SP Mix: Vine Is Dead, But The Beat Goes On

In its eccentricity, Vine was a community of sorts. It was rewarding to be a member; if you scrolled enough, different corners revealed themselves to you. It got easier to find the weird underbelly after 2014 too, when the app’s user base contracted slowly, giving in to Instagram video and Snapchat. Vine didn’t mind. Its users birthed woozy 8mm nature videos, remix threads where different users would create music collaboratively, even feature-length movies told six seconds at a time.

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No Place Like Home: Donald Glover and His “Atlanta”

For anyone who became a fan on the strength of his stand-up, acting, or first musical breakthrough, 2011’s compelling (if uneven) Camp, Glover’s shifts in attitude and ambition were seeming a thorny road to follow him down. Yet any concern trolling anyone might have engaged in following Glover’s marked shift towards the weird is obliterated by the triumphant debut of that show he left Community to make: Atlanta.

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Oh, The Places You’ll Pokémon Go!

One month and over 30,000,000 downloads since its July 6 release, there’s little left to say about Pokémon Go. The basic premise has been covered exhaustively (wander your city looking for all available Pokémon, compete against other trainers at area gyms); stories of players finding dead bodies or being lured into armed robberies have already passed into urban legend. In the two weeks following its official Canadian rollout (though enterprising players found ways to skirt regional restrictions long before), the sheer volume of players to be found on Toronto’s streets boggled the mind. If you passed someone with their phone out while walking, it was all but a given they were playing this game.

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H.G. Well’s “The Time Machine” is Forever, Even at the End of Time

You are presented with the full edition of Wells’ The Time Machine. The tale now reads like a genteel odyssey, one man’s wanderings through time for no other reason than to see what’s there. The book’s monsters don’t scare you anymore — they seem almost quaint, like desperate little nocturnal apes — but something else does. Time continues to pass.

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On Darwyn Cooke, Optimism and “The New Frontier”

When you hear of the “good old days”, it’s usually from some middle-aged white man — an uncle, perhaps — who wants to tell you how things were just better then. I suspect you’ve heard this spiel before, around the kitchen table, in a boardroom, or online. This hypothetical man usually leaves out that it wasn’t such a great time for many people. And yet, how much art, how many books and albums and retrospectives continue to be released that lionize, in some way or another, this alleged golden era?

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The Life of Pablo and Reflections of an Artist’s Reality

This lesson in what makes The Beatles’ White Album great helps inform a critical look at The Life of Pablo, the most recent outing by Kanye West. The two albums are not unfamiliar. Think about their contentious releases, their vexing run times. Think about the music itself. We see history repeat itself, an artist’s reality affecting the product they create.

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