News 03.09.21

Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 03.09.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 03.09.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 03.09.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

In 2020, a reckoning began to take place in the world of women-led start-ups. What started as a series of stories alleging toxic workplaces and racist behavior turned into a wave of high-profile exoduses. Steph Korey, co-founder and co-CEO of luggage company Away, stepped down, as did Christene Barberich, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Refinery29, and Leandra Medine Cohen, the founder of the fashion blog Man Repeller. Audrey Gelman, CEO and co-founder of the Wing, and Yael Aflalo, CEO and founder of the clothing brand Reformation, also resigned.

The subjects of these investigations represented a particular archetype: wealthy, college-educated white women. They weren’t just executives but often the faces of their brands, commanding large social followings. The companies they helmed were also uncannily similar. They peddled different products — from suitcases to jeans to co-working spaces — but they all promised business practices rooted in inclusion and posited their leadership as evidence of a shattering glass ceiling. These women were, in other words, girlbosses. Coined by entrepreneur and Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso in 2014, the term “girlboss” became synonymous with “hustle culture,” with a feminism-lite twist: the optimistic, almost religious desire to get ahead at work and in life. #Girlboss is the millennial-pink version of Helen Gurley Brown’s Having It All, the living embodiment of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s order to lean in. The project was, on its face, necessary: The game is rigged against women who are, by all measures, as capable as men. But in mere months, the #Girlboss went from being an empowering idea to shorthand for a type of fake-woke feminism. (Tellingly, Nasty Gal also faced allegations of workplace discrimination.)

Read the rest of this article at: The Cut

News 03.09.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 03.09.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

If one word could sum up the experience of 2020, it would be disbelief. Between Xi Jinping’s public acknowledgment of the coronavirus outbreak on 20 January 2020, and Joe Biden’s inauguration as the 46th president of the United States precisely a year later, the world was shaken by a disease that in the space of 12 months killed more than 2.2 million people and rendered tens of millions severely ill. Today the official death tolls stands at 4.51 million. The likely figure for excess deaths is more than twice that number. The virus disrupted the daily routine of virtually everyone on the planet, stopped much of public life, closed schools, separated families, interrupted travel and upended the world economy.

To contain the fallout, government support for households, businesses and markets took on dimensions not seen outside wartime. It was not just by far the sharpest economic recession experienced since the second world war, it was qualitatively unique. Never before had there been a collective decision, however haphazard and uneven, to shut large parts of the world’s economy down. It was, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) put it, “a crisis like no other”.

Even before we knew what would hit us, there was every reason to think that 2020 might be tumultuous. The conflict between China and the US was boiling up. A “new cold war” was in the air. Global growth had slowed seriously in 2019. The IMF worried about the destabilising effect that geopolitical tension might have on a world economy that was already piled high with debt. Economists cooked up new statistical indicators to track the uncertainty that was dogging investment. The data strongly suggested that the source of the trouble was in the White House. The US’s 45th president, Donald Trump, had succeeded in turning himself into an unhealthy global obsession. He was up for reelection in November and seemed bent on discrediting the electoral process even if it yielded a win. Not for nothing, the slogan of the 2020 edition of the Munich Security Conference – the Davos for national security types – was “Westlessness”.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

News 03.09.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

While watching the scientific community grapple with long COVID, I have thought a lot about a scene in The Lord of the Rings. Faced with impending doom, the hobbits Merry and Pippin ask the powerful treelike ents for help. But despite the urgency of the situation, the ents are slow. They meet for hours, and after a lot of deliberation, they announce that they’ve agreed that the hobbits are not orcs. The hobbits, who already knew that, are shocked. They were hoping for more.

In June 2020, when I started reporting on long COVID, few scientists or physicians knew that it existed—and many doubted that it did. The common wisdom was that people infected with SARS-CoV-2 mostly get mild symptoms that resolve after two weeks. And yet, thousands of “long-haulers” had already been debilitated by months of extreme fatigue, brain fog, breathing difficulties, and other relentless, rolling problems. More than a year later, several clinics care for long-haulers, while the biomedical community, like the ents, has begun to identify long-COVID patients as long-COVID patients. But some researchers still hesitate to recognize long COVID if it doesn’t present in certain ways; they’re running studies without listening to patients, and they’ve come up with their own arguably unhelpful name for the disease. Like Merry and Pippin, long-haulers are growing frustrated that what is self-evident to them—their condition is very real and in need of urgent attention from those with power—is taking a worrying amount of time to be acknowledged and acted upon.

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

News 03.09.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar does not open until 5 o’ Clock, which puts a crimp in trying to live out the metaphor of its name. The whole point of the phrase is a justification to start drinking early, before the workday is done, because somebody, somewhere is off work. But no, for the 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar, one of four restaurants and bars at Manhattan’s new Margaritaville Resort Times Square, you must wait until the workday is over. I am furious about this. Sure, the License to Chill Bar opens at 2, but it’s the principle of the thing. Jimmy Buffett would not wait until the boss says you can go home.

The Margaritaville Resort Times Square sounds like an oxymoron. “Resort” conjures pristine beaches with reservable cabanas, room service delivered with an orchid, spas, and restaurants that will just charge your room, so you needn’t worry about even carrying a wallet on the grounds. To me at least, it does not mean a 32-floor hotel in Times Square. Like, I have been to a Times Square hotel bar before, and while I’ve enjoyed myself, it has never been a transformatively relaxing experience.

I’m biased though; being from here makes it hard to view the city through a tourist’s eyes. But while I can picture wanting to visit New York for many things — the museums, the theater, the history, the chance to meet a pigeon who’s eaten a whole slice of pizza — I can’t imagine coming here to engage in leisure. The kind of leisure where you get on a plane and check into a resort just to not leave for a week, to see no other sights besides the novelty tiki drink cups lining the hotel’s bars.

But this is the kind of leisure Margaritaville is built on. Almost all the Margaritaville restaurants and resorts — a vaguely tropics-themed hospitality empire inspired by one of Jimmy Buffett’s most popular songs — exist within massive tourist destinations like Cozumel, Mexico, or Atlantic City, New Jersey. On the surface, Times Square feels like a natural addition. But while other locales can at least offer some seclusion from the world in the form of a beach or an island, Times Square is in the middle of everything. It is hectic, crowded, overpriced, and blatantly capitalistic, a place where no one actually lives and few New Yorkers hang out unless they’re seeing a show or bringing their out-of-town niece to the Disney Store. It has no chill. But maybe the point is it’s not unsalvageable. Amid the stress and the noise, if you delude yourself enough, you can turn off your brain and have fun. So for 24 hours, I tried.

Read the rest of this article at: Eater

News 03.09.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

For most residents of Holland, Michigan, there was nothing remarkable about March 11, 1989, a Saturday. Frost on the ladders of the city’s water towers thawed in the sun—spring was just over a week away. Mothers poured milk over cereal for kids watching back-to-back episodes of their favorite cartoons. Fathers who worked weekends drove pickup trucks to industrial jobs at local automotive and concrete companies.

But all was not well in the house on the corner of Lincoln Road and 52nd Street. It belonged to Dennis and Brenda Bowman, a married couple with two children. For the Bowmans, March 11 marked the last time they saw their 14-year-old daughter, Aundria, alive.

Dennis was the one who contacted the police. He told them that he’d come home from his job as a wood machinist to find Aundria missing, along with some of her belongings and $100 from his dresser. Dennis described Aundria—whom he and Brenda had adopted when she was an infant—as a troubled teenager who frequently fought with her mother and had run away to a friend’s house once before.

Dennis agreed to call around to the homes of kids Aundria knew to find out if anyone had seen her. But his wife soon took over as the family’s point of contact. It was Brenda who called the police regularly, and Brenda who corrected the amount of cash missing from her husband’s dresser to $150. That was enough for police to issue a warrant for Aundria’s arrest for larceny; the warrant listed Dennis as the victim of his daughter’s alleged crime.

With no foul play suspected, the police labeled Aundria a runaway and passed her case along to the Youth Services Bureau. Few people who knew the Bowmans questioned the official narrative. Over the years, there had been whispers about the family. Once, when Aundria was in middle school, she boarded the school bus bleeding from her wrist. Some kids gossiped about a suicide attempt, but others said Aundria had cut herself trying to get back into her house after her parents locked her out. There were rumors that Dennis, a former Navy reservist with reddish-brown hair, a goatee, and wire-rimmed glasses, and Brenda, a portly woman with curled bangs who’d once worked at the jewelry counter at Meijer department store, abused Aundria. But back then, what happened behind closed doors was considered family business.

Fifteen months before Aundria disappeared, Brenda gave birth to a daughter, Vanessa. Aundria went from being an only child to more than a big sister—she was a third parent to the chubby, redheaded baby. While other kids her age went to afterschool clubs and Friday night football games, Aundria stayed home changing diapers and cleaning bottles. She kept a photo of her sister in a school folder, where other teens might stash a magazine cutout or a polaroid of their crush. When she wasn’t with Vanessa, Aundria was anxious about the baby’s well-being.

Many people in Holland assumed that Aundria had gotten so fed up with her home life that she finally split. Maybe she’d gone looking for her birth mother. People heard that she’d hitched a ride at a local truck stop, had left town with an older boy, or was pregnant.

Brenda reported a series of tips in the weeks and months following her daughter’s disappearance, all of which seemed to confirm that Aundria had run away. At the end of March, Brenda claimed Aundria had been spotted at a 7-Eleven. In mid-April, Brenda said she received an anonymous call from someone claiming that police were looking for the teenager in the right area, but on the wrong street—whatever that meant. In June, she reported a sighting at a local property, where Aundria had supposedly been hanging out with a group of young men. And in October, Brenda said a friend had seen Aundria, pregnant and with dyed hair, in a line at Meijer. Police investigated but found nothing.

Read the rest of this article at: The Atavist Magazine