allaboutgeorge + writing   461

Read Jeff Tweedy from Wilco's New Let's Go (So We Can Get Back) Book Excerpt
The trick I was trying to teach myself at the time was how to find a balance between leaving enough room for someone to pour themselves into a song and giving them something concrete and engaging enough to want to be intimately collaborating with you on meaning.
songwriting  art  writing  creativity  books  rock  music 
2 hours ago by allaboutgeorge
The Proposal's Jasmine Guillory on How to Write Consent - The Atlantic
“There are so many hard things going on. [But] reading romances about women of color finding joy and finding love is just something so affirming to me and something that I need to read,” she said. “Because all day you’re looking at the news or you’re on Twitter and you’re seeing all of the bad things that are happening to women out there, and I just need to see men treating women well in a book, you know?”

“Women who have their voices heard and have joy and love and agency—that's the thing I really love about romance.”
writing  books  writers  love  relationships  power  gender  race 
17 days ago by allaboutgeorge
How Stacey Abrams turned heartbreak into a side hustle as a romance novelist - The Washington Post
Leadership requires the ability to engage and to create empathy for communities with disparate needs and ideas. Telling an effective story — especially in romantic suspense — demands a similar skill set. Effective storytelling takes the reader into a life that is both familiar and foreign, enough of both to make space for others to feel empowered to tell their stories.
storytelling  story  writing  politics  language  leadership  novels  books  love  georgia 
23 days ago by allaboutgeorge
Kiese Laymon and Casey Gerald Confront American Success - The Atlantic
“It ain’t about making white folk feel what you feel,” she told him—advice that Gerald’s Granny seems to have lived by too. “It’s about not feeling what they want you to feel. Do you hear me? You better know from whence you came and forget about those folk.” Unlike the American Memoir, our stories must be honest. That is how we get free.
memory  books  nonfiction  writing  race  usa  academia  family  identity  presence 
5 weeks ago by allaboutgeorge
How Philosopher Paul Virilio (1932-2018) Spoke to an Age of Acceleration and Total War | Frieze
Modernity is war on ever increasing scales: expanding from the tactical to the strategic to the logistic. World War II was won not by generals but by quartermasters, by the ones who kept the biggest flows of boots and bullets and bodies moving toward the front.

Modernity is also war on more and more kinds of terrain. Warfare not only took to the air but to the airwaves. The modern world is a condition of generalized information warfare. Not only is architecture vulnerable to bombs, it proves defenseless against information, passing through the doors and walls of our homes, rearranging the space and time we imagine we live within.
war  information  philosophy  speech  theory  writing  nonfiction  wwii  terrorism  terror 
8 weeks ago by allaboutgeorge
The miracle of the United States Postal Service
It maintains six-days-a-week service to 150 million locations, operates 26,410 post offices, and handled nearly 150 billion pieces of mail in 2017 — or 47 percent of all the mail in the world. UPS and FedEx could not possibly handle that volume, especially not to unprofitable far-flung locations — not even for parcels, as the USPS accounts for about 40 percent of Amazon shipping.
infrastructure  history  usa  government  mail  usps  writing  communication 
8 weeks ago by allaboutgeorge
Life During Wartime – Great Escape – Medium
“The moment of writing is a moment of isolation,” he explains. “You’re encaging yourself, you’re putting up your own borders, and believe me, you cannot write about things if you don’t escape from them, especially when you write about conflict. You have to detach yourself from the reality… Distancing yourself was a process of making sure that you were there. I was there, so this means I survived.”
writing  creativity  Gaza  palestine  novels  attention 
10 weeks ago by allaboutgeorge
Paris Review - Robert Caro, The Art of Biography No. 5
I can't start writing a book until I've thought it through and can see it whole in my mind. So before I start writing, I boil the book down to three paragraphs, or two or one—that's when it comes into view. That process might take weeks. And then I turn those paragraphs into an outline of the whole book. That's what you see up here on my wall now—twenty-seven typewritten pages. That's the fifth volume. Then, with the whole book in mind, I go chapter by chapter. I sit down at the typewriter and type an outline of that chapter, let's say if it's a long chapter, seven pages—it's really the chapter in brief, without any of the supporting evidence. Then, each chapter gets a notebook, which I fill with all the materials I want to use—quotations and facts pulled from all of the research I’ve done.
research  history  interview  biography  books  writing  journalism  authors 
11 weeks ago by allaboutgeorge
The pain and joy of the side hustle - Columbia Journalism Review
“Journalists are the most underpaid people in the knowledge economy, when you think about credentials and skills and people who can understand and analyze data, write stories, self-motivate, interview people, design,” Flood says.
journalism  work  jobs  writing  employment  career  publishing  media  newspapers 
june 2018 by allaboutgeorge
Catapult | Writing Letters to Mao | Jennifer S. Cheng
All writers in some way compose love letters to their obsessions. A letter can be a document of deep ambivalences, contradictions, and silences, submerged in the complexities of shared and unshared histories. Or: a longing to locate two disparate points in an expanse of sky.
writing  china  asian  asianamerncan  memory  immigration  history  power 
april 2018 by allaboutgeorge
Hanya Yanagihara: influential magazine editor by day, best-selling author by night | Books | The Guardian
The private,” she says, “becomes much more sharply private when you have a job, especially one that’s in the world. It reminds you on a daily basis of what people sound like, how they move, what their concerns are, how they think.”
news  work  magazines  writing  journalism  privacy 
april 2018 by allaboutgeorge
Unlearning Woody Allen | Jewish Currents
It’s a cop-out to say that the heart wants what it wants. We have to ask ourselves who taught the heart what it wants, and whether it’s capable of wanting something more.
film  cinema  relationships  feminism  writing  creativity  culture  power 
march 2018 by allaboutgeorge
On Mourning Your Former Selves - Original Essay by Morgan Jerkins
I have disturbed myself: this is how I know that I have accomplished something grand. I have unraveled a part of myself, and my emotional and physiological responses demonstrate that what I have written is not trivial. And therefore, the title seems fitting: This is (in fact) my undoing.
time  memory  writing  storytelling  transparency  nonfiction  identity 
february 2018 by allaboutgeorge
A Conversation With Dave Eggers and Mokhtar Alkhanshali About 'The Monk of Mokha'
One day I walked into a specialty coffee shop and had a cup of naturally processed coffee from Ethiopia’s Yirgacheffe region. I tasted blueberries, honeysuckle, and it had a sweet lingering aftertaste. The barista spoke to me about where it was grown, the elevation, varietal, how it was processed — but most of all, how their direct relationship to these growers make it possible for the farmers to make more money and live a better life. That part of it really became my entry point into the world of coffee.
coffee  drinking  africa  food  farming  culture  writing  nonfiction  books 
february 2018 by allaboutgeorge
Powell's Q&A: Elastic Realism and Political Fiction; or, A Conversation Between Anca Szilágyi and Susan DeFreitas
I’ll always remember what Kate Bernheimer said once, about how fairy tales are radical: sometimes you have to cut off a finger to use it as a key to get out of a locked room. 
writing  fiction  politics  storytelling  creativity 
february 2018 by allaboutgeorge
Ben H. Bagdikian, Reporter of Broad Range and Conscience, Dies at 96 - The New York Times
“Never forget,” he told his students at the outset, “that your obligation is to the people. It is not, at heart, to those who pay you, or to your editor, or to your sources, or to your friends, or to the advancement of your career. It is to the public.”
journalism  obituaries  washington  publishing  corporations  power  reporting  writing 
january 2018 by allaboutgeorge
Jen Cloher on music and Courtney Barnett: ‘It’s been three years since I kissed envy goodbye’ | Music | The Guardian
“I lived my life outside of Catholic girls’ school largely as a boy … At Loreto [College], I was daily confused by the endless rules and protocol of being a young lady … I lived for the weekends when I could transform once again into that confident, sexy little man in black: John Cloher.”
australia  indie  rock  music  writing  songwriting  creativity 
january 2018 by allaboutgeorge
Blade Runner 2049: Writer Michael Green Shares On-Set Journal - Thrillist
A spoiler: The first line of dialogue spoken in Blade Runner 2049 is “Hope you don’t mind me taking the liberty.” It wasn’t scripted that way. But movie dialogue is clay to be molded and moved around. That this bit of clay landed where it did gives me joy -- a private joke, shared by all who were offered a chance to continue the story told in one of the most revered films of all time and said, "Sure."
movies  film  writing  creativity  language 
january 2018 by allaboutgeorge
The Beat Generation: Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, Diane di Prima look back at an American cultural movement - Washington Post
More than a half-century after their emergence, the Beats still offer up wild style, a sense of freedom and wonder for the natural world almost unrivaled in postwar literature. But their work has perhaps been more misinterpreted than nearly any literary group in history — partially because there was no consistent ideology binding them. As Ferlinghetti put it succinctly: “The Beat Generation was just Allen Ginsberg’s friends.”
arts  poetry  1950s  1960s  sanfrancisco  bayarea  writing  history  literature  california 
july 2017 by allaboutgeorge
Sherman Alexie on How Trump is Turning the US Into a Reservation
“My mother was a dictionary,” he began. “She was one of the last fluent speakers of our tribal language. She knew dozens of words that no one else knew. When she died, we buried all those words with her.”
americanindian  seattle  washingtonstate  memory  poetry  writing  language 
june 2017 by allaboutgeorge
This article is worthless – Andrew Dunn – Medium
"Chasing page views is a losing battle. Building a stable of committed, enthusiastic subscribers is the only way to sustain a news product in the Internet era. Journalists who are able to help do this will become increasingly valuable."
journalism  audience  writing  media  newspapers  news 
june 2017 by allaboutgeorge
Making culture for the internets—all of them — Editors' Picks — Medium
Whether we’re writing in English or German or Italian or Chinese, we should have the tools to reach the entire world at once.

We thought we already did; we thought it was the internet.

But they have been the internets all along.
twitter  internet  publishing  writing  creativity  language 
march 2013 by allaboutgeorge
Richard Hell Interview - Richard Hell Very Clean Tramp Book Autobiography - Esquire
When you're young, you don't especially think of yourself as being young. You're just alive and everything's interesting and you don't think of things in terms of age because you're not conscious of it. But then you hit your 40s and you realize, well, you're still alive but you're not young anymore. And things start taking a different kind of aspect. And you start getting curious about what it all adds up to. What does it mean to outlive your youth? I wanted to hold my life in my hands and turn it around and look at it in different ways to figure out what the hell had happened, to see if I could put it outside of myself and make it into a material object that I could grasp. So that was part of it. And the other part was I like writing books.
aging  punk  music  rock  writing  biography  nonfiction  history  attention 
march 2013 by allaboutgeorge
On Keeping a Notebook in the Digital Age — Architecting A Life — Medium
If I go back through my ersatz spark file now, each note triggers the memory of something I was thinking at the time, but the fragments look disjointed and nonsensical. It’s a text that is, per Didion, meaningful only to me.
digital  memory  writing  attention  data  information 
march 2013 by allaboutgeorge
Copy-paste journalism wants to be free
With computer-generated journalism, the old quote “information wants to be free” is becoming a reality. And it is happening exactly the way Stewart Brand predicted: “the cost of getting it (information) out is getting lower and lower all the time.”
Luckily for journalists, the free part is only half of the quote. It actually begins with “information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable.” As Brand points out, some of the things you read or see can literally change your life.
journalism  media  information  writing  identity  technology  style  reputation  online  blogging 
march 2013 by allaboutgeorge
A Recent Study Shows That White-Collar Workers Exercise More When Unemployed | Running | OutsideOnline.com
“From an economical jargon, the time cost or opportunity cost is now lower,” said Dhaval Dave, co-author of the study and economics professor at Bentley University. “So you should see a lot more people exercising.”
exercise  work  jobs  employment  writing 
march 2013 by allaboutgeorge
The Poetry of Headlines - Lingua Franca - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Newspaper headlines, as I said last week, are prose poetry. Not only do they have distinctive grammar and diction, they also have a tightly constrained form and even more tightly constrained content. Compared with a headline, a sonnet is a piece of cake.
newspapers  media  poetry  writing  creativity  search  editing  design 
february 2013 by allaboutgeorge
The Weird Thing About Facebook: Status Updates Are The Most Memorable Writing You Do | Co.Create: Creativity Culture Commerce
Facebook posts, as well as Twitter posts, are so memorable because they are what Mickes calls “mind ready": unedited and unfiltered. They’re off-the-cuff remarks and thoughts. These words, which flow quickly and easily from your friend’s mind onto his Facebook page, are then absorbed by you with similar ease. But is it really true that to make people remember what you write, you should simply spew?
facebook  research  socialmedia  twitter  writing  memory  language  blogging 
february 2013 by allaboutgeorge
Pynchon Takes On Silicon Alley - NYTimes.com
Mr. Pynchon, the secretive and widely followed author, is set to publish a new book titled “Bleeding Edge” that has Manhattan’s Silicon Alley as its setting, the publisher, Penguin Press, announced on Monday. The release date is Sept. 17.

The novel, set in 2001, takes place in “the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of September 11,” Penguin said in a release announcing its 2012 results.
nyc  technology  novels  writing  books  fiction  publishing  september11 
february 2013 by allaboutgeorge
QA: David Lee Roth Vents About Van Halen's Future | Music News | Rolling Stone
When I talk to young musicians or authors and they ask for advice, I say, "You gotta learn all the letters of your own personal alphabet. With music, you need to know all the different kinds of music and everything in and around your given instrument." They say, "Well, why would I want to learn somebody else's alphabet?" "Son, you're not gonna invent any new letters in the alphabet, but if you do learn all of them and you can start creating words with them, well, last I looked, the Bible is written in the identical alphabet as all of my favorite pornography. At least you can make an informed choice." [Laughs] Which way is the porn store?
music  writing  songwriting  creativity  rock  language 
february 2013 by allaboutgeorge
Google’s Richard Gingras: 8 questions that will help define the future of journalism » Nieman Journalism Lab
While technology holds great promise, it’s important to recognize that while technology has value it has no “values.” Technology, in and of itself, is not the solution. Yes, it can provide the means for solutions, but it is up to us to determine how to make it so.

We need to rethink every facet of the journalism model in light of the dramatic changes in the architecture of the news ecosystem. I’m not suggesting that everything must change, but a comprehensive rethinking is a necessary and valuable intellectual process.
journalism  media  newspapers  news  google  content  narrative  writing  reporting  work  data  search  social  design  innovation 
april 2012 by allaboutgeorge
Why You Love "The Wire," Explained In Fascinating Detail | Co.Create: Creativity Culture Commerce
"That’s a very interesting question, because one of the main reasons I wanted to explore the video essay format was that I felt it could help bridge the gap between academic and journalistic film criticism," says Lavik. "Film scholarship has become so highly specialized, and often esoteric, that much of it does not even attempt to speak to anyone outside of the research community. Journalistic film criticism, on the other hand, often lacks ambition, I think, and functions merely as a form of consumer guidance. Writers rarely give their readers anything to reach for. Everything is pre-digested for you. The video essay I made is obviously meant for people who have already seen The Wire, but I hope most of those who are familiar with the show will be able to follow my arguments and observations. I certainly don’t think anyone will find it totally incomprehensible. But so what if there’s something you don’t understand? You’re watching it online, so Google it! Coming across something you don’t comprehend is not a cause for offense, but an opportunity to learn.
video  film  criticism  television  baltimore  fiction  journalism  writing  media  story 
april 2012 by allaboutgeorge
The neuroscience of Bob Dylan's genius | Music | The Guardian
Just look at poets, who often rely on literary forms with strict requirements, such as haikus and sonnets. At first glance, this writing method makes little sense, since the creative act then becomes much more difficult. Instead of composing freely, poets frustrate themselves with structural constraints. Unless poets are stumped by the form, unless they are forced to look beyond the obvious associations, they'll never invent an original line. They'll be stuck with clichés and conventions, with predictable adjectives and boring verbs. And this is why poetic forms are so important. When a poet needs to find a rhyming word with exactly three syllables or an adjective that fits the iambic scheme, he ends up uncovering all sorts of unexpected connections; the difficulty of the task accelerates the insight process.
creativity  music  science  brain  dylan  poetry  writing  songwriting 
april 2012 by allaboutgeorge
The Grid TO | The uncanny allure of couples who make music together
When a band involves romance, there’s also a certain voyeuristic thrill for the audienc
music  creativity  love  relationships  writing  rock  songwriting  indie 
july 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Pretentious? It's a compliment - Telegraph
I'm interested in trying to demystify as many things as possible. There's a prejudice against this in the arts community, the idea that if you poke around too much you'll burst the balloon and all the magic will be gone. My feeling is that if you can make the magic disappear, you should. It'll appear somewhere else - you can't get rid of it.
"So when I'm working I'm always alternating between two frames of mind, and they are quite different. One is the delighted child wandering around gasping with pleasure, and the second one is the reflective person saying, 'Why am I excited by that?'
"I don't just want to be the reactive child, which was so much the history of early rock'n'roll. It was so frightened of losing that feeling of delight and wonder that it just looked the other way when it came to adulthood."
attention  uk  writing  thinking 
july 2011 by allaboutgeorge
“Why’s this so good?” No. 3: André Aciman on the geography of longing – Nieman Storyboard - A project of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard
Every time I reread “Shadow Cities” I bring to it my own memories, and something new in the piece stands out. This time it is this sentence, which comes after Aciman has chronicled all the places he’s reminded of when he sits in Straus Park. He’s talking about Rome and Paris and Amsterdam, and then he writes: “This, I think, is when I started to love, if love is the word for it, New York.”

We see the words “I love New York” a lot, but it’s a bumper-sticker sentence. It’s for tourists, for export. I love how Aciman’s sentence unfolds conditionally – how “love” is questioned, how it and New York are separated. It feels honest to love New York the way Aciman does, to call the defunct fountain in Straus Park a “septic sandbox” but sit by it day after day just the same and mourn it when you think it’s gone.
nyc  newyork  memory  reading  travel  essay  september11  story  writing  beauty  cities  language 
july 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Gay Talese: What I Read - Business - The Atlantic Wire
There's only so much you can devote in any one day to reading. But you must read. That's why I feel I must read the newspapers first. Why? Because I really want to know what is going on. But I don't have more than one main paper that I can rely upon, and that is The Times. That is the paper of record and the paper of significance. It does the best job of any paper in the whole world of covering the world. And of covering the world of the artist, and of covering the world of the athlete, and of covering the world of the interior decorator, and the statesman, and the politician, and the politician that sends pictures of himself nude to some women who don't even know him. These worlds are reflected everyday by the writers and columnists, and shaped by editors who are top analyzers of the news.
newspapers  reading  attention  writing  journalism  media 
june 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Pitchfork: Poptimist: Poptimist #38
Music's digital availability means we're currently in a happy position where our distance from the Milton Point is utterly apparent: the past is too big for anyone to get much of a handle on it. It's easy to think of history-- of pop or anything else-- as a kind of map, whose final bits of terra incognita are now being glumly filled in. But there's a better way of thinking about history-- as a network, scaling up in complexity as more and more nodes are added and more pieces of information link to one another.
music  criticism  writing  history  attention  mapping  technology 
april 2011 by allaboutgeorge
The Spaces Between Stars: The secret connection between crime fiction and science fiction
Science fiction and crime fiction contextualised, explored and reported on rapidly changing and expanding modern conditions.  And they did it in ways that spoke to the felt experiences of our lives, to our hopes and our fears, in ways that other fictions, or even other reportage, couldn't approach.  Science fiction and crime fiction explained to us where we really are, and where we might be going.
fiction  writing  sciencefiction  crime  books 
april 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Huffpo Claims Its Bloggers Aren’t Writers. Is That True? - Jeff Bercovici - Mixed Media - Forbes
If your definition of “professional writer” is someone who earns enough money from writing to live on, then it’s probably true that most Huffpo bloggers aren’t professional writers. But it’s clear that many of of them who don’t meet that definition wish they did, just as a lot of writers these days wish it were easier to earn a buck. For Huffpo to point to their failure to make a living  as proof that it’s not taking advantage of them while contributing to the difficulty of making that living…well, I’d call that a tad disingenuous.
writing  business  online  blogging  journalism  media  freelance 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
When a love for art turns into lust - Sex News, Sex Talk - Salon.com
Romanticizing the act of writing or any other art is not very helpful to the artist or the art. It's much better if one simply does. It worked better for me when I was just a writer, a working person. I've never felt that I needed a special desk with a special light coming in from the window at a special angle. It's work, not so different from that way you fix dinner or you pick up a child at school.
writing  sex  men  women  art  creativity  books  memoir  story  business 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
High on the Stones by Dan Chiasson | The New York Review of Books
I am not making an original point, but it cannot be reiterated enough: the experience of making and taking in culture is now, for the first time in human history, a condition of almost paralyzing overabundance. For millennia it was a condition of scarcity; and all the ways we regard things we want but cannot have, in those faraway days, stood between people and the art or music they needed to have: yearning, craving, imagining the absent object so fully that when the real thing appears in your hands, it almost doesn’t match up. Nobody will ever again experience what Keith Richards and Mick Jagger experienced in Dartford, scrounging for blues records. The Rolling Stones do not happen in any other context: they were a band based on craving, impersonation, tribute: white guys from England who worshiped black blues and later, to a lesser extent, country, reggae, disco, and rap.
culture  culturalstudies  memoir  writing  nonfiction  books  music  rock  blues  youtube  social 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Adele: 'I want to discover my own sound' - Telegraph
“Country was never part of my life growing up but I really liked the storytelling. Contemporary records can take three minutes to get to the point, and sometimes you don’t know what the song was about even when its finished. Whereas in the first 20 seconds of a country song you know exactly what’s going on.

“I found it easy to imagine myself in those situations and kind of pick an old memory of mine and think about it as I listened. I like the feel, it’s quite euphoric and triumphant-sounding but also really dangerous and bitter. It’s more emotional than pop music, as emotional as the soul singers I enjoyed from when I was little. I really like Wanda Jackson, who’s more rockabilly, but she’s got this bit of grit in her voice, she’s like a bitch! I love it!”
country  songwriting  music  usa  writing  creativity  travel 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Jeff Greenfield’s ‘Then Everything Changed’ - Review - NYTimes.com
“Geography, topography, ethnicity, ideology, climate, natural resources, the search for wealth, mass migrations, all set the framework; but the random roll of the dice is as potent a force as any,” he writes. “A missed meeting, a shift in the weather, a slightly different choice of words open up a literally limitless series of possibilities.”
writing  creativity  futurism  politics  usa 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Tear down this PDF | Monday Note
The battle for online news will be won on mobility. We’re just at the beginning of the smartphone era. We can count on better screens, faster processors combined to extended battery life, more storage, better networks… The bulk of news consumption will come from people on the move, demanding constant updates and taking a quick glance at what is stored in their mobile device — regardless of networks conditions. Speed, lightness and versatility will be key success factors. There won’t be much tolerance for latency.
In that respect, PDF is just a lame duck.
mobile  technology  media  writing  adobe 
february 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Breaking Down the DNA of a Hit Song - Speakeasy - WSJ
Going the way of long intros, at least in pop, is the ballad. In a field littered with thumping club tracks (see Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite”) and mid-tempo “sex jams,” as Frank calls them, the top-selling ballad was “If I Die Young” by the young country act The Band Perry—which topped out at only No. 59. With only a handful of rock bands represented in the top 100, including Paramore and Neon Trees, rockers vying for crossover success should take cues from prevailing pop trends, Frank says: “Now is not the time to go esoteric or to go heavy. No power ballads, for sure.”

Murphy and Frank also delved into subject matter, breaking lyrics down into some thematic categories. In pop, Frank found that 21% of the top 100 sellers dealt with maneuvering someone into bed (typically from the dancefloor); testifying about love was less common (17%); followed by falling out of love (16%), partying (16%) and sheer boasting (9%).
songwriting  pop  music  writing  attention  research 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
An Interview with Jimmy Webb - Americana and roots music - No Depression
I listened very carefully. And my conclusion was that a new age was upon us and that you would either adapt or you would essentially be back-burnered. You would recede in importance unless you at least made the attempt to get on the train and become a singer/songwriter. I wasn’t very successful at it, but I sure as hell gave it a good try.
songwriting  music  rock  writing  creativity 
december 2010 by allaboutgeorge
I, Reader by Alexander Chee - The Morning News
The world remains beautiful and terrible at the same time, and either way, I know it doesn’t care what I think or feel about it. There are things to do to help others, and there are things that may never change. But if I learned anything from all of this, it’s my first, oldest lesson as a reader: There is always going to be a book that saves you. There is also a new lesson: You do not know how it will get to you.
writing  attention  books  culture  behavior  fiction  ipad  kindle  reading  nonfiction  relationships 
december 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Tanya Hamilton's 'Night Catches Us' captures a point in time - Los Angeles Times
I've always been interested in politics, poverty and the working class," says the director. "And the price you pay for dedication to a political movement."

Hamilton sets the tone in the opening credits, turning a series of classic Black Power posters into a potent visual statement but "it was important to me to show the variations of class in black life," she says.

As much as anything, Hamilton says she is drawn to the ordinary within black life, rather than the extremes. "There's a distinct lack of content specific to what it is to be a black American, the variations in that experience, what life is like for people who are ordinary. Those are the stories I want to tell."
film  cinema  black  race  1970s  philadelphia  writing  activism  class  african  politics  poverty  art 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Scrawl of Duty: Novelists and Journos Defect to Video Game Industry | The New York Observer
"I'd been a journalist for 14 years. I had accomplished most of what I'd wanted to accomplish. I wrote cover stories, I'd written lots of features, I had this blog, I'd been on TV. It felt like there were structural changes affecting journalism, and going to another outlet would be a bit like same shit, different day. I felt like it was time to do something different; it was time to not be a journalist. The main thing to consider was, did I want to try to write games?"
journalism  media  writing  business  games  attention  fiction 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Paris Review – The Tao of Prince, Dan Piepenbring
Take “Raspberry Beret" [...] Peopled by such rural mainstays as Mr. McGee (the hardnosed boss of a five-and-dime) and Old Man Johnson (a farmer, of course), the song testifies to the bucolic joys of “doing something close to nothing,” shirking workaday life, and having a literal romp in the hay. All’s well and good until this arcadia is interrupted by another form of pastoral, the elegy. It creeps in with the beautiful, obscure line “Overcast days never turned me on, but something ’bout the clouds and her mixed.” Then comes a quiet reference to lost youth: He “wouldn’t change a stroke … with a girl as fine as she was then.” The last line brings a full-on lament, as Prince sings, “Tell me, where have all the raspberry women gone?” We could argue all day about what a raspberry woman is—for my money, it’s got nothing to do with fruit—and this is Prince’s inscrutable charm. Having lured us in with a frothy romance, he ends by mourning something we can’t even fully understand.
songwriting  prince  1980s  music  rock  writing  death  love  sex 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Parsing Online Data to Find You a Date | Sam Yagan | Big Think
So it is a little bit of a marketing game, but it’s also a numbers game. So you should be reaching out to more people. Don’t be afraid about sending a message to somebody, even if you think you might be, you know, out of your league or not necessarily the best match for you. You have to go out there and you have to put those messages out there. You have to try. Don’t just cut and paste the same messages you sent to the last girl. Customize it. Think about "How do I actually get this specific person, guy or girl to write me back?"
dating  relationships  data  information  attention  presence  writing  identity  technology  love  research 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Subtraction.com: My iPad Magazine Stand
[...] Social media, if it’s not already obvious to everyone, is going to continue to change everything — including publishing. And it’s a no-brainer to me that content consumption is going to be intimately if not inextricably linked with your social graph. Combine Flipboard or whatever comes along and improves upon it with the real innovation in recommendation technology that we’ll almost undoubtedly see in the next few years, and I can’t see how the 20th Century concept of a magazine can survive, even if it does look great on a tablet.
magazines  media  journalism  writing  ipad  apple  mobile  technology  design 
october 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Hugh Hefner has been good for us - Roger Ebert's Journal
You may believe Playboy was the enemy of women. It objectified their bodies. It schooled men to regard them as sex objects. It stood for all that feminists fought to correct. There is some truth to that, but it doesn't impact upon my experience, and the best I can do here is be truthful.

Nobody taught me to regard women as sex objects. I always did. Most men do. And truth to tell, most women regard men as sex objects. We regard many other aspects of another person, but sex is the elephant in the room. Evolution has hard-wired us that way. When we meet a new person, in some small recess of our minds we evaluate that person as a sex partner. We don't act on it, we don't dwell on it, but we do it. You know we do. And this process continues bravely until we are old and feeble.
sex  men  women  magazines  love  relationships  identity  attention  presence  writing  journalism 
october 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Arundhati Roy faces arrest over Kashmir remark | World news | The Guardian
"Some have accused me of giving 'hate speeches', of wanting India to break up. On the contrary, what I say comes from love and pride. It comes from not wanting people to be killed, raped, imprisoned or have their fingernails pulled out in order to force them to say they are Indians. It comes from wanting to live in a society that is striving to be a just one.

"Pity the nation that has to silence its writers for speaking their minds. Pity the nation that needs to jail those who ask for justice, while communal killers, mass murderers, corporate scamsters, looters, rapists, and those who prey on the poorest of the poor roam free."
india  writing  media  asian 
october 2010 by allaboutgeorge
The Awl Finds Some Level of Online Success - NYTimes.com
"Writers who work on the Web are taught to flee whenever the guy from business side comes around. But we can build all the nice little audiences we want, somebody has to figure out how to explain to advertisers where the value is."
writing  web  online  blogging  business 
october 2010 by allaboutgeorge
The 100 Percent Solution: For Innovation in News » Pressthink
In a time of contraction in the news industry, and of diminished expectations in the workaday world of professional journalism, we need counter-cyclical measures that broaden our ambitions, widen the lens and insist that with new tools and greater participation–what Alan Rusbridger calls the mutualization of journalism–we can do way more than we were ever able to do before.
news  innovation  writing  journalism  media  business  social 
october 2010 by allaboutgeorge
'The Wire' writer David Simon among MacArthur genius grant winners
"I confess to a feeling that I can only describe as a vague sense of shame. It was exacerbated when I went online and looked at the people who'd gotten fellowships in the past. The majority of them are involved in endeavors which are very tangible -- efforts to combat poverty or economic disparities, or to improve the environment. And while I think storytelling is a meaningful way to spend your life . . . it does feel a little bit secondary or off-point. I definitely felt a little sheepish after looking at the list."
story  fiction  genius  awards  writing  journalism  creativity 
september 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Maximus Clarke talks with William Gibson about his “speculative novels of last Wednesday” : Maud Newton
The surprising thing about it — I almost said the insidious thing, but I’m trying to be anthropological — the surprising thing, to me, is that once we have our gramophone, or iPad, or locomotive, we become that which has the gramophone, the iPad, or the locomotive, and thereby, are instantly incapable of recognizing what just happened to us, as I believe we’re incapable of understanding what broadcast television, or the radio, or telephony did to us.
I strongly suspect that prior to those things we were something else. In that regard, our predecessors are in a sense unknowable. Imagine a world without recorded music: I always come to the conclusion that it’s impossible for me to imagine that, because I have become that which lives with recorded music.
music  writing  technology  futurism  aesthetics  attention  identity  television  ipad  transportation  sciencefiction  novels  fiction 
september 2010 by allaboutgeorge
io9: China Miéville explains theology, magic, and why JJ Abrams hates you
I don't have any fantastic insight, but I think it's simply that cities to varying degrees are amazing palimpsests of history and cultures. They're coagulated together, a mixing of social norms. I like the temporal dislocation of cities, where you get 17th century buildings next to 21st buildings in London. The world is divided between people who like fractured mixed up stuff, and those who like clean aesthetic totality. I'm more the former.

The majority of humanity now live in cities. They are the site of most political and financial drivers - that's just a fact of economy. They are the site of this kind of chaotic aggregation of ideas that's going to translate into a sensation of the fantastic. That's why fantastic city fiction is so strong – it's about translating enchantment into a modern urban environment.
cities  urban  geography  population  fiction  economy  writing  sciencefiction  history  architecture 
august 2010 by allaboutgeorge
James Franco Fiction - Just Before the Black by James Franco - Esquire
I sit in the driver's seat of my grandfather's old DeVille. It is night out and cool. Me and Joe, we just sit.

We're out in front of the Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course pro shop. It's a tan building with white trim. It's where Joe and I work during the day.

We sit here because it's dark here, and there are no lights outside this building. We're stopped for no reason except that the night is still going and we're drunk, and who wants to go home, ever, and this spot is as good as any to just sit in the shadows and let life slow.

My window is cracked, just a bit, and the air plays on my forehead like a cold whisper.
books  fiction  literature  writing  story  toread 
july 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Music Is Science Fiction: An Interview With The Lisps | Lightspeed Magazine
Over the past two weeks, I’ve exchanged several e-mails with The Lisps. In the interview that follows, we touch on topics such as self-help songs, The Difference Engine, string theory, and, of course, The Singularity.
music  songwriting  sciencefiction  writing  creativity  art  indie  rock  literature  books  science 
july 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Sade As Wounded Warrior « liner notes
And this is really what I want to say about the new album: it may be that Sade now goes into the studio simply trying to initiate the purge she believes is expected of her. In that way I believe she’s gradually misconstrued, by small degrees, what her job as a musician is. At the other extreme we have artists that push the boundaries as far as possible with each new album to break out of the shell of what’s expected. I feel the best work happens somewhere in the middle, in a space when original ideas are allowed to flow naturally with little reaction to what’s worked before. And the best songs seem to come when the conscious mind vaguely teases the subconscious out, but it is not always helpful to approach the studio expecting drawn-out martyrdom. I want Sade to have fun writing the music she presents to us.
music  songwriting  sade  aesthetics  writing  art 
june 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Journalists Who Write Novels - Moving From Newswriting to Fiction
"When a you're a reporter you're writing about the facts of the situation, about very specific incidents, and it doesn't go beyond that," he says. "When you're writing fiction it's all about meaning and how things feel to your characters.

"You have to get out of your own point of view. In a story, don't think about how you would respond to a certain situation; think about how your characters would respond."
journalism  creativity  fiction  writing  books  news 
may 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Pitchfork: Poptimist: Poptimist #28
The characters who do come across as free spirits-- able to act without taking these identity-building games into consideration-- are generally outsiders: an exoticized foreign sexpot and the final issue's hip-hop fan protagonist. This fellow is Phonogram's most likable character, and it's a delight to see him rampage across his spotlight issue high on music and get a happy ending on the way. But he doesn't get his latent phonomancy activated by the Busta Rhymes or disco he's been depicted as loving. No, what sends him magical is TV on the Radio's "Wolf Like Me".

This struck me as an odd choice-- why would a casual rap dude get a power-up from one of 2006's most critically acclaimed indie rock songs?
comics  music  pitchfork  criticism  rock  writing  art 
april 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Jesus on a pink motorcycle, knitting hookers, feral dogs, and a beautiful sense of wellbeing.
I no longer wish to change either the world or my own nature. I only wish to live the most authentic life possible.
life  travel  attention  beauty  florida  writing  blogging 
april 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Sex Offender Week: Rivers Cuomo Messes You Up Forever - The Awl
I am not the world's leading expert on emotional maturity. I find that PJ Harvey song about mutilating dudes to be emotionally useful, on a more or less continual basis. But I will tell you this: The moment you, the female listener, break up with your internal Rivers Cuomo, the moment you renounce this particular mode of male expression and declare it no longer desirable or cute, the moment you no longer confuse the feeling of wanting to take a boy home and make him soup and somehow fix all his problems via blow job with love, is the moment that you're free. Because, at that point, you no longer care so much about his feelings. You still care, of course, about those. But never more than you care about your own.
feminism  music  humor  writing  nonfiction  1990s  relationships  love  men  women  rock 
april 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Sobriety and Maggie Dammit: What It's Like Now | BlogHer
And yes, I get angry -— new, and scary, but clean. And yes I get scared -— new, and scary, but clean. And yes I get brutally honest -— new, and scary, but clean. Because I also get happy, now, joyous, even, and while terrifying, it’s the cleanest I’ve ever felt, a spick-and-span soul, a core clicked into place, an energy whirring and humming along as it should be, through no doing of my own. My life a beast that cannot, should not, be wrangled, tamed, steered, one that’s happiest if I simply let it run as I hold on tight, but not too tight, close my eyes against the force of it and ride.
drinking  alcohol  health  behavior  sobriety  writing  nonfiction 
april 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Timothy McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Dispatches From a Guy Trying Unsuccessfully to Sell a Song In Nashville.
When we were doing our first living room recordings for our band, with a little four-track recorder, my friend John coached me to imagine I was John Mellencamp, and not try to "sing" like some Methodist choir member. He was basically trying to get me to Yell on Key. That advice and my admiration for mid-to-late-sixties Dylan are the main influences on the voice I use for my now perhaps-understandably-infrequent performances.

Demand appears to have ebbed over the years.

Still, you can't be a singer-songwriter unless you try to be both sides of that hyphen.
songwriting  creativity  music  livemusic  humor  writing 
april 2010 by allaboutgeorge
When Newsroom Diversity Becomes an Ideology - Conor Friedersdorf - Metablog - True/Slant
It matters a great deal that we read writing by people from different racial and ethnic communities, by women and men, and by any other identity group whose cultural experiences one hopes to better understand. Ta-Nehisi Coates explains one black perspective better than any white guy could — and John McWhorter explains another one, and WEB DuBois still another. Typical newspaper writing is perhaps the written format where folks from any background are least able to meaningfully bring their perspective to the work. Let’s be honest, the average newspaper story is fleeting, merely adequate in its writing, and produced on such a tight deadline that merely getting the facts correct is difficult enough.
newspapers  diversity  power  jobs  work  writing  media  journalism  washington 
april 2010 by allaboutgeorge
How Paul Krugman found politics : The New Yorker
Krugman explained that he’d become an economist because of science fiction. When he was a boy, he’d read Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” trilogy and become obsessed with the central character, Hari Seldon. Seldon was a “psychohistorian”—a scientist with such a precise understanding of the mechanics of society that he could predict the course of events thousands of years into the future and save mankind from centuries of barbarism. He couldn’t predict individual behavior—that was too hard—but it didn’t matter, because history was determined not by individuals but by laws and hidden forces. “If you read other genres of fiction, you can learn about the way people are and the way society is,” Krugman said to the audience, “but you don’t get very much thinking about why are things the way they are, or what might make them different. What would happen if ?”
economics  politics  newyorker  interview  economy  writing  finance  sciencefiction  history 
march 2010 by allaboutgeorge
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