Inspired | June-July 2021

Every month (… or two), I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in June and July: writing exercises, photography resources, the death of the ‘good’ internet, and more. (Links marked with ($) may be behind a paywall.)

In Praise of Pilsa, the Highly Uncreative Korean Method of Learning to Write by Colin Marshall: “Pilsa slows the process down, forcing the reader to consider each and every word.”

How To Write Your Best Story Ever With One Epic Exercise by Jennifer Manuel: “You want to be a true original. All writers do. But what if you could write like somebody else? Who would you choose?”

Fuck Gatekeeping – A Professional Photographic Knowledge Base

Let’s face it – the editorial and commercial photography word is largely monolithic and dominated by the white male lens.

Fuck Gatekeeping is our response – through mentoring emerging photographers from underrepresented communities we want to make our industry more accessible by being transparent with our successes, our failures, and our best practices. This website is an attempt to share the most relevant info for everyone to access.

Seeing Dad through his lens by Taehoon Kim

When I started to digitize our home videos, I yearned to find moments I hoped would prove my memories wrong. Had I built up my dad to be some kind of villain?

Initially, I was left disappointed: it’s hard to find moments of intimacy when the person you want to see is holding the camera the whole time.

Do you ever feel lonely on your creative journey? by Helen Redfern

Writing and creating are joyful activities. But a large part of it involves talking ourselves down from an unconfident ledge. Fears and negativity snowballing inside our heads. It takes energy to talk ourselves out of these feelings and sometimes we don’t have enough to do so.

We think it’s just us.

Here’s Why It Feels Like This Year Is Going By Too Quickly — and What to Do About It by Rainesford Stauffer: “[…] over time, time became money through capitalism, and as a result, it was less about good deeds and just about doing deeds themselves. ‘What do you have to show for your time?'”

The Last Jedi Tried to Free Star Wars From Its Fixation on Legends by Dan Persons

On the one hand, it was probably not the wisest strategy to take so indelible a closing image from the previous film—and a moment fans had been waiting a full two years to see play to its conclusion—and brush it off like so much Crait salt. Johnson may have been flexing some iconoclast muscles there, but it’s just as clear that his goal wasn’t to stick a thumb in the fans’ eyes. The director was going for something more profound and subtle, creating something meant to question what we sought from a forty-year-old franchise, explore why we were still seeking it, and critique the calcifying nature of franchises overall.

The Resurrection of Bass Reeves ($) by Christian Wallace: “Some criminals were so afraid of Reeves they turned themselves in as soon as they heard he was after them. He stalked others in their nightmares.”

“It Was Us Against Those Guys”: The Women Who Transformed Rolling Stone in the Mid-70s ($) by Jessica Hopper: “[…] the history these women recall is the story of how Rolling Stone became a true journalistic endeavor, and the story of women learning to speak for themselves decades before topics like sexual harassment and equal pay became mainstream.”

The Day the Good Internet Died by Katie Baker: “Such is the duality of the internet these days: It is both worse and better than ever, growing tackier as it strives for bespoke, hosting information so limitless that you can’t find any of it anymore.”

The Internet Is Rotting ($) by Jonathan Zittrain: “Links work seamlessly until they don’t. And as tangible counterparts to online work fade, these gaps represent actual holes in humanity’s knowledge.”

Oppressive Language List | Holding Ourselves Accountable at Brandeis University: “[…] language is a powerful tool that can be used to perpetrate and perpetuate oppression. As a community, we can strive to remove language that may hurt those who have experienced violence from our everyday use.”

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