Smart Reads: Office Dancing, Abandoned National Parks, and Boy Wizards

Our summer-like weather continues to psych us all out, but if for whatever reason you’re indoors in front of a computer screen, here are some random but choice slices of internet for your perusal:

Daniel Radcliffe, promoting "Kill Your Darlings" in Venice

Daniel Radcliffe, promoting “Kill Your Darlings” in Venice

  • So Marina Shifrin is my new hero. Not only is she an energetic and committed writer, her inventive means of quitting her animation company job has become one of the most delightful trends in recent Internet memory. If dance-quitting means she’ll be spending more time writing about the state of journalism or tweeting hilarious things, we’re all the better for it.
  • Daniel Radcliffe, the “most famous child actor in history,” is the subject of Susan Dominus’ profile in the New York Times Magazine. What makes the article fascinating is Radcliffe’s immunity to the pitfalls of fame, despite the fact that few people on earth have endured such an intense and sustained time beneath the spotlight. Dominus writes, “He seems intent on proving that he is, if not worthy of the golden ticket he received at age 10 (because who could be), at least working as hard as anyone could to show he won’t squander his fame.” He’s hard-working, he’s sane, and that picture of him riding in the boat in Venice is really cute, ok?
  • I enjoyed Rebecca Eaton’s piece about adapting great books into television, and which should be left alone. Her work at PBS sounds like a dream job, and I agree that Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer would be unmissable in an Alexandra Fuller screen adaptation!
  • Linda Holmes’ warmup for season 3 of Scandal finds humor in the tension between finding a show nonsensical and loving every minute of it. As someone who’s only seen the first two episodes, I’m tempted to do as she suggests and dive right in.
  • The Silver Age of Television is dawning, according to the Huffington Post’s Maureen Ryan. She mentions some very interesting shows, a “frisky batch of quietly subversive dramas,” and stresses how important it is that many of them revolve around women. It’s nice to hear a TV guru give us a thorough run-down of, as she calls it, What It All Means.
  • In the music scene, everyone is making way for teen sensation Lorde, who made a surprise #1 out of making fun of #1 hits. Now that her album has generated this much buzz, it will be interesting to watch, as Pitchfork’s Lindsay Zoladz writes, this fine line between “rebelling against and reveling in the trappings of power, luxury, and excess of contemporary pop.” I can’t stop listening to that delicious ambiguity in “Team.”
  • Matt Zoller Seitz has a fantastic review of Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, but elsewhere at RogerEbert.com they’re starting a column called “My Favorite Roger.” Seitz’s selection, a movie I’ve never seen called Stormy Monday, depicts Roger Ebert at his most personal and intuitive. I love the idea of critics picking their favorite pieces of criticism and explaining why, so I’ll be tuning in to learn more about one of history’s greatest film critics.
  • Madeleine Davis of Jezebel has a silly review of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon, which details the ridiculous reactions of her fellow audience members.
  • Lastly, The Atlantic has a stunning display of photos outlining the history of Yosemite National Park, closed on its 123rd birthday because of the government shutdown. The pictures are so mesmerizing I almost bought a plane ticket.
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