Outside Reading — Off the Menu edition


Hacked to Bits by Jaya Saxena

Writer for Eater, Jaya Saxena explores the culture of creative tinkerers who use the online menus of chains restaurants and coffee shops to concoct wild variants of the businesses’ standard fare. Because they post these menu hacks online, the workers at these food and drink establishments can be hit with complex requests that tilt toward the unreasonable given their training and compensation. Worse yet, the fervent craving felt by these demanding patrons to get exactly the right customized experience and shareable image of whatever semi-random Day-Glo latte is the drink of the moment manifests as entitlement which then curdles into abusive behavior directed at the staff.

Preschool Punks and Dancing Mommies at the Linda Lindas Show by Melena Ryzik with photographs by OK McCausland

The emergence of the Linda Lindas has brought nothing but delight. This article and photo essay, by Melena Ryzik and OK McCausland, is ample proof of that. They wade into the pit for a pair of shows played by the youthful quartet and come back with stories and photos of the music fan parents who get to welcome their tots into their delightful, sweat-glistened pastime of crowded clubs and merch table souvenirs. The nine year old who delivers the review “Angry sounds better” deserves consideration for this year’s Pulitzer for criticism. This piece is published by The New York Times.


With Leaps and Bounds, Parkour Athletes Turn Off the Lights in Paris by Constant Méheut

Typing for a household that was formally enraged when downtown Asheville, North Carolina, an area that previously eschewed almost all national chains, gave over a prominent corner to an Urban Outfitters that stayed blazingly overlighted all night long, I applaud the determined French scalawags Constant Méheut reports on for The New York Times. Ricocheting through the city after hours to extinguish wasteful, unnecessary electric lights is exceptional use of the physical nimbleness and nocturnal energy that comes with youth.

Worst to Best: Martin Scorsese Movie Posters by Keith Phipps

Writing for The Reveal, the terrific self-published shingle he shares with fellow AV Club and The Dissolve alumnus Scott Tobias, Keith Phipps creates and completes an exercise that I find irresistible: ranking the movie posters of Martin Scorsese films. It’s more than a bland tally. Phipps shrewdly uses the write-ups to consider the shifts in how films are marketed and the added challenges of fitting more complicated cinematic efforts into those transforming molds. He does, however, ignore the taglines, which brings me to this fun-size version of Bait Taken post. I humbly offer my ranking of the ten best taglines from Martin Scorsese movie posters:

10. “Cops or criminals. When you’re facing a loaded gun, what’s the difference?” – The Departed (2006)

9. “No one stays at the top forever.” – Casino (1995)

8, “It started as a concert. It became a celebration.” – The Last Waltz (1978)

7. “The destiny of a people lives in the heart of a boy.” – Kundun (1997)

6. “Nobody knows Rupert Pupkin, but after 11:30 tonight no one will ever forget him.” – The King of Comedy (1983)

5. “Some men dream the future. He built it.” – The Aviator (2004)

4. “The Hustler isn’t what he used to be. But he has the next best thing. A kid who is.” – The Color of Money (1986)

3. “A love story is like a song. It’s beautiful while it lasts.” – New York, New York (1977)

2. “American was born in the streets” – Gangs of New York (2002)

1. “What if that date you thought would never end, didn’t?”” – After Hours (1985)

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