Eightface

by Dave Kellam

Ansari, Murphy and Chang in Tokyo

The Hangover Pt III chronicles Brett Martin’s journey through Tokyo with with Aziz Ansari, David Chang and James Murphy (from LCD Soundsystem). Crack a beer and take some time to follow the escapades of a true wolfpack.

We are not accustomed, here at GQ, to acting as a celebrity Make-A-Wish Foundation. But something about this tweet captured our attention. The grouping was unlikely, yet it made an instant kind of cosmic sense, as though you had been waiting for the picture long before it appeared. The Venn diagram of their fame might have a small overlap—I found that most people knew two of the three—but that intersection was a particular pocket of smart, inventive, forward-looking cool. The destination, too, made a certain intuitive sense, Tokyo being both a fun-house mirror of pop-culture iconography and a place where generations of Western seekers have gone to feel both reverently awed and gloriously disoriented.

Making oatmeal wrong

McDonald’s has somehow managed to screw-up oatmeal.

Others will argue that the McDonald’s version is more “convenient.” This is nonsense; in the time it takes to go into a McDonald’s, stand in line, order, wait, pay and leave, you could make oatmeal for four while taking your vitamins, brushing your teeth and half-unloading the dishwasher. […] Incredibly, the McDonald’s product contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and only 10 fewer calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger or Egg McMuffin.

Take a fast and healthy staple, pump it full of sugar and chemicals, serve. Sounds like the rest of the breakfast cereal industry, or just pre-processed food in general.

March 8, 2011 ·

Divided attention

Colm O’Regan examines the constant stream of things that demand our attention. I’m not sure if he made up divided attention disorder, but I was amused by the analogy to tabbed browsing.

It’s the equivalent of sitting on the floor of a library desperately trying to remember what I was looking for with 20 books open around me, unable to concentrate because people keep giving me a thumbs up to tell me they “Like This”.

Update: It appears that Esquire had an article about DAD in a recent issue, but the full-text isn’t online.

February 10, 2011 ·

What was the hipster?

Mark Grief examines the the birth, evolution and future of the hipster.

It would be too limited, however, to understand the contemporary hipster as simply someone concerned with a priori knowledge as a means of social dominance. In larger manifestations, in private as well as on the street, contemporary hipsterism has been defined by an obsessive interest in the conflict between knowingness and naïveté, guilty self-awareness and absolved self-absorption.

The article is interesting and worth the read, but it’s the comments that make it gold — they’re like reading overwrought YouTube comments written by, well, hipsters.

January 5, 2011 ·

The lie guy

Clancy Martin is chair of the philosophy department at the University of Missouri and is known as the lie guy. He left his studies to pursue a career in luxury jewelry.

As I would tell my salespeople: If you want to be an expert deceiver, master the art of self-deception. People will believe you when they see that you yourself are deeply convinced. It sounds difficult to do, but in fact it’s easy—we are already experts at lying to ourselves. We believe just what we want to believe.

Eventually, the business and lifestyle got to him and he returned to academia to study lying.

I went to work on deception not because I wanted to learn how to lie better—I had mastered the art, as far as I was concerned—but because I wanted to cure myself of being a liar. What had started out as a morally pernicious technique had become a character-defining vice. I had to save myself. I needed to understand the knots I had tied myself into before I could begin to untangle them.

January 4, 2011 ·

Patton Oswald on geek culture

Wake up, geek culture. Time to die, a Wired article by Patton Oswald.

When everyone has easy access to their favorite diversions and every diversion comes with a rabbit hole’s worth of extra features and deleted scenes and hidden hacks to tumble down and never emerge from, then we’re all just adding to an ever-swelling, soon-to-erupt volcano of trivia, re-contextualized and forever rebooted. We’re on the brink of Etewaf: Everything That Ever Was—Available Forever.

There are a number of quotable paragraphs in the article, but I went with one that seems vaguely hypocritical for posting. You should read the whole thing. Nerd culture may be harmed by the overabundance of information related to minutiae. The internet creates an instant otaku.

December 31, 2010 ·

Oh no, words!

Nation Shudders At Large Block Of Uninterrupted Text. The Onion, spot on as usual.

Unable to rest their eyes on a colorful photograph or boldface heading that could be easily skimmed and forgotten about, Americans collectively recoiled Monday when confronted with a solid block of uninterrupted text.

Dumbfounded citizens from Maine to California gazed helplessly at the frightening chunk of print, unsure of what to do next. Without an illustration, chart, or embedded YouTube video to ease them in, millions were frozen in place, terrified by the sight of one long, unbroken string of English words.

March 11, 2010 ·