Posts by: Jack Taylor

Drawn Out Stories: Comic Book Art and Artists

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This Sunday, October 7th, the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum will be hosting Drawn Out Stories: Comic Book Art and Artists, an event that features Rumpus comics editor Paul Madonna, along with contributors MariNaomi and Chelsea Martin:

“Whether used as a vehicle for self-exploration, a way to take up a political platform, or a means to reinterpret fine art, comic strips are now a genre as sophisticated as the short story or novel.

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David Foster Wallace Was A Comedy Nerd

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Blythe Robertson unpacks David Foster Wallace’s thoughts, and impacts, on American comedy for Splitsider.

Wallace often worried about the overwhelming amount of irony on television – talking heads poking fun at those watching the show while viewers laugh along at themselves, neither party doing much to fix their apparent boredom with the shallowness of the medium.

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Sinclair Lewis’ Rejection Letter

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Letters of Note posts Sinclair Lewis’ rejection of the 1926 Pulitzer Prize for the Novel.

Lewis argues that honors such as the Pulitzer serve the committees who award them rather than receivers of the award; these committees become the enforcers of taste and threaten to decrease the creativity of future authors:

“I invite other writers to consider the fact that by accepting the prizes and approval of these vague institutions we are admitting their authority, publicly confirming them as the final judges of literary excellence, and I inquire whether any prize is worth that subservience.”

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Yarn-Bombing

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A “mystery knitter” has taken to the streets in Edinburgh, protesting the city’s tram system.

The form of protest is being called “yarn-bombing,” which involves crafty individuals knitting signs of protest, rather than the traditional picket signs or graffiti. Not all yarn-bombing is done in protest, however, some people add their knittings to benches and other public areas to spruce up the local scenery.

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Eisenhower Answers America: The First Political Advertisements on American TV

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Open Culture compiles Eisenhower Answers America, the ad campaign that lead to Dwight D. Eisenhower’s victory in the 1952 presidential election. Eisenhower was an American war hero, and the use of television only solidified his legendary status with American voters, proving televised advertisements an invaluable resource for political campaigns.

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Guernica’s Interviews With Banned Authors

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In commemoration of Banned Books Week (September 30th – October 6th), Guernica will be posting interviews with authors whose work was deemed too controversial. The site will also post essays that explore numerous censored texts:

“In recognition of this week, against censorship, and in support of writers and readers, the Guernica Daily will be publishing interviews with authors whose books have been banned or challenged and essays on works of fiction that have been oft removed from schools, libraries and book stores.”

You can read Katie Ryder’s full introduction to next week’s postings here.

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“Black Ops: ‘Post-Racial’ Comedy in the Age of Obama”

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Richard Morgan interviews black comedians about mainstream media’s representation of “Black America,” for Splitsider.

Fourteen comedians of varying popularity are interviewed, all of whom touch on similar themes – such as why certain televisions shows are criticized more than others for a lack of race representation, why the 1980s were a golden era for black representation, and the problem with assuming that America is now “post-racial,” as discussed by comedian Jayson Cross:

“‘Post-racial’ is a semantic veneer we put to make it look smooth and sparkly.

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Torture

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n+1 shares Marco Roth’s “On Torture and Parenting,” an essay originally published in 2006, in light of the release of Roth’s recent memoir, The Scientists: A Family Romance.

Roth, one of the founding editors of n+1, explores the parallels between parenting and torture, eventually leading to an exploration of the torture perpetrated by the then-current Bush Administration.

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Art Textbooks, Sans The Art

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Students of the Ontario College of Art and Design have begun petitioning after the University has required them to buy a $180 art textbook.

It’s not uncommon that students are required to buy texts for their classes, but this particular book contains zero art.

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The History Of Nylon Stockings

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The Smithsonian delves into the history of nylon stockings in their recent “Stocking Series.”

Although these accessories may seem everyday and even out of fashion to us, the Smithsonian covers the mayhem surrounding the product’s introduction in the first installment of the series, a mayhem that only intensified as nylon was monopolized for army use during World War II:

“When the war was over and rations were eased, nylon stockings returned to stores and sold quickly.

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Friends Of The San Francisco Public Library: Call For Poets and Annual Big Book Sale

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September is a big month for the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. Currently, they are looking for local poets to submit their work for Poets 11, the fourth annual poetry contest that aims to find poetry from all 11 of San Francisco’s districts:

“Local poets are encouraged to submit up to three poems.

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Chris Gethard

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Distraught, a fan took to comedian Chris Gethard’s Tumblr, asking if Gethard had ever had suicidal thoughts. Despite asking anonymously, the fan made it more than clear that they are dealing with depression. In response, Gethard posted an extremely sensitive and heartfelt answer that details his history of depression – starting with planning suicide as a high school freshman, to attempting to cut his wrists while in college.

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Keeping Moviegoers In Line

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Gawker reports on a London movie theater’s new tactic to keep moviegoers well behaved. The Prince Charles theater offers free movies to those who agree to don a black leotard, covering their entire body, and maintain order throughout the screening. If audience members begin to talk, use their phones, or behave in any other distracting manner, the “cinema ninjas” will attack.

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McSweeney’s Interview With David Byrne

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McSweeney’s recently published How Music Worksa book by David Byrne that explains all aspects of music, from creation, to distribution, to performance.

In recent years, Byrne has released chapters of the book as individual works: this TED talk about architecture’s effect on music; and this piece for Wired about record distribution, in which he interviews Radiohead about their [then] recent “pay what you wish” release of In Rainbows, as well as explains exactly how the money, in a traditional major label record deal, from an album purchase is distributed.

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From Grief to Gift

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Big Other interviews Rumpus contributor Alex Gallo-Brown about his poetry collection, The Language of Grief, and how it led to a community gift giving project. Using Kickstarter, Gallo-Brown offered readers the options of donating money or exchanging gifts with one another in exchange for his book:

“ I gave people two options for helping me put my book out into the world.

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Psychopathic Presidents

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PsychCentral covers a study that claims presidential candidates benefit from psychopathic behavior. It is purported that traits such as “fearless dominance” can help the Chief lead to their best abilities:

“In fact, he noted that fearless dominance, linked to low social and physical apprehensiveness, correlates with better-rated presidential performance for leadership, persuasiveness, crisis management and Congressional relations.”

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Support Anti-Bullying Organizations

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You can help support Hold On Another Day and Project Believe In Me, two largely youth-run organizations that fight bullying, by contributing to the production of their compilation album, “Songs For Project Believe In Me.” Once the album is completed, the organizations will match each purchase by giving a copy of the album to a teen dealing with bullying.

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Trouble In Nipple Paradise

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The New Yorker recently posted a cartoon which features a naked, and post-coital, Adam and Eve to their Facebook page. What resulted was a kerfuffle between the magazine and social media site over their nudity regulation policies. Specifically, Facebook took issue with Eve’s cartoon nipples, leading to the magazine’s Facebook page being temporarily shut down.

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Anti-Nanotechnology Terrorism

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Nature investigates the rising number of terrorism attacks, and threats, against researchers in the field of nanotechnology. Those perpetrating the violence claim to be environmental activists, and believe that nanotechnology will result in further harm to our planet. They are not afraid to make their mission known:

“The next day, an eco-anarchist group calling itself Individuals Tending Towards Savagery (ITS) claimed responsibility for the bombing in a 5,500-word diatribe against nanotechnology that it published online.

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Checking In With The Curiosity Rover

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Using a camera on its arm, the Curiosity rover took a break from its Mars excursion to snap a self-portrait.

Maggie Koerth-Baker documents the picture and explores how time passes on Earth versus how it passes on Mars, for Boing BoingShe explains that the Martian equivalent to an Earth day is a “Sol,” and is titled so because a day on Mars is slightly longer:

“What really stuck out to me, though, was the use of  ’Sol 32′.

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Google Maps

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The Atlantic was lucky enough to take a behind the scenes tour of Google Maps headquarters.

During this tour, the incredible amounts of information gathered and processed by the tech giant is made very clear. They aim to make all information available in the physical world available in the digital world.

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