Friday links! Passionate intensity edition

Action Bronson, best and worst, unconvicted and full of passionate intensity

Action Bronson, best and worst, unconvicted and full of passionate intensity

The best lack all conviction, William Butler Yeats wrote in “The Second Coming,” while the worst are full of passionate intensity. He was talking about postwar Europe, but he might as well have described the world we would inherit a century later. Probably, Yeats’s claim is always true. You don’t get to be the worst without great confidence in what you’re doing, and the same qualities that makes the best better encourage them to doubt themselves. Today is Friday, and jerks continue to operate without a moment’s doubt. Won’t you waver along with me?

I recognize that more pressing stuff is going on in Syria, but I was enraged this week when the Syrian Electronic Army, a hacker group that supports Assad’s regime, shut down the New York Times website. Can we just maybe consider for a second, Syrian Electronic Army, that your support for a murderous dictator does not justify shutting down one of the world’s most significant news sources? No we cannot, because you are on the side of a murderous dictator. Or you are several hundred American script kiddies. Either way, I condemn you.

You don’t need to shut down media outlets to keep Syria out of the news, anyway. You just need to give them a way to measure website hits. The Onion walks the line between satire and simple truth-telling with Let Me Explain Why Miley Cyrus’ VMA Performance Was Our Top Story This Morning, ostensibly by the managing editor at Props to Mose for the link. I am pleased to report that the internet has made news more democratic. I am disappointed to add that the people care more about Hannah Montana’s butt than anything else.

They also insist on going armed. News reports that an Arkansas state senator Jeremy Hutchinson, who believes public school teachers should carry guns, accidentally shot a teacher during a training exercise turn out to be exaggerated. He only shot a police officer who was playing the role of a teacher during an “active shooter” drill, and it was a rubber bullet. The cop “teacher” was pretending to shoot at a cop “bad guy” when Hutchinson saw the gun and fired. He still thinks Arkansas teachers should go armed, because why wouldn’t you want a large number of untrained shooters in a crossfire situation at a school?

It’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad, sometimes. Chad sent me this link to Alex Pappademas’s account of a week on tour with Action Bronson, a rapper who takes the louche mook persona to levels of surreal genius. Pappademas seems to organize his piece around the idea that Bronson is extremely weird, but those familiar with the Action oeuvre will recognize that he is merely high. Our brave reporter also includes an unnecessary paragraph about smoking wax and having a hard time understanding the drive-through at In-n-Out. Hunter Thompson he ain’t.

But you should listen to Saaab Stories, Action Bronson’s new, barely not trademark-violating EP. He’s always been prolific—he’s put out seven mixtapes since 2011—but Saaab Stories is his first major-label release. It’s ten songs long, and except for the introduction track, each one is a clean distillation of his talent. Behold/behear:


Shorty sniffin’ lines like a sketch, indeed.


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