AROUND THE INTERNET IN 8 ARTICLES: THE MARCH EDITION
Dear Around The Internet-ers,
Another month, another 8 best articles to read right now, because life is short but the Internet is long. Put down that spoon of cereal. Let that mouthful of coffee spill down your chin as you consume #content in open-mouthed rapture. On reviewing the list I found I’ve failed to include any male writers here — this wasn’t done on purpose (though sure, subconscious misandry may have played its role) and here’s to a more inclusive approach to gender equality next month round. — Sophie
The story of socialite heiress and “shy bride” Mary Landon Baker, who was eternally proposed to but never tied the knot, is textual Prozac. It’s got an adorable picture of the aforementioned heiress, whose shoe game leads you to suspect she intended on staying glamorous and solo a while, it’s got descriptions of her passions in life, at least three of which you’re going to want to adopt (“pirate parties, tango dancing with Romanian princes and glinting lamé gowns”) and it has the following line: “Throughout the 1920s, she went through lovers like General Sherman blazing a path to the sea.” Yes please.
Imagine someone tackling imposter syndrome and questions of writing and privilege (“Why do white twenty-year girls on Thought Catalog declare with swagger ‘I’m working on my first book about New York’, when Haruki Murakami says that being a writer is a kind of embarrassing thing?”) in prose that’s lace-delicate and which feels so much like your new favourite novel that you never get turned off by its demand that you think, and hard.
Rosa Lyster is a wizard or a psychic or both because she’s crawled into my mind, scooped out all the wowed, half-sexual envy I get around clothes from somebody else’s closet and then chopped those feelings into words and placed those words in a delightful order onto the (web)page. If you’ve ever lusted after someone else’s jeans purely because they’re someone else’s, this is for you.
Ignore the misleading title and brace yourself for incoming envy: this starts with your favourite writer Nell Zink complaining about being hounded by The Guardian for an article, any article, on any theme she wants. But! Come for the green eyed monster, stay for the inspiration, she then segues into any number of subjects, from The Golden Notebook to German health insurance to pretentious parties.
When Angela Garcia’s house burned down and her daughters died in the fire, she ended up being convicted of murder — despite the tenuous evidence that led to her being put behind bar. This piece was horribly enlightening about the many, many weaknesses of the American justice system (where white jurors go wrong when judging a case with a POC on trial, how plea bargains can pressure the innocent into pleading guilty) that can be exploited by the state in order to convict. Long but essential.
If you’ve been on the Internet this month, you’ve probably come across the Dana Schutz/Hannah Black painting conversation. Schutz, a white artist, painted the corpse of Emmett Till — a 14 year old Black boy who was murdered after being accused of interacting with a white woman in a way that offended her — in its casket. Artist, writer and cultural critic Black wrote an open letter to the curators and staff of the Whitney Biennial calling for it to be removed from circulation and destroyed, arguing “the painting should not be acceptable to anyone who cares or pretends to care about Black people because it is not acceptable for a white person to transmute Black suffering into profit and fun”. As of the time of writing, the issue has been left open-ended with Schutz not issuing any response (though her email account was hacked and a fake email sent from it, apologising for her role in the issue) and the Whitney staying quiet. The above articles eloquently outline the two sides of the argument (both argued by women of colour, though the first article is co-written by Livingstone, a white woman).
Ready to be horrified by a whole new thing? Something I’ve failed to think about but am now consumed by: the social care women once did for free as part of families or in their community isn’t being covered by anyone else post more women hitting the workplace, leading to a crisis of care. “We now have a dual organization of care work in which those who can afford domestic help simply pay for it, while those who cannot scramble to take care of their families, often by doing the paid care work for the first group, and often at very, very low wages with virtually no protections.” There’s obvious ramifications here in terms of privilege: “It is, after all, chiefly immigrant women of color, African-American women, and Latino women who are doing this work.”