1. HOOPS: Bill Simmons, who I generally love, gets rightfully reamed by college basketball player Wayne Washington when Simmons refers to his dreads as “stinky.”
2. AUTHORS: Curtis Sittenfeld (Prep, American Wife) gets interviewed by The Rumpus about her new book, Sisterland.
3. NEW MEXICO: The New Yorker‘s Rachel Syme, writes eloquently about the hometown she shares with Walter White.
4. CELEB: I really dig this advice from Olivie Wilde in Glamour, or rather, this advice from her ghostwriter. Regardless, I’m into it.
5. MOMS: My favorite, Roxane Gay, interviews her mother for The Hairpin about how she feels about her mothering decisions, 30 years later. Should we all be so lucky as to have these conversations.
6. SPORTS: What does it say about you as a parent when you push your daughter down the path of soccer, dance, or chess? Apparently a lot?
Related Post: Sunday 108: George Saunders, OITNB, Ill-Doctrine, etc.
Related Post: Sunday 107: Amanda Palmer = awesome, millennials worry, email mapping!
1. TEXAS: This is a long and beautiful piece by Amy Gentry for The Rumpus about abortion, body politics, and who we’re really protecting.
2. BADASS: Senator Claire McCaskill replies to James Taranto’s horrifying essay about how the fight against sexual assault in the military is actually a “war on men” and male sexuality. Taranto: 0, McCaskill: ALL OF THE POINTS.
3. TRAVEL: Fascinating essay by travel writer Simon Winchester about a tiny island of 300 people, Tristan de Cunha, and how he got banned from visiting for violating local customs.
4. HISTORY: In the wake of the gutting of the Voting Rights Act, Slate has an example of the dizzyingly confusing literacy tests that were used in the 50s and 60s to prevent black people from voting.
5. PLANNED PARENTHOOD: In case you ever forget what Planned Parenthood provides, a lovely essay from the blog What Are You Doing Here, Are You Lost?
6. CITIES: Chicago Magazine has an awesome series of panoramic shots of New York, San Francisco, Chicago, pre- and during industrial development.
Related Post: Sunday 104 – Books in pie-chart form, awesome ASL translators, what is a bro?
Related Post: Sunday 103 – Awesome people reading, pin-up presidents, Rich Kids of Instagram
1. HOLLYWOOD: It’s the piece everyone was talking about this week, so if you missed it, play catch-up with the Lindsay Lohan/James Deen/Bret Easton Ellis/”The Canyons” how-the-sausage-is-made essay.
2. INDEX: This is Indexed blogger/writer/drawer Jessica Hagy is interviewed for Fast Company about how she found her 3×5 sized internet niche.
3. WRITERS: The Rumpus interviews Zadie Smith about her novel NW, and why she doesn’t write autobiographically.
4. TINA + AMY: How pumped are you for tonight’s Golden Globes hosting-duo? Not enough? Get more so with NYMag’s recap of their friendship.
5. INDIA: I can’t even begin to describe how dead-on this opinion piece by Sohaila Abdulali is, so I’m just going to quote it: “Rape is horrible. But it is not horrible for all the reasons that have been drilled into the heads of Indian women. It is horrible because you are violated, you are scared, someone else takes control of your body and hurts you in the most intimate way. It is not horrible because you lose your “virtue.” It is not horrible because your father and your brother are dishonored. I reject the notion that my virtue is located in my vagina, just as I reject the notion that men’s brains are in their genitals.”
6. FRIDA: A closet full of Frida Kahlo’s personal items has been locked and guarded for 85 years and has just now been opened and explored.
Related Post: Sunday 89: Avalanches, Mr. Wright, pickpockets and Matt + Ben Forever.
Related Post: Sunday 88: Russian gymnasts, the Rockaways, origins of “doubt”, Moloch
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 America – Gawker (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!
1. WRITING: Man, If only our shared first name meant I shared talent with Emily Rapp (Ditto Emily Nussbaum, Emily McCombs). In this essay for The Rumpus, Rapp writes about finding intimacy while her son continues to die. If that sounds sad, it is, but it’s also beautiful.
2. PARENTING: Emily McCombs, editor of XOJane, writes about her creative path towards motherhood and it’s pretty inspiring.
3. INSTAGRAM: Complete with lyrics (for your singalong desires), College Humor nails our obsession with Instagram with this parody of Nickelback’s “Photograph.”
4. SUFFRAGE: Weird and strange and weird again. Here’s a children’s book from 1910 against women’s suffrage.
5. TED: Anita Sarkeesian, from Feminist Frequency, speaks at TEDx Women on online harassment.
6. ROLES: Really interesting video imagining what club life (ha) would be like if the stereotypical roles of men and women were reversed. Who objectifies and gets objectified?
Related Post: Sunday 85: Painless? The path to the NFL, Ann Patchett’s new book store.
Related Post: Sunday 84: Astronaut letters, bedrooms around the world, women who model as men
1. GENDER: Watch this Time interview with Casey Legler, a woman who works as a male model, and try not to drool.
2. BOOKS: A new anthology, My Ideal Bookshelf, creates colorful portraits of authors’ and celebrities’ book collections, includes David Sedaris and James Franco.
3. SUFFRAGE: Great collection from Sociological Images of vintage anti-suffrage ads.
4. WRITING: Chicago author Megan Stielstra on the stresses of new motherhood and the surprising support from a stranger.
5. ASTRONAUTS: Super sweet letters from astronaut Jerry Linenger to his 1-year-old son while he spent three months at a space station.
6. CHILDHOOD: What does a child’s bedroom look like? Depends on where they live, and damn, the range is pretty intense. Mother Jones has some examples.
Related Post: Sunday 83: Stewart, language in the NYT, Mormons on the campaign trail
Related Post: Sunday 82: Kevin Durant, Maddow nails it, NYMag cover photos
Here are the words I can muster today: rape culture, rape apology, pseudo-science, control, misogyny, autonomy, willful misunderstanding, violence, rights, disrespect, faux apology, faux sentimentality, faux outrage, faux, faux, faux, phony, fake. Arrange them as you see fit.
Here are some words by other people that are pretty interesting. Read when you have the time or the emotional energy to absorb them:
- Lidia Yuknavitch wrote an essay for The Rumpus about growing up in a culture of sexual violence.
- Charlotte Shane for The New Inquiry on why our insistence that rape be the “most devastating, world-rocking, soul-shattering” experience deprives women of the right to their individual reactions: “Though some feminists regard “rape equals devastation” as sacred fact, the notion that a man can ruin me with his penis strikes me as the most complete expression of vintage misogyny available.”
- Did you read MA Senator Scott Brown’s quote? “As a husband and father of two young women, I found Todd Akin’s comments about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong. There is no place in our public discourse for this type of offensive thinking. Not only should he apologize, but I believe Rep. Akin’s statement was so far out of bounds that he should resign the nomination for US Senate in Missouri.” I want to applaud, but I can’t because there are two many follow-up questions. You call yourself a Republican, Senator Brown, are you aware of the Republican Party’s official platform’s planks on abortion? Will you call for a change where it actually matters? The New Yorker has compiled seven other polite, carefully worded questions for Republicans as they feign (ahem) outrage over Akin’s comments.
And then there’s this video by Taylor Ferrera which is amazing, and is the bright spot in this week’s thundercloud of horribleness:
Some people give up. Some people write long eloquent essays. Some people link to other people’s long eloquent essays. Other people sing songs.
Related Post: The changing iconography of abortion.
Related Post: Daniel Tosh.
1. WEIGHT: Super stellar essay from my recent Jezebel favorite, Lindy West, on the intricacies of talking to pre-teens about fitness, nutrition, weight, and body image.
2. ART: Ahhh, this short comic by Chelsea Martin, “Heavy-handed Acne” is just so beautiful and poignant and I love it (via The Rumpus).
3. PRIDE: Buzzfeed collected 32 images from Pride that will probably make you cry… in the good way.
4. WORDS: Basic but superbly addictive word game from Shy Gypsy. Make word associations across the map to keep the game branching out (i.e. Cow and Horse share the word Cowboy).
5. TECH: Fabulous, fascinating interview with Genevieve Bell, the director of interaction and experience research at Intel, about the contents of our cars and the life cycle of technology (Slate).
6. CAREER: The unbeatable Jessica Hagy (of This Is Indexed) has contributed a series of her trademark line graphs, on the subject of finding a career path, to Forbes.
Related Post: Sunday 63 (Cabrini-Green, Merkel vs. Rae Jepsen, Anne Friedman, school lunches)
Related Post: Sunday 62 (Is this racist? Authors in bikinis, Sandberg, grammar points)