News 09.30.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 09.30.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
Playlist 06.028.20 : Five Songs for the Weekend
News 09.30.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

It’s 11 p.m. on a weeknight and you’re hungry. Already in your pajamas, you unlock your smartphone and open a delivery app to scroll through a virtual buffet of options. One listing catches your eye: Fisher & Son’s Fish and Chips. Maybe you’ve never heard of the place, but the food, clearly displayed in enticing photos, looks solid. You add a two-piece fried cod with fries ($14.95) to your cart and hit order. A message pops up: DELIVERY ETA 25-40 MIN.

Meanwhile, at 801 N. Fairfax Ave., No. 105, a sign-less storefront beneath a block of modern-looking apartments, your fish and chips order pops onto a tablet screen with a loud ping. A cook working the line takes note and tosses a few filets and fries into the fryer while putting the finishing touches on two other orders — a roast beet and quinoa salad and a dozen mango habanero wings.

In a previous life, this kitchen space was home to Michael Cimarusti’s Cape Seafood and Provisions, a restaurant and market that closed in early 2019. But since late last year the tenant has been Byte to Bite Industries, a “market-leading virtual restaurant owner and operator” (according to its website) with locations in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, downtown and Long Beach.

Read the rest of this article at: Los Angeles Times

News 09.30.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 09.30.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Typing the word “lifestyle” calls to mind a carousel of images: social media influencers staging the same photograph in front of a Santorini sunset, colorful dinner plates shot from above, magazines dedicated to profiling the homes of the rich and the famous. The concept of lifestyle is tangled up in the kind of conspicuous consumption that social media enables; however it also undergirds major sociopolitical conversations.

Think about all of the ways lifestyle has been deployed in just the last six months. It’s used to describe how American habits have changed because of coronavirus. It’s at the heart of the perennial “leaving New York” essay and anti-essay. Most importantly, it describes the ways in which white lives in America have been made easier at the expense of Black safety, health and prosperity.

Lifestyle is not just some throwaway term to denote a certain type of Instagram photo. Lifestyle is determined by our memories, our memories help us create meaning, and meaning guides our relationship to objects–by extension consumerism, by extension the rules that govern who deserves what.

I began writing this essay nearly a year ago as a way to grapple with the through line of my work: the relationship between people and objects and the ways in which the Internet has changed this connection. I wanted to create a framework for understanding the concept of lifestyle as it has been used in the 20th and 21st centuries… but there is so much to say that doesn’t fit into one essay.

As I write these words, California is on fire. An uprising against police violence has swept the nation. Our fascist president is tweeting about the “suburban lifestyle dream,” while Kingston, NY has the fastest rising home prices of any city in the country. The possibility of another ‘white flight’ (real or imagined) and the residual effects of housing discrimination are at the forefront of my thought.

I recently came across this Don DeLillo quote, deployed darkly: “Californians invented the concept of life-style. This alone warrants their doom.” Is America doomed? Despite the events of the last year, I have tried to take a tender view toward humans and objects. My hope is that within the complicated history of lifestyle we can find its redemption as well.

Read the rest of this article at:

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From the deck of a wooden fishing boat adorned with saffron, orange, and green, I squint at the point where heat waves merge with the tidal channel and blur the horizon like a greasy handprint on glass. Through the glare, four strange, dark shapes break the water’s surface—two heads, two humps.

In my mental archives, the camel has long been housed in a box stacked neatly on a shelf and left unexamined. The camel is a desert animal. The end. Its ability to stroll across a blazing arid landscape with a teetering load strapped to its back and not a single drop of water crossing its frothy lips for days is so legendary that the camel is widely known as the ship of the desert. But here, along the coastal fringes of Gujarat, India, the ships of the desert actually take to the sea.

The first two camels glide across the channel, departing a low-slung island half a kilometer from our bow, and slowly rise at the mainland shore. On knobby knees, they proceed across a broad, salt-encrusted plain. A dozen more follow. My translator, perched on a heap of fishing nets on the boat’s deck, confers with a stranger beside him. “Madame,” he then shouts over his shoulder, “there are 100 coming!”

Read the rest of this article at: Hakai Magazine

News 09.30.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The first thing Victoria Smith noticed about “Shaun”—no last name, no picture—was his passion for adventure. It was hard to miss: his eHarmony profile mentioned it three times. She knew she could use some adventure in her life. Before her divorce, she had travelled widely, and even now, in her 40s, living alone in Toronto’s west end, her kids nearly grown, she tried to maintain that spirit. She’d recently visited Hawaii, exploring the lush, rubbery green of its rainforests and smelling the burnt ochre of its craters. But she wanted someone to share those experiences with. She clicked match. Soon, her phone pinged: he’d clicked match right back. They began exchanging emails.

Shaun told her his last name was Rothberg—which was close to his real surname, Rootenberg—and that he was a Toronto entrepreneur with a master’s degree. Like her, he was divorced and had two kids he adored. He liked hockey, though his first and deepest passion was soccer. He still dreamed about playing in the World Cup, which struck her as boyish and charming. He wanted to wake up every day, he said, trying to understand how he and his partner could ever have been apart. When she asked him about his travel philosophy, he volleyed back: “When are we leaving? My bags are packed.” He sent over some pictures. He was handsome, in his 40s, with a strong chin and dark, penetrating eyes. He had a deep, even tan and an understated sophistication—linen shirts, cashmere V-necks, designer sunglasses.

“I really am fortunate,” he wrote to her, “that I have a pretty great life. The only thing missing from it is someone to share both the good and bad times with.” Smith sent back a photo, showing her high cheekbones and long blonde hair, and told him that she liked collecting art and searching for new music online. They compared notes on what they considered the most important elements of a relationship. Chemistry and communication, they agreed. The ultimate dealbreaker? “Lying,” she wrote.

Read the rest of this article at: Toronto Life

News 09.30.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

On the evening of July 22, a New York Times story began pinging around among employees of Hearst Magazines, one of the few surviving titans of the magazine era. It was titled “Hearst Employees Say Magazine Boss Led Toxic Culture.” The Times piece had been brewing for a while and was widely anticipated within the company, but its revelations had been expected for much longer. There was “a mass influx of text messages,” a former digital manager recalls of the moment the Times story dropped. “‘Finally, this day was bound to happen’ … ‘At last’ … ‘Long overdue.’” But the specific remarks that Troy Young, then Hearst’s president, was reported to have made, even as rendered in family-friendly Times-ese, were shocking: At a holiday party, he’d suggested a Cosmo editor should have “inserted her fingers into herself” (in real life, he said, “into your pussy”) and presented them to her date to smell; in a Cosmopolitan conference room full of sex toys, he’d said he would need one with a wider “opening” (in real life, he said, “‘I need a soup can,’” a female executive who was present recalls. “It sort of ruined Campbell’s for me”).

If anyone was surprised, it seems, it was Hearst CEO Steve Swartz, who clearly hadn’t calculated how events would unfold over the next few days. Swartz had felt, according to a Hearst executive, that Young’s remarks, while indefensible, were not a firing offense: Many of Young’s cruder comments reported in the Times piece had occurred in and around a magazine at which frank talk about sex toys and blow jobs is part of the job description. (“Troy didn’t have sufficient maturity,” the Hearst executive says, “but Cosmo is not a normal place.”) The remarks had occurred years before. There had been no “hotline” complaints to Hearst’s legal department and, according to this executive, no settlements involving Young — an area the Times had inquired about. And Young had been receiving coaching to become a more polished executive.

“Since we knew the piece was coming,” the Hearst executive says, “the strategy was always that Troy would have a chance to address it.” Young told the Times he regretted “the toll” that “the pace of evolving our business and the strength of my commitment” had “taken on some in our organization,” and a Hearst spokesperson allowed that Young’s “brash demeanor” had “rubbed some the wrong way.” Young had prepared an email that was supposed to go out to employees on July 22, though it ended up not going out until the following afternoon. In it, he disputed the gist of the Times report while saying he was “deeply reflective on what I can learn from this moment.”

Read the rest of this article at: New York Magazine

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