pop culture

Internet Things I’ve Been Reading and Thinking About This Week

Here are the articles that have stayed with me this week.

When Will Climate Change Make the Earth too Hot for Humans? (NY Mag)

It’s…not good, you guys. Things are happening fast, and the general scientific consensus is that we’re much closer to many of these catastrophic things than we think. This part, about melting Arctic ice is particularly terrifying to me:

The Arctic also stores terrifying bugs from more recent times. In Alaska, already, researchers have discovered remnants of the 1918 flu that infected as many as 500 million and killed as many as 100 million — about 5 percent of the world’s population and almost six times as many as had died in the world war for which the pandemic served as a kind of gruesome capstone. As the BBC reported in May, scientists suspect smallpox and the bubonic plague are trapped in Siberian ice, too — an abridged history of devastating human sickness, left out like egg salad in the Arctic sun.

Did That New York Magazine Climate Change Piece Freak You Out? Good. (Vox)

This came along literally right after I read the NYMag piece, and it helped solidify a lot of my thoughts about the article. It’s worth a read, especially if your knee-jerk response to the first article is disbelief:

“Things stay roughly as they are” is just as improbable as the worst-case scenario he lays out, yet I’d venture to guess it is believed (or more importantly, envisioned) by vastly more people.

Part of that is because envisioning the best-case scenario is easy — it looks just like now! — while envisioning the worst-case scenario is very difficult. It’s especially difficult because the worst-case scenario is treated by the very few people who understand it as a kind of forbidden occult knowledge to which ordinary people cannot survive exposure. Nobody can talk about it without getting scolded by the hope police.

The Best Books of 2017 (So Far) (Bookriot)

I’m a sucker for lists, and I love lists about books especially, so this was a fun read for me. I have not read many of them, but a bunch are already on my TBR list and I have a few checked out from the library right now, so I guess I’m on the right track?

American Girl Dolls Ranked in Order of Gayness (The Niche Blog)

This was one of those wonderful weird internet stumble-upon things that happened to me this week. This sums up the point of the post:

I’ve written at some length about how American Girl’s story model is pretty inherently gay: take a girl from a given historical period, have her run up against the gendered conventions of the era, ???, profit. The line was always meant to run counter to hypersexualized dolls like Barbie and Bratz, and so the focus of all the stories is female friendship. It is a rare thing for an American Girl to even speak to a boy to whom she’s not related. And when this does happen, it’s probably because the boy was antagonizing the American Girl in question, and she had to put him in his place.

I had Addy and my sister had Molly, so this was a very fun read for me.

 

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