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Friday 20 January 2017

New on Imperica: Reading lists for dissidents

Reading lists... is a short, snappy newsletter weekly article with a bunch of high-quality long reads to get you through the week. Written by Liz Elfman, founder of US agency E-Squared, Elfman's commentary analyses exactly why and how each article will add value to your precious time and absolutely underline our own commitment to expanding into other areas beyond arts and tech. We'll publish it at the beginning of each week.


Here's a sample of an issue.



1. The "Breitbart of the Left" - Is this a trick question? Can there be a "Breitbart of the left?" Vanity Fair explores the premise in this interview with David Brock. Brock founded Shareblue, the pro-Clinton website shilling for "Blue America" during the election. Now, Brock is turning Shareblue into a progressive war room of sorts: "Our approach is going to be to tell the truth as we see it about both sides, not just the Republicans." Brock has taken a lot of flack, perhaps deservedly so. But there's something to be said for a pundit who admits he was wrong, and in light of new information, pursues a different course.

2. On Suffering and Sympathy - This is an extraordinary essay from Matthew Clair in The Rumpus. Clair examines the visibility of injustice. In our photo and video-laden world, we witness suffering in real time, from Ferguson to Syria to Standing Rock. What does that awareness accomplish, in and of itself? To Clair, sympathy is only the first step: " 'Fuck your breath,' a police officer hollers as he pins an already-shot man to the ground, his body camera be damned. Power no longer hides; it strides above us, unapologetic.'"

3. Remaining Angry - The case for staying furious. Elwes, a Brit, notes that "The ugliest aspects of the US culture war have been, deliberately, imported into our public life." 

4. In Honor of "30 Under 30" - The most disappointing 30 people under 30, from The New Yorker. Just in time for Forbes' tiresome "30 Under 30" circle jerk, which has now grown to include segments like "30 under 30 in consumer tech", "immigrants", and "celebrities." Cause celebrities need more attention, y'all. 

5. The Conflicts Keep Coming - Trump's new SEC head, Jay Clayton, is a Wall Street defense lawyer. The revolving door between Wall Street and Washington isn't news to anyone. But Clayton gets extra credit for being married to a Goldman Sachs executive. "Clayton's family income while in office will presumably be coming from a company he is charged with policing," says Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone. And our standards slip ever lower. 

6. All Ambassadors Told to Scram - No exceptions, all ambassadors must leave their posts by Inauguration Day. This mandate is uncommon and spiteful. Career diplomats are usually granted a grace period of weeks or months to finish their children's school terms: "'With the world already primed to be worrying about such an abrupt change, 'this is just a very concrete signal that it is going to happen.'" No kidding. 

7. The Brave French Smuggler - Cedric Herrou keeps getting arrested for helping migrants into France from his farm on the Italian border. And he will not be cowed: "If we have to break the law to help people, let's do it!" he said. He's part of a network of activists who resort to "semi-clandestine tactics" to aid migrants. Outlaw, or hero? Look to the past and the resistance fighters in WWII; you can be both.  


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