Reading List: I Know That Subject Lines About Subject Lines Are Lazy, But This Second Coffee Hasn’t Hit Me Yet.

Mein Leibchens, we’ve made it to another Friday, and if you are in the U.S., you’ve made it to a long weekend. There will be no Missive on Monday, as I plan to be either outside in a responsibly social-distanced manner, or building an elaborate fort out of couch cushions and sheer power of will and hiding in it forever. There is no in-between in my world right now.


Julia Marcus, Quarantine Fatigue Is Real (The Atlantic) - Right now, there’s no magical light switch we’re going to flip, and suddenly go back to the normal before times wherein I was able to get up in front of a packed room of humans and yell about history. But we certainly can’t remain fully isolated for the rest of eternity. We have years ahead of us to navigate this balance between the before times and what we need to do to protect our communities, and as Dr. Marcus points out, “Risk is not binary.”

Paul Ford, We Are All Livestreamers Now, and Zoom Is Our Stage (WIRED) - I haven’t finished this piece, but it hooked me with the observation that, with hours and hours of video calls every day, we’re now the performative versions of ourselves. And that is flipping exhausting!

Margaret O’Mara, Twitter Could End the Office as We Know It (The New York Times) I have an uncool confession: I like working in an office. I like seeing my colleagues. I like having a separation between work and home. And though I intellectually understood how big a deal everything was when we were first told to stay home, I found a way to rig my two-room apartment as a work space without committing to owning a desk. It’s two and a half months in, and my new desk arrived yesterday, so I guess I’m going to be getting used to this.

Alex Cohen, I Came Here For Cute Animals, But All I Got Was An In-Depth Understanding Of How Art and Politics Are Intertwined.  (Medium) - If you enjoy absurd and cute comics laced with occasional biting political humor and “wholesome nihilism”, you should most certainly follow the excellent Tiny Snek Comics on Instagram, and you should also read the artist’s take on how art is political.

Pam Mandel, Self Portrait with an iPhone (Longreads) - And finally, I know that I’m prone to hyperbole, but this piece by a Friend of the Missive and writing hero of mine on virtual dating at a time in your life you never, ever planned on dating in is heart-wrenchingly good and oh-so-very pertinent to yours truly. I was just re-scanning the piece to pull together a few of the reasons I am recommending it to you today, but any re-capped string of examples I tap out feel trite in the face of her prose. So read the damned thing because it’s really damned good, and as a bonus gain an extra bit of understanding for those of us who have found ourselves navigating dating at a time in our lives we truly never thought we’d need to.

Y’all are swell. Be kind to each other, and go for a walk, ok?

xoxo Amy