Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Stunning street photography, a classic game, and @DougEpisodes

A page from People Of The Twenty-First Century creates a denim parade from pedestrians photographed on one 2005 afternoon in Amsterdam. (Photo: Hans Eijkelbloom/Phaidon)


When I got married a few months ago, a friend offered the advice that a happy marriage requires engaging in one fun outdoor activity and one fun indoor activity per week (and that’s all, I guess) with your significant other. After deciding that watching films and TV together on the couch, while enjoyable, doesn’t count as meaningful interaction, we settled on cribbage for our weekly indoor activity. It was so fun that I got slightly addicted to it, and we played several days in a row. A quick Internet search told us that cribbage dates back to the early 17th century and has remained largely unchanged since then, when it was created by a poet named Sir John Suckling. Terms of the game include “muggings,” “pegging,” and “his nobs.” (We’re not sure who “he” is.) Rounds move quickly, with players scoring points based on playing cards adding up to 15 or 31 and poker-type card combinations (or Yahtzee combinations, if you’re like me and grew up playing that game and not gambling), along with a few other ways to get points, which are tallied using little pegs. Unlike the mostly plastic and cardboard game boards I grew up on, the cribbage board feels aesthetically like a throwback: It’s solid wood with a neat little compartment built in to house the four pegs. That and a standard deck of cards are all that’s needed to play, which is a nice departure from my usual games that involve hundreds of plastic-mold pieces and cardboard coins. [Caitlin PenzeyMoog]


People Of The Twenty-First Century

Aside from a brief essay at the end, Hans Eijkelboom’s People Of The Twenty-First Century is page after page filled with street photography of anonymous people. On each page, though, the subjects are united by a sartorial theme. One page features 12 images of men wearing Scarface T-shirts, photographed in a single two-hour stretch of afternoon in New York City. Another depicts 18 Stockholm women in khaki trench coats. Your instinct as you flip through the book is to spot the similarities—some are more immediately evident than others. After you identify each mini-collection’s theme, however, a strange thing happens: The differences between the people emerge more vividly than they would have otherwise. By making a visual connection between random pedestrians, Eijkelboom makes them appear both homogenous and distinctive—the subjects on each page may share a fashion choice, but they execute it as individuals. I’ll admit, I took little notice of the book when a review copy arrived on my desk a few weeks ago. Every time I pick it up, though, I find myself drawn in more deeply than before. At the very least, People Of The Twenty-First Century is an artful way to indulge our ingrained voyeurism and experience the simple pleasure of staring at strangers. [John Teti]


It’s well established that I’m a fan—nay, a scholar—of all things Nickelodeon. Thus, I’m absolutely in love with @DougEpisodes, a parody Twitter account detailing some of the more macabre (and totally non-existent) episodes of the animated ’90s show. While the actual Doug Funnie was a bit of a wimp, @DougEpisodes’ Doug Funnie basically exists to function as life’s punching bag. He’s the saddest of the sad sacks, and it’s hilarious. Take, for instance, episode 277, “Dougin Around,” where, according to @DougEpisodes, “Doug sits in the Honker Burger for hours drinking water. He is rudderless since Porkchop left for Dog College.” @DougEpisodes’ Doug has also been arrested for the murder of JonBenét Ramsey, stepped out of his bed “into the mouths of two waiting alligators,” and gotten his period, thus entering into “a mysterious and beautiful phase in his life.” It’s all fairly nonsensical, but it’s exceptionally bleak, especially when you can develop a mental image of TV’s Doug, say, listing “air conditioning under interests on his social media profile.” Hilarious. [Marah Eakin]


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