A new graphic novel shows that we have not come to grips with the boring importance of the world

image via Drawn & Quarterly

Last week, a video of Elmo getting fired made the Internet rounds. The squeaky-voiced muppet was getting the axe as a way to draw attention to Donald Trump’s announced cuts to PBS funding. Leaving aside that Elmo and his fellow Sesame Street denizens will probably be okay, thanks to their HBO deal — it always helps to have a wealthy patron — it’s a bit rich coming from one of the google-eyed weirdos who helped get us into this whole Trumpian mess in the first place.

If that’s a hefty charge to lay at the feet of a monster who…


Fifty years after Apollo 1 we continue to stumble forward — even if it doesn’t look that way

The Apollo 1 crew practices water egress procedures with a full scale boilerplate model of the spacecraft. In the water at right are astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee (foreground). In raft near the spacecraft is astronaut Gus Grissom. June 1966. Image via NASA.

Fifty years ago today, in the afternoon of Friday, January 27, 1967, what was at the time the most prestigious crew of astronauts ever assembled was strapped into the command capsule of an Apollo spacecraft, running through test procedures.

On the left of the three-person module was Gus Grissom, the commander of the mission, which was technically designated AS-204. Grissom was the bronze medal winner in humanity’s race to become astronauts, the third person to ever escape earth’s atmosphere and be, in the grandest sense of the term, in space. He was the first American to ever make the journey…


With any luck, in 2017, you will never meet someone you disagree with

On Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, there is an underground river that connects a series of flooded caves in the heart of the jungle to the Caribbean Sea. It is one of Earth’s odd little miracles, having cradled one of the Americas’ most remarkable civilizations, the Mayans, while also remaining an absolute mystery until a combination of technological ingenuity and sheer heedless curiosity allowed us to reveal its hidden depths — or lengths, at any rate. Of the two, it’s probably the latter that’s more important, practical survival notwithstanding. Because once you’ve figured out how to breathe underwater, the thing about diving…

David Berry

Cultural critic, disingenuous cynic, general nonsense machine. @pleasuremotors on Twitter, too.

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