Even by the standards of a year that’s been singularly depressing, this has been a dismal day for news — between the horrors of the CIA torture report, the ongoing UVA/Rolling Stone debacle and the fact that New Found Glory are releasing a Christmas song, there’s been nothing but misery on the web. Today’s links aren’t all sweetness and light either, but at least there are baby elephants!
Ta-Nehisi Coates at the Atlantic weighed in today on the apparent dissolution of The New Republic — and it’s not an elegy. “For most of its modern history, TNR has been an entirely white publication, which published stories confirming white people’s worst instincts,” Coates writes. “TNR made a habit of ‘reflecting briefly’ on matters that were life and death to black people but were mostly abstract thought experiments to the magazine’s editors.” Coates is always worth a read, but this piece is an exceptional recent entry from the column of one of the best public intellectuals alive right now.
At The Cut, Glynnis MacNicol discusses when she realized that, at 40 years old, she was perfectly happy without children and did not, in fact, particularly want them. “Though I tend to steer clear of the ‘having it all’ belief system that plagues nearly everything written for women, it was a relief to discover I did not actually want it all,” MacNicol writes. Slowly but surely, women are being represented in culture as childless, and happily–or at least not guiltily–so. Don’t want kids? Don’t really care either way? It’s okay.
As the year comes to a close, let’s consider the burgeoning Style Icon of 2014.
…North West. BuzzFeed has an excellent collection on some of this celebrity baby’s best wardrobe choices of the year (or her mother’s, or the Kardashian-West Family Stylist’s), and I can pretty much guarantee this toddler has a better closet than you or I will ever have.
Rolling Stone has an impressive, in-depth story on poppy cultivation in Afghanistan following the US occupation. According to the report’s author, Matthieu Aikins, we may have defeated the Taliban, but we’ve left behind something potentially just as sinister: Afghani drug cartels. The piece is a measured account of the cost and effect of American invasion on local communities.
And because we need it: An elephant in South Africa gave birth to twins, which only occurs in about 0.5% of all elephant births. The twins seem to be cooperating and scientists are optimistic that they will be make it to adulthood.