“It feels safer to believe that one person will always come out of the relationship with clean hands, and that only monsters hurt people. But this belief can actually make it harder for victims to get out of abusive situations. Abusers are human; so are the people they abuse. Both parties are capable of feeling and inflicting pain. If we can’t envision abusers as anything less than monstrous, or if we require victims to be perfect, then identifying and escaping abuse becomes that much harder. None of this is any excuse for abuse, because there is no excuse for that; still, maybe just because of its basis in well-known abuse cases, “The Way You Lie” has become a way for many people to discuss the ways in which our picture of abuse sometimes diverges from the reality. And that discussion is important.”

- Sady Doyle makes the argument I’ve been trying to articulate for about a year and a half.

“We wanted Betty to read The Feminine Mystique and get her mind blown and rise above; or, we wanted her to stay a victim, so we could relate to her better, or at least keep feeling sorry for her. But sometimes, people just get damaged until they start damaging. Sometimes, people are lost. We hate Betty now because she’s not going to stay a victim, but the truth is, she’s also not going to be saved.”

- Sady Doyle on the heartbreak that is Betty Draper.

“Mad Men has become one of our most popular tools for talking about white, straight male privilege in America; it’s all but allegorical in its treatment of it. And both potential resolutions to the problem of Don are satisfying as allegory. No matter how much resistance that privilege meets, it tends to find a way to preserve itself, and to maintain control of the world around it, like Don. No matter how powerful that privilege is, it’s always being met with resistance, also like Don.”

- Sady Doyle on why Don Draper is just the worst.


Literary grand-dame Edith Wharton, who most famously penned The Age of Innocence, apparently also penned chesty accounts of Victorians doing the nasty. Lapham’s Quarterly has one of her stories.

Here’s a PG excerpt:

“Again her burning lips were parted by his…

Please. Haven’t you heard that Playboy devoted an issue to the newest translation of Madame Bovary? Complete with Bovary-themed pictorial!

“Spaghetti tacos has made it possible to eat spaghetti in your car. It’s a very important technological development. You don’t even need a plate.”

Robert Thompson, a professor of popular culture at Syracuse University, on the new culinary phenomenon. 

Stream: Brandon Flowers and Jenny Lewis - “Hard Enough”


We’ve heard the first single, “Crossfire,” as well as live previews from the new Brandon Flowers solo album, Flamingo, but now the anticipated studio version of “Hard Enough,” featuring guest vocals by Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis, has surfaced. Though I was hoping for a full solo verse from Lewis (making the tune a more proper duet), she mostly provides harmony vocals for the choruses and bridge here. That said, it’s hard to deny Lewis’ gorgeous Emmylou Harris-esque backup vocal chops and “Hard Enough” offers plenty of proof to that end.

Check out the radio rip via YouTube below:

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This made my whole entire morning. 

Last night’s sunset, which totally led me to experience every single reaction outlined by NYMag (my tweet didn’t post the first time, so I gave up). I feel kind of manipulated by nature. 

“Following those social observations…came her diatribes about work, especially the complaints about her bosses, the top editors of Newsweek…with their heavy drinking and groping and hideous taste in ties and composition blind choices in photos and jarring color schemes for graphs, and their indecisive and constant tearing up of the cover in a hopeless attempt to figure out on Friday what story would still be big by Monday’s release of the magazine, when my God, wasn’t it obvious that trying to be relevant was pointless, given the new twenty-four hour TV cable news and the daily newspapers, which would have the latest anyway? All newsmagazines could hope especially to provide their readers was an in-depth look at last week’s headlines, but not, they said those covers didn’t sell. The truth, she announced for the ten thousandth time, is that what sells is movie stars.”

-  Newsweek in the 80s, from Raphael Yglesias’s very sad but also infuriating and disappointing novel, “A Happy Marriage”. I should have known from the very first sentence, which compares the love of his life to recently trashed Chinese leftovers. 





Facebook and Twitter’s New Rival

For publishers, services like Tumblr reflect a broader shift in their relationship with their audience, said James E. Katz, a professor of communications at Rutgers University.

“Going back 20 years, publications like Rolling Stone didn’t interact with readers except for letters to the editor,” Mr. Katz said. “One of the realizations that cultural leaders and publishers have had is that there is a lot of expertise, wisdom and ideas in their readership.”

The ability to respond online turns readers into co-creators, he said, which can give them a sense of ownership.

“That is an extremely valuable commodity for publishers these days, even if it does not yet translate to revenue,” Mr. Katz said.


Apparently, they found some other news to also print in the NYT, but none so important as this. Seriously, this was really nice; thanks, Jenna.


All this BEFORE his official first day!

“What I am happy to pay for are stories that a freelancer has landed cold before he or she ever sends me a pitch. Like the story John H. Tucker, a Columbia graduate student sent me a couple months ago. He had done his reporting, nailed a great story, wrote the thing with skill and care, and there was no way I could turn him down when he sent it to me on spec. The result was our cover last month, “Tales of Hippie Crack.””

-  Village Voice editor Tony Ortega, singing the praises of an excellent journalist and all-around good dude. Read Tuck’s piece here.

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