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Saturday, April 15, 2017

It’s Time For Us To Admit That Whether Or Not We Succeed In Life Is Mostly About Luck, by Noah Berlatsky, Quartz

For the most part, creative success has little to do with talent or hard work. Lots of people are talented and hard-working. Talented and hard-working people are nothing special, for better or worse. To be successful, you need more than just talent and hard work. You need luck. Or, even better than luck, you need connections.

And yet artists persist in the belief that their success, or lack thereof, reveals something deeper about their worth. Writing in The Guardian, an anonymous author and self-proclaimed failed novelist recently published a mournfully angry piece about their lack of success. “I … avoid literary debuts by British female writers, which all seem so safe and samey,” the writer declared. “I feel pity and scorn for people with dreams.” In a follow-up piece, novelist David Barnett responded with scorn, albeit not with pity. “Dear Anonymous, you’re not a failure. You’re a quitter.” Bennett goes on, with sententious enthusiasm, “I failed over and over again; but each time, I failed better.”

'Vegetarian's Guide' A Memoir About Food As A Life Choice, by Jules Torti, Vancouver Sun

I was skeptical that The Vegetarian’s Guide to Eating Meat: A Young Woman’s Search For Ethical Food was going to be too preachy and righteous. I wholly expected a 256-page, drum circle-led PETA rally about why the world needed to boycott hamburgers once and for all. Instead, Marissa Landrigan’s modern American omnivore odyssey is a thoughtfully curated coming-of-age memoir about choice. It’s much more than a tribute to vegetarianism and the bone she has to pick with slaughterhouses and factory farms. Landrigan is transparent about her chronic existential crisis and the resulting shifts in her diet and thoughts on elk hunting.

'Upside Of Unrequited' Is A Fresh, Fun, Snarky Spring Fling, by Caitlyn Paxson, NPR

If you're in the mood for a snappy romance to vicariously bathe you in the pain and elation of first love, Becky Albertalli's The Upside of Unrequired provides.

The Point Of Hate, by Anna Fels, New York Times

In a way, hate functions like a Geiger counter, signaling where there are serious disruptions of the social fabric or where cultural beliefs are under the most stress — whether it be from a new awareness of inequality, diversity or the radical redefining of gender.

Those who fail to hear these warnings and address the cultural dislocations they represent will end up paying a steep price. They may even be hated.

The Embarrassing History Of Crap Thrown Into Yellowstone's Geysers, by Eric Grundhauser, Atlas Obscura

When it comes to geothermal features, Yellowstone National Park holds an embarrassment of riches. Located largely inside the massive caldera of an ancient volcano, the park is home to thousands of geysers and hot springs, including Old Faithful and the Grand Prismatic Spring. But of course humans just can’t have nice things, and pretty much ever since Yellowstone’s one-of-a-kind geysers and pools were first discovered, people have been throwing shit into them.