Soooo…. You’re avoiding all social media and news for anywhere from a few hours to a few days in order to not see any spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but you need something to occupy your mind during this slow pre-holiday time at work. What should you do?
How about reading a bunch? I know, this is a totally insane idea. How can you read the Internet while also avoiding spoilers? Why, by reading these long-form pieces that I am recommending here–some new, some classics.
Longreads: This site purports to bring you the best longform stories on the web. I don’t know if this is true, but I DO know there is no mention of Kylo Ren anywhere. You can plan your day here, because each story also has an estimated length in minutes! They write their own stories too, with donations from members, like this rad piece about Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles (38 minutes). You could probably spend the whole day just reading pieces from this year that excellent writers like Roxane Gay and Leslie Jamison recommend.
Frank Sinatra Has a Cold. Gay Talese’s brilliant essay about an aging Sinatra, written in 1965.
The Case for Reparations. Another classic even though it’s less than two years old, by Ta Nehisi Coates.
You can also go down a fun internet rabbit hole. Remember Trading Spaces? I bet you want to read some recaps and reminisce. How about the ones on this weird blog or on the late, great, TWOP. It’s also a good time to look back on internet sensations. Who can forget the tale of Marie Calloway and Adrien Brody? Bonus: you can scour the web for reaction stories about her and also her book.
If you can stream from Netflix/hulu/Amazon/etc at work without getting fired, GO FOR IT. Besides maybe having to sit through an Audi commercial, you will miss any and all Force Awakens chatter in favor of some classic Cheers episodes. We have a post coming up later this morning giving some suggestions of what to stream.
One of my favorite new podcasts is Channel 33, from BSPN (Bill Simmons Podcast Network), with each episode being one of several different series. “The Watch,” with BFFs Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald (RIP Grantland), covers mostly movies with some TV thrown in. The latest episode (13), has a fantastic discussion about The Force Awakens twitter blackouts, hype and more. Sample conversation:
“Did you ever, like, zip yourself into a sleeping bag and pretend it was a taunton carcass?”
“Yeah, I’m a 38 year old American male, of course I did.”
It’s awards season! Catch up on all the latest news and gossip with Vulture’s Awards Show Show (warning: they both hate the Golden Globes, the most fun awards show ever) and Vanity Fair’s Little Gold Men. If you listen to all of the episodes of both podcasts, you can waste hours learning about movies that AREN’T Star Wars (though it is, of course, mentioned a bit).
Also, you could probably go outside or something like that. Whatever.
Thankfully, it is the holiday season and if you have to wait until Sunday (like me) to see The Force Awakens, it should be easier to avoid spoilers if you have baking, cooking and cleaning to do like my household does. What are YOU doing to avoid spoilers??