Let BYT assign you some weekend homework. Don’t worry, it’s good homework. You’ll like this homework.
All week our staff scours the Internet for good Internets. Here are some good Internets in the written form. Long form pieces we’ve read, enjoyed and want to spread around. Read up. You’ll be better at parties.
- Founder Svetlana Legetic
Entertainment Weekly is one of my favorite magazines and I am not ashamed about it whatsoever. In fact, I am ashamed that I mentioned that I could possibly be ashamed about it. This week, they celebrate the miracle that is Heathers, as the seminal black comedy turns 25. It is brimming with fun facts, gossip about Shannen Doherty, did-they-or-didn’t-they back and forths between Christian Slater and Winona Ryder and so much more. A must walk-down-memory lane for any pop culture junkie.
RYDER My agent at the time literally got on her knees and begged me not to do [the movie]. She had her hands together, and she goes, “You will never. Work. Again.” We parted ways later.
Male grooming is, hands down, one of the most boring conversation starters out there. I understand that people care (and they should) but in the end-buy some Khiel’s, invest in a perfume that does not involve an aerosol can/isn’t named after a weapon, keep those razor bumps at bay and stop pretending that it is something to actually fully and legitimately discuss. Having said that, Magary (who we interviewed a little while a go) is a perfect foil to the topic: a regular guy, with a regular life who is about to wear some make-up for a week, ask for feedback from people he loves and respects and who he knows will be completely honest with him and write about it. The story is funny, oddly poignant at times, and very relatable, whether you’re a girl or a boy. And this is what I truly love about really good magazine writing (and what I TRULY HATE about merely adequate magazine writing): taking topics I don’t care all that much about and putting an actually enjoyable twist to it. A mini masterclass in how ANY TOPIC can be insanely readable.
“What do you have on?” she asks, trying to reverse-engineer my face. “You do look more even! You need that, because you have kinda bumpy skin.”
- Co-Founder and Events Producer Cale
I’ve sent this article to multiple generations of the BYT staff as required reading. The boys read it, got scared, took action. The girls ignored me. Enjoy their nude selfies and social security numbers coming to an Internet near you!
In many ways, this was all my fault. My accounts were daisy-chained together. Getting into Amazon let my hackers get into my Apple ID account, which helped them get into Gmail, which gave them access to Twitter. Had I used two-factor authentication for my Google account, it’s possible that none of this would have happened, because their ultimate goal was always to take over my Twitter account and wreak havoc. Lulz.
- DC Managing Editor Brandon Wetherbee
Simmons is the pop culture guru that is meant for these times. His knowledge of sports, late night and television history makes his view on the Letterman retirement informed and entertaining. He doesn’t fall into traps like pointless speculation or pointless vitriol or pointless nostalgia. It’s a great essay with interesting insight due to his time spent watching Letterman as a child and working on Jimmy Kimmel Live. It also sums up what I’ve been trying to figure out for years, why I’m not a fan of certain late night hosts.
The post went up on Tuesday. Colbert was announced as Letterman’s successor on Thursday. That does not diminish anything within the piece.
Even after I stopped watching Letterman regularly, like so many others, I always liked knowing he was still there. Conan grabbed his “cool” corner first, then Stewart hijacked it for good (and graciously shared it with his buddy Stephen Colbert). But the multiyear Leno-to-Conan-to-Leno debacle kept Letterman relevant, if only because he seemed classier and more impressive by comparison. In 2014, “Jimmy vs. Jimmy” replaced “Jay vs. Dave” as late night’s ongoing narrative, with Fallon unexpectedly thriving by tapping into a new generation of Internet-savvy viewers. Fallon gushes over guests, plays mindless games with them and basically acts like they’re sleeping over in his bunk bed. He gravitates toward ideas that might catch on virally, like Kevin Bacon becoming the Footloose guy again, or Arnold saying “Get to the choppa.” It’s a relentlessly happy, well-structured, well-produced show built around a talented performer who doesn’t want to have a coherent conversation. With anyone. Nobody will ever fear going on Jimmy Fallon’s show. That’s the way he wants it.
- NYC Assistant Editor Carly Loman
My first one is timeless and also really long and also by David Brooks (sorry). Thing is—it’s a must read. The subtitle on his piece “Social Animal” says it all, it’s about “how the new sciences of human nature can help make sense of a life.” It’s a seriously amazing story and will likely have you reconsidering everything re: life. YAY!
Despite the saying about opposites attracting, people usually fall in love with people like themselves. There’s even some evidence that people tend to pick partners with noses of similar breadth to their own and eyes about the same distance apart. At lunch, Harold and Erica quickly discovered that they had a lot in common. They both affected connoisseurship regarding prosaic things such as muffins, hamburgers, and iced tea. They both exaggerated their popularity in high school, and had the same opinions about the characters in “Mad Men.” People generally overestimate how distinct their own lives are, so the commonalities seemed to them a series of miracles. The coincidences gave their relationship an aura of destiny.
- Events Assistant Brandon Weight
Since the Boston Marathon bombings one year ago, Rebekah Gregory received 16 surgeries to repair her damaged fibula, a hand that once exposed two finger bones, and every part of her body torn by shrapnel. Now she’s considering amputation. Before her wedding. Perhaps one of the most heartwarming (and heartbreaking) stories Mashable has every published, designed just as beautiful as Gregory herself.
Doctors are confident one more surgery could help her walk again, but she’s not convinced. Her wedding is in a few weeks, and as she, Pete and Noah plan to start their new life together, it might finally be time to undergo the life-altering amputation.
- DC Assistant Editor Stephanie Breijo
If you’ve got even the slightest proclivity to music journalism, the history of rock, or even an arcane knowledge of bizarre pop culture, do check out Lisa Robinson’s “Backstage Confidential” this weekend. It’s a fascinating, quick-read-of-a-peek at touring with some of the world’s most famous bands–The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, namely. It outlines the stages of success for up and coming bands in the ’70s and, even more interestingly, the hierarchy of the backstage pass in all its variations.
This small scene did have great influence, but, like any scene, it just sort of happened. A bunch of people formed bands and had nowhere to play. They found a stage. Another bunch of people heard about those bands and went to see them play. Every night. It was similar to when Max’s Kansas City had its moment: if you skipped one night, you might have missed something.