I wrote the brief leader essay on Quartz’s weekend e-mail this week, which was a tougher task than usual so maybe you’d like to read it.
Just about every outlet that uses group chat is already comfortable with broadening the editorial decision-making process to include the entire newsroom. Gawker is taking it a step further, making the conversation-before-the-assignment phase public, too. Some see it as another way to wring content out of writers who are already churning out many posts and tweets and comments a day. Read’s choice to take private staff conversations and “turn them into monetizable content is, well, very Gawkeresque,” writes Caroline O’Donovan at Nieman Lab. That’s one way of looking at it. Another, especially for a gossip- and personality-driven site like Gawker, is that the unmediated nature of Disputations makes it a perfect editorial fit. If writers are having these conversations anyway, why not have them in public?
Literally the first e-mail that I received in my journalism career (as a TNR intern in 2006) was then-editor Peter Beinart shutting down an argument on an all-office thread between (maybe) John Judis and Jon Chait with the command “Take it to the blog.”
So, basically, nothing has changed, except we’ve got chat now.
It is extraordinary how words can blind us to what is going in front of our eyes: Germany were not clinical or efficient, they were dazzling.
When the The New Republic posted a collection of ruminations on the World Cup’s most compelling players, I had to click—between editor Frank Foer, a well-known soccer nut, and the magazine’s stable of contributors, it would be worth it. Who wouldn’t want to read the Norwegian Proust’s take on Angel di Maria?
There’s just one thing missing from the list: An American player.
From David Chang’s fermentation-powered hozon and pork bushi umami bombs to delicate, lichen-laced New Nordic food sprouting all over the place and mandatory pickle jars in restaurants to fountains of dry, almost musty cider and sour beer spilling out of tall, thin glasses, no palate worth its volcanic sea salt today is complete without a proper appreciation for funk and acidity. These deep, sharp flavors, which often manifest by way of fermentation are, obviously, deeply historical—everything was either sort of rotten or sort of pickled before refrigeration, right?—but more immediately, they’re a conceptual astringent, a palate cleanser to cut the grease of the last several years of Southern-inflected New American and offal-dense Italian, soggy and leaden with animal fat. So now we have a national obsession with Sriracha and we’ve got drinking vinegars and larb ped and artisanal kimchi and a sudden swooning over hyper-expensive sushi with its rice carefully doused in vinegar.