True Blue, Alanis in Chains and The Condition of Black Life

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Ein paar Longreads, die ich in den letzten Wochen gelesen oder auf mein Kindle ins Nirvana für irgendwann gepackt habe, unter anderem mit verwunschenem Zeugs auf Ebay, einem langen Aufsatz über „The Condition of Black Life“, der Geschichte von Ultramarin Blau und Texten über Alanis Morissette, Jack Kerouac und Werner Herzog.

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The Awl: Tales from the eBay-Crypt: „On eBay, do a search for 'haunted'—cross-referenced with a search for 'active' in order to clear Halloween-themed items—and you’ll get dozens of dolls, boxes, crystals, Ouija boards, and other pieces of regular-looking furniture that contain a little something extra special inside of them. These items are hawked by a slew of sellers, from full-fledged businesses that specialize in only selling ghost-enhanced artifacts, to regular folks who just want Uncle Wally’s old stuffed animal out of the house because it’s creeping them out“

NYTimes: ‘The Condition of Black Life Is One of Mourning’: „Anti-black racism is in the culture. It’s in our laws, in our advertisements, in our friendships, in our segregated cities, in our schools, in our Congress, in our scientific experiments, in our language, on the Internet, in our bodies no matter our race, in our communities and, perhaps most devastatingly, in our justice system. The unarmed, slain black bodies in public spaces turn grief into our everyday feeling that something is wrong everywhere and all the time, even if locally things appear normal. Having coffee, walking the dog, reading the paper, taking the elevator to the office, dropping the kids off at school: All of this good life is surrounded by the ambient feeling that at any given moment, a black person is being killed in the street or in his home by the armed hatred of a fellow American.“

Bloomberg: What is Code?: „We are here because the editor of this magazine asked me, 'Can you tell me what code is?'“

NYMag: How One Brain Came Back From Unconsciousness: „Despite its encircling fortress of bone, the human brain is especially vulnerable to physical insult. There are approximately 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries in the United States each year, and although most of them are mild or moderate, thousands result in severe brain damage. Those injuries always happen on the same day: day zero, a day that marks the start of a fateful and often flawed prognostic calendar. For 19-year-old Dylan Rizzo, day zero was December 28, 2010.“

Paris Review: True Blue – A brief history of ultramarine: „Michelangelo couldn’t afford ultramarine. His painting The Entombment, the story goes, was left unfinished as the result of his failure to procure the prized pigment. Rafael reserved ultramarine for his final coat, preferring for his base layers a common azurite; Vermeer was less parsimonious in his application and proceeded to mire his family in debt. Ultramarine: the quality of the shade is embodied in its name. This is the superlative blue, the end-all blue, the blue to which all other hues quietly aspire. The name means 'beyond the sea'—a dreamy ode to its distant origins, as romantic as it is imprecise.“

Penguin: Alanis in Chains: „By June 1995, Alanis Morissette self-actualized her third album into existence. Jagged Little Pill single-handedly1 turned her from gender stereotype to patron saint of mainstream grrrl power. Rolling Stone dubbed her an 'angry white female' for eviscerating her ex on the album’s lead single, 'You Oughta Know,' but she wasn’t afraid to ask for what she wanted—“intellectual intercourse”—and bad-mouth men who didn’t give it to her. While Bikini Kill and Bratmobile had preceded her, they were overtly political. Morissette was a palatable grunge package who filled a hole for emo sorority girls who knew what it was like to be sad but laughing, brave but chickenshit.“

NYBooks: Rescuing Wonderful Shivery Tales: „[The Brother Grimms Fairytale] collection contains many of the most-loved fairy tales in the history of the form: “Little Snow White” (Sneewittchen), with its haunting refrain (“Mirror, mirror…”) and its three steps to deathly unconsciousness (first the stay-laces, then the poisoned comb, then the irresistible red red apple); the Grimms’ chilling and ferocious variant of “Cinderella” in which her sisters cut off their toes and their heels to fit into the glass slipper; “Rapunzel”; “The Robber Bridegroom”; “Fitcher’s Bird”—one could go on and on. The book is a classic, formed like a mosaic of precious small pieces, each one glinting with its own color and character, glassy and crystalline, but somehow hard, unyielding.“

Interview Magazine: New Again – Werner Herzog: „Chatwin narrates the tumultuous, amusing experiences of being on set with Herzog as he makes a movie. Much like Herzog read excerpts from his journey to Eisner, Chatwin recounts his own time with Herzog, much like Herzog read and recounted excerpts from his journey to Eisner.“

The Long and Short: Hooking Up – Should we 'zap' our Brains to improve ourselves?: „'The first time, I freaked out,' she remembers. 'I thought, 'I can't cope with putting electrical stimulations in my brain.' Lee put this machine on and, it's difficult to explain, but, everything went empty in a good way. I can't remember if I've ever felt like that. I felt relaxed and chilled inside. It was a mad sensation and an out-of-body experience.'“

Texas Monthly: The Talented Mr. Khater: „When 23-year-old Callie Quinn moved from Texas to Chile, she counted on finding a beautiful country, meaningful work, and interesting friends. She had no idea she’d set off a manhunt for an international con artist.“

Daily Beast: The Stacks: Jack Kerouac Was the Winston Churchill of the Beats: „ the significant thing was that in addition to hard, I-won’t-be-stopped writing during these crucial years—and this extra gland was to make Kerouac stand out from all the other first novelists clogging the city—he had an uncanny gift for winging right along toward new experience.“

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