Catching up on RSS after a stomach bug

I’ve been grappling with a stomach bug the past few days, which was as good a reason as any to unplug from everything I could for a little. Two things I thought were notable as I caught up on my RSS feeds:

Donald Glover Can’t Save You. I lost track of his career after Community–and this article hints that there is a bigger story to tell about that particular series–so this profile was enlightening. I’ll cop to not even having Atlanta on my radar, but this piece convinced me I needed to watch.

I Went To The Olympics and All I Got Was This Tentative Sense of Hope. I have always loved the Olympics–the weirder the sport, the more I want to see it–but the toll they take on the hosting cities and all the corruption pervading the IOC has made that love problematic, to say the least. I liked this article mostly for the small peek it offered into what it’s like to go to an Olympics as a local. As a TV watcher, it was a little — worrying isn’t the right word for it? — that the ads were so repetitive; to me, a sign that Big Corps don’t think Americans watch them, so nobody except big-ticket sponsors are buying. But what do I know about the television industry?

p.s. Just taking a few days away from the news really reinforces the absurd quality that headlines have taken on in the past 402 days. Try it if you haven’t.

Symphony infographics

How the Toronto Symphony Orchestra uses graphic design to guide its audiences though its music

I love the clarity of the infographics, and think they’re a great way to map a piece of music. However, I wonder if they would change my listening experience as much as I think they would. When I go to the BSO, I usually browse the program before the concert starts, or at intermission — never during the actual concert, because riffling through pages feels rude to me. These notes feel more like a sports announcer or tour guide — informative, but meant to be experienced simultaneously with a performance instead of something to reflect on before or afterwards.

Miss Manhattan, or the anonymity of ubiquity

I’ve been a fan of the 99% Invisible podcast for a long time, but their recent Miss Manhattan episode really knocked it out of the park. I knew in the abstract sense that statuary is often based on real models, of course, but I had never really considered what it would feel like to look up at a thing made of marble, or bronze, or any other material that will last many more years than a single human lifespan, and see your own face. And in Audrey Munson’s case, at least, to be ubiquitous yet forgotten.