It’s Week 2 of our more cultivated Briefings, and we hope we’re giving you some cool stuff to talk about,
even if you’re just muttering to yourself at the office. This week we’re going to shield our eyes against the political race, talking instead about free money, errant anchors, lit mags, and nostalgia. Email us at tips [at] gearpatrol.com if you think there’s something we should know about in the world of culture.
1. Where to Get Money | Kickstarter Cash > NEA
You know we’re big fans of Kickstarter at Gear Patrol. We even have a series, Project Kickstarter, dedicated to spreading the word about those projects we think are totally badass. (In fact, a good friend will open a Kickstarter-funded gallery exhibit on Wednesday night in Brooklyn, if you want a free beer.) Late last week one of the founders of the funding platform predicted that they would raise $150 million in 2012, a few bones more than the National Endowment for the Arts. We suggest that this is pretty awesome; it also raises questions about how we fund art in America and even about what we consider art. It’s also led to major fist-pumping by libertarian nutjobbers—I’m looking at you, Reason—who think this proves their point. (Note: Not all libertarians are bats. This author proudly hails from the “Live Free Or Die” state.)
2. What to Watch Out For | Falling Anchors
Flash crashes. DDoS attacks. Videos of kittens. The Internet is a strange place to spend an afternoon.
One thing we rarely consider is the actual physical infrastructure of the thing, which is getting bigger and
more intricately tied to the Earth’s topography all the time. To wit: A ship of the coast of Mombasa,
Kenya, dropped its anchor into a bunch of submarine fiber-optic cables, slowing down the Internet for a
handful of African countries. (If you’re interested in this type of thing, Kevin Slavin gave a good TED
talk on some of the unintended and unforeseen ways the Internet behaves, here.)
3. What to Read | Paris Review Files #200
WE read The Paris Review. At the very least, we tucked it under our arms and hope that a beautiful woman in
tortoiseshell glasses is led to believe that we read The Paris Review. One of the reasons it’s such a great
quarterly is that criticism takes a major back seat to creative work, and because the interview series—with
greats like Hemingway, Kerouac, DeLillo, Marquez, so on—is one of the richest sources of insight into
the ideas and habits of writers. Issue #200 is about to land on shelves at your local bookstore and it’s got
an interview with American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis. A preview, via their site: “I was pursuing a
life—you could call it the Gentleman’s Quarterly way of living—that I knew was bullshit, and yet we
couldn’t seem to help it.”
4. What to Hear | The Cranberries. (You Heard Me.)
We’re going to say this and cover our ears, so don’t bother shouting at the screen. We dig The Cranberries.
Always have. And maybe this has something to do with a recent Daniel Day-Lewis kick—I just watched
In The Name Of The Father, in which he plays a wrongly-accused IRA bomber—or maybe it’s Dolores
O’Riorden’s deeply soulful, melancholic, beautiful voice in an alternative band, but I’m amped about their
new album after 10+ years, Roses. The best song for my money is “Schizophrenic Playboy.” It’s loud
and it rocks and it’s a nice contrast to the rest of the album, which makes me feel like I’m walking in the
rain with my high school girlfriend.
5. Where to Drink | A Bar With Serious Tools
We’ve never prayed at the temple of mixology – a good sazerac or a martini is nice, but nothing rimmed
with bacon essence. Nothing rimmed at all. What’s happening at Momofuku’s new bar in New York
City, Booker and Dax, is different: they’ve teamed up with the French Culinary Institute’s Director of Technology, Dave Arnold, to build a cocktail laboratory, mixing drinks with 1500 degree pokers, distilling essential oils in a rotary evaporator, and chilling glasses with liquid nitrogen. Can’t get to the city? Check out Arnold’s musings and kitchen hacks at CookingIssues.com.