Reading list: Genius Myths, Online Cesspools, Writing Your Way Through the Muck
My darlings, happiest of Fridays. I hope you have a restful weekend planned, or if you don’t, that you take the time to take a breath and give yourself a break. You’re great, and you deserve it. TO THE INSTAPAPER LIST!
Sophie Haigney: City parks belong to everyone. Right? (The Economist) Haigney dives into unearthed photos of people in public spaces, those “outward visible symbol(s) of democracy,” as she quotes the former NYC parks commissioner. It’s a short but poignant reflection on the metaphorical implications of crumbling infrastructure. (h/t Owen)
Jayson Greene: Kanye West and Why the Myth of “Genius” Must Die (Pitchfork) - In the shadow of Kanye West’s recent troubles, Greene attacks the cultural implications of “unconquerable men,” and how the myth of untouchable genius preempts actual discourse and valid criticism.
Mike Stuchbery: A Day for Fear - If you’re not following this popular historian on Twitter known for his ability to bring out those historical receipts when hatred rears its awful head, you should. And then read his account of attending a Far Right rally in London on May 6th. Sigh.
Talia Lavin: Someone Please Tell the Times That Incels Are Terrorists (The Village Voice) - Those of us who’ve been following violent misogynistic hate on the internet - including you, dear readers, yes you! - know that putrid bile bucket communities celebrating murderers of women have been around for a few years now. But once the Toronto van attack happened, suddenly mainstream outlets started naively exploring these chat rooms and Subreddits, and a thousand shitty toughtpieces were spawned. Lavin has no time for this nonsense, reminding us that we’ve known of this for awhile, and that the media needs to do better in representing the real dangers of these communities instead of tepidly poking them in trend pieces.
And finally, from 2014:
Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries: To Get Over Something, Write About It (Harvard Business Review) - de Vries explores how using a writing practice can address trauma and stress in the workplace, and help teams move past issues. It’s almost like we all live in a time when using writing could help us work out the daily insanity swirling around us, but I may be reading too much into this she writes in the daily newsletter created to do that very thing every morning.
You’re lovely. Be kind to each other.