The TPR Stream
Blank on Blank, a multimedia nonprofit which curates interviews, is currently running a joint series with PBS Digital Studios to enliven old or lost interviews with new animation. Luckily for us, they chose to give David Foster Wallace’s 1996 interview with Leonard Lopate to animator Patrick Smith. The result is beautiful animations which seem a very fitting tribute to an awesome writer and thinker.
There is a room in Nevada where people sit with joysticks. There's probably a snack machine down the hall with Snickers and the long-stocked almond bars that nobody orders. When they go home "Radio Killed the Video Star" plays on the FM dial. At work they take piss breaks and smoke cigarettes while talking about ex-girlfriends. But not in the room. In the room they battle for high scores and blood and guts. Only this isn't a game. It's the US military drone strike program. Former drone operator Brandon Bryant offers us a look inside the program that nearly cost him his sanity.
It is 42 years to the day that one Jim Morrison departed from this earthly realm for parts unknown. In celebration of the man and the artist we present a letter from Rear Admiral G.S. Morrison addressed to the Florida Penitentiary system. Yes, Jim's father was in the Navy and, yes, showing your genitalia in public as Morrison did at a concert in Miami — he is the Lizard King for a reason — was a felony crime in 1969. Estranged for several years, we see a proud father defending a son he hasn't always understood.
A Hypothetical Woman, Honest Abe’s Swimming Hole and the Quest for the World’s Best Whisky By Douglas Arvidson
The woman sitting next to me at the bar does not exist. She is a chimera, a product of my imagination only. And so I am free to make her a stunner; the kind of woman who, at first glance, makes a man feel uneasy in his own skin and then, after a drink or two, makes a man ache down deep in his Y chromosomes where men do their most profound aching. She’s the kind of woman that is the first reason you, as a man, exist on this sweet Earth. But between us sits something very real—and a close second reason for man’s existence: a bottle of the best whiskey I will ever drink.
I have many American friends (I have many leatherbound books. My apartment smells of rich mahogany… oh dear, that’s the Anchorman 2 excitement getting to me again). But I do indeed have many American friends and what’s more, I love how my American friends get super excited for 4th of July. They have barbeques, they have fireworks, they wave little flags and it actually feels like a fairly healthy celebration of national culture (despite the salient point raised by Chris Rock last year). But I must finally admit to a guilty secret: I am also violently, violently jealous. Because we lost the War of Independence? Oh no. Because when it comes to national day, what do we Brits have? St George’s Day.
The urge to flee manifests suddenly, like a swarm of insects is released inside of me. I swim around my stagnant pond of a life, same bugs surrounding me skimming the surface. Every night a repeat episode of bad sitcom writing. Cheap laughs and drama. Empty beer cans roll the floor like tumbleweeds in a ghost town. Every available container overflowing with butts smoked from stress or anger but mostly drunkenness. I lay on my small loveseat, legs dangling over the armrest like a giant in a dollhouse. I trace the cracks in the wall with my eyes and wonder why it feels as though everyday this space seems smaller, the air heavier with despair and stale cigarette smoke. A small ember inside me is being fanned by dreams of adventure and mischief. A tiny fire growing with every day spent working to earn a dismal amount of money. Growing even more with every wrong look and bad attitude. And finally bursting into a full blown wildfire engulfing every inch of my being and pushing me over the edge into a self-discovering mania. I know what needs to be done and I know now is the best time to go and get lost.
Yesterday, marked the anniversary of one of the most controversial news headlines in history. It was early July in 1947 when something burned in the night sky over Roswell, New Mexico before making infamous impact in the desert region. The sensation it caused still hasn’t died down and sparked a cultural phenomenon that far outlives the incident itself. The following is the original news report stating Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) confirmation that they did indeed have a flying disk. It was a press release brought on at the behest of an eyewitness report of "one of the most respected and reliable citizens in town."
In a world whose richest class exclusively consists of oligarchs, uber-capitalists and tech gurus it's nice to be able to escape into a fictional world where a character like Lisbeth Salander can claim billions of her own. Plus, we think she tattoos better than Bill Gates. It all culminates in Forbes' Fictional 15, an assemblage of the world's richest fictional characters that mirror's the magazine's celebratory rich lists. Check out some of this year's highest entrees.
The coup in Egypt…How the Muslim Brotherhood and the Republican Party are alike…And hope in the form of the smartest kid you’ll see this day or any other…
I admire the poetry in his prose and the way his big dick spans generations, but his Voice in my head is the sound of vandals taking ball peen hammers to the pressed tin walls of the one-room schoolhouse, circa 1894, in which I live. Henry Miller has turned the endangered serotonin of my Zoloft-assisted brain from Hershey’s milk chocolate to a blend tinged with bitterness.
Now that's a class we'd go in for. Something tells us a few of the ladies may get into trouble at office hours — but the good kind of trouble. The kind you get into wearing high heels if not anything else. Presented for your perusal, dear reader, are some words on writing by the master himself.
Emotionally, spiritually, and financially I was wrecked. The surprise ending of a 17-year marriage caught me flat-footed, lost, confused, angry, betrayed. It felt like falling through a cloud with no sense of direction. Up. Down. East, West , North or South. Disoriented I prayed actively to my God to see me through…I wasn’t sure it was going to happen.
He's nothing I want to befriend, and I'm dripping in exhaustion, unable to rub two thoughts together. Spaced three feet apart, a gulf between us. A recumbent child, a dwarf, a lifetime could fill the hole between us on the bench. He says, “You missed a belt loop. And your pants are unzipped.”
Because It's 5 O'clock Somewhere: This Is What It Looks Like When Dave Chappelle Does Poetry By The Editors
This is what it looks like when Dave Chappelle does poetry. The first poem? Fuck Ashton Kutcher. Enough said.
Glyn Rebl goes into the corporate lunacy and fittingly ends up on the toilet. This is a step-to-step walkthrough and how you wipe your ass with corporate poetry.
He was a soldier, a secular humanist and even a Saab dealer; but to us, he will always be a master wordsmith. The man who said, ""Literature should not disappear up its own asshole, so to speak." Thank God he was a shite car salesman.
I have a habit of crossing myself. It’s the first thing I do in the morning, even before getting my eye-drops in – a necessary ritual for a hypochondriac. I cross myself and I say the Lord’s Prayer, and then rest with God a few minutes in our prayer-induced space before moving on with my life.
There was a man named Bob and Bob played the guitar. He picked at that thing until he became a certain kind of folk hero like Paul Bunyan or John Henry but in a different kind of way. One day Bob plugged the guitar into an amplifier and changed popular music forever. That day was 48 years ago yesterday. The crowd hissed and booed and frothed at their collective chops. One of ‘em yelled, “Judas!” Dylan faced his accuser. Said he didn’t believe him before turning back to the band with a simple, “Play fucking loud.” Not everybody hated it, though. You see Bob had some friends in the crowd. Some Liverpool guys who called themselves The Beatles.