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Weird Internet Shit

Unless you’ve been living under a particularly large rock, you will have heard about HBO’s new series True Detective. Part of the credit for its sudden and dramatic ubiquity in the social consciousness is due to the internet. Shows like True Detective – emotionally complex, mysterious and innovative – bring out the very best in internet discourse. Investigating critiques and abounding opinions become just as much of the thrill as the TV show. For a while there, my Mondays were devoted to the next episode, while the rest of my week was devoted to reading theories, reviews and criticism.

A particular article I’d like to draw your attention to is ‘A “True Detective” Reading List’, published on BuzzFeed after the season’s conclusion. While I am condescendingly adverse to clickbaity sites like BuzzFeed most of the time, this particular article proved an exception. It provides not just a comprehensive list of all the texts alluded to in the series, but also more of an ‘extra for experts’ kind of thing if you want to explore texts that also deal with the show’s themes. So alongside Lovecraft is Nietzsche (“Rust Cohle paraphrases Thus Spake Zarathustra in the series’ fifth episode”) and Roberto Bolano’s 2666, which deals with serial murders against women in a manner “as bleak and nightmarish as anything on TV”. I love the intersecting geekdoms of the piece. The way it uses True Detective as a launching pad to encourage further enquiry in a way that avoids being didactic and lets you take your own route. This sort of gentle inquiry is something the internet needs more of. Also, there are some great and apt recommendations on display; boi knows his shit.



Speaking of comprehensive reading lists, the good folk over at published the ‘Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge’ – a precise list which compiles every book that Rory ever read over the course of Gilmore Girls. That someone took the time to collate the data is astounding in itself, and comparing yourself to a fictional idol in tangible parameters is always fun (I felt a peculiar combination of smugness and inadequacy). What I most like about it, though, is that it reminds us that when we encounter a piece of media, it doesn’t ‘end’ when we turn the telly off or close the book. We take our favourite art around with us, whether we know it or not, and with the power of imagination we can sustain that magical feeling of going to Stars Hollow. These characters aren’t real but they are fleshed-out, and it’s a testament to Gilmore Girls that people want to and do take this quiz in earnest. Also: it’s just really fucking fun.


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