"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
This week, for roughly the millionth time, E.L. James’ romance-bondage trilogy “50 Shades” nabs the No. 1, 2 and 3 spots on the New York Times bestseller lists. We don’t get it either. Every page of that book, which famously began as “Twilight” fan fiction, elicits a sigh of confusion and weird secondary embarrassment. The question is: Who would read this? (The answer is: Apparently everyone.) It’s the same baffled, helpless feeling we get when we sort through stock photos on a daily basis. Stock photos – which have been the subject of recent outstanding Internet satire – are used by this site, and many others, to illustrate our flood of content. Many are plain and simple, but a good portion are flat-out mind-blowing. Why did anyone think that photo was a good idea? It only made sense to join these forces. And so, we present to you passages from the most head-scratching bestseller of our time, illustrated with the assistance of inexplicable stock photography.