Last year around this time, the internet briefly worried/hoped that the New York Times innovation report would lead the paper to become more like Buzzfeed. That didn’t happen—or did it? The Gray Lady has not become obsessed with viral stories or replaced page A1 with its Twitter feed, but it did run a Sunday op-ed titled What You Learn in Your 40s. It’s nice. Its premise is also remarkably similar to this Buzzfeed listicle, or this one, as well as this one and these. The difference is that the Times essay is built around a tone of humorous reflection rather than GIFs from Friends, and it’s about being 40 instead of 20.
Greetings from an unusually relaxed Monday around the Combat! blog offices, where we have been drinking coffee and arranging terrariums to catch some unusual Montana sunlight. Even my relaxation takes the form of compulsion, but at least everything is nourished. As any homosexual shut-in will tell you, plants make food from sun and water. I tend to think culture works the same way, in that out of the dirty, damp business of society grow a few arts, works and artists that are rad. Really, it doesn’t happen like that. Culture comes from a culture industry—or it has for the last sixty-some years.