Changing of the Guard, Bee-Style

Longreads

The death of a monarch is never simple. There’s a vacuum of power that needs to be filled, an anxiety of influence that requires the successor to establish their power quickly, and a challenging period in which the memory of the deceased is negotiated and shaped (in some cases — hello, French Revolution! — this phase can last centuries). In a lovely essay at Nautilus, John Knight explores the war of succession that followed the death of the original queen in his Brooklyn-rooftop beehive. It’s a conflict not just between a wannabe-queen and her reluctant subjects, but also between human and insect, each following their own complex protocols for survival.

As far as I can tell, my queen died sometime in the spring. Queens typically live for about four or five years, so this caught me by surprise. A new queen, however, is a regular event in the life…

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The Rainbow Railroad to Canada for Gay Chechen Men

Longreads

As John Ibbitson reports at The Globe and Mail, there’s a new underground railroad to Canada. Through a safe house network, the Canadian government has been spiriting away gay Chechen men who face not only government persecution, but honor killings at the hands of their family. In this conservative Russian republic, the government not only looks away from these heinous crimes, it encourages them.

For three months, the federal government has been secretly spiriting gay Chechen men from Russia to Canada, under a clandestine program unique in the world.

The evacuations, spearheaded by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, fall outside the conventions of international law and could further impair already tense relations between Russia and Canada. But the Liberal government decided to act regardless.

Hamzat, a man in his mid-twenties, is a recent arrival to Canada. (Hamzat is not his real name. The Globe and Mail is protecting…

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Best of Men and Best of Husbands

Wine and Cheese (Doodles)

Occasionally people ask me if I hate men.

Playing a feminist version of the old “Bloody Mary” game of slumber parties past, I’ve stood with eyes squeezed shut and asked a mirror the same question.

“Do I hate men?”
“Do I hate men?”
“Do I hate men?”

When I’ve opened my eyes, the answer is the same as it’s always been.

No.

Of course I don’t hate men.

Look, there’s a world of difference between being pro-woman and being anti-man. They are not two sides of the same coin, one does not necessitate the other. But those are thoughts for another post.

But this post? This one goes out to the ones I love.

I suppose in a way, following the logical conclusion of REM lyrics, it goes out to the ones I’ve left behind as well. After all, the long trail of tears from adolescence to late twenties led…

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The Dark and Gothic Worlds of Fantasy Artist Shaima Islam

Discover

Fantasy artist and illustrator Shaima Islam, based in Scarborough, Canada, works in a range of media like colored pencils, microns, and watercolors. Inspired by the gothic and the strange, Shaima’s drawings are dark yet whimsical, introducing us to fantastic worlds. Here’s a sampling of her imaginative scenes and portraits.


“The Traveler and His Companion.” Colored pencils and markers on paper, 8×10″, 2017.

Gilbert Blythe, a character from Anne of Green Gables. Markers and microns on paper, 7×11″, 2017.

Notebook sketches in progress, inspired by drama series Grantchester, 2017.

“Breakfast of Champions.” Colored pencils micron on paper, 10×13″, 2016.

“The Passing Storm.” Microns, 5×7″, 2016.


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The End of ‘Rolling Stone’ As We Know It

Longreads

In the end, Jann Wenner was always going to sell Rolling Stone. The current timing is certainly unprompted and a bit of a surprise — Wenner, along with his son Gus, the president and chief operating officer of Wenner Media, announced this week the magazine is now open for bids — but there had been indications in recent years that the once groundbreaking magazine would soon be top edited by someone other than Wenner.

Wenner has passed on opportunities to sell Rolling Stone in the past, including an offer of $500 million that he turned down two decades ago. But in 2017, the timing was too good to pass up. This year is the 50th anniversary of Rolling Stone‘s founding, and not only is the occasion being marked with an HBO documentary co-directed by Alex Gibney, Knopf is publishing the first major Wenner biography this fall, written by…

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Harvard’s About-Face on Michelle Jones’s Acceptance

Longreads

In a collaboration between The New York Times and The Marshall Project, journalist Eli Hager recently published an investigation into Harvard University’s eleventh-hour flip-flop on its acceptance of ex-convict Michelle Jones to its doctoral program in history. Jones, who spent more than two decades in prison for the murder of her four-year-old son — conceived non-consensually when she was 14 — became a stellar academic and published scholar while incarcerated. She was set to attend Harvard this fall, but after her acceptance, two professors questioned whether she had adequately portrayed her crime in her application — something that was not required — and also whether the former prisoner was up to the challenge of an Ivy League environment.

Jones was supposed to be released in October, but received a two-month reduction of her sentence so she could start a Ph.D. program on time this fall. She applied to eight…

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Contemplating Cobwebs & The Doorstep Of Destiny

Forty and Everything After

A desire for sausages, and a distracted exit from the house last weekend, resulted in an unplanned detour, and the contemplation of a new world-view, both literally and figuratively.

My parents had just left our house in their car – having finished tea and biscuits, and a reading of the Saturday papers. My husband and I now needed to buy some food for the day ahead, and were debating what we might like for our evening meal. I had a hankering for sausages. Our local butcher makes really good sausages. So, with my husband leaving the house ahead of me, I grabbed a shopping bag and headed outside, pulling the door behind me, and striding for the gate.

My husband hesitated, and then he swore. And then he peered back into the house through the living room window …

“The keys!!”

Now we were in a pickle. Both my parents…

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The Beer Drinker’s Guide to Getting Through 9/11

Longreads

Joshua Bernstein is one of the more prolific craft beer writers working today. (Longreads featured a Q&A with Bernstein after the publication of his recent book, Complete IPA) As he explains in an essay about living in New York on and after 9/11 for Good Beer Hunting, Bernstein’s path has been winding, including stints working at American Baby magazine, and editing a porn magazine.

His office was located in Chinatown, a brisk walk from the Twin Towers, and even before that clear blue morning, Bernstein liked to escape the doldrums of his office job by fleeing to his apartment’s rooftop in Astoria and doing what every New Yorker in their twenties has done: drink.

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Jemele Hill Knows What You Really Want to Call Her

Longreads

Are you a sports fanatic? It’s okay. Neither am I. Truly the only thing I know about ESPN is it’s a channel featuring 24 hours of sport shows complete with CNN-like graphics that swirl in and out and flash like an Atlantic City tableau (that, and nine out of ten men you meet have ESPN push notifications on their phones which make more alarming sounds than Amber alerts for lost children).

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