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Weekly Reading: Best longreads on the web

Thursday 2nd April 2015

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


The Daily Show's new host, Trevor Noah.

Meet Trevor Noah: What We Know About Jon Stewart’s ‘Daily Show’ Replacement – by Andy Greenwald, Grantland

“What’s most encouraging to me about this appointment, greater than any focus on Noah’s skin color or outsider perspective, is his age. The more I’ve checked in on The Daily Show these past few months, both immediately before and after Stewart’s announcement, the more struck I’ve been by its creakiness. Yes, there’s still no one better at surgically eviscerating the cacophonous hypocrisy of the media. For those of us in the reality-based community, nothing in this young century has been more reassuring than the knowledge that every bubble of noxious sanctimony floated by Fox News would be quickly and expertly punctured by Stewart and his needle-sharp wit.”

Trevor Noah Meets the Outrage Internet – by Spencer Kornhaber and James Hamblin, The Atlantic

“He should explain the thinking behind some of those jokes and whether he still holds to that thinking. He should probably offer an apology. More important, though, would be a vow from him to try harder—to be more creative, more insightful, funnier. Because insight, something that a program like The Daily Show prides itself on offering, doesn’t jibe with perpetuating racism or sexism, which are, at core, stupid belief systems. I don’t want more sanitized humor; I just want humor that gets how funny the world actually is.”

Real Talk: On Moving To America – by Djinous Rowling, Catalogue

Being the smug owner of a New Zealand and American passport (don't be jealous), moving from New Zealand to America was something I always spoke about doing as if it were inevitable, but if I hadn't had a stressful and grossly emotional breakup, I think I'd still be living in New Zealand, because I was definitely an idiotic "all-talk" teenager. So while a lot of people move overseas out of a sense of adventure and "braveness", I mostly just moved to run away from my emooootions, and it turned out to be the best cowardly thing I've ever done.

Do Not Insult Taylor Swift’s Grammar – by Alyssa Bailey, Elle

“Taylor Swift, songwriter and Internet guru, won't take any attacks on her grammar—particularly from the Princeton Review. The company, in an attempt to show "grammar in real life" in a SAT prep guide, featured the singer's lyrics to 'Fifteen' as an example of incorrect pronoun use. Swift wasn't the only target (Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, and other artists were also called out since "pop lyrics are a great source of bad grammar"), but when Swift found out via a fan on her Tumblr, she called the publisher out on its own error.” 

A Lament for Auckland – by Elle Hunt, Metro

Of course, my aversion to the capital is partly because it’s simply time for me to move on. When you’re in your 20s and the world is as wide as your savings and employability will allow, it’s natural to be restless. To be a twenty-something here means the FOMO that comes from living at the bottom of the world gets to you. You thirst to travel or prove yourself on an international stage. But Auckland is at least doing its best to keep us here.” 

Jay Z Reveals Plans for Tidal, a Streaming Music Service – by Ben Sisario, NY Times

“On Monday, Jay Z, the rap star and entertainment mogul, announced his plans for Tidal, a subscription streaming service he recently bought for $56 million. Facing competition from Spotify, Google and other companies that will soon include Apple, Tidal will be fashioned as a home for high-fidelity audio and exclusive content. But perhaps the most notable part of Jay Z’s strategy is that a majority of the company will be owned by artists. The move may bring financial benefits for those involved, but it is also powerfully symbolic in a business where musicians have seldom had direct control over how their work is consumed.”

Is Get Hard Racist? A Three-Part Examination – by John Lopez, GQ

“Adam McKay's defending his Gary Sanchez Productions partner, Kevin Hart's downplaying the whole thing, and Will Ferrell's promotional rounds have the vague quality of surrealist performance art, as if even he's not sure whether there's an elephant in the room. The brouhaha can only boost the films box office numbers, but seeing Get Hard this weekend means you might actually have to answer some awkward questions—like "Is Get Hard racist?"”

Justin Bieber's Roast: PR Disguised as Unoriginal Comedy – by David Sims, The Atlantic

“Even though Bieber is despised by large swaths of the country and hasn't produced an album in three years, it's hard to deny his prominence. This defies the point of a roast—it should be taken for granted, and quickly dismissed, that the target is famous—but Bieber was granted an extraordinary amount of credit for managing to stay relevant despite doing nothing of merit since initially rocketing to fame. Perhaps everyone would've been meaner if they were actually close to Bieber—Comedy Central's best roasts are the ones of Denis Leary and Bob Saget, who were mocked by many of their personal friends. Instead, even the nastiest material felt restrained, and it was hard not to notice that one of the first names credited as an executive producer of the show was Scooter Braun, Bieber's long-time manager.”

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