Tag Archives: Harpers

The Best Things I Read on the Internet, 2012

Like last year, I’m doing a Best Things I read on the Internet list. This is obviously in no way complete or comprehensive, it is merely a tiny slice of the internet that I really enjoyed and I hope you enjoy too.

  • How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in AmericaGawker (Kiese Laymon): I’ve read this essay about violence and race and home and promise so many times. There are phrases I’m sure will stick with me forever, “I’m a waste of writing’s time,” and “I wish I could get my Yoda on right now and surmise all this shit into a clean sociopolitical pull-quote that shows supreme knowledge and absolute emotional transformation, but I don’t want to lie.”
  • “Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Sociopath?”New York Times (Jennifer Kahn): In the wake of Sandy Hook, this investigation of psychopathy in children hits particularly hard. How early can you identify the traits of psychopathy, and what do you do about it?
  • “Expectations”The New Yorker (Katherine Boo): This is the story of the uneasy relationship between an aspiring politician, Michael Bennet, and a high school on the edge of disfunction (or maybe over it?) in Denver. We talk about turnaround schools, benchmarks, races to the top, but what does that actually look like reflected back in the faces of teenagers?
  • “The Last Tower” – Harpers (Ben Austen) – For you Chicagoans, or those who wish to be Chicagoans, the towers of Cabrini-Green hold a particular and problematic place in our recent history. I walk by the remains of them every day. How did they start? Where they wrong from the beginning? Could they have been saved? Should they have been saved?
  • “Transformation and Transcendance: The Power of Female Friendship”The Rumpus (Emily Rapp): I hate, hate, hate the title of this essay if only because of how many potential readers might be turned off by it’s hippie-dippy enlightenment vibe. It’s so amazing and fantastic that I want every single person to read it. This was the first thing I ever read of Rapp’s, and I’ve been hooked since.
  • “Click and Drag” – xkcd (Randall Munroe): This isn’t an essay, per se, but I find it profound and delightful nonetheless. In an interactive cartoon, “Click and Drag” is about finding small pleasures, and remembering how much of the world there always is to explore.
  • “Odd Blood: Serodiscordancy, or, Life with an HIV-Positive Partner” The Atlantic (John Fram): A piece of the HIV puzzle we don’t see exposed very often, “Odd Blood” is a lyrically written account of a relationship in which one partner is HIV-positive and the other is not.

Part 2 coming later this week!



Filed under Really Good Writing by Other People

Sunday Scraps 63 (Wildly Behind the Times Due to Vacation)

1. CABRINI: Great (long) essay from Harpers about the infamous Chicago housing project Cabrini-Green. Unlike other things I’ve read in the wake of the project’s destruction, this one actually talks to residents. Imagine that.

2. POP CULTURE: Matthew O’Brien at the Atlantic compares lyrics from frothy pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen to the Euro crisis. It almost kinda sort works.

3. JENNER: Did you know Bruce Jenner was once an Olympic athlete? Add that to the list of boats I missed when the Kardashians took over the world. From the Wheaties box to stepdad to the “stars” in Esquire.

4. FOOD: The blog of a 9-year-old about the pitiful condition of her school lunch quickly embarrassed her community enough to generate change. Shame is a powerful thing (via Grist).

5. INTERVIEW: The Rumpus interviews former GOOD Magazine editor Ann Friedman about the future of magazines, and writing, and goodness, and stuff.

6. GENDER: There’s this book. It’s called The Gender Book, and it looks pretty sweet. Independently made, it purports to be a friendly, easy, colorful way to talk about the range of human gender expression. We should probably all buy it and send it to our grandparents. Kidding.

Related Post: Sunday 62 – Racism, writers in bathing suits, StoryCorps

Related Post: Sunday 61 – Diet quitters, white male privilege, Chicago’s 1871 space


Filed under Art, Books, Chicago, Food, Gender, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sports

S(Monday) Scraps 54

1. TRAYVON: Ugh. When NBC mixes and matches the 911 Trayvon Martin call to make George Zimmerman sound more racist, they do no one any favors. From Mother Jones.

2. BOOKS: Slate ponders what, if anything, we lose when scoping out perspective partners now that our reading material can be hidden behind kindle cases instead of on shelves for all to peruse and judge?

3. ADVERTISING: Use this Gendered Advertising Remixer to compile a pink or blue themed advertising onslaught all your own.

4. DINKLAGE: Everybody’s favorite Game of Thrones schemer is played by the small-statured actor Peter Dinklage. NYT profiles his rise to fame and his avoidance of all roles elfin.

5. YOGA: This man would like to sell you his used yoga mat, but he will tell you, in excruciating detail, how he tried to use it first.

6. SEXUAL VIOLENCE: Harper’s Magazine chronicles the astonishingly high rates of sexual violence on Native American reservations, and the appallingly lackluster responses that victims get from local, state, and federal law enforcement.

Related Post: Sunday 53 = Romans vs. the U.S. Military, nail art, the history of Bi-Rite

Related Post: Sunday 52 = Robert Bayles, taking the SAT at 35, what do you teach black children?

1 Comment

Filed under Books, Media

Sunday Scraps 48

1. OCCUPY: Guest post at Sociological Images by Celia Emmelhainz on the rhetoric of luck in the national conversation about the OWS movement. What and who do we consider “lucky,” and why?

2. ADELE: Love this Vogue interview with Adele mostly because they abstain from discussing her body and instead focus on interesting stuff like why she’s a great girlfriend and her thing for Alec Baldwin.

3. WRITING: Jonathan Lethem in Harpers on the question of intellectual copyright. We all borrow, he says, and that’s a good thing. How ironic is it that Disney, one of the biggest cultural appropriaters or all time, guards their content with such zeal? Also, the end notes may just be the best part.

4. LIBRARY: Phonebooths as mini-libraries. Let’s take outdated technology and convert it into storage for additional outdated technology! Adorable!

5. ART: NextLevel Squad does something called a “Zilla March” through the NYC Subway system. There are gas masks, double-jointed shoulders, and some very confused commuters.

6. PORN: Thought Catalog has an interview with one of my favorites, feminist/queer pornographer Tristan Taormino.

Related Post: Sunday 47 = Lego problems, photoshopping the Renaissance, the chicken nugget diet.

Related Post: Sunday 46 = Disney medleys, whale stomachs, pro-lifers for Planned Parenthood.


Filed under Art, Books, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sex