The Bobby Lewis of 2015? / Caroline Delaney
The Baffler,  October 27, 2015

Daily Bafflements

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.”

You Might Also Enjoy

Why They Need the Cucks

Jessa Crispin

Strip The Hierarchies of Cuckoldry and Bankruptcy of its satirical critique, and you're left with a logic that is dismally familiar. The categories of embattled manhood now trafficked by the cuck-trashing, immigrant-bashing men of Breitbart or 4chan are shifting but ultimately exacting; like Fourier’s taxonomist, they obsess over finer and finer distinctions. Their aim is not to elevate one idealized version of masculinity, but to break masculinity into a more perfect pecking order, so almost everyone can look down a level at the scum below. This new order relies on the traditional markers of manly achievement—a girlfriend, sexual partners, money, power, and, most importantly, control—but none of those matter as much as the act of division itself. It’s a coping strategy. Yes, the 4chan men like to make jokes about living in their parents’ basements, but those jokes are only funny if they can point to someone even lower than themselves.

word factory

Just Deserts

Jay Baron Nicorvo

Some seventy-two years from the last American execution for desertion, the firing squad is a tough-guy pantomime for hacks and hams.

word factory

Baffler Newsletter

new email subscribers receive a digital copy of our current issue.

Further Reading