What a wonderful piece by Michael Chabon on his son Abe, and his love of fashion. This is one you want to stay around for the ending, but I found the whole thing so charming, honest, and beautifully written that reaching the end was no issue at all.
Abe was just a kid who loved clothes. He loved talking about them, looking at them, and wearing them, and when it came to men's clothing, in particular the hipper precincts of streetwear, he knew his shit. He could trace the career path of Raf Simons, from Raf to Jil Sander to Dior and now to Calvin Klein. He could identify on sight the designers of countless individual articles of men's clothing—sneakers, shirts, jackets, pants—and when he didn't know for sure, the guesses he made were informed, reasoned, and often correct. He seemed to have memorized a dense tidal chart of recent fashion trends as they ebbed and flooded, witheringly dismissing a runway offering as “fine, for 2014” or “already kind of played out last year.” His taste as reflected in the clothes he wore was impeccable, interesting, and, in its way, fearless.
John Metta explaining why he speaks with emotion when he speaks about race, and what his response was to a man who asked if he could "rise above emotions" and have an "intellectual discussion". This is some prime unpacking.
Culture is how we pass information about our world across generations. It’s why our children speak our language, it’s how they learn from us. Culture is why some humans eat with a fork, and some eat with chopsticks. Culture explains why someone standing really close while they talk to you might feel threatening to a European, but comforting to a West African. Culture defines what acceptable volumes are when speaking, and how women are expected to act in social situations. … The society here in America needed a way to justify the enslavement of a people for no other reason than they looked a bit different. Like the Normans, they used culture to do it. Slaves were made to speak English but were forbidden to read and write. In fact, the myth was promoted that they were slow and couldn’t even be taught.
An excerpt from GS Motola's photography book exploring gender equality in Iceland.
It is important to acknowledge that both women and men were analysing the behaviour of the bankers, not blaming men specifically. Icelanders believed the problems were caused by untempered hyper-masculine behaviours, such as aggression, competitiveness, risk-taking and a lack of emotional awareness. Feminine qualities, such as risk-aversion, openness, emotional awareness and empathy might have averted the disaster. They were not saying that men are the problem and women are the solution — both sexes exhibit masculine and feminine behaviours and can exhibit imbalances of either as encouraged or discouraged by a culture’s gender construct. But the fact remains that banking culture in Iceland, like elsewhere, is overwhelmingly masculine. This balance of behaviours and qualities affects not only the world of banking and finance, but the world at large.
A story by Zan Romanoff about being best friends through thin and thick.
When a mutual friend called six months into Allison’s pregnancy to say that something had happened, I was too shocked to cry. The baby had died in utero: Her death was the result of a rare complication with the umbilical cord, the kind of accident that doctors take great pains to assure you occurs so infrequently that it doesn’t bear worrying about. It probably won’t happen. And there’s nothing you can do about it if it does.