- A new report suggests that to stay relevant, libraries must become more like coffee shops, “vibrant and attractive community hubs.” You know, with Wi-Fi.
- And the future of roads is fewer roads, because we have too damn many of them. The Trip Generation Manual, a commonly consulted urban-planning guide, “may overestimate the number of trips generated from a new development by as much as 55 percent—‘phantom trips’ … The result is that cities may build way more roads than necessary, perpetuating sprawl and leaving less street space for non-drivers in the process.”
- Our editor Lorin Stein is judging Nowhere Magazine’s travel-writing contest—they’re “looking for young, old, novice and veteran voices to send us stories that possess a powerful sense of place.” First prize is a thousand dollars and submissions are due January 1.
- Secret Behavior is a new magazine about “what intimacy looks like”: “The first issue, which explored anonymity, is full of emotional money shots: self-portraits of men’s feet when they climax from masturbation (paired with their responses to the artist’s wanted ad), breakup fiction by Catherine Lacey, Jesper Fabricius’s anatomical encyclopedia made from close-cropped pornography.”
- A few months ago, John Paul Rollert wrote a piece for the Daily about an Ayn Rand conference in Vegas. Now he’s reported more on it in The Atlantic: “Escapism is the allure of Las Vegas. The city—with its shows, its clubs, even its casinos—is ultimately incidental. You come to leave your self behind. Escapism of a different sort is also the allure of a radical philosophy. It seduces not by promising a temporary solution to the contest between the grosser passions and personal integrity … but by providing an alternative vision of what the ‘real world’ constitutes.”
- With his album Pom Pom, Ariel Pink has delivered some of the best pop music of 2014: “It all seems to speak to people in that world, all these aged tweens,” he said in an interview: “Everybody still thinks they’re a tween, but they’re not. They’re former tweens. Generation tweens … the new twelve-year-olds pop up and usurp the former twelve-year-olds’ hegemony. That’s what I love about the music industry. It’s run by these kids. The children dictate what’s cool, and then everybody else just thinks that they’re a kid the rest of their lives.”
A dirt road scrolls beneath a pair of huarache sandals. In a flash, it turns from moonlit to sunlit, and the pebbly dirt smoothes to bleached, cracked concrete. The shot lingers three or four beats longer than it should, the camera gliding over the road as the sandals flop and their owner huffs. Cue title card. This sequence—the opening shots of Walter Salles’s wildly uneven, flickeringly vivid new film adaptation of On The Road—foregrounds the oft-overlooked double entendre nested in the novel’s title: it is both a romantic portrait of life “on the road” and a ruminative discourse on roads. Later in the film occurs a similar shot, this time of the highway’s surface streaking by like a meteor shower, as Sal Paradise intones: “The purity of the road. The white line in the middle of the highway unrolled and hugged our left front tire as if glued to our groove. And zoom went the car, and we were off again, to California.”
Throughout the book, Kerouac expresses awe at the vast interconnectedness that the American road system allows—an epiphany so common it barely registers for modern readers. But half a century ago, it still struck with a bright clang. Read More