Down with M-TP

I am late to the party, but I am down with M-TP. Although Sơn Tùng is still too Korean-esque, I am getting used to his style and flamboyancy. His music is OK, but at least he writes his own songs. I can’t hardly make out what he sings most of the time, except for “Tôi không phải dạng vừa đâu… vừa, vừa, vừa đâu.” His latest live show Ambition is surprisingly enjoyable. Check out part 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Online Addiction

Andrew Sullivan:

I was, in other words, a very early adopter of what we might now call living-in-the-web. And as the years went by, I realized I was no longer alone. Facebook soon gave everyone the equivalent of their own blog and their own audience. More and more people got a smartphone — connecting them instantly to a deluge of febrile content, forcing them to cull and absorb and assimilate the online torrent as relentlessly as I had once. Twitter emerged as a form of instant blogging of microthoughts. Users were as addicted to the feedback as I had long been — and even more prolific. Then the apps descended, like the rain, to inundate what was left of our free time. It was ubiquitous now, this virtual living, this never-stopping, this always-updating. I remember when I decided to raise the ante on my blog in 2007 and update every half-hour or so, and my editor looked at me as if I were insane. But the insanity was now banality; the once-unimaginable pace of the professional blogger was now the default for everyone.

A fascinating read. I have been trying to kick this online addiction as well.

Ali Wong’s Radical Sex of Humor

The New Yorker’s Ariel Levy:

What is radical about Wong is that her discussion of quotidian domesticity is interwoven with commentary on what may be the last taboo of female sexuality: women are animals. It’s old news that women can be as raunchy and libidinous as men. Wong addresses something else, which has remained virtually unexplored, not just in comedy but in pop culture at large: the terrifically hard-core female experience of reproduction—the part that comes after the sex that so many women have already publicly declared they want. Wong describes nursing, for instance, as a “savage ritual that reminds you that you ain’t nothing but a mammal.”

Greg Tate Has a New Book

Hua Hsu:

At the Voice, Tate became known for the slangy erudition he brought to bear on a range of topics, not just hip-hop and jazz but also science fiction, literary theory, movies, city politics, and police brutality. His best paragraphs throbbed like a party and chattered like a salon; they were stylishly jam-packed with names and reference points that shouldn’t have got along but did, a trans-everything collision of pop stars, filmmakers, subterranean graffiti artists, Ivory Tower theorists, and Tate’s personal buddies, who often came across as the wisest of the bunch.

I read Flyboy in the Buttermilk several times. Can’t wait to get my hands on Flyboy 2.

The Future of Design

Jim Van Meer weighs in on the graphic design title in the new era:

In the 21st century, to be a designer means you are a typesetting psychologist with a proclivity for marketing strategy. You need to be a web designer and app developer, one of the elite Digerati, well versed at storytelling. You must be an experiential manipulator; able to use your design thinking skills to lead innovative endeavors others wish they had the wherewithal to accomplish. If these skills sets weren’t enough, you must be a futurologist as well. You have to see the forest despite the trees, and you have to be able to envision what is far over the horizon.


Summer Reading List

These are the books I wanted to get through this summer. The order starts with the ones I wanted to read first.

  • Branded Interactions: Creating the Digital Experience by Marco Spies (reading)
  • The Power of Letterforms: Handwritten, Printed, Cut or Carved, How They Affect Us All by Rosemary Sassoon
  • A Carlin Home Companion: Growing Up with George by Kelly Carlin (started to read)
  • Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer
  • Advertising Creative: Strategy, Copy, and Design by Tom Altstiel & Jean Grow
  • InDesign Type: Professional Typography with Adobe InDesign (2rd Edition) by Nigel French
  • JavaScript: 20 Lessons to Successful Web Development by Robin Nixon
  • Letters of Credit: A View of Type Design by Walter Tracy (to be reread)
  • The Sympathizer: A Novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen (started to read)

Victim Addresses Her Rapist

A powerful letter from a rap victim:

He is a lifetime sex registrant. That doesn’t expire. Just like what he did to me doesn’t expire, doesn’t just go away after a set number of years. It stays with me, it’s part of my identity, it has forever changed the way I carry myself, the way I live the rest of my life.

Just heartbreaking.