Tuesday, November 16, 2010

some light (and heavy) reading

Since I am still exhausted after finishing my exams, I thought I would be lazy today and just share a few things I have come across lately. They are divided into heavy and light, depending on your mood.


Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie LeDuff explores the factors and events which culminated in the death of an innocent child in Detroit, one of America's most impoverished cities. Seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones was asleep on the couch when police stormed into her family's apartment at midnight, looking for a man who lived in the apartment above. They threw a grenade through the window, burning Aiyana's blanket, and shot her in the head, killing her instantly. The police were flanked by a reality TV crew, intent upon creating and capturing drama. Disturbingly, the hideous corruption goes much deeper. 

Jon Swain recounts the amazing story of Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been on house arrest in Burma for 15 of the last 21 years. She sacrificed her comfortable life in Britain, as well as her relationship with her loving husband and two sons, to fight for democracy in her country of birth, which toils under one of the most oppressive regimes in the world. Suu Kyi was finally released on Saturday, greeted by over a million rejoicing supporters. Her husband died in 1999.

Emma Woods' 4-year-old son Nayan died when a young driver's car span out of control at an intersection and struck him, as they were walking home from the shops on a rainy day. She was spurred to write this piece when a newspaper columnist, Michael Laws, criticised her for "forgiving" Nayan's killer, Ashley Austin (a falsity in itself), accusing her of being "foolishly compassionate". Emma clarifies the glaring inaccuracies in Michael's argument and explains why she did not believe that Ashley should be sent to jail.


Why Making Dinner is a Good Idea by Jonah Lehrer.
This article in Wired magazines reaches the hypothesis that the longer we take to create something, the more pleasure we take in consuming it. It suggests that people who overeat are not gluttonous but, rather, have to eat more in order to acquire the same pleasure as a moderate eater. In this world of fast food, perhaps our desire for convenience has made us forget how enjoyable it can be to invest time and effort into creating something special for ourselves and our families. 

Glee S2E6: Never Been Kissed by Tom and Lorenzo.
Especially for Glee fans. Tom and Lorenzo review the latest Glee episode (the one that aired last week), exulting the show's revolutionary depiction of a gay "Prince Charming" romantic fantasy. Their ecstasy is infectious. 

A Life on Facebook by Maxime Luere.
A surprisingly touching short film unfolding a man's life, exclusively through screencaps of his Facebook profile. 

Listen by Cherice.
I am an absolute sucker for Susan Boyle-type moments. Glee fans will know Cherice as Sunshine; others may know her from appearances on Oprah and Ellen. If you haven't heard of her, please watch this regardless. Cherice is a Philippines-born 17-year-old (I think she must have been 16 in this clip) with a phenomenal singing voice. She began entering talent contests at a young age and has gradually risen to prominence in the USA. I think she outshines Beyoncé's version of this song with this performance... but you be the judge!

And even lighter still...

Don Draper says "What"
The title says it all.

Bold and the Beautiful in 6 Minutes
You cannot get much lighter than this. A complete, chronological recount of the ridiculous antics of Ridge, Brooke, Taylor and co over the last 23 years. 


allanah said...

Thanks so much for the link to the Never Been Kissed opinion piece. As somebody with a close friend who is gay, that episode really touched me as many of the significant "Kurt moments" on Glee do. Tom and Lorenzo put into words exactly what I thought about the episode. Lovely. Thank you.

Laura Valerie said...

Thank you Allanah! Yes, tears sprung to my eyes when I read that piece... it was so beautifully and emotively said. xx