Inspired | February 2021

Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in February: how to read more, an oral history of the Lost finale, and more. (Links marked with ($) may be behind a paywall.)

The internet’s most beloved fanfiction site is undergoing a reckoning by Aja Romano

But if the site’s tagging infrastructure is altered or a blocking or filtering function is added, it will be hard not to see this episode through a cynical lens: That the OTW systematically rejected and bypassed the sustained voices of so many fans, including Black fans and other fans of color, for months — until their needs and desire for a safe space abruptly aligned with other fans’ annoyance and inconvenience.

19 Tips For Reading More This Year by Arianna Rebolini: “In December of last year, BuzzFeed Books sent out a survey asking readers how their reading habits changed throughout 2020. Hundreds responded, and though the majority described a reading slump, many actually read more than usual. Much more.”

Who Really Created the Marvel Universe? by Stephanie Burt: “There is no single word for the role that [Stan] Lee played in building Marvel’s “massive latticework,” nor is there, even now, consensus about how he played it.”

No, They Weren’t Dead the Whole Time ($) by Jen Chaney: “I think we could have done some things to make it clear that that wasn’t what you were supposed to take away. But one of the big intentions of the show was intentional ambiguity and giving people the opportunity to digest and interpret Lost as they want to if they wanted to. And at some level, you know, you can’t have it both ways.”

Britney Spears Was Never in Control ($) by Tavi Gevinson

This value structure hurts everyone, even though the ignorance and spiritual emptiness that it preserves for those with power is by no means equal to the violence that everyone else must suffer as a result. I’ve heard this so many times that I don’t know who to attribute it to, but it always bears repeating: Having power is not the same as being free.

What’s the most interesting thing you saw online this month?