Good morning! The fact that it's just shy of noon and here you are – on a weekday! – suggests that you, amigo, are rolling fast down the hill of procrastinating at whatever it is you call “work.” You've made the usual rounds, of course: Facebook, Twitter, that flickering, guilty glance at The New York Times or Huffington Post – but your dallying is eventually fruitless. Because someone has put up an eye-catching “Twenty Disney Villains Re-imagined as Cupcakes” on Buzzfeed, and the world ends there.
Though we all – myself included – love a good quiz (Where was I supposed to go to college?) or a juicy page 6 tidbit (Gawker reports: something awful happened at a party yesterday) – let us not forget that the internet is an impressively huge place, and awash with juicy, funny, high-quality content... if you know where to look. So, for the layabout in all of us, I've compiled five alterna-favorite time-waster websites (in addition to the blog here at BUST, of course) that can make you laugh, make you think, and generally flesh out the palate of your Facebook linkage history. Broaden your browsers, people. This is about to get super meta.
1. The Rumpus is a gumbo of snarky, literary-esque content, featuring essays, fiction, interviews, and specialty sections (such as “Albums of Our Lives,” a perennial nostalgia-gunned review). The site's creator is writer Stephen Elliott, and if you like his voice enough you can sign up to have daily Elliott musings sent to your inbox. The Rumpus also has a really lovely Comics section. Preview here.
Image courtesy of htmlgiant.com
2. The Hairpin is intelligent and cheeky with a literary skew – articles like “Middlemarch is a Sexy Novel About Sex” and categories like “Classic Scandals” should lend you a good idea of their tone and style. I've already called out their in-house advice column (“Ask a Queer Chick”) for its refreshing candor. And in addition to original content, The Hairpin has great linkage chops; prime example – this very morning, the site points to an article on Vulture comparing the cast of Girls with the characters in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. Upsetting side note, though: I cannot believe I just now used the term “linkage chops” in earnest.
Image courtesy of inwm.org
3. Narratively is half photo montage central, half human interest site – and both halves of this aesthetic combine to make a truly nifty hub for internet art. Run by a self-pronounced “community of storytellers,” the folks behind this site publish an unusual feature every day, united around a weekly theme. The site aims to highlight the stories the more popular news sites will glance past – for instance, this week's theme is “Campus Chronicles,” while last week's was “Muslim in America.” For a viewbyte, I like Lawrence Schwarzwald's “Print Ain't Dead” photo essay from a few weeks ago.
Image courtesy of sandbergsmartyarties.blogspot.com
4. The Millions covers art, literature, and culture, and has begun to publish its own e-books. Their content is of New Yorker quality and scope, but it's all tailor-made for the web. Their columns are especially fun; see “Ask the Writing Teacher,” and “Post 40 Bloomers.” Preview: Elizabeth Menkel has a good piece on the site right now about fangirldom.
Image courtesy of lifewithamission.com
5. The Toast is an off-kilter blog that leans towards the intersection of humor and feminism. Though it really best describes itself, on its homepage: “The Toast is a daily blog that publishes features on everything from literary characters that never were to female pickpockets of Gold Rush-era San Francisco. The Toast is one of those mass-market science fiction paperbacks some used bookstores put out on the street in big press-board rolling carts, the kind with drawings of women in long white robes standing in front of a horizon with two or three moons on the cover...The Toast doesn’t care how much you or Marilyn Monroe weigh.” Snippet view: this hilarious list of “Things Alanis Morissette Does Not Want to Be.”
Image courtesy of rappler.com
Good luck on your trek! Don't get sucked all the way off task! And most of all, report back on your findings – we procrastinators have to stick together. Someday, maybe, we'll take over the world. Later...