Even if you’re not from or familiar with Chicago, I really want to make sure everyone reads Dan Sinker’s look back at the legacy of @MayorEmanuel. This was a fictional but real-time Twitter account of a much better version of Rahm Emanuel in his quest for the mayorship in 2010–2011. It was foul-mouthed, aggressive, surreal and intensely in love with the City of Big Shoulders. To be living there as it unwound was an incredibly special experience, and like virtually all of his followers, I was heartbroken when @MayorEmanuel vanished into a time vortex during a clap of thundersnow five years ago this week.
Sinker, who has maintained the tweets on Quaxelrod.com (trust me, it makes sense) and released an excellent annotated book version, also seemingly flirted with bringing @MayorEmanuel back. But in his Medium post, he explains why that could never be. It’s a sober, elegiac look at what both Twitter and Chicago have lost in the half-decade since, and it’s an entirely grown-up reflection on what fiction can’t and can offer us. Sinker also reveals how the story really continues, and it’s magnificent in a way only the world’s &($%(#%*ing greatest cup of coffee can be. You really should read it.
I’m also heading back to Chicago next week for the first time since I moved away, a week before Halloween in 2014. It’s the longest I’ve ever been away from the city in my adult life, and I can’t wait to go back. In the meantime… well, I can’t say this is the fluffiest set of links I’ve ever shared, but:
- I feel like we’re seeing a lot of great interactive pieces at the moment. One that’s struck me is the New York Times’ “What It’s Really Like to Work in Hollywood (If you’re not a straight white man.)” This is a good read, with great portraits to go with.
- The Awl published “The Deactivation of the American Worker,” which only seems like the logical conclusion of, say, Up in the Air.
- Meanwhile, there’s Psychology Today with “The Decline of Play and Rise in Children’s Mental Disorders.” As though, with the ongoing shenanigans of this election cycle, we aren’t worried enough about the future of civilization.
- There’s a little relief out there, even if it’s about imagination. I don’t usually click on links with headlines like “This incredible Instagram artist just reimagined the Disney princesses as relatable millennials,” but even though I recognize this as a quick hit, Hello Giggles‘ Sammy Nickalls did this one right.
- Anyway, it could probably be worse. We could be Anne Elizabeth O’Regan, who was mauled by a bear, and that wasn’t even the most bewildering outcome of her attempt at gaining some inner peace.