembering the Nazis’ Disabled Victims,’ Taboola gave me links to ‘12 SF Obsessions New York Hasn’t Discovered Yet,’ ‘30 Candid Met Gala Snaps You Haven’t Seen (But Need To!)’ and ‘How to treat COPD (Video).’ A Slate photo essay on queer life in Kampala, Uganda, where gay sex is illegal, has Outbrain links to ‘16 Hilarious Road Signs’ and ‘10 Spots Guys Really Want You to Touch.’”—
“It’s all very well planning what you will do in six months, what you will do in a year, but it’s no good at all if you don’t have a plan for tomorrow.”—Thomas “GTD” Cromwell inWolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
Do it because her Lieutenant Governor choice is Tim Wu, another law professor who coined the term (and fought for) “net neutrality.” And thanks to New York State electoral rules, even if (when) Teachout doesn’t beat Cuomo, Wu could still beat Cuomo’s running mate Kathy Hochul.
The last two words are killer. You think to yourself “I swear I had a balance on this card”….
Subway card math.
New Yorkers! I finally got an automatically refilling MTA card and you should do it too. Do it right now. It takes less time than two at-station refills. And then you are set for life you have a key to the city you are a golden child. You will walk Broadway barefoot slurping coffee from your Big Hug Mug and you will greet every resident of this city by name.
“While there are academic studies on the subject of girls screaming at concerts there are less than 10 total results on the Internet for people wondering about why men scream [at sporting events].”—Aja Romano, The teens on Tumblr are all right | The Kernel
I always have mixed feelings about these takes on Takes (because that’s what these are, too; “Internet media is exploitative, writers are underpaid, under-edited and get no feedback, and aggregation often sucks” is neither breaking nor news). On the one hand, not a word is inaccurate — with these pieces they never are. And this piece, in particular works harder than most to exonerate the kids whose job it is to write lots of Takes — possibly because Pareene is someone whose job was at one point to write lots of Takes. And yet there’s that same void at the end: “welp, you kids basically suck, and you’ll keep sucking until Facebook gets you fired and then you’ll suck for free.” I keep waiting for a piece that tells young writers what they can do — or if they can’t do anything, one that tells the people who can.
But hey, it’s not like I have the solution either.
As a former young Take writer who now writes Takes and comedy for a living, I have some good news for young writers:
Writing shitty Takes is still writing. It’s still practice, and at all but the most dismal publications, you’re working some muscles that you actually need for good writing.
Your Takes may clog up the internet, but if you can manage not to write an opinion that you find morally repugnant, you’re not really damaging the world on a scale that matters. Don’t stress out, even when people like me complain about your Takes. But if you can’t tolerate those complaints, or if you have to respond to every one, you can’t write for a living. Oh god this is becoming a list of advice
When you are young and have enough time for, I don’t know, video games? USE THAT TIME FOR WRITING. Write stupid video ideas like I did for years (but actually make them). Write a Tumblr. Write a secret novel. Write something that doesn’t need to work for any audience at all. When you are older, you will regret not writing more of your favorite kind of writing.
All the usual writing-advice shit: Find other young people writing things you like. Don’t get lazy. Hold study-halls with other writers.
Try to get published on a site that you enjoy reading. Try to get published there again instead of ending up one of those freelancers with a single credit at every site.
You are NOT required to match the internet’s dominant breezy/catty/know-it-all styles. I mean, maybe at your current job you are. But you don’t have to sacrifice quality to succeed. Look at the Awl network. Look at the Toast. Look at my favorite web show, Nirvana the Band the Show, which a few guys made while working day jobs before making a movie while still working day jobs, until that movie got picked up by Kevin Smith and now they have careers.
You will probably not make money with your favorite writing for the first few years. (If you do, realize that you are very fucking lucky, and work very fucking hard not to lose or waste that privilege.) But if you keep improving at your favorite kind of writing, you will outstrip your competitors until you can get paid. Maybe not a lot. But if you develop a specialty, that makes you more valuable than an easily replaced cog at (name your least-favorite mainstream site).
If your favorite kind of writing happens to be comedy, email me some of your work and I will give you what advice I can give, just as one often-funny person.
I’m not some “expert” I’m just a person who writes and makes funny videos for a living, I hope this was useful oh god
“The Internet media is exploitative and unkind to its greenest employees. Most of the Takes are written by 20-somethings making a (comparative) pittance. The Take is barely, if at all, edited. The young Take-producer is given no time to learn to report, or to read anything other than Everyone Else’s Takes. Dozens of aspiring journalists now have clips files that consist of hundreds of these awful aggregated units of completely disposable Content. Here’s 80 words on something James Franco did. Here’s 100 words on ISIS. This is my link to a Daily Mail story about long-lost twins who married each other.”—