This list will hopefully be larger most weeks, unless I begin to read much less. And since I will be unemployed soon, I should have plenty of time to read. But every week I want to put out a list of the best pieces I’ve read: if you’re reading this, there are many other pieces that you should definitely be reading instead.
Here are some of the best from the past week:
by Wesley Morris, Grantland
This piece is excellent and a must read. I’ve really enjoyed other pieces by Morris before, specifically this one. Like many, the killing of Trayvon Martin and the following media coverage has been extremely troubling. This piece does a great job of going above the speculation and really examines the issues that should be at the forefront of our national discussion on this issue.
by Rembert Browne
This is a risky post, since Rembert Browne has been an extremely indirect but prominent influence in my decision to write and write often. Obviously, I haven’t been taking from the content of his blog—of course—but there are certainly formatting and themes that have, and will continue to, inspire posts that I put up. He writes for Grantland, too, but I found this piece to be really well written—an important, fun read. It’s a topic that I’ve always been interested and genuinely concerned about, but have lacked the experience, clout and general knowledge to ever comment on it in anything other than a classroom setting. Read this piece.
by Jared Bernstein
I enjoy Huffington Post—but I’ve learned that I need to enjoy it for what it is, not what it isn’t. I think I enjoy Huffington Post the same way so many conservatives enjoy Fox News: it serves to confirm my beliefs to a greater extent than it reports news or broadens my horizons. I’m a liberal—no, a Liberal, with a capital L…you could make the I and B capital, too. I’ll save my poet waxings (?) about my politics, but I am a “keep looking left to find my political beliefs” type person. And even I think that Huff Post has some silly headlines. Despite the obvious bias, though, there are still some pretty interesting bloggers and blog posts. I thought this was a pretty good summation of POTUS’s remarks the other day regarding the GOP budget proposal. Also, I love the acronym POTUS and will use it often.
by Hayes Davenport
I enjoy the blog: Celtics Hub. It’s fun and offers a quality, interactive perspective on the Celtics. I have this because 1) I wholeheartedly agree with the premise, 2) I wrote a similar piece that I submitted to Bleacher Report as a writing sample for consideration to be a contributing writer to the site (awesomely and frustratedly (a real word?) the next day, one of their featured columnists posted a piece that was almost exactly like mine! I know he didn’t copy mine, all the angles were pretty obvious, but it was certainly odd—glad I got my submission in when I did!), and 3) I have something to add. Here’s something I haven’t seen anywhere else: Bradley would be the first player to be a bit contributor that looks up to Rondo. Rondo is clearly the best player on the Celtics—when he hasn’t checked out. But he’s been forced to take a back seat to the three hall-of-famers that he is playing with. That isn’t necessarily wrong; I can see how it would be tough to handle. But it also must be frustrating to be Rondo with skills of a legitimate super star, yet still in the shadow of three other players. Having Bradley in the starting lineup finally gives Rondo someone who he can, without question, boss around. And as a point guard—one who is arguably the best distributor in the league (almost to a fault sometimes)—he needs to be able to be a floor general and have confidence that his team will follow him. But this is a good read in addition to be an opportunity for me to chime in on something I have no real expertise on.
by John Heilemann
Nothing super earth shattering in this piece, but it’s a good reminder for me and all those other Obamabots: Barack may be up in the polls right now, but this election will be really ugly—from both sides—and no one is going to come out of it looking great. If the Republican primary race has been any indication of what to expect in the race to become the next POTUS (used it again!), and I think it has been, we are far from the smear campaign that has defined politics over the past nine months.
by Sherman Alexie
Every week, I think I’ll include some form of literature: poems, essays, short stories. And it will rarely be poems, but today it is. I don’t have a link, but hopefully you can be better about searching the internet than me (if you’re not, shame on you). Poetry will rarely be features because, in a nutshell, I’m not that crazy about poetry. I know it’s terrible for an aspiring write to say that, but like Jazz and crunchy peanut butter, I just can’t go along with my fellow hipsters on this one. I know if I was better at being White—which I’m already pretty amazing at it already—I’d at least pretend to enjoy these things—but I just don’t. This is an excellent poem that takes a look at the death penalty from a unique angle. It’s also pretty accessible so if you’re like me and don’t enjoy poetry too often, this is a good read because the language is readable on a first read through, but every time you read it after that, you’ll get more out of it. Also, great subtle critique on how racist the implementation of our capital punishment system is—doesn’t hit you over the head with it, but just enough to take notice.
READ THIS POEM.