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Very long materal. Like it says—give yourself an hour for each stop.

Bad Sex in Fiction Award (NSFW)

This annual award from Edinburgh’s Literary Review has a wealth of explicit excerpts that act as a kind of inverted zeitgeist—reaching around arousal to touch disgust—or horror, even. Awards like these, unintentional awards I suppose, are so valuable!

Surveillance Camera Man

“Can I help you?” I know, I know—this is terrible, yes. Feels like an unprecedented cinéma-vérité documentary as well.

The Little Gray Book Lectures

I recall a line from these that went: The wendigo / The wendigo / I met you / Just a friend ago. It had me in stitches at the time. This is a collection preserved by someone monikered “Surly Teabag.” This feels like a kin to Over the Garden Wall.

The Joseph Smith Papers

I come from ‘Mormon’ culture—I was raised on its tales and legends, I love it (the angel Moroni, The Three Nephites, brass and golden plates, peep stones, pioneer hair art, etc.) and this collection of documents is a favorite window into the mysterious emergence of The Book of Mormon. To me, this is emblematic of the Internet: a church having to come to terms with its origins publicly. (From this part of me stems a fascination with Homeric writings, scripture of any kind, The Mabinogion, the National Treasure scene where Diane Kruger and Nicholas Cage exhale romantically inches above a deglassed Declaration of Independence—and how the Internet might spread, enhance or warp them all.)

Paths to Graceland

An attempt to recreate the notorious “Gumboots: Accordian Jive Hits, Vol. 2” cassette that once mesmerized Paul Simon. This certainly mesmerizes! The sound of ‘groaner’ Mahlathini, alongside The Mahotella Queens or Dark City Sisters, is transporting. (To me, discarding the works of these musicians does make Simon’s appropriation a crime—if he had just introduced us to all of these artists.)

The Avalanches' Essential Mix

I have to agree that these folks are kings of the mixtape. If you can find it, I think the old “One World” mix was fantastic. I used to have to download these from hacked FTPs of medical companies.

Is

Trains passing, animals breathing, a piano chord rings in a bathtub from years ago. Kind of like if a podcast host died and had a baby podcast with no talking left in it. Related: The Abandoned Playhouse.

A Web Without Servers

This is a somewhat technical talk, but it opened my eyes to the possibility opened by a peer-to-peer Web. I don’t know—this talk feels like an achievement. And I like that such a tremendous advance could be so understated.