Things I’m Verbing: Comedy, Cracker Barrel and gift culture

I’ll be honest: I went quiet for two weeks because I was grappling with a news story that was really tearing me up, and because it hit so hard, I was trying to figure out how to talk about it publicly. I wrote up an impassioned-but-reasoned (I hoped) post that languished in my drafts, and I’ve been collecting links from all angles until my tabs have utterly overwhelmed me. Ultimately, though, I realized there are only a few things I would want people to read about the anti-pinkwashing protests at Creating Change 2016:

I have a lot of friends and colleagues I admire greatly who speak out about identity and intersectionality all the time. I hope to be brave enough to write like they do, and I hope we’re all brave enough to listen to each other.

Okay. On to the other stuff.

  • Claire Fallon at the Huffington Post wrote “Virginia Woolf’s Guide to Grieving,” a personal essay I could relate to only too well.
  • At the New York Times Magazine, Jia Tolentino’s look at Cracker Barrels and belonging cracked open some things about the chain I’d never thought about, despite never being the target demographic for the restaurants either.
  • In just some good news, the Chicago Reader highlights a Kickstarter effort to digitize my hero Studs Terkel’s entire archive and put it online for the people.
  • After this Q&A with Transformative Works, I’m really looking forward to setting aside the time to read Olivia Riley’s thesis on fandom and gift culture. If you don’t know about the academic study of fandom (they’re called acafans!), you’ll find that the things media often mocks are at heart really punk rock.
  • If you really want to get lost in some amazing collaborative work, head over to Vulture‘s “The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy.” I just want to lose days in this, beginning to end.
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