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Weekly Reading: Best longreads on the web

Saturday 15th July 2017

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


Jesse David Fox puts together an oral history of The Simpsons’ Classic Planet of the Apes Musical in this week's vulture.

An Oral History of The Simpsons’ Classic Planet of the Apes Musical, by Jesse David Fox, Vulture

I guess this happens in lots of rooms, but in The Simpsonsroom there’ll be 20 minutes or half an hour with everyone silent, thinking of a funny sign gag or a Groundskeeper Willie line, but when someone pitches a great idea or a joke, the feeling spreads. It’s like, when someone pitches a joke like “chimpan-A to chimpan-Z,” you start thinking of even better jokes and it all builds on itself. One nugget of an idea leads to a brilliant sequence, and that’s what The Simpsons room does best, with everybody feeding and playing off of each other.

Through the Outback, by Adam Ferguson, The New York Times

“We picked wild tobacco in the hill near where Ms. Ward was born in the bush, and she found a honey ant nest. Digging at the earth with an iron rod, she collected hundreds of ants whose abdomens were translucent sacs of sweet liquid, and we sucked them around a campfire while other elder women cooked kangaroo tails they bought frozen at the community store.”

MTV News, Chance the Rapper, and a Defence of Negative Criticism, by Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker

“Fairly or not, I often catch myself suspecting that work that’s been unilaterally praised is either boring (what kind of art is so innocent and uncomplicated as to bestir only gracious titters of approval, like a child’s finger painting?) or provocative in such a way that critics are paralyzed, terrified to dissect it for fear of being seen as unsophisticated or boorish. Mostly, though, I think of what a weird and tedious trajectory it would be for an artist never to have someone consider her work seriously enough to question its motives and its successes.”

How NZ's Growing Alt-Right Movement Plans to Influence the Election, by Kirsty Johnson, The New Zealand Herald

‘"My main thoughts on politics at the moment is that I believe that fascism and national socialism are the most beneficial ways for a government to run a country," says Phillip, 17. "And the reason I believe that is because of the wonders it did for Nazi Germany." Phillip is one of a number of young men from a high school in Auckland to join the Western Guard. He says he became interested in the alt-right during the "meme wars" of the US election, and began his "research" after that.”

The ‘D’ Word: In Conversation with Alice Canton, by Lana Lopesi, The Pantograph Punch

“Something else I’ve been thinking about is how people don’t understand the emotional labour of these conversations that we talk about. Because for you and I, we are diversity, we can’t turn off from the conversation. When I leave a hui like that I keep thinking about it and replaying it in my head, it comes back to me when I’m sleeping, I wake up still thinking about it, because I can’t switch off, it’s impossible to remove a conversation like this from my existence as a Pacific woman, and that’s not a problem for many of my Pākehā colleagues. So, like, does it only matter to us?”

Sacred Architecture, by Amos Barshad, The Fader

“To the Saranap Sufis, the opposition to the sanctuary looked like plain, all-too-familiar religious persecution. They were portrayed as a cult; they were labeled as mysterious and secretive for their faith practices. To the opposition, the sanctuary was a strange behemoth threatening the very identity of their town. “Saranap used to be one of those neighborhoods where you could walk around and be friendly to your neighbors,” said a local in one public hearing. “Now everybody wants to know what side you’re on.”’

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