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Monday, January 9, 2017

A.J. Daulerio Is Ready To Tell His (Whole) Gawker Story, by Maximillian Potter, Esquire

Not all that long ago, as the editor in chief of, Daulerio was among the most influential and feared figures in media. Now the forty-two-year-old is unemployed, his bank has frozen his life savings of $1,500, and a $1,200-per-month one-bedroom is all he can afford. He's renting here, he says, to be near the counselors and support network he has come to rely on lately.

Six months earlier, Daulerio was in a Florida courtroom two hundred miles away, a defendant in a high-profile invasion-of-privacy lawsuit filed by former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan and secretly funded by Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist and Donald Trump supporter. Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, had sued Daulerio; Daulerio's former employer, Gawker Media; and Nick Denton, Daulerio's former boss and the founding CEO of Gawker Media, for more than $100 million.

"Close To Tears, He Left At The Intermission": How Stanley Kubrick Upset Arthur C Clarke, by Michael Moorcock, New Statesman

I guessed the problem was a difference in personality. Arthur was a scientific educator. Explanations were his forte. He was uncomfortable with most forms of ambiguity. Kubrick, on the other hand, was an intuitive director, inclined to leave interpretation to the audience. These differences were barely acknowledged. Neither did Kubrick tell Arthur of his concerns regarding the final version. Where, thanks to Arthur, the film was heavy with voice-over explication and clarifications of scenes, Kubrick wanted the story to be told almost entirely visually.

Looking And Looking Away, by Kim Fay, Los Angeles Review of Books

A friend once told me that her parents took her along to see Saturday Night Fever when she was just seven years old. This shocked me. For many, this movie is nothing more than a nostalgic time capsule for disco and John Travolta. What I remember vividly, though, is the traumatizing backseat gang rape scene. I marveled that adults would take a child to see a movie like this, but my friend reasoned, “I guess when you’ve lived through the Holocaust, there isn’t much left that can shock you.”

This conversation returned to me as I was trying to wrap my head around Argentinian writer Guillermo Saccomanno’s Gesell Dome, a 600-page novel translated by Andrea G. Labinger that is bursting with incest, rape, child abuse, spousal abuse, drug abuse, political corruption, suicide, patricide, matricide, infanticide, all-purpose murder, and torture. Saccomanno has said, “In a country that had concentration camps, one cannot look the other way.”

Just How Smart Is An Octopus?, by Callum Roberts, Washington Post

Encountering an octopus in the wild, as Peter Godfrey-Smith argues in his fascinating book, “Other Minds,” is as close as we will get to meeting an intelligent alien. The octopus and its near relatives — squid, cuttlefish and nautilus — belong to a vast and eclectic group of creatures that lack backbones, the invertebrates. Collectively known as cephalopods (head-footed), they are related to snails and clams, sharing with them the unfortunate characteristic of tasting wonderful. Don’t read this book, though, if you want to continue eating calamari with an untroubled conscience, for living cephalopods are smart, beautiful and possessed with extraordinary personalities.

Locol Calls: On The Geography And Politics Of Restaurant Criticism, by Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times

But are certain restaurants unreviewable? It depends on the critic. (Have I reviewed Locol? I have not.) Wells might have concentrated on more conventional restaurants like Camino or Commis on his trip to Oakland, but in some ways, Locol is indeed too important to ignore.

The Perils Of Being The People’s Critic, by Matt Buchanan, Eater

What Locol, as an enterprise, demands of any reviewer is a deeper recognition of the restaurant’s context relative to what a critic may be hoping to evaluate, and a more considered approach to how and where a critical perspective should be applied. This is not to say that Locol shouldn’t be rigorously assessed on how well it is serving the communities that it is operating in, but maybe, to put it another way, some restaurants aren’t meant to be assessed by some critics, even ones considered populist heroes.

Counting Shrimp, by Calvin Trillin, New Yorker

Since the election, I sometimes wake up at three or four in the morning, disturbed by dark thoughts, and when that happens I try my best to think of the surprising amount of shrimp consumed in Las Vegas every day. We all have our own way of dealing with this thing.

My way is what might be called replacement denial. In order to avoid dwelling on a depressing or disturbing subject—the sort of subject that can keep you from falling back asleep—you concentrate on a subject that is so engrossing that it can drive the depressing subject from your mind. Concentrating on shrimp consumption in Las Vegas is not my first attempt at replacement denial. On previous nights, for instance, I’d done my best to contemplate the ramifications of a similarly surprising fact: the largest state east of the Mississippi, in land area, is Georgia.