It’s always fun to see someone swing a baseball bat at some ripe pumpkins like these: “hipsters” who are trying to live an “authentic” Victorian life, complete with corsets and stifling wool suits and boneshaker bicycles. Bonus: the original piece was in Vox! But since this is a Gawker spin-off, everything has to be really angry, as smug as the targets, and peppered with effenheimers so you know the author is one of those lively moderns who wants you to know he is righteous and untrammeled by convention, man. Of course using F-bombs is the convention, but don’t tell him.
He makes some fine points about the couple’s folly, but goes off on the Victorian age as a time of unremitting horrors for everyone except the etiolated tendrils of the upper class. I mean, the entire planet is a nightmare. Life was meaningless until 1993, which I suspect might be the time he started to notice the world outside his crib. (Really, he’s written an article about how the past is garbage, and while it might be intended as humor it lacks that tell-tale signal, i.e., actual humor.)
So: how did it happen that this utterly unredeemable society improve itself? It’s really quite a mystery to the author. Also: if there’s one thing I’ve noticed about misanthropists, it’s this: their self-satisfaction is matched only by their unhappiness. It’s an odd combination.
RETAIL It’s a trailer about Tower Records.
Established in 1960, Tower Records was once a retail powerhouse with two hundred stores, in thirty countries, on five continents. From humble beginnings in a small-town drugstore, Tower Records eventually became the heart and soul of the music world, and a powerful force in the music industry. In 1999, Tower Records made $1 billion. In 2006, the company filed for bankruptcy. What went wrong? Everyone thinks they know what killed Tower Records: The Internet. But that's not the story.
Trailer’s here. The chain never made it here, but I remember it from DC, and it was the best media store in town, if you’re not looking for a book. Surely a similar piece could be written about Musicland, if you remember that once-ubiquitous vendor. I think they went big into EVERY MEDIA IN THE WORLD about the time that things were shifting online, and took a bath that made the sinking of the Titanic look like a rowboat foundering in Nokomis.
MURDER ON THE MINNEAPOLIS It’s a book; haven’t read it, but I intend to. This promotional page for the site tells you something you might not have known: the history of this vessel.
The Minneapolis. “At 600 feet long, the Minneapolis had the largest tonnage of any ship afloat [excepting the Oceanic] and were among the first vessels fitted for wireless telegraphy.” Take a look, and have a fine weekend.