Leonard Cohen, Obama's Legacy, Andrew Wyeth, Owls, Africa

Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

I Have No Idea Of The Sound I Am Looking For

Michael Harris | Walrus | 11th November 2016

A conversation with Leonard Cohen conducted in 1969 when Cohen was recording his second album, Songs From A Room. “I had some trouble with my first record in getting the kind of music I wanted because I hadn’t worked with men for a long time. I had worked by myself and I forgot what was necessary. I forgot how to make your ideas known to other people. The fault was completely mine. I was unaware of the techniques of collective enterprise. I’m a little more aware of them now” (8,100 words)

What Obama Got Right

Jonathan Rauch | Atlantic | 15th November 2016

President Obama promised great change; he delivered sober realism; he leaves America in good shape. “If you accept the distinction between a problem and a crisis, there is only one place where Obama can be fairly accused of leaving behind a crisis: the Syria-Iraq-Isis cauldron, which is a major crisis for the region, but not for the United States. The score is not quite zero crises. But it is about as close to zero as modern presidents come. Obama’s successor has a lot to thank him for” (1,580 words)

Andrew Wyeth And His Critics

Morgan Meis | The Easel | 15th November 2016

“The paintings are of simple things: drapes fluttering in the breeze, a young boy making his way down a hill and across a meadow, ten or fifteen leaves dying on the spindly branch of a tree in late autumn. The almost homely nature of Andrew Wyeth’s pictures, the studiousness with which they avoid big subject matter and big questions, would seem to render them unobjectionable to the extreme. And yet, people have objected. These humble paintings have managed to piss people off” (3,300 words)

Murder By Owl

Joe Bargmann | Audubon | 12th November 2016

“The 15-year-old legal proceedings against author Michael Peterson for the alleged murder of his wife, Kathleen, constitute one of the more notorious and extensively documented criminal cases of our time. It has provided fodder for two Dateline segments, a Lifetime movie, a documentary film series and dozens of television episodes. It is tinged with drugs and soaked in blood. It has spawned a criminal defense theory that sounds like a punch line: The Owl did it” (1,500 words)

How To Write About Africa

Binyavanga Wainaina | Granta | 19th January 2006

A classic. Much imitated. “Always use the word ‘Africa’ or ‘Darkness’ or ‘Safari’ in your title. Subtitles may include the words ‘Zanzibar’, ‘Masai’, ‘Zulu’, ‘Zambezi’, ‘Congo’, ‘Nile’, ‘Big’, ‘Sky’, ‘Shadow’, ‘Drum’, ‘Sun’ or ‘Bygone’. Also useful are words such as ‘Guerrillas’, ‘Timeless’, ‘Primordial’ and ‘Tribal’. Note that ‘People’ means Africans who are not black, while ‘The People’ means black Africans. Be sure to leave the strong impression that without your intervention and your important book, Africa is doomed” (1,400 words)

Video of the day: Shin-Godzilla Destruction Reel

What to expect:

Special effects. Godzilla destroys Tokyo, followed by wireframes showing how the scenes were constructed (3’34”)

Thought for the day

The criminal is the creative artist; the detective is the critic
G.K. Chesterton

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