READ / the past seven days

Olympic street art by Mau Mau

“Accurately identifying the various causes behind the criminalization of the mentally ill can only be accomplished by an impartial examination of our society’s preconceived notions of the mentally ill. This can be done by examining society’s treatment of the mentally ill throughout the course of history. Stigma clearly plays a major role in the criminalization of the mentally ill because of society’s inability to accept the dualistic and sometimes vile impulses of human nature inherent in all human beings. Therefore, society seeks to explain away unjustified acts of violence and aggression as symptoms of a mental illness, in effect scapegoating the mentally ill.”

“It is about being horrified about my own silliness,” Murphy once said about the song’s origin. While it’s a story that has likely been told a thousand times over, it’s also one that’s more relevant than ever to the current progression of mainstream dance culture. (More on that later.) As a rock DJ in the late-’90s in New York, Murphy was known for throwing experimental dance records like Liquid Liquid, ESG and, yes, Daft Punk, into his mixes. When he realized that other DJs were starting to use some of the same records, he panicked, afraid that he’d lost the crate-digging that set him apart from his rock-club DJing peers.”

“Now, however, the proof is starting to pile up. The first good, peer-reviewed research is emerging, and the picture is much gloomier than the trumpet blasts of Web utopians have allowed. The current incarnation of the Internet—portable, social, accelerated, and all-pervasive—may be making us not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders, even outright psychotic. Our digitized minds can scan like those of drug addicts, and normal people are breaking down in sad and seemingly new ways.”

“Google’s Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe outlined the initiative at a Global LGBT Workplace Summit in London earlier today. “We want our employees who are gay or lesbian or transgender to have the same experience outside the office as they do in the office. It is obviously a very ambitious piece of work.” Their strategy involves developing partnerships between companies and organizations to support grass-roots campaigns. On the decision to launch the initial phase in a country like Singapore, Palmer-Edgecumbe says, “Singapore wants to be a global financial center and world leader and we can push them on the fact that being a global center and a world leader means you have to treat all people the same, irrespective of their sexual orientation.”

“The gap between  the richest and the poorest among us is now wider than it has been since we all nose-dived into the  Great Depression. So GQ sent Jon Ronson on a journey into the secret financial lives of six different people on the ladder, from a guy washing dishes for 200 bucks a week in Miami to a self-storage gazillionaire. What he found are some surprising truths about class, money, and making it in America.”

“On April 16, 2012, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced that it would award no Pulitzer for fiction in 2012. This was, to say the least, surprising and upsetting to any number of people, prominent among them the three fiction jurors, who’d read over three hundred novels and short-story collections, and finally submitted three finalists, each remarkable (or so we believed) in its own way.”

“Sure, we as a nation have always killed people. A lot of people. But no president has ever waged war by killing enemies one by one, targeting them individually for execution, wherever they are. The Obama administration has taken pains to tell us, over and over again, that they are careful, scrupulous of our laws, and determined to avoid the loss of collateral, innocent lives. They’re careful because when it comes to waging war on individuals, the distinction between war and murder becomes a fine one. Especially when, on occasion, the individuals we target are Americans and when, in one instance, the collateral damage was an American boy.”

“It’s all very wonderful bearing a child, I’m sure, and life-affirming; but on the other hand, one of the worst parts of being pregnant—and I was informed concretely of this very fact by some vomitus landing on my sandaled foot—is what is commonly referred to as morning sickness.”

“But are mermaids real? No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found. Why, then, do they occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples? That’s a question best left to historians, philosophers, and anthropologists.”

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