Saturday, June 9, 2012

Longform Reads #1

I don't know why, but this picture (that my baby brother
created) reminds me of a cosy reading corner.
This week, I woke up to the existence of longform essays. I knew about them before, but I never wanted to read an essay on the computer (I'm not good with reading on computers). But then, after a failed attempt to use Instapaper, I finally started using Readability, and so, started reading longform essays.
Be they fiction or non-fiction, I've realised that they're really addictive reading. I actually have a lot of ebooks to get through (like The Eustace Diamonds), but every now and then (or more often), I have the need to read something that coincidentally has the length of a longform essay.

Plus, my English is rapidly going down the drain, so I wanted something that could help me at least slow down this decline and longform, with it's largely non-fiction content, seems like an ideal way for me to keep up my levels of English comprehension.

So, now, I'll be doing a round-up of all longform essays that I've read every Saturday. And without further ado, here's what I've read this week:

Luv and War at 30,000 Feet by S.C. Gywnne. It's an essay that looks at the history and company culture of Southwest. While I've never ridden on that airline, it seems like their customer service is pretty good. And their company culture sounds like the type that all the textbooks say one should have (so as to inculcate loyalty). Plus, I liked how the essay also talked about how now that they're bigger (and in a post-9/11 world), they have a different set of challengers.

The Truth is Out There by Patrick Hruby. An essay on conspiracy theories and whether the entire sports industry is rigged, this essay is also one of the funniest I've read this week. This is mainly through the writing style and copious use of footnotes (I firmly believe that footnotes can make the text more entertaining). I'm not sure if I think everything is rigged, but this essay does (at the very least) make you wonder if the Sports Industry is as straightforward as it appears.

The Appostate by Lawrence Wright looks at Paul Haggis, an "apostate" from the Church of Scientology. By tracing his journey through Scientology, a glimpse of the inner workings of this organisation is provided. I don't think this essay takes an explicit stand about Scientology (although it might be leaning towards Paul Haggis, if only because his viewpoint appeared the most), but tries to provide both sides of the picture (although the no-comment stuff doesn't help whoever says it).I think this is also one of the longest essays of the lot.

How Yahoo Killed Flickr And Lost The Internet by Mat Honan. It's part-business, part-social media and really quite interesting. I didn't know that Flickr was owned by Yahoo (I don't use Flickr) and so I quite liked reading about how they missed a key opportunity. It kinda alerted me to the fact that the dominance of Facebook could have...not.

Are Japanese Moe Otaku Right Wing? by Neojaponisme. By looking at a popular site called Alfafa Mosaic, it tries to determine if the Moe Otaku are right wing in terms of political ideology. Considering that one of the books I'm reading for fun now is called An Introduction to Japanese Society, this was a very interesting article to me.

We Are All Teenage Werewolves by Alex Pappademas. I'm not sure why I read this article, since I don't watch MTV (come to think of it, I haven't watched much TV since I came to Japan). So for me, this was only so-so in terms of interest. But I suppose if you're a fan of the TV show Teenage Werewolf, you'll be interested in this.

A Dog Named Humphrey by Sloane Crosley. This is also about a TV Show (Gossip Girls) that I don't watch, but it was written in a really entertaining way. It is apparently about identity confusion (that comes from playing yourself on a TV show), but I felt it was more of a very entertaining narrative about the author's experience on the scene of Gossip Girl. The dog name Humphrey appears only briefly, but I think because of the way there was identity confusion about who the dog was name after, the dog was used as the title.

I got all these articles from three sources: Longreads, Longform and Byliner. If you want the links to the individual articles, just email me or leave a comment and I'll send them to you(:

No comments :

Post a Comment

I really do appreciate all comments, and I'll try my best to reply within 24 hours!