7.25.2010 New York Times Digest

1. “The Web Means the End of Forgetting”

“The fact that the Internet never seems to forget is threatening, at an almost existential level, our ability to control our identities; to preserve the option of reinventing ourselves and starting anew; to overcome our checkered pasts.”

2. “No Air-Conditioning, and Happy”

“For Mr. Cox, 54, the air-conditioner has not been turned on in any sort of regular fashion since 1977.”

3. “Doin’ Just Fine, Alone With Her Wigs”

“My thing is that it’s one thing to stay in the house, but I don’t stay in the house like a depressed person. I am celebrating life.”

4. “A Hat So In, It’s Got to Be Out”

“It’s an accessory that’s easy to wear. It doesn’t require great cleavage or washboard abs or a high threshold for pain. It’s got a bit of attitude, but it doesn’t make a noisy fashion statement. It’s men’s wear that looks good on women.”

5. “Snooki’s Time”

“She is busty and short-waisted with small legs; sort of like a turnip turned on its tip. There is the weird tan, but the pièce de résistance of Snookiness is the half-doughnut-shaped pouf on top of her head.”

6. “Prep, Forward and Back”

“People spent years hunting down rare copies. They traded them online for prices that reached into the thousands. They photocopied and distributed them in design studios like fashion samizdat.”

7. “Married, but Sleeping Alone”

“Nearly one in four American couples sleep in separate bedrooms or beds, the National Sleep Foundation reported in a 2005 survey.”

8. “Facebook Is to the Power Company as …”

“Here are services everyone uses, no matter how much people dislike the companies that provide them.”

9. “Girl Pop’s Lady Gaga Makeover”

“From the start of her career Madonna was a savvy pop trickster, using outrageous imagery as a distraction while smuggling ideas about religion and social politics into her music. Most of the Gaga generation, however, is interested in distraction as an end in itself.”

10. “Everybody’s a Critic of the Critics’ Rabid Critics”

“I’m going to have to see it again.”

11. “The Errors of Our Ways”

“Witness, for instance, the difficulty with which even the well-mannered among us stifle the urge to say ‘I told you so.’ The brilliance of this phrase … derives from its admirably compact way of making the point that not only was I right, I was also right about being right. In the instant of uttering it, I become right squared, maybe even right factorial, logarithmically right — at any rate, really, extremely right, and really, extremely delighted about it.”

12. “Digital Tools for Making Brilliant Mistakes”

“Practically every antiquated creative process ends up inspiring some kind of digital filter, effect or add-on designed explicitly to mimic its singular properties.”

13. “New Orleans’s Gender-Bending Rap”

“It is a sad understatement to say that homosexuality and hip-hop make for an unlikely fusion: hip-hop culture is one of the most unrepentantly homophobic cultures in America, surpassing even its own attitudes toward women in bigotry and smirking advocacy of violence. But New Orleans’s tolerance of unlikely fusions is legendary, and today Katey Red, along with a handful of other artists — Big Freedia, Sissy Nobby, Chev off the Ave, Vockah Redu — are not just accepted mainstays of the bounce scene but its most prominent representatives outside New Orleans.”



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