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Everything Book Lovers Need to Know About Amazon vs. Hachette

EXPLAINER JOURNALISM

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Every so often I turn on the television and see one of the movement leaders being asked some idiot question like, “Isn’t the women’s movement in favor of all women abandoning their children and going off to work?” (I can hear David Susskind asking it now.) The leader usually replies that the movement isn’t in favor of all women doing anything; what the movement is about, she says, is options. She is right, of course. At its best, that is exactly what the movement is about. But it just doesn’t work out that way. Because the hardest thing for us to accept is the right to those options. I hear myself saying those words. ‘What this movement is about is options.’ I say it to friends who are frustrated, or housebound, or guilty, or child-laden, and what I am really thinking is, If you really got it together, the option you would choose is mine.

Nora Ephron, “On Never Having Been a Prom Queen”

I’m reading a book of Ephron essays—more specifically, columns she wrote on “women’s issues” for Esquire—right now, and this piece (only the second in the collection!) blew my mind on the subway this morning. The quote above stands out on its own, obviously, but it’s the culmination of Ephron’s thoughts on her inability to empathize with the problems of beautiful women. The vastly different experiences, and thus concerns, of women who are conventionally attractive and those who aren’t is something I think about ALL THE TIME, plus how much that divide is elided or at least not talked about in feminist discourse. Ephron doesn’t just articulate the weird tensions surrounding Beauty Privilege, though; she extrapolates it into a much broader point about how identity politics erases all kinds of differences that can’t be boiled down to demography. Differences in looks or disposition or even hobbies that are more difficult to measure and thus debate than, say, queer vs. straight, but affect relationships just as much—and sometimes more, because they’re more easily ignored and less easily discussed.

Q: What is so fucking hard about meeting people when and where you said you would

A: Nothing

(Part 249872398572 in a series)(A series called Alison Is Compulsively Punctual and Incapable of Exercising Empathy Towards Those Who Are Not)

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Sometimes you just have to get weird to expand the imagination.  

10 Dark and Creepy Children’s Books Every Kid Should Read

a listicle

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So any and all Palestinian lives that are killed or injured are understood no longer to be lives, no longer understood to be living, no longer understood even to be human in a recognizable sense, but they are artillery. The bodies themselves are artillery. And of course, the extreme instance of that is the suicide bomber, who has become unpopular in recent years. That is the instance in which a body becomes artillery, or becomes part of a violent act. If that figure gets extended to the entire Palestinian population, then there is no living human population anymore, and no one who is killed there can be grieved. Because everyone who is a living Palestinian is, in their being, a declaration of war, or a threat to the existence of Israel, or pure military artillery, materiel. They have been transformed, in the Israeli war imaginary, into pure war instruments.

Judith Butler in a 2010 interview with Haaretz (via reichsstadt)

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