Best Of The Web
“For me, Star Wars movies are a lot like dental appointments: I feel obligated to go at regular intervals, but I always get a little nervous as the date looms. The series is a cultural juggernaut, especially on the internet. You can’t escape the opinions about it. Problem is, I’ve never been invested enough in the story or characters to feel much about them one way or the other. So I’ll do what anyone in the digital age does when they want to learn more about something: go watch an hour-long video of people talking about it on YouTube.
As it has almost everything else, the internet has democratized critique. Anyone can set up a camera or microphone and record themselves talking about movies or shows—a few people around a table or on a couch, sitting perhaps in substitution for IRL interactions and discussions. It’s a format that owes as much to Siskel & Ebert and Mystery Science Theater as it does to the postgame analysis panels on ESPN. Podcasts and videos in this vein can garner hundreds of thousands of subscribers and millions of views.
I got into shows like this a couple years ago when I had a job digitizing thousands of pages of paperwork at the corporate headquarters of a now-defunct retail chain. Wedged into the file room, isolated from any other people, I sat hunched over an ever-churning scanner for eight hours a day. To keep my brain from melting, I listened to podcasts and streamed YouTube videos in the background. It was a way to keep myself company as I slowly bled out from the papercuts.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"During the debate on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal in the United Kingdom’s Parliament on Saturday—which ended, as these things often have, with a vote calling for another delay—Johnson exposed the most basic blindness of Brexit..."
"Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, wants to change his story about Ukraine. On Thursday, at a press briefing, Mulvaney confirmed that when President Donald Trump suspended military aid to Ukraine in July, one reason was that..."
"I travelled with Bedouin in the Western Desert of Egypt. When we got a puncture, they used tape and an old inner tube to suck air from three tyres to inflate a fourth. It was the cook who suggested the idea; maybe he was used to making food..."
"The ultrasound technician places the wand on my daughter’s lower abdomen and moves it slowly across taut skin glistening with gel. I’ve been holding my breath since being ushered into the dimly lit cubicle to witness a sonogram that will..."
"Even many Democrats are criticizing Senator Elizabeth Warren for refusing to admit, in plain words, that her Medicare for All plan will require taxes to increase. They’re right to complain. The point could hardly be simpler: All presidential..."
"How do you update Watchmen for 2019? That might sound like a question with an obvious answer: You just do Watchmen. After all, the graphic novel, which has been consistently in print since its 12-volume run ended in 1987, is pretty terrific..."
"The climactic face-off of the 2019 Israeli Apartheid Week at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg took place on a wide, sunny plaza, between a statue dedicated to the millions of anonymous miners who had toiled under inhuman..."
"Mark Zuckerberg has rarely been so compelling. Facing increased scrutiny — especially after leaked audio of an internal meeting in which Zuckerberg called Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) an existential threat — the Facebook CEO outlined his..."