A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

Category: Internet

Why Upworthy Is Still the King

by evanmcmurry

Plenty of sites rip off Upworthy headlines, but few function on this upper meta-plane of self-justifying, self-salvaging virality:Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 9.00.49 AM

The rest are just pretenders.


Cunt Punting Forever

by evanmcmurry

Following the polite request from the U of Maryland’s Delta Gamma President that a certain e-mail be cunt-punted off of Gawker‘s website—cuz that’s the way the internet works—comes the sorority’s official letter accepting the resignation of the member who wrote the GODDAMN FUCKING email, and stating that “We now consider this matter closed.”

Nice try. If this incident has taught us anything—and it hasn’t—it’s that the internet decides when these things begin and end. Say, the 32nd of Nevertober.

Adventures In Internet-land, Hagel/Heigl Edition

by evanmcmurry

The joys of logarithms: a New York article on Chick Hagel thinks you might also be interested in reading an article on Katherine Heigl. I guess if Republicans keep dunking Obama’s nominees, she’ll be up for Secretary of Defense sooner or later.

That Jonah Lehrer Sure Is Making Print Journalism Make Bad

by evanmcmurry

Next time your friend/relative/coworker/whoever quacks about the blogotwittosphere degrading standards of truth in journalism, you mind remind them of this point:

Old school journalists sometimes complain that these days anybody can start a blog and declare herself a journalist without going through the school of hard knocks–no gruff city editor playing drill sergeant, etc. And it’s true that some journalistic virtues have become rarer. But I don’t think accuracy and honesty are among them. It’s apt that Jonah Lehrer’s fabrications happened in a very old and non-interactive medium–a book, which, even when in electronic form, has no comment section.

I’ll add that Lehrer’s previous indiscretions happened at the New Yorker (albeit in their online section), which is hardly amateurjournohack.com. (On the other hand.)

You could make the argument that blogging, etc., has lowered overall standards to the point that new media is corroding once venerable institutions, I guess. (This strikes me as oddly similar to the very strange anti-gay marriage argument that links same-sex marriage to increases in out-of-wedlock births as part of a general erosion of traditional family values.)

But I don’t buy it; Jonah Lehrer’s transgressions could have been committed at any point in the last century. If anything, as Michael Moynihan, the journalist who caught Lehrer’s false Dylan quotes, theorized, the prominence attributed to Lehrer by his books and gigs, the false glow that allowed him to get away with this for so long, might have been the very thing that prompted him to cheat in the first place. In other words, it was the big print gigs, not the small blogging gigs, that got him into trouble. An alternate theory, advanced by Hamilton Nolan, was that Lehrer didn’t understand the procedures of blogging, and may have screwed the pooch by condescending to the form.

Also, the article Moynihan was writing when he started digging deeper into Lehrer’s book? It was for Tablet, a “daily online magazine.” In this case, the online-onlys had the facts, and the printing press had the fabrications; any way you shake this thing, the supposedly-trustworthy print side of things comes off bad. Remind the “wah-Twitter” crowd of that, please.


by evanmcmurry


Also, I can’t be the only person who, upon seeing that Twitter is down, immediately tries to get on Twitter to see what other people are saying about it.

Also: http://downrightnow.com/twitter