Advised Reading: The Tragedy of Oakland’s Ghost Ship, Taibbi vs Friedman, and the Initial Self-Support Guru

Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the very best content on the Internet, but maintaining an eye on all of the great writing that other people on the ‘net are performing, also. This week, we advocate two pieces examining the aftermath of the Ghost Ship tragedy in Oakland, rejoice in Matt Taibbi impaling Tom Friedman, giggle at the alt-right, and plenty much more.


The fire at Oakland DIY venue Ghost Ship was tragic in its own proper — quite considerably everybody I know in Brooklyn has at least one buddy, either in New York or the Bay Region, who lost a individual (or folks) close to them — and, depressingly, it’s also becoming utilized as a pretext for a nation-wide crackdown on similar illegal spaces. In this piece for the Talkhouse, sometime Flavorwire contributor Jes Skolnik argues that this is short-sighted and most likely to result in far a lot more harm than very good:

Additional criminalization and other moralistic punitive measures… will kill a lot more of us than they will save. It’s correct for drug use, it is true for victims of domestic violence, and it is true for DIY show spaces and the people, like me, who need to have them.


On a comparable note, one more former Flavorwire contributor (and, complete disclosure, your editor-in chief’s girlfriend), Sophie Weiner, writes for the Village Voice about the Ghost Ship tragedy in the context of the history of electronic music, the continual pattern of governmental and institutional hostility toward electronic genres, and the ongoing battles of DIY spaces about the nation to survive:

The underground has continued to turn into increasingly vital as a spot where marginalized groups — trans, gay, black, or otherwise — can feel safe getting themselves. But such parties are thrown by artists and modest-time promoters who hardly ever have the sort of capital needed to open a reputable venue. That signifies these place at risk by the unsafe situations in these spaces are the really men and women who already face discrimination beneath the law… In this desperate environment, exactly where an complete scene dangers losing spaces to collect, it does not come as a surprise that collectives like Ghost Ship spring up — or that they cannot afford to invest in safety measures like sprinklers.


MTV News’s Brian Phillips looks back at the political clusterfuck of 2016, and unloads on the alt-proper in a piece that is as bitterly funny as it is depressing and terrifying (also, the URL is hilarious — go on, click by way of, it’s worth it):

There are folks in America who are genuinely afraid for their safety. That has always been accurate, of course, but because the election, the worry has skyrocketed. Hate crimes have surged. Insane net lies have led to real-life outbursts of violence. People of colour, queer individuals, Muslims, immigrants — a lot of really feel vulnerable, in Donald Trump’s America, merely because of who they are. Then there are the actual victims. I imply, of course, young white males who have not had significantly luck acquiring dates.


In an especially depressing week, it is no surprise that the majority of pieces in this column are, effectively, depressing — but here’s a moment of levity! In a evaluation that’s typically laugh-out-loud funny, Rolling Stone‘s incomparable Matt Taibbi requires an axe to Thomas Friedman’s new book Thank You for Becoming Late — a book that is, Taibbi argues, specifically the same as each other Thomas Friedman book:

Friedman’s excellent anti-present is his ability to use numerous words when only a few are essential. He became renowned as a newspaper columnist for taking basic 1-sentence observations like, “Wow, absolutely everyone has a cell phone these days,” and blowing them out into furious 850-word trash-fires of mismatched imagery and circular argument. The double-axel version of this feat was to then rewrite that identical column more than and more than once more, in the same newspaper, only piling on far more incongruous imagery and skewing rhetoric to further stoke that 1 believed into an even larger and angrier fire… Construct a sentence into a column construct a column into a lot of columns construct many columns into a book build a single book into many books. Then commence more than!


Just in time for the holiday season, a perfect riposte to the Trump-votin’ uncle/cousin/other annoying relative who responds to the reality that they’re losing an argument with you by insisting “I’m entitled to my opinion!”… this brief Quartz interview with philosophy professor Patrick Stokes, who explains why, nope, you are not, in reality, entitled to your opinion at all:

“I’m entitled to my opinion,” is regarded as a logical fallacy. An opinion is a view or judgement about anything. So, by definition, an opinion has attached to it a particular degree of uncertainty or subjectivity, and using it as a defense only functions in specific conditions.


If you have got the time to get some genuinely serious reading carried out this weekend, then feast your self on this epic 20,000 word story by Gizmodo’s Matt Novak about early 20th century conman Napoleon Hill, who generally originated the self-assist genre — thanks, Napoleon! — and lived a life that featured, inter alia, fraud, murder, fraud, many abandoned wives, a lot more fraud, and an immortal child cult:

Modern day readers are possibly familiar with the 2006 sensation The Secret, but the ideas in that book had been basically plagiarized from Napoleon Hill’s 1937 classic Feel and Develop Rich, which has reportedly sold over 15 million copies to date. The big concept in each: The material universe is governed very directly by our thoughts. If you basically visualize what you want out of life, these things and a lot more will be delivered to you. Specifically if these things involve cash.


If your looking for a fabulous profile of a fabulous pop star — and trust me, your life definitely demands this — then you should read this profile of great trans pop star Macy Rodman (“the trans pop Courtney Love”) by Oxygen’s Eric Shorey:

“At our very first-ever party we had a naked poet. We had witchcraft rituals. We had a guy staple his testicles to his leg. We had a full variety of drag queens: we had really beautiful brilliant drag queens and really messy very first time, like, 19 year old drag queens. It kind of became a place exactly where men and women would come to attempt stuff out or do what ever they want to do that they believed was weird. That environment was actually enjoyable for everyone.”


And lastly, in a sort of meta-spiral of suggested reading, here is a piece in the Guardian wherein a assortment of scientists select their recommended reading for 2016. Go crazy!

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The initial time I listened To Very good Morning, Magpie, I was a…

The very first time I listened To Great Morning, Magpie, I was a tiny underwhelmed. There weren’t the rough, cinematic songs about whiskey and the devil that I had come to count on and love from MBD (as time has gone on, even though, this has effortlessly become my favorite of their albums), but then I got to the last two tracks.

“White Noise” and “The Day” are effective songs about diametrically opposed forces, or probably the same force from drastically various perspectives. They are both thundering, ominous (perhaps their most ominous) songs about the devil and god. “White Noise” is reminiscent of “The Desert Is On Fire,” the devil’s song from Who Will Survive. Except, it is not cocky in the exact same way. It is particular and destructive, set on a day of apocalypse. This devil is considerably far more purposeful and significantly less petty than the one particular from Who Will Survive. It is orchestrating the finish.

But straight following that, as the last song of the album is“The Day.” Considerably like “White Noise,” it is a brooding, dark, effective song, but this one from the point of view of a follower of a god. It isn’t created clear what god, if it’s the a single of Abrahamic religions (even though it definitely has a robust Old Testament vibe), or some thing else completely, but like the devil in “White Noise” it is also here to take the earth and punish these who did not follow it. Considering that this is the last song on Excellent Morning Magpie, it serves as the last word, as if this force is higher than the a single of the previous song. This is the initial song in MBD’s catalogue exactly where the devil definitively loses, and it serves as a excellent closing of the door on the very first portion of their career.

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