The Internet is Exploding: 10 Must-Read Articles This Week

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I felt kind of neutral about the internet this week….? Highlights: We are still talking about Crazy Rich Asians, Lorraine Hansberry and James Baldwin had a radical friendship, Noname is making everyone learn her name, Judith beheading Holofernes is relevant–not like women weren’t already “aflame with fury,” Anita Hill offers advice on the Kavanaugh hearing, the way we think about obesity is wrong, Ranch dressing is America, the Gosar family isn’t afraid to put you on BLAST, and Kevin Hart doesn’t fuck with animals… he knows how black people die in horror movies.

1. n + 1: How Asia Got Crazy Rich

Reviews of Crazy Rich Asians have been my favorite thing about the internet since the movie was released. The film has engendered nuanced conversations on race and representation in the film industry, and has highlighted the extent to which audiences want to see films critical of the world they represent.

I am greatly lacking in my knowledge of Asian history and the Asian diaspora, and reviews of this film have helped to fill some of my gaps. The film has been championed for its diversity, but “without dismissing the film’s significance for so many, it should be recognized that the ‘Crazy Rich’ and ‘Asian’ in its title are performing different roles in the story. On the one hand, ‘Asian’ provides political cover to ‘Crazy Rich,’ as the film markets itself as a celebration of diversity rather than a celebration of the elite in an age of historic inequality, including within Asia and for Asian Americans themselves. On the other hand, neither is the ‘Crazy Rich’ incidental, for to be wealthy is what marks the Asian characters as modern and relatable, even endearing.”

2. BuzzFeed: The Radical Friendship Of Lorraine Hansberry And James Baldwin

I love learning about the relationships between historical figures. I love reading old letters and learning the language of a specific relationship, and the background characters in some’s life.

Lorraine Hansberry and James Baldwin were literary titans of their time, and, perhaps more importantly to each other, intellectual partners. “An intellectual friendship can take many forms. It can consist of long conversations into the night about books, arguments, and art. Intellectual partners read together and write together.” Hansberry and Baldwin did all of these things together.

Baldwin describes that they  “spent a lot of time arguing about history and tremendously related subjects in her Bleecker Street, and later Waverly Place, flats. And often, just when I was certain that she was about to throw me out as being altogether too rowdy a type, she would stand up, her hands on her hips (for these down-home sessions she always wore slacks), and pick up my empty glass as though she intended to throw it at me. Then she would walk into the kitchen, saying, with a haughty toss of her head, “Really, Jimmy. You ain’t right, child!” With which stern put-down she would hand me another drink and launch into a brilliant analysis of just why I wasn’t ‘right.’”

Hansberry and Baldwin could “swim in each other’s imaginations,” a kind of relationship most of us will never know.

3. The Fader: Here Comes Noname

Chicago rapper Noname has been popping up all over for the past few weeks in advance of the release of her second album, Room 25Fatimah Warner, a 26-year-old from Chicago now living in LA,  differs than a lot of other contemporary rappers in that her style “focuses on very specific storytelling, post-traditionalist raps with complex rhyme schemes and nary an 808 in sight.” Her music is warm, hazy, and something you can listen to year-round, a rarity for me.

Fatimah spends her time hanging out with “young comics, people you’d recognize from HBO shows and Comedy Central appearances,” and still and independent artists. Her independence isn’t because she is “a control freak,” but because she doesn’t want to be held accountable to anyone. She said “I just don’t like having to ask anyone for anything in terms of finances. I don’t like having to wait for someone to approve where I can get my idea off… Like, if I want to make an album and I want an orchestra, I’m gonna figure out how to do that. I don’t want to wait around for people to greenlight my creativity.”  

As gleaned from this article, Fatimah seems to live sort of a fantastical life, but if there is one thing we know is true, the labor of artists is always understated.

4. Current Affairs: Ranked: 10 Paintings of Judith Beheading Holofernes

Casual conversations about art are my favorite form of critique. “The genre of Silly Paintings Rankings was pioneered by the now-defunct website The Toast, and specifically by Daniel Mallory Ortberg, one of the funniest human beings alive.” This list, while perhaps not as funny as Ortberg, is still very entertaining, and the choice of Judith beheading Holofernes is timely.

5. The Cut: And You Thought Trump Voters Were Mad: American women are furious — and our politics and culture will never be the same.

Is it a moment or a movement? This might be one of the greatest questions of our time, especially in reference to #Metoo. Women have “staged teachers’ strikes, who’ve knocked powerful men off their perches at television networks and in the Senate; it’s often female elected officials who’ve linked arms with the angry masses,” and since the 2016 presidential election “the partisan gender gap has become a chasm, a fault line splitting open under the pressure of so much rage. Based on polls going into the midterms, the gap has grown to 33 points, largely because white women — a majority of whom voted for Trump in 2016 and have supported Republicans in all but two elections since 1952 — have shifted toward backing Democrats over Republicans, 52-38; among millennials, 39 points separate women who favor Democrats and men who prefer Republicans.” Women are upset and they are “toppling men who’ve occupied seats of power since God was a boy.”

I don’t know how many well-meaning white women I have met that this article is referring. So many white women still can’t deal with the fact that Trump is president, AND that their demographic played a large role in his election. This article gets it right that women are pissed, but from what I have noticed, the shift has mostly been from white women after realizing that their rights are being infringed upon.

Also, the fact that this article reads, at least to me, like it is written for white women the use of angry and mad doesn’t always sit right. The article briefly mentions Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, who “has noticed these racial demographics, of course, but she says she has no interest in turning away people who share her movement’s goals. That doesn’t mean, however, that her anger at white women for excluding women of color for generations isn’t still ‘palpable.'” Garza says “what has changed is that I understand that the coalition that is going to save us has to be much bigger than what it is. I want people to get free. I’m mad as hell about a whole bunch of things, every single day. But I want to be free more than I want to be mad.” White women are allowed to act on and display their anger in the name of freedom, Graza isn’t, and for her, a choice must be made.

This is an interesting article, but I also have a lot of thoughts and feelings about it that I have not quite worked through.

6. The New York Times: Anita Hill: How to Get the Kavanaugh Hearings Right

In 1991 Anita Hill testified against Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearing to be a Supreme Court Justice on the grounds that he sexually harassed her. “The phrase ‘they just don’t get it’ became a popular way of describing senators’ reaction to sexual violence,” and Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Today, Christine Blasey Ford is doing the same thing against Brett Kavanaugh. “With years of hindsight, mounds of evidence of the prevalence and harm that sexual violence causes individuals and our institutions, as well as a Senate with more women than ever, ‘not getting it’ isn’t an option for our elected representatives. In 2018, our senators must get it right.”

7. Huffington Post: Everything You Know About Obesity is Wrong

I have learned a lot about the healthcare profession from my medical student friends. The thing that I have found most interesting is how much bedside manner plays into how much I trust a doctor. I have some friends with less medical experience, that I would be more trusting of simply because of the way we talk to each other, and the things we talk about. This is to say that some of my friends are better at understanding societal barriers that different people face allowing them to see people as individuals, and thus can use their skills to alleviate anxieties people might have about the seeking medical help.

“Doctors are supposed to be trusted authorities, a patient’s primary gateway to healing. But for fat people, they are a source of unique and persistent trauma.” Most obese people that go to doctors have similar stories of “rolled eyes, skeptical questions, treatments denied or delayed or revoked,” and are consistently described using more negative terms, and often receive shorter appointments. But “Studies have found that anywhere from one-third to three-quarters of people classified as obese are metabolically healthy” however, “obesity, we are told, is a personal failing that strains our health care system,” and we rarely talk about the “lean unhealthy.” This is a fascinating read.

8. The New York Times: Ranch Nation

I grew up in the Midwest, and as a child ranch was probably my favorite dressing. Now, I usually opt for oil and vinegar, or sometimes just vinegar, but I still can’t help but keep a bottle of ranch in my fridge.

Ranch is the quintessential American dressing, “consider that ranch dressing is already called ‘American dressing’ in many European supermarkets, and that the Doritos flavor we know as ‘Cool Ranch’ goes by ‘Cool American.’” Nothing will ever replace ranch dressing in my heart and the joy I get at seeing the countless shelves dedicated to the condiment in midwestern grocery stores.

9. YouTube: A Family Defends Its Honor

LMAOOOOOOO. Conservative US Congressman Paul Gosar is up for reelection in Arizona’s 4th district this November. Six of his siblings released an ad condemning him, and supporting his opponent, David Brill.

For some reason this is slightly reminiscent of a viagra ad…? Idk but it is hilarious.  

10. YouTube: Kevin Hart Is Terrified of Robert Irwin’s Animals

Robert Irwin, the late Steve Irwin’s son, stopped by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon with some animals. Kevin Hart was also there. Here are some highlights:

[Fallon and Irwin try to convince Hart to hold a snake]
[Audience cheers]
Hart: Let me tell you what I have gotten really good at in my life, saying NO.

Hart: My ass is sweating, Jimmy… I got so much sweat drippin’ down my ass!

Hart: This is how black people die in horror movies.

Hart to Irwin: You betta say your ass over there.

Fallon: He is 14 years old.

Hart: I don’t care.

*All images taken from reference articles*

Have a suggestion for next week? Email with the subject line “The Internet is Exploding.”

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