Hello loyal readers! We know some of you by name or handle–cool internet peeps who subscribe or post or comment, plus, of course, our moms and college roommates.
But who are the OTHER visitors who make up the rest of our [uhm, insert modest number here] visitors a month? The people who maybe stop by once, only to find the perfect listicle–or to be bitterly disappointed? We decided to get to know them… by looking into the search terms that led people here.
Of course there are the expected people who came searching for Dawson’s Creek recaps or that perfect quote from Romy and Michele. But the rest are a fascinating and motley crew. Here is an unofficial and incomplete taxonomy of our search engine visitors:
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Do you know about the creepy surrealist Youtube star Poppy? This article about her is fascinating, but what really fascinated me was just watching her “I’m Poppy” video. (via Wired)
After some anxious sponsors backed away from the notorious Trumpian production of Julius Caesar, Alexandra Petri for the Washington Post cheekily identified reasons why pretty much no plays should be acceptable to sponsors. For example, in As You Like It, “Woman wandering in the woods to get away from the current regime is portrayed as some sort of hero.” VERY inappropriate.
Rebecca Solnit argues in Harper’s that the mythical Cassandra is the feminine inverse of The Boy Who Cried Wolf: from Anita Hill to Cosby’s victims to Trump’s accusers and in countless other examples, men can lie over and over again and be believed, while women can tell the truth time and time again and be dismissed.
A poet who wasn’t getting any traction on Instagram conducted a social experiment in which he posted the most banal, non-sensical lines he could think of–and he immediately got thousands and likes and followers, many of whom were not in on the joke.
The New Yorker‘s Doreen St. Felix walks us through Bill Maher’s awkward, graceless apology–and why we probably shouldn’t accept it.
Aeon posted a video essay by the Nerdwriter explicating E E Cummings’s famous love poem, “[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in].”
A lot of people are convinced that a recent Netflix tweet means a possible new season of Gilmore Girls (although I’m pretty sure it’s just a hilarious joke). Read about it on IndieWire.
Nashville’s back on CMT, and with it, according to the Detroit News, we might be seeing some increased efforts at representation, including a recurring character who’s African-American and another who’s the first out transgender actor on CMT.
Someone at The Outline recut all 10 hours of Westworld into chronological order. It’s amazing.
Our Gilmore Girls posts
Our Nashville posts
Our Westworld posts
My childhood was only a menacing shower,
cut now and then by hours of brilliant heat.
All the top soil was killed by rain and sleet,
my garden hardly bore a standing flower.
From now on, my mind’s autumn! I must take
the field and dress my bed with spade and rake
and restore order to my flooded grounds.
There the rain raised mountains like burial mounds.
(Translation of “L’Ennemi” by Robert Lowell)
The wind is blowing, blowing over the grass.
It shakes the willow catkins; the leaves shine silver.
Where are you going, wind? Far, far away
Over the hills, over the edge of the world.
Take me with you, wind, high over the sky.
I will go with you, I will be rabbit-of-the-wind.
–Richard Adams, Watership Down
I’m rereading one of my favorite books, Watership Down, in which a group of rabbits travel a great distance to found a new society. In the middle, they encounter a society full of strangely sad, yet remarkably well-fed, rabbits: and they encounter art for the first time. The melancholy poem above is the first poem the heroes have ever heard, and it both mystifies and unsettles them. As, perhaps, any good poem should.
The LA Review of Books tackles why the new Bourne movie was so unsatisfying. No one cares about your daddy issues, Jason.
Sure, we’re all thrilled to death about the Gilmore Girls revival—but don’t forget that other bookish heroine, Anne of Green Gables, who falls in love with a boy only after long years of vying with him for the top of the class. She too is being revived—and Netflix has just partnered up with the reboot, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The part of the internet that we read is clamoring with support for Leslie Jones, who has been the victim of incredibly frightening racist harassment. Here is one piece on the topic worth reading, from The Establishment. We don’t usually address celebrities directly because, let’s face it, we’re way too small for them to care, but: Our hearts are with you, Leslie!
The University of Chicago has taken a stand in the culture wars that kicked off on campuses last year. While one sentence is never going to capture all the nuance in this issue, we at Adversion can definitely agree with a call for college students to be challenged and made uncomfortable by literature.
Aldous Huxley sent his former student George Orwell a letter that basically amounts to one extended neg. Open Culture describes it as “My Hellish Vision of the Future Is Better Than Yours (1949).” (DISAGREE, Huxley!) [Keets: the scoreboard is definitely on Huxley’s side, though…]
The Times Literary Supplement takes a look at some recent books on Byron–from the vindication of Lady Byron to the burning of his memoirs. Interestingly, Byron’s daughter Ada “is widely celebrated as having anticipated computer coding by over a century.”
The British Library this week takes a look at WH Auden’s poems.
At We Minored in Film, Kelly Konda ponders the role of the thematically relevant backstory in survival stories.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote a delicious piece of what is essentially Virginia-Woolf-inspired fanfiction about Melania Trump for the NYT.
Happy Fourth of July! 12 authors, including Teju Cole and Jay McInerney, picked their essential American books for Time. What would you pick?
It’s dark. Not caring where I go, which path I follow,
Past sleepy ponds I stroll.
Of autumn freshness, leaves and fruit the fragrance mellow
Drifts over all.
The garden’s almost bare, and through the branches whitely
The stars of evening show.
Dead silence reigns. Murk clothes the paths. It’s nighttime.
My steps are slow.
They’re slow, but wake the hush… High in the sky’s cool
A princely diadem,
The icy Pleiades blaze diamond-like and sparkle,
Each one a gem.
On its face, “The Pleiades” by Nobel Prize-winning Russian author Ivan Bunin (translation from All Poetry) contains an inspirational (and somewhat unoriginal) message: when life seems dark, confusing, and/or pointless, look at the stars, and their transcendent light will lead you to your spiritual home. Continue reading →
Why did the morning rise to break
So great, so pure a spell,
And scorch with fire the tranquil cheek
Where your cool radiance fell?
Poetry so often conflates springtime with rebirth, renaissance, hope, and the like, but Emily Brontë’s work begs to differ. The narrator of “Ah! Why, Because the Dazzling Sun” spends the poem shutting her eyes tightly (and vainly) against the “blood-red” light that “throbs with her heart” and destroys her peace. And as she says in “Fall, leaves, fall”:
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.
Brontë’s poetry seems keenly aware of the Icarus myth: her relationship to daylight and springtime springs from an understanding that sunlight is not the product of a benign reflection, a consumptive fire.
From “Ah! Why, Because the Dazzling Sun” again:
O Stars and Dreams and Gentle Night;
O Night and Stars return!
And hide me from the hostile light
That does not warm, but burn—