Things I’m Verbing: Bad conspiracies, bad monopolies and good sleep

Well, this week sure is continuing (and this story continues to develop even as I type up this post). At least we’ve got Andy Serkis on our side.

Well, this week sure is continuing (and this story continues to develop even as I type up this post). At least we’ve got Andy Serkis on our side:

  • Instead of more of all that, dig into this New York Times piece on musicologist Alan Lomax, who dedicated his career to preserving and elevating American folk traditions. It’s not just about the newly opened free archive of his recordings — we also need to ask ourselves about the difference between honoring culture and mummifying it.
  • I already have many beefs with Amazon, Jeff Bezos’ rescue of the Washington Post aside. At the New Republic, Matthew Stoller implores Democrats to remember their trust-busting roots as Amazon ascends to true monopoly. For the Nation, David Dayen considers how Amazon is not just bad for the economy, but for the entrepreneurial spirit itself.
  • Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse is one of those Republicans liberal Twitter can get behind. But like Maine’s Sen. Susan Collins and Arizona’s Sen. John McCain, his voting record is at odds with his reputation. Writing for Slate, Ben Mathis-Lilley digs into the dangers of performative decency with “The Wasted Mind of Ben Sasse.”
  • Kids and teens rejoice: Per Maggie Koerthe-Baker at FiveThirtyEight, sleep “problems” are societal.
  • If you’ve muted “thread” on Twitter, developer Darius Kazemi might have an amazing new app for you. Spooler turns long Twitter threads into blog posts, so they can be read as they were freaking meant to be read. Have at.

Stay brave, friends.

Things I’m Verbing: Girl stuff, Jewish stuff and folk stuff

Small update from my story on Whine About It‘s Matt Bellassai: He did, in fact, win the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Social Media Star. Hooray! Alas, someone in the control room sent the camera to the wrong person. Uh-oh. Either way, congrats to Matt — we both had pretty good Wednesdays!

  • Girls Explain Star Wars to You” is, to succumb to an irresistible cliche, the essay on Rey and feminism in viewership you are looking for.
  • Racism and Religious Hypocrisy on My Birthright Trip to Israel” is no How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, by which I mean it’s wrestling with different questions. Rather than examining Israel’s nationhood, it’s about the experience of a biracial Jewish woman in a very homogenous group of American Jews, and the feeling of being told one should belong when every experience or encounter shows the narrator that she doesn’t.
  • Speaking of Jewish stuff, I’m still scratching my head over the complete failure of Vox to “explain the news” re: that blatantly antisemitic hero image from this week’s Saudi Arabia-Iran explainer, which does not once mention Israel, Zionism or the conspiracy theory the image references. Come on, Vox.
  • The South Stole Americana” is dense, but it’s a worthy look at music history and the creation of folk traditions.
  • A few years ago, I read Studs Terkel’s Hard Times, an oral history of the Great Depression. I was shocked by how familiar the 1930s felt in the midst of the Great Recession, but the Atlantic argues it’s not the ’30s we’re seeing again, it’s the ’20s.