Reading List: If At First You Don't Succeed, Pick Up Your Ball And Go Home Because LOL Nothing Matters.
Good morning, sweethearts! I hope you’re excited for your weekend plans. Today, may we all be as good at our jobs today as Sen. Kamala Harris is at hers (I’m over here intellectually swooning at her brutal cross-examination of Bill Barr during his Senate testimony.) Also, if anyone decides to participate in WePark (“The newest hot coworking space costs just $2.25 an hour, because it is a parking spot”,) please take pictures and kindly send them to me. And final final also also also, COCAINE SHRIMPS IN SUFFOLK is my new band name. I think we play bluegrass metal? Sure.
TO THE LONGREADS!
Rosie Gray, A Former Alt-Right Member’s Message: Get Out While You Still Can (BuzzFeed News) - I’m fascinated by stories of people who’ve come out the other side of extremism; the polygamist defectors, the former terrorist, the ex-KKK leader. So I read Gray’s profile of a woman who was deep in the alt-right and white supremacist movements from 2013-2017 with relish. The piece describes how a combination of the internet, social isolation, and the extreme right training grounds built by Steve Bannon created the perfect storm of hipster hate, and is a must-read. I was, however, taken aback when Gray quoted Richard Spencer, the clean cut racist and intellectual leader of white nationalists, just as any other source. Which of course makes sense, when you’re attempting to understand the motivations of a former member of the alt-right you need the perspectives of the leaders of that movement, but it still reminded me just how normalized those hateful people have become.
Claire Cain Miller, Women Did Everything Right. Then Work Got ‘Greedy.’ (The New York Times) - I think a lot about moving goalposts: about how you can orient your life and work towards a single goal, only to have it moved or taken away or made irrelevant. The idea that, if I only do my homework and bite my tongue and don't rock the boat and make these sacrifices and look good and work hard in this particular way, I’ll earn my way. I’ll succeed. That is, until we hit up against a previously unseen, unspoken-of wall. (see: all the women in the Democratic presidential primary.) And a quote from this story sums it up nicely: “Ms. Jampel feels angry that the time she spends caregiving isn’t valued the way paid work is. “No one explains this to you when you’re 21, but in retrospect, it was not a smart decision” to go into debt for law school, she said.”
Richard Lawson, Why Critics Worry About Criticism (Vanity Fair) - Over the past few weeks, celebs have been expressing their displeasure with cultural criticism. So my favorite film critic and former Gawker gadfly Richard Lawson wrote an introspective piece on the (important IMHO) role of the critic in culture. And if you’ll excuse, me, I’m borrowing Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth from the library.
Sabrina Maddeaux, Inside the haunted doll markets of eBay and Etsy (Vox) - WHERE MY MBMBAMBINOS AT? I feel like a total comedy hipster having followed Haunted Doll Watch over the last few years. And this The Goods piece is just the perfect way for you to slide into your weekend.
I really do care for you all :) Be kind to each other, mmmkay?