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Weekly Reading: Best longreads on the web

Friday 8th May 2015

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

Mad Men's Peggy Olsen.

Photo: AMC

Did This Woman Predict ‘Mad Men’s Ending Two Years Ago? – by Ben Collins, The Daily Beast

“What if a close friend knew the ending to your novel 40 pages into it? What if that person were certain that it’s a work of art anyway—one that should not be changed under any circumstances, she says—but by the mysteries of circumstance or fate or coincidence, she happened to figure the whole thing out right away? What if you still had time to change it? Would you? And what if it’s not happening with a novel? What if it’s happening with one of the greatest TV shows of all time, right now?”

Ashley and JaQuavis Coleman: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – by Jody Rosen, T Magazine

“The emergence of street lit is one of the big stories in recent American publishing, a juggernaut that has generated huge sales by catering to a readership — young, black and, for the most part, female — that historically has been ill-served by the book business. But the genre is also widely maligned. Street lit is subject to a kind of triple snobbery: scorned by literati who look down on genre fiction generally, ignored by a white publishing establishment that remains largely indifferent to black books and disparaged by African-American intellectuals for poor writing, coarse values and trafficking in racial stereotypes.”

Stranded in a Mob: Depression and Rap in 2015 – by Sheldon Pearce, Consequence of Sound

“In the last few months alone, rap has taken major strides toward helping to destigmatize depression, both within the genre and within the black community, simply by talking about it. By opening up about mental health and discussing it on a more personalized level, rappers can help breach the dialogue about depression in their own communities. Music is a powerful medium that can help people acknowledge realities they otherwise might not have.” 

What Memes May Come: The Perfect Ugliness of the Met Gala – by Megan Garber, The Atlantic

“The Met Gala may celebrate the varying exclusivities of wealth and celebrity; as a media event, though, it is all about that most democratic of things: dirty, craven spectacle. There is something, despite and because of all the showmanship, wonderfully honest about all that. This is fashion, stripped down to its highest and lowest propositions: clothing as art, clothing as symbol, clothing as statement. This is fashion presented not as a practical concern, or even as an aesthetic one, but as a kind of philosophy.”

PC Music: the future of pop or 'contemptuous parody'? – by Sam Wolfson, The Guardian

“Even in the more clued-up corners of the music world, people are, while seemingly unified in their belief that PC Music is an incredibly important thing to happen to pop music, having trouble working out what exactly it is. Or whether it’s any good. Of Pitchfork’s top 30 songs of last year, three were by artists linked with PC Music, while at the same time Vice asked “Are They Really the Worst Thing Ever to Happen to Dance Music?” Spin declared it “Trend of the Year”; Fact dismissed the whole thing as “pure, contemptuous parody”. Never has a sound in such infancy been given such weight by those trying to understand it.”

Montage Of Heck Celebrates Kurt Cobain's Life, Not His Death – by Leslie Horn, The Concourse

“Courtney [Love] is a constant presence here, of course, and I suppose it’s hard not to have feelings on that, but Montage of Heck makes no judgements about her. Yes, it does note that Cobain preferred to be with strong women, and it does have a chain-smoking Courtney admitting on camera that she never cheated on her late husband, but she thought about it once, and he overdosed the next day. Otherwise, the effect she had on him, negative or otherwise, is something you are left to draw from the details yourself.” 

Why Grime Beef Might Shake Rap Awake This Year – by Matthew Trammell, The Fader

“If you're curious, skeptical, or even apathetic about the UK offshoot of dancehall and garage, let Skepta's "Nasty" be your grime entry point. This needled, frenetic diss track was released in late March and recorded over Wiley's "Morgue" instrumental, a beat that sounds like sudden-death on a masochist game show: your wager's set, and you have 30 seconds to scribble an answer before your bet is null and void. "Morgue" was released in 2005, but it's still worthy of repeats some ten years later, because a vet like Skepta stabbing fingers at arch-rival Devilman over vintage Wiley drips and kicks might be one of the more exciting things going on in music right now.”

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