The Call Up

The best of the internet as curated by me. Put me in coach.

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March 18, 2014 10:25 pm
"American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People."

PAUL KRUGMAN, writing in today’s New York Times, "That Old-Time Whistle."

The absolute truth in 27 words.

(via inothernews)

And as Those People grow to be Most All of the People, the GOP will keep losing.

March 9, 2014 10:38 pm
"

If you walk into a farm-supply store today, you’re likely to find a bag of antibiotic powder that claims to boost the growth of poultry and livestock. That’s because decades of agricultural research has shown that antibiotics seem to flip a switch in young animals’ bodies, helping them pack on pounds. Manufacturers brag about the miraculous effects of feeding antibiotics to chicks and nursing calves. Dusty agricultural journals attest to the ways in which the drugs can act like a kind of superfood to produce cheap meat.

But what if that meat is us? Recently, a group of medical investigators have begun to wonder whether antibiotics might cause the same growth promotion in humans.

"

We are not a smart species, despite what Darwin says.

(Source: The New York Times)

December 7, 2013 11:24 am
"Millennials appear to be more interested in living lives defined by meaning than by what some would call happiness. They report being less focused on financial success than they are on making a difference."

Ha! We ARE better than you.  

Also, this now makes my B school essay seem very predictable… 

(Source: The New York Times)

October 19, 2013 10:39 am March 26, 2013 4:14 pm
"While North Dakota long has had stringent abortion regulations — and lawmakers opposed to the practice regularly have tried to impose further restrictions over the years — abortion-rights advocates here have felt particularly on the defensive this year because of the sheer number of bills introduced and their sweeping scope."

God dammit.  I wish women were in charge of things.  I would counter every anti-abortion proposal with anti-masturbation, anti-adultery and anti-pornography measures.  Because if you’re that interested in what I do with my body, I’m gonna get real interested in yours.

(Source: The New York Times)

9:30 am
"Justice Antonin Scalia remarked wryly, “I suppose we could have a questionnaire at the marriage desk asking, ‘Are you fertile?’”"

That Scalia! (The title to a new half-hour comedy on Fox). 

(Source: The New York Times)

March 9, 2013 11:00 am
"He’s a typical person trained at Oxford. He knows he’s part of an elite and can’t imagine such things would happen to him.” Indeed, Frampton sees academia’s denizens as creative misfits who deserve special protection. “People who are socially inept can nevertheless be the most creative people,” he told me one afternoon on the telephone. “It’s very important that they can’t be fired. This is the genius of tenure."

This is great.  Sometimes you just want to read a good piece of crime writing about a fake love story, a stupid brilliant person, the tenure system, drugs and international prisons.  

(Source: The New York Times)

February 20, 2013 9:08 pm
"In what would prove to be their greatest achievement of all, the Lunchables team would delve into adolescent psychology to discover that it wasn’t the food in the trays that excited the kids; it was the feeling of power it brought to their lives. As Bob Eckert, then the C.E.O. of Kraft, put it in 1999: “Lunchables aren’t about lunch. It’s about kids being able to put together what they want to eat, anytime, anywhere.”"

This piece is fascinating.  The research, science, marketing and strategizing that goes on at these food companies is, in any other industry, par for the course.  But because it’s totally dedicated to making us further stuff our faces, it transforms into an utterly devious undertaking.

(Source: The New York Times)

February 19, 2013 5:29 pm
"In the first episode, she played a stay-at-home mom pining for a bigger house; by the third season, she was the school principal — her husband’s boss. Britton said she was “rabid” about holding the producers to their promise that her character would do more than just cheer on her husband from the bleachers."

More evidence to the awesomeness of Connie Britton/Tami Taylor. Still the best couple ever put on the small screen.

(Source: The New York Times)

February 17, 2013 10:00 am
"Brain scan studies reveal that the sight of an attractive product can trigger the part of the motor cerebellum that governs hand movement. Instinctively, we reach out for attractive things; beauty literally moves us."

Can I use this to explain my shopping problem?

(Source: The New York Times)

February 16, 2013 11:22 am
"I don’t think we need to be in Brooklyn,” said Marie Labropoulos, who recently moved to Westchester County and opened a shop, Kalliste, selling artisanal vegan soap in Dobbs Ferry. “We’re bringing Brooklyn with us."

Oh God.

(Source: The New York Times)

February 10, 2013 3:48 pm
"Artists don’t usually give satisfying answers to the question of how or why they do what they do, and maybe that’s for the best. Sometimes songs mean more to us when we don’t totally grasp the lyrics. Ocean is acutely aware of this. He knows that, as much as anything, he is selling an idea. “That’s why image is so important,” he said. “That’s why you’ve got to practice brevity when you do interviews like this. I could try to make myself likable to you so you could write a piece that keeps my image in good standing, because I’m still selling this, or I could just say, ‘My art speaks for itself.’ ”"

It’s interesting that Ocean was so tight-lipped for this piece.  For a guy that routinely spills his guts in his songs and on his website, he has an acute sense of control.  Perhaps it’s indicative of a new media market — where you can write, direct, and release your own album, and market yourself in a way you choose, not depending on old media outlets to tell your story.  Perhaps its just that he’s an artist in the truest sense — something we haven’t seen since the days of Bob Dylan sniping at the press corp while writing songs that would make you cry (or riot).

In 1980, if you wanted to learn about a rock star, you read Rolling Stone, and the artists clamored for the opportunity.  But there remained a certain sort of enigma, as the distance between artist and listener was chasmic.  Ocean manages to achieve mystery and persona, but connects deeply with his fans in these confessional posts and songs.  To do so means he has to be incredibly wary of what he reveals, and to whom.  Overexposure is so commonplace is today’s market, it’s profound to find someone who controls his image so intensely and yet reveals so much of himself.  It has to be exhausting.  

(Source: The New York Times)

2:24 pm
"“It’s all or nothing,” she wrote, flagging a dichotomy: cooking in trendy restaurants has never been fattier, while the trend of “cleansing” with a severe regimen of liquefied fruits, vegetables and nuts has never been hotter. Feast or famine. Binge or beet juice."

As I sat in a restaurant this week, seriously discussing the virtues of juicing, wheatgrass, and kale with a heterosexual man, it occurred to me that while LA is utterly absurd, I prefer this absurdity.  I could watch myself having this totally insane conversation, one which I would have mocked a year ago, and I loved every second of it. 

Leaving Chicago, where bacon, pork belly, butter, and beer dominate the dining scene, I can’t help but notice how much I don’t miss it.  At all.  In Chicago, NYC, and even SF, to be hip is to have tried the newest restaurant, done the full 12 course tasting menu, and then go for brunch the next day.  Don’t get me wrong, my juice cleanse was closely followed by In n Out and my diet would horrify the more image-obsessed Angelenos out there (of which there are many), but the food fixation just isn’t the same.

But outside of that, this piece is discussing the broader trends of extremes in this country — in food, in sports, in politics, in media consumption.  Bruni blames the internet…I blame consumer, ad-driven culture.  When industries and empires are built on convincing the public of how much stuff we need to eat/watch/buy/try, it’s inevitable. Marketing and advertising work.

(Source: The New York Times)

October 22, 2012 7:43 pm
Fact Checking Mitt Romney

You know…if you’re going to write an op-ed that you will later have to denounce (because, let’s be honest, if you’re Mitt Romney you’ll probably have to denounce everything you’ve ever said at some point), you might want to give it a less damning title than “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”

Just Sayin.

October 21, 2012 8:40 pm
"Much of the criticism of Mr. Deitch centers on a handful of apparent misjudgments, like his decision to mount such academically thin but crowd-pleasing exhibitions as a show of Dennis Hopper’s work curated by Julian Schnabel, another about James Dean curated by the actor James Franco, and a blockbuster show about the global influence of graffiti artists that, despite having attracted 201,352 visitors to the museum’s downtown outpost, the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, was later reviled as populist pap."

Interesting profile in the Times about Jeffrey Deitch, the director of LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art.  A polarizing figure since the beginning.  I must admit the shows running through MOCA and LACMA since I’ve arrived (and the Getty), lack a seriousness.  Herb Ritts?  Come on.  There are great collectors in this city, and a truly impressive art scene bursting with energy, and I wish the institutions here would give a bit more credit to the public with their selections.  Granted, it’s LA, but we don’t need to pander with this pseudo-celebrity curatorial nonsense.

That said, the Taryn Simon show opening at MOCA this week promises to be kick ass. As does the new “Painting the Void” exhibit. 

(Source: The New York Times)