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In the News 17.06.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 17.06.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Waking up in Europa


Perhaps out of fear that nobody else is reading it, sometimes I get into a fit of reading my own poetry, and am surprised by how often it harks back to Australia, my homeland until I came of age. The surprise, of course, comes from my being a European. I’ve been one of those for more than half a century. I’m an Australian first, but not foremost. Culturally, being a European defines me.

Politically, being European seems less important. At the moment, it appears that Britain doesn’t find it very important either: otherwise there wouldn’t be so much fence-sitting about whether to leave or stay. With regard to Europe, the British seem to want both those things at once, and I suppose the same applies to me. But the more you believe that Europe is a spiritual event, the more you must realize that you will still be in it even if you leave it. It’s a condition of mental existence. I think of that great silent moment when the German military commander in occupied Paris disobeyed Hitler’s direct order to blow up the city. Or else there was no great silent moment, except in the commander’s imagination after the war, when he was writing his memoirs while imprisoned in Mississippi. Either way, it suits me, perhaps sentimentally, to believe that there was at least one Nazi officer prepared to break his Führer Oath for the sake of civilization, because he was a European.

Read the rest of this article at TSW

McDonald’s: You Can Sneer, But It’s the Glue that Holds Communities Together


On the morning of their wedding, Omar and Betty shared a breakfast of egg McMuffins at a small McDonald’s table, dressed in their finest clothes. Before driving to a Houston courthouse to be married, they walked into the attached child’s play area and joked about one day bringing their kids there.

Few understand celebrating at a McDonald’s, but for Omar and Betty it made sense. They don’t have a lot of money, and McDonald’s is part of their life. It is that way in many poor and middle-income neighborhoods, where McDonald’s have become de-facto community centers and reflections of the surrounding neighborhood.

When many lower-income Americans are feeling isolated by the deadening uniformity of things, by the emptiness of many jobs, by the media, they still yearn for physical social networks. They are not doing this by going to government-run community service centers. They are not always doing this by utilizing the endless array of well-intentioned not-for-profit outreach programs. They are doing this on their own, organically across the country, in McDonald’s.

Walk into any McDonald’s in the morning and you will find a group of mostly retired people clustering in a corner, drinking coffee, eating and talking. They are drawn to the McDonald’s because it has inexpensive good coffee, clean bathrooms, space to sprawl. Unlike community centers, it is also free of bureaucracy.

Almost all of them name their group with variations of a self-deprecating theme: in suburban El Paso it is the Old Folks’ Home, and in rural New Mexico it is the Morning Brigade. In the small rural town of Natchitoches, Louisiana, it is the Romeo club, an acronym for Retired Old Men Eating Out.

The Natchitoches group, like many of them, sprawls across a corner of the McDonald’s, taking over more and more tables as people join, and emptying them as they leave. Everyone who comes knows each other; have for many years, some since childhood.

Read the rest of this article at GQ



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Kim Kardashian West on Kanye and Taylor Swift, What’s in O.J.’s Bag, and Understanding Caitlyn


It is Kim Kardashian West’s full-time job to make you feel privy to her secrets—that you are getting to see (or gently squeeze) a very special part of her enchanted world. She’s the progenitor of a new kind of fame. While a celebrity, Kim doesn’t have the luxury of an actor to request that her personal life remain private, because her personal life is what pays her bills. She deploys radical transparency about her life not just because she wants to, but because she has to; the continued viability of the Kim Kardashian West brand demands it. As a result, Kim is working wherever she is, whatever she happens to be doing, because being Kim is Kim’s vocation. And she’s very professional.

Read the rest of this article at GQ

Is Gentrification a Threat to Fashion Capitals?


LONDON, United Kingdom — “If I didn’t have the household arrangements that I have, creating and starting my own fashion label would, for me, be impossible,” said Iain Logan MacKay, a young menswear designer who took part in the designer showrooms at London Collections: Men. MacKay, a born-and-bred Londoner, is in his mid-20s. Like 21 percent of adults in London, according to a 2015 study by Nationwide, he lives with his parents. “I don’t get charged rent,” he said.

London and New York are two of the biggest global hubs in the fashion industry, home to major brands, retailers and schools, as well as countless young designers, fashion students and budding entrepreneurs. They are also the 6th and 7th most expensive cities in the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual cost of living ranking. In May, the average rent for a one-bed London property was £1,133 (about $1,609) according to property firm Countrywide. Rent on a one-bedroom property in New York averaged at $2,200, according to a study by GoBankingRates using rent data from March.

Read the rest of this article at BOF


How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore
And a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a
Forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence
impoverished, in squalor
Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

The idea took hold a few months ago. It’s hard to say exactly what sparked it other than … well, have you ever been the parent of a 14-year-old girl? It is a daunting experience. Elizabeth is a good person. She’s a good student. She has a huge heart. She’s a loyal friend. She’s funny too. She likes Death Cab and Spinal Tap and comic books and reading. The other day, she told me that her favorite movie of all time is “The Godfather.” I mean, she is more me than I am.

But she is 14, and in some ways that explains everything. In some ways it doesn’t. There are times I feel closer to her than ever … and times I feel so much further away. Farther away? Further away? One gorgeous day in autumn, I was sitting on the porch, working, and she came outside and sat next to me, and it became clear after a few choice words about tattoos and nose rings and such that she had come out for the sole purpose of starting a fight. There was no specific reason for it other than she’s 14, and I’m her father, and this is the timeless story.

There have been other things, trying things, unforeseen things, a punishing year, and one day I came up with this idea. I would take Elizabeth to see “Hamilton.”

We have a flaw in my family, one that goes back generations: We tend to grow obsessed with, well, stuff. What kind of stuff? OK, my mother through the years has had been possessed by countless activities including (but not limited to): paint-by-numbers; cross-stitch; stamp collecting; Harlequin Romances; computer programming (the most profitable of such obsessions); various soap operas; various reality TV shows; crossword puzzles; cookbooks; Candy Crush; all sorts of collectibles and, most recently, coloring books. She recently had coloring pencils shipped from Sweden or Switzerland or some such place. She’s very good at coloring. You can find her work on Facebook.

Read the rest of this article at Joe Posnanski

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M. // Top image: Veranda