Here Come the Stories of the Hurricane
Do you like your hurricane coverage with a healthy dose of ennui? Do you find most Hurricane Sandy news too “newsy”? If you want to read about how the hurricane makes people feel, about what it does for hopes, dreams, unfulfilled goals, general anxiety and drug intake, then maybe you should be reading Tao Lin’s liveblog over at Thought Catalog.
Stay tunned as Mr. Lin and other Thought Catalog contributors feel the crushing dread and anxiety of being alive–all while dealing with the reality of being stranded inside during a storm.
A Quick Intellectual Experience
Eric Auld is 26-year-old with a Master’s in English, a couple lists on McSweeney’s, and a job as an “Adjunct Lecturer in English.” And yet, like a male version of the characters in Girls, he cannot get a full-time employment in New York City.
So after applying to hundreds of job listings on the Internet, Mr. Auld conducted an experiment “to find out more on where I stood in this uncertain job market.” He did this by creating a fake job listing for an Administrative Assistant on Craigslist. And then writing about it on Thought Catalog, home of semi-employed Adjunct Professors of English everywhere.
There are some websites that were just made to have ebook imprints. Like McSweeney’s. Or Salon.com. Or Emily Gould’s thing. But more importantly Thought Catalog. Yes, the post-tween insta-nostalgia festival was basically designed to sell books for $1.99 from authors who think they’ve written the next Perks of Being a Wallflower-meets-Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
And you know what? We would read these books. We would pretend that we were only hate-reading them, but we would devour them like the pieces of pop-culture cotton candy that they were. Case in point:
Algonquin Round Table
(Clockwise from top left: Ruth Bourdain, Jonathan Ames, Andy Cohen, Lena Dunham, and Blue Ivy Carter)
With the reopening of the Algonquin Hotel, we must consider who will be chosen for the honor of one of the 11 seats in the Algonquin Round Table.
Maybe you’ve heard about this neighborhood in New York City called Williamsburg? It’s a magical little place that—sometime around 1996—young artists looking for a bargain in reasonable proximity to Manhattan migrated from places like the East Village, back when it was still fairly cheap. The neighborhood has historically been a stronghold of Brooklyn’s Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Italians, and Chasidic Jews. Since then, like every other neighborhood in New York, folks young and old—moneyed with finances given or earned—have moved into the neighborhood.
As a result of this:
1. Those for whom the neighborhood was once affordable no longer count it as a reasonable living option.
2. Those for whom the neighborhood was once populated with contemporaries, it no longer is.
3. Those for whom the neighborhood was the place that they grew up have seen it indelibly changed.
And we know this now because a daring satirist writing for Thought Catalog—a digital publication ushering in a new Age of Enlightenment—has now come out as one of its ‘thoughtful denizens.’
Insta-Nostalgia (noun): Glorification/yearning of or for a period in history that only recently ended, or is still occurring. Confined mostly to Millennials, hipsters, and Kurt Andersen, symptoms of insta-nostalgia may include anything from ironic Lana Del Rey listening parties to an obsession with Instagram photos.
Thought Catalog is an experimental media company that sells display advertising against millennial eagerness to convert their personal lives into shareable content without any compensation other than the social capital of being liked and followed. Media critics who mistake it for a generational literary manifesto often find themselves mired in irrational hatred of the website when, really, they ought to save their breath for Thought Catalog’s obvious progenitor, Facebook. The true sign that a company’s ambitions are more business-oriented than artistic—insofar as Thought Catalog can be considered such—is coverage in the capitalist bible Forbes. Which it now has.
Thought Catalog is a self-important blog that ostensibly allows young writers to indulge themselves but is actually the inadvertent and hilarious “slut-shaming” of forthcoming MFA aspirants’ bad writing that they’ll no doubt want erased from the internet by the time they decide they need to get rejected from Iowa to move on with their lives. But, as demonstrated, irrational hatred of a website can only take one so far. The true sign of a becoming a success—insofar as Thought Catalog’s can be considered such—is a parody Twitter. Which they now have.
This may be the funniest media story of 2012 yet. It involves two of the most patently ridiculous blogs on the entire internet, one of which cowered in fear at some overzealous publicists, who only made their cause worse by asking for the removal of a blog post, which the other ridiculous blog has now published.
During his first company-wide meeting two weeks ago, Nick Denton declared that Gawker Media is a technology company, not an editorial one, according to a report published on The Awl. The recasting of the Gawker blog network left at least one current editor scratching his head, but it was clearly a smart strategic message for Mr. Denton to broadcast.
The resurgence of New York media over the past two years has been led by companies whose primary business does not involve words. E-commerce colossus Gilt Groupe and technology and data giants Bloomberg and Reuters lured top legacy media talent to their doors with pre-recession salaries and the sense of relief offered by a company for whom making payroll is not a routine emergency.