Alex Ross' Essay on Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno for The New Yorker
In "The Naysayers," a new essay for The New Yorker, music writer Alex Ross examines these "chronically disapproving" intellectuals hovering in the Frankfurt School orbit, through the lens of a present-day thinker:
"Economic and environmental crisis, terrorism and counterterrorism, deepening inequality, unchecked tech and media monopolies, a withering away of intellectual institutions, an ostensibly liberating Internet culture in which we are constantly checking to see if we are being watched: none of this would have surprised the prophets of Frankfurt, who, upon reaching America, failed to experience the sensation of entering Paradise."
Slow News Day: The Battle For The Net Goes On
In case you missed it or were confused, today is "internet slowdown day." It was organized by coalition "Battle for the Net" in which 68 web-based companies—including Netflix, Vimeo, and Tumblr—have teamed up to protest the FCC's new, proposed rules that would allow cable companies to create "fast" and "slow" lanes for internet traffic, which could be detrimental to smaller or independent service providers. Which would be bad.
Watch a Trailer for the New York Film Festival
The 52nd New York Film Festival begins on September 25th, and today Entertainment Weekly debuted the fest's official one-minute teaser trailer. The clip features footage of Julianne Moore freaking out in David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars and provided the world's first real, albeit brief, glimpse at Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice adaptation.
Listen to "Upper West Side, 1982," a Song by Vampire Weekend's Rostam from the This Is Our Youth Soundtrack
This Is Our Youth, a new play starring Michael Cera, Tavi Gevinson, and Kieran Culkin that's set in the early 1980s, opens on Broadway tomorrow. The score was composed by Rostam Batmanglij, the producer and multi-instrumentalist who plays in Vampire Weekend. Today, you can hear one of his compositions from the soundtrack. It's streaming over at Pitchfork and Batmanglij had this to say about it:
"As soon as I read it I thought about myself at that age, I had just moved to upper Manhattan to go to school. A bunch of my time in that period of my life was spent studying piano, and the piano's this instrument you can find in apartment buildings throughout New York. So it was important for me to write something that could realistically be heard coming down the hall— maybe from an apartment next door to Dennis's. And it was also important to me that there be a bit of the feeling that a person has maybe come home late at night, in a somewhat altered state, and they sit down at a piano and this is what comes out of them and it's never existed before."