Here are some things I’ve been reading and thinking about.
“I have been an asshole to Katie Dippold. Katie Dippold has been an asshole to me. But the very basic foundation of our sometimes complicated friendship involved being confused scared kids who saw something in each other and were kind and brave enough to let the other one know they should at least try to follow their instincts to see if it might just work out.”
If you read one thing: a U.S. soldier’s devastating suicide note. (And here, if you scroll to the bottom, is a thoughtful response from a fellow vet.)
“Like writing, or being in love, or painting a room: there is no clear path between not knowing how and knowing, no obvious task that will get you there, other than the doing of the thing until it becomes a part of you, until you are big enough to hold the knowing. Until you learn to see yourself as someone who can.”
Anyone else notice this about Esquire’s prose?
“Writing well used to be a fundamental principle of the humanities, as essential as the knowledge of mathematics and statistics in the sciences. But writing well isn’t merely a utilitarian skill. It is about developing a rational grace and energy in your conversation with the world around you.”
Could you exist with one, instead of five, social networks? (Personally, I don’t love the insinuation that the internet as being superfluous, mainly because it seems to’ve become more an extra layer of our lives rather than a mindless escape, but I think everyone could agree a conscious approach to consumption is good.)
From the archives: the Pulitzer-winning “Fatal Distraction: Forgetting a child in the back seat of a hot, parked car is a horrifying, inexcusable mistake. But is it a crime?” Absolutely devastating and so compassionately written.
I finally got around to Wright Thompson’s journey into the racist Italian soccer underworld.
Loved this poem: Gate A-4, by Naomi Shihab Nye.
“I basically destroyed my favorite books with the pure logorrheic force of my excitement, spraying them so densely with scribbled insight that the markings almost ceased to have meaning.” The joys of marginalia.
The bookstore strikes back!
Holy this cover of No Diggity by Chet Faker. And these two songs are the ones I’ve been listening to most this week.
Jessica Stanley’s READ.LOOK.THINK. is hands down the smartest and best collection of weekly links on the internet, featuring all things psychology, writing, feminism, media, food, travel and more. Last week’s batch is a stellar example of why it’s my favorite place to find good reads.
AV Club’s Ton VanDerWerff has the best Mad Men analyses. This one’s for the season six finale.
“It seems like the big distinction between good art and so-so art lies somewhere in the art’s heart’s purpose, the agenda of the consciousness behind the text. It’s got something to do with love. With having the discipline to talk out of the part of yourself than can love instead of the part that just wants to be loved.” — DFW
Kierkegaard: “Anxiety may be compared with dizziness. He whose eye happens to look down the yawning abyss becomes dizzy. But what is the reason for this? It is just as much in his own eye as in the abyss, for suppose he had not looked down. Hence, anxiety is the dizziness of freedom, which emerges when the spirit wants to posit the synthesis and freedom looks down into its own possibility, laying hold of finiteness to support itself. Freedom succumbs to dizziness.”