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Etcetera #50: Ellipses, Burning CDs, 90s Music

Matthew Culnane
Matthew Culnane
Hello. We’re back after a week’s break. Having reached 50 issues, I’m intending to share this issue a little more widely so, if you’re new, here’s what to expect: a bunch of links to things I’ve read since the last issue, paired with some extra stuff from my bookmark archive; some amusing or interesting tweets; plus some things I’ve been reading, listening to or playing.
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See you next time.

In Defense … of the Ellipsis
Burning CDs With Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes in the Basement of Madison Square Garden
Introducing Pitchfork’s Best Music of the 1990s
  • A discussion about removing the calculus requirement from (US) science majors and replacing it with statistics. I find this line of thought a little too seductive. In an age of—ahem—contested thinking, a mastery of data is extremely useful. But calculus consists entirely of cutting and rebuilding: it is literal problem solving, a skill all scientists require. Rather than replacing calculus with statistics, perhaps they should augment it and teach both.
  • A long, excellent piece by Lucas Mann which—as its title makes clear—is sort of about watching Brad Pitt eat on screen, but is really about the author’s own experiences with food, health and body image. This is excellent.
  • The story of how the socials get bigger, get generic, then get boring. It’s happened to every platform you can think of and it will happen to TikTok too.
  • Also boring: gifs!
  • An interesting tool that switches up the user interface for your Google Drive and turns it into a sort of wiki.
  • A podcast about the proliferation of Latin-speaking groups.
  • This issue’s music anniversary link is to Grizzly Bear’s Shields turning 10. A wonderful, overlooked album. (OK, I can’t resist another: see also Beck’s Sea Change turning 20. Sad Back is the best Beck.)
The dreaded Tweets
Isaac Hepworth
babe are you ok? you've barely touched your north star vision statement which you spent days putting together on that offsite last quarter
idk how to explain this but Thursday, October and 8:00 PM are all the same
Nico Colaleo
Here's the @LifeInHellStrip Matt Groening created when Charles Schulz passed away in 2000
Jonty Wareing ⍼

The character "ꙮ" (U+A66E) is being updated in version 15.0.0.

Because it doesn't have enough eyes. It needs to have three more eyes.
In rotation
🎮 After my complaint in the last issue about being bad at Dead Cells, it’s suddenly clicked and I’m actually doing quite well. I like this game a great deal more than I expected to.
🎵 Also mentioned last time round: Alex G’s God Save The Animals, which is brilliant. He’s been able to expand on both the pop and the noise/weird while continuing to improve his songwriting. A very rare ability.
🎤 In a recent episode of Bullseye Jesse Thorn spoke with Loudon Wainwright, a folk singer of some 50+ years. His 1971 song ‘Motel Blues’ is an old favourite of mine, bringing to life the loneliness of a touring musician, and I’ve rather come around to what I initially thought was a misogynistic tinge to the lyrics—now I just think they’re sad and pitiable.
🎵 Wilco’s 2001 masterpiece Yankee Hotel Foxtrot has been given the deluxe reissue treatment. Steven Hyden, music critic and co-host of one of my favourite podcasts, digs deep into why this is such a vital collection for fans of the album:
Taking all of this in, I think it’s possible (and even necessary) to hold two thoughts in your head: 1) The stuff that didn’t make Yankee Hotel Foxtrot did not fit on the record; 2) The stuff that didn’t make Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is some of the greatest music Wilco has ever made.
🎮 Something I hope to play soon is Tunic, newly released for Switch and already available on other platforms. My son has seen the trailer and is keen to play as the cute fox; I’m yet to tell him that it consists of mind-bending puzzles and punishing combat:
TUNIC - Announcement Trailer - Nintendo Direct 9.13.2022
TUNIC - Announcement Trailer - Nintendo Direct 9.13.2022
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Matthew Culnane
Matthew Culnane @coldbrain

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