Our weekly recap highlighting the best feature stories from around the internet.
Lana Del Rey Talks "Lust for Life," Avoiding Cultural Appropriation, and Getting Political, by Noah Callahan-Bever, Complex
“On the last records I needed to look inward to figure out why things had gone so far down one path, and then I kind of came to the end of my self-examination and I naturally was looking at everything else. But, of course, all my experiences and romantic relationships and stuff are still peppered in to some of the songs on this record. Also, with Obama as the president, me and everybody I know, I think we felt very safe and protected, felt like we were being viewed the way we wanted to be viewed, in terms of the world. So there wasn’t as much to say except, like, look how far we’ve come and it’s getting better, getting even better. I feel like there was quite a shift.”
The Man McMaster Couldn't Fire, by Rosie Gray, The Atlantic
“There was one person, however, who McMaster couldn’t get rid of: Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence programs. McMaster tried to remove him in March, but President Trump, at the urging of Bannon and Jared Kushner, told McMaster that Cohen-Watnick was staying, as first reported by Politico. According to a senior White House official, the two men had a sit-down meeting the following week in which McMaster acknowledged that he hadn’t been able to do what he wanted to do, and that they would keep things as they are and “see how they go for a while.” That was over four months ago. That Cohen-Watnick, 31 years old and largely unknown before entering the administration, has become unfireable reveals how important he has become to the Trump White House, where loyalty is prized.”
Linkin Park Provided Vital Inspiration for Nepal's Rocker Kids, by Tulika Bose, Noisey
“While their schools were shut down, Kathmandu's rocker kids were busy sneaking off to scope out bootleg copies of Hybrid Theory and Meteora in hidden back alley shops. They learned to play Bennington's songs on second-hand guitars by ear. They sang his lyrics in English, even if was their second language. Though their insatiable appetites also led them to AC/DC, Metallica, Korn, and Slipknot, it was Bennington's raw confessions about pain, isolation, fear, and trauma that inspired a singular devotion to music and metal.”
You Can Get Fired For Saying That?, by Andrew Goldman, Elle
“So Buchanan was completely shocked when, not even a month past her career benediction, she received an e-mail from Andrew with the subject line "Unacceptable Performance." He informed her that she'd be removed from the classroom for the spring semester due to "multiple serious concerns…center[ing] around inappropriate statements you made to students, teachers, and education administrators." The e-mail also said that she would be investigated for violating LSU's sexual harassment policy. "I had no clue what he was talking about," Buchanan says. "I thought there must be some mistake." Whom could she possibly have sexually harassed?”
Zoë and the Trolls, by Noreen Malone, New York Magazine
“The slurs were constant, and deeply personal. But the participants — anonymous or pseudonymous commenters posting on 4chan, on ever-multiplying Reddit message boards like r/quinnspiracy, or even under their real names on Twitter — framed their attacks as just retribution for a moral lapse on Quinn’s part that was larger than what Quinn had “done” to her boyfriend. It was, in the phrase that became a joke almost as quickly as it became a rallying cry, “about ethics in gaming journalism.” Somehow, one woman’s fidelity in a relatively casual relationship was imagined to matter a huge amount, as if it were the epitome of everything wrong with not just gamer or internet culture but culture in general and even politics.”
'I Am a Girl Now,' Sage Smith Wrote. Then She Went Missing, by Emma Eisenberg, Splinter
Sage was memorable, and stories about her abound. Like how she ended up doing a Vogue-style shoot with a UVA student on the Route 7 bus. Like how she once helped carry an old man’s groceries to his car while wearing a mini-skirt and three-inch heels. Like how every clubgoer leaned closer when Sage spoke, as if they were campers pulled to a fire, according to Jason Elliott, Mr. Pride of America. But Sage’s family and friends say, unlike those afforded to missing white girls, the investigation into her disappearance was slow, slapdash, and followed a zigzagging logic that makes little sense to anyone. And they’re in search of a better story.