Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

Archive for the ‘Self-Promotion’ Category

Bloggingheads

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Diavlog: Conor & Elizabeth

I recorded a bloggingheads segment Monday with Conor Friedersdorf for his channel on bloggingheads.tv. I guess you call this “vlogging.” I have been vehemently opposed to vlogging (ask Rachel Steinberg) since 2006, because no one looks good in web-cam close-up. Also because a lot of bloggers are better writers than talkers, including me. But I talked to Conor for nearly an hour, about: men’s role in feminism, Hugo Schwyzer, James Poulos, women’s ‘privileged relationship’ to the natural world, subsidizing birth control, vasectomies, my partisan political apathy, Gary Johnson, what’s new in eating disorders, David Brooks, Phoebe Maltz-Bovy, ‘elites’ behaving like traditionalists, goat cheese and arugula, old-fashioned cocktails, Portland bartenders migrating to Los Angeles, the farmer’s markets of Indiana, D.C. media culture and the things you’re supposed to say on the Internet.

Anyway, here’s the test clip I sent Conor & my very first test vlogging attempt:

I swear I get a little better.

You can check out the whole thing here.

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Written by Elizabeth

February 29, 2012 at 8:10 am

Things I’ve Been Cooking

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Written by Elizabeth

August 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Posted in Food, Self-Promotion

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New Gig // Blisstree

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I’ve been guest-blogging at Blisstree this week!

Blisstree is the part of the portfolio of B5 Media sites—Crushable, The Gloss, and the newly-launched Mommyish and The Grindstone—focused on health, wellness and things of that ilk. It’s been in the Favorites folder of my Google Reader for a while now, ’cause 1) its features a lot of alternative/natural health and nutrition content, the kind of stuff that many women’s sites shy away from, and b) it’s feminist-tinged, without being an explicitly feminist site. Plus, it’s got a low-key, earnest but insouciant sort-of vibe.

Anyway, here are my first four posts:

  • The Paralysis of Analysis: Stop Overthinking … “I used to feel that the best way to go about stuff is to feel every emotion and not suppress a thing,” my friend told me. “That’s the wrong wrong way.”
  • Sunscreen Lingo Exposed: How to Decipher Sunscreen Labels … Once upon a time, sunscreen was sunscreen, and your biggest concern was higher or lower SPF. Then lo and behold ingredients in some sunscreens are found to actually accelerate the growth of skin cancer. Ingredients in others may disrupt your hormones. Should you chuck it all and reach for the baby oil? Not yet …
  • Know Your Honey … Whatever the verdict on honey and allergies, there are still plenty of ways honey can be beneficial (beyond tasting good in your tea). But not all honey is created equally!
  • I Was Orthorexic, and I Didn’t Even Know It … On my progression from the High Americana diet of my youth, to disordered eating habits, to eating for health, to focusing too much on eating for health, to … normality? Well, most days!

Written by Elizabeth

May 12, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Appeal for Pity Followers

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You know who reads my blog? My friends. And sometimes my second-cousin Johnny. Some of my friends happen to be journalists. Which even means, occasionally, I get linked to from fancy places. What I’m trying to say here, though, is that my readership is abysmally low.

Which has never really bothered me. ‘Cause like I’ve said before, I’m not really A Blogger. Though I have been trying to blog more regularly lately. And sometimes I like to think, well, maybe at least some people read what I write in their RSS feeds.

Yesterday, however, I made the mistake of checking how many subscribers I had in Google Reader. Wanna know how many?

Seven.

This makes me die a little bit inside.

Even countering for spambots, I’ve got a couple hundred twitter followers. About a hundred people subscribed to my Reader shared-items feed. So …

SEVEN?

Come on, guys! Look, here’s my feed:

http://www.elizabethnolanbrown.com/?feed=rss2

Just put it in your Reader, okay? You don’t even have to check it! Put it in that folder of things you never look at. Put it in that folder of blogs you habitually Mark All Read unless you’re stuck in traffic or on a desert-island with really good 3G reception, okay? I won’t know the difference!

Phoebe Maltz says, “no blogger in his right mind should expect readers beyond” immediate family members and Google-happy exes. But I’m a really nice girl, okay? Ask my second-cousin Johnny. If nothing else, you can write it off as your good deed for the day. Deal?

And if I need to, I’ll post more pictures of baby koalas. Everyone likes baby koalas.

[Addendum: As JP Blanks was nice enough to point out to me, my old RSS feed stopped working in November. Which, come to think of it, is when I switched CMS platforms. And I didn’t even think about this, so I didn’t tell anyone to update their feed. Moral of this story: I’m an idiot sometimes. Carry on!]

Written by Elizabeth

May 3, 2011 at 6:28 am

Posted in Self-Promotion

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‘Game Over: Pickup Artists & Social Conservatives Hook Up’

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Photo from Doublethink

Photo from Doublethink

I’ve got an article in the winter/spring issue of Doublethink Quarterly on conservative women writers’ discovery of  “The Game.”

For socially conservative writers, PUAs provide a way to vindicate their otherwise past-oriented views about marriage, sex, and cultural decline by squeezing them (never quite comfortably) into the framework of the cutting-edge. It’s relevance by any means necessary. And so Game devotees are transformed from an assortment of bitter and manipulative losers, deviants, and wimps into the logical response to a “feminized” culture. They are a tribute to our biological imperatives, which will surface irrepressibly from under the tight lid of political correctness and feminism. They are what the sexual revolution has produced, and their attitudes and antics will become “the new normal” if we don’t just, you know, declining marriage rates birth control no fault divorce single mothers ready abortion sex ed.

In the end, it all seems to turn (for both PUAs and certain social cons) on a paranoid conviction that, because of some heretofore unseen combination of cultural and biological circumstances, a large subset of marriageable men will be “denied access” to the wives owed them; women will either choose to go the child-rearing route alone, climb from hypergamous match to hypergamous match, or be part of an alpha males’ harem of offspring-producing females; and nuclear family life as we know it will cease to exist.

Fun article to write (and hopefully a fun article to read!). More here >>>

Written by Elizabeth

April 26, 2010 at 8:00 am

Posted in Culture, Gen Y, My Life, Self-Promotion

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Where Have All the Vegans Gone?

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I would like to state for the record that I almost never earnestly call anyone a “hipster” (except Peter Suderman, obviously) or describe things as “hip” myself, but editors are always inserting the words into my headlines, subtitles or copy! Sigh. It’s shorthand. It’s a common cultural indicator, I get it. I get it. I just still wish it wouldn’t happen.

But, anyway, here’s a story I wrote for City Scoops NY months and months ago, “Where Have All the Vegan’s Gone?,” that’s finally appearing online:

Picture a restaurant in Williamsburg, or maybe the East Village. The decor is eclectic and artfully bohemian. The clients are youngish, thin, disheveled, and artfully bohemian themselves. In another time, they may have been slinging back soy smoothies, or gobbling down black bean burgers and tofu scramble with tempeh bacon. But this crowd is, instead, ordering the pork-shoulder sandwich, the ostrich-meat sliders, and the salad topped with bone-marrow butter and rabbit paté.

Aside from the “hip” reference, I’m pretty pleased with the article. It was something we began talking about last spring or summer, before it seemed like everybody was talking about the meat resurgence, just because we noticed that most of the restaurants we went to around Brooklyn had been shifting their menus. And it turns out we were right! Plus, I got to talk to Ms. Kathy Kirkpatrick, co-founder of the famed (i.e., in Rent) Life Cafe, who was super-sweet and interesting and gave me some hard numbers about meat and vegan menu-item sales to back up my postulating. It’s always fun when that happens.

Written by Elizabeth

April 2, 2010 at 9:31 am

Elsewhere, Again

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I’ve been doing a couple of profiles of musicians performing at SXSW for AOL’s music magazine, Spinner. Assignments are doled out at random (and stock questions required). So far, I’ve interviewed Warren Hood, an Austin-based fiddle and mandolin player with a most darling Texas accent; The Novas, a 1960s teen jangle-pop band reunited in 2006; and Kidz in the Hall, a Chicago- and NY-based indie hip-hop duo who talked to me about free shwag, “bangin’ and scrangin’ and screwin’ Texas-hip-hop,” and the importance of carrying lube at all times. Fun stuff.

[hey, maybe someday I'll blog something substantial here again!]

Written by Elizabeth

March 12, 2010 at 11:01 am

Elsewhere

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Over at Brooklyn Home Companion, I tackle the assertion that bread-making is not a proper use of an ambitions young lady’s time.

For the record, I hate bread-making. But I think we’re using it as a stand-in for all things culinary.

Written by Elizabeth

March 1, 2010 at 10:23 am

Posted in My Life, Self-Promotion

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Behind the Scenes: Cobra Den Invitational With Wakey! Wakey!

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We shot a lovely two-song session with Wakey! Wakey! this past weekend, in what will hopefully be the first of many for the Goddamn Cobras‘ “Cobra Den Invitational” series. I’m trying to teach myself to use Final Cut Pro, so I shot some footage on my little digital camera while we were setting up, and edited it into a ‘behind the scenes’ clip. Enjoy!

P.S. Lead singer Michael Grubbs and the rest of the band were super nice. When I listen to their music on Wakey! Wakey!’s MySpace page, it doesn’t really grab me, but in person it was just delightful. Goddamn Cobras will be putting out our recording of the shoot sometime in mid-February – just in time to correspond to Grubbs’ next big moment on One Tree Hill, OMG.

[x-posted to brooklyn home companion …]

Written by Elizabeth

January 20, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Brooklyn Home Companion

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If you’re not reading Katie & I’s “home and lifestyle” blog, you should be. You will never find such sweet pictures of people in overalls anywhere else in the blogosphere, promise. Plus, we will soon teach you how to make raw chocolate.

Written by Elizabeth

January 7, 2010 at 11:13 am

Rushkoff on Corporatism

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I got to interview Douglas Ruskoff about his recent book, Life, Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take it Back, for the AARP Bulletin.

Q. You wanted to look at how human beings have absorbed the logic of corporatism. How do people act like corporations?

A. If you think of your home as property, rather than a place, and your community as a brand, rather than people, then you have decided to take a businessman’s approach. If you become a selfish individual, trying to extract value out of every person you meet, then you are a corporation. That is the logic of corporatism: Instead of creating value with others, you extract value from others, in a zero-sum game.

I hadn’t read any of Rushkoff’s many books prior to Life, Inc. (though of course we discussed his documentaries amply as communication grad students), but I always find interesting, if often disagree with, his stuff for arthur magazine. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but wound up rathing enjoying talking to Rushkoff—who is intimidatingly smart in print, but in conversation is funny and manic and scattered and friendly—and found Life, Inc. a very fast, fascinating read (especially the sections about the history of housing and transportation policies in the U.S., of corporations, and of local/community currencies). Anyway, here’s my interview, and here’s a great excerpt from the book.

Written by Elizabeth

August 7, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Posted in My Life, Self-Promotion

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Talking Hula-Hoop Smack

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large_Hula-Hoop_1958a

I am So Doing This when I get to New York:

For all of you who have been intrigued but too lazy to try pilates, Jen Bleier has a word for you: Hoopilates.

Part pilates, part hula hooping, she married the two as a way “to get friends who aren’t avid exercisers to come out and play.”

I hope hula-hooping as exercise, dance party accoutrement or generally acceptable adult leisure activity catches on, because I rock at it. I challenge you (and by “you,” I mean ANYONE IN THE WORLD) to a hula-hoop longevity contest. Seriously. That’s how good I am.

Written by Elizabeth

August 7, 2009 at 10:48 am

Posted in Asides, Self-Promotion

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The Dumbest Generation?

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Emory University professor Mark Bauerlein thinks “digital culture” has made Millennials “the dumbest generation.” AARP the Magazine lets me—a humble, dumb Millennial—respond:

The Dumbest Generation misinterprets shifting cultural tastes as evidence of irreparable decay. Bauerlein bemoans the lack of youth attendance at ballets and classical-music concerts, but neglects to say why these art forms should be any more conducive to artistic development or appreciation than indie rock or step-dancing. Besides, how many prior generations actually favored ballet and classical music as forms of youth entertainment?

Today’s teens and 20-somethings will invariably fall short of Bauerlein’s opera-loving, book-devouring, TV-phobic archetype of young persons past. But what if we look at generational measures that can be compared using cold, hard data—standardized test scores, for instance? “On some measures,” Bauerlein concedes, “today’s teenagers and 20-year-olds perform no worse than yesterday’s.” But he quickly brushes this aside, insisting that it “doesn’t mean that today’s shouldn’t do better…with such drastic changes in U.S. culture and education in the last half-century.” Maybe it doesn’t—but neither does it support the contention that today’s young folks are dumber than ever before.

Whole thing here.

Written by Elizabeth

July 30, 2009 at 11:45 am

Posted in Books, Self-Promotion

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Book Review: The Dumbest Generation

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Emory University professor Mark Bauerlein thinks “digital culture” has made Millennials “the dumbest generation.” AARP the Magazine lets me—a humble, dumb Millennial—respond:

The Dumbest Generation misinterprets shifting cultural tastes as evidence of irreparable decay. Bauerlein bemoans the lack of youth attendance at ballets and classical-music concerts, but neglects to say why these art forms should be any more conducive to artistic development or appreciation than indie rock or step-dancing. Besides, how many prior generations actually favored ballet and classical music as forms of youth entertainment?

Today’s teens and 20-somethings will invariably fall short of Bauerlein’s opera-loving, book-devouring, TV-phobic archetype of young persons past. But what if we look at generational measures that can be compared using cold, hard data—standardized test scores, for instance? “On some measures,” Bauerlein concedes, “today’s teenagers and 20-year-olds perform no worse than yesterday’s.” But he quickly brushes this aside, insisting that it “doesn’t mean that today’s shouldn’t do better…with such drastic changes in U.S. culture and education in the last half-century.” Maybe it doesn’t—but neither does it support the contention that today’s young folks are dumber than ever before.

Whole thing here.

Written by Elizabeth

July 30, 2009 at 11:45 am

Long Day’s Journey for the Right

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My article about young conservatives in DC searching for work is up on Doublethink Online right now:

It seems the old saw about Washington being recession-proof has gone the way of the conservative majority. For the city’s conservative job seekers, the legendarily insulated District could not have picked a worse time to mirror ‘Real America’s’ trends.

In Washington, of course, every election cycle brings a certain amount of job turnover, of politicos and policy wonks reeling and rallying with the re-entrenchment of the warring parties. This year, however, the assault on conservatives seems to be particularly strong.

I wrote the majority of the article months ago, because it was slated for the Doublethink quarterly print edition, so it needed a long lead time. But—in a twist of recession fate much like those I highlight in the piece—America’s Future Foundation has opted to cease print-publishing Doublethink, effective immediately. Anyway, I worry that it seems a little outdated—did you know McCain staffers are out of jobs?!—but hopefully I’ve updated enough (and the wonderful Cheryl Miller has edited enough) that it doesn’t read that way. It’s not all about outgoing politicos. See?

At the American Enterprise Institute, cost-cutting measures are already underway, according to a source there. The organization is converting its magazine, The American, from a bi-monthly print publication to an online-only rag. At least one full-time editorial staff member will be cut, along with the out-of-house designers and marketing people who worked on the publication. Other full-time staff cuts remain uncertain.

Because the magazine is sponsored by AEI and doesn’t rely on ad sales and subscriptions, the decision had less to do with the general print media malaise than with an overall organizational “pressure to cut back,” the source, who asked to remain unnamed, says. “My sense is that AEI is making pretty dramatic budget cuts all over.”

Etc.

Written by Elizabeth

February 13, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Gladwell on the Politics of Outliers

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My interview with Malcolm Gladwell/write-up of Outliers went up on the AARP Bulletin site yesterday (clearly, we’re not really so big on the whole timeliness thing). If you’re at all interested in Outliers, I’m sure you’ve already read all there is to read about it, and my article has little new to recommend it (clearly, I’m not really so big on the whole self-promotion thing, either). Regardless, a little passage that might be of interest:

“There were brilliant people who just never made it in the world because they hit the Depression at the wrong time and they hit the Second World War at the wrong time,” Gladwell says. “Let’s be clear: The world is not fair. It’s always going to provide more opportunities for some than others.”

“The reason we have government and institutions that create policy is to try and even that up,” he continues. “The world sets up these inherent advantages for some and these enormous disadvantages for others. You’ve got to level the playing field.”

For someone who started his career at the conservative American Spectator and counted William F. Buckley among his heroes during adolescence, Gladwell professes what may seem a surprising faith in government intervention.

“I used to be a conservative, and I am no longer,” Gladwell says. “But I don’t think of this book as being political one way or the other. It’s a defense of collective action. When I think of the proper role of government, it is to provide opportunities for people to help themselves.”

Written by Elizabeth

December 17, 2008 at 6:28 pm

Gladwell on the Politics of Outliers

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My interview with Malcolm Gladwell/write-up of Outliers went up on the AARP Bulletin site yesterday (clearly, we’re not really so big on the whole timeliness thing). If you’re at all interested in Outliers, I’m sure you’ve already read all there is to read about it, and my article has little new to recommend it (clearly, I’m not really so big on the whole self-promotion thing, either). Regardless, a little passage that might be of interest:

“There were brilliant people who just never made it in the world because they hit the Depression at the wrong time and they hit the Second World War at the wrong time,” Gladwell says. “Let’s be clear: The world is not fair. It’s always going to provide more opportunities for some than others.”

“The reason we have government and institutions that create policy is to try and even that up,” he continues. “The world sets up these inherent advantages for some and these enormous disadvantages for others. You’ve got to level the playing field.”

For someone who started his career at the conservative American Spectator and counted William F. Buckley among his heroes during adolescence, Gladwell professes what may seem a surprising faith in government intervention.

“I used to be a conservative, and I am no longer,” Gladwell says. “But I don’t think of this book as being political one way or the other. It’s a defense of collective action. When I think of the proper role of government, it is to provide opportunities for people to help themselves.”

Written by Elizabeth

December 17, 2008 at 6:28 pm

Posted in My Life, Self-Promotion

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Again and again and again …

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Written by Elizabeth

November 14, 2008 at 5:33 pm

You can take the girl out of Reading, but …

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My article on voters in my hometown of Reading, Ohio:

I am guilty of using my dad as a cultural barometer.

I don’t really trust polls. I find political trend pieces dubious, even in the most respectable media outlets. But when my father, who had voted for John McCain in the Republican primaries this year, announced a few weeks ago that he was switching his electoral allegiance to Barack Obama, I finally began to suspect something was afoot.

My dad, Keith — Keith the Electrician, if you like; he owns his own small electrical company — voted for George Bush in 2000 and again in 2004. He has voted for two third-party presidential candidates in his lifetime (John Anderson in 1980 and Ross Perot in 1992) and nary a Democrat. He is extremely distrustful of anything that rings of higher taxes or government mandates. And he admits he’s not a “huge fan” of Obama.

So why cast his precious Ohio vote for That One?

Go read the whole thing.

Written by Elizabeth

November 4, 2008 at 5:32 pm