Reading List: Inadequate Social Media, Frame Rates, “Constantly Flapping Lie Holes”
Dearests, it’s the Friday of the longest and coldest short week I’ve had in a while. And since my apartment in San Francisco lacks any insulation of any kind, I bring this Missive to you whilst nestled in bed under a fleece blanket, because the kitchen is just too darned chilly.
But you know what will warm me up? You, dear reader, getting that good good content that you need! TO THE LONGREADS!
Katherine Rosman, The Itsy-Bitsy, Teenie-Weenie, Very Litigious Bikini (New York Times) - This is an EPIC TALE of social media, influencers, trend crazes, massively overpriced yarn, and the construction of fuzzy product narratives. I started casually reading it, and couldn’t stop, because there’s a reveal that is SO FUCKING GOOD I can’t even. Rosman somehow weaves social media schadenfreude, fashion history, and patent law into one story and it is so damned good.
Mike Pearl, Why Do Film People Care So Much About Frame Rates? (The Outline) - I briefly talked about the telenova TV issue earlier this week, but Pearl goes deeper and you should read about it.
Emma Gray Ellis, The Year The Alt-Right Went Underground (WIRED) - Ellis looks at how, while the naked public racism and white nationalism of 2017 was tempered by the activism and deplatforming of 2018, dangerous alt-right groups have gone underground, not unlike the KKKs of yesteryear. And she warns us that “the alt-right doesn’t have to be visible to succeed,” especially since these awful ideas get signal boosts from media, and are echoed by the individual inhabiting the Oval Office.
Rick Wilson, Mitt Romney Is the Most Dangerous Man in Trump’s City of Lackeys (The Daily Beast) - No matter what your political leanings are, I hope you know that Rick Wilson is a delicious writer. And his latest piece on why now-Senator Mitt Romney’s op-ed on the current nosedive of presidential character is getting under the Trump’s skin does not disappoint, including delectable bon mots like "constantly flapping lie hole” and "gullible booburgeoisie.”
Jessica Valenti, The “Woke” Men Who Still Want Housewives (Medium) - Just read this one, mmmkay? And don't tell your loved one they are better than laundry than you are. Just get better at the damned laundry. Which leads us to...
Amanda Mull, It’s the Most Inadequate Time of the Year (The Atlantic) - I’m officially adding “the commodification of inadequacy” to my list of perfectly descriptive capitalist terms, which includes “the wedding industrial complex” and “performative parenting.” Mull looks at how brands profit from reminding us of our own failings and mortality, in order to sell us more things at the time of year we are most likely to be contemplative and interested in making a change. Just you wait for my thinkpiece on how Pinterest’s unintentional (maybe?) “commodification of inadequacy” is merely an extension of the 80’s fetishization of domestic creativity that arose in resistance to women in the workplace.
You know I love you all, right? And I'm grateful for you. Be kind to each other.