This month’s Reading Roundup offers a collection of some of the best articles I read, covering topics including saying goodbye to Anthony Bourdain, Dr. Donald Shirley, and broke-ass Millennials. Plus a list of my own written work. Get those tabs ready!
Book review: “Darius the Great Is Not Okay” by Adib Khorram
Article: Pull List: Best Comics of 2018
Book review: “Summer of Salt” by Katrina Leno
“The Last Curious Man” by Drew Magary for GQ: “It’s true. There is no easy description for Tony Bourdain, or for the utterly unique role he managed to carve out for himself in this world. He was a chef. He was an author. He was a very popular TV host—the cheerfully dickish center of the food-media universe. He was an explorer who removed degrees of separation from the world’s sociological arithmetic, a man who was always, in his words, hungry for more.”
“I Don’t Want to Shoot You, Brother” by Joe Sexton for ProPublica: ““Put the gun down,” Mader said.
“I can’t do that,” Williams said.
“I don’t want to shoot you, brother,” Mader said. “Put the gun down.”
“Just shoot me,” Williams said.”
“Millennials Didn’t Kill the Economy. The Economy Killed Millennials.” by Derek Thompson for The Atlantic: “Why would young people feel such revolutionary fervor? Maybe it’s not because Millennials have rejected the American dream, but rather because the economy has not only blocked their path to attaining it but punished them for trying to.”
“‘We’ Did Not Miss the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism. You Did.” by Charles P. Pierce for Esquire: “It’s not “our” fault that the NYT hired Bret Stephens and Ross Douthat, and not Dave Neiwert or JJ McNab, to write for their Opinions section. It’s not “our” fault that the NYT and other elite political media outlets hand-waved the fact that allegedly respectable Republican politicians, national ones as well as the local variety, attached themselves to various “respectable” extremist outfits like the Wise Users out west and the Council of Conservative Citizens, the modern manifestations of the Citizens Councils that were the polite face of American apartheid during the Jim Crow era in the South. ”
“As Goes the South, so Goes the Nation” by Imani Perry for Harper’s Magazine: “The echoing horror of slavery cuts both ways. We are often afraid to say what we know is true. The South is disaster and it is also miracle. Death and birth and rebirth and haunting ghosts at once. A new people out of old ones.”
“How ‘Green Book’ And The Hollywood Machine Swallowed Donald Shirley Whole” by Brooke C. Obie for Shadow and Act: “Never mind that Dr. Shirley was active in the civil rights movement, friends with Dr. King, present for the march in Selma, and close friends with Black musicians — from Nina Simone to Duke Ellington and Sarah Vaughn — Dr. Shirley was also very much a part of his family’s lives.
To see him portrayed otherwise, “That was very hurtful,” Edwin said. “That’s just 100% wrong.””
“How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually.” by Max Read for Intelligencer: “Studies generally suggest that, year after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human; some years, according to some researchers, a healthy majority of it is bot. For a period of time in 2013, the Times reported this year, a full half of YouTube traffic was “bots masquerading as people,” a portion so high that employees feared an inflection point after which YouTube’s systems for detecting fraudulent traffic would begin to regard bot traffic as real and human traffic as fake. They called this hypothetical event “the Inversion.””
“Alice Walker’s Terrible Anti-Semitic Poem Felt Personal — to Her and to Me” by Nylah Burton for Intelligencer: “I have a deep abiding love for black women and all that we do. Because of that love, I feel betrayed by Walker, and like all scorned lovers, I find myself consumed with a need to understand why. Guided by a singular question (What the fuck happened?), I spent Christmas buried in her writings, trying to understand how Walker could turn on women like me.”