"We're drowning in quirk," whines Michael Hirschorn in The Atlantic. "As an aesthetic principle, quirk is an embrace of the odd against the blandly mainstream." It goes on to dump on Ira Glass, Wes Anderson, Arrested Development, and lots of other things it calls "indie" in a kvetchy tone. Worth a read if only to track the Zeitgeist. I happen to like quirk, for the record, but can see why others wouldn't.
Marié Digby, a YouTube girl-with-guitar sensation, disingenuously presented herself as a nobody hoping to be discovered. Turns out she was already signed to a major label. The WSJ has the story. More background + clips at NewTeeVee.
danah boyd sez get yourself an online identity that you control, that's a face you want to show the world. Related: unless you tell it not to, Facebook is soon going to make your profile available to web searchers. This is bad news for a lot of lazy or naive people. And also related: are Nancy's new FB friends really the guys from REM?
Language Log demolishes that NPR story about how and why women read more fiction than men.
Last night's Mad Men had several incredible scenes, including the little moment when the black janitor sees the shadow of Peggy and Pete having sex, the electric response to "The Twist" coming on the jukebox, and Peggy's excitement at being poured a drink with the men. But my favorite was when Salvator turned away the advances of the man we expected him to sleep with, revealing his own sexual innocence. This was a heartbreaking, intensely revealing bit of storytelling and is the sort of thing that makes the show so special. Several TV blogs are covering Mad Men in more depth than I can. Check out The House Next Door, What's Alan Watching?, and Tuned In (by Time TV critic James Poniewozik). Also worth a look/listen are Anna McCarthy's essay in The Nation and Matthew Weiner's interview last weekend on NPR.
And although it's a month before Friday Night Lights returns, the first season DVD is out. Now here's a new blog about the show, Friday Night Lights Insider.