Reading List: This Year, Be Thankful For Longreads on Faux Feminism, Scary Germ Laboratories and Cult-ish Companies #Blessed
Sweethearts! This is the last Missive of November 2019, which means the next Missive you receive will be in December 2019, which means we’re one month away from a new decade and an election year that’s going to chew up our souls tbh. But in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to express my gratitude to you all, dear readers, for the space in your inbox, for the kind emails, tweets and texts you send me, and for your time and support. You’re the true heroes, friends; thanks for giving me a bit of time in your daily routine.
To the long reads!
Michael C. Carroll, Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government's Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory - Did you know that there was federal government germ laboratory off the coast of Long Island and that it may have had connections to the outbreaks of Lyme disease and West Nile virus? Y’all know I love me a good book on how we’ll all likely die of communicable diseases spread by human screw-up so obvi I cannot put this book down.
Ellen Barry, The Jungle Prince of Delhi (The New York Times) - Many of you sent this to me last week, and I’ve yet to read it but have it top of my kindle for after the end-of-work-bird yells today at 1 pm. I’m reading it on your advice, dear readers, but also on yours and the internet’s assertions that it is one of the best and most affecting pieces of longform journalism written in a while. I can’t wait.
Nick Schager, ‘Watchmen’ Is a Spectacular Assault on White Supremacy (The Daily Beast) - Are you watching Watchmen on HBO? Cuz you should, it is stunning television and an EXCELLENT take on on the revered graphic novel that was so thoroughly let down by a 2009 film adaptation. And part of why the series is so damned good is that it places the Watchmen world well into our current political quagmire by extending the universe a few decades and envisioning an America undergoing a violent reaction to progressive social gains - sound familiar? Watch the show, read this piece, report back and tell me what you think.
Zoe Schiffer, A pivot from tech to empowerment at bra startup ThirdLove (The Goods by Vox) - Would I rather have equality and empowerment lip service from a company than, I dunno, blatant sexism? Yes. But does woke-eque marketing and slogans often belie a rougher, less puppy dogs and rainbows reality? Also yes, see the article below.
Gabriel Sherman, “You Don’t Bring Bad News To The Cult Leader”: Inside The Fall Of Wework (Vanity Fair) - Watching the whole WeWork debacle from inside the house—my firm’s San Francisco office is one of the large corner units in a SOMA WeWork—has been quite the strange experience. First, there was no kombucha. Then, there was no cold brew. Then, they removed my beloved spa water. Which, ha ha ha, doesn’t that sound ridiculous that they had all of those things while bleeding money because it turns out that “disrupting” real estate isn’t actually a thing that can be done without an injection of VC enablement? But I also know that the staff at WeWork genuinely care and work hard, and the news of the massive layoffs whilst their former CEO rolls around Scrooge McDuck-style on his $billion+ payout really freaking sucks. End rant.
I appreciate each of you. Have a Happy (American) Thanksgiving, and be kind to yourselves, ok?