Another week, another list of 10 things I felt worth sharing from said week:
- Nino Cipri on why bad dad redemption arcs need to die. I cannot recommend reading this essay in full enough. Some choice quotes I felt worth pulling out:
These redemption arcs inevitably end with the fathers’ self-sacrifice after spending most of the movie ignoring, neglecting, or abusing the kids under their care. They die, because death is the only way we imagine fatherly failures being forgiven. And we applaud them for it, the writers and the dead dads both. It’s meant to be cathartic. In fact, it is bullshit.
… The children in these movies are only ever an afterthought to someone else’s character development. It’s like the concept of fridging was turned inside-out: the children live and the men die. But men get the spotlight, the good death scene, the redemption. The children get the consequences and the lifelong trauma, but that all happens off-screen. I guess it’s not as compelling.
- Shing Yin Khor: “I Do Not Want to Write Today: A Comic.”
- Mic Wright’s analysis of how hypocritical columnists are exploiting David Amess’ horrific death: “The Daily Terrorgraph: British newspapers really want their readers to be afraid…” This quote in particular stood out to me:
In the wake of David Amess’ death, a festival of false memory and hypocrisy has been declared in Westminster. We’re meant to accept columnists who denigrate and despise on a daily basis are now a legion of Dali Lamas and politicians with records of cruelty and spite must be patted gently on the head.
- Twitter can be a cesspit, but it can also be a fun place to enjoy the drama and learn stuff. Occasionally, drama and learning overlap, such as discovering six YA authors attempted to launch an NFT-based writing project. NFTs fall into a category of things that become more stupid the more I learn about them. Thankfully, this project has been scrapped. But what I most appreciated was Megan Manzano’s thread breaking down exactly why this project was a problem. (Reminder: NFTs are an even more insidious form of grift than regular crypto products).
- This superb essay from Alex Sujong Laughlin on ghostwriting. We really do need to kill the myth of the singular genius.
- Terra Field on Netflix’s new Dave Chappelle special The Closer and why he is not the problem but rather a symptom of the wider problem in our culture:
Dave is not, and has never been, the cause of this problem — he is a symptom of it. That Dave believes the things he says and can say them with relative impunity is a result of the culture we live in: a culture that marginalizes and devalues trans people.
- Whenever George Pointon asks his class of six-year-olds a question, it always leads to a great Twitter thread.
- Maria Popova has rebranded Brain Pickings — one of my favourite newsletters — to The Marginalian. An apt name and her first issue under the new name is a strong one. I particularly enjoyed reading the final section, which explores Chekhov’s insight into the most disquieting and liberating truth about love.
- Recently, I re-watched The Blair Witch Project with some friends. One of them sent me Ranker’s article covering the various promotional stunts that made people believe it was all real. I found it interesting that they pioneered a few things that are typical of what became viral marketing.
- Lastly, Ash Sarkar for Novara Media: “Why Owning Stuff Is Better Than Working – Abolish Landlords.”