The State of Serious Fiction in the Age of Games and Pornography

I simply don’t worry about fiction.  I don’t worry about short fiction or its place in the ecosystem.  People set these parameters that are not fair parameters, first of all.  I don’t understand that.  Is TV replacing books?  It’s not a competition for general popularity, or one media form being more popular than another.  

All art forms -- all culture -- is currently lost to video games and pornography.  So we’re not asking "Should we have newspapers any more?  Should we ever cook a nice meal for the aesthetic pleasure of eating it, because simply, we have lost to porn?"  Still, people expect that fiction writers are supposed to wake up in the morning and check their box office mojo and wonder "how does a short story hold up today?"

Most everybody I know that writes, writes because they love books so much because literature has saved their life.  It's about asking the questions and not providing the answers to the deep, deep questions they have that cannot be answered.  

So to me, I think if an art form’s going to die, let it go and good riddance.  The photograph did not kill the painting.  The moving picture did not kill the photograph.  The talkie killed the silent film because it was supposed to die.

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

In U.S. first, drug company faces criminal charges for distributing opioids

It marks a major shift in the government's battle against the opioid crisis.

George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The nation's sixth-largest drug distributor is facing criminal charges related to failing to report suspicious drug orders, among other things.
  • It marks the first time a drug company has faced criminal charges for distributing opioids.
  • Since 1997, nearly 222,000 Americans have died from prescription opioids, partly thanks to unethical doctors who abuse the system.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less

Calling out Cersei Lannister: Elizabeth Warren reviews Game of Thrones

The real Game of Thrones might be who best leverages the hit HBO show to shape political narratives.

Photo credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren argues that Game of Thrones is primarily about women in her review of the wildly popular HBO show.
  • Warren also touches on other parallels between the show and our modern world, such as inequality, political favoritism of the elite, and the dire impact of different leadership styles on the lives of the people.
  • Her review serves as another example of using Game of Thrones as a political analogy and a tool for framing political narratives.
Keep reading Show less