Picks of the Week: September 19

Helloooooo and welcome back to Picks of the Week!

I’ve been on a bit of a curl-up-and-write-fiction bubble lately. I finally have emerged from the cocoon to refresh news sites, check my favorite blogs, and see what’s trending. As a courtesy to you, friend, here are the things I read this week that might pique your interest, too!

Ah cannah git independence!

Oh, those darling Scots. They voted no, 55% to 45%. Probably smarter for the economy, but kind of a bummer on the dramatic story front. I’m a rebel I love decolonization stories about how the British Empire fell apart (especially like, most of the countries in Africa. If you didn’t hear much about that in history class, read here; it’s vital to understanding African culture and politics today.)

Anyway. CNN did an interesting compilation of the political ads that have been running in Scotland. I can’t help but wonder how much the ads influenced the vote. Also, after the vote, Scotland’s prime minister stepped down, though he vowed that his dream for independence “would never die.” I like his spirit. Lots of journalists are predicting that this isn’t the last we’ll hear of the vote. Although, cough, fortune telling is not in their job description.

The independence conversation makes me think of India, Botswana, Israel, and the good ol’ US of A fighting for their countries’ independence. (Links to good Wiki articles, so you can get lost down the rabbit holes.) Scots coulda taken a leaf — I guess all that talk was just clishmaclaiver,* the galoots.*

*Look it up

Sociology and ‘spitting razors’

I really gobbled up The Atlantic’s latest feature on how gangs in California prisons provide crucial social structure in such a volatile and potentially explosive environment. Inventing their own economic norms…disciplining their own to keep fights from breaking out…man, this is some intense stuff! Prisons are insane, man. And as the article says, we’re second only to North Korea in incarcerations. Probably because we don’t just shoot people. Still, it’s food for thought.

Getting cultured

A great critique of a new TV show about teenagers in hospitals (which I’m very surprised isn’t called The Fault In Our Stars: Making More Money, by the way) from a teenager in a hospital. Her closing words: “Life does not start when you go to a hospital. If you’re lucky enough to have a non-terminal illness, life continues, in a warped version that includes more pain and obstacles than any young person should have to experience.”

The Curator, fab as always, on why the Art Everywhere project was necessary and awesome: “what happens when a city, a nation, or a society loses the stories art tells because its masterpieces are not made public, but instead are tucked away, reserved for only the elite or the interested?” I think of this often, and am happy to see someone writing about it.

And for your enjoyment: a documentary on the New York City Ballet. You will fall in love with the dancers, their passion, their crushing disappointments. It’s refreshing to see artists working so hard for what they believe in. It’s an amazing series, and reminded me that if I really want to be a writer, I will have to work harder than I’ve ever worked before.

Last laugh

Do you like HONY? Of course you do, you have a soul and a Facebook account. You may like HONY, but you might not be able to tell the difference between Brandon Stanton and this guy, who trolled a lot of people posing to be the world’s favorite photographer. Warning: you will laugh so much something will start to hurt.

Those are the picks of the week. Suggestions for next week’s are SO welcome. xo

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