Reading List: Elimination Innovation, Crypto Cruises, and Everyone's a Little Bit Racist. Sometimes.
My darlings! 🎵 It’s the most wonderful time of the year: year-end book list time! Gather round lovies, as I tell you about the Amy holiday tradition of scouring every single “Best Of” list for (primarily non-fiction) titles with which to fill ye olde merry Goodreads to-read list. Starting with the 2018 Goodreads Best Books list itself, I just started “The Hunger”by Alma Katsu, a semi-fictional historical horror novel based on The Donner Party and it is GOOD and SCARY and AWESOME. Which is to say, SEND ME THOSE BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS, DARN IT! Fill my Kindle with warm knowledge for these cold winter weekends.
And now, into the internet longreads!
Laurie Penny, Four Days Trapped at Sea With Crypto’s Nouveau Riche (Breaker) - Friend of the Missive Colin sent this one in and it’s a goddamned doozy. This insane travelogue includes the most accurate observation on cryptocurrency I’ve read: “… When phrases like ‘a whole new form of money’ or ‘the old rules don’t apply any more’ start going around, people get gullible and the ethically-challenged get creative.”
Erika Hayasaki, The Pathology of Prejudice (The New Republic) - Hayasaki zooms in on one woman who left the Klan via the white supremacist rehabilitation organization Life After Hate, then zooms out to look at the decades of work done around the psychological realities of prejudice and bigotry. And while you’re in a mood to discuss the societal structures that lead to hatred, give the Phrenology: The Bastard Science of Racism episode from Behind the Bastards a listen. (And maybe follow the BtB quotes-without-context Twitter accountI made because this is what I find amusing? See above’s reference to constructive hobbies.)
Alex Blasdel, Bowel movement: the push to change the way you poo (The Guardian) - In 20 years, you’re going to look back on the smoldering leaf pile that was this decade and wonder, “where was I when I first watched the Squatty Potty ad with that pooping unicorn?” And you’ll smile, and laugh, and sigh, and go back to roasting your radioactive squirrel meat over a Trump-issued oil can in a nondescript post-apocalyptic hellscape.
Holly Andres and Leah Sottile, Pets, Peeves, and People of Nextdoor (California Sunday Magazine) - If you’re not following The Best of NextDoor, the snarky Twitter account documenting absurdities and outrages on everyone’s favorite digital community message board, you’re not truly living (or you have a real life with hobbies and constructive interests, tomato/tomatoe, don’t judge me.) ANYHOO, California Sunday Magazine sent a photographer to capture users of the service, coupled with prose detailing which particular insanity the individual has committed on the “private social network for your neighborhood.”
Michael Blackmon, Here’s How Celebs Fight Back When They’re Accused Of Misconduct (BuzzFeedNews) - Come for the celebrity crisis comms, stay for an insight into the business of spin, an industry on which yours truly has a few opinions.
So get to reading! And per usual, be kind to each other, won’t you?