The internet was very interesting this week. Highlights: the stressful job of air traffic control, the moral complexities of Florida Man, Vogue loves Amy Sherald, a beautiful description of a rare encounter, I love Missy Elliott, sometimes dicks are just dicks, our crippling disbelief, food injustice, emojis, and WTF is this new ‘Cats’ film??!?!
1. Topic: Going Down the Pipes
This is a must-read for anyone who flies. Reprinted with a short introduction from Anna Holmes, this piece written by Darcy Frey was originally published in 1996 in the New York Times Magazine under the title “Something’s Got to Give.” The piece focuses on a group of air traffic controllers—which is known as the most stressful desk job in the world—that work at the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control and oversee the airspace over New York City, one of the busiest spaces in the world.
2. Washington Post: Is It Okay to Laugh at Florida Man?
Amongst many things, Florida is basically known as an IRL meme. There are countless clickbait headlines like “Florida Man Arrested for Calling 911 After His Cat Was Denied Entry Into Strip Club,” “Florida Man Removes Facial Tattoos With Welding Grinder,” “A Florida Man Beat His Daughter For 40 Minutes While Listening To Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines.’” There is a headline like that for each day of the year as the Florida Man Challenge earlier this year illustrated. But behind the internet myth of the Florida Man are, well, real men, many of whom are at odds with the criminal justice system and cultural inequity. These are the full stories of some Florida Mmen, and our complicated moral complicity in their viral fame.
3. Vogue: Amy Sherald, Michelle Obama’s Portraitist, Readies her New York Debut
I miss running into Amy Sherald in Baltimore. She used to have a studio in the same building as BmoreArt’s office, and sometimes I would see her taking August Wilson for a walk. I’m glad the world is learning what many of us who knew Amy when she lived in Baltimore have known all along: that she is always ready to greet you “with a mile-wide smile and a warm hug.” I really hope Meghan Markle commissions her for a painting.
4. Virginia Quarterly Review: Fluke
Mesmerizing is the only word I have for this story. Well, maybe it is the only word the describe the first five paragraphs. After that, the story starts to get contrived. I’m in a very transition moment of my life and have been “incessantly balancing two thoughts at the same time” for the past few months. There are moments when I’m spending time with friends I love and only see during the summer but, as the protagonist of this story, Chad, I’m “only pretending to be happy” and fear that my friends can tell I’m not “listening to the conversation, even when [I’m] talking.” I needed to read this story when I read it.
5. Marie Claire: Missy Elliott: The Legend Returns
Missy Elliott is GOAT! I’m so excited for her next album. I really want to say more about this, but I’m also just super into the pictures and spent most of my time looking at those. The woman and her style are ICONIC and this whole profile is basically just her saying that she always said, “I’m going to be a superstar,” and Ashley C. Ford, the author, being like “yup.” Anyway, I obviously love her.
6. BuzzFeed: “Euphoria” Believes That A Dick Can Just Be A Dick
Euphoria might be my favorite show of the summer. Usually, when I’m really into a TV show or any piece of culture I can’t stop talking about it, but I don’t actually think I have had a conversation about Euphoria, and I’m not entirely sure why I’m so fascinated by the show. Maybe it is because I never liked Zendaya—who plays Rue Bennet, the show’s narrator—before seeing her performance in this show.
Through describing the histories of her classmates, Rue “offers us a glimpse into a world where dick pics, sex tapes, stolen opioids, underage sex, and cam sessions are a quotidian part of the 21st-century high school experience,” and with that “Euphoria forces us to reckon with how contemporary television remains all too prudish in its representation of the male anatomy” shifting the cinematic history of male nudity. In Euphoria a dick can just be a dick.
7. The Atlantic: An Epidemic of Disbelief
I’m glad that we are having a cultural reckoning about rape culture, consent, and sexual violence, but sometimes it can get overwhelming. It is a vast epidemic and the scale is so large, and so many incidents go unreported, that I frequently find it difficult to grasp just how massive this movement is, and will have to be if we are to change society. Reading this article gave me the perspective and scale I have longed for since #metoo began in October 2017.
In evidence warehouses across the country “police departments have warehoused more than 200,000 untested sexual-assault kits. But no one really knows, because cities and states fight to keep those numbers secret.” The kits hold “biological name tags of thousands of men who had committed a rape and walked away,” and many of them hold vital information about how to better catch rapists. Many of the kits weren’t tested for different reasons: it was too expensive, the women were poor or of color, police didn’t believe the women, etc. But the question that “haunts every advocate, researcher, and enlightened detective or prosecutor I spoke with: How many rapes could have been prevented if the police had believed the first victim, launched a thorough investigation, and caught the rapist? How many women would have been spared a brutal assault?”
8. Break Through Institute: Food Injustice
I think about food a lot. Part of the reason is that I love planning menus and cooking for people, but I also think about it a lot because my dad is an agricultural economist and works on global food security. He mostly works with various African countries, but also does some domestic work. Food insecure people are typically those that are marginalized, politically, economically, and socially.
Most of our understanding of food justice, which “developed as a direct response to both the industrial food system and the ‘alternative food movement.'” The movement “has always been overwhelmingly comprised of the white and rich,” and many who hope to engender good justice enforce “uncritical boosterism about community gardens, farmers markets, and subscription vegetable boxes” instead of the systematic barriers of those that are food insecure.
9. Longreads: Emoji Day: A List
I do not use emojis. I never have. At first, there was no real reason for it, but now I don’t use them because I don’t use them, even if I want to. I did purchase Kimojis, and sometimes I use those, but I still greatly prefer using words.
I didn’t know World Emoji Day was a thing until I stumbled upon this list of articles, all of which have to do with the history of emojis, how they became part of the global vernacular, and their ever-evolving meanings. The only thing I would add to this list is a story about how MoMA bought the original set of emojis for its collection.
So the ‘Cat’ trailer dropped on Thursday and to say that the internet is confused would be an understatement. Like every possible question about the movie has been asked and Twitter does not know what to do with itself. The cats are v creepy and I do not want to see this movie.
*All images taken from reference articles*
Have a suggestion for next week? Email [email protected] with the subject line “The Internet is Exploding.”