Reading List: But First, May We All Enjoy A Five Minute Dance Break in Our Kitchens, Musical Styling Of Your Choice (Carly Rae Jepsen Highly Encouraged, Of Course).
Mein Leibchens! It’s Friday, it’s mid-April, and I’m proud of all of us for doing our best. That’s it, that’s the intro, let’s get to the long reads!
Anne Helen Petersen, Against “Feel Free To Take Some Time If You Need It" (Culture Study) - I am someone who says yes too often, someone who finds it physically difficult to say no, who will take on so many tasks and commitments because I am afraid at any moment it will all be taken away from me, I relate to this: “the myth of meritocracy teaches you that if you do say no — in or out of freelance life — you are closing off roads to your potential excellence.” And as a manager, I need to better recognizer that tendency in others, because as Petersen writes, a common manager pandemic phrase has layers of meaning that many of us don’t even consider: “The manager’s crisis refrain of “feel free to take some time, if you need it” is fundamentally a sorting question: are you someone who needs it or are you someone who can ignore that you do?” Because over the past 13 months, I have been someone who’s ignored it, and I need to work harder to ensure I’m not inadvertently transferring that normalized toxic martyrdom onto others.
Patrick Howell O'Neill, The $1 billion Russian cyber company that the US says hacks for Moscow (MIT Technology Review) - Scoops on scoops inside this piece on a Russian company with a remarkably ironic name that allegedly “develops and sells weaponized software exploits to the Russian government.”
Susan Page, Inside Nancy Pelosi’s War With AOC and the Squad (POLITICO) - I think the headline for this piece, an excerpt from Page’s upcoming book ‘Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power’, does the content a disservice. What is boiled down to a “war” between the old guard and new is instead a fascinating look at how one of the most powerful women in the country keeps a hold on a caucus notorious for eating its own by “painstakingly” cultivating loyalty and “cutting a deal, making a compromise, playing the long game” to get stuff done.
Matt Zapotosky and Michael Scherer, How the Justice Department came to investigate Rep. Matt Gaetz (The Washington Post) - This is all about how the congressman’s embattled (and creepy AF) associate fabricated allegations against an opponent in the political race for Seminole County tax collector led to (gestures wildly at the sky) and in addition to being bonkers wonderfully demonstrates the insanity of Florida politics.
Mara Reinstein, The Behind-the-Scenes Story of the James Franco–Anne Hathaway Oscars Debacle (The Ringer) - JUSTICE FOR ANNE HATHAWAY. As the permanent “adorable theater camp cheerleader” minus the cheerleading part, I’ve always lacked chill - indeed, I mention it on my dating profile, because cool and coy and subtle I definitely am not, and some men find that decidedly unsettling. So when Anne Hathaway was getting razzed a decade ago for being too enthusiastic, too excited, and my goodness, why couldn’t she be more like cool girl Jennifer Lawrence?, I always sided with Anne, oh she of shining eyes and vibrating energy. So even though I haven’t finished reading this piece, I am hear declaring I will always support the person that shows up and gives 110% over anyone too-cool-for-school to put their phone away WHILST HOSTING THE OSCARS. Also, James Franco is an alleged creep.
Be kind to yourself, wear your mask, and get that PTO on your calendar, mmmkay?