GPOY: OccupyEverywhere Edition

Power to the People

Power to the People

Ever have one of those days where you’re all, I GAVE Peace a chance and ten years later we’re still in Afghanistan? No? Just me then?






October 15.

Expect us.


Steampunk Stainless Steel Cthulhu is my spirit animal

Steampunk Stainless Steel Cthulhu is my spirit animal

Okay, technically this is a GPOYSA, gratuitous photo of your spirit animal. I think finally, after a lengthy search with candidates as impressive (and bizarre) as Sexually Oblivious Rhino, Courage Wolf, Greek Riot Dog, the raven, and a carnival Carousel, we finally have a winner.


Yes. Yes. Looking over all 4178 posts and an estimated 1,044,500 words here on the ol’ raincoaster blog, it seems we have a strong rival to the Stainless Steel Squid here: the Oxford Comma.

The Oxford, Comma

The Oxford, Comma

From TheDailyWhat:

Who gives a f*ck about an Oxford comma? Not Oxford University’s branding style guide, which instructs its readers thus:

As a general rule, do not use the serial/Oxford comma: so write ‘a, b and c’ not ‘a, b, and c’.

It should be noted that an exception has been made for sentences where an Oxford comma would “assist in the meaning of the sentence or helps to resolve ambiguity,” such as when “one of the items in the list is already joined by ‘and’.”

So, that clears that right up, then. What, Ever. Any fool can SEE I am in love with this thing. SAVE THE OXFORD, COMMA! I’m a sucker for lost causes.

Help me out here, people.

Artspeak, Closed Captioned for the Hipster-Impaired

Being a goddess is hungry work

Being a goddess is hungry work

Thank you, Charlotte Young, for this interminable (and delightful, once translated for the benefit of civilians) Artist’s Statement, which I have stolen from Gawker.

This girl is going to make a fucking FORTUNE writing grant proposals, I just know it. Compare and contrast with the ruling champeen, ARTIST’S STATEMENT N0. 45,730,944: PERFECT ARTISTIC WEBSITE by YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES.

Everything I need to know about America I learned from YouTube

I'll have a double chili nihilismdog to go

I'll have a double chili nihilismdog to go

It’s true, though. It’s not like America is complicated anymore.

Back in 2001 (nearly a century ago, if you don’t think about it too hard) the New Yorker published a truly ground-breaking article on the ways that Powerpoint (itself around and changing worldviews since 1987) was reducing the American capacity for original thought.

PowerPoint, which can be found on two hundred and fifty million computers around the world, is software you impose on other people… The usual metaphor for everyday software is the tool, but that doesn’t seem to be right here. PowerPoint is more like a suit of clothes, or a car, or plastic surgery. You take it out with you. You are judged by it—you insist on being judged by it. It is by definition a social instrument, turning middle managers into bullet-point dandies.

But PowerPoint also has a private, interior influence. It edits ideas. It is, almost surreptitiously, a business manual as well as a business suit, with an opinion—an oddly pedantic, prescriptive opinion—about the way we should think. It helps you make a case, but it also makes its own case: about how to organize information, how much information to organize, how to look at the world.

and, as anyone familiar with human interaction or communications theory could tell you, the way you get information about the world changes your concept of the world, and that in turn changes the world in which you live, if you do in fact live and not just exist. And what does this have to do with burgers, YouTube, and America? Plenty, my friends, plenty.

Think about this: the greatest technological success story of our time is Twitter, which limits what you can say to 140 characters; or we can equally say that it gives you 140 characters of void to fill with existential screaming. Some people have to pad to make the word count.

You thought I was kidding, didn’t you?

Think about the Tea Party, and think about exactly how deeply its members are thinking about the most important issues of the day. You can’t say their politics are not heartfelt, but you’d be hard-pressed to defend this particular capito-populist tribe as an intellectual movement. They make Pat Buchanan look like Bill Kristol. On the opposite side, a relatively intellectual President had to dumb down his message to single-word talking points; not much room for nuance when it has to fit on a Shepard Fairey poster.


Shepard Fairey Barack Obama

Shepard Fairey does Barack Obama in words of one or two syllables

And of course, popular culture is debased to the point where the Kardashians have not one but two television series among them, simply because sister Kim has a sex tape and a legendary caboose. It’s not exactly Witness to Yesterday, my friends.

So, yes, everything you need to know about the USA right at this moment, you can get from two brief YouTube videos and twenty or thirty minutes of cogitation thereon.

Here is the greatest scene from Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle that does not have Neil Patrick Harris in it:

Now that immigrant can-do-ism and aspirational capitalism have been explained, it’s time to take on geopolitics, and who better to tackle that nest of vipers than Team America, World Police?

That is all ye know on Earth, and all ye need to know.

World’s Coolest PhD Thesis

You think I’m joking, don’t you? You probably think this is some moderately-snazzy, TED-derivative powerpoint dog and pony show, doncha? Well think again, pal, because this is an award-winning microbiology PhD defense from Carleton University, presented as interpretive dance.

I say again:

this is an award-winning microbiology PhD defense from Carleton University, presented as interpretive dance.


via BMD Love Blog