Calvin Destroyed Lots of Stuff: Links You Need To See


Everybody loves Calvin and Hobbes, that blond-haired boy and his animated stuffed tiger. The way Calvin destroys everything, but then the two of them manage to muse about it all — about life, even — in a pop-philosophical way. Just delightful, yeah? But what if Calvin were a real boy, and his parents were real people, and his house were a real, tangible asset that were really damaged on the several occasions that he flooded it? Well, here’s what: it would’ve cost a lot of money.

That’s a few vacations for Calvin’s family, or, at the very least, a few years of school clothes purchased at his local mall. Because, yes, malls do exist—and they are actively trying to remind everybody of that. Apparently the International Council of Shopping Centers is a thing that exists, and it has hired a PR firm to let everybody in America know that yes, thank god, shopping malls are here, they’re awful, get used to it. David Simon — not The Wire David Simon, but an Important Mall Guy — is upset at the way “New York-centric media” is portraying the American shopping mall. I can see what he’s saying, but maybe he’s just stressed and needs a good trip to Manhattan, which has basically become the world’s largest open-air shopping mall.

But enough about superficialities. Let’s talk about GIFs. GIFs are old — the technology was invented in 1989, people. Of course, that hasn’t stopped Tumblr and Buzzfeed from making fortunes off of it. But now, thanks to one of the web’s largest image hosts, Imgur, the time of the GIF might be over. It’s all a bunch of computer mumbo jumbo, 1s and 0s and all that, but basically, from here on out, any GIFs uploaded to Imgur will be converted to much smaller MP4s and repackaged in a GIF-like shell, and tagged as .GIFVs: GIF Videos. But why care? Well, for starters, posts like this will load a lot faster, and GIFs, as GIFVs, will no longer lag as they load. Ah, such wisdom, possessed by those wizards at Imgur.

But, then, what is wisdom, anyway, if not “a conformist stupidity”? According to Slavoj Žižek, it’s just that, and probably worse. We posted about his Q&A session over at the Guardian on Monday, but now that it’s all finished and formatted and easy to read, it’s certainly worth a gander. His rant on wisdom, which he says is “one of the names of our enemy today,” is probably the most universal of his criticisms there, but he speaks on Zen Buddhism, cats, and so much more.

He doesn’t talk about brunch, though. No, that can be left to Julian Casablancas, who is really just digging himself into a hole with this whole #BrunchGate business. Just a little taste: of Zach Baron, the journalist who wrote the original story, he says, “He was a total part-of-the-problem yuppie guy.” The linked-to Stereogum piece is worth a read, too, even if just to see a professional critic say an album is “butt.” Funny how a man whose father is a multi-millionaire founder of a modeling agency has become such a vocal member of the so-called “antiestablishment.” And yes, I am claiming that brunch is the establishment.