Bowie’s Illustrator Speaks, a Scholarship Exclusive to White Men, and More: Today’s Recommended Reading


Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the Internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘Net are doing, too. Today, there is a glance back on Eileen Myles’ groundbreaking presidential campaign, an interview with the illustrator of David Bowie’s Blackstar, a scholarship that aims to help the “struggling” white boys of the world, and a reflection on an hour-long song about the joys of marijuana.

Dezeen’s Dan Howarth spoke to the graphic illustrator and frequent designer behind David Bowie’s album covers (including Blackstar) about their significance:

Jonathan Barnbrook has designed the album artwork for five of David Bowie’s albums (including Heathen, Reality, and The Next Day). And, with Bowie dying only two short days after its release, Blackstar stands as our last glimpse into Bowie’s soul. Here, Barnbrook breaks down the inspiration behind this album’s artwork. Describing the cover’s noted simplicity as a deliberate decision, Barnbrook mentioned that, at the time, Bowie was “a man who was facing his own mortality.”

“The main thing of course is put over the emotional feeling of the music, that’s what a good record cover does, it lets you know somehow, somewhere within it, what the music is about, or what you believe the music is about is confirmed in it. And there’s not necessarily any logic to that you just have to get somewhere in that area which you have designed, and hopefully it will work.”

The Slot’s Joanna Rothkopf looks back on Eileen Myles’ revolutionary write-in presidential campaign from the ’90s:

In response to a commencement speech given by George H.W. Bush in which he denigrated the “politically correct,” who Eileen Myles believes to be anyone who is part of a marginalized group, Myles decided to run for president as a write-in candidate from 1991 to 1992.

She had an increasing sense that “there was something mighty in the mini-campaign, and to know, as a citizen, as a poet, as a woman, as a human being, that I could run a campaign as much as the next person.”

The New York Times’ David Rees reflects back on the Sleep’s hour-long ode to weed, “Dopesmoker”:

After taking four years to record a single song, one would think that the final product would be groundbreaking. And Sleep’s “Dopesmoker” was indeed that—even if the band’s original record label did refuse to release it. A 63-minute “magnum dopus” that turned stonerhood into a hifalutin journey across the lands, “Dopesmoker” is nothing short of monumental. Rees takes us back through the song’s history and gives it the serious recognition that it’s always deserved.

Was this music designed to be sacred someday? The essence of heavy metal is discipline in service of the preposterous. At its best, the genre solemnizes the impulses of adolescence. Couple this with the stoner’s habit of uncovering deep truths in whatever’s at hand and you might understand why Sleep’s magnum dopus can actually feel profound. For an atheist who misses the liturgical solemnity and theological strangeness of High Church, ‘‘Dopesmoker’’ delivers the next best thing. It reminds me of the heaviness of purpose required to chase the feather-light glee of the sacred.

Buzzfeed’s Joseph Bernstein reports on Milo Yiannopoulos’ decision to create a scholarship fund exclusively for white men:

According to the alt-right Yiannopoulous, “Young white boys are suffering.”

The idea for the white-men-only grants, which Yiannopoulos thought up within the past month, “started off as something that would wind up social justice warriors,” he told BuzzFeed News. “All of my very best ideas start as mischievous jokes because they will wind up the right people.” Of course, It’s well within the independently wealthy British writer’s wheelhouse of harnessing the anger of young white men on the internet who feel disempowered by an increasingly diversity-focused digital media.

Also, Radiohead is back! After announcing that the band would be one of the festival’s headliners, Primavera Sound included in their press release that the festival would include “the presentation of the new album by the British band Radiohead.” New album! New shows! Radiohead 2016!