I read a lot of articles and since this blog is about documenting what I read, I thought I’d share the most outstanding and thought-provoking ones here. I wasn’t sure at first how to go about doing this. I considered making a separate page for the articles, but then decided to include them in my quarterly wrap-ups. Now I’ve changed my mind again and have decided to give them their own wrap-up post. For now, the plan is to do these posts quarterly.
The list is kinda long so I’ll highlight their topics. Hopefully a few will interest you. Well then, here they are in no particular order:
The Harry Potter-verse
Those who’re tuned in to Harry Potter updates are probably aware of the new stories Rowling recently published on Pottermore that expands the Harry Potter universe to the Americas. Well, there has been a backlash as Rowling has excluded some key facts in her stories. I haven’t yet read those stories but I found this article on them interesting.
Well, This Was Never Going to Go Well: J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Leaves Britain (ladygeekgirl.wordpress.com)
This article offers a different take on the conversation on White privilege. The writer is White but grew up poor so she did not have as many opportunities as other Whites who were raised middle- or high-classed.
Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person (huffingtonpost.com)
“Poverty colors nearly everything about your perspective on opportunities for advancement in life.”
“The concept of intersectionality recognizes that people can be privileged in some ways and definitely not privileged in others. There are many different types of privilege, not just skin-color privilege, that impact the way people can move through the world or are discriminated against.”
I wasn’t sure if I should share this article or not because it’s behind a paywall, but the topic is great for discussion. The article’s title says it all — Should Campus Leaders Ever Disinvite a Controversial Speaker? With the increase in student activism these days, I think colleges and universities are afraid to take chances. However, I think controversial views should be discussed. Discussing them doesn’t mean that the institution is promoting them. We aren’t helping anything by shunning and ignoring unpopular views and opinions. Plus, colleges and universities are supposed to be spaces that encourage discussion whether controversial or not.
Should Campus Leaders Ever Disinvite a Controversial Speaker (chronicle.com)
“You can’t really learn and grow if you can’t hear things you don’t agree with.” — Christina Paxson, president of Brown University
I didn’t entirely agree with the writer here but I found this article interesting. I see the concept of “safe spaces” as a trend and I don’t think it helps. Yes, I agree that a person should be able to share their views in a discussion without being attacked by others, but I don’t think opposing or unpopular views should be excluded from a discussion. Those opposing views might be hurtful but I think it’s important to understand why those views are believed and what fuels them.
How ‘Safe Spaces’ Stifle Ideas (chronicle.com)
“Dialogue is encouraged so long as it is rooted in approved suppositions and clearly headed where we must all want it to go.”
A quick story
Umm… I like this one but I don’t know how to say what it’s about in a few sentences. But, there is a guy, a girl, postcards, and books.
Watercolor Romance (medium.com)
“I thought of love like blending watercolors. Like dipping a brush in water, taking one color, and mixing it with another. The resulting hue wasn’t something easily comparable. The base elements were different — naturally, so were the results. Whether one was nicer than the other was a matter of personal preference.
Love then, was the image two people painted with the watercolors they’d mixed. Whether it was pretty, or bland, or ugly — who could really say?
Art is fickle like that.”
Black women and motherhood
This one is a quick reflection on being childless at 40. The writer discusses how people react to her being childless and the expectations placed on Black women.
An art break
I saw these cool illustrations on deMilked a month or so ago. The artist, Brian Polett, aka Pixel-Pusha, drew these images under the influence of various drugs for 20 days. The illustrations are crazy. I love them. Not the drugs part though.
Polett drew the image below on day 15 while on MDMA. For more of Polett’s work, visit his website.
The New York Times did a profile on a few student activists that I enjoyed reading. I agree with Josh Freeman’s opinion here. He’s a student at Princeton University. I keep hearing about student’s petitioning to rename buildings and such and though I get why they are doing it, I don’t entirely agree that a change of name will help. Yes, I believe we shouldn’t honor people for the ills they’ve done and there should be more diversity on campuses, but I’m not crazy about all this renaming and removals and calls to suspend/fire faculty members.
“I disagree with those who want to rename the Woodrow Wilson building and college. Wilson is a part of Princeton’s history. We can’t erase this, no matter what. We have to discuss the good and the bad with his legacy.”
Did I share this article before? I’m not sure if I did. It was one of the first articles I read this year. It’s about the current trend to proclaim that you’re going to read diversely. The writer hits many of the thoughts I had when the new year started and people began making TBRs and such.
“Justification for obviously rewarding acts is always unnecessary, and in the case of reading “diverse” writers, the reward can be meaningfully deflated by the announcement of the act itself.”
Everyone has probably read this already, the interview with Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, aka El Chapo. The article was funny to me because I found it hard to believe. I think it was heavily edited or something. I enjoyed the backlash on it on journalism ethics.
El Chapo Speaks (rollingstone.com)
Did you watch Tyler Perry’s modern musical retelling of Jesus’ story, The Passion? Well, this article is a critique of it. It’s good reading. I saw only bits and pieces of the musical. I thought the performance was good (my mom thoroughly enjoyed it) but I was a bit critical of it too.
The Passion: A Perfect Bourgeois Jesus (theatlantic.com)
An art break
Here’s another I found on deMilked. (Can you tell that I waste a lot of time on that website?) It’s a comic series by Idalia Candelas, a Mexico-based artist, about being single. The series is called “Postmodern Loneliness” and is drawn using pencil, ink, and watercolor. For more of Candelas’s work, visit her website.
From the deMilked post:
“The theme of the loneliness has been recurring in my drawings,” Candelas told Mic. “I like to show women who exist in solitude but do not suffer. They are not depressed or crying. Rather [they] are safe, exalting in the sense of enjoying the company of just herself.”
Black women, mental health, and public housing
A great article on about growing up in public housing with a mentally ill, single mother and the lack of adequate governmental aid.
Gods in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Sandman
Here’s another article from Lady Geek Girl and Friends that I enjoyed. I haven’t yet read any of Gaiman’s work, but I enjoyed reading this article. Actually, the article made me even more curious about his work, especially American Gods. The article is discusses how deities are employed in Gaiman’s work and what that reveals about what we believe.
Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: Faith-Fueled Gods in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Sandman (ladygeekgirl.wordpress.com)
Do writers make great undercover agents?
In this article, the writer talks about applying for the CIA and how her skills as a writer help. It’s a good read, but by the end I was unsure if it’s fiction or not, which made me like it even more.
MFA vs. CIA (laphamsquarterly.org)
Living a creative life
Some tips from Elizabeth Gilbert on how to live a creative life. I read this shortly before starting on Big Magic. If you’ve read the book, then you’ll be familiar with the tips.
Fear is Boring, and Other Tips for Living a Creative Life (ideas.ted.com)
The writer discusses how some bestseller lists work. Pretty interesting.
That’s it. 🙂