Every now and then there are some good things on the internet that you can afford to spend a little time on. Here are some:
Jeffrey Essmann’s Nipples at the State Fair is astounding all the way through. My favorite sentence: “I particularly liked a ride called the Calypso, which, as might be expected, had great music, and made you feel like you were going in four different directions at once.”
Nitsuh Abebe’s most recent Why We Fight, which discusses nostalgia and taste and vampires. I can’t wait for the day in 20 years when everyone will say, “Hey remember that time in the 2010s when I thought about nostalgia a lot?” and then I will think of this essay and laugh at myself, the plucky 28-year-old woman feeling nostalgic.
The Fierce Intimacy of Tennis Rivalries by Gerald Marzorati explains why I love tennis and is accompanied by a photo gallery of Andy Samberg playing both Borg and McEnroe. It’s a great history and exploration of tennis, and I’m specifically impressed with the representation of Nadal’s imperfect English as imperfect. Don’t love it only because it mentions Nadal’s “biceps stretching” in the lede; it’s a fantastic piece of writing. Earlier this week I attempted to write about tennis and found myself only listing demographic characteristics; one day I’d like to write something like this.
“Paragraph 2: Uh oh! I don’t fit in and here’s why. This is a good place to add in stuff about your personal background. Remember that you’re totally fascinating and that YOU’RE the story. This is also a good place to sneak in some class jabs—talk about how juggalos are fat, or didn’t go to college, or never left their small towns. Is this what makes them so caa-rrayyyy-zeeeee? No! Don’t answer that. Remember the rules. NO ACTUAL JOURNALISM PERMITTED. Oh also here, mention getting soaked in Faygo. Sprinkle mentions of this throughout.”—
Why don’t we call them internships? Although in publishing and arts organizations, the word “internship” has…
People have asked me why we don’t call TCR positions internships. It’s because they’re not actually internships! They’re volunteer positions where you can pretty much define your own role. Interns aren’t legally allowed to define their own role— so even if you’re a major arts organization hiring an “unpaid intern” for 20 hours a week, you’re still not legally allowed to have interns do anything that would displace normal staff, which is why it’s bullshit to hire interns for more than 8 hours a week (unless, of course, it’s an instructive internship program where you sit in on seminars and meetings and stuff).
The internship system is pretty evil and frequently abused, and it would be super cool if local arts orgs, publishing houses, etc., that have the money to pay an intern minimum wage would do so. I got paid for my two publishing internships, and it was the only reason I was able to have those jobs in the first place. It is pretty unfair to kids who have to work for a living if you don’t pay your interns.
It devalues your profession if you have interns doing skilled labor for free. It sets the standard for creative projects to be “side projects” for another type of job— and that’s totally bullshit. If you want volunteers, say that you want volunteers.
Anyway, TCR is looking for volunteers, and we’re not totally off the ground yet, but we’re really close to getting there. It’s a pretty cool experience. Come work with us. Help make something new.
“I mean I fully admit that I am uptight about a lot of things. The rise of people going to parties just to take pictures of one another instead of to actually talk to one another. My looks. (Yes, related.) The hypersexualization of society, from Smurf porn on up. There’s tons more, and if you ply me with enough wine I will tell you about it. But I just feel like this “LOOK AT ME, WORLD, AND LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I WANT YOU TO SEE ME” pose put forth by XOJane and other similarly siren.jpg-studded sites for ladies is both not sustainable and drowning out voices possessed by women who might not be comfortable with sharing every sexy/salacious/OMG-worthy detail of their lives (or who might not already be celebrities, which is another topic for another post) as a way to care about Important Issues. I know, I know, you have to put forth the chocolate to get kids to eat the vegetables, but lately the Internet feels like it’s all chocolate, with the angry parts being I guess the kind that has a couple of serrano peppers chopped in for good measure. And it goes back to what I was saying when the site launched a mere three months ago: What happens when these women who are being pushed to mine their lives for high-volume content sites run out of stories?”—
Here is an excerpt from an event I am “attending” from the Facebook, which takes a place at Walker Open Field and invites people to read together or something:
Finding myself unable or unwilling to make time for personal, nonwork pleasure book reading, I realized that I would, probably, actually pay to go somewhere, preferably a quiet place with comfortable chairs, proper lighting, and no electronics, and read. In our busy lives, will book lovers actually make time, intentionally, to go to a designated place solely to read a book, for an extended period of time, unplugged?
I am all fine with reading time in the Flatpak house, but to address the above question: What is wrong with the library that you can’t just go there to read, uninterrupted? Coffee shops and bookstores also work for this purpose, but here in the Twin Cities, we have some really nice library spaces that are pretty quiet and very comfortable. Also, the internet doesn’t work very well in the Hennepin County Libraries, so it is like you are completely unplugged. What is wrong with the library? Do you really feel like you need to pay someone to find a place to read?
And for all the “information should be free” people who complain about paywalls: information is free, at the library. (For the record, I have mixed feelings about “Information should be free,” but mostly it’s a super general statement that needs context, and when it’s in the context of paywalls, I have little sympathy, because of the public library.)
Did you forget about the library because of the internet? Do you think there are too many vagrants at the library? Is the lighting there bad? Are the statements made above classist? Do we really need a “curated” event to read somewhere quietly? Don’t you think, sometimes, that there are too many curated events? Did you just watch too much Parks & Rec and now you think the library is evil?
I was going to post this on Facebook, but it was too long. Anyway, maybe you can answer this for me here, or in the comments, or in a news article for your publication:
Theater folks, I have (naive!) questions about the economics of MN Fringe: Why are individual Fringe tickets are relatively pricey? $16 is a lot for a 60-minute show when you’re not too sure what kind of performance you’re going to see; it seems like the intended audience is mostly people who are passionate about seeing as much theater as possible and not casual theatergoers. Most of the promotion I’ve seen highlights specific names— so if you’re not familiar with much of the local theater scene you can’t really distinguish between shows. And since it’s not juried and repeat performances are based on sales, how much benefit does Fringe have for theater companies?