Michelle Weber
Senior editor, Longreads. Chief Semicolon Advocate, WordPress.com. Professional writer, editor, napper, and dog-snorgler. Knows you are, but what is she?
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  1. Lorene Scafaria’s ‘Hustlers’ and the Anatomy of the Scam

    “These archetypes give women the extremely confused message that to be truly independent, ambitious, and empowered — and dare we say, feminist — is to perform well in the marketplace of the likeable self. It also gives capitalism, which is superficially unfashionable, a second life: its mercenary logic can take on a socially conscientious sheen.”

    Feminism
  2. Why We Need a Working-Class Media

    Journalists frequently write about the working class, but is anyone writing for them? Because “[e]conomic hardship does not mean the absence of joy, love, pleasure, duty, care,” and stories — and representation! — are powerful.

    Journalism
  3. How to Know if You Have Turned Old

    “The old have seized the right to feel sure of themselves, content with their life, and at peace with the fact that they just listened to an entire audiobook on shuffle and were no more confused than if they had listened to the chapters in order.”

    Humor
  4. To The Class of 2019

    Hilde Lysiak, the 12-year-old writer and publisher of the Orange Street News and one of the people on our 2019 “Anything is Possible” list, shares hard-won journalism advice in a commencement speech to the graduating class of the Reed School of Media.

    Journalism
  5. Entre Nous: Tressie McMillan-Cottom

    In Barb magazine, founder Marcelle Karp has a wide-ranging conversation with author and professor Tressie McMillan Cottom, on the South, black feminism, being a little petty, and much more.

    Authors
  6. Deadland

    The Salton Sea, California’s largest lake, is a dying ecosystem — but it has a strange and sad beauty, and residents who hang on.

    Environment
  7. How to Write a Country Music Song: A Lesson from a Nashville Hit-Maker

    “The contemporary production of country music may be the purview of the rich and famous, but its origins come out of life in the heartland, from the shadows of desperation, poverty, and longing, from dark clouds with silver-linings, and from a humble self-awareness that is all too rare in America today.”

    Music
  8. An Honest Living

    Steve Salaita spent 21 years in academia, a committed and passionate professor. Then he got fired. Now he drives a school bus, “one of the few institutions in the United States that protects the powerless from the depredations of commerce. “

    Academia
  9. An Open Letter to Thin People Who Feel Infringed on by Fat People on Airplanes

    “What you want is for us to be weighed at the airport. Your thought is that we should be asked to pay more, and you should be asked to pay less, because you have been successful in your pursuit of thinness. “I eat salads,” you hiss at fat passengers like Norma. I also eat salads, […]

    Personal Essay
  10. ‘If I was waiting for confidence to write, I’d still be waiting’

    Online mag gal-dem sits down with writer and cultural critic Roxane Gay: “Bodies rarely follow rules. We all live in bodies that are complicated, and we should create space for that unruliness instead of always trying to discipline it.”

    Authors
  11. The 21st Century Is Old Enough To Legally Drink

    “I’ve never taken coke or, to my knowledge, had a helicopter doing surveillance on me. Yet, merely because I watched Goodfellas at an impressionable age, and several times since, every time I see a helicopter I feel like I’m on coke and the helicopter is doing surveillance on me.”

    Personal Musings
  12. Potty-Mouthed Professors: Why They’re the Best

    Is it acceptable to curse in college classrooms? For one professor, it’s a cornerstone of his pedagogy.

    Academia
    Photo by Alex Naud via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
  13. Welcome To My New Netflix Show

    “The joy of purging? Ha ha no way Marie Kondo, we’re here to talk about the joy of binging! Binging my new Netflix show, of course. And also stuff. So much stuff.”

    Humor
  14. Too Close to Call

    “Across our 50 states we vote by mail, ranked-choice selection, provisionally, and by absentee— the fact we can know anything on election night is nothing short of a bureaucratic miracle. So the spectacle of election night television should be considered as just that: entertainment only loosely connected to determining the shift in political power.”

    Current Events
  15. I Applied to 200 Jobs and All I Got Was This Moderate-Severe Depression

    “Like most ambitious English majors, I hoped I would find work in either teaching or writing after graduation. Long story short, I ended up graduating magna cum laude, won my department’s award, and learned that no one really wants to talk about E.M. Forster while playing beer pong. Go figure.”

    Academia
    Image from Flazingo Photos via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)