Party like it’s 1923
First up, the good news. It’s public domain day, and as Anne Quito writes at Quartz, it’s a “bountiful” one. Check out all the books, songs, films, and other works entering the public domain today, including Charlie Chaplin’s The Pilgrim and Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room.
“And here is @xanalter reporting on how Tuesday’s Public Domain party will affect the bottom lines of publishers and literary estates,” tweets Sarah Weinman. In her piece, New Life for Old Classics, as Their Copyrights Run Out, Alexandra Alter of The New York Times also explains what it means for readers. Notes Glenn Fleishman, “Very good piece in the NYT about the coming public-domain entry of 1923. This story focuses largely on the works that will be re-published or put out by publishers who didn’t have the rights previously, rather than rediscovery.”
Meanwhile, Frida Garza, writing for Jezebel’s Pictorial, explains why she’s Looking Forward to The Great Gatsby Fanfiction Boom of 2021. That’s when F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel enters the public domain, and, as she writes, “Given how much I did not enjoy Gatsby, fan fiction can really only improve on the original material. The idea of a literary universe in which Gatsby is less of a dingus really fills me with joy.”
Your dystopian future has arrived
And now...well, it’s a new year, but things are still pretty petty and ridiculous.
For starters, as Michael Brice-Saddler of The Washington Post reports, Trump claims there’s a 10-foot wall around the Obamas’ D.C. home. Neighbors say there’s not (131,000+ shares). Yes, that’s the story about how “Trump gets fact-checked by Obama's neighbours and the @washingtonpost,” tweets Philip Crowther.
What happens when you go beyond ‘no comment’? Also at The Washington Post, Paul Farhi notices, The White House has no response - at all - to many media questions. Jason Kint says it’s a “full column on what is actually an important perspective.” Farhi himself tweets, “You don't say: The White House has no response — at all — to news media inquiries (a story that exists, in part, for the kicker).” Meanwhile, Sean Reilly points out, “It's not just the White House.”
Here’s a comment, though: Strategic Command apologizes for tweet about dropping bomb, reports AP News.
Dan Bloom of the Mirror writes about London’s New Year’s Eve celebration, Sadiq Khan trolls Theresa May with blatant anti-Brexit fireworks. The phrase “London is open” was spoken in Spanish, Polish, French, Romanian, German and Italian as the £2.3m taxpayer-funded fireworks kicked off. Jamie Wareham notes, “We've also completely blown our no deal planning money on the display too #WorthIt.”
So at this point, it probably goes without saying, but as Josh Greenman reminds us, “The future arrived. It's kind of lame.” Specifically, he’s referring to Simon Romero’s story in The New York Times, which finds Arizonans attacking self-driving cars with rocks and knives. Cecilia Kang headlines it, “Local man attacks robot.” Claudia Koerner observes, “In the most Chandler, Arizona, thing ever, residents got pissed at self-driving cars after one nearly hit their kid playing in a cul-de-sac.” Yes, “It's 2019 and your dystopian future has arrived right on time,” tweets Will Bunch.
Also pissed: the Steelers’ Antonio Brown, who missed practices and the Cincinnati game after a dispute with Ben Roethlisberger, as Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette report for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. That’s right — his absence had nothing to do with a knee injury. Instead, during a routine walk-through practice, Brown got into a disagreement with Roethlisberger and then threw a ball at him.
And Kevin Fallon of The Daily Beast writes, Louis C.K.’s Leaked Set Reveals He’s Still a Piece of Sh*t. Fallon sums up the general sentiment on Twitter: “BYE!”
Damon Wilkinson, Pete Bainbridge, Lee Swettenham, Charlotte Dobson and the team at the Manchester Evening News are keeping up with the latest developments on a stabbing last night at Manchester Victoria station.Three people were injured, and a 25-year-old man is in custody. The incident is being treated as a terror attack.
At POLITICO, Jennifer Scholtes, Caitlin Emma and Bernie Becker write about How the shutdown is reaching a breaking point. Tweets Phil Mattingly, “good read on how the partial shut down, somewhat muted over the holidays, is about to start getting increasingly painful for agencies & workers.”
“Here’s someone who understands what Trump’s evangelical supporters want: a king.” Wayne K. Spear links to Katherine Stewart’s op-ed in The New York Times, Why Trump Reigns as King Cyrus. “This is definitely worth reading,” says Deborah Yetter.
In POLITICO Magazine, Joanna Weiss explains How Trump Got Bad at Twitter. “A little long and wandering (like Trump’s tweets these days) but worth reading,” says Ian Livingston.
AP’s Thomas Adamson reports, US and Israel exit UN cultural agency, claiming bias. “The withdrawal is mainly procedural yet serves a new blow to UNESCO, co-founded by the U.S. after World War II to foster peace,” he writes.
Amy Qin of The New York Times writes about photographer Li Zhensheng and his quest to reverse China’s historical amnesia.
“OK so ONE demonstrably awesome thing happened in this wretched year. Seriously, this rules,” tweets John R. Roby. At The Washington Post, Sarah Kaplan writes about “[t]he nerdiest New Year’s party in the solar system” in her piece, The most distant space encounter in history is happening now. In space, no one can hear you sing “Auld Lang Syne.”