"The slimy bastards come strolling in, poking around in our past, and we open up like little birds. Tell our stories like parrots. We sing, we roll over. We offer them our coca-cola." Story of the Week (May 22), by Marcelino Fr...
"I realize I've been ... a kind of psychedelic Philistine. Perhaps it was my slightly romanticized, somewhat pantheistic, sense of all this..." Part two of Michael C. Blumenthal's essay on the psychedelic experience in mid-age.
"We liked to be Indians as much as we did cowboys—maybe more. The tide was turning. Or so we were told. Or so we wanted to believe." Nancy Caronia juxtaposes the then and now of childhood in this week's personal essay.
"In general, creative writing needs rules and constraints, ways to more or less artificially limit the unlimited options available to the writer." Jarkko Tontti talks to Camille Ralphs in the latest instalment of our Poet of th...
“Why are we so consumed in imprinting ourselves on other humans in a systemic desire to ensure our existence? As though by reproducing we are laying claim to our physical presence in the world. Isn’t it enough that we’re here, in this world, doing what we do best without asking others to conform to our way of thought? Aren’t we tired of serving as the sacrificial lambs being led to the slaughter by a pervasive groupthink that evaluates a woman’s femininity based on how well she rears her children, stuck as we all are in the Middle Ages?” ~ Maryam Piracha, ‘The Marital Groupthink’
“It’s a pity that Pakistan just doesn’t seem capable of learning any lessons. We should be happy that the Western world can see for itself the brutal conditions we, and other parts of the world, live in, because the more fortunate parts of the world need to check their damned privilege and start making genuine efforts to bring change. Instead, we call a brave young girl a puppet, delegitimize her cause and opinions by dismissing both on account of her age, and criticize her for “presenting a bad image of Pakistan.”” ~ Ghausia Rashid Salam, ‘Malala or: Learn to Stop Worrying and Love Our Laureate’
“Critics and academicians classify escapist fiction and the genres of science-fiction, thriller, mystery, romance and fantasy, commonly classified under it, as sub-literary, deeming them unworthy of being regarded as true literature. Charges of shallowness and superficiality are brought up against escapist genre fiction, with its worth denigrated to entertainment alone. Not to disregard any motivation to read for purely aesthetic purposes, but the assertion that escapist fiction offers nothing more than the mere pleasure of escape is both false and unfounded.” ~ Sana Hussain, ‘The Reality of Escapist Fiction’
“Perhaps that is what is most concerning about social justice via social media — not that it fails to effect change, but that it so successfully allows its users to maintain the illusion that we are the good guys. We are the ones making a difference by the all-exhausting task of hitting “like” or sending out a whole 140 characters of outrage against racism. It allows us to paint ourselves in colors nobler than those we possess in daily life, enables us to rage against the very real, very pressing injustices of the world — and sometimes the perceived ones — while ignoring the shortcomings in our own lives. Social media allows us to feed our self-absorption without forcing us to actually do anything, all while removing the pesky little matter of accountability.”
~ Emily Eagen, ‘Acceptable Selfies for the Educated Individual’