Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: What happens if Trump doesn’t go? / COVID-19 and the English language / The history of ‘cuck’ / The loneliness of Prince / Coronavirus and secondhand smoke

This week: What happens if Trump doesn’t go? / COVID-19 and the English language / The history of ‘cuck’ / The loneliness of Prince / Coronavirus and secondhand smoke

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism. Learn more about my academic background here.

1. What Will You Do if Trump Doesn’t Leave?
By David Brooks | The New York Times | September 2020
“Playing out the nightmare scenario.”

2. How COVID-19 is changing the English language
By Roger J. Kreuz | The Conversation | September 2020
“A perennial issue for lexicographers is deciding whether or not a term has enough staying power to be enshrined in the dictionary. The COVID-19 pandemic has produced its fair share of new terms that are blends of other words, and many of these are on the editors’ watch list.”

3. The Long, Violent Literary History of Calling Someone a ‘Cuck’
By Eliott Grover | Inside Hook | October 2020
“From the Trojan War to Shakespeare, the oft-ridiculed archetype has always had much darker implications”

4. How to Build a Moat
By Malia Wollan | Tip :: The New York Times Magazine | October 2019
“Don’t expect your moat to stop swimmers not wearing armor.”

5. What We Talk About When We Talk About Magical Realism
By Fernando Sdrigotti | LA Review of Books | October 2020
“If anything, magical realism — in its juggling of exoticism and legibility, a combo that Edward Said would have called Orientalist when occurring in other elsewheres — is a practical marketing ploy, a reduction by means not of absurdity but of obfuscation — a crude simplification through fuzziness.”

6. Prince Was One of the Loneliest Souls I’ve Ever Met
By Neal Karlen | LitHub | October 2020
“After knowing him in forever-alternating cycles of greater, lesser, and sometimes not-at-all friendship over the final 31 years of his life, until our final peculiar phone conversation three weeks before he died: His greatest—and perhaps only—fear was dying alone.”

7. ‘This is really a government which doesn’t seem to be able to control the situation’ — Iraq
The Intelligence :: The Economist | October 2020
“A pilgrimage that is sure to become a COVID-19 hotspot is a sign of how much the country’s government is losing legitimacy to its clergymen and tribal leaders.”

8. How ‘Goodfellas’ and the Gangster Class of 1990 Changed Hollywood
By Jason Bailey | The New York Times | September 2020
“That autumn, The Godfather Part III was hotly anticipated. Instead, the Scorsese movie and other crime tales raised the stakes for filmmakers to come.”

9. As an anxious internet nerd, my relationships are thriving during lockdown
By Laurie Penny | The Guardian | September 2020
“Since lockdown began, I’ve moved three times, lost jobs and been separated from my family – but my online community hasn’t changed”

10. Can you get the coronavirus from secondhand smoke?
Viral Questions :: Associated Press | August 2020
“Secondhand smoke isn’t believed to directly spread the virus, experts say, but infected smokers may blow droplets carrying the virus when they exhale.”