It’s August. I don’t have anything more to add. I’m drained.
Update: Turns out, I was a slacker this month. Well, not a slacker all around. Life was chaos. That led to less reading — just 17 stories in 31 days. Alas, I’ll do better in September.
If you’ve missed any previous reading, here’s January’s reads, February’s reads, March reads, April reads, May reads, June reads and July reads, along with a best of the first half of 2020 list and a best of all time list.
Best reads get a ⭐.
Enjoy August fare…
230.) How the Trump campaign came to court QAnon, the online conspiracy movement identified by the FBI as a violent threat by Isaac Stanley-Becker for The Washington Post
231.) My Midlife Crisis as a Russian Sailor by Andrea Pitzer for Outside Magazine
This was a really fun travelogue and a reminder that I wish I had more adventures as a reporter. Damn sports being so buttoned-down.
232.) Bob Newhart made comedy history in Houston by Andrew Dansby in the Houston Chronicle
Bob Newhart is on the very short list of comedians I most enjoy. He’s an absolute American treasure.
233.) How the Media Could Get the Election Story Wrong by Ben Smith in The New York Times
234.) Max Weinberg: From Bruce Springsteen’s drummer to a seat on a Florida zoning board by Howard Cohen for the Tampa Bay Times
235.) Doctors Enter College Football’s Politics, but Maybe Just for Show by Billy Witz for The New York Times
236.) What if We Could Live for a Million Years? by Avi Loeb for Scientific American
⭐237.) When Black People Appear on Seinfeld by Lauren Michele Jackson for Vulture
Interesting look at how Seinfeld upended the traditional use of minor black characters.
238.) ‘Almost Famous’ at 20: Meet the Real Stillwater by David Browne in Rolling Stone
239.) How the media has us thinking all wrong about the coronavirus by Emily Oster in The Washington Post
I hate the use of a monolithic media as a boogeyman, but I love Emily Oster, so it’s worth the read.
240.) Anti-racist Arguments Are Tearing People Apart by Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic
⭐241.) Blockchain, the amazing solution for almost nothing by Jesse Frederik in The Correspondent
The writing isn’t terrific but it’s also translated into English, so that’s forgiven. Better is the research and spotlight put on this thing — blockchain — that has been a buzzword for years that no one seems to understand and it turns out has virtually no real value or use.
242.) And in the End by Rob Sheffield for Rolling Stone
Very cool look back at the final years of The Beatles — what went wrong and what wasn’t quite as bad as we all seem to think.
243.) How ‘The Net’ Ordered Pizza Online Before It Was a Reality — An Oral History of Pizza.Net by Liz Shannon Miller for Collider
⭐244.) ‘How is this possible? What are the odds?’ by Eli Saslow in The Washington Post
Eli Saslow is one of the best feature writers in America, so when he chooses to omit his own writing in favor of an oral history style, you know the quotes are going to be powerful. Indeed, this story is something else.
245.) Roger and Me by Gene Weingarten for The Washington Post
Hey, journos. This is probably the best story I ever wrote. Not because it was “the best story I ever wrote,” but because I wrote it on a one-hour deadline when I realized, in horror, that I had blown it and it could not wait another day. https://t.co/v1w0eKIR7Z
— Gene Weingarten (@geneweingarten) August 31, 2020
246.) The Case for Adding 672 Million More Americans by Matthew Yglesias in The Intelligencer
This is a topic I wish would be explored more often. Not only does immigration not hurt our country overall, it’s desperately needed. This story could’ve done a better job on specifics — it glosses over a lot of real red-flag concerns — but the basics here feel like they need to be better understood by folks on both sides of the political divide.