“This is water.”

Memorial Day Weekend! David Foster Wallace, Parquet Courts, a film adaptation of a dating book, and Tumblr.
May 26, 2013

News round-up for the week ending May 26, 2013:

Yahoo!, the internet’s most irrelevant and outdated corporation, bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion in cash. (via NYTimes)

It’s college graduation season and a very moving short film which illustrated David Foster Wallace‘s 2005 Kenyon College commencement speech called “This Is Water” made the viral rounds. Unfortunately the video has already been taken down by the request of the David Foster Wallace Literary Trust but you can still listen to his entire speech or read the transcript. As someone who’s now been a college graduate for five years now, this is all very inspiring stuff and the sentiments ring truer than ever.

Lately I’ve been feeling The Talkhouse, where musicians write about bands and albums they admire. It’s tight! Earlier this week Austin Brown of Parquet Courts wrote this great piece on the Baptist Generals’ Jackleg Devotional to the Heart. One part in particular really stood out to me, when Austin recounts an intense drive through a dangerous blizzard to a show they were supposed to play. He writes, “All four of us [in the band Parquet Courts] in the van had resigned ourselves to certain death, and I’m still not sure to this day that I didn’t actually die on that trip and everything else afterwards has been just a dream.” And I thought to myself how perfectly he worded that whole passage, about this specific out-of-body experience that people during their teens and 20s come to realize, that moment when invincibility is challenged and the frailty of life is rudely awakened. It’s really good, give it a read.

“Looking to transform Hollywood’s pile of unproduced scripts into publishable e-books, James West, a motion-picture industry entrepreneur, has launched Script Lit. The company licenses optioned, but never produced, scripts, to turn them into commercial fiction.” (via Publishers Weekly)

Amazon is launching an innovative licensing and publishing program targeting the flourishing world of online fan fiction—unauthorized amateur works created by fans and based on popular copyrighted franchises.” (also via Publishers Weekly)

“MGM has acquired screen rights to Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me, the best-selling humor anthology edited by Ben Karlin.” (via Deadline)