“This is an interesting planet. It deserves all the attention you can give it.”

TOP THREE OF JUNE & JULY:

  • This is the best essay about sex I’ve ever read, and points to the myriad problems everyone, but women especially, grapple with when it comes to sex and partnership and identity and feminism in this country: “Sex Toys Will Never Be Able To Do The Hardest Work For You” by Fancy Feast
  • “The idea of the “West” as a distinct and self-contained set of cultures and works is a deeply modern idea, and the gaps between contemporary articulations of “the West” and those from even the middle of the 20th century show how closely that idea reflects the twists and turns of modernity rather than any kind of unchanging body of historical tradition…there is no stable “Western” tradition at all.” “Dismantling the “West” by Daniel Walden
  • “In her fight to end sexual abuse, the Olympic champion is challenging the very institutions she led to glory.” “ALY RAISMAN TAKES THE FLOOR” by Mina Kimes

OBITUARIES (OK GRIM, BUT THEY’RE BEAUTIFUL):

REVIEWS OF BOOKS I READ RECENTLY (AND HIGHLY RECOMMEND):

SEX / WOMEN:

  • “Men are working on the assumption they must either look like Burt Reynolds and bum a woman across a landing or else psychologically manipulate women into doing things they wouldn’t normally do, because sex is about, somehow, winning, rather than a collaboration between two people who delight in each other … Despite there being 6,500 spoken languages in the world allowed the infinite space of the internet; despite sex happening all the time, everywhere, we still — still! — haven’t found a way to talk about it that is truthful, open, informative, and not scaring the living daylights out of our young people.” “How to Tell the Bad Men From the Good Men” by Caitlin Moran
  • “Hollywood’s female-focused reboots require women to relive men’s stories — and to fix their politics, too. When the women of “Ghostbusters” gently sexually harass their ditsy hunk of a receptionist, it lacks the malicious edge of Bill Murray effectively stalking Sigourney Weaver under the guise of busting her ghost. Because real women are physically and socially vulnerable to men, granting sexual power to them on film feels harmless and a little cute…One gets the sense that these movies aren’t just fixing up old plots; they’re working as symbolic correctives to Hollywood’s mistreatment of women writ large. But the increased social acceptability often comes at the expense of the story.” “The Trouble With Hollywood’s Gender Flips” by Amanda Hess
  • “Because he is a man, he is strong. Because he is strong, he cannot be overpowered. But victimhood is not just the domain of the weak. Sexual violence does not select against “strong” people.” Terry Crews is extremely inspiring. “Terry Crews and the Discomfort of Masculine Anxiety” by Hannah Giorgis

ENVIRONMENT:

  • “There were bees back then, and they pollinated /
    a euphoria of flowers so we might /
    contemplate the great mysteries and finally ask, /
    “Hey guys, what’s transcendence?””
    “Letter to Someone Living Fifty Years from Now” by Matthew Olzmann
  • “With falling farm returns, many of Marathwada’s farmers are now working as labourers in sugarcane fields – for long hours over five months, despite health risks, low wages, and the loss of their children’s education.” “Cutting Cane for 2,000 Hours” by Parth M.N. Woman carrying sugarcane on her head walking up a small ramp to load it onto the truck
  • “[My young relative who worked in tech] shrugged. “Why worry? Technology will take care of everything. If the Earth goes, we’ll just live in spaceships. We’ll have 3D printers to print our food. We’ll be eating lab meat. One cow will feed us all. We’ll just rearrange atoms to create water or oxygen. Elon Musk.” “But I don’t want to live in a spaceship.” He looked genuinely surprised. In his line of work, he’d never met anyone who didn’t want to live in a spaceship.” “An Account of My Hut” by Christina Nichol
  • “Compared to most other passenger vehicles, the iconic yellow bus remains a crude and truckish conveyance; most lack air conditioning, seat belts, and other features that riders in just about everything else on the road have long enjoyed.” “How Has the School Bus Evaded Revolution?” by Sarah Holder
  • “Before he pushed through the swinging doors of a bar, he paused and lifted an untucked shirt to show me the black handle of a .357 handgun poking from the front pocket of his jeans. “Too many death threats,” Wielgus said. “I never started carrying this till I started studying wolves.”” “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf Scientist?” by Christopher Solomon
  • “A history of modern capitalism from the perspective of the straw. Seriously.” “Disposable America” by Alexis Madrigal

IMMIGRATION HAS BEEN A HOT TOPIC LATELY (JOKE THROUGH THE SAD):

TV AND PIXAR:

POLITICS / RACE:

STORYTELLING AND ALSO MUSIC:

TECH / MONEY / THINGS I GENERALLY DON’T LIKE BUT FOUND INTERESTING:

BONUS! URBAN PLANNING:

  • What would the streets of Los Angeles look like if they were as narrow as those *not* originally designed for cars? How does that affect the neighborhood? See here, courtesy of David Yoon. For example: 

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