The eclipse yesterday passed without much to-do. There were no demons or reptilians making their first public appearances, no aliens, no nuclear weapons going off, and the earthquakes were all localized affairs that had nothing to do with east-coasters. It was not the end of the world, nor even the end of the country, despite the coincidence with a 241-year cycle that marked the country’s inception and the last time this particular eclipse happened. There were, however, some astoundingly stupid comments dribbled out by our internet elite. Continue reading “Things Are, In Fact, Going Great”
Just up the road here sits the city of Baltimore: population about 620,000 and steadily declining. It has, according to Wikipedia, the most number of public statues and monuments per capita than any other American city. But as of the time of writing this piece, the number of those monuments has been dropped by four. Perhaps some may consider this an insignificant number in comparison to the volume of existing memorials—after all, in the city of monuments, the public square could spare a few of them, right? That dodges the point, of course, but then again, what is the point? Why bother tearing down the statues in the first place? Continue reading “Quit It with the Statues, Guys”
Nazis to the right of me, Commies to the left—here we are, stuck in the middle with QNUW.
Just kidding. This isn’t some empty posturing about the merits of political centrism—mainly because there is no middle ground between Nazis and communists, as far as we’re concerned; they’re both chips off the same block of modernity, and they both reek of the same outdated nihilism that was popular in high school. Your commies want to differentiate people by class—or these days, by gender as well as race—and remove the ones that don’t fit their paradigm. The Nazis want to differentiate people by class—and to a degree, by gender as well as race—and remove the ones that don’t fit their paradigm. As the Charlottesville tragedy this weekend pointed out, they only fundamentally disagree on one specific issue: which classes, genders, and races are the ones to side with. Continue reading “Charlottesville.”
In case you think you’re imagining things, we here at QNUW are ready to validate the fears you didn’t know you had: yes, the popular culture that you live and breathe has degraded beyond recognition, and it’s probably happened within your lifetime. You might be thinking to yourself, how is that possible? How could things really be that bad? Or heck, you don’t even watch movies or own a TV, so what difference does it make? All good questions. Continue reading “Yes, Popular Culture Really Has Gotten Worse”
Trump recently rolled out his new immigration plan, and it is, to put it mildly, absolutely great. It does away with the bizarre, randomized lottery system for immigrants, extended family visas, and the priorities placed on the importation of unskilled workers. Instead, it values—as America does—those with English language proficiency, previous experience in good jobs, entrepreneurial ambitions, and skills that extend beyond picking fruit or wielding a weed-whacker. That seems completely reasonable, so naturally, the Left has reacted in their predictable fashion: call the President of the United States a white supremacist.
There is only one plausible reason to use ellipses in your writing: you’re saving space by trimming down a quote in a paper or book. That’s it. You can use ellipses in other places, like when you’re writing some sort of bad postmodern thriller and you feel like letting the narrative trail off. It makes your writing indistinct and vague, and it does nothing to further the mood except in the most superficially obtuse level of a high school creative writing class, but it’s at a least semi-plausible technique to further the story. As for the former use—well, that’s pretty much why they exist in the first place. Continue reading “Stop Using Ellipses”
I don’t get it.
Maybe it’s because I live a somewhat sheltered life in comparison to the upper-middle class bourgeoisie—you know, those almost-millionaires with more money than they know what to do with, but not enough time on their hands to spend it in any meaningful way. Or maybe it’s because I’m so neck deep in studying and running a business that I don’t have time to contemplate the eccentric lives of the not-so-rich and the not-so-famous. Or it’s because I simply don’t have the kind of superfluous cash that burns holes in my pocket and my imagination, demanding I find newer and ever more outrageous ways to blow it. In any case, The Wall Street Journal ran a small piece in Monday’s paper that was pretty stunning. Apparently, there’s a hot new trend on the contraceptive block: brosectomies, where you and your open-office-desk-sharing pal go to a clinic shaped like a gentlemen’s lounge, get smashed on single malts, and have a doctor tie your tubes.
Writing is tough. I’ve been doing it for years, and from experience, I can tell you that only the most superficial elements of it get any easier. Like any skill or craft, the more you do it, the easier certain technical aspects become; the real art of it, though—the purpose behind each piece—remains just as difficult to develop after fifteen years as it did at first. Anyone who makes claims to the contrary is either pulling your leg, trying to sell you something, or is a uniquely terrible writer. Continue reading “On Writing and How to Write, in Brief”
Recently, I had the benefit of speaking with a friend of mine who happens to work for a subsidiary of a large music label in New York City. He’s a low-level data analyst at a company that scouts new talent and connects them with producers and executives for new deals. In other words, he looks at the numbers—sales, web hits, video views, etc.—and processes them for executives to decide how to pitch new pieces. He was telling me how the field has become so stratified and how an overwhelming bulk of listeners were consuming a miniscule handful of musical artists—the top ten or fifteen singles of any given cycle are all coming from the same circle of people. Intuitively, coming from a culture that at least pays lip service to meritocracy, you’d think that these top artists would be the cream of the crop, both as artistic and musical geniuses, right? Until you realize that he’s actually talking about the Justin Biebers, the Beyoncés, and the Katy Perrys. It isn’t that the music is particularly good, it’s just that everyone happens to be listening to it. Continue reading “Music as Frivolity and Fashion”