pop culture

What I’m Reading and Thinking About This Week

These are the things that I’ve been reading and thinking about this week while I’ve been avoiding all the things I probably should be doing.

Did Facebook Censor Kirk Cameron? (Salon)

This one is interesting not only because Kirk Cameron is such a gigantic tool, but also because he resorted to the same sorts of social media tactics that the scary liberals he hates so much use to get their messages heard.  I don’t know.  Cameron is so out there it hardly matters, but the entire concept of what censorship is and whether or not social media sites like Facebook have the right to do so (and what they choose to censor) is really interesting.

All My Exes Live in Texts (NYMag)

Probably one of the most thought-provoking articles I read this week, NY Mag’s article about break-ups and the social media generation has a lot of parallels to my own life (and the lives of my friends).  There’s this:

My peers and I have all these exes, in part because we have more time to rack them up before later marriages, because we’re freer about sleeping around, because we’re more comfortable with cross-gender friendships and blurring sexual boundaries, because not committing means keeping more love interests around as possibilities, and because the digital age enables us to never truly break up.

And this:

Even casual dates have expansive biographies to plow through and life narratives you can follow for years. You hear about their hangovers when you check Twitter for the morning news. You see their new apartments when you browse Facebook at work. They can jump into your pants whenever they want by sending text messages that land in your pocket. Online, you watch your exes’ lives unfold parallel to yours—living, shifting digital portraits of roads not taken with partners you did not keep.

Because all of that is true, for us (and here I’m speaking of my unmarried 28-year-old self and the majority of my still unmarried friends).  I have a general rule of not “friending” people I date on social media sites until we’re well-established, and I generally unfriend/unfollow/block them if we break up, because I’m specifically trying to avoid so much of what this article talks about.  It’s  a great read.

Orange is the New Black is a Great Fucking Show (Jezebel)

Seriously, why aren’t you watching this yet?  I’m not all the way through it yet because I’m savoring it (and am really paying attention when I watch it, which means I can’t do other things on the internet or around the house the way I normally do when I watch most TV), but it’s some of the most exciting writing, the best casting, and all-around interesting programming I’ve seen in a long time.  So many women from so many backgrounds.  Just incredible.


What Are Grown-Ups Afraid of in YA Books? (BookRiot)

If you aren’t following Kelly Jensen on Twitter (@catagator) or reading her blog (Stackedbooks.org), you’re missing you. Jensen also writes for BookRiot, and she wrote this really great, really intriguing post this past week about what it is that adults are afraid of in YA books.  The answer for her seems to lie in context.  It’s a great piece that is both challenging and respectful, and I think she really gets to the meat of the problem: people forget what it’s like to actually experience life as a teenager.  It’s messy and complicated and dark, and this idea that YA books dealing with “dark” material or things deemed inappropriate for “innocent minds” or whatever is so completely ridiculous and limiting.

The comments are interesting, too, although sometimes a tad infuriating.  It’s fine if you don’t want your children to read something, but using loaded, blanket statements and deciding for everyone else what’s “good” or “appropriate” reeks of moral superiority, and that pisses me off.

What did you read this week that’s interesting?


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