Photograph by Raymond Molinar

OF NOTE:

Emily Nussbaum reviewed new shows with “larger” stars, including ABC Family’s Huge, which I hold in a special place in my heart. Every Monday night after the new episode, I usually write a tweet praising the show, it’s fascinating combination of grace and awkwardness, and the characters who break your heart. 

The rise in popularity of reality shows also demands a rise in paychecks for its stars. I love the idea that people seemingly given the task to live life as they would normally live life gain popularity for being themselves. What changes, ultimately, about the shows, is this factor. You know that in the beginning the reality stars are cognizent of the cameras, but they can’t play up their attributes or quirks until they realize that those are. It is during the second season when the shows lose their glow. The stars are aware of the popularity of their shows and their mannerisms in front of the camera are a reflection of that awareness. The reality becomes inauthentic.

On the design aesthetics of Mad Men

For those of you who are like me: read the 150 Best Magazine Articles of All-Time (debatable)

On the rise of "confessional" (I don’t like that term) female writers

This article from last week’s New York Times (produced by the Chicago News Cooperative) gripped me from the beginning. As the city with the second largest Mexican population in Chicago, I was less surprised and more heartbroken to learn how the high and deadly cost of the border drug trade and distribution system leaks into the lives of the people living here

The Fireside Bowl of new is not like the Fireside Bowl of old. An underlying idea present in this article is the fact that Fireside Bowl gained its reputation largely from necessity and now because the owner of the business wanted it to become a den for all-ages debauchery. I’m fascinated by the idea of communities forming out of chance and not because they were designed, in whatever manner, to become a community. I’m reminded of contemporary “artistic” neighborhoods in the city, and how they spring up almost inorganically. They are usually near areas that were once gentrified by urban colonizers, they are largely dominated by a non-black ethnic identity pre-urban colonization, they are always located near a train line. A place like Fireside Bowl grew in Logan Square even before the era of urban colonization that is taking place now, and I am simultaneously interested in and horrified by how such places continue to evolve, even from a standpoint devoid of that inorganic artistic community-building. 

Tauba Auerbach’s latest creation

This article on James Franco’s…schtick is so good, so very, very good. I’m re-read it a couple of times since it first premiered online and I love it a little bit more each time. 

I’m loving Tavi’s collection of fierce young female characters from film and television. One woman is missing, however: Denise Huxtable!

study in Nature last week concluded that as oceans warmed, phytoplankton—the tiny organisms that form the crucial first level of the entire marine food chain—were disappearing.

"Recording and sharing our response to natural beauty promises a kind of feedback loop; it rechannels our reactions back to ourselves almost as they are occurring and starts them echoing. The response is amplified with the addition of its replication, becoming ever more intense, until we’re sobbing and shouting, “It’s so beautiful! Oh, my God!” into the wind. It’s mastery and surrender simultaneously.”

Intimacy as text; Twitter as tongue: “Though our letters are not delivered by hand or horse-drawn carriage, our relationships once again live and die in the texts by which we barter with each other. The internet age unavoidably resembles the 19th century novel’s idea of human intimacy as so many of us pour our passionate confessions into emails, messages or chat boxes. Our physical reactions when together are often cover-ups for what we could so candidly admit in writing.”

Novellas are catching on. One of my favorite novellas is Beasts by Joyce Carol Oates

On the rise of artisanal ice creams

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