Recommended Links: If You Read One Thing From This…

Links worth a look.

Here are this week’s links from my newsletter, in list form.

The David Foster Wallace commencement speech “This is Water
George Saunders’ ‘Congratulations, by the way”
If you read only one thing from this newsletter, make it Rebecca Solnit on Donald Trump.
Hunter S. Thompson said there’d be days like these.
This frightens me.
Russia’s VEB is not a bank.
callous legislative session could make Texas a turn-off.
The most harmful thing about a secret isn’t its content.
Friend Liz reflects, a year after going public about being raped.
Goodbye, Frank Deford.
A race to save what’s on old VHS tapes.
Barack Obama and the Most Interesting Man in The World, a bromance.
“Life loves the liver of it.”
There’s something zen about the return of Jim Carrey.
Silicon Valley‘s played out Asian stereotypes. The geography of hip hop.
All-you-can-eat, in New York.
People today are 10% heavier than we were in the 1980s, even with the same diet and exercise levels.
McSweeney’s nails it with a parody of baby boomers (h/t @dannydb).
Profanity is pain-relieving.

Not quite back at work but a side project, a video series called “Elise Tries,” launched last week. It explores curiosities across my patch of Korea and Japan, and the pilot features a harrowing few moments with raccoons. Future episodes are less dangerous but arguably more humiliating.

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Recommended Links: A Trump-Free Edition

I put out a newsletter — called the Hu’s letter (groan) — that I’ve deliberately not promoted because I like that it’s small. It feels like I’m just writing to a handful of old friends. In it I share links that I found thought-provoking or just worthy of other people’s eyes, what I’ve written or said to other press, and pop culture ephemera I’m consuming in a given week. Sometimes I include product recommendations, but only if I’m feeling passionately about said products.

Almost 50 newsletters in, I’ve found that the search function in TinyLetter, a free newsletter platform, is terrible. I can never find OLD links I know I shared but want to re-read for whatever reason. So I’m going to put most of each latest newsletter’s links in list form, as a post, since the search function works much better on this here blog.

What I Read
That gif above says a lot about male entitlement in Korea.
This photo essay masterfully flips racial stereotypes.
Journalists drink too much and are bad at managing our emotions.
What ADHD is, and isn’t.
We all need to care about the 2020 Census.
How to respond to terrorism.
An awful attempt to shut down a reporter.
A compelling goodbye to NPR.
The U.S. maternal death rate is unacceptable.
People are helping pay off school lunch debt to stop lunch shaming.
Mark Zuckerberg, establishment man.
Even the Kardashian show has gotten sad.
A pet tortoise teaches us about mortality.
Leaked CIA travel tips.
Free the MILF.
This moving profile of Mr. Rogers, from the Esquire archives.
Someone visualized every color cardigan Mr. Rogers wore.

My Own Musings
Goodbye to my grandmother, an OG feminist trailblazer.
And quick thoughts on the emotional work of motherhood, with GOOD Magazine.

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What I’m Reading: The Trying A Newsletter Edition

I’ve gotten really into a couple of email newsletters that people I like and admire put out — notably Ann Friedman‘s, Jamelle Bouie‘s and Sean Bonner‘s. Newsletters are all the rage these days and I’ve toyed with doing one myself so I’m trying it out. You can subscribe at this link, and I’ll cross post here on HeyElise if you prefer not to crowd your inbox further.

What I Wrote

I’m on leave so I’m not doing a ton of writing for work. That said, I hope you’ll enjoy one of my last NPR pieces before I had a baby, on hard-core Korean hikers and how hiking links Korean immigrants to their ancestral homeland. I also wrote a bunch of answers for Cup of Jo, the popular lifestyle blog, about motherhood in South Korea. And if you haven’t moseyed over there yet, I started a blog for two-week-old Isabel Rock, because it wasn’t going to be fair that her sister has a Tumblr and I didn’t do some sort of documenting for Isa.

What I Read

Korean Juliana Haahs on being shamed for her looks by her Korean family. Ann Friedman on how the Taylor Swift/Nicki Minaj Twitter tussle laid bare what happens when white people hear big picture critiques about system racism. Sheila Smith on the uproar in Japan over legislation that would allow the pacifist nation to better defend itself militarily. Andy Greenwald on why Masters of Sex is not as good this season. The Atlantic writers scathingly and deliciously diss True Detective each week and that’s my favorite thing to read after my viewings. Choice example:

“Why, why, why, does Pizzolatto keep making Frank say thinks like, “It’s like blue balls. In your heart”? Poor guy’s got enough to deal with without it sounding like he’s doing pornographic slam poetry.”

What I’m Still Reading

Book: Korea: The Impossible Country, by Daniel Tudor

The former Economist correspondent in Seoul explores the history, culture and ways of life here on the land I now call home. It’s been dragging in a few parts but I’m learning a lot of fascinating tidbits so I’m working my way through.

What I’m Watching

Rectify is a quiet and sometimes lyrical show on Sundance Channel that I only recently discovered. The first season is only six episodes and available on Netflix or Amazon Prime streaming, so it’s easy to get caught up. It’s worth the investment if you enjoy character driven stories and can handle a more plodding pace. Not sure? Read Matt Zoller Seitz’s review, which won’t give much away.

Also: I’m hate-watching True Detective, of course.

Recommended

The Instagram account of Chriselle Lim: Chriselle Lim is a stylist and video blogger that once worked with the famous YouTube tycoon, Michelle Phan. I’ll never have her glamour or togetherness so I lurk on her Instagram, instead. Also she has an adorable baby who is also already living a more stylish life than the rest of us.

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