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Weekly Reading: Best longreads on the web

Friday 22nd April 2016

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


Photo: AFP

Prince Made Me Free – by Jane Coaston, MTV

“Prince was beautiful and feminine and raunchy as hell, and he had a pompadour and a crafted mustache and always looked like he knew something amazing and just didn’t feel like telling you. In “Purple Rain,” he plays The Kid, and he does so while grinding onstage to a song about a woman masturbating to a magazine in a hotel lobby. That song is why we have Parental Advisory stickers, by the way, because Prince was dirty as hell. And very pretty. All at once. He wanted to be just as gorgeous as any woman, and then he wanted to get with her.”

What Prince Meant To UsThe Fader

“Prince was what the world always needs: A talented, beautiful, and unique leader to remind them that lonesomeness, mental stagnation, and hatred aren't just harmful or, like, immoral—he hated them because they were dull. Prince continually reminded us that instead of answering to those boring feelings, you can change your name to an illustration, invite the entire city over to dance with itself whenever you want, jack off babes in the back of the movie theater, and, in Prince's case, play guitar better than anyone else in the world. It's so simple, Prince showed us. You don't have to be anything but free.”

Remembering Chyna, the WWE Star Who Redefined the Rules – by Aaron Oster, Rolling Stone

“When many wrestlers talk about their influences, it often corresponds with what their idols looked like. Smaller guys want to be like Eddie Guerrero, or Shawn Michaels. Larger guys want to be the Undertaker or Andre the Giant. With Chyna, her body type didn't matter – her desire to compete was her defining characteristic. By stepping inside the ring, working an unapologetically strong style and achieving honors that had previously seemed impossible, she inspired a generation of women to do the same.”

The Misguided Nostalgia of HBO's Vinyl – by Zach Baron, GQ

Vinyl's only unforgivable nostalgia, it turned out, was the one for an era of television where we'd be impressed by, let alone root for, a middle-aged man succumbing to middle-aged demons while still displaying five to ten minutes of genius per episode.”

In Living Color - By Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker

“The longing to see a positive portrayal of black life feels particularly fraught as Obama leaves office, and as Trump’s openly racist rhetoric attracts followers. Although Barris’s early life was punctuated by police violence, his ugliest memory, Barris said, was something a cop told him when he was sixteen: “You know, no one will care if you die.” A network sitcom could never address anything quite so raw, he knew. Even the most topical sitcom isn’t an op-ed; it’s more like Silly Putty that’s been pressed against Page 1.”

Alice Canton on White/Other – by Sam Brooks, The Pantograph Punch

“Where the show hits a stride is where Alice starts to talk about her own experiences with racism, and more specifically the racism perpetuated against Asian people in this country. She mentions the unnamed roles she played in the New Zealand premiere of Miss Saigon, she mentions seeing a man in yellowface play Chairman Mao in Nixon in China, and most upsettingly, she mentions somebody’s reaction to her being scared to walk home from The Basement at night.”

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