Monday, May 18, 2009

The Assimilator: or How to Philosophize with a Hammer, and the Hammer is Gawker

So Gawker is known for their gossip and *snarky* (sigh) take on current events. The writers -- certainly the ones I've known or met -- are all smart and generally sympathetic/aware of celebrities being human, or the deeper issues at play when a magazine is shuttered; but as per their job, usually need to cut to the witty, pithy chase at the expense of indulging, say, the modern window into the human condition The Hipster Grifter provides.

All to say, Gawker is not what anyone instinctively thinks of as a home for "panel discussions" on culturally resonant news/themes/stories. But we're trying to do just that on the weekend, via The Assimilator, and so far so good. We're still working on facilitating the "discussion" element, as it's tough to get professional opinion/taste-makers to stand where you want in line sans $ or significant lead-time. But we've got cool people, and opinions, and a space to share and exchange these things. So that, as the kids say, is something.

Nietzsche's Twilight of the Idols, is the guiding spirit here. Specifically: The Revaluation of all Values. Seems most writers, artists of sound mind and clear conscience are motivated by this impulse to reassess the world around them; "The Assimilator" is another on-ramp to merge -- mind meld? -- with the rest of those in the struggle.

We've finally got enough in the can to start the archived list, so that's what this is, in no particular order:

On the Recession Possibly Being Over?: Melissa Lafsky (Discover), Jozen Cummings (Vibe), Abiola Abrams (Planet Abiola)

On Double X Launch and Feminism: Pt. 1 - Amanda Marcotte (Pandagon), Jill Filipovic (Feministe), Pt. 2 - Jess McCabe (The F-Word), Matt Ufford (Warming Glow)

On White-Rapper Asher Roth: Byron Crawford (XXL), Touré (Rolling Stone), Tom Breihan (Pitchfork)

On University Reform: Pt. 1 - Dan Kois (New York), Kate Perkins (N+1), Pt. 2 - Macy Halford (The New Yorker), Jeff Chang (The Nation)

On Dan Baum vs. The New Yorker: Emily Gordon (emdashes), Troy Patterson (Slate), Eric Easter (EbonyJet)

On the Hipster Grifter: Doree Shafrir (Observer), Gavin McInnes (Street Carnage), Big Time Book Editor (Big Time Book Publisher)

On a Prospective Hipster Reality Show: Becky Sharper (Pursuit of Harpyness), Rachel Shukert (The Nosemaker's Apprentice), Robert Lanham (Hipster Handbook)

On Eminem's "We Made You": me (School of Hard Knocks, etc.)

The Assimilator [Gawker]

cartoon: via

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