Outside Reading — Deep Normalcy Inflected By Sharp Stabs of Strangeness edition

The Shapeshifter by Sam Anderson

I played music from a multitude of artists during my long-ago tenure as a student programmer in college radio. Many of those performers were clearly talented, and developed their gifts with commitment and craft. Those whose brilliance was so overwhelming, their creativity so deep and thrillingly unpredictable, that they could reasonably be described as a genius were vanishingly rare. I firmly believe Laurie Anderson is a genius, no hyperbole. This profile, written by Sam Anderson and published by The New York Times Magazine, does not dissuade from this view.

I Found ClickHole’s “Worst Person You Know” by Cameron Wilson

Writing for Slate, Cameron Wilson recounts his sleuthing in search of the man who has become, for a large subset of meme-savvy cybercitizens, the embodiment of reprehensible opinion slingers whose unbearable surplus of hot takes occasionally results in stopped-clock soundness of thought. The procedural clue sifting described in the article is entertaining, but the real heft of the piece is an embedded consideration of the ways meme-fueled recognizability can happen in a manner completely detached from the individual whose face and gestures become shorthand communication for digitally connected strangers.

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