cultural studies

Dispiriting yet strangely inspiring quote of the day

“You’re circling failure in a rapidly decaying orbit. That’s the reality as we talk now. But you can change that. It’s in your power to change that. Yes, you’ll have to work hard, you’ll have to do things you haven’t done before and still your chances are very slim. But still, you can change it.”

-Garry Marshall’s “Chairman of CBS character” to Louis CK’s “Louis CK” character in the first episode of Louie‘s three episode “Late Show” arc. I thought the three-part arc was pretty great. Nicole thought it was whatever. Either way, hearing Garry Marshall say this to Louie, was goosebump-ey. You can watch the whole scene here.

how to live your life

The adult guide to beating a cold

Last Saturday, I went on an inadvertent all day drinking pilgrimage to North Beach one of San Francisco’s most touristy, least-visited-by-locals quarters. Despite it’s overpriced Italian restaurants, weird danceclubs, overelaborate strip clubs and the bevy of bridge-and-BARTers who frequent them, North Beach still has some fine bars, of both the divey and bobo variety. In these bars, where I wasted a whole day, while spending upwards of $100 on booze and food and probably $15 alone on the various jukeboxes, I sowed the seeds for the cold that has currently stuffed up my nose and left me tired, achy and cranky.

Now, I suspect one of the friends who I was drinking with, who was coughing and sniffling for the duration, gave me this cold. I can’t entirely blame him though. If I had been exercising sound judgment, washing my hands regularly, eating something other than greasy bar food (vegetables, maybe?), exercising even a little bit and getting enough sleep, I would probably be fine right now. Unfortunately, I did none of those things, and now my sinuses feel like they’re filled with green caterpillar poop and my skull seems too have shrunk two sizes in the wash, putting the squeeze on my fragile brain. So now that I have this stupid cold, I thought I might outline what I am doing to beat it.



Friday Poll: How should we print “yr an adult”?

YR AN ADULT started as kind of a joke title, thinking we would come up with something better down the line or raise the money to eventually buy the domain “” (ha!). But the name has kind of stuck, for better of for worse. It’s oddly catchy (in our minds) and the obnoxious spelling somehow feels right for a site about barely-adults who grew up on the internet. But we’ve never been sure how to print it in posts. In the logo, it’s lowercase, which looks fine in the hand-print font, but not that great when written in posts. If you look back at past posts, you’ll see that we’ve tried all kinds of different ways of printing it: italics, bold, all caps, just the first word capitalized – but nothing has stuck. So, I thought in our first poll, I’d let the readers of the site give us their take. So, if you could please take a whole 2 seconds to think about it and let me know what you think, that’d be great. Here’s to solving other people’s problems! (click thru below to the poll)KEEP READING!


Video of the day

Ben Folds Five – “You Can Do It Anyway” This video has all kinds of things that I like:

  • Fraggles.
  • Rob Corddry.
  • Messages about how you can get your life together.
  • Bands from the 90s!


In the News

Quote of the day

“Someday when cultural historians look back at this era of cinema and television, they’ll wonder why we so obsessively documented the lives of upper-middle-class city-dwelling Americans between the ages of 22 and 28.”

– AV Club Critic Noel Murray, in his review of the new Greta Gerwig/Noah Baumbach film, from the Toronto Film Festival.

____Featured Essay

The reality TV shows YOU could be in (you know, if they existed)

I recently got a short-term gig at a reality show production company. It’s been a fun little trip, because, while I’d worked in TV before, I’d never done pure reality production and wanted to see what it was like. Truth is, it’s probably not for me, but for the short term, it’s been super interesting. And despite having my first full-time, need-to-go-into-the-office-every-day gig in 9 months, I still spent most of my free time thinking about my generation and how growing up is weird. So, putting both of them together, I came up with a few ideas for reality shows about new adults/non-adults that I might like to watch, but no network might like to make. These aren’t shows about weird families who run a dark, dirty business, or formulaic looks at terrible wives or ex-wives or cretinous rural children. This is the real shit, the shit that you and me are living in, which is why they probably won’t be on TV anytime soon.

My Super Sweet 30th Birthday Party

The holy grail of reality development is finding an easy-to-recreate format, that will drive a narrative and keep viewers watching for the whole show. This show, apes the format from another reality show (another common practice in reality development), My Super Sweet Sixteen, but instead of showing obnoxious, rich teens’ birthdays, would depict young adults as they reached a different milestone.

The first act would introduce us to a character, upset about hitting an arbitrary aging milestone, depressed about where they are in their lives and just feeling generally old. Then, we follow them or one of their friends, as they plan to get all their soon-to-be-30-year-old’s friends together from around the country for a blowout party weekend in some exotic party locale. It could be anywhere from New Orleans to Vegas to Dubai to Aspen to a cabin in the middle of nowhere, as long as there’s booze, women and scenic landscapes for interstitial shots.

There’s a transition act, where the friends all meet up to travel to wherever they’re going to party, drinking in airport bars, eating at roadside diners, reminiscing about their twenties. And the payoff would be the party, which would ideally include drunken shenanigans, interactions with random strangers, gratuitous hook ups, food fights, fist fights, dancing injuries, D-list celebrity cameos and all kinds of puking. It would be the best kind of exploitative TV.


Things on the Internet

Kitty Pryde kind of has her shit together

Kitty Pryde got slightly internet famous for a couple songs that were more interesting than they were actually good. That’s not to say they were bad. They we’re just interesting. Like, “Oh yeah, teens who grew up on the internet during the ’00s got a whole lot of weird influences and can make shit really easily.” Unlike another white female, child of the 00’s/the internet rapper who got famous on pure surprise value, though, Kitty actually seems self-aware. Today, FADER has her guide to living with her parents, which makes her seem like a sensible 19-year-old. If we all could have been so lucky.

Role Models

Why can’t you be more like this lady? Bianca Kosoy, creative director of Equinox

Bianca Kosoy is a badass. No other way to say it. The NY Times has a brief but enlightening article about Ms. Kosoy, the creative director for Equinox, that high-class, high-style brand of luxury gyms.  Now, usually I find stories about cooler-than-everybody ad execs to be obnoxiously overblown. But. after reading about Kosoy’s work and life, I’m convinced she might actually be cooler than everybody.What makes Kosoy so cool? Well, the number one thing that caught my eye was the fact that, while she may be in charge of the image for the country’s highest-profile luxury gym brand she doesn’t work out. In the article she states, “I never work out. I think fitness is a fraud. That’s why I try to make it look like fashion.”


Just because she’s a high-powered executive at Equinox, she’s proud of the fact that she’s not into the product. We should all be so bold. Though, it probably helps that she’s good at her job.

A few other awesome things about Kosoy:


cultural studies

People with jobs I want: DJ Khaled, curator of rap radio bangers

“This shit special!!!!!!!!” DJ Khaled bellows in his reverb-twisted voice on the intro to “Hip Hop”, a track off his sixth album. After several verses, when the track is winding down, Khaled says it again. If, somehow, the listener had forgotten that the shit was special, Khaled is there to remind us that this shit, indeed, special. Between contributing this grammatically incorrect but still somehow appropriate line, Khaled’s contributions to the track are hard to pin down. He doesn’t rap on the track; that’s handled by hall-of-famers Nas and Scarface, each doing a somber take on Common’s hip-hop-as-a-woman motif. Nor does Khaled produce the beat for the song; the beat was produced by young fruity-loops virtuoso Lex Lugar.  There’s even some token old-school scratching. Was that Khaled on the Serato? Nope. That’s DJ Premier, also a hall of famer. Khaled’s only clearly manifest contribution to the song is saying “This shit special,” twice. And that’s what makes him kind of awesome (emphasis on the “kind of”).



It’s not all urban farms: a q&a with Achille Bianchi and Michael E. Burdick about living in Detroit

A few months ago, responding to the steady stream of media reports about Detroit’s creative/hipster renaissance, I wrote a list of hyperbolic things you could say about “America’s Comeback City.” I just didn’t believe that a small cadre of twentysomethings in live/work lofts and urban farms actually constituted anything more than an anecdote. Anyways, I also included a callout to people who live in Detroit, because, never having been there, I was curious how it felt to live in inquisitive glare of GOOD Magazine and the New York Times Sunday Style Section, while also living in a shrinking, former economic juggernaut of a city. So, after posting the article, I had a nice chat with Achille Bianchi and Michael Burdick, two locals who had a lot to say about the whole thing.

So first off, who are you guys, and how did you each end up in Detroit?

Achille: I’m a journalist and photographer in the city. I’ve been down here for nine years, now. Graduated in 2003, came down here pretty much immediately after I graduated. My sister was down here studying design at the College for Creative Studies and I didn’t have much direction, so I applied for university here, and haven’t left since.

Michael: I grew up outside the city, in a suburb about twenty minutes away. Went to College for Creative Studies for illustration when I was 18 and yeah, also never really left.

So you’ve both been there for a while. I’m curious when you became aware of this media narrative that there was a surge of hip, young people moving to Detroit?

Achille: I can pinpoint that exactly. It was 2009, and actually [Michael’s] boss, Toby Barlow, broke a story about a $500 house in northern Detroit, with a couple friends of ours, Mitch and Gina, who run the Powerhouse Project. And then, kind of before then, 2003 to 2008, there was some cool stuff going on, but no one [nationally] gave a shit. But as soon as that story hit the New York Times, that’s when it all started.

Michael: And then, two years ago, Phil Cooley, the owner of Slows, got on Huffington Post person of the week, or something like that.

Achille: So, I’d say 2008-2010 was the “ruin porn” era, and the 2010 to present is the “hope porn” era.


In the News

Quote of the day

“I’m always finding myself clarifying, he’s not gay, he’s not straight, he’s an ocean-deep, planetwide labyrinth of kinks and turns. He represents the part of all of us that doesn’t get turned on by Budweiser ads, and sometimes feels a little lost because of it, but that heroically, CHARGES ON in the discovery of himself.”

– Dan Harmon, on Community character Dean Pelton, during his REDDIT AMA yesterday, via Splitsider. If you haven’t already, now would be a fine time to read our ‘Does Community get adulthood right?’ post.

I'm living my life wrong

I am outraged (for, like, 10 minutes, before going back to dicking around on the internet)

Earlier, this week, like many of those hooked to the reflective glare of the internet, I was riveted by a Tumblr post by NYC-based comedy writer Matt Fisher entitled, “My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court”. In a straightforward way, Mr. Fisher outlined how his sister’s greedy, shitty insurance company did everything in its power to avoid paying a claim, essentially acting the way greedy insurance companies always do, all the time. Not only was the story equal parts heartbreaking and infuriating, it also inspired me to take action.

What kind of action, you ask? Did I research advocacy groups that are fighting for insurance reform, to which I could donate my time? Well, um, no. Did I get a group of my friends together to take up arms, come up with our cleverest anti-vampire-capitalism slogans (i.e. ,“Quit playing CLAIMS with my heart”), sharpie them onto cardboard signs and then go march on the nearest Progressive management office? Again, I did not. That would be a lot of work. So what did I do?

I retweeted Eugene Mirman’s tweet about it, and then went on with my day.


In the News

Bonus quote of the day

“The obstacle course and attacks from fellow competitors would teach them that life is hard and that especially when money is involved, people can be cruel. And fighting for a seat only to find that your chair is worth $200, while the guy next to you randomly sat on one worth $10,000 — that would teach youngsters that life is often unfair and inexplicable. Educational television at its finest.”

– from a review of the TOTALLY EXTREME TV version of musical chairs, ‘Oh Sit’! I guess Jamie Kennedy is still around, which doesn’t make me feel anything at all.