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Weekly Reading: Best longreads on the web

Friday 3rd July 2015

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


Eddie Johnston.

Photo: Fraser Chatham

Wellington's Lontalius on the honesty of Tumblr and the beauty of Drake's melodies – by Martyn Pepperell, i-D

“As a platform, Tumblr lends itself to honesty. You can write things for as long as you want. I'm just rambling my thoughts on there. On Twitter, if I try and say something in 140 characters I'm obviously going to offend someone. I pretty much met all of my best friends on Tumblr. It's really interesting because I don't really like the website that much, but I've started so many amazing friendships on there. I don't think anyone over 22 follows me on there; it really is a space for my generation.”

Magic Mike XXL Turns Men Into Objects, and We Should Rejoice – by Lauren Bans, GQ

“Male objectification is a hell of a lot different than female objectification though, and therein lies the rub. (Pun intended, obviously.) For one, male nudity can and has been played (a lot) for comic effect. Think: Jason Segel in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Or the Kevin James of England in The Full Monty. Sure, a flaccid penis can be funny. I mean, it looks like a depressed Muppet. Meanwhile a woman could draw Steve Buscemi’s face on both her breasts and still be a sex object. Which makes no sense. Boobs are literally balls of fat. They’re essentially the torso’s googly eyes. They should be funny. Females don’t get the same kind of freedom with their naked form. Boobs are sexy always. Sex boobs. Sboobs.”

America’s ‘Postracial’ Fantasy – by Anna Holmes, New York Times Magazine

“On Father’s Day, my dad and I had brunch with some close friends of mine. The conversation soon turned to their two sons: their likes, their dislikes, their habit of disrupting classmates during nap time at nursery school. At one point, as I ran my hand through one of the boys’ silky brown hair, I asked whether they consider their kids biracial. (The father is white; the mother is South Asian.) Before they could respond, the children’s paternal grandmother, in town for a visit, replied as if the answer were the most obvious thing in the world: ‘‘They’re white.’’”

No Diggling: Charting Mark Wahlberg’s Transformation From Crotch-Centric Underwear Model to Sexless Movie Star – by Alex Pappademas, Grantland

“Wahlberg began his career as a sex symbol — a rapper turned underwear model with comic-book abs you could juice a lemon on. Nearly every story anyone’s written about him in the ensuing years contains some reference to his brief stint as the face and torso of Calvin Klein, usually as an ignominious origin story he’s managed to live down (along with a teenage history of cocaine abuse and violence) through professional accomplishment. But what’s interesting and a little bit sad about Wahlberg’s post-underpants career arc is the degree to which he seems to have overcorrected this image problem, particularly during the last 10 years. He’s more buff than ever — in Transformers: Age of Extinction, he’s like the third-biggest truck onscreen — but he has also become a weirdly closed-off, almost asexual performer.”

On White Fungus and Creating From The Margins – by Stian Overdahl, Impolitikal

“Cities are great concentrators of resources: economic, social and intellectual. Their mass sucks in people of all stripes. For those with aspirations of social mobility and those wanting to escape poverty, cities promise opportunity for advancement and self-improvement. In the West, where the social contract – of economic security in exchange for banality and conformism – scares some with its extreme humdrumness, its long empty days of monotony, participation in culture – fashion, film, art, music, writing – seems to offer an alternative. With the population density of urban spaces, the combinatory logic of chance encounters and the boundless energy of the ambitious, major cities are the perfect proving ground for the young person striving to reinvent themselves, and to claim their cultural inheritance.”

Cruel And All-Too-Usual: How America Imprisons Kids - by Dana Liebelson, The Huffington Post 

“In 1822, when prison reformers in New York proposed the nation’s first juvenile institution, they saw the need to keep children separate from adults as “too obvious to require any argument.” The juvenile justice system was founded on the idea that young people are capable of change, and so society has a responsibility to help them overcome early mistakes in life. More recent science has only confirmed this principle. Because adolescents’ brains are still developing, their patterns of behavior not yet fixed, they have a far better chance of being rehabilitated than adults. And yet this potential is lost in prisons and jails, which barely recognize any distinction between adults and minors.”

Coming Out as Transgender to Two Million Teens — With a Text – by Ina Fried, Recode

“More than two million teens have signed up with to receive text messages suggesting ways to do social good. Once or twice a month, they get a note from someone named “Alysha” with tips like a new way to recycle clothes or how to convince friends not to text and drive. On Thursday, they got a different kind of text from Alysha. Alysha, the text said, was now going by the name Freddie and was coming out as transgender. Instantly. To two million people. Via a text message.”

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