Odds and Ends

Fast Food Friday: This Week’s Reads

April 15, 2016

It’s Friday! In light of jeans, amazing spring weather, and the anticipation of the weekend (or just happy hour), I thought I’d share a few interesting articles I read this week. Hopefully I’ll be circling back to these in the near future to ponder them in more depth, but until then enjoy some intelligent and thought-provoking conversation with your morning coffee, afternoon tea, evening cocktail.

The Sovereignty of Women  (Jill Lepore, The New Yorker) – A short but interesting essay on why we can’t escape the fact that an election that includes Hillary Clinton as a viable candidate will be a battle of the sexes. Lepore draws lines between Clinton and the tudors (Elizabeth and Mary), and what can I say? I’m a sucker for tudor history!

Steamed Up – The Slow-Roasted Sexism of Specialty Coffee (Lisa Knisely, Bitch) – I stumbled upon this a few days ago, but just noticed that this was actually published in 2013. As former barista, and coffee lover, this one produced an audible groan, not for its quality or content, but for the truth of the matter. Quick food for thought: as industries, skills, etc. enter the “masculine” zone they also enter a competitive zone. Is it really necessary to make baristas compete? We are also not lacking for other, pointless, culinary competition shows via reality TV. Don’t get me wrong, I went through a prolonged period of love and binge-watching with Ace of Cakes back in the day, but I’m thinking more about shows like Hell’s Kitchen where the presented challenge really has nothing to do with culinary skill. I will add as a disclaimer that I can’t confirm with absolute certainty that the show I have in mind is Hell’s Kitchen, but you know what I mean, the kind of competition where your opponent can limit your ingredients so you’re left trying to make a pizza with strawberries.

The Minecraft Generation (Clive Thompson, NY Times) – Admittedly I have not played Minecraft, though I have watched a teenage seemingly lose interest in all other things to it. I am not pro-Mincraft, and I found this article a little too “out there” and championing digital-exclusive worlds for me (said the blog writer). I don’t think all users who get sucked into the vortex that is Minecraft find this experience to foster exploration outside of the game, and I think a game that never ends, and encourages you to never leave it, can be real trouble for some kids. Also, comparing the collection of digital resources in this game world to actually foraging for timber? I don’t think so. The only negative this article offered up was an instance of a 17 year old girl revealing her identity via the game’s social feature and subsequently being harassed, which to be clear, is a real negative in the online gaming world.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Enjoy your weekend!

Photo credit: Kimberly Koppen

 

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