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New York City, June 29, 2016

★★★★ White shirts and sneakers flared in the hard, direct sun. The humidity felt as if it had already saturated everything and was now seeping back out in all directions.

‘Performance Art’ as Pejorative

Why do we use the term to deride social and political moments we don’t understand? Photo: Sebastian Dooris/Flickr A couple of weeks ago, a friend posted on Facebook: “Plot twist: Donald Trump is a performance art piece created and operated by Hillary Clinton in order to deliver her directly into the sweet, sweet embrace of the White House.” Though it was a somewhat witty statement about the presidential race, I found myself rolling my eyes at yet another recourse to performance art as a method to explain the ridiculous and inexplicable persona of Donald Trump.

Snakes and Ladders

On Allen Frantzen, misogyny, and the problem with tenure. The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Monastery of St Catherine Sinai (12th century).

A Poem by Laura Kolbe

Other people’s boyfriends wearied of mishearing “gins” as “chance” at the watering hole, as in take-slash-have one.

Whither The Webpage

Does it even matter what a website looks like anymore? (from One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age) It only happens from time to time, but even today one will, on occasion, find oneself on a webpage.

Magical Mistakes, “Chemical Bath”

Look out there on the horizon: It’s the finish line to the week! If you can make it through today — and I have faith that you can, you are much stronger than you give yourself credit for — you will find yourself at the Friday before a three-day weekend, and we know how little gets done on those days.

New York City, June 28, 2016

★ The roaring of the air conditioner all but drowned out the beeping or chiming of the phone alarm clock, and the dim gray light kept the brain from rousing enough to notice.

Why We Tweet

The answer is actually very simple. I’m sure you’re in there somewhere. Photo: Sweetie187 “Why,” asks Slate’s Katy Waldman, “do we feel compelled to tweet about our most embarrassing moments?

Reality Hunger

How Big Food manufactures authenticity in an artisanal world Photo: Kenny Louie/Flickr A.1. Steak Sauce, never artisanal and not once locally made, is currently the subject of a campaign that touts it as a secret ingredient to a compound butter with which to finish your steak.

Soundscan Surprises, Week Ending 6/23

Back-catalog sales numbers of note from Nielsen SoundScan. Photo: Deirdre Woolard/Flickr The definition of “back catalog” is: “at least 18 months old, have fallen below No.

Life Imitates A Pile of Dead Bugs

A new commercial for Raid® Ant & Roach Killer makes ‘masterpieces’ out of 20,000 dead roaches. Imagine you were an artist and you were commissioned by a fancy advertising agency to make pop art out of dead bugs as a way to promote a deadly spray that kills roaches seven times faster than the next leading ant and roach spray and the agency guy is like, “You might say we’ve turned killing into an art,” and you have to keep a straight face as you tell your studio assistants that they’re going to be opening comically large petri dishes of dead but generally clean-looking, shiny roaches, and tweezing them into place on big canvas, using the bigger roaches for definition, and the smaller ones for the more detailed work, and that you will provide them pillows to rest their heads on as they lie in the prone position with their faces just inches away from said dead bugs, which were probably not killed by Raid® funnily enough because otherwise you’d all be huffing fumes in this enclosed space and that would be bad, but this is not that bad, because the bugs are just like any other medium—a tool for creative expression, and did we learn nothing from the elephant dung and Piss Christ?

Sitting is Killing You But Not Quickly Enough

And other answers to unsolicited questions. Photo: Jason Eppink/Flickr “I’ve been thinking about it for a while.

French Band, You, Old

Why does this keep happening? Wasn’t it yesterday that they were small? There is an ancient Yiddish curse that, roughly translated, goes, “May you live to see bands you still think of as new, because they started up right after your most formative years as a listener to music, stick around long enough that suddenly they are putting out greatest hits collections in honor of their twentieth anniversary and, even though you can still remember where you were the moment you heard them, you are forced to confront the seemingly impossible amount of time that has expired since they first impinged on your consciousness and now the very thought of them is a painful reminder of how little you’ve done two decades on from when you were like, ‘Huh, these guys sound interesting, I should go to the record store and pick up their CD.’” They had very specific (and prescient) curses, the old Jews.

New York City, June 27, 2016

★★ The four-year-old, looking for something to complain about, complained that the breeze was making him too cold, in the uniform-compliant polo shirt and shorts he was wearing for the next-to-last time.

Post-Hipster Cultural Designations, Ranked in Order of Apocalypse Survival

Photo: Manjonni/Flickr 14. Righteous Nihilist 13. Global Creative 12. BoBi (Bourgeois Bicoastal) 11. Early Bedtimer 10.

Claims Adjusters of The Third Kind

Who is alien abduction insurance really for? Photo: Keoni Cabral/Flickr In Altamonte Springs, a sleepy suburb of Orlando, Florida, there’s a little insurance outfit, the Saint Lawrence Agency, that will sell you a bizarre product: “Alien Abduction Insurance.” For a low one-time premium of $9.95, company president Mike St.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani, “Closed Circuit”

Good morning, ocean. You know those times when you think it’s actually a day later than it really is and when you find out you’re all depressed because now you’ve got what feels like an “extra” day of your horrible life to go through?

New York City, June 26, 2016

★★★ The heat was not as forbidding as the glare in the sky made it seem. The sidewalk was underpopulated but getting iced coffee meant cutting through a throng.

The Mangenue

\ man-jǝ-nü \ n. aspiring male model, naif—me in the early 2000s I’ve been avoiding Midtown West for a while, and now I remember why.

Los Angeles Master Chorale, “our common fate” (from David Lang’s ‘the national anthems’)

If you were lucky you spent this weekend completely ignoring everything going on in the world — and especially anything going on on the Internet — and instead lolled about in the warm embrace of joy which blissful ignorance drapes over the shoulders of everyone smart enough to turn down the noise when the opportunity presents itself.