Reading List: Oh God, Not The Bees!
Dearests! Happy Friday! I’m watching the sun come up over downtown San Francisco, and I can tell you that based on the current temperature of my kitchen, this weekend will be a hot one. So if you’re attending Outside Lands, or any of the other summer festivals simultaneously happening around the country, don’t forget water, sunscreen and a freaking hat. That’s right, I know you normally forget, and you may have paid for it previously with a fivehead burn and/or heatstroke and/or a kidney stone at some point. As for me, I will not be at a festival because eww, people.
TO THE LONGREADS!
David Frum, The American Exception (The Atlantic) - In the wake of the recent shootings, former W. Bush speechwriter Frump reminds us—in the first line, no less!—“There is one developed country—and only one—in which it is not only legal, but easy and convenient, to amass a private arsenal of mass slaughter. “
Robert Evans, The El Paso Shooting and the Gamification of Terror (Bellingcat) - As we’ve discussed for years in this newsletter, and as Frum argues above, violent white nationalism is borderless. And as we battle the spread of online hate in the wake of mass shootings, especially as the role of online communities in radicalizing young white men is discussed, this piece by Robert Evans (host of fav pod of the Missive Behind the Bastards) is an absolute must-read.
Matt Novak, The Untold Story of Napoleon Hill, the Greatest Self-Help Scammer of All Time (Gizmodo) - And speaking of Robert Evans and behind the Bastards, this week’s episodes are focused on the self-help guru/scammer behind the prosperity gospel and other structural-oppression-exonerating behavior-manipulating philosophies Napoleon Hill. And this is the longform article that Evans used as his primary source material, so if you’ve ever wanted to arm yourself with witty rejoinders for when someone non-ironically quotes Think and Grow Rich at you, this is your read.
Alison Willmore, A History Of Women In Quentin Tarantino Movies (BuzzFeed News) - I loved “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.” Does that mean I didn’t notice problematic instances of how he views females characters (a verrrrrrrrrry slow and absolutely unnecessary pan from toes to head of a young (supposed to be under-18) female character in short shorts and a backless shirt comes first to mind. Ick.)? No. I definitely noticed.
David Marchese, Nicolas Cage on his legacy, his philosophy of acting and his metaphorical — and literal — search for the Holy Grail. (The New York Times) - I don’t know how I missed this when it first came out, but THANK YOU Friend of the Missive Aaron for texting it to me this morning. Having visited the pyramid tomb waiting for Nicholas Cage in New Orleans, as well as the very haunted building he bought, then lost, this is my. kind. of. CONTENT. It leads with an explanation of the videos of him scream-singing Prince, and meanders through discussions of pet cobras to the “mystically inclined avant-garde German composer was known for his pioneering work with dissonance in electronics” to beeeeeeeees.
I think you’re fabulous. Have a great weekend, and beeeeeeeee kind to yourself, mmmkay?