Sunday, May 5, 2013

Links for the week ending 5 May 2013

The internet was off its game this week, so here's an abbreviated list for your reading perusal.

From Mac McClelland at Mother Jones, an incredible piece about schizophrenia, violence, the defunding of treatment of the severely mentally ill — and her own extended family's tragedies.

"At least four of the captives being force-fed at Guantánamo were cleared for release years ago." The lede on this Carol Rosenberg story at the Miami Herald says it all.

Another profile in courage from the Mexican drug wars: "The Priest Who Travels With Bodyguards," by Melissa del Bosque for The Texas Observer.

"'We didn't hate white people,' she said softly. 'We didn't even know any. We hated the system. That's what we were protesting about.'" At The New Yorker, Charlayne Hunter-Gault writes about the 50th anniversary of the Birmingham Children's Crusade.

"'And that's when I realized: We are crushing whatever little destruction the bombers caused — we are crushing it.'" Profile of five blue-collar childhood friends from Stoneham, MA, who were wounded together and swear to recover together. By Sarah Schweitzer and Patricia Wen for The Boston Globe.

"'Mom,' he cried, 'it will be my last call — I'm dying for sure. I am sorry. I tried my best. I cannot breathe.'" Sarah Stillman at The New Yorker on the Bangladesh garment-factory disasters.

"Lawyer Robert Miller has visited five prisons and 17 jails in his lifetime, but he has reviewed only three of them on Yelp." From Caitlin Dewey at The Washington Post. (Via Sarah Zhang.)

From Wendy Kaufman at NPR, a story on how Harvey Mudd College is addressing the computer science gender gap with one brilliantly simple solution: different introductory classes for students with computer experience versus those that have none. (Via Jennifer 8 Lee.)

"Celebrities post banalities because they know people will find it interesting, and teenagers post banalities because they don't know yet that people won't." Great piece by Helena Fitzgerald at The New Inquiry on #followateen. (Via Shani O. Hilton.)

"The Victorian marriage plot is not about celebrating love, but rather about working through a terrifying, risky switch to a brand new idea about marriage." Fascinating essay by Talia Schaffer at Berfrois on how gay marriage is a natural step in a transformation of marriage that has been underway since the 17th century. (Via Maryn McKenna.)

Should you take that criticism seriously? Consult Ann Friedman's Disapproval Matrix to help you decide. (Via Cheryl Strayed.)

Moving piece at Columbia Journalism Review by Sara Morrison on the astonishing body of work produced over the all-too-brief career of multimedia journalist Jessica Lum, who died a few months ago at the age of 25. (Via Marian Wang.)

Heather Havrilesky's Ask Polly column was genuinely great answering the eternal question of how to handle it when one's best friend falls in love with one's sister. At The Awl.

"Though she's unfailingly polite, being in the spotlight makes Ms. Harris uncomfortable. It still surprises her when she's recognized by strangers—'I look like everybody's aunt,' she says, accurately." Alexandra Alter at The Wall Street Journal with a wonderful article about the travails of a best-selling genre author: "How to Kill a Vampire (Series)." (Via Rachel Hartman.)

"At night we dreamed the same dreams of being created, or sea voyages, of hands to smooth our hair." Jia Tolentino single-handedly redeems the internets this week with "The Love Song of the Banana With Dreadlocks." At The Billfold.