You don’t often hear exhortations to read the comments, but Anne Helen Petersen is right: Hillbilly Elegy writer J.D. Vance is awfully proud of himself for moving to Columbus, Ohio, an incredibly wealthy town home to some of the nation’s biggest corporations and one of its largest state universities. It’s a bit hilarious to read, having grown up in Ohio’s poorest county. I was a privileged faculty brat, but I had to drive two hours to a decent mall and the airport just like everyone else. Live in Lancaster or Gloucester for a while and get back to us, friend.
- Honestly, I want to put these links where no one can miss them. “It’s Time for Intersectionality to Include the Jews,” and if that makes you angry, think about why. Benjamin Gladstone’s op-ed takes the view that Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour claims there can be no overlap between feminism and Zionism; I urge you again to read David Schraub’s argument that that’s not actually clear. Related, please see the Nib asking five Jewish artists to take on Holocaust imagery in contemporary politics, particularly Leela Corman’s contribution.
- If you want a really terrifying article about religion, see the New Republic’s “Amazing Disgrace: How Donald Trump Hijacked the Religious Right.” It’s less about Trump’s maneuvering (Republicans have been boosting their numbers with the evangelical Right for decades) than the roots of right-wing American evangelism in Southern nationalism and racism, and how the two are becoming married again.
- Iranian-American writer Porochista Khakpour writes about the Persian New Year, and why this Nowruz is different. Pair with the Chicago Sun-Times’ report on MENA-Americans having second thoughts on the new census option for which they fought so hard.
- I will always read stories about weird urban farming, whether it’s in abandoned shipping crates or hydroponic fish tanks in a garage. The New Food Economy has an interesting piece on the futurism of vertical farming, and why it won’t bring us to a techno utopia.
- Oof, I’m sorry, this is all hard stuff. Luckily, the world still has Jenny Slate and Chris Evans, who are no longer a couple, but Slate makes me wish they were in this wonderful profile in Vulture. And of course, she’s the focus of the article, not him or her relationship; Jenny Slate is a literal piece of sunshine and I hope her life is brilliant.
Stay brave, friends.
Oh my god, what has happened since Tuesday? I mean, there’s the Heartbeat Bill in my native Ohio, which criminalizes abortion at a point before most women even know they’re pregnant. There’s Trump getting the National Park Service to deny permits for weeks around the Lincoln Memorial to prevent the Million Woman March next month. Apparently Trump also just said that internment wasn’t bad because FDR?
Stay brave, friends.
I love Pocket — I really do. Being able to save longer stories for later, especially in the stripped-down, no-ads version that lets you best concentrate on the ideas and images, is great. But I have outdone myself in much the same way I have outdone myself rediscovering how much I love the public library system: I just have too many things I want to read or share right now. This week has been a good week for big stories! That book review about Hitler that’s a deadpan subtweet of Donald Trump; that gorgeous Michael Chabon piece about his high fashion–loving son, with that perfect, perfect ending; that profile of Maryland state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby, which a friend was raving about on Facebook, so I saved it.
I’m a bit overwhelmed. So we’ll get to those after the weekend. For now, glad as I am for an embarrassment of riches, here are some other good, important stories that have popped up over the last week.
- I already linked NPR’s live transcript and fact-check of the first presidential debate on Monday, but it’s an invaluable resource. Adam Gopnik of the New Yorker has surely written the most straightforward, punch-to-the-heart commentary about what that proved, in an ongoing way, about Donald Trump and his fundamental badness.
- Although the Chicago Tribune endorsed Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson for president today (a poor choice even aside from his stance on the issues), the paper can still publish good opinion pieces when presented with the opportunity. I suspect I’m a little bit older than Charles Johnson, but I recognize what he describes in “What millennials know: We can’t return to Rockwell’s America.”
- My parents never let me play video games, although I did have a computer I spent endless hours on, out of the fresh air and sunlight, writing epics about the American teenaged girl whom all four Beatles fall in love with. However, the BioShock games have always intrigued me, not least for their amazing visual language and use of mid-century popular music. David Sims, writing for the Atlantic, talks about how BioShock “mocked video game morality.” Pair this with Imaginary Worlds’ episode earlier this year on Undertale, which takes a totally different approach.
- My love of baseball pretty much starts and stops with A League of Their Own, but I can’t help but be heartsick at the news of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez’s death this week in a boating accident. Ryan Cortes, writing for the Undefeated, puts who and what we’ve lost into context.
- There’s a journalism school at the state university in my hometown, so I’ve seen a lot of poverty porn, especially from photojournalism students, about Athens, Ohio. Little did I expect this week to hear WNYC travel to the poorest county in Ohio to see what all the media attention has done for Appalachians most in need. (Spoiler alert, straight from the mouth of the dad of childhood friends: not much.) This is an ongoing series, so I’m excited to see what the On the Media crew will tell us about the rest of the state — even if Ohio is no longer the bellwether it’s cracked up to be.