Here, wise words from modernist writer and literary badass Virginia Woolf: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” May your Independence Day, and all the days that follow, be full of beer and endless barbecue. Happy 4th!
“Swole Without a Goal” by Anshuman Iddamsetty
A theory: We crave beauty because, like the unalterable spectra of light itself, it finds us, and not the other way around. We’re helpless to its whims. Beauty could seek us, or not. Beauty couldn’t care less. Power has the same allure—we only understand what it can do, and to whom, after a demonstration. Exactly how much of beauty or power is that elusiveness, I don’t know. But what I do know is that what I increasingly find magisterial, unquestionably beautiful, involves the smashing of 400-pound bellies. I’ve written about my attraction to fat people before, but this is… different.
“Hooked” by Greg Nichols
Gortimer is one of a slate of original children’s shows being produced for Amazon Instant Video, which, along with other streaming services, is dumping money into content for children. Kids watch a lot of TV, which increasingly means watching a smartphone or tablet — in 2013, according to Common Sense Media, 75 percent of u.s. children aged 8 and younger had access to a smart mobile device in their homes. This, combined with young kids’ habit of playing favorite episodes again and again, gives video-on-demand networks such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu Plus a big advantage over traditional broadcast and cable networks. Executives see an opportunity to shape a new generation’s viewing habits, as well as to turn parents, eager to entertain their kids with nonjunk, into subscribers.
“The Definitive Oral History of How Clueless Became an Iconic 90s Classic” by Jen Chaney
More important, Clueless touched a chord in the culture that was clearly primed and ready to be struck. Pre-teen and teen girls raced to malls in search of plaid skirts and knee-high socks. Almost immediately, Paramount began working with Heckerling to develop a TV adaptation. Within a year, the movie’s soundtrack would sell enough copies to be certified gold, and would eventually reach platinum status. The success of Clueless also would defibrillate the barely breathing high-school movie genre, resulting in a flood of teen movies in the late 90s and early 00s.
“A Visit to Rubbin’ Buttz BBQ for White Appreciation Day” by Mairead Case
I ate Carolina-style brisket and cherry hot sauce, a garlicky, mustardy potato salad that didn’t need salt and tasted just like my grandma’s, and two warm, creamy honey corn muffins. I ate quickly and quietly, like a funeral had happened, and I needed to eat to remind myself of my body. The food was delicious, and I said so. When I got my receipt the discount was already on it, which made it feel like a secret, which made me angry. It felt like a reward for getting sunburns easily and cleaning my plate and not making a ruckus. If this is being a white person, then being a white person is boring, is Casper, is pure capitalism. It felt weird to go someplace because I am white, because I am a writer, then not actually talk about either at all. In my bag I’d brought Mab Segrest’s autobiography, C. Carr’s Our Town, and the music issue of Eaves of Ass, where Craven Rock quotes War: “I’ve seen you round for a long, long time / I remember you when you drank my wine / Why can’t we be friends?”
“Joy of a Black Planet” by Jenna Wortham
In September 2013, Ugochukwu created Travel Noire, a resource for black globe-trotters, continuing in a long online tradition of pulling together otherwise diffuse groups of like-minded people: tattoo artists on Pinterest, gamers on Reddit, and so on. In keeping with the times, Travel Noire is more of a brand than a publication, taking on many incarnations: a website, a vivid Instagram account and private forums. ‘‘I wanted to create a place for people to dream about a destination and read about how another person did it,’’ Ugochukwu said.
“Distraught People, Deadly Results” by Wesley Lowery, Kimberly Kindy, and Keith L. Alexander
For this article, The Post analyzed 124 killings in which the mental health of the victim appeared to play a role, either because the person expressed suicidal intentions or because police or family members confirmed a history of mental illness. This approach likely understates the scope of the problem, experts said.
In many ways, this subset mirrors the overall population of police shooting victims: They were overwhelmingly men, more than half of them white. Nine in 10 were armed with some kind of weapon, and most died close to home.
“The Oral History of the President’s Speech in Independence Day” by James Harris
Waldman: Looking at the scene again, what comes to mind a little bit is George W. Bush’s most memorable moments from his presidency. The staging and iconography of his “Mission Accomplished” moment looks like they borrowed a lot from that movie. I mean, Bush wearing his fake fighter pilot outfit on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln [aircraft carrier] looks so much like this scene. And one of the high points of his presidency was when he jumped up on the fire truck at Ground Zero and spoke into a megaphone to the firefighters and the first responders and said, “I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you.” It is so similar to this scene.
[Image via Getty]