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Weekly Reading: Best longreads on the web

Saturday 7th October 2017

Our weekly recap highlighting the best feature stories from around the internet.


This week Buzzfeed go deep on how former Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos brought the alt-right into mainstream media.

Photo: AFP

Here's How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream, by Joseph Bernstein, Buzzfeed

“Over the next several months, Yiannopoulos began to find the right targets. First it was a continued attack on Shaun King, the writer and Black Lives Matter activist whose ethnicity Yiannopoulos had called into question. Next it was then–Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who Bannon called in an email to Yiannopoulos the “poster child for the narcissistic ecosystem.” And increasingly it was enemies of Donald Trump. In response to a Yiannopoulos pitch accusing a prominent Republican opponent of Trump of being a pill-popper, Bannon wrote: “Dude!!! LMAO! … Epic.” And Bannon signed off on an April story by Yiannopoulos imploring #NeverTrumpers to get on board with “Trump and the alt-right.” (Bannon did, however, veto making it the lead story on the site, writing to Yiannopoulos and Marlow, “Looks like we have our thumb on the scale.”)”

The Needle Drop Pioneered Music Review Vlogs. His Lesser-Known Channel Pandered to the Alt-Right, by Ezra Marcus, The Fader

“Today, nearly every online outlet focusing on music has some kind of socially conscious slant. That’s where most artists stand, and most readers too. While The Needle Drop covers a similar beat as sites like The FADER and Pitchfork, it exists in a totally different context — the surprisingly conservative world of YouTube. Last month The New York Times reported on the rise of “the YouTube right,” a community of “monologuists, essayists, performers and vloggers” who, among many other ideals, “deplore ‘social justice warriors,’ whom they credit with ruining popular culture.” From PewDiePie to Paul Joseph Watson, anti-social justice views are de rigeur among popular YouTubers. These are Fantano’s true colleagues and competition — not the lefty bloggers who have traditionally covered music — and he has adapted to their world, awkwardly.”

The Instagram Poet Outselling Homer Ten to One: Meet Rupi Kaur, author of the ubiquitous Milk and Honey, by Molly Fischer, The Cut

“Kaur’s Instagram feed is immaculately manicured, a checkerboard on which her poems — all lowercase, often alongside her drawings — alternate with photos, mostly professional, mostly of Kaur. Recently, she posted a picture of herself smiling next to Gloria Steinem in the front row at Prabal Gurung’s show at New York Fashion Week. She is, deeply and truly, a poet of Instagram: In the manner of that medium, her work is human experience, tidily aestheticized and monetized, rendered inspirational and relatable in perfect balance. Her poems are, for the most part, short enough to fit easily in Instagram’s square frame, and her sentiments general enough to be universally recognizable.”

My Grandmother, the Nazis, and the Shadow of the Olympics, by Molly Lambert, The New Yorker

“The modern Olympics’ mythologizing of the Western empire, a world that begins not with the Egyptians or the Mayans but the ancient Greeks, fell right in line with the Nazis’ fantasized return to an older and supposedly racially purer era; for the Nazis, ancient Greece was a mythical locus of their Aryan origins. The marketing image of the Olympic Games as timeless ritual fit squarely with the Nazis’ desire to portray Aryanism as an ancient bloodline, connected to old esoteric traditions, unstoppably dominant and irreplaceable.”

Jackie Chan’s Plan to Keep Kicking Forever, by Alex Pappademas, GQ

‘"My first impression of him was, we were in Inner Mongolia, and he comes riding up on one of those electric scooters, a Segway scooter, with this beautiful green Chinese military trench coat on," says Johnny Knoxville, who made a movie called Skiptrace with Jackie in various regions of mainland China a year or so ago. "It's a gorgeous jacket. And it's so cold that day. I'm like, 'Oh, that's a wonderful jacket.' He's like, 'You like it? It's yours.' And he just gives me the jacket right off his back. I was like, 'No, I wasn't going for that,' and he's like, 'No. No. Yours.' He gave me two or three jackets on that movie."’

The Liberation of Kesha, by Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone

“As her version of "Children of the Revolution" plays on, Kesha wrinkles her freckled, gold-ring-adorned nose in suspicion. Does it sound too good? "Is there anything on it?" she asks, wondering what studio magic might be at work. Just a little reverb, she's told. "It sounds like you're live with that band," says Willner, employing a bedside manner honed over decades. "That's how I want it to sound," she says. She raises an admonishing finger, eyes narrowed: "Do not even touch a button of Auto-Tune!" "We wouldn't even know how to use it," Willner replies.”

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