Friday High Five: Geoff Dyer, Rubbish Art and Creative Teaching

Why rubbish art is excellent

In his series, Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of American Mass Consumption, photographer Chris Jordan captures the scale and absurdity of American consumption in images of its debris, which somehow become both beautiful and grotesque under his watchful eye.

Cars

Cars

Glass

Glass

A hipster comes full circle

As the first line of this lovely and hilarious piece points out (getting hipster points for irony), articles on the phenomenon of hipsterism are boringly ubiquitous. But even if the very mention of the h-word makes you roll your eyes, this journalist’s elusive search for hipsters at the request of his trend-seeking editor, as he strokes his beard, sips his macchiato, and wonders where all the hipsters are, will make you chuckle.

Meg Wolitzer’s inspiration for The Interestings

Meg Wolitzer recently shared her cultural inspirations for her wonderful novel The Interestings with the New Yorker. They ranged from Archie comics to Michael Apted’s 7-Up documentary series and folk music.

‘When I was writing The Interestings I sometimes drew crude, Harvey- and Archie-inspired images of my characters, in keeping with the spirit of Ethan Figman and Figland, although he (and it) are supposed to be brilliant. Not so my doodles.’

Belgian teacher reveals Game of Thrones spoilers as punishment

A Belgian teacher has come up with a truly creative (and, we imagine, effective) method of crowd control - he threatened a badly behaved math class with Game of Thrones spoilers, after asking for a show of hands as to who watches the show (70% of the class). ‘I’ve read all the books,’ he said. ‘If there is too much noise, I will write the name of the dead on the board. There are enough to fill the whole year, and I can even describe how they die.’

Geoff Dyer moves to California, has a stroke

Geoff Dyer is one of those writers who is always interesting, on any topic - from film and art to travel or his personal life. He has an essay in the current London Review of Books on what happened after he moved to Venice Beach, California, cheerfully saying it was the place he intended to die … and then having a stroke.