A Reading List: May 19th, 2017

atlanticI have far too many magazines arriving at the house each month, and therefore far too many articles I really need to read.

Right now the current print subscriptions are too many in number, but then, that’s always been the case. Just ask my wife. Currently they amount to:

  • The Atlantic
  • The New Republic
  • New York
  • Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Washington Monthly
  • Film Comment
  • Little White Lies
  • The Wire
  • Draft
  • ESPN the Magazine
  • Howler
  • Eight By Eight
  • Vanity Fair (I only did this for $5/year after Trump bashed them in a tweet; I don’t plan on renewing)

…and that’s in addition to The New York Times print newspaper that comes Friday through Sunday, plus my paid digital subscriptions to the NY Times (it comes free with the print sub); The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Wall Street Journal, Slate, The Guardian and Longform.

Does it all get read? Of course not.

But here are a few things that did get read this week, not counting the 487 online pieces I devoured as the US Presidency began its meltdown (I will accept your argument that this actually began on January 20th, 2017). I’ll make this a regular part of this blog for anyone who’s interested in checking out some links. I’ve tried to helpfully “grade” each piece to help any readers decide whether or not to jump on that hyperlink.

(postscript: it’s only in reading this after posting it that I realize that every piece is in some way about race and/or class, and how societies continue to struggle mightily with these questions)

My Family’s Slave (Alex Tizon in The Atlantic; A+)

An intense and lengthy exploration of Tizon’s lifelong domestic servant, Lola, brought over by his parents when they moved from the Philippines. There’s no other word for what she was to them but slave. This piece will win awards, made even more devastating for the fact that Tizon died mere weeks before its publication. It’s an absolute must-read.

His Kampf (Graham Wood in The Atlantic; A-)

Wood went to high school with white supremacist creep Richard Spencer, and 25 years later, interviews him in his Virginia apartment. A look at the intellectualization of some truly noxious ideas, and how they reflect the zeitgeist in 2017.

What An Immigrant Murder in Kansas Says About America (Romesh Ratnesar in Bloomberg Businessweek; B)

A shooting erupted in an Olathe, Kansas bar this past February; a man looking to kill Muslims killed an Indian tech engineer and wounded another. I can vouch for the tolerant, diverse, friendly, sort of hip picture of Johnson County, Kansas painted here, having gone there for work many times over the past decade. Disturbing and yet still uplifting story and worth your time.

“The Only Good Muslim is a Dead Muslim” (Ted Genoways in The New Republic; B)

In the same vein as the previous: also in Kansas; also in Trump’s America. This plot was thankfully thwarted, but the hatefulness and misguided anger of the would-be murderers, who sought to bomb and shoot innocent Somali immigrants in one grand destructive act, is literally unfathomable.

The Last White Africans (Eve Fairbanks in Foreign Policy; B+)

“With 200,000 members, AfriForum is the leading civic organization advocating for the rights of Afrikaners in South Africa. Do the people responsible for apartheid’s crimes have a claim to their country’s future?”

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