Mash-Ups in the News:
This thorough article by the New Yorker gives a glimpse of the America that gets swept under the rug — the drug addicts of West Virginia neighborhoods who overdose at supermarkets or their kids’ softball games. This is about desperation, shame, escape, and a need for better understanding.
via New Yorker
“In chess you can’t give up. You’re never out of it.” At this year’s national chess championship, 12-year-old Cahree Myrick made Baltimore (and the barbershop he trained with) proud by bringing home the national title. We want a movie about this. ASAP.
via Baltimore Sun
Japan is a country where being stressed and overworked is seen as a virtue, and mental health issues are left undiscussed. But with government measures to eliminate the stigma and taboo around suicide, more Japanese citizens are choosing to talk about their stress and depression than take their own lives.
Some countries eat their food spicy to the max, while other countries consider salt a spice. No matter what your preference is, that chili“pepper” hotness found around the world can be totally traced back to Latin America. Globalization runs deep y’all.
via The Awl
A small town in Iowa seems an unlikely place to find a population of people from all over the world, but thanks to its huge influx of immigrants and refugees from Asia, Central America, and Africa, these otherwise dwindling meatpacking towns are being saved by those aiming for their American Dream.
via New York Times
As if bringing us Korean taco trucks wasn’t enough, Roy Choi is now focused on making healthy and affordable food available in poorer cities in America through his new endeavor, LocoL. Some people are just too good for this world.
This week, a Mash-Up kid won the National Spelling Bee spelling words like “esquamulose” and “vivisepulture” on live television. Meanwhile, residents of five states in America don’t know how to spell “beautiful,” one state can’t spell “nanny,” and Wisconsin can’t even spell “Wisconsin.”
It’s hard to believe sometimes, but our food doesn’t appear in grocery stores and on our plates through magic — we depend on those who farm our crops to keep our country from starving. By locking out the immigrant guest workers who keep our crops alive, everyone loses.
via Los Angeles Times
Every week we’re reminded by acts like this that we’ve still got a long way to go. Even for celebrities like LeBron James, his race makes him and his family a target for slurs and threats of violence. After this horrifying incident, the museum director wrote: “We’re witnessing a moment when there are tremendous challenges to the country that we built on pluralism and democracy…We will continue to help breach the chasm of race that has divided this nation since its inception.”
via Smithsonian Magazine
This piece by Rebecca Solnit is the kind of essay we’ll be teaching in history classes in a generation. It’s the story of the man who “as of this writing, the most mocked man in the world.” It’s the story about the destructiveness of unchecked privilege and indulgence, and what happens when that destruction is given complete power.
via Lit Hub
As machines and AI robots are rapidly replacing human workers, we see an entire population of workers at risk of becoming redundant. Take it even further, and the future of biotechnology might create classes that are not only economically unequal, but biologically unequal. It sounds like a dystopian horror movie, except it’s, you know, kinda our future.
Inspo of the Week:
Let’s hear it for our Mayors! The President might be chill with risking the future of our planet by denying global warming, but the Climate Mayors have agreed to honor and uphold the Paris Climate Agreement goals no matter what. Austin’s mayor is his own kinda special, too.