Glenn Howerton, best known as Dennis on It’s Always Sunny…, but also very good in the new show A.P. Bio, was recently profiled by GQ:
You know what I think it is? [The characters are] an interesting parallel to what I think is wrong in society in general, which is, it’s the most extreme version of someone who is out only for themselves. In a weird way, here we are in a free market economy, in a democracy, you’re given permission to get whatever you can get, as long as you’re acting within the confines of the laws, you’re encouraged to. “Hey, if you can go make a billion dollars, go make a billion dollars.”
And that’s great in theory. But I do think it lends itself to a mindset like “Yeah, I stepped on a couple heads on my way, but I didn’t break any fucking laws. So fuck you. Fuck you.” And that doesn’t build communities, it doesn’t lead to happiness. And yet we still celebrate it.
This is a really great interview.
Iconic toy retailer Toys ‘R’ Us Inc will shutter or sell its stores in the United States after failing to revamp its struggling business, putting 30,000 jobs at risk and leaving a void for vendors who supplied the company with $11 billion worth of goods a year.
As a kid there was no place I wanted to go more than Toys ‘R’ Us.
Ed Christman, writing for Billboard:
iHeartMedia and some of its subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 protection last night after reaching a pre-packaged agreement with its principle creditors that will apparently see the company cut its debt in half to $10 billion after a debt-to-equity swap with some debt holders; and the spinoff of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, which is not a part of the Chapter 11 proceedings.
Addie Wagenknecht interviewed Claire Evans, the author of the new book Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet, for Forbes:
The easy thing is to say that Broad Band is a feminist history of the Internet. That’s what I’ve been telling people. Maybe it’s more accurate to say that it’s a history of the Internet told through women’s stories: boots-on-the-ground accounts of where the women were, how they were feeling and working, at specific, formative moments in Internet history. It emphasizes users and those who design for use, while many popular tech histories tend to zero in on the box
This book looks extremely in my wheelhouse. Can’t wait to read it.
Brian Truitt, writing for USA Today:
Singer/songwriter Halsey is voicing the Amazon princess Wonder Woman — who travels around in her signature invisible jet — and rapper Lil Yachty plays Green Lantern in the upcoming animated movie (in theaters July 27) that takes the young heroes of the Cartoon Network show Teen Titans GO! to the big screen.
Alex Pareene, writing at Splinter:
Bari Weiss, an editor for the Times opinion section, has written a column about the incident, arguing that these students, who asked that Sommers not address their school, then heckled and insulted her (as she insulted them), and then finally let her speak and engaged in dialogue with her, fundamentally don’t understand how “free speech” works.
“Yes,” Weiss says, “these future lawyers believe that free speech is acceptable only when it doesn’t offend them. Which is to say, they don’t believe in it at all.”
I couldn’t agree more: If you think offensive speech shouldn’t be aired in certain contexts and venues, you don’t believe in free speech. Which is why it is incumbent on Weiss, and her bosses, to ask me to come to the offices of the New York Times and give a talk to the editors and columnists of the opinion page about how stupid they are.
It is absolutely necessary, for the sake of democratic ideals, that the staff attend my talk, and they must listen politely (and quietly) as I condescendingly dismiss their idiotic worldviews and personally insult them. They cannot yell at me or express indignation in any way. For them not to allow this to happen would be an alarming sign of the decline of liberalism in the West.
This whole piece if fantastic.
Today I came across this app called Scratch Track. The app lets you record song ideas and easily share them with bandmates to foster collaboration and keep everything in one spot. Here’s the founder on Medium talking about the app:
The concept for Scratch Track came from years of playing in DIY/punk bands, where musicians are always adapting to the latest, cheapest recording tools for capturing basic ideas. In recent years, we’ve found ourselves and many others relying heavily on the Voice Memo app (a simple recording tool that comes pre-installed on the iPhone). Capturing new ideas with Voice Memo was incredibly easy, but unfortunately, everything after that was a struggle.
You can watch a quick trailer here. The group sharing/collaboration feature is pretty great. I think being able to add notes and tags to the song clips would help with searching and sorting. This is definitely an app I’ll be keeping an eye on.
Emma Prestwich, writing for HuffPost:
A Toronto tattoo artist says she is weary of the backlash after she offered to cover up tattoos related to B.C. band Hedley for free. […] “I’m just a tattoo artist who wanted to do a nice thing, and it is incredibly overwhelming fielding all the anger.”
People have accused her of trying to get attention for her business, taking advantage of a “shitty situation,” and criticized her for believing anonymous accusations.
Jason Fagone, writing for HuffPost:
So perhaps it was only fitting that at age 64, Jerry found himself contemplating that most alluring of puzzles: the lottery. He was recently retired by then, living with Marge in a tiny town called Evart and wondering what to do with his time. After stopping in one morning at a convenience store he knew well, he picked up a brochure for a brand-new state lottery game. Studying the flyer later at his kitchen table, Jerry saw that it listed the odds of winning certain amounts of money by picking certain combinations of numbers.
That’s when it hit him. Right there, in the numbers on the page, he noticed a flaw—a strange and surprising pattern, like the cereal-box code, written into the fundamental machinery of the game.
These kinds of stories suck me in like no other.
Casey Hopkins, from Elevation Lab (makers of quite a few products I really like), has posted a blog about how Amazon is complicit in helping promote counterfeiters:
When someone goes to the lengths of making counterfeits of your products, it’s at least a sign you’re doing something right. And it deserves a minute of flattery.
But when Chinese counterfeiters tool up and make copies of your product, send that inventory to Amazon, then overtake the real product’s buy box by auto-lowering the price – it’s a real problem. Customers are unknowingly buying crap versions of the product, while both Amazon and the scammers are profiting, and the reputation you’ve built goes down the toilet.
I have their headphone anchor under my desk and it’s fantastic.
Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional sat down with GQ:
When I’m writing, I have to allow that to be the most important thing that I could possibly be doing. That’s what happens with a lot of people when they make more and more records. There’s more important stuff that comes around. Responsibility creeps in, and it’s necessary and wonderful. But I think you have to make an agreement with yourself: When a song begins to feel like a real thing, you’re just going to have to let that be the moment you’re going to be in. And not be distracted and be selfish. Not meet your friend like you said you were going to. Or finish your bills. Or route your tour. Or whatever else your responsibilities are.
This GQ profile of Brendan Fraser is fantastic:
His eyes are pale and a bit watery these days—less wide than they used to be when he was new to the screen, playing guys who were often new to the world. Blue-gray stubble around the once mighty chin, gray long-sleeve shirt draped indifferently over the once mighty body. I’m 35: There was a time when the sight of Fraser was as familiar to me as the furniture in my parents’ house.
Baxter Holmes, writing at ESPN:
At the Cavs’ morning shootaround before their loss in Sacramento, Wade, sitting along the sideline, about six weeks before being traded back to Miami, is asked who on the Cavs knows the most about wine. Without hesitation, he points at James, who stands across the court. “He knows a lot. It’s just something he don’t want to share,” Wade says. “But when we go out, it’s, Bron, what wine we getting? You ask most of the guys on the team who orders the wine, we leave it to him to order.”
Indeed, among the Cavs, the legend of LeBron’s oenophilia is large.
As Love says, when it comes to wine, “Bron has a supercomputer in his brain.”
This is a really great article.
Dina Leygerman, writing on Medium:
Every year, before I teach 1984 to my seniors, I run a simulation. Under the guise of “the common good,” I turn my classroom into a totalitarian regime; I become a dictator. I tell my seniors that in order to battle “Senioritis,” the teachers and admin have adapted an evidence-based strategy, a strategy that has “been implemented in many schools throughout the country and has had immense success.” I hang posters with motivational quotes and falsified statistics, and provide a false narrative for the problem that is “Senioritis.” I tell the students that in order to help them succeed, I must implement strict classroom rules.
This year, they were having none of this shit:
I’ve done this experiment numerous times, albeit not consecutively, and every year I have similar results. This year, however, the results were different. This year, a handful of students did fall in line as always. The majority of students, however, rebelled. By day two of the simulation, the students were contacting members of administration, writing letters, and creating protest posters. They were organizing against me and against the admin.
Benjamin Mayo writes about one of the bigger issues I have with Apple Music’s categorization of albums:
What a human would think of as an artist’s albums, and what Apple Music lists, are completely different. EPs, singles, specials, deluxe, originals are all shoehorned under one name ‘Albums’. There is no way to filter these out. This really makes finding what you want hard. When you know what you want to find, all this backwardly organised catalogue gets in your way.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard of a new artist, gone to their page to listen to their latest album, clicked the first “album” artwork I saw, and then had to click back once I realize it’s just a single release. This seems like a really simple fix in the interface.
The Nashville Post is reporting that the Gibson Guitar Company is in very bad financial shape:
“This year is critical and they are running out of time — rapidly,” said Cassidy, who last summer downgraded Gibson’s debt rating. “And if this ends in bankruptcy, he will give up the entire company.”
Rafi Schwartz, writing at Splinter News:
On Wednesday, 17 people—the vast majority of them children—were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. The suspected gunman, Nikolas Cruz, was apprehended by police late Wednesday, leaving America to grapple with yet another horrific act of gun violence.
In the wake of this latest mass murder, lawmakers have once again resorted to the now-cliché gesture of offering “thoughts and prayers” for the victims of the Parkland shooting, while stopping conspicuously short of actually acting on their laughably hollow sentiment. And once again, those lawmakers are the very same people who have gladly pocketed dollar after blood-soaked dollar from the National Rifle Association.
This country has a sickness. We are very, very broken. And we need to make massive changes to even begin the process of healing what we’ve created.
Aja Romano, writing for Vox:
On social media, racist trolls are currently attempting to fake a battle that isn’t happening by stealing photos, many of assault victims, from various parts of the internet and claiming they’re evidence of attacks by black moviegoers during Thursday night showings of Black Panther.
What the fuck is wrong with people?
Vulture have an excerpt from the upcoming book, All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire, about how the infamous “fuck” scene from the fourth episode came about:
He explained the whole scene to us. He said, “Now you guys are going to do that whole thing, but they’re going to be on me about the profanity and language that we use.” So, I said, “Let’s just come out the box with it.” He said, “You’re going to do that whole scene, but the only word you can say is ‘fuck.’” I said, “What?”
It’s an incredible scene from one of my favorite shows of all time. I’m looking forward to this book.