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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Too Little, Too Late, by Alison Herman, The Ringer

Late-night comedy may not be considered as serious or vital an institution as the rest of our media, but that’s what it is — an institution. And like the rest of our institutions, late night has undergone a long and painful process of discovering its own inadequacies in the harsh light of Trump’s America.


Like so many other civic norms, though, late night’s jocular, collegial template for handling our nation’s quadrennial screaming match was utterly unprepared for 2016. As November 8 approaches, the field’s most successful personalities are the ones who’ve admitted as much and thrown out their inherited template. The least successful, and occasionally even disgraceful, are the ones who’ve clung to that template for dear life. And the most vital are two hosts — Samantha Bee and John Oliver — who were never working from a broken and outdated template in the first place.

I Was Pregnant, And Then I Wasn’t, by Laura Turner, BuzzFeed

The door opened and a doctor we hadn’t seen before came in, but that wasn’t unusual for this hospital. She had brown hair and brown eyes, which she kept trained on the floor.

She stuck her hand out to my husband Zack. “I am Dr. Minnick,” she said. She sat down at the ultrasound machine. When she finally looked at me, I felt like I was going to throw up.

“I couldn’t find a heartbeat,” she said.

Mirror, Mirror, by Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, Racked

Reflections were, at the time, generally trusted as showing something real: The mirror became "an assiduous courtier, the rival of lovers, a fashion adviser to coquettes, a confidante, an accomplice, the most impartial of judges," writes Melchoir-Bonnet. But the proliferation of mirrors and their bizarre funhouse cousins eventually fed skepticism and "taught the relativity of all points of view."

It is this relativism, rather than faith and rapture, that imbues contemporary interpretations of the mirror — and has pushed entrepreneurs to come up with better versions of the mirror using technology.