Reading List: Marketing, Meltdowns, and Meditations on Mortality
Darlings! It's Friday, which means you have a nearly empty brain that needs to be filled with alllllll of the thinkpieces. Per usual, I've got you covered. TO THE READING!
Ray Fisman and Michael Luca, Did Free Pens Cause the Opioid Crisis? (The Atlantic) - If you ever want to lose all faith in capitalism but do it whilst laughing, I would suggest you listen to The Dollop podcast episodes on Opium in the US, which ends discussing some of the medical marketing efforts captured in this Atlantic piece. Fisman and Luca also go deep into the psychological impact of marketing and free shit on medical decision makers. Spoiler alert: it’s bigger than we’d like. Sigh.
Leah McSweeney and Jacob Siegel, Is the Women’s March Melting Down? (Tablet) - Be forewarned: this piece is long and dense, with a cast of characters that makes it a bit hard to follow. But this examination of alleged anti-semitism and ties to Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam within the organization at the top of the Women’s March is a very important one for any liberal to read, especially since it is unflinching and difficult to accept. Of course, the article itself isn’t without controversy and the organizers vehemently deny the claims. And if anyone has any articles or resources that counter this piece, please send ‘em my way.
Abby Livingston, The Hardest Glass Ceiling in Politics (POLITICO) - The world of politics extends far beyond elected officials. And in that world—and across parties—the female staffers, fundraisers and consultants that build and win campaigns are subject to power structures and institutional barriers to success helmed by “a boys’ club—regardless of party—that tends to take care of each other.”
Nancy Jo Sales, “They Say We’re White Supremacists”: Inside The Strange World Of Conservative College Women (Vanity Fair) I haven’t started reading this piece, but I am very curious. Sales is one of my favorite culture writers, and is the author of works like The Bling Ring, and Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse.” She’s adept at capturing a specific cultural moment through the eyes of young women, and I look forward to her point of view on young female conservatives in a Trump world.
Elizabeth Weil, He Helped Build an Artists’ Utopia. Now He Faces Trial for 36 Deaths There (The New York Times) - It’s been hard for me to get through this devastating piece on the intertwining lives and storylines that preceded the Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire, which killed 36 people on December 2nd 2016, and how many societal safeguards and protections failed those who lost their lives. But it’s an absolute must-read.
Be kind to each other, ok?