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Weekly Reading: The best longreads all in one place

Friday 17th February 2017

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


Lana Lopesi discusses Michael Parekowhai's controversial sculpture 'The Lighthouse' on The Pantograph Punch this week.

Photo: Auckland Council

An Homage, a Beacon: On Michael Parekowhai's 'The Lighthouse', by Lana Lopesi, Pantograph Punch

“Art has long depended on dirty money. Cigarette and liquor brands sponsored innumerable art exhibitions and competitions in the 20th century. Today, arms and oil companies fund some of the world’s biggest museums and most prestigious biennials. Creative New Zealand, our country’s core funder of the arts (spanning ballet, opera, theatre, you name it), gets much of its funding from the Lotteries Commission. Yes, from gambling.”

Neo-Nazis Came for This Small Town. Can You Keep Them From Coming For Yours? By Anne Helen Petersen, Buzzfeed

“It’s there in the gas station manager who tells his employees not to serve people with license plates that indicate they’re from the Blackfeet Reservation. It’s there in the casual misgendering of a queer woman, three beers in, and the comments and stares that follow her through the night. It’s there when people second-guess the credentials of a local orthodontist, simply because he’s Korean-American. And it’s there in the nice-looking white ladies nodding their heads to the phrase “Islam is a black religion.”’

The Wait, by Jessica Grose, Lenny Letter

“I have no real reaction to this news, at least not at first. It's just confirming what I already thought. I need to do something to pass the time, so I start researching my condition online. It turns out I have a blighted ovum, which sounds like a kind of tree rot or Victorian curse. I prefer this term to just miscarriage, because it is vaguely gothic and slightly more specific.”

George Saunders Thinks Empathy Can Still Save Us, by James Yeh, Vice

‘"The progressive thing right now—we gotta fucking person up. We have to be not neurotic. The heroism in this moment is going to be to be humorous, really firm, and really articulate, and, I think, really empathetic, to really reach out to those Trump people that are willing to be reached out to—which, in my experience, is a lot of 'em.”’

'I thought I was smarter than almost everybody': my double life as a KGB agent, by Shaun Walker, The Guardian

“He had been living a double life for so long, he explains, that the ethical quandary of being a bigamist was not a stretch. His two identities inhabited different parts of his brain and, in his mind, neither Jack Barsky nor Albrecht Dittrich were ever unfaithful. “The German and the American were separate personalities. Neither ever dated more than one woman at the same time.”’

Wrestling with Demons: The Story of Chyna's Final Days, by Mitchell Sunderland, Broadly

“On Sunday, April 17, Chyna left Angra a rambling voicemail. "Hey, babe, it's me. I'm sorry that you're feeling sick," she said. "Beautiful day outside. Wish you were here. Really just enjoying by the way. You're welcome to come here and crash. So just enjoy the view. That's a $5 milkshake, see? Anyway all the sailboats are out today. It's a beautiful day. I love you, and I am doing much better, and my Filipino family now knows where I live. So they're over here. Gonna be food getting... Have to go through the two taxes thing all over again." Three days later, on April 20, Chyna was found dead.”

When Things Go Missing, By Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker

“The morning after the election, I cried again, missing my refugee father, missing the future I had thought would unfold. In its place, other kinds of losses suddenly seemed imminent: of civil rights, personal safety, financial security, the foundational American values of respect for dissent and difference, the institutions and protections of democracy.”

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