the future does not hit everyone at the same time.

  • This is perhaps one of the most incredible stories I have ever read. It’s a love story, a prison reform and civil rights advocacy story, involving a middle-aged lawyer (one of the first women to graduate from Columbia Law) moving to Texas and meeting a brilliant inmate who, despite an eighth grade education, wrote a class-action suit on a piece of toilet paper that was heard by the Supreme Court: “The Love Story That Upended the Texas Prison System” by Ethan Watters
  • Extremely gorgeous, unconventional, fragmented, and fascinating fiction about an affair (the Rumpus does everything right and this is no exception): “Beginnings” by Shelly Oria
  • This has been integral in reshaping my thoughts on 2020: originally, I was of the playing-it-safe mindset. With this election being, obviously, critically important, running a far-left candidate seems too risky — Beto, or some other generic moderate white man Democrat, seemed the slam dunk choice. But based on the midterm turnout, the key is mobilizing non-voters. That’s how we’ll get a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and a representative governance that creates policies to benefit its diverse constituency. “You Can’t Get Conservative White Women to Change Their Minds” by Katha Pollitt

 

WOMEN

 

CULTURE ON ANY TYPE OF SCREEN

  • “The American film industry is dominated by children’s films—superhero movies, post–Star Wars franchise films, and animated family films. As the audience becomes similarly infantilized, the critics have followed suit. No one wants to be too mean to these babyish productions that audiences cart their families to again and again, or that they leave on permanent repeat in the back seats of their cars … We are all becoming like the underground miners on Mars in a Philip K. Dick novel, watching Perky Pat and pretending we are living full lives back on Earth.”
    “Remember Me on This Computer” by A. S. Hamrah
  • Sharing this one as an invitation to chew on the ideas: “Sister Stop Breathing takes up the question of how one might create art, or anything at all, while surrounded by artifacts that will outlast everyone who is currently alive, and then some. Art, shit, and death are the results of linked processes. In Rome especially, new art must not only contend with a massive cultural backlog, but also be absorbed into a space literally crowded with everything since the Etruscans.”
  • Overall, there is something about graphic nudity in this country. We are all graphically nude a couple times of day, so I don’t quite get it. “PG? NC-17? She Made Such Calls For Years” by Brooke Barnes
  • “I love to look at [horses]. Their stunning manes, their shiny coats. I especially like it when they’re big—have you ever seen a big horse? They’re wonderful. Sometimes they’re both big and fast. I especially love those horses. Other times they’re small and slow. I especially love those horses as well.” “The Year of the Horse” by Tyler Parker
  • “Overload: Will any shows from the Golden Age of TV endure?” by Sonny Bunch
  • “I grew up Catholic, and I went to church every week until I was about 18 and I started to realize the theater is my church. Anything that was guilt-inducing never really landed with me, but what I liked was “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I liked sitting there with this group of people, regardless of what we say the dogma of this religion is or regardless of what the rituals are — the fact is, we’ve all come here for a good reason, because we want things to be better for ourselves.” Turns out I am John C. Reilly, who Wants to Play Vulnerable Men, by Molly Lambert.
  • My Brilliant Friend. My Brilliant Friend. My Brilliant Friend. It’s all I want to talk about. “The Sweet Linearity of “My Brilliant Friend”” by Emily Nussbaum

 

PROSE BASED; PROSE INCLINED

  • “Black Male Writers of Our Time” by Ayana Mathis
  • I would recommend sitting down and spending a few hours with this website: Pudding marries complex cultural analysis with visual data and the result is undeniably awesome. Perhaps start with “The Structure of Stand-Up Comedy”.
  • Character is most interesting in the literary sense—character as a kind of fictional construction. Personality, or these discourses and systems of personality, allow us to imagine ourselves as characters. They articulate narratives about our fate and allow us to imagine ourselves as part of larger, social orders that we navigate in different ways through different plot trajectories based on what we learn about our personalities. To me, personality and character are deeply intertwined along that kind of imaginative dimension of character creation. When we think of personality or character as innate, what do we miss? “Who’s Got Personality? The Myers-Briggs Bias: An Interview with Merve Emre” by Deborah Chasman

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MUSICALLY INCLINED

 

ENVIRO

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NATIONAL POLITICS, OR WHAT REMAINS OF IT

 

MORE REASONS TO DESPISE & OVERTHROW LATE-STAGE CAPITALISM

  • “LinkedIn, for instance, turns its users—even the employed ones—into constant job applicants. We are terrified to make even one tiny mistake, yet at the same time we are faced with a ruling class that makes little effort to hide its flagrant misdeeds: graft, corruption, and perhaps most appalling in our age of so-called meritocracy, sheer incompetence. Despite Hillary Clinton running a ham-fisted and bewilderingly tone-deaf campaign, we had the phrase “most qualified presidential candidate” practically shoved down our gullets. And, of course, Donald Trump is president.” “Tell Me It’s Going to be OK” by Miya Tokumitsu
  • “Normel Person: The parental is political” by Lauren Weinstein (Just click on this one, it’s a comic, trust me)
  • “Share my blog post, buy my book, click on my link, follow me on Instagram, visit my Etsy shop, donate to my Kickstarter, crowdfund my heart surgery. It’s as though we are all working in Walmart on an endless Black Friday of the soul…After a couple of decades of constant advice to “follow our passions” and “live our dreams,” for a certain type of relatively privileged modern freelancer, nothing less than total self-actualization at work now seems enough. But this leaves us with an angsty mismatch between personal expectation and economic reality. So we shackle our self-worth to the success of these projects.” “Everything Is for Sale Now. Even Us.” by Ruth Whippman
  • Related: “The pursuit of excellence has infiltrated and corrupted the world of leisure.” “In Praise of Mediocrity” by Tim Wu

 

THE WORLD IS SAD SO HERE, PLEASE SMILE

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