Daily Bafflements

The BafflerOctober 27, 2015
Is Beyonce the Bobby Lewis of 2015? / Caroline Delaney

The Bobby Lewis of 2015? / Caroline Delaney

These charts, assembled by Matt Daniels of polygraph, which map the durability (or otherwise) of pop songs past and present, are by turns surprising, depressing, and vindicating. According to the data from Spotify, Biggie was the big winner of the nineties, in terms of timelessness. And Bobby Lewis, aka. “the Beyonce of 1961,” is totally forgotten now. As Daniels speculates, “perhaps Bobby Lewis was a huge personality. Great looks. Amazing dancer. When we examine pop hits, popularity is so much more than song quality.” But before you reconsider your concept of history, you’d be advised to read the “Note on the methodology”: “The data is skewed.”

• “What do we want? Female Venture Capitalists! When do we want them? Now!” is not a cry we’ve ever heard at a protest. And yet capitalism continues to swallow up feminism: “there are indications that the news world’s gender gap represents a major opportunity for investors who are savvy enough to invest in it…Time Inc. bought Zooey Deschanel’s startup Hello Giggles, a popular website focused on female readers, for an estimated $30 million.” Ah yes. That’ll solve structural inequality.

• Yesterday we received the unwelcome news from the World Health Organization that hot dogs cause cancer—they’re in the same league as asbestos! If you’re tempted to forget that knowledge, this McSweeney’s article is all the science you’ll be needing from now on. Repeat after me: “The science behind the seven-day chili dog cleanse is irrefutable.”