Dragon Mountain

Forum => Linkies => Topic started by: Bettytron on January 09, 2012, 10:42 am



Title: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Bettytron on January 09, 2012, 10:42 am
This is a repository for the best long-form writing you come across on the internet.

-Long is subjective, but use your judgment. Something that takes you a whole lunch break to read, or a piece you really dig into some evening at home.

-Any genre qualifies. Investigative journalism, personal experience essays, fiction, anything.

-Avoid paywalls, if you can. Supporting great writing is great! But if you share the piece here, it's best if we can all access it for free. The New Yorker puts about half of their articles behind a paywall, but you can buy access to specific issues for about $5, so that's worth it sometimes. Harper's is great, but the whole magazine is behind a paywall and you have to buy a full subscription, which is probably too much to ask of everyone. So free is ideal, and if there is some purchase requirement, note it in your post. Just use your judgment.

-Include a brief description of the piece, or a relevant quote, or just why you think it's worth reading. Discussion is good! Maybe put the linked headline in bold, too, to help visually separate posts with new pieces and discussion posts.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Bettytron on January 09, 2012, 10:53 am
A Young Woman Struggles With Oxy Addiction and Recovery (http://www.tampabay.com/features/humaninterest/article1206405.ece)

I read this one this morning. Prescription drug abuse is a rapidly growing problem, especially in Florida. The Tampa Bay Times follows this young mother, Stacy, for a year, while she struggles with addiction, rehab, jail, and halfway houses. The article also looks at the different tactics the courts are using to focus on treatment, rather than punishment.

Quote
A few years ago, drug court Judge Farnell started seeing more and more women charged with prescription drug abuse. By 2009, almost half of her drug court defendants were women.

That year, Pinellas County received a $900,000, three-year federal grant to fund substance abuse treatment for women in drug court.

That's how Tuesdays became "Ladies' Day."

Instead of punishing the women, the judge offers them a chance to start over. They come to court once a month. She creates incentives for them: Do yoga, run a 5K, quit smoking, and we'll waive your $52 monthly probation fee. She makes sure they know how to get a bus pass. If she gets a bad vibe about a boyfriend, she'll order a woman to steer clear of him.

She tells defendants, "You can do this. It's going to be hard. But it will be worth it."

When a woman slips, the judge scolds her and sends her back to jail to detox. Then she offers another chance.

The article also digs into the mentality of addiction and how it affects the people around it. Fascinating, compassionate, and heartwrenching.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Technohawk on January 11, 2012, 05:39 am
The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains (http://www.fiftytwostories.com/?p=1338) by Neil Gaiman.

This is a novelette about a man who hires a guide to take him to a cave filled with cursed gold.

Quote
You ask me if I can forgive myself? I can forgive myself for many things. For where I left him. For what I did. But I will not forgive myself for the year that I hated my daughter, when I believed her to have run away, perhaps to the city. During that year I forbade her name to be mentioned, and if her name entered my prayers when I prayed, it was to ask that she would one day learn the meaning of what she had done, of the dishonour that she had brought to my family, of the red that ringed her mother’s eyes.

I hate myself for that, and nothing will ease that, not even what happened that night, on the side of the mountain.

I enjoyed the story and have read it a few times over the past year or so.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: oball on January 11, 2012, 06:40 am
There is an annual arts and music festival (http://www.mofo.net.au/) in my hometown, and last year I got to see Neil Gaiman read that story on stage, along with illustrations projected onto the backdrop and a string quartet playing backing music specially composed for the occasion.

It was pretty awesome.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Citizen Snips on January 11, 2012, 07:55 am
At the risk of turning this into a Neil Gaiman thread (wouldn't that be great), here's A Study In Emerald. (http://www.neilgaiman.com/mediafiles/exclusive/shortstories/emerald.pdf) It's a fantastic mash-up between Sherlock Holmes and H.P. Lovecraft. It's the first story from Fragile Things, but even if you've read it already, this version has a cool aesthetic element to it.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Kybard on January 11, 2012, 08:20 am
I read this a while back, but if you have any interest in the cavalcade of bullshit that is college football (or even if you don't, really, because I don't) this Atlantic piece (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/10/the-shame-of-college-sports/8643/) is very much worth a read.

Quote
Slavery analogies should be used carefully. College athletes are not slaves. Yet to survey the scene—corporations and universities enriching themselves on the backs of uncompensated young men, whose status as “student-athletes” deprives them of the right to due process guaranteed by the Constitution—is to catch an unmistakable whiff of the plantation. Perhaps a more apt metaphor is colonialism: college sports, as overseen by the NCAA, is a system imposed by well-meaning paternalists and rationalized with hoary sentiments about caring for the well-being of the colonized. But it is, nonetheless, unjust. The NCAA, in its zealous defense of bogus principles, sometimes destroys the dreams of innocent young athletes.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Sergeant Laws on January 11, 2012, 12:30 pm
Longform.org (http://longform.org/) has a large collection of nonfiction essays that are worth a read.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Commodore 64 on January 11, 2012, 01:41 pm
I very much enjoy David Foster Wallace's Consider the Lobster (http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/2000s/2004/08/consider_the_lobster), which appeared in Gourmet magazine a few years ago.

Ostensibly it's about the Maine Lobster Festival, and while it starts out with some pretty funny stuff about the festival itself, and some interesting and usually funny observations about festivals in general and the existential problems of tourism:

Quote
To be a mass tourist, for me, is to become a pure late-date American: alien, ignorant, greedy for something you cannot ever have, disappointed in a way you can never admit. It is to spoil, by way of sheer ontology, the very unspoiledness you are there to experience. It is to impose yourself on places that in all noneconomic ways would be better, realer, without you. It is, in lines and gridlock and transaction after transaction, to confront a dimension of yourself that is as inescapable as it is painful: As a tourist, you become economically significant but existentially loathsome, an insect on a dead thing.

The real focus of the essay is about an uncomfortable question that is not as easily solved as many diners probably would like: can lobsters feel pain? The festival tries to hand-wave it away by explaining that lobsters cannot physiologically experience the phenomenon we call pain, while ignoring the ontological or even psychological aspects of the question (or, more broadly, without considering that when people ask that question it might be more accurate to consider the broader notion of "suffering" rather than the literal definition of "pain").

Quote
In any event, at the Festival, standing by the bubbling tanks outside the World’s Largest Lobster Cooker, watching the fresh-caught lobsters pile over one another, wave their hobbled claws impotently, huddle in the rear corners, or scrabble frantically back from the glass as you approach, it is difficult not to sense that they’re unhappy, or frightened, even if it’s some rudimentary version of these feelings …and, again, why does rudimentariness even enter into it? Why is a primitive, inarticulate form of suffering less urgent or uncomfortable for the person who’s helping to inflict it by paying for the food it results in? I’m not trying to give you a PETA-like screed here—at least I don’t think so. I’m trying, rather, to work out and articulate some of the troubling questions that arise amid all the laughter and saltation and community pride of the Maine Lobster Festival. The truth is that if you, the Festival attendee, permit yourself to think that lobsters can suffer and would rather not, the MLF can begin to take on aspects of something like a Roman circus or medieval torture-fest.

Does that comparison seem a bit much? If so, exactly why? Or what about this one: Is it not possible that future generations will regard our own present agribusiness and eating practices in much the same way we now view Nero’s entertainments or Aztec sacrifices? My own immediate reaction is that such a comparison is hysterical, extreme—and yet the reason it seems extreme to me appears to be that I believe animals are less morally important than human beings; and when it comes to defending such a belief, even to myself, I have to acknowledge that (a) I have an obvious selfish interest in this belief, since I like to eat certain kinds of animals and want to be able to keep doing it, and (b) I have not succeeded in working out any sort of personal ethical system in which the belief is truly defensible instead of just selfishly convenient.

I love the way that Wallace approaches the question (as he did with all his work) from a variety of scientific and philosophical viewpoints, and admits that the answer he settles on is an uncomfortable one and probably arises more from his selfish interest in the answer than from an actual preponderance of the data. It's not really a secret that people do this more often than we'd like to admit, and even outside the realm of this specific question I think it's refreshing to see such an honest admission of that conflict.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Bettytron on January 11, 2012, 02:28 pm
Oh yes, Wallace's non-fiction is incredible. If you read that piece and like it, it's worth getting the book by the same name. His essays on John McCain and on the annual AVN award ceremony (the Academy Awards of porn) and it's expo are worth the price alone.

I saw some links to that college football article when it came out but never got around to it; I've bookmarked it now, along with the Gaiman stories (I've still only read Fragile Things and Anansi Boys, and need to expand that posthaste).

These are all awesome, guys.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Kybard on January 12, 2012, 10:02 am
I read this (http://www.stephenjdubner.com/journalism/bagelman.html) yesterday and it's pretty great. A 2004 piece, written by Stephen J. Dubner (Freakonomics), about an economist turned bagel delivery man.

Quote
A key fact of white-collar crime is that we hear about only the very slim fraction of people who are caught. Most embezzlers lead quiet and theoretically happy lives; employees who steal company property are rarely detected. With street crime, meanwhile, that is not the case. A mugging or a burglary or a murder is usually counted whether or not the criminal is caught. A street crime has a victim, who typically reports the crime to the police, which generates data, which in turn generate thousands of academic papers by criminologists, sociologists and economists. But white-collar crime presents no obvious victim. Whom, exactly, did the masters of Enron steal from? And how can you measure something if you don't know to whom it happened, or with what frequency, or in what magnitude? Paul F.'s bagel business was different. It did present a victim. The victim was Paul F.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Gudamor on January 12, 2012, 08:38 pm
I forced Driscoll to read about the Gimli Glider (http://www.damninteresting.com/the-gimli-glider/) while on his flight yesterday.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Gudamor on January 14, 2012, 02:54 pm
A story about deep cave diving  (http://www.outsideonline.com/templates/Outside_Print_Template?content=123280813) (1:50:45 PM) soberpiano: "guaranteed to make you feel all panicky and awful"

Also a posting (http://www.deepcave.com/images/Boesmansgat_Dive_28th_Oct_2004.pdf) from his website.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Bettytron on January 23, 2012, 01:03 pm

Lucky Girl (http://www.guernicamag.com/features/1615/lucky_girl/)

A memoir piece by a woman who sought an abortion in the early 1960s, and the difficulty and danger she faced due to its illegality.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: BSam on January 24, 2012, 12:36 am
There is an annual arts and music festival (http://www.mofo.net.au/) in my hometown, and last year I got to see Neil Gaiman read that story on stage, along with illustrations projected onto the backdrop and a string quartet playing backing music specially composed for the occasion.

It was pretty awesome.

Just have to say, I was there, it was awesome.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: HyperGlavin on February 20, 2012, 10:14 pm
Here's a good one from the Columbia Journalism Review: When the 99% had a paper (http://www.cjr.org/essay/when_the_99_had_a_paper.php)

Quote
With Field’s money and Ingersoll’s ideas, PM made quite a splash. Reporters like I.F. Stone wrote hard-hitting exposés, revealing, among other things, how US companies shipped oil to Hitler’s Germany through Franco’s Spain. The paper also reported that the Red Cross segregated blood donations by race, and it took on big business, isolationist Charles Lindbergh, and the Catholic Church. Cartoonists like Theodor Geisel (later known as Dr. Seuss) lampooned bullies, and Hodding Carter critiqued the press, while Max Lerner handled most of the editorials. Margaret Bourke-White and Weegee shot photos, and Heywood Broun, Ernest Hemingway, Ben Hecht, and Dorothy Parker all contributed articles.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Fiction on February 28, 2012, 04:00 pm
Here's a really good article on one journalist's experience in the online shipping industry. Spoilers: It's not a good one. (http://motherjones.com/politics/2012/02/mac-mcclelland-free-online-shipping-warehouses-labor?page=1)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Illiterati on March 17, 2012, 10:18 am
I have nothing to add to this thread but I implore you all to ADD SOME MORE LINKS I need to read gosh darn it


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Gudamor on March 17, 2012, 12:25 pm
In addition, HOPE has achieved something rare in the American criminal justice system, proving that it is actually possible to enforce the conditions of "community corrections" programs: probation and its cousin, parole.  (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2009/0907.kleiman.html)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Molh on March 18, 2012, 01:31 am
Bertrand Russell explains how the myth of the nobility of work, happily perpetuated by a class that does little of it, keeps us willfully enslaved. (http://rtnt.tumblr.com/post/18817566934/the-false-nobility-of-work-in-1932-bertrand)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: DoctorShenanigans on March 23, 2012, 03:39 pm
The Art of Survival: Why Poor People Have the Best Anti-Poverty Ideas (http://www.good.is/post/the-art-of-survival/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+good%2Flbvp+%28GOOD+Main+RSS+Feed%29&utm_content=Google+Reader)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Bettytron on March 23, 2012, 04:36 pm
I posted this in Depressing News Links awhile ago, but it's an incredible read and an amazing example of brilliant journalism.

Trial by Fire: Did Texas execute an innocent man? (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/09/07/090907fa_fact_grann?currentPage=all)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Remington Lonespear on March 23, 2012, 04:57 pm
I must have read that article five or six times since you first posted it, and now I'm reading it again.  It's really, really good.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: oball on March 23, 2012, 05:30 pm
Man, fuck Texas.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: DoctorShenanigans on March 25, 2012, 08:46 pm
Why Misogynists Make Great Informants: How Gender Violence on the Left Enables State Violence in Radical Movements (http://inciteblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/why-misogynists-make-great-informants-how-gender-violence-on-the-left-enables-state-violence-in-radical-movements/)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: HyperGlavin on April 26, 2012, 02:06 am
Six degrees of aggregation - How The Huffington Post ate the Internet (http://m.cjr.org/164228/show/580afd1b91d60a566eafce7c269f54da/)

It's ten pages long (I've linked the single-page view) and is about a subject that many people dislike, yet this makes for a good read.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: StumpNasty on April 26, 2012, 11:51 am
I forgot where I was linked this, but I really like this story. (http://shii.org/knows/American_Dream)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Raconteur on May 14, 2012, 08:03 pm
Longform (http://bestof2011.longform.org/) has a list of the best essays from 2011, which is awesome. The site itself was linked earlier, but I would urge anybody who hasn't been on that site to go through it and read everything. They have lists of the best essays sorted by genre, and they are all pretty awesome.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Bettytron on May 22, 2012, 09:41 am
New York (http://nymag.com/news/features/parent-health-care-2012-5/) has a long piece on long-term care of the elderly and terminally ill. The most chilling part, for me, is the financial horror of deciding how much of these health costs and insurance costs are even worth it, having to make those kinds of calls on a financial basis.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Liz on June 26, 2012, 10:27 pm
There are a few Stephen King short stories online that I've found hosted on websites.

Here's 1408 (http://www.silveraspen.net/1408.html) by him and here's (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yL6ILoGksq0) King reading 1408 on youtube. It takes a bit to read.

Here's another called "The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet" (http://www.freebooks2u.com/horror/The_Ballad_of_the_Flexible_Bullet/) that's about going insane, also quite long.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: HyperGlavin on July 22, 2012, 08:43 am
Our gullible press: Ryan Holiday explains how the singular pursuit of traffic makes online media suckers for fake news (http://www.cjr.org/behind_the_news/media_manipulator_ryan_holiday.php)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Anselmo on July 22, 2012, 11:28 pm
You guys need to read this and that's all I'll say.

How (not) to communicate new scientific information (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2005.05797.x/full)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Remington Lonespear on July 26, 2012, 01:19 pm
This isn't all that long but I couldn't think of a better place to share it.  This is an excellent article detailing the history of the technological marvel that was Nick Arcade. (http://splitsider.com/2012/04/keeping-score-with-nick-arcade/)  It's really interesting because the show seems in retrospect to be a gimmicky and simple thing but this article illustrates exactly how difficult and groundbreaking it was to actually pull off a show like that at the time.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: nameinuse2 on August 03, 2012, 09:12 am
A fascinating piece by a music lover who discovers that he is actually "tone-deaf" in the clinical sense (http://maisonneuve.org/pressroom/article/2012/aug/1/face-music/). It has karaoke in it!


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: DoctorShenanigans on August 04, 2012, 04:34 pm
I linked this on Facebook but I'll link it here too because fuck the police:

Excellent article on gender roles and gender relations and feminism and stuff (http://www.alternet.org/story/156194/what_about_the_men_why_our_gender_system_sucks_for_men%2C_too?paging=off)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: DoctorShenanigans on August 07, 2012, 07:50 pm
This isn't really very scholarly or anything, but I think it qualifies:

Advice column dealing with rape culture stuff and creepy dudes (http://captainawkward.com/2012/08/07/322-323-my-friend-group-has-a-case-of-the-creepy-dude-how-do-we-clear-that-up/)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: oball on August 08, 2012, 08:00 am
How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America: A Remembrance (http://gawker.com/5927452/how-to-slowly-kill-yourself-and-others-in-america-a-remembrance)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: fermun on August 16, 2012, 04:38 am
Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States is factually accurate and one of the few major histories that is leftist in interpretation of these facts. Howard Zinn gave permission for the entire book to be put here http://www.historyisaweapon.com/zinnapeopleshistory.html but the publisher does not agree. If you've never read it before, A People's History is amazing. If you're American, you'll question what the fuck kind of country you've been living in. Give it a shot, it's a well-written massmarket counter-narrative to the popular American historical understanding.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Citizen Snips on August 16, 2012, 09:20 am
Oh man, this was going to be one of my summer reads but it was looking like I wasn't going to be able to get to it. Now I don't have much of a choice.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Kybard on September 28, 2012, 08:29 am
so it's not quite longform, but since this is the closest place for it to be appropriate here: I got a piece of journalism published in a niche magazine as their feature article (http://www.planning.org/practicingplanner/default.htm).

it's about a tiny, crappy Walmart in my home county and why it ended up so tiny and crappy. it's actually kind of interesting! read about it!


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: HyperGlavin on October 03, 2012, 11:54 am
Welcome to Cancerland - by Barbara Ehrenreich (http://www.barbaraehrenreich.com/cancerland.htm)

I've just been reminded of this one, but I've read it at least three times by now because it is pretty damn amazing.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: HyperGlavin on October 07, 2012, 09:31 am
Double-posting since I ain't give a fuck:

Top 5 Ways Bleacher Report Rules the World! - By Joe Eskenazi (http://www.sfweekly.com/2012-10-03/news/bleacher-report-sports-journalism-internet-espn-news-technology/)

A deep look inside a sports-themed content farm that relies on gamification to harness its thousands of unpaid contributors for ridiculous profits.

Quote
The road to the promised land is paved with virtual sapphires and diamonds — and real pageviews and revenue generated for the organization. Bleacher Report's higher-ups have provided neophyte writers a wealth of materials to help them thrive, and thereby meet the site's bottom-line needs. The first lesson offered to students of "Bleacher Report U." — a self-guided new-media training curriculum — is to "key on a keyword." In short, write about the stuff people are searching for: "The Hot Keyword Database is an updated catalog of the web's most popular search terms — and your ability to incorporate these terms in your articles will be instrumental in your efforts to generate visitor traffic and maximize your exposure."

One of Bleacher Report's top-five strategies for up-and-comers is to pen "hyperbolic headlines" and "always aim to either overstate or understate your position." As such, "NBA: LeBron James Signs with the Miami Heat," while accurate, is an unacceptable headline. The right take is "LeBron James Signing Makes the Miami Heat the Best Team in NBA History."

Finally, writers are urged to "cater to the masses." "For better or worse, readers love breezy sports-and-culture stories. If you really want to maximize your fanbase, your best bet is to give the people what they want." But, at the same time, don't forget to "beat against the mainstream." The exemplar of contrarian thinking offered within the site's curriculum is a Bleacher Report article titled "Why Tom Brady Is the Most Overrated Quarterback in NFL History."


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Zach on October 28, 2012, 05:08 am
David Attenborough reflects on 60 years of work in wildlife television, and the challenges of climate change. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2012/oct/26/richard-attenborough-climate-global-arctic-environment)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Karlski on November 06, 2012, 06:35 pm
A piece written by a friend of mine who is a comedian:

Quote from: @robbotron
“Nice Boots”

Here’s a brief history of my relationship with the word “faggot”. “Faggot” was what I was called in high school by groups of young men who were terribly interested in showers and rugby. They wore ties and blazers to train for business and used bathrooms and fields to train for prison. Since they didn’t know who they were yet, nobody else was allowed to show any spark of personality.
This meant that anything that wasn’t “the same” needed a thump or a fuck – and since they didn’t know what they wanted to fuck, the thumping would have to do.

It was a stupid time – private boys’ schools are an expensive way to have your kid messed up by another kid in knee- high socks and a dumb hat. Every class was a small room with young pimpled wannabe thugs dressed like old wrinkled wannabe millionaires. The richest white boys pretended they were gangstas, while everyone else pretended not to find this exceptionally funny. It’s a matter of scientific fact that nobody whose father owns a boat can convincingly say the word “motherfucker”.

(I’m fairly sure the first thing our metalworks teacher taught us to make was a shiv. He called it a chisel, but since there were no pyramids to decorate or blocks of marble that needed shaping, we all took our little shivs and chiseled parts out of the fat kid.)

“The fat kid” was a representative of the underclass of the thumped. The awkward lads who didn’t gel socially and so sometimes had to bleed publicly. We were The Fat Kid Whose Mum Couldn’t Tell Right From Left, The Other Fat Kid Whose Dad Owned A Dress Shop, The Orphan Who Kept Shitting, The Stupidly Honest Boy and The Faggot. We weren’t friends with each other, since it was generally acknowledged that while The Faggot couldn’t be The Fat Boy or The Orphan, any of them could become a faggot at any time.

The Stupidly Honest Boy was the best of us. This is an actual conversation between him, me and the captain of the rugby team.

Captain: If I was a girl, I reckon I’d play with my tits all day.

Me: If I was a girl, I’d fuck other girls.

SHB: If I was a girl, I’d fuck guys.

Bless him; he just wasn’t good at judging his environment. When a thick-necked, ostensibly heterosexual rugby player wants to pretend to be a girl, dammit, everybody else better want to be a lesbian. Sure, lesbians are by their very definition gay, but we were playing on boys’ school rules, where anything without a penis is a good thing - and if by some fluke we all had gender reassignment surgery then we’d all damn well make out with each other and like it.

And in this sea of school pride, short shorts, shanked legs and confused young men, the word “faggot” was a catcall and a signal, a warning that a small, effeminate creature approached, a creature that, if provoked, was likely to bugger you. To be fair, had I been at all interested in boys, it would have been one hell of a defence mechanism, or maybe a compliment, if the lads had ever been comfortable with themselves.

(Let’s get this clear: I’m not saying the school’s athletics teams were exclusively made up of repressed homosexuals, I’m just saying that when sweaty young men with greasy faces and lank hair have to feel worried about the slightest bulge in their speedos, nobody wins. Coming to terms with yourself is stupidly difficult when you’ve been made to think that who you are is some manner of crime.)

So to me the word “Faggot” is a relic from a childhood spent saying, “Ha! I’m not a bundle of sticks” and then running away, because a smart faggot was also a dumb faggot and all faggots were made for burning. As a result, I still consider its presence in conversation to be one of the basest of insults, not quite the fairest and best proof that the people around me are slobbering Nazis hell-bent on violence and rape, but close enough to determine who gets invited over for dinner.

(Side note: I have witnessed occasions online when the word “faggot” hasn’t been used to expressly mean “homosexual”, but instead has been a more general insult. You know, a word that is somehow both meaningless and yet harmful – a word like… let me give you some examples… just give me a second… oh, you know? Damn… some completely meaningless, yet somehow still harmful word like… no, wait… hang on, that’s right, there aren’t any words that are both meaningless and offensive. Words are offensive because they carry a meaning – and while meanings can change, if you’re using a word with a dominant and hostile definition – and you’re just doing it to be offensive, you can’t later argue, “I didn’t mean that.” If you didn’t mean to say, “faggot”, you shouldn’t have said, “faggot”. Okay, faggot?)

Now, here’s a brief history of my relationship with the TV series, Invader Zim. When I was eighteen, all the young ladies I knew began to speak with an inflection that gradually rose during a sentence, with the final word being drawn out and half-projected, as though vowing theatrical vengeance. It helped if you also shook your fist and tilted your head upwards at the end. Have a go yourself. Read this sentence aloud, “I… am… talking like THIIIIIS!” while shaking your little hand in the air. I congratulate you; you have successfully replicated every conversation I had between the years 2003 – 2007.

This was the speech pattern used by the main characters on Invader Zim, a show beloved of all the young ladies I met between ages 18 and 22. They also liked me. They didn’t call me a faggot, in fact some of them found my penis quite neat – and as far as penises go, mine went as far as it needed to. The point is that Invader Zim was (and remains) the only television show I can identify entirely by the rhythm of its dialogue.

Flash-forward to 2009 and I hadn’t been called a faggot in a decade, except constantly by 9 year- old Korean boys while playing multiplayer anything. I stepped off a plane in Brisbane, the major Australian city closest to the town I was born in. I hadn’t been there in fifteen years and my memories were of a brutal place that was strange and humid and filled with the sort of man whose fist would have already broken your jaw before you finished saying, “I’ll have a lemon, lime and bitters, please.”

The city didn’t look the same. I stepped off the plane, hopped on a beautifully- appointed train and arrived at a major inner-city station in the middle of a hyper-modern shopping district. The sliding doors opened, I walked onto the street and a crinkle-faced old lady regarded my appearance with absolutely naked loathing.

She was old, I was young, she wore a muu-muu, I wore a pair of knee-high checkered boots. She looked me up; she looked me down and delivered her verdict by spitting on the ground and shouting, “NICE BOOTS, YOU FAGGOT!”

It was a good welcome, the hostility was honest and most people on the street seemed reasonably interested in whether or not the faggot had nice boots. It was the kind of greeting that makes the left-wing city dweller start looking for signs of banjos and I wondered if she was the former captain of my rugby team, fuelled with anger at not having become the girl of his dreams, but rather her grandmother.

That weekend I hosted a stage at a massive sci-fi convention. These things are terrific, colourful, excitable affairs that attract a mix of genuinely interesting people and tedious monkey-men hunting for a spectacle. I’ve seen a lot of the thicknecks I went to school with walk around the show floor in a state somewhere between pure elation and total fear. “There’s Val Kilmer!” they’ll say, “And the cheerleader from Heroes! There’s… my God… and that’s… what is that? What are those? Man, this is great, let’s leave.”

The guests who are brought in are sometimes creative powerhouses at the height of their ability and fame, sometimes they actors between work and sometimes they people who were famous for being famous so briefly that only they remember their names. It’s a good life for all involved – you only need to get drunk with one of your childhood heroes to die happy. When I die, I’ll die so pleased that my funeral will go on tour – and after some warm-up from the priest, everyone will love the audacity of my new act, an hour of total stillness followed by the casket closing. There will be no encores.

In 2009, one of these guests was Jhonen Vasquez, creator of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, noted Twitter fiend, filmmaker and the diabolical genius behind Invader Zim. I had recognised him over dinner by sheer virtue of him talking liiiike THIIIIIIS.

I like Jhonen a lot; when I created The Dark Room he was excellent enough to promote it online. He wrote that the last time he’d seen me I wasn’t a floating head. From memory, neither is he. He is a good-looking, slender man whose brain hums with invention while his mouth reassembles the English language into quotable bites of acid-drop blackness. When I stood next to him, I looked like the low-budget security detail they assign to all rockstars of the animation world.

We had eaten a meal at a fine Turkish restaurant with about twenty other people – and three of us had broken off afterwards to walk back to the hotel. We were halfway across the bridge in the centre of Brisbane when a tremendously drunk young lady bumped into Jhonen and then fell screaming to the pavement. This brought the attention of her brothers, who were five colossal monster men who began screaming, “WHYAREYOUHITTINGAWOMANMATEWHYAREYOUHITTINGAWOMAN” while setting their biceps and fists to “murder”.

All it took from Jhonen was one amazed, American “I didn’t do anything!” and the problem was settled, as the five big boys silently acknowledged a few universal truths:

1. He was right.

2. She was fine.

3. It’s bad form to kill a tourist.

So they walked past Jhonen, walked past the next guy and walked past me. As they went by, one of the brothers gave me a glance and muttered, “Nice boots, faggot.”

They were nice boots.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: fermun on January 07, 2013, 05:08 am
http://lfeffortposts.wordpress.com/ (http://lfeffortposts.wordpress.com/)

So there was once a section of Something Awful called Laissez's Fair (LF). It was known for having extremely long posts to inform about various topics. Among other things. It had a strange and glorious history.

(click to show/hide)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Jacob on January 22, 2013, 11:53 am
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/04/16/070416fa_fact_colapinto

Nifty little story centered around a reclusive Amazonian tribe with a unique language & culture. They don't have past tenses, numbers, or subordinate clauses. The article is an exploration what this means to Chomskyian linguists, as well as a brief history of a linguist's interactions with the tribe over the past 30 years.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: HyperGlavin on March 08, 2013, 07:31 am
http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/20/bitter-pill-why-medical-bills-are-killing-us/

Quote
Taken as a whole, these powerful institutions and the bills they churn out dominate the nation’s economy and put demands on taxpayers to a degree unequaled anywhere else on earth. In the U.S., people spend almost 20% of the gross domestic product on health care, compared with about half that in most developed countries. Yet in every measurable way, the results our health care system produces are no better and often worse than the outcomes in those countries.
 
According to one of a series of exhaustive studies done by the McKinsey & Co. consulting firm, we spend more on health care than the next 10 biggest spenders combined: Japan, Germany, France, China, the U.K., Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain and Australia. We may be shocked at the $60 billion price tag for cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy. We spent almost that much last week on health care. We spend more every year on artificial knees and hips than what Hollywood collects at the box office. We spend two or three times that much on durable medical devices like canes and wheelchairs, in part because a heavily lobbied Congress forces Medicare to pay 25% to 75% more for this equipment than it would cost at Walmart.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Johnny Roastbeef on March 08, 2013, 08:52 am
I don't know why I didn't post this here before, but:

The science and business of food in America (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: HyperGlavin on July 31, 2013, 02:25 am
Ants are laying siege to the world's chocolate supply (http://www.aeonmagazine.com/nature-and-cosmos/what-can-ants-teach-us-about-agriculture/)

Quote
Ants have been farming for millions of years longer than humans. These particular ants herd mealybugs — small, sap-sucking insects that look like woodlice dipped in flour. The ants shepherd and protect the mealybugs so they can ‘milk’ the sugary nutritious fluids in their waste. The bugs used to drink primarily from local rainforest trees, but when humans started clearing the forest to make way for cocoa, the ants adapted, by driving their livestock into the fresh cocoa pastures.

This strategy shift entangled the cocoa trees in a web of pests and pestilence. When mealybugs drink from trees, they inject them with a pathogen called cacao swollen shoot virus (CSSV). In local rainforest trees, the effects of CSSV are mild, but cocoa — a newcomer to these forests — hasn’t had a chance to evolve countermeasures. As a result, the virus pummels the trees, swelling their shoots and roots well beyond their usual size while draining the colour from their leaves. Before long, often only a few years, the trees die.

The trees’ woes don’t end there, for these ants are builders as well as farmers. They strip cocoa pods to build tents for themselves and their mealybugs, protecting them from predators and pesticides. But the pods don’t have to be fresh. The ants are happy to harvest building materials from pods that have blackened with rot, thanks to two funguslike parasites — Phytophthora megakarya and Phytophthora palmivora. As they do so, they move spores from the parasites into uninfected trees, spreading black-pod disease in their wake.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: HyperGlavin on August 11, 2013, 07:09 am
Marcus London Ain't Someone U Fuck With (https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/londons-calling-part-one/)

A profile piece on a porn star/director that was originally behind a paywall, but released to the public for free after the subject sent violent threats to the author for her unflattering honesty. Well worth a read.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: HyperGlavin on August 26, 2013, 12:51 am
Mark Lynas, an environmentalist who helped found the anti-GM movement gives a lecture in which he explains why he changed his stance to support research into genetically modified crops. (http://www.marklynas.org/2013/01/lecture-to-oxford-farming-conference-3-january-2013/)

Quote
My second climate book, Six Degrees, was so sciency that it even won the Royal Society science books prize, and climate scientists I had become friendly with would joke that I knew more about the subject than them. And yet, incredibly, at this time in 2008 I was still penning screeds in the Guardian attacking the science of GM – even though I had done no academic research on the topic, and had a pretty limited personal understanding. I don’t think I’d ever read a peer-reviewed paper on biotechnology or plant science even at this late stage.

Obviously this contradiction was untenable. What really threw me were some of the comments underneath my final anti-GM Guardian article. In particular one critic said to me: so you’re opposed to GM on the basis that it is marketed by big corporations. Are you also opposed to the wheel because because it is marketed by the big auto companies?

So I did some reading. And I discovered that one by one my cherished beliefs about GM turned out to be little more than green urban myths.

I’d assumed that it would increase the use of chemicals. It turned out that pest-resistant cotton and maize needed less insecticide.

I’d assumed that GM benefited only the big companies. It turned out that billions of dollars of benefits were accruing to farmers needing fewer inputs.

I’d assumed that Terminator Technology was robbing farmers of the right to save seed. It turned out that hybrids did that long ago, and that Terminator never happened.

I’d assumed that no-one wanted GM. Actually what happened was that Bt cotton was pirated into India and roundup ready soya into Brazil because farmers were so eager to use them.

I’d assumed that GM was dangerous. It turned out that it was safer and more precise than conventional breeding using mutagenesis for example; GM just moves a couple of genes, whereas conventional breeding mucks about with the entire genome in a trial and error way.

But what about mixing genes between unrelated species? The fish and the tomato? Turns out viruses do that all the time, as do plants and insects and even us – it’s called gene flow.

But this was still only the beginning. So in my third book The God Species I junked all the environmentalist orthodoxy at the outset and tried to look at the bigger picture on a planetary scale.

And this is the challenge that faces us today: we are going to have to feed 9.5 billion hopefully much less poor people by 2050 on about the same land area as we use today, using limited fertiliser, water and pesticides and in the context of a rapidly-changing climate.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Kybard on August 27, 2013, 07:46 am
http://www.aeonmagazine.com/being-human/david-berreby-obesity-era/

Quote
Yet the scientists who study the biochemistry of fat and the epidemiologists who track weight trends are not nearly as unanimous as Bloomberg makes out. In fact, many researchers believe that personal gluttony and laziness cannot be the entire explanation for humanity’s global weight gain. Which means, of course, that they think at least some of the official focus on personal conduct is a waste of time and money. As Richard L Atkinson, Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Wisconsin and editor of the International Journal of Obesity, put it in 2005: ‘The previous belief of many lay people and health professionals that obesity is simply the result of a lack of willpower and an inability to discipline eating habits is no longer defensible.’

Consider, for example, this troublesome fact, reported in 2010 by the biostatistician David B Allison and his co-authors at the University of Alabama in Birmingham: over the past 20 years or more, as the American people were getting fatter, so were America’s marmosets. As were laboratory macaques, chimpanzees, vervet monkeys and mice, as well as domestic dogs, domestic cats, and domestic and feral rats from both rural and urban areas.

the whole article ranges from stuff you'll probably nod your head along with to fascinating stuff I wouldn't have considered. a good read.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Johnny Roastbeef on August 27, 2013, 04:48 pm
If the cause of obesity is the obesity trap whereby the transition from poor-to-middle class causes obesity, then why do we see it in laboratory mice, who as he points out have been eating supposedly the same portion controlled diet for generations? Maybe the animal diets changed too.  Aren't those produced by big-food companies like Purina and shit?

Second, the "simple thermodynamics" argument may not be as simple as some simpletons make it out to be, but this guy's glib dismissal of it is just flat out wrong.

energy stored = energy input - energy use
                     = energy input - (1-metabolic efficiency) * physical work done

One way of looking at his argument that personal responsibility is irrelevant is that energy input and work done can be considered constant (the mice supposedly got fatter without their food and exercise changing).  Therefore, the metabolic efficiency (the only thing biochemistry can affect) must have increased. So this guy's argument is that our bodies, because of biochemistry in the modern world, are capable of doing the same amount of work with less energy.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but that's pretty far fetched.

That said, I don't think biochemistry is completely irrelevant. I am absolutely in favor of getting the bullshit out of our food, because I think it causes all kinds of crazy problems. I am absolutely in favor of providing access to healthy foods to people of all economic classes.  I am absolutely in favor of policies that address the systematic global economic disorder and attempt to straighten things out. But I still find it silly to suggest that somehow our desk jobs with nonexistent exercise and 800 calorie double whoppers are actually the secondary effects.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Kybard on August 27, 2013, 05:24 pm
because he is not saying that the cause of obesity is the obesity trap. he calls it an "alternative theory" after a section where he describes such theories as "fugitive possibilities." he's running through a range of research on non-willpower-related causes, which may or may not be central factors, to show that scientific research is trying to cover the many bases of the problem. the whole point of the article is that there is no singular, easy-to-target-and-scapegoat cause.

One way of looking at his argument that personal responsibility is irrelevant

that is not his argument. he doesn't glibly dismiss thermodynamics; he glibly dismisses the glib usage of science to justify overconfident ideology

Quote
These theories are important for a different reason. Their very existence — the fact that they are plausible, with some supporting evidence and suggestions for further research — gives the lie to the notion that obesity is a closed question, on which science has pronounced its final word. It might be that every one of the ‘roads less travelled’ contributes to global obesity; it might be that some do in some places and not in others. The openness of the issue makes it clear that obesity isn’t a simple school physics experiment.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Johnny Roastbeef on August 27, 2013, 05:47 pm
because he is not saying that the cause of obesity is the obesity trap. he calls it an "alternative theory" after a section where he describes such theories as "fugitive possibilities."

Yes, but the point is that the alternative theory (which is not a throwaway to him, he devotes like 8 paragraphs to it) is patently contradicted by the other facts he uses to support his argument.  It's like the Michael Moore approach to journalism. You just go scattershot on interpretations that buck the supposed opposing narrative without regard to whether those interpretations are self-consistent. It doesn't lend much credibility to the analysis.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Kybard on August 28, 2013, 07:59 am
I didn't say it was a throwaway to him; clearly he finds it fascinating. his whole point is that there are multiple factors and that the situation is more complicated than most public faces will allow; he makes that point first, then considers the range of research on the topic (some of which addresses certain gaps in knowledge, some of which addresses others), takes some time near the end to focus on a fringe aspect of the topic that he finds interesting because of its sociological implications (without ever implying it's the most important or central piece of research; instead he calls it the "most epic" of the alternative theories, which seems to suggest it's both academically fascinating enough to merit inspection and slightly more specious than the more straightforward possibilities discussed earlier), and ends by reiterating that, whatever the truth is, we don't have it as well and obviously in hand as guys like Bloomberg would like to assert.

I think comparing it to Michael Moore is silly. again, if the whole thesis is "this is not a simplistic causal relationship," of course he's going to run the gamut of alternative explanations. the wide and "scattershot" range of possibilities helps to prove his point.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Kybard on August 28, 2013, 08:01 am
I mean he ends with that anticipatory rebuttal of people who might say "so should we just sit on our hands and do nothing?" because that would be the logical reaction to an argument "you can't act on the presumption that this has all been figured out, because look at all of this uncertainty in the research." it would not be the logical reaction to "that's not the reason obesity happens, this is the reason it happens"


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: HyperGlavin on September 27, 2013, 07:27 am
Postmodern geekdom as simulated ethnicity, by Kom Kunyosying and Carter Soles (http://www.ejumpcut.org/currentissue/SolesKunyoGeedom/)

A critical reading of the rise of geeks within popular culture and their position within dramatic narratives as a virtuous other, which places them at odds with their privileged white male status in real life.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Remington Lonespear on September 27, 2013, 11:47 am
I've only read the first page, but that's already fantastic.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: norumaru on October 01, 2013, 07:02 am
That was very good. Read this, you nerds


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: nak on October 01, 2013, 11:43 am
http://bostonreview.net/us/seth-abramson-criminal-justice (http://bostonreview.net/us/seth-abramson-criminal-justice)

A useful guide to America's criminal justice system by a public defender.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Johnny Roastbeef on November 06, 2013, 07:41 pm
I teach a course on solar power that features a unit on financial analysis of solar (and basically anything, really).  One of the things that comes up is the time value of money, and application of a market discount rate to compare a hypothetical investment in solar power against another investment at the so-called market discount rate.

The problem is that the textbook suggests use of a market discount rate of 8%.  I kind of look at it from the perspective that 8% on investment is optimistic, bordering on delusional.  Use of a high discount rate essentially devalues present investment in renewable energy versus the alternative, and makes it much more difficult to economically justify sustainable development.

So anyway, I was happy to find an article discussing the economic issues much more intelligently than I'm able to since I'm much more so a technical guy than a business one. I'm going to make the students read it, but it was such an interesting read that I thought I'd share it here. 

http://grist.org/article/discount-rates-a-boring-thing-you-should-know-about-with-otters/


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Nicol on March 18, 2014, 08:31 am
https://medium.com/matter/f121382adebb

How we were fooled into thinking that sexual predators lurk everywhere

it investigates: stranger danger, teen safety, our attitudes to strangers, and teen mental health and wellbeing


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: jamiec on March 21, 2014, 06:21 pm
John Safran is an Australian comedian and radio show host.  He has recently taken on a second job as a crime writer, after reading this article I'm tempted to go buy his book. 

http://www.theage.com.au/national/a-town-called-malice-20140317-34waw.html


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: HyperGlavin on March 25, 2014, 01:54 am
We Aren't the World - by Ethan Watters (http://www.psmag.com/magazines/magazine-feature-story-magazines/joe-henrich-weird-ultimatum-game-shaking-up-psychology-economics-53135/#.UzAQHm64qEx.facebook)

Quote
In the end they titled their paper “The Weirdest People in the World?” (pdf) By “weird” they meant both unusual and Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. It is not just our Western habits and cultural preferences that are different from the rest of the world, it appears. The very way we think about ourselves and others—and even the way we perceive reality—makes us distinct from other humans on the planet, not to mention from the vast majority of our ancestors. Among Westerners, the data showed that Americans were often the most unusual, leading the researchers to conclude that “American participants are exceptional even within the unusual population of Westerners—outliers among outliers.”

Given the data, they concluded that social scientists could not possibly have picked a worse population from which to draw broad generalizations. Researchers had been doing the equivalent of studying penguins while believing that they were learning insights applicable to all birds.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Johnny Roastbeef on April 05, 2014, 08:24 am
Here's an interesting look at some of the pitfalls of the big data craze (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/21a6e7d8-b479-11e3-a09a-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz2xYrFd3vv)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Johnny Roastbeef on April 27, 2014, 07:21 am
The Department of Energy, in planning the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste disposal site, had to come up with a marker or system of markers that would last for 10,000 years and communicate the continued danger even if our society collapses.

This is not a place of honor. (http://www.wipp.energy.gov/picsprog/articles/wipp%20exhibit%20message%20to%2012,000%20a_d.htm)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: HyperGlavin on May 12, 2014, 05:00 am
To Keep and Bear Arms, by Garry Wills (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1995/sep/21/to-keep-and-bear-arms/)

A thorough breakdown of the Second Amendment, analysing the language used and its context within US history to debunk the right-wing myth that Americans have a right to take up arms against their own government.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Honest Abe on May 22, 2014, 02:00 pm
The Case for Reparations

Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.
Ta-Nehisi Coates
May 21, 2014 (http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/05/the-case-for-reparations/361631/)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: DiegoInglewood on July 20, 2014, 02:02 pm
"Film Critic Hulk" at Badass Digest did a 4 day long examination of the James Bond movies. He dives into the psychology of the character (and the viewer), the series' problematic sexuality, and why 007 himself is such a long-standing icon in film. There's a chronological rundown of each movie, and he takes time to really delve into what makes or breaks a Bond film. Obviously I found this very cool to read.

Part 1 - Opening Thoughts, Beginning of Bond (http://badassdigest.com/2014/07/14/hulk-vs.-james-bond-staring-into-the-id-of-a-boner-incarnate/)

Part 2 - The "Awkward Growth Years" (http://badassdigest.com/2014/07/15/hulk-vs.-james-bond-day-2/)

Part 3 - The 80's (http://badassdigest.com/2014/07/16/hulk-vs.-james-bond-day-3/)

Part 4 - The 90s Forward, and Conclusions (http://badassdigest.com/2014/07/17/hulk-vs.-james-bond-day-4/)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: George Tirebiter on August 05, 2014, 06:13 pm
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/08/11/watching-eclipse (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/08/11/watching-eclipse)

David Remnik examines Putin's ideological shift to the right, as witnessed by US ambassador Michael McFaul.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Honest Abe on August 21, 2014, 12:56 pm
this is fucking amazing

the tim tebow cfl chronicles (http://www.sbnation.com/2014/8/18/5998715/the-tim-tebow-cfl-chronicles)

Quote
All right, well, that's why it weighs so much. If I had more than two and a half seconds before the blitz was on me, I might look closer at the telescoping metal tail that has sprung out of the rear end of the ball, and the three fins that neatly pop out at the very end and almost make it look like a cruise missile. I might let it sit in my hand, and feel a surprisingly perfect counterbalance in weight -- it's heavy, yes, but throwing it is like pushing a train across rails. Soon, I will come to love it; it will roll up and down the arc I draw into the sky with my arm.

But right now, I am a stupid man, standing in the middle of a sport he doesn't understand, with a stick in his hand and shit in his pants. Gotta do something, Timmy. The blitz is on me, and I remember that pitching to Volquez was the idea. What happens next is a throw in a strictly technical sense, I guess: one hand at the ball, one hand on the tail, and I just kind of shove it sideways.

Volquez has it in the flat, and then she plants her feet. An Ottawa cornerback has peeled off his assignment to engage her, but the two are just sort of circling each other. Volquez is brandishing the jav-ball (maybe that's what it's called?) like a sword, ball out. Ottawa takes a step he shouldn't. She winds up and smacks him in the side of the helmet, then pulls up and hits him again on the far side of his face mask. She's won some space, and she goes sprinting down the line.

Another REDBLACK has put himself in Volquez's way, and this time, it's scarier. She's still carrying the jav-ball, like Babe Ruth when he hit one over the fence and forgot to drop the bat. Now his feet are flat. He sees an opportunity. Most times, a player running with jav out slows the runner down, makes the runner vulnerable. A defender has a better chance of smacking that ball out.

She's spinning away from him … ohhhhh God, no, she isn't. She's winding this up like a hammer throw. As the spin turns away from the defender, he uses the instant to attack. He isn't fast enough.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Chronicles on August 22, 2014, 03:09 pm
The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit (http://www.gq.com/news-politics/newsmakers/201409/the-last-true-hermit)

Quote
For nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine. Unseen and unknown, he lived in secret, creeping into homes in the dead of night and surviving on what he could steal. To the spooked locals, he became a legend—or maybe a myth. They wondered how he could possibly be real. Until one day last year, the hermit came out of the forest


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Honest Abe on October 09, 2014, 01:43 pm
my secret life vol. 1-3, by an anonymous author (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/30360/30360-h/30360-h.htm)

Quote
CHAPTER I.

     Earliest recollections.—An erotic nurse-maid.—Ladies
     abed.—My cock.—A frisky governess.—Cousin Fred.—Thoughts
     on pudend.—A female pedler.—Baudy pictures.—A naked
     baby.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: VoodooTissue on October 21, 2014, 03:03 am
A Pickpocket's Tale - the story of the greatest pickpocket ever to ply the trade. (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/01/07/a-pickpockets-tale)

Quote
In magic circles, Robbins is regarded as a kind of legend. Psychiatrists, neuroscientists, and the military study his methods for what they reveal about the nature of human attention. Photograph by Martin Schoeller.

A few years ago, at a Las Vegas convention for magicians, Penn Jillette, of the act Penn and Teller, was introduced to a soft-spoken young man named Apollo Robbins, who has a reputation as a pickpocket of almost supernatural ability. Jillette, who ranks pickpockets, he says, “a few notches below hypnotists on the show-biz totem pole,” was holding court at a table of colleagues, and he asked Robbins for a demonstration, ready to be unimpressed. Robbins demurred, claiming that he felt uncomfortable working in front of other magicians. He pointed out that, since Jillette was wearing only shorts and a sports shirt, he wouldn’t have much to work with.

“Come on,” Jillette said. “Steal something from me.”

Again, Robbins begged off, but he offered to do a trick instead. He instructed Jillette to place a ring that he was wearing on a piece of paper and trace its outline with a pen. By now, a small crowd had gathered. Jillette removed his ring, put it down on the paper, unclipped a pen from his shirt, and leaned forward, preparing to draw. After a moment, he froze and looked up. His face was pale.

“Fuck. You,” he said, and slumped into a chair.

Robbins held up a thin, cylindrical object: the cartridge from Jillette’s pen.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Johnny Roastbeef on December 11, 2014, 10:35 am
In which the Dalai Lama visits a ski resort and tells a busgirl the meaning of life. (http://www.slate.com/articles/life/culturebox/2014/02/dalai_lama_at_a_santa_fe_ski_resort_tells_waitress_the_meaning_of_life.1.html)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Remington Lonespear on December 11, 2014, 01:54 pm
A Pickpocket's Tale - the story of the greatest pickpocket ever to ply the trade. (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/01/07/a-pickpockets-tale)

I remember this article. There was a great video to go with it where Robbins demonstrates his techniques for the author. (http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/video-the-art-of-pickpocketing)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Johnny Roastbeef on February 17, 2015, 07:53 am
a look at internet shaming as a modern and more serious form of the stocks and pillory. (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?_r=0)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: jimbob on February 17, 2015, 09:28 am
Good article, JRB




Here is an article by an insider about what is happening to once-respectable newspapers in Britain (https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/peter-oborne/why-i-have-resigned-from-telegraph).

The Telegraph is a going downhill fastest, but the others are following.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Johnny Roastbeef on May 02, 2015, 08:30 am
A long story about the role of engineering and data in assessing the need to recall vehicles (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/05/04/the-engineers-lament), following the thread of the Ford Pinto shenanigans in the 70s.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Truck Thunders on May 18, 2015, 01:48 pm
A long essay by a third generation Ukranian-Canadian Chrystia Freeland on the conflict in Ukraine. (http://www.newsweek.com/why-putin-afraid-ukraine-332276) She's a confessed Ukrainophile and Russophile so there's bound to be some bias in there somewhere, but it's still the most thorough analysis on the Ukraine conflict I've read so far.

If you can't read it on Newsweek here's a repost. (http://blog.clairepeetz.com/why-putin-is-afraid-of-ukraine/)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: HyperGlavin on May 22, 2015, 02:08 pm
A Plea for Culinary Modernism - by Rachel Laudan (https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/05/slow-food-artisanal-natural-preservatives/)

Quote
The Luddites’ fable of disaster, of a fall from grace, smacks more of wishful thinking than of digging through archives. It gains credence not from scholarship but from evocative dichotomies: fresh and natural versus processed and preserved; local versus global; slow versus fast: artisanal and traditional versus urban and industrial; healthful versus contaminated and fatty. History shows, I believe, that the Luddites have things back to front.

That food should be fresh and natural has become an article of faith. It comes as something of a shock to realize that this is a latter-day creed. For our ancestors, natural was something quite nasty. Natural often tasted bad.

Fresh meat was rank and tough; fresh milk warm and unmistakably a bodily excretion; fresh fruits (dates and grapes being rare exceptions outside the tropics) were inedibly sour, fresh vegetables bitter. Even today, natural can be a shock when we actually encounter it. When Jacques Pepin offered free-­range chickens to friends, they found “the flesh tough and the flavor too strong,” prompting him to wonder whether they would really like things the way they naturally used to be. Natural was unreliable. Fresh fish began to stink. Fresh milk soured, eggs went rotten.

Everywhere seasons of plenty were followed by seasons of hunger when the days were short. The weather turned cold, or the rain did not fall. Hens stopped laying eggs, cows went dry, fruits and vegetables were not to be found, fish could not be caught in the stormy seas.

Natural was usually indigestible. Grains, which supplied from fifty to ninety percent of the calories in most societies have to be threshed, ground, and cooked to make them edible. Other plants, including the roots and fibers that were the life support of the societies that did not eat grains, are often downright poisonous. Without careful processing green potatoes, stinging taro, and cassava bitter with prussic acid are not just indigestible, but toxic.

Nor did our ancestors’ physiological theories dispose them to the natural. Until about two hundred years ago, from China to Europe, and in Mesoamerica, too, everyone believed that the fires in the belly cooked foodstuffs and turned them into nutrients. That was what digestion was. Cooking foods in effect pre-digested them and made them easier to assimilate. Given a choice, no one would burden the stomach with raw, unprocessed foods.

So to make food tasty, safe, digestible and healthy, our forebears bred, ground, soaked, leached, curdled, fermented, and cooked naturally occurring plants and animals until they were literally beaten into submission.

To lower toxin levels, they cooked plants, treated them with clay (the Kaopectate effect), leached them with water, acid fruits and vinegars, and alkaline lye. They intensively bred maize to the point that it could not reproduce without human help. They created sweet oranges and juicy apples and non-bitter legumes, happily abandoning their more natural but less tasty ancestors.

They built granaries for their grain, dried their meat and their fruit, salted and smoked their fish, curdled and fermented their dairy products, and cheerfully used whatever additives and preservatives they could — sugar, salt, oil, vinegar, lye — to make edible foodstuffs.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Citizen Snips on May 31, 2015, 01:08 am
A great Web 2.0 read: "Rickrolling is sexist, racist and often transphobic in context" (http://boingboing.net/2015/05/28/rickrolling-is-sexist-racist.html)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: 88FingersLouie on October 24, 2015, 12:55 pm
Sea of Crises: A sumo wrestling tournament. A failed coup ending in seppuku. A search for a forgotten man. How one writer’s trip to Japan became a journey through oblivion.
 (https://grantland.com/features/sumo-wrestling-tokyo-japan-hakuho-yukio-mishima-novelist-seppuku//)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Reverend on November 12, 2015, 07:39 pm
Somehow while being nothing I've ever previously cared about in the slightest that was one of the coolest articles I've ever read about anything.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: evilspud on December 03, 2015, 04:23 pm
A breakdown of how gun industry lobbyists made it next to fucking impossible to pass gun control laws in the US. (http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/12/01/3715552/gun-lobby-tobacco-industry/)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: 88FingersLouie on January 10, 2016, 01:49 pm

America's Iconic War Machine: The most feared bomber plane of the 20th Century is still going strong after 60 years in service in the US military - from Vietnam to Afghanistan. And she will keep on flying until 2044. How does this 1950s behemoth survive in the era of drones and stealth aircraft?  (http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33766644)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Chronicles on January 12, 2016, 01:16 am
A great Web 2.0 read: "Rickrolling is sexist, racist and often transphobic in context" (http://boingboing.net/2015/05/28/rickrolling-is-sexist-racist.html)

Holy moly. When you break it down like that, yeah.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Joseph Nistal on February 02, 2016, 11:28 pm
In Search of the Heart of the Online Cat-Industrial Complex (http://www.wired.com/2012/08/ff_cats/)

One journalists experience in meeting and dealing with some of the larger names in the cat video world. Special mention goes to Maru and Mugumogu who remain as aloof and mysterious as ever.

(click to show/hide)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Reverend on April 05, 2016, 06:29 pm
The Voyeur's Motel - Gerald Foos bought a motel in order to watch his guests having sex. He saw a lot more than that. (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/04/11/gay-talese-the-voyeurs-motel)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Johnny Roastbeef on April 06, 2016, 10:05 am
There are so many horrible people in that story, the author included, that I don't even know what to say.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: evilspud on April 09, 2016, 08:59 am
Why Men Love War. (http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/news/a28718/why-men-love-war/)

"I don't know if I killed anyone in Vietnam, but I tried as hard as I could."


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: nameinuse2 on May 25, 2016, 04:49 am
(pdf) Big other: surveillance capitalism and the prospects of an information civilization (http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jit/journal/v30/n1/pdf/jit20155a.pdf)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: spermos thermos on June 05, 2016, 12:10 pm
An interesting piece of NSA whistleblowing history. (http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/22/how-pentagon-punished-nsa-whistleblowers) It really lights the "should have used legal channels" argument on fire and pees on it.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Bettytron on June 24, 2016, 02:30 pm
My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/06/cca-private-prisons-corrections-corporation-inmates-investigation-bauer)

You guys, the prison-industrial complex in America is, and has been for a long time, irrevocably fucked. No person, innocent or guilty, deserves to be treated this way. And no employee of the prison should have to condition themselves to dehumanize other human beings this way. It's a cancer.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Johnny Roastbeef on July 23, 2016, 09:54 am
The role of social media in the deliberate self-stupefication of the populace through the media. (https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jul/12/how-technology-disrupted-the-truth)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: jimbob on September 18, 2016, 07:52 am
Good article. She doesn't really present a solution though. I certainly can't think of any.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Joseph Nistal on September 27, 2016, 06:43 pm
Almost joining the last two links together, here's a long read on Cop Twitter (http://thebaffler.com/salvos/social-media-spin-cantu)


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Frogbone on March 18, 2017, 01:07 pm
Murder in the Lucky Holiday Hotel (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/Murder_lucky_hotel) - a really neat read about Chinese political intrigue.


Title: Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction
Post by: Reverend on March 24, 2017, 02:26 pm
That was fantastic. Most of these new BBC Magazine long form articles are worth the time. I love the formatting.