The Third Shift


  1. And what is going on in 2012? Our Sexiest Man is white. Straight. Ginormous. Frequently goateed. Wearing a white tank top in his cover photo. Yes, he can dance. But as a nation, we must ask: What is left of Channing Tatum’s sex appeal after the final strains of Ginuwine’s “Pony” recede? Buzzfeed has described Tatum as “a thumb” and “a gyrating human potato.” His sexy is bland. Traditional. Republican in a Democratic year.

    Slate, People Incorrectly Names Channing Tatum “Sexist Man Alive”, by Amanda Hess. (via isitscary)

    It’s People magazine we’re talking about here. Traditional & bland is what it does. It can neither be right nor wrong; all it needs to do with its choices are move copies off the newsstand. Hess is simply feeding the beast of reaction to the magazine’s choice, which is the whole darn point.

    (via mardesalinidad-deactivated20130)

  2. afternoonsnoozebutton:

Hot, ready, legal? That’s weird, Rolling Stone. (Taken with Instagram)

No, it’s finally admitting in print what Rolling Stone has done for years. Fetishize the heroes of its youth (see Jann Wenner’s Jagger & Springsteen fixations leading to four- and five-star reviews of mediocre records by those icons) while leeching onto the vapid pop trends of the zeitgeist in order to keep itself “young, hip, and relevant.” And let’s be clear: while all mags do this to an extent, RS does so really brazenly.
It is instructive to remember the quote Guy Picciotto of Fugazi delivered in regard to Rolling Stone when he and Ian MacKaye explained why they turned down interviews with RS and other larger music mags, because it’s more relevant now than ever: "I can’t see what in God’s name they have to do with rock ‘n roll."

    afternoonsnoozebutton:

    Hot, ready, legal? That’s weird, Rolling Stone. (Taken with Instagram)

    No, it’s finally admitting in print what Rolling Stone has done for years. Fetishize the heroes of its youth (see Jann Wenner’s Jagger & Springsteen fixations leading to four- and five-star reviews of mediocre records by those icons) while leeching onto the vapid pop trends of the zeitgeist in order to keep itself “young, hip, and relevant.” And let’s be clear: while all mags do this to an extent, RS does so really brazenly.

    It is instructive to remember the quote Guy Picciotto of Fugazi delivered in regard to Rolling Stone when he and Ian MacKaye explained why they turned down interviews with RS and other larger music mags, because it’s more relevant now than ever: "I can’t see what in God’s name they have to do with rock ‘n roll."

  3. OK, that’s just funny.

    OK, that’s just funny.

  4. So that shot I reblogged yesterday is, of course, part of a pretty cool-looking magazine spread, and here’s more of it.
(via Christina Hendricks Dressed In Leather, Posing With Weapons)

    So that shot I reblogged yesterday is, of course, part of a pretty cool-looking magazine spread, and here’s more of it.

    (via Christina Hendricks Dressed In Leather, Posing With Weapons)

  5. So this GIF (stupid Tumblr and its 10 MB limit) yanked from the trailer for British GQ's “Comedy Issue” is making the rounds because, y’know, Olivia Wilde and boobs, y’all. Which I get, because that’s what dude magazines seem to revert to, even the supposedly more upscale ones like GQ, Details, and Esquire (and note that GQ has two separate covers for it, of course!) Also, I’m a heterosexual dude and I like boobs.
But it’s sad and disappointing (and probably a bit angering) to know that when the editors of an edition of a big-name magazine got right down to it, they pretty much cheekily admitted, “Yeah, we just realized it looks like we didn’t include any women on this comedy issue, but it’s too late in the publication cycle, so here, boobs!” It’s like noting you have a pipe that’s leaking all over the bathroom floor but not really doing anything to fix it.

    So this GIF (stupid Tumblr and its 10 MB limit) yanked from the trailer for British GQ's “Comedy Issue” is making the rounds because, y’know, Olivia Wilde and boobs, y’all. Which I get, because that’s what dude magazines seem to revert to, even the supposedly more upscale ones like GQ, Details, and Esquire (and note that GQ has two separate covers for it, of course!) Also, I’m a heterosexual dude and I like boobs.

    But it’s sad and disappointing (and probably a bit angering) to know that when the editors of an edition of a big-name magazine got right down to it, they pretty much cheekily admitted, “Yeah, we just realized it looks like we didn’t include any women on this comedy issue, but it’s too late in the publication cycle, so here, boobs!” It’s like noting you have a pipe that’s leaking all over the bathroom floor but not really doing anything to fix it.

  6. ☛ The Year of Magical Stinking: An Oral History of Tebow Time - GQ

    The headline alone is fantastic. Brady Quinn is catching serious flak for his comments and defending them by saying they were old and don’t reflect where he is now, but the problem is that they seem relatively accurate. The problem is that we don’t know whether Tim Tebow will actually be anything legit as an NFL quarterback until next season, when everyone’s had time to review the tape and he’s had a full off-season and training camp.

    But Terrell Suggs isn’t wrong to wonder where the appreciation was for Cam Newton on a mass level, because a casual observer would have been forgiven for thinking Tebow actually had better numbers. Tebow, right now, is the beneficiary of an adoring public, a coaching staff willing to create an offensive philosophy around him, and a very good defense that broke down in the secondary.

    The 2012 season is where Tebow will make or break his career, and he probably knows that and relishes it more than anyone.

  7. ☛ Host - Magazine - The Atlantic

    I know I’ve linked to this before, but today would have been David Foster Wallace’s 50th and it remains my favorite non-fiction work of his, not only for the subject matter of broadcast media (radio) and politics, but because the Atlantic Monthly really did a smart design when it came to formatting the footnotes as pop-ups.

    "Host" is my 1A of DFW non-fic, "Authority and American Usage" (known as "Tense Present" by Harper’s) is my 1B.

  8. marathonpacks:

If someone has a better visual definition for American media/political hegemony (Gramsci’s version—4th paragraph), I’d love to see it. (via)

Here’s the thing about it, too: I doubt the conscious decision is ever “We can’t let American readers look at this image” or something like that — because the same article is likely in all copies. It pretty much lays out Gramsci’s definition because we’re pretty conditioned to be insular and solipsistic as a nation.

    marathonpacks:

    If someone has a better visual definition for American media/political hegemony (Gramsci’s version—4th paragraph), I’d love to see it. (via)

    Here’s the thing about it, too: I doubt the conscious decision is ever “We can’t let American readers look at this image” or something like that — because the same article is likely in all copies. It pretty much lays out Gramsci’s definition because we’re pretty conditioned to be insular and solipsistic as a nation.

    (via sayyes)

  9. I like watching people fall in love onscreen so much that I can suspend my disbelief in the contrived situations that occur only in the heightened world of romantic comedies. I have come to enjoy the moment when the male lead, say, slips and falls right on top of the expensive wedding cake. I actually feel robbed when the female lead’s dress doesn’t get torn open at a baseball game while the JumboTron camera is on her. I regard romantic comedies as a subgenre of sci-fi, in which the world operates according to different rules than my regular human world. For me, there is no difference between Ripley from “Alien” and any Katherine Heigl character. They are equally implausible. They’re all participating in a similar level of fakey razzle-dazzle, and I enjoy every second of it.

    Mindy Kaling: “Flick Chicks” : The New Yorker

    The Office writer takes a funny look at the archetypes we’ve either grown used to and/or loathe.

  10. I griped about this yesterday. Here’s how obnoxious it actually looks.

    I griped about this yesterday. Here’s how obnoxious it actually looks.

  11. It’s a graphic representation of all that’s wrong with the coverage of politics in this country. Thank you, Tina Brown & Co. for providing a simple image of what’s bothered me for a few years now.

    It’s a graphic representation of all that’s wrong with the coverage of politics in this country. Thank you, Tina Brown & Co. for providing a simple image of what’s bothered me for a few years now.

  12. screwrocknroll:

Speaking of unconventional merch, I’ve long been fascinated that Taylor Swift has her own signature guitar for sale.
Our world has a lot of boys’ clubs — Congress, the Papacy, John Boehner’s golf course — but one of the most concerted sausage fests in existence is that of the guitar nerd. Browse through Guitar World or something, and you won’t just see men all over, you’ll see really hairy men who are rubbing their manly manness all over the pages as if their masculinity is synonymous with the very idea of guitar playing.
(On the landing page of the Guitar World website, there is not a single woman mentioned, though there is a link to its “Girls of Guitar World” page, which features models holding guitars — though not always in a position suitable for playing. In the “Features” drop down menu, there’s a link to this interview with Ana Popovic, a guitarist who is a woman. I did a search for Marnie Stern, and the magazine does have a recent interview with her. These article are both in a sub-section of the site, called “Guitar Girl’d,” which is distinct from and much less prominent than the “Girls of Guitar World” page. Anyway.)
I suppose this is because guitarists tend to be focused on rock, which is pretty male-dominated, and on the technically proficient end of rock in particular, which is even more male-dominated. The result is that when guitar manufacturers want to put an artists name on one of their guitars, it’s usually a man’s name. Fender sells Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and Jeff Beck Strats, and Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore Jazzmasters. There is no Kim Gordon bass, however. In fact, of Fender’s listed “signature artists,” there are no women at all, though the company’s subdvision Squier produced a Courtney Love model, the Vista Venus back in the late ’90s.
Gibson has Eric Clapton, Chad Kroeger, and Buckethead Les Pauls; Pete Townshend and Angus Young SGs; and even a Jonas Brothers Melody Maker. The only Gibson I could find with the name of a woman attached is the Joan Jett Blackheart. (BB King’s “Lucille” doesn’t count.)
And yet, in this hostile market, Taylor Swift has had her own branded guitar for sale through her website since the early days of her career. (I’m not sure when it was first produced, but I noticed it pretty early on, and I’ve been poking around Swift’s career since her first single.) Considering the rest of Swift’s merch leans heavily toward the t-shirts and cute trinkets end of the scale, and considering she isn’t anyone’s idea of a maestro on the instrument, I think it says a lot about Swift that she’s for so long maintained a product that does not traditionally code feminine, but does make a claim for her being a musician and a songwriter. 
Of course, it helps that she has a natural synergy with the label that makes her guitars. It is called Taylor as well. Its other signature models include ones for Dave Matthews, Jason Mraz, and Serj Tankian, but Taylor is the only female artist represented at Taylor.

Not that I have anything particular against Ms. Swift (I don’t really listen to a whole lot of her music because it’s not my style), but the acoustic guitar is one of the two pop music instruments that code feminine, the other being piano/keyboards. Michelle Branch and Vanessa Carlton are the pop-oriented examples I think of, although they’re much more fleeting than Swift is if sales are anything to go on.
I’ve not kept up with Fender’s catalog since I stopped being a serious player, but there used to be a Bonnie Raitt Stratocaster. Raitt’s place in the pantheon of blues/roots/folk-based pop and guitar hero status has always been the exception that proves the rule, though. Most of the time, signature guitars are a sort of perverse economy: they’re only really affordable for experienced players who have customized guitars to the hilt, and many of them lie in the trend of older, male players who know the guitar gods in the rock canon. I see them as a vanity. Additionally, while Taylors are great guitars, many of those same rock names tend to be Martin players — it’s telling that the Taylor signature list is either singer-songwriters or the really obscure type of guitar great that only other players know of (Leo Kottke & Doyle Dykes are very much a part of that camp.)
Guitar World has always been the macho, metal-oriented entry in the American guitar mag world. While I liked a lot of the songs it provided tabs for, I ditched it for Guitar Player once I became a bit more serious, because it treated genres outside mainstream or contemporary rock radio as valid (not that GP didn’t have its own troubles with female artists, but its editors were willing to admit there was a problem and went out of their way to tell its readers about say, Kaki King or remind them of somewhat-forgotten folks like Emily Remler.) Short version: don’t go looking in Guitar World for equitable distribution; it’s too tied up in rock & roll’s past glories.

    screwrocknroll:

    Speaking of unconventional merch, I’ve long been fascinated that Taylor Swift has her own signature guitar for sale.

    Our world has a lot of boys’ clubs — Congress, the Papacy, John Boehner’s golf course — but one of the most concerted sausage fests in existence is that of the guitar nerd. Browse through Guitar World or something, and you won’t just see men all over, you’ll see really hairy men who are rubbing their manly manness all over the pages as if their masculinity is synonymous with the very idea of guitar playing.

    (On the landing page of the Guitar World website, there is not a single woman mentioned, though there is a link to its “Girls of Guitar World” page, which features models holding guitars — though not always in a position suitable for playing. In the “Features” drop down menu, there’s a link to this interview with Ana Popovic, a guitarist who is a woman. I did a search for Marnie Stern, and the magazine does have a recent interview with her. These article are both in a sub-section of the site, called “Guitar Girl’d,” which is distinct from and much less prominent than the “Girls of Guitar World” page. Anyway.)

    I suppose this is because guitarists tend to be focused on rock, which is pretty male-dominated, and on the technically proficient end of rock in particular, which is even more male-dominated. The result is that when guitar manufacturers want to put an artists name on one of their guitars, it’s usually a man’s name. Fender sells Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and Jeff Beck Strats, and Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore Jazzmasters. There is no Kim Gordon bass, however. In fact, of Fender’s listed “signature artists,” there are no women at all, though the company’s subdvision Squier produced a Courtney Love model, the Vista Venus back in the late ’90s.

    Gibson has Eric Clapton, Chad Kroeger, and Buckethead Les Pauls; Pete Townshend and Angus Young SGs; and even a Jonas Brothers Melody Maker. The only Gibson I could find with the name of a woman attached is the Joan Jett Blackheart. (BB King’s “Lucille” doesn’t count.)

    And yet, in this hostile market, Taylor Swift has had her own branded guitar for sale through her website since the early days of her career. (I’m not sure when it was first produced, but I noticed it pretty early on, and I’ve been poking around Swift’s career since her first single.) Considering the rest of Swift’s merch leans heavily toward the t-shirts and cute trinkets end of the scale, and considering she isn’t anyone’s idea of a maestro on the instrument, I think it says a lot about Swift that she’s for so long maintained a product that does not traditionally code feminine, but does make a claim for her being a musician and a songwriter. 

    Of course, it helps that she has a natural synergy with the label that makes her guitars. It is called Taylor as well. Its other signature models include ones for Dave Matthews, Jason Mraz, and Serj Tankian, but Taylor is the only female artist represented at Taylor.

    Not that I have anything particular against Ms. Swift (I don’t really listen to a whole lot of her music because it’s not my style), but the acoustic guitar is one of the two pop music instruments that code feminine, the other being piano/keyboards. Michelle Branch and Vanessa Carlton are the pop-oriented examples I think of, although they’re much more fleeting than Swift is if sales are anything to go on.

    I’ve not kept up with Fender’s catalog since I stopped being a serious player, but there used to be a Bonnie Raitt Stratocaster. Raitt’s place in the pantheon of blues/roots/folk-based pop and guitar hero status has always been the exception that proves the rule, though. Most of the time, signature guitars are a sort of perverse economy: they’re only really affordable for experienced players who have customized guitars to the hilt, and many of them lie in the trend of older, male players who know the guitar gods in the rock canon. I see them as a vanity. Additionally, while Taylors are great guitars, many of those same rock names tend to be Martin players — it’s telling that the Taylor signature list is either singer-songwriters or the really obscure type of guitar great that only other players know of (Leo Kottke & Doyle Dykes are very much a part of that camp.)

    Guitar World has always been the macho, metal-oriented entry in the American guitar mag world. While I liked a lot of the songs it provided tabs for, I ditched it for Guitar Player once I became a bit more serious, because it treated genres outside mainstream or contemporary rock radio as valid (not that GP didn’t have its own troubles with female artists, but its editors were willing to admit there was a problem and went out of their way to tell its readers about say, Kaki King or remind them of somewhat-forgotten folks like Emily Remler.) Short version: don’t go looking in Guitar World for equitable distribution; it’s too tied up in rock & roll’s past glories.

  13. ☛ August 15-22, 2011 | The Nation's Sports Issue

    While I don’t want to rain all over the Nation’s parade because it’s great that the mag did a sports issue and went right to its own Dave Zirin to help edit it, it seems beyond silly that this is only the second sports-specific issue that it’s done in more than a century of existence.

    Let me be clear: it’s not that the mag hasn’t had a sports presence; Zirin is a regular contributor. But the focus in this issue accidentally manages to present sport and politics as separate arenas, even if the aim is to highlight how integrated both are despite the belief that the two are oil and water. 

    Again, allow me to disclose that I’ve not subscribed to any of the left-leaning political mags since college, so I may have missed something. But it seems like they all suffer from the affliction I see in many lefty mags: acting as if sport is a little bit beneath them. The problem is that the sport issue of The Nation proves it isn’t — the business of sport has economic ramifications that go far beyond who won and lost.

    I’m just saying that if I ran a political journal it would have a sports section with pieces every week, no exceptions. The funny thing is that some of the most politically engaged folks I knew and know now are sport obsessives, aware of the things behind the games they love while writing about policy. It makes no sense to me that it’s come to the point where a progressive magazine has to put out a special sports issue.