This is a new—this is a new mentality. We’re not gonna control our kids with brands. We’re not gonna teach low self-esteem and hate to our kids. We’re gonna teach our kids that they can be something. We’re gonna teach our kids they can stand up for themselves. We’re gonna teach our kids to believe in themselves. If my grandfather were here right now, he would not let me back down. I don’t know what I’m gonna lose after this. It don’t matter though, because it ain’t about me. It’s about ideas, bro. New ideas, people with ideas, people who believe in truth.

Kanye West, speaking more public truth to power than any musical icon before him. Where are Michael Jackson’s polemics? Did Cobain elevate any of us? Who, historically, compares?

Tim Kreider, “The Summer That Never Was”

I suspect that the way I feel now, at summer’s end, is about how I’ll feel at the end of my life, assuming I have time and mind enough to reflect: bewildered by how unexpectedly everything turned out, regretful about all the things I didn’t get around to, clutching the handful of friends and funny stories I’ve amassed, and wondering where it all went. And I’ll probably still be evading the same truth I’m evading now: that the life I ended up with, much as I complain about it, was pretty much the one I chose. And my dissatisfactions with it are really with my own character, with my hesitation and timidity.

My favorite cartoonist is also one of my favorite essayists. I’m glad I don’t identify with him too much here. But maybe stories like his will help me be ready when the time comes. And it will come.

FIDLAR, “West Coast”

 

One of those songs I hear for the first time and immediately replay it and then oops it’s 6 hours later and it’s played 100+ times. The lyrics can be appreciated by any self-destructive fuck-up, which, honestly, should mean they’re universal. But if you can enjoy your pain, then maybe this song’ll mean more to you.

Woke up, you caught me with a smile
Passed out on your bathroom tile
Man I think that this is home
So sad, I should’ve told her something
Call her up and talk about nothing
But I forgot I lost my phone

The Huffington Post – ‘It’s Now Or Never,’ Texted Teen Charged In Boyfriend’s Suicide

What do we do with criminals criming through Munchausen syndrome by proxy? Our understanding of human Evil with a capital E is that it’s the most extreme aberration from the “common sense” of human good. When mental illness is stigmatized, you end up with a sick young woman believing wholeheartedly in the futility of her boyfriend’s depression and seeking a silver lining. (“I can write a college essay about this~!”) Everyone’s hurt when we sentence criminals to punishment over rehabilitation. Prisons should be highly-controlled schools for “How To Be Good.”

It’s wrong that I’m sympathetic enough to write about this (but also it’s a fascinating, dark, contemporary, insightful story) while I don’t muster up the same emotion for thieves, rapists, killers. But maybe it’ll be in mind next time I’m confronted with “senseless” crime.

I just don’t think it’s wise to posture like this when, barring much more common drawn-out mental illness like I’m suggesting Carter suffered from, psychotic breaks can happen to anyone, any time. No testimony to your own sanity will protect you if it happens. And hopefully they won’t demand a live cremation for you, but I wouldn’t count on it yet. (After posting I realized I didn’t feature any of the comments from people wishing she could suffer the death penalty, but trust me: they’re out there en masse.)

Ann Telnaes, whom I’ve always appreciated for her crystal clear, light-hearted caricatures, tackles religion as justification for slavery and rape.

She doesn’t need to submit a portfolio for the Pulitzer. This comic says it all: she’s a master.