News 12.02.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 12.02.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 12.02.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 12.02.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The 10 Best Books Of 2018

In “Asymmetry,” two seemingly unrelated sections are connected by a shocking coda. The first, “Folly,” is the story of a love affair. It narrates the relationship between Alice, a book editor and aspiring writer in her mid-20s, and Ezra Blazer, a brilliant, geriatric novelist who is partly modeled on Philip Roth. The second section — “Madness” — belongs to Amar Jaafari, an Iraqi-American economist who is being detained at Heathrow. Halliday’s prose is clean and lean, almost reportorial in the style of W.G. Sebald. This is a first novel that reads like the work of an author who has published many books over many years, and it manages to be, all at once, a transgressive roman à clef, a novel of ideas and a politically engaged work of metafiction.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

News 12.02.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Strange Brands In Your Instagram Feed

News 12.02.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

It all started with an Instagram ad for a coat, the West Louis (TM) Business-Man Windproof Long Coat to be specific. It looked like a decent camel coat, not fancy but fine. And I’d been looking for one just that color, so when the ad touting the coat popped up and the price was in the double-digits, I figured: hey, a deal!

The brand, West Louis, seemed like another one of the small clothing companies that has me tagged in the vast Facebook-advertising ecosystem as someone who likes buying clothes: Faherty, Birdwell Beach Britches, Life After Denim, some wool underwear brand that claims I only need two pairs per week, sundry bootmakers.

Perhaps the copy on the West Louis site was a little much, claiming “West Louis is the perfection of modern gentlemen clothing,” but in a world where an oil company can claim to “fuel connections,” who was I to fault a small entrepreneur for some purple prose?

Several weeks later, the coat showed up in a black plastic bag emblazoned with the markings of China Post, that nation’s postal service. I tore it open and pulled out the coat. The material has the softness of a Las Vegas carpet and the rich sheen of a velour jumpsuit. The fabric is so synthetic, it could probably be refined into bunker fuel for a ship. It was, technically, the item I ordered, only shabbier than I expected in every aspect.

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

Shop the Tuscany Tote in Midnight
at Belgrave Crescent &

Why We Sleep, And Why We Often Can’t

Contemporary sleep evangelizers worry a good deal about our social attitudes toward sleep. They worry about many things, of course—incandescent light, L.E.D. light, nicotine, caffeine, central heating, alcohol, the addictive folderol of personal technology—but social attitudes seem to exercise them the most. Deep down, they say, we simply do not respect the human need for repose. We remain convinced, in contradiction of all the available evidence, that stinting on sleep makes us heroic and industrious, rather than stupid and fat.

“If we don’t continue to chip away at our collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success, we’ll never be able to restore sleep to its rightful place in our lives,” Arianna Huffington wrote a couple of years ago, in her best-selling how-to guide “The Sleep Revolution.” By way of inspiration, she offered her own conversion story. She was once lackadaisical about getting enough rest. She thought that to get on she had to stay up. Only when months of chronic exhaustion led her to pass out and break her cheekbone on her desk did she wake up, as it were, to the madness and masochism of her work ethos and set about repairing her “estranged relationship with sleep.” These days, she retires at an eminently sensible hour each night, takes a hot bath with Epsom salts, drinks a cup of lavender or chamomile tea, and, just before getting into bed, writes a list of the things she is grateful for—which is a great way, she tells us, to “make sure our blessings get the closing scene of the night.” As a consequence of her sleep-hygiene regimen, not only has her quality of life improved but her business has done fabulously, too. Sleep isn’t the enemy of success and ambition, she’s discovered, it’s the royal road to the corner office. “Sleep your way to the top!” she jauntily enjoins us.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

News 12.02.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 12.02.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

I don’t remember the therapist’s name, only that he had closely cropped silver hair, a soft voice, and kind, deep-set eyes. He was a postdoc in the psychology department — whatever that meant. He wanted me to know that our sessions would be recorded and could be included in his dissertation — whatever that meant — and would I be OK with that? I said sure. He smiled and studied my face. It was September, a smell of rain in the air. One of those evenings when the dark sets in early and surprises you.

I’d just started my senior year of high school but had already been accepted to Purdue, which was only a half hour from home and where my brother had enrolled two years prior. I’d been to campus once or twice to go to parties with him. But I’d never been there by myself. I’d never been inside the psych building.

My mother set up the meeting. I didn’t know what I wanted to study, and she thought the university would have career counselors. She looked up counseling services in the phone book and made an appointment.

It was an honest mistake. Like the time I told her I needed a cup for baseball and she’d bought me a plastic drinking cup. She hadn’t been to a four-year university. My father, who had earned a degree in chemistry from Eastern Illinois, wasn’t any help with administrative tasks and probably wouldn’t have known any different either. What other kinds of counseling services besides career counseling would there be at a university? And I went along with it because that’s what I did: I floated like a cloud through my life. If my parents thought I needed to be somewhere and do something, I went there and did it. Not out of duty so much as out of a desire to avoid conflict. The thought of fighting over things I didn’t care about depressed me.

Read the rest of this article at: Longreads

Dropping Acid

News 12.02.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Muzic Box was open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, staying closed on Wednesdays and Fridays only to give Chicago’s competing disco club, the Power Plant, a chance to draw a crowd a couple nights a week. If you were a young, gay person of color in the Windy City during the early 1980s, there was no better place to be. The Muzic Box was a sanctuary, free from the judgment of a still-restrictive society that, in the days of panic over an increasingly visible queer culture, inhibited the sense of celebratory pride sorely needed by the local gay community.

Between the Muzic Box’s four walls, dancers were welcomed in the embrace of an idea. As the attention of the mass audience shifted away from disco, and “Disco Sucks” rallies were held at Chicago’s Comiskey Park stadium, these clubs were the only place to hear the music of the future. The songs on rotation in the Muzic Box may not have been categorized in the same bin at the record store, but they all shared invigorating rhythms and futuristic tonalities that suggested a new genre cutting through those established categories. The fearless explorer breaking through the boundaries between them was Ron Hardy, a virtuoso who mixed records together in a spontaneous collage style inspired by New York disco DJs.

Hardy had begun playing at the club in 1982, when it was called The Warehouse, and remained the resident DJ until it closed in 1987. His predecessor Frankie Knuckles first brought the disco DJing style, with its aim of creating a seamless landscape of rhythm, to Chicago from his hometown of New York. However, in spite of its East Coast origins, this approach to mixing music—and the approach to producing music that these DJs would eventually create—took flight in the Midwest. To this day, it bears the abbreviated name of the club where it began its international ascendance. The music had gotten so popular by the mid-1980s that Chicago record stores started giving the records that got played at The Warehouse their own bin, labeled “house music.”

It was on a night in 1985—whether it was Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday is lost to history—that Earl “Spanky” Smith and Nathaniel Pierre Jones entered the Muzic Box with a reel-to-reel tape, containing a track that they had just recorded in Smith’s bedroom. Hardy would sometimes switch from vinyl to a tape reel to play productions by local amateurs, in order to keep up with the developing sound of the genre. House DJs had already begun making inroads into production, thanks to the availability of cheap synthesizers.

Read the rest of this article at: Logic

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.