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Articles and videos of reasonable length. Five to ten minutes. Some of these are sites I just kind of look through, but never go too deep.

Rachel Maclean

Somewhere between Shopkins, Garbage Pail Kids and pornography—films and artworks that are grotesque and beautiful, a hellscape and a paradise, a beauty tip and a courageous quip just prior to an apocalypse. There is wax on the camera.


"Afternoon of the Sex Children" (2006)

“Once liberation reached a point of adequate success, however, sex was unconscionably easy to liberate further, as commerce discovered it had a new means of entry into private life and threw its weight behind the new values. What in fact was occurring was liberalization by forces of commercial transaction, as they entered to expand and coordinate the new field of exchange. Left-wing ideas of free love, the nonsinfulness of the body, womens equality of dignity, intelligence, and capability, had been hard-pressed to find adequate standing before—and they are still in trouble, constantly worn away. Whereas incitement to sex, ubiquitous sexual display, sinfulness redefined as the unconditioned, unexercised, and unaroused body, and a new shamefulness for anyone who manifests a nonsexuality or, worst of all, willful sexlessness—that was easy.”


Swing Dancers vs. Street Dancers

The amazing thing about these ‘battles’ is how joyful and (I don’t know how to put this) enlivening they are. The whole place comes alive and you just want to be there, partying in the middle of this rare encounter. (Related: Subway sax battle.)


Reggie Watts @ TED

The important thing to remember is that this simulation is a good one. It’s believable. It’s tactile. You can reach out; things are solid. You can move objects from one area to another. You can feel your body. You can say, ‘I’d like to go over to this location,’ and you can move this mass of molecules through the air over to another location. At will.

TED’s criminal overseriousness is horrific. Now face the very pinnacle of that horror.


The Fatal Ensnaring of Dan DePew (NSFW)

While this isn’t a ‘simple’ crime—along the lines of stealing a basketball—I think the author makes a compelling case that this was a case of mere fantasy that snowballed into disaster. This is possibly the most salacious link in this directory, almost a piece with the New Yorker article “The Voyeur’s Motel”, which became an entire scene of drama following its publication—both exposés dive headlong into two opposing sides of male sexuality. (However, both of these men are the same: both are stealthy and rapacious pursuants.)

Oh and wouldn’t you say the interrogators of these cases—the police and journalist figures in these articles—are far more complex and devilish than their subjects??



A violent, seething game where players are unable to sway a cruel, abstract world that lies to them and turns them against each other. Both ‘pessimistic’ endings and ‘darkly optimistic’ endings are available. Other details here.


How to Read

I like that this is so prescriptive. You may not use the shorthand here, but I’ve found the overall advice sound. This is a terrible admission, but I do this for novels. I haven’t read it till I’ve read it twice.


Read Write Collect

A very active, detailed stream of quotes on education and the Web. I enjoy looking through this.


Funny Mapguy

Not funny and no maps. Just a kid reviewing Mountain Dew and every ball game he watches. I don’t know what to say about this. I occasionally check in to see if he’s still going.


"24/7 Relentless Careerism" (2010)

“Friend every poet you can on Facebook, goodreads.com, porn sites—” Jim Behrle’s gentle rant on self-promotion, from a poet’s view. A realization that Jewel is the all-eclipsing poet of the now. Reminiscent of Bill Hicks’ New Kids bit. (A different perspective, but related: “How Do We Write Now?” by Patricia Lockwood.)


Idle Words

The blog of Pinboard’s creator Maciej Cegłowski. Thought-provoking articles and slides. If you read blogs, well, read this. (Maybe try: this talk.)


"Now More Than Ever" (2018)

Right, okay—a link to The New Yorker? What can I say—if a story gets to me, then what can I do? This has a strong scent of this society of ours. I felt a similar ding! ding! reading George Saunders’ “Sea Oak”. I’m not looking down on society here—I absolutely revel in it. I think I get to be part of this, too.


The Collagist

An online literary journal that I really enjoy. (A related quality print journal is Conjuctions—who republishes some bits online.)


I Found Some of Your Life

After finding an SD card of 227 images, the writer of this 2004 blog made up stories for the pictures. Until the owner was discovered and the blog was closed.



Hypertext stories and, yep, diagrams!! I like that links are red and not underlined. And some other things are red and not underlined. So I end up reading and passing my mouse over everything. It’s like I’m really touching the pages with my finger. Amateur braille experience. “WE VALUE the insides of things, vivisection, urgency, risk, elegance, flamboyance…” (Oh got this one from Nathan, my friend who you will need to like.)


"bulldyke" (NSFW)

I can’t explain it, but I want to make a little LEGO scene of this poetry reading. It’s like fashion and sexuality make us into archetypes.



A boring, repetitive clip which somehow contains a kind of horror. To me, its not the screams—it’s what it does to your brain. Inanity, descent into madness, is somehow captured here. Another variant takes Mickey through gradual, subtle physical derangement. His walk never changes.


Enchantment in the Command Line

A ritual for you, your solarpunk friends and your computers and your ethernet cables too and some HTML written on looseleaf scattered around the floor. Yes, that’ll do it. Fine fine. Ok, coolguy.website.


Parenting a Visionary Child

‘My 6-year-old daughter sees things other people don’t. “Skitter scatters,” ghosts, auras. She just started school and there’s something in the lunchroom only she can see, and this one makes her nervous.’


The Sound of Online

Telephone recordings, party lines and such from the 90s. I do need to satisfy a voyeuristic urge sometimes.


Vaporwave Van Gogh

A stehtic. And Geocities treasures. Like a little plastic chest of jewels.



Lovely, subtle pixel art animations. Similar to cinemagraphs, but hand-painted. Also see: Canvas Cycle.



Now this is an impressive realization of a webzine. Every subtle touch—right down to the mouse cursor—draws you in. The author of this is also working on Pixel Art Academy, a game that teaches you how to make pixel art.


Bandy Grass

Not just pixel screencaps—if you scroll back, there are neat, compact pixel art animation tutorials. Kind of like zine pages.


Eleven-Minute Painting

(If you can’t get the Flash video working, see YouTube.) This link is quite elusive for me. I like the idea of a poem read by a computer. I like that the piece sits somewhere between Radiohead’s TTS experiments and Murder of the Universe. I like that this is almost 20 years old now. It’s also interesting that this has spawned a derivative: Ten Minute Painting. I wonder what else is on this thread.



Floating in a song. This artist also brought us staggeringbeauty.com, a staple of “useless web” tourism.



The most minimal and still very sweet way to participate in The Web. The child of watershed linksite Delicious, same conceit: post your bookmarks publicly, add a little note, a few tags. It’s like having your own href.cool! $11/year, but the real deal is $25/year and it’ll archive all the pages you link to.



The tilde.club was a 2014 resurgence of tilde-style user directories. You used to get these free at your university or with your home Internet connection in the '90s.


Brad Enslen

I bounce ideas back-and-forth with this fellow. He blogs about web directories and web search—but in an effort to understand how else we could be doing this. Our conversations led me to make this directory.


Kathleen Fitzpatrick

I don’t know Kathleen—she’s a professor and writer—but I’ve been enjoying her posts about The Web.



I mention Brad Enslen in Web/Blog—this is his directory. While href.cool is more about pointless and intriguing links, Indieseek is mostly rock-solid useful or prominent links. And a very good blog about linking and surfing.


Ken Li's Link Archive

It’s difficult to capture the spirit of innovative design that existed on the Old Web. This small directory certainly captures some of it.


Things Magazine

Although I started actively reading this after starting href.cool, I now get a lot of links from here. I’ve had a chat with the author. (Also on Tumblr.)