News Culture Comment Video


Weekly Reading: Best longreads on the web

Friday 26th June 2015

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


Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift Is the Queen of the Internet – by Jordan Crucchiola, Wired

“The denizens of Swiftopia are at her whim, and the way she got Apple to kiss the ring on Sunday proved that big business and big media are now living under her reign as well. She’s a singer, a songwriter, a feminist, a lobbyist, and thanks to her social media domination, she has solidified her evolution to vertically integrated marketing and communications firm. Last year, Bloomberg ran a cover story about Swift called “Taylor Swift Is The Music Industry,” and while that statement is correct, it’s also incomplete, because more than that, Taylor Swift is the harnessed power of the Internet—a lesson Apple just learned in a very public way.”

Kody Nielson: the musician grows up – by Henry Oliver, Sunday Magazine

“I first met Kody Nielson in 2002, when the Mint Chicks performed at Car Yard Chaos, a semi-regular punk show at a former car dealership. They played for 12 crazed minutes before Nielson, the petulantly acrobatic singer, did a backflip off the bass drum, sticking the landing onto the band's final beat. I was awestruck. They were the band I didn't know I was waiting for. Later that night, I went to see the Datsuns, heroically returning from their conquest of the British rock press, play the St James. The Datsuns, the "future of rock", were worshipped as a white hot burst of rock'n'roll fury, but compared to what I'd just witnessed in a carpeted room with no stage and barely 20 other people, they already sounded stale. The Mint Chicks were immediate, raw, violent, twisting, and Nielson was the physical manifestation of their sound.”

Fighting for Survival – by Charles Anderson and Iain McGregor, Stuff

“Perhaps it’s because he came from a broken home. Perhaps it’s because as early as nine years old his friends would tell him he was angry all the time. But for a long time Tomlinson, who hails from Dunedin, seemed to be a fighter. “Maybe that's why I had a disposition to fight sports,” he says in his small air conditioned flat near the Keaitchatchai Gym. “Not because I wanted to hurt anyone – just to blow off steam.” But as he gets older he does not feel like he has anything to prove any more. He has had more than 50 fights. He has broken his arm twice during combat. He has had five broken noses and has had titles and trophies to his name.”

Artist Zackary Steiner-Fox explores queer marginalisation while living on a houseboat – by Sarah Gooding, i-D

“Artists are often dismissed as "eccentric"; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or intersex artists perhaps even more so. Queer artist Zackary Steiner-Fox has been on the receiving end of this label, but by challenging it they have become one of New Zealand's most important emerging artists. Latent Cosmic Power, Zackary's recent exhibition, explored how the term is used to discredit queer people. An installation of partitions that formed paths as well as concealed people and objects, it helped viewers feel closer to the "other" while actually negating acceptance of difference.” 

Why This Soapy Teen Thriller Should Rub Shoulders With HBO’s Big Boys – by Laura Vincent, The Spinoff

“Before it’s a show about cyberbullying and having powerful hair, this is a show about friendship between teenage girls. Just as the married couples on TV sitcoms often appear to exist in a state of thinly-veiled hatred of each other, there are countless TV shows where the friend groups seem to be in perpetual conflict. Not so with Pretty Little Liars. It’s heartening how the four main girls really love each other, careening between affection and adoration and playful teasing, spilling over with frustrations that come from familiarity without crossing into uncomfortable cruelty.”

How a 16-year-old tricked the New York Times into reporting that Dylann Roof blogged about “My Little Pony” – by Casey Tolan, Fusion

“The fact that the Times was tricked by a kid an ocean away from Charleston is a quirk of modern journalism: As soon as Roof’s name leaked, reporters flocked to the suspect’s Facebook page, which was private except for a profile picture and his list of friends. So reporters (ourselves included) started messaging those friends. But a half dozen of Roof’s Facebook friends told Fusion that the suspected shooter added them randomly and that they had never met.”

A Void Wider Than Gender – by Caitlin White, Vice

“We'd spent the evening barbecuing, like we always did, when my dad came out to me as transgender. It was the worst moment of my life so far. I've been winding my anger up inside like an old pocket watch ever since. I was angry that in 25 years I'd never known the true self of someone I loved so much. I was angry, too, that my dad wasn't him, my father, but a specter; an idea of a man, a summation of guesses, an empty mask. I refused to fully accept the assertion, even as "This is why" tiles began falling into place in my memory, spelling out the truth like a demented Scrabble game. "This is why dad cries all the time." "This is why dad is suicidal and constantly depressed." "This is why dad has disordered eating." "This is why my expectations about men are always tragically off." A woman for a father? The irony of it is almost Shakespearean.”

Did you read something we didn't? Tell us about it in the comments section.

Join the discussion »

Login to post a comment

Login or Signup


In accordance with our Comments Policy, all comments are moderated before they appear on the site. This happens 7am to 7pm each weekday.