Each week, the Sunday Post highlights a few articles we enjoyed this week, good for consumption over a cup of coffee (or tea, if that's your pleasure). Settle in for a while; we saved you a seat. You can also look through the archives.
This is a two-cup essay, and make sure you brew the coffee strong. Drew Austin takes an extremely close look at the shift from physical to digital to platform media and how it transforms choice from something we have to something we receive. This isn’t another scare piece about the evils of Netflix, Kindle, and Spotify — or their larger and more terrifying siblings, Google and Facebook — it’s a thoughtful piece of cultural criticism about different types of environments and how we might begin learning to navigate, cultivate, and protect them.
When we step into these universal content libraries, we rely less upon crude clues like covers for navigation and give ourselves over to an environment that offers to do almost everything for us, if we’ll just let it. With nearly any imaginable book, movie, or song close at hand and fewer of the traditional forces that push us to choose one over another, the context provided by those limitations fades and the environment itself gains corresponding prominence — at the expense of any specific thing within it.
Here’s some good news: Gay City’s Michael C. Weidemann LGBT Library on Capitol Hill has expanded, and they have a new roommate, Three Dollar Bill Cinema. Three Dollar Bill lost its executive director this year, and it’s a chance for them to find solid footing. It’s also a chance for the two organizations to benefit from closer connection with each other.
Seattle has an immense richness of accessible, bookish resources beyond its photogenic Central Library. This is a cheering reminder that books thrive everywhere — and especially in people’s hands.
“It’s exciting to be able to expand, and to create more opportunities for LGBTQ folks to connect,” [Executive Director Fred] Swanson said. “We’re excited about all of the things that bring community into Gay City — testing services, community meetings, arts programing — and are eager to fill out the library calendar in the new year.”
Laurie Penny, you are irresistible. This narrative of Penny’s time doing, well, what the title says, reads like Hunter S. Thompson would have if Thompson had been (as he should have been) a crazy-smart British feminist with an understanding of power dynamics so hard and sharp you could use it to cut glass. If this is techno-utopia — a ship full of men who prefer women paid to be there — you can keep it.
I am not 10 feet tall and 22, but I am a tiny hyperactive white woman with weird hair and poor boundaries, so I revert to an old standby and start serving full manic pixie dream girl. It’s not exactly an act. I’m a terrible actor. It’s just about dialing up the parts of my personality that men tend to find most delightful, giggling a bit more, scratching my arse a bit less, and hoping nobody Googles me. It helps that I don’t have to fake ignorance of the crypto-scene drama. I only have to pretend to care.