20th of March: Third Spring

Two years of this reading list! Imagine how many miserable articles I’ve shared about Syria that have proven too optimistic. Imagine how many predictions have been linked to that’ll look foolish reading them now. Imagine only gaining, on average, one subscriber every two months!

link at the end of the list

Wanted to share a song off of Kendrick Lamar’s new album because a) It contains some spectacular moments and b) I wanted to look cool posting new Rihanna, new Kanye, and new Kendrick on successive weeks. Alas, I am honour-bound to share what I’m actually listening to and what I actually love, and so we’re back to Carly Rae. Have almost reached the point of blunting this song for myself through over-listening, so while the chorus still soars with wistful joy (idk man not a music writer am I), have a bit of this.

As ever, you can get this reading list every fortnight on the blog or as an email newsletter. Either way is fine, but tell your friends!

  • As we reach the fifth anniversary of the Syrian civil war, this is a decent (if almost certainly representing a Certain Narrative) history of how the revolution become what it is today
  • Thinking about this article, I wondered if there’s ever been a time in my life I’ve read headlines about Iraq that aren’t miserable. This one is next level though, promising an apocalyptic tidal wave and hundreds of thousands of dead.
  • Analysis of what the murder of a Honduran activist implies for the country and a poignant tribute to her life and work
  • Couple of sympathetic left pieces on Corbyn, clear-eyed about the challenges and the failings of the past wittsix months – they say similar things, this one is much longer (too long?) and more thorough, but you can get away with this one imo
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates very good on the colourism involved in the casting of the Nina Simone biopic
  • Twitter’s funny, I think I remember reading, slightly horrified, as James reported this incident when it happened, and now he’s written this excellent piece on “what headbutting a homophobe on a night bus taught me about political violence”
  • Classic BuzzFeed longread, this one goes on a little bit too long, but it’s a fascinating story. An Idaho school so remote and isolated that police can’t reach it in emergencies has installed gun lockers in secret locations around the building and trained all its teachers to use them, and by the end of the story, you kind of understand what they’re going for.
  • Will share anything involving Stevie Wonder tbh, but this is good on contemporary black activism
  • Very easy to make ‘fat person on plane’ jokes, but this is very honest and personal on what it’s like being that fat person
  • The future is so weird and cool – this reporter got to ride shotgun for Google
  • Really fascinating history of the unit of U.S. Army soldiers sent to stop the KKK in a South Carolina county after the Civil War – read this with a Spoons lunch in the middle of a very bad day and emerged at peace with the world

‘nother little interlude here – look how cool they look!

  • There’s a really cool geographically accurate tube map in here that’s quite fun to play with for a bit
  • Don’t necessarily share Hughes’ experiences with Twitter here but quite a nice tribute for its’ tenth anniversary regardless
  • This feature on Michelle Obama’s use of social media to engage is kind of ‘meh’ but look how spectacular she looks in the photos! Also the turnip Vine.
  • Aziz Ansari is kind of sweet on a trip back to India mediated through food
  • Combining veganism with silicon valley tech-utopianism, this story of the start-up replacing animal products should be more annoying than it is
  • Fascinating on what it’s like being a defender (in football) – really captures the moment-to-moment decisions they have to make
  • TBH I half suspect I’ve shared this before but I really can’t bear House of Cards and since it insists on coming back again, I’ll share this on why it’s bad (ish) again.
  • Nice bit of perspective this – humanity’s only a few dozen generations old
  • Needs more Russian lady tankers but cool photos of women in WWII – that’s where I got them photos up the page from. Not sure about this experiment in illustration but there we go.

And there we have it! See you in April! xxx

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