Reading List: Does My Plant Addiction Count As Wellness? Supportive And Complimentary Answers Only, Please.
Dearests! It’s Friday and I’m working from home, which means I’m still going to put make-up on for video calls, but you KNOW I’ll be rocking pajama pants out of frame. And FYI, I made the ding dang mistake of downloading Tik Tok again while waiting for my flight out of Chicago on Wednesday and I just spent 20 minutes watching videos about American Sign Language and if this isn’t an example of social media as soma to distract us from our current state of affairs, I don’t know what is.
TO THE LONGREADS!
Jane Marie, The Dream, Season Two (Stitcher) - If you didn’t listen to Season One of The Dream, which focused on the personal and financial devastation wrought by Multi-Level Marketing schemes, you really should go and do that now. Once you do that, join me in following Marie and her partner/producer Danni Gallucci as they break down the Wellness Industry, and why Americans—primarily women—in 2020 are susceptible to the un-verified health and emotional promises of crystals, jade eggs, tarot and other lotions and potions. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a CBD lotion to put on so that I can feel like a more-whole human.
Steven Levy, Inside Mark Zuckerberg's Lost Notebook (WIRED) - Haven’t read this one yet, but finding a few lost pages from supposedly destroyed notebooks to help explain the mindset of an enigmatic person makes the wannabe historian in me VERY happy (I based half of my college thesis on handwritten notes Hannah Arendt used during her lectures in the Gauss Seminars in Criticism at Princeton following WWII and WAIT, WHERE ARE YOU GOING, COME BACK, PLEASE DON’T LEAVE.)
Taylor Lorenz, The Original Renegade (The New York Times) - Not only does Lorenz forensically follow how a TikTok dance goes viral, she also gives a spotlight and provides credit to the teenage girl who actually came up with the dance… on another platform. As if you needed another example of how Lorenz is the social media chronicler for the ages, this is it.
Anna Nicolaou, The People v Harvey Weinstein (Financial Times) - Also on the list to read this evening. And despite this trial being ostensibly on “a battle of tropes: the casting couch versus the woman sleeping her way to the top,” the outcome of this trial will have ramifications for workplaces everywhere. Nicolaou’s perspective on place of this trial in recent history is excellent.
Brad Blanton, Radical Honesty - I’m starting this book this weekend. You see, I’m someone who is, how do I say delicately, absolutely existentially terrified of confrontation, and friend suggested this book as a way to explore why withholding the truth and/or avoidance is fundamentally damaging to me and to others. It seems to me, naturally, discomfortingly radical, so I’ll report back on what I find.
I like you all so much. Please be kind to each other, mmmkay?