ISSUE 83: That Chop on the Upbeat :: Oxford American – The Southern Magazine of Good Writing
“You can’t have the objects—it’s perfect for the collectors; you still get the special feeling of exclusivity and possession; you get to sit there and make the whole world listen to your records—but the benefit for the scholar or passionate listener can’t be overstated, because of course, everything is out there, all of the basements and attics are being streamed, and it’s possible now, when you’re chasing some footnote across the filaments, to find yourself on a routine basis outdoing even the most reliable discographies, the same way you can sit there on the Web and predate OED first usages, if you want to, not through any ability of yours, much less any wisdom, but because the robots have gathered such vast harvests, made them accessible, searchable, unavoidable. What has been gathered at a nonhuman speed we are digesting at a human one.”
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Retail Therapy: Inside the Apple Store: Customer Service is the New Cold War.
“We miss the Cold War, because we miss having the Soviet Union as our rival, especially knowing that we already won. In comparison to today’s problems—the polluting Chinese juggernaut who owns our national debt, or the shape-shifting Al Qaeda network that is sometimes closer to our allies than we are, or the paralyzed congressional bipartisanship—the U.S.S.R. was a growling but fuzzy bear on a bicycle.
The Dark Power of Fraternities – The Atlantic
One person’s take on college . . .
” They show up on campus lugging enormous Bed Bath & Beyond bags crammed with “essentials,” and with new laptop computers, on which they will surf Facebook and Tumblr while some coot down at the lectern bangs on about Maslow’s hierarchy and tries to make his PowerPoint slides appear right side up. Many of these consumer goods have been purchased with money from the very student loans that will haunt them for so long, but no matter: it’s college; any cost can be justified. The kids arrive eager to hurl themselves upon the pasta bars and the climbing walls, to splash into the 12-person Jacuzzis and lounge around the outdoor fire pits, all of which have been constructed in a blatant effort to woo them away from competitors. They swipe prepaid cards in dormitory vending machines to acquire whatever tanning wipes or earbuds or condoms or lube or energy drinks the occasion seems to require. And every moment of the experience is sweetened by the general understanding that with each kegger and rager, each lazy afternoon spent snoozing on the quad (a forgotten highlighter slowly drying out on the open pages of Introduction to Economics, a Coke Zero sweating beside it), they are actively engaged in the most significant act of self-improvement available to an American young person: college!”
Google News Archive Search
Cut-Up Flarfing Markov — JAMES KOPPEN
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
“When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.”
“Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Your Genetic Privacy Is Probably a Lost Cause – Facts So Romantic – Nautilus
“The U.S. government is well aware of these futuristic-sounding scenarios. According to the 2009 book In the President’s Secret Service, whenever the president travels, his team collects and sanitizes or destroys bed sheets, drinking glasses, and anything else the president touches. In China, when leaders left water bottles behind at press conferences and journalists snatched them up, many raised questions of security. There are stories of Kim Jong-Il having his feces and urine shipped back to North Korea during foreign trips to keep people from getting their sequencers on his DNA. And in one of the cables released by WikiLeaks, the U.S. government directed its employees to find probing information on African leaders including “biographic and biometric data, including health…[and] facial images, DNA, and iris scans.””