"It tastes like a Tinker Bell popsicle."
"It tastes like a Tinker Bell popsicle."
Elan Morgan writing on Medium:
When I used to like everything that did not actively bore me or make me feel hateful, my stream of Facebook updates was more like a series of soapboxes spouting outrage dotted with weddings, cute baby animals, and only occasionally real content worth pursuing. Since I stopped liking altogether, though, my Facebook stream is more akin to an eclectic dinner party. There is conversation, there is disagreement (mostly) without hostility, and there is connection. It seems as though I am getting more of what I actually want rather than just being served more extreme versions of what I Like.
I considered quitting Facebook altogether even before people’s asinine reactions to Ferguson began cropping up. My frustration stemmed from the fact that my Newsfeed read like bad television re-runs. Most of my acquaintances seemed to be shouting over Buzzfeed and TouchOfModern ads, not to communicate, but simply to be heard. It was stressful. It was boring. It also made me compulsive to check something with little to no value. This was, perhaps, the most depressing and perverse realization.
Morgan’s article has helped me rediscover the value in Facebook as a communicative medium, as well as evaluate the relationships I use it for. Like her, I see a marked change in what kind of content is presented to me. Virtually all the links to Buzzfeed and Upworthy are gone, and my Newsfeed resembles something closer to what it was in 2009—with real people having real discussions. While the idealist in me would like to give up the Facebook ghost (maybe I will one day) I feel as though it keeps me informed on 1) invitations to events in my social circles 2) an extended address book/photo album 3) a place to synthesize/track the development of my connections from high school, college, and law school without the nightmare that is LinkedIn.
Facebook may not be perfect, but giving up the impersonal nature of the “Like” button has made it a much more personal experience for me. Maybe it can do that for you as well.
When you know a God, you don’t really have any interest in being one, because you’ve seen what He does every day and it doesn’t seem like a lot of fun. But I can run. I’d love to run.
Ian Cohan writing for Grantland:
But here’s the thing: As much as I initially thought of the Walla-Costey trade as highway robbery, it might be more of a step toward a necessary tank-and-rebuild. Codes and Keys is a record I didn’t care for too much, and afterNarrow Stairs, it felt like Death Cab was stuck making a certain kind of record based on the format of Plans — a couple of “experimental” tracks, cutesy singles, and Gibbard doing Gibbard things to the point of near parody. In 2011, he was a millionaire mooning over Zooey Deschanel, and Codes and Keys sure sounded like it.
It is going to be interesting to hear Death Cab For Cutie without Chris Walla’s deft touch. I disagree with Cohan that the group’s post-Plans material is a mixed bag, particularly because of Narrow Stairs’ expansiveness. However, for as much as I loved Codes & Keys, there was a kind of safety to that record that seems out of place in the Death Cab catalog. Hopefully Walla’s departure makes them rethink their sound and their direction in an adventurous way.
In any event, I’ll be waiting with anticipation. Transatlanticism was the first record I owned where I loved every single track. It was a record that shook me, as I imagine it shook others that came of age in the early 2000s. The idea of a perfect album, from construction to content, is something that’s really stayed with me throughout my listening. Death Cab For Cutie really made their mark with that record, and I’ll always be interested in their output for that reason—regardless of the personal sentimentality I have for their seminal work.
There is something psychological that trips in our head: you give someone an assault rifle and body armor, and they expect to get shot. So they act as if they are protecting themselves from being shot — which is not what you want when officers just need to do crowd control.
If the government is aiming for a police state, we’re halfway there. After all, the Constitution is just a peace of paper unless good people are willing to enforce it. The apathy and the ignorance that every level of government has displayed in handling this situation is cause for serious concern.
Paul Ford writing on Medium:
People silently struggle from all kinds of terrible things. They suffer from depression, ambition, substance abuse, and pretension. They suffer from family tragedy, Ivy-League educations, and self-loathing. They suffer from failing marriages, physical pain, and publishing. The good thing about politeness is that you can treat these people exactly the same. And then wait to see what happens. You don’t have to have an opinion. You don’t need to make a judgment. I know that doesn’t sound like liberation, because we live and work in an opinion-based economy. But it is. Not having an opinion means not having an obligation. And not being obligated is one of the sweetest of life’s riches.
I get frustrated when people conflate chivalry with politeness. Chivalry was a concept that carved out social responsibility in a sea of oppression. It was a code of conduct that allowed for the private harassment of women while displaying them as objects publicly. No thanks. Being polite, on the other hand, requires some level of empathy and respect for the person you’re engaging—to value their experiences and their life on terms that are not your own. To be polite, therefore, is to listen, while chivalry calls for generalized action in the face of reinforced prejudices.
So the next time someone bemoans that chivalry is dead, ask them if they’d like to buy a corset and revive it.