On the evening of April 8, 1999, a long line of Town Cars and taxis pulled up to the Minneapolis headquarters of Pillsbury and discharged 11 men who controlled America’s largest food…
(Photo: Paul Sakuma/AP/Corbis. Illustration by Steven Noble.) If all goes as planned, Facebook will finally pull the trigger later this month on its long-salivated-over IPO. The deal could value the…
When Longreads, the acclaimed source for exceptional long form journalism and short fiction, launched its spinoff service Travelreads in late March, it went from being a Twitter feed and blog…
LENGTH: 3 minutes (971 words)
The wonderful site Longreads is collating people’s picks of the best long features of the year. Some say that the internet is triggering a renaissance for long-form writing and I very much…
PUBLISHED: Dec. 24, 2011
LENGTH: 4 minutes (1121 words)
Stewart isn't just being a bully here. He is being disingenuous, and he knows it. Worse, he's tapping into the collective fantasy without knowing it. He's the gunslinger saying he's going back to the farm while at the same time putting notches in his belt. More precisely, he's the presumptive Edward R. Murrow saying that he'll go back to comedy once he cleans up journalism. But he can't go back. He can't go back to the pleasures of fart jokes and funny faces — the pleasures of comedy — because he's experienced the higher pleasure of preaching to weirdly defenseless stiffs like Jim Cramer. He's saying once again that he's outgrown comedy and is no longer a comedian. But he's not saying what he actually is, because then he'd be judged. And Jon Stewart, to a degree unique in the culture, exists outside the realm of judgment.
Almost immediately after Steve Jobs announced he was stepping down as CEO of Apple, tributes to his technological vision and entrepreneurial flair began filling up the web. Jobs created an industry with the Apple II and reshaped another with the iPod. He made cyberspace tactile and dimensional with Macintosh and its graphical interface. Over the course of the last 40 years or so, Jobs has imagineered, packaged, and sold the future with a deftness and persistence few others have managed: Apple lists him as one of the inventors on an astounding 313 patents. But as impressive and wide-ranging as this record of achievement is — it includes designs for computers, keyboards, mice, user interfaces, media players, product packaging, and even a glass staircase — it fails to acknowledge his greatest, most influential innovation of all: Steve Jobs invented business casual.
Phillip Herr finds the USPS fascinating: ubiquitous, relied on, and headed off a cliff. Its trucks are everywhere; few give it a second thought. "It's one of those things that the public just takes for granted," he says. "The mailman shows up, drops off the mail, and that's it." He is struck by how many USPS executives started out as letter carriers or clerks. He finds them so consumed with delivering mail that they have been slow to grasp how swiftly the service's financial condition is deteriorating. "We said, 'What's your 10-year plan?' " Herr recalls. "They didn't have one."