Reading List: On Wednesdays, We Entrap Our Pocket Computers in Amethyst Boxes
I dunno about all of you, but I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few days on which animals would skirt the new “emotional support animal” rules put forth by American Airlines. So sorry folks, but you can’t take your emotional support “amphibians, spiders, goats, snakes, "non-household birds", or any smelly or unclean animal… Reptiles, hedgehogs, insects, and rodents… any "animals with tusks, horns or hooves (excluding miniature horses properly trained as service animals)” with you.
But enough about that - let’s load up our longread reading list for the weekend!
Kate Nocera (BuzzFeed) The 9 Minutes That Almost Changed America: How The Congressional Baseball Shooting Didn't Become The Deadliest Political Assassination In American History - Nocera constructs a moment-by-moment story, going deep with subjects who were on the field when the shooting began, learning how they reacted and how they are (still) coping. And she paints a chilling picture of just how close to complete catastrophe the shooting came.
Erin Griffith (WIRED) Tech Addiction and the Business of Mindfulness - My adoration for Griffith’s tech and culture coverage is legion here at the Missive, but she once again hits it out of the park with her examination of the business interests that have blossomed in the wake of our societal addiction to the computers in our pockets, and what happens when the financial solution to too much tech… is just more tech. She brings as along as she places her phone in an amethyst-beholden tech time out box, holds “intense” eye contact with a stranger, and admits to being “comforted to have (her) little information bomb within sight again.”
Jia Tolentino (New Yorker) The Rage of the Incels - Tolentino looks at the motives, methods and means of the violently radicalized group of men who believe they have a “natural right” to “sex on demand with young, beautiful women,” and are enraged by the fact that in this social economy, women have gained “the economic and cultural power that allows them to be choosy about their partners.” And to those like Ross Douthat in the NYT who propose an overhaul of the sexual economy, she says “We can’t redistribute women’s bodies as if they are a natural resource; they are the bodies we live in.“ Especially since, as she puts a very fine point on, “Incels aren’t really looking for sex; they’re looking for absolute male supremacy.”
Asher Elbein (Daily Beast) #Comicsgate: How an Anti-Diversity Harassment Campaign in Comics Got Ugly—and Profitable - On a similar strain as above, Elbein examines what happens when online mobs are weaponized in 2018 a la Gamergate against “fake geek girls.” Spoiler alert: it fucking sucks.
On that super cheery note, happy Friday! Have an excellent weekend, and be kind to each other.