Chronicling My Media Consumption: Vol. 4

Links

We Were the Only Plane in the Sky” (Politico)
After planes struck the Twin Towers on 9/11, George Bush was shepherded onto Air Force One. This oral history describes what happened during the eight hours the President spent in what was then considered the safest place to be: the sky.

The Blob That Cooked the Pacific” (National Geographic)
Thanks to warm ocean water created by El Niño, an algae bloom has taken over the West Coast. The toxic algae has decimated populations of local marine wildlife and might provide a preview of the ecological carnage that could result from climate change.

“‘I Had No Choice But To Keep Looking‘” (New York Times Magazine)
Five years have passed since a tsunami swept across Tōhoku, but a husband and a father continue to search for their missing family members.
Podcast accompaniment: Act One of “One Last Thing Before I Go” (This American Life)

From Hiroko to Susie: The Untold Story of Japanese War Brides” (Washington Post)
When WWII ended, as many as 45,000 Japanese women followed their American husbands to the United States. These war brides faced challenges when it came to adapting to the mores and culture of a new country, but many thrived in their new homes, including the author’s mother.

That Dragon, Cancer” (Wired)
When Amy and Ryan Green’s one-year-old son is diagnosed with cancer, Ryan channels his experiences into a video game.
Podcast accompaniment: “The Cathedral” (Reply All)

The Arctic Suicides: It’s Not the Dark That Kills You” (NPR)
Greenland has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world. In a country where nearly everyone seems to know someone who has taken their own life, communities struggle to save their youth. The piece considers the prevalence of suicide in the context of Greenland’s colonial history and its lack of mental health resources.

Marvel, Jack Kirby, and the Comic-Book Artist’s Plight” (The Atlantic)
Jack Kirby fights Marvel for his original artwork.

Flight Risk” (Slate)
It turns out that airlines don’t quite know what to do with creepy passengers who can’t keep their hands to themselves.

Women and Guns” (Marie Claire)
This interactive feature casts a spotlight on an issue normally not associated with woman. There are opinions from both sides of the debate, colorful and informative graphics, and pieces written by Hillary Clinton, Carla Fiora, and Roxanne Gay.

Making House: Notes on Domesticity” (New York Times Magazine)
A home is something that is presented, polished and showcased to others. But one of its main functions is to also serve as a living space, which inevitably begins to bear the traces of its past and present inhabitants. This essay explores these two sometimes contradictory roles that we ask our humble abodes to play.

Framed: She was the PTA mom everyone knew. Who would harm her?” (LA Times)
This six-part series explores a personal brouhaha between a PTA mom and a two married attorneys in Irvine, California. It’s a sordid tale with reality television twists and an inside look at how the other half lives.

Profiles

Huma Abedin on Her Job, Family, and the Campaign of a Lifetime” (Vogue)
Huma Abedin is probably best known for being Anthony Weiner’s ex-wife, but she has thrived in the political realm in ways that her husband never will. Nathan Heller’s profile explores Abedin’s unique position as Hillary Clinton’s right hand woman and the sacrifices and rewards that come with it.

Continue reading “Chronicling My Media Consumption: Vol. 4”

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Chronicling My Media Consumption: Vol. 2

Long Things

How Mark Zuckerberg Led Facebook’s War to Crush Google Plus (Vanity Fair Hive)
Earlier this month, Vanity Fair launched a “new mobile-first site devoted to Wall Street, Washington, and Silicon Valley.” As you’d expect, it’s full of articles that give an inside look behind closed doors or their best guess at what’s happening. This piece in particular shines when it describes Facebook’s work culture and lets you see what it’s like to be a part of their world.

Ripple Effect (Wired)
About two weeks ago, I received an email from the DC Public Library system notifying me that seven drinking water sources in libraries throughout the city have high levels of lead. I soon read this article, which follows water engineer Marc Edwards and his quest to protect our water supply from dangerous substances. It’s a sobering reminder that safe drinking water is not something that can be taken for granted.

Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City (New York Times)
My first introduction to school segregation in a present-day context came from This American Life. I’ve always imagined segregation to be a long-abolished relic from the Jim Crow era, but lots of articles like this one have proven me wrong.

Ethics and the Eye of the Beholder (BuzzFeed)
There is a particularly poignant irony in knowing that a philosopher who is celebrated for his stance on ethics fails to applies these same principles to his personal life.

Fandom Is Broken (Birth. Movies. Death.)
Ghostbusters, Frozen, and the Strange Entitlement of Fan Culture (AV Club)
Is the customer always right? Both pieces say no and that the intense sense of ownership that some fans feel about their favorite works do more harm than good.

The Good News at The Washington Post (New York Magazine)
These days, it sounds like everyone wants to be a media company, especially one armed with buzzwords and innnovation (ahem, TRONC). The Washington Post is no exception, but while it has embraced alluring, click-bait headlines, it’s also trying to figure out how to be a sustainable news organization and adapt to an audience glued to its smartphones. I really like learning about the history of publications, and this article offers a look at how one institution confronting change and using the considerable resources of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to its advantage.

New York City, No Filter: On Voyeurism, Social Media, and Life in the City (Brooklyn Magazine)
This lovely piece explores our collective fascination with the quotidian. Plus, anyone who can eloquently explain the appeal of Snapchat earns lots of points in my book.

Mother, Writer, Monster, Maid (Vela)
Is there a conflict between being an artist and a mother? For this author, this is not quite the right answer to ask. In this essay, she eloquently reframes the debate with the following assertion: “The conflict is between the selfishness of the artist and the selflessness of a mother.”

The State of the Domestic Goddess (Serious Eats)
This piece reviews cookbooks from Gwyneth Paltrow and Chrissy Teigan. In doing so, Emily Gould carefully analyzes what exactly each so-called domestic goddess is trying to sell their readers.

On Swarm (Gawker)
A confession: I was never a regular reader of Gawker and probably never will be, but I was intrigued by this essay. It presents a fairly interesting ideas about that type of fake civility and moral high ground that people use to defend themselves in arguments, but it can be a little petty and unnecessarily confrontational. It’s also very long, possibly too long.

Continue reading “Chronicling My Media Consumption: Vol. 2”

Chronicling My Media Consumption: An Introduction (and Vol. 1)

As anyone who knows me can confirm, I consume a lot of media. I also have a lot of pet projects. Hence, the start of this new series of blog posts, where I collect all the favorite things that I’ve come across in the last month.

Inspiration for this project came from the weekly newsletters that arrive in my email inbox and from just being on the Internet in general. Lately, a lot of link roundups have been popping up on my radar. And they’re currently one of my favorite ways of spending my time. I’ve always been a generalist. It’s why I double majored in very different fields in college and why I’d make a terrible PhD student. It’s also why I love the link roundups I’ve been reading. The articles that I’ve discovered through these pages run the gamut when it comes to subject matter and format. There’s always something that’s relevant to today’s trending subjects. There’s always something that’s completely random as well. Every week, I shake my head in wonder and think, Boy, there is a lot of cool stuff out there.

So why bother adding my own link round up to what already exists? My memory for the things I’ve read/listened to/watched is unfortunately short-lived, unless I tell something about it or write down my thoughts about them. Luckily, this is where the blog posts come in. Thinking about the things I’ve read and why I like (and occasionally dislike) them will help me remember them better. I’ll have better answers when someone asks me what I’m reading/listening to/watching.

Without further ado, here are the favorite things that I’ve come across about in the month of May (and some extra stuff from March and April slipped in there too).

The Internet
“Yet I’ll Speak”: Othello’s Emilia, A Rebuke to Silence (The Toast)
I’m a sucker for thoughtful readings of Shakespeare. I haven’t read Othello since high school, but Moran does an excellent job of explaining why Emilia’s line, written centuries ago, remains so salient in the present-day.

India’s Dying Mother (BBC)
I highly, highly recommend reading this article on your phone. Scrolling through this is a joy. Text, images, and video flow together flawlessly, and it’s a gorgeous piece of storytelling that shows how well different forms of media can be integrated.

Same But Different (The New Yorker)
Siddhartha Mukherjee’s An Emperor of Maladies is one of my favorite nonfiction books, and I was more than a little excited to see excerpts from his forthcoming book in the New Yorker. Since their appearance, Mukherjee has received a lot of flak for dressing up unsound science in beautiful prose, but this article still makes it onto my list because I enjoyed every minute reading it.

“You want a description of hell?” OxyContin’s 12 Hour Problem (LA Times)
Purdue Pharma is despicable. That is all.

How Blac Chyna Beat the Kardashians at Their Own Game (BuzzFeed)
I had so much fun reading this article, and Obell does a fantastic job of teasing out what the drama between Blac Chyna and the Kardashians reveals about race and the construction of celebrity.

Unearthing the Secrets of New York’s Mass Graves (New York Times)
This piece conjures all the morbid thoughts that cross my mind from time to time, especially now that I live in a city where it’s so easy to stay anonymous. It’s also an unsettling reminder of the ways institutions and systems can fail people, even after death.

If You Are What You Eat, America Is All Recipes (Slate)
I’m a card-carrying home cook foodie who’s into obscure vegetables and farmers markets, but I learned how to cook from All Recipes and still sometimes uses sour cream as a substitute for ricotta cheese. I’m glad that someone else was also thinking about the different ends of the food culture spectrum.

How Empowerment Becomes Something for Women to Buy (New York Times Magazine)
My favorite kind of think piece: how something is commodified to its detriment.

How Lifetime Became One of the Best Places in Hollywood (BuzzFeed)
As if I needed more reasons to start watching UnREAL.

The Voyeur’s Motel (The New Yorker)
One of my favorite things about this piece is that it might reveal just as much about the author as it does of Gerald Foos, the voyeur himself. There’s plenty of moral ambiguity to go around.

Continue reading “Chronicling My Media Consumption: An Introduction (and Vol. 1)”