(Editor’s Note: While we’re technically still off until Tuesday, September 7th, we wanted to pilot a different kind of newsletter from the single-narrative Factual Dispatch or the event-focused Afternoon Tea. Many readers have remarked that they just don’t have time for long-form reading, music, or videos during the week. In an effort to address this, here’s poetry, music videos, art, and long-form writing to be consumed from your chaise lounge.)
Words: Gary Miranda, Jarod K. Anderson, and Ursula Le Guin
Why school lunches feel like they’re frozen in time (Vox) & What school lunch looks like in 19 countries around the world (Insider - 2019) Kids are still consuming whole milk with cheeseburgers at 11:34 in the morning every day like it’s 1956. I’m shocked we didn’t puke so much more than we did. Iron stomachs are wasted on the young.
Data Relations (Logic Mag) Datafication, the value of relations between data vs the data itself, and the complex problems that we need to be asking better questions about if we have any chance to solve it.
Capitalism Is Making You Lonely (Tribune Mag) It’s not screens, it’s not social media, it’s capitalism.
I Know a Place (Pioneer Works) As we continue to evolve into the internet, more and more digital places will find themselves abandoned, but somehow still functional. While Roblox hit a serious skid this week, the scandal isn’t terminal. Assume there will be a decade worth of abandoned places before this platform finally goes away.
(Editor’s Note: One of the best music videos we’ve ever seen and easily one of the best pieces of art we’ve come across in the last few years.)
Savvy Punditry Isn’t Smart (Rotten In Denmark) After several years of caustic game theory from beltway insiders, tattoo this on the inside of the eyelids of every pundit who confuses Monopoly with the lives of human beings, foreign & domestic.
What I Learned While Eavesdropping on the Taliban (The Atlantic) & Why it’s wrong to blame Biden for the Afghanistan debacle (Responsible Statecraft) You can’t have a conversation about us leaving Afghanistan without a suffocating amount of nuance and Gordian Knots of policy consequence. Anyone who says otherwise is either conveniently forgetting the entirety of the last years of TrumPompeo foreign policy, works for Lockheed Martin, or believes Kissinger did nothing wrong.
Bloom County x Calvin & Hobbes (Reddit) There was a 17 part running storyline in the relaunched Bloom County involving Hobbes. If those two comic strips mean something to you, you’re in for a rare treat.
(Editor’s Note: Her voice is absolutely incredible, taking a high standards song and pushing it into the stratosphere. This will be in an action movie so fast it’ll make TikTok heads spin. For an orchestral arrangement of the original & this stunning cover, Soundcloud has you.)
The Problem With Bo Burnham’s Inside (Slate) & Let People Enjoy This Essay (Gawker) The problem with Inside isn’t that Bo wasn’t “truly alone” or working from a single room, it’s that his work might have crowded out other “truly authentic” pieces from getting the visibility they deserved. However, even just that level of meta-commentary might be seen as hyperbolic or critical. Which is why the second essay was added for commentary on the commentary.
End of the Line for Uber (Marker) & Big Box Stores’ Other Shoe Drops (Marker) A pair of medium articles by Cory Doctorow, one comforting, the other withering. While what’s coming for Uber couldn’t be more deserved, after reading about “dark stores” and how Lowe’s is clawing back millions from small towns, I’d be just as pleased if the orbiting satellite laser was pointed at Great Value Home Depot.
How the CIA Helped Shape the Creative Writing Scene in America (Open Culture - 2018) I was today years old when I learned…Just a beyond the pale wild story that most centrists would never believe.
(Editor’s Note: Bieber is back, and if you’re on the social medias, you’ve probably heard the original enough to be wholesale sick of it. Instead, a euphoric drum & bass remix for your sonic palate cleanser.)
That’s all for our show! We’re unsure if we should drag the writers kicking & screaming from their beds to add this to your week, so let us know what you think.