"'I wasn't so successful in marriage myself, so this is my contribution to the institution.'" Let's start the new year off cheerfully with Kelley Bouchard's account of the first few hours of Maine's legalization of same-sex marriage. For the Portland Press Herald.
It looks to me like the war against secret money funding American elections has moved to the states. From Alison Frankel at Reuters, "NY pension fund's bold tactic to force campaign spending disclosure." At ProPublica, Kim Barker reports on accusations by the California Fair Political Practices Commission that dark money group Americans for Responsible Leadership engaged in "campaign money laundering."
Naomi Wolf at the Guardian on new documents revealing how the violent crackdown on Occupy was coordinated by the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, local police, campus police — and big corporate banks.
Also at the Guardian, Amy Goodman on the continued diminution of civil liberties under laws signed by President Obama in the new year.
"Only three residents remained, in a place that was once home to thousands." On what remains of Aleppo, and Syria, by Rania Abouzeid in The New Yorker.
At The Political Notebook, Torie Rose DeGhett compiles a very comprehensive list of background reading on what we just lost with the Congressional failure to renew the Violence Against Women Act.
The new issue of Dissent looks to have some great stuff in it. So far I've only had a chance to read Akiba Solomon's "The Personal Is Political: That's the Challenge: Roe v. Wade and a Black Nationalist Womanist Writer."
Via @CoryEllen, Avital Norman Nathman at RH Reality Check with an article on reality TV's portrayals of teen motherhood compared to what the teen clients at The Care Center in Holyoke, Massachusetts, have to say about their experiences.
Nuanced and layered blog post about reality TV, nontraditional family structures, the limits of respectability politics, and lots more from crunktastic at The Crunk Feminist Collective.
"Single Women and the Sitcom" from Elaine Blair at The New York Review of Books: "Now that we don't really have to live with our marriages, or enter them in the first place, the choice of whom, if anyone, to settle down with is not a great subject but a middling one — about sitcom-sized, it turns out."
"Nobody told me because nobody knew to tell me. Nobody told me because nobody told them." On the importance of learning to think critically about the entertainment you're consuming, at the Tumblr "not language but a map."
"[A]s what it means to work becomes both more and increasingly desperate, 2013 might be the perfect time to ask what work is, what it means, and what it might mean to live without it." Nina Power at the Guardian.
At the Paris Review, Jiayang Fan on her first American meal in New York City.
Via @jillheather, Deborah Blum's re-evaluates the personality of the would-be poisoner after a round-up of the year in attempted murder by poisoning: "the everyday poisoner is vindictive. Sneaky. But not necessarily that smart." At Wired.
Maggie Koerth-Baker at Boing-Boing explains "How space radiation hurts astronauts" using an excellent analogy that I hope my children never, never glimpse: "If you drop a big tower made of Legos down the stairs…"
Finally, three entries from The Awl's forehead-slappingly good series called "The Year in Advice." (You could read the whole thing. You won't be sorry.) First, Carrie Frye: "sometimes not only you, but every other single person you might look to, has absolutely no idea what to do. No one." Second, Maria Bustillos: "There's only one thing that is worth trying to understand, and it is this." And third, Lili Loofbourow: "My advice to self has always been don't look too closely for cause and effect, because the real triggers are buried in all the noise. The noise is life, pretty much, and even if you shut everything out, a headache will find you in the silence."