Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in June: “I wrote a thing,” setting benchmarks, the impact of free stock photography, thoughts on wellness and mindfulness, crossing the US border, the origins of the Green Man myth, and more.
• Deconstructing ‘I Wrote a Thing’ by Jennifer Weiner: “Spend any amount of time on social media and you will see a lot of I wrote a thing. Men use it, but, according to my entirely nonscientific observations, women use it more, announcing our work in our native tongue, the universal female language of self-deprecation.”
• On Running, And Writing, And How A Little Becomes A Lot by Chuck Wendig: “And if you want to do a lot, it sometimes means aiming only for a little.”
• LGBTQ Reads: a site dedicated to promoting curated LGBTQIAP+ literature for all ages
• Is Unsplash Really an Issue for Photographers? by Carl Spring: “For every blogger out there who makes no money from their blogs, but wants to be ethical and use images legally, there is also a large media company who simply want to maximize profits.”
• A Guide to the Film Noir Genre by Roger Ebert “Film noir is… 5. Women who would just as soon kill you as love you, and vice versa.”
• Smash the Wellness Industry by Jessica Knoll: “No one is telling men that they need to love their bodies to live full and meaningful lives. We don’t need to love our bodies to respect them.”
• The mindfulness conspiracy by Ronald Purser
Reducing suffering is a noble aim and it should be encouraged. But to do this effectively, teachers of mindfulness need to acknowledge that personal stress also has societal causes. By failing to address collective suffering, and systemic change that might remove it, they rob mindfulness of its real revolutionary potential, reducing it to something banal that keeps people focused on themselves.
• Why Laziness Is Not Why You Procrastinate (Your Emotions Are) by Peter Economy: “Our aversion to steady and efficient task completion can be associated with either a dislike for the task itself or the feelings we have related to the task. From anxiety, insecurity, to guilt, these feelings make it difficult for us to avoid procrastination.”
Cooperation didn’t earn me any leniency. Next up was a thorough search of my suitcase, down to unscrewing the tops of my toiletries. That much I expected. But then a third officer, whose name was Villarreal, carefully read every page of my 2019 journal, including copious notes to self on work, relationships, friends, family, and all sorts of private reflections I had happened to write down. I told him, “Sir, I know there’s nothing I can do to stop you, but I want to tell you, as one human being to another, that you’re invading my privacy right now, and I don’t appreciate it.” Villarreal acknowledged the statement and went back to reading.
That was just the beginning. The real abuse of power was a warrantless search of my phone and laptop. This is the part that affects everyone, not just reporters and people who keep journals.
• When is a Myth Not a Myth: The Origins of the Green Man by Emily Tesh
But the main thing that is noticeable about the early-twentieth-century attitude to folklore, the post-Golden Bough attitude to folklore, is: it turns out you can just say stuff, and everyone will be into it as long as it sounds cool.
What’s the most interesting thing you saw online this month?