The FADER Weekend Reading List

The best articles from ‘round the web this week, starring toplessness, Slender Man, and IRL frog wingmen.

August 28, 2015
The History of Toplessness

Lauren Oyler, Broadly (8/24)

Miley Cyrus is hosting the VMAs this weekend, so in the spirit of Miley's championing of toplessness, here's a top-down article that asks the question "If a nipple picture is taken in a forest and there's no WiFi to share it with your followers, does anyone really care?"

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And speaking of toplessness, Monique Todd at Dazed interviewed Instagram artists Rupi Kaur, Molly Soda, Arvida Byström, Saerah Lee, and Alexandra Marzella about feminism, protest, and body acceptance on social media in this piece titled You Can't Censor This.

The Meaning Of Serena Williams

Claudia Rankine, New York Times (8/25)

"You don't understand me," Serena Williams says. "I'm just about winning." Claudia Rankins got to spend time with the truly badass Serena Williams, tennis champion and living legend. Rankins' piece is a beautifully written must-read about the "ordinary extraordinary" Williams, and what she means (both literally and figuratively). Here's a taste:

"The word ‘‘win’’ finds its roots in both joy and grace. Serena’s grace comes because she won’t be forced into stillness; she won’t accept those racist projections onto her body without speaking back; she won’t go gently into the white light of victory. Her excellence doesn’t mask the struggle it takes to achieve each win."

Define “Rational”: Is That a Decoy or Your Frog Prince?

Rachel E. Gross, Slate (8/27)

There was some fascinating science news this week, having to do with frogs. Yes, frogs. Apparently the way that the Panamanian túngara frog finds a mate isn't as simple as the female choosing the best, strongest, froggiest frog she can find. Scientists have found that these lady túngara frogs can get fooled into choosing a not-so-great dude frog. Basically, these little Panamanian bros use the wingman strategy. Kind of like this. At least we're not the only species making bad dating choices. Read Rachel Gross's informative and also really funny article on Slate for more froggy details.

The Struggles of New York City’s Taxi King

Simon Van Zuylen-Wood, Bloomberg Business (8/27)

Uber, Uber, Uber. There's a worldwide debate on the issue of Uber—the morality of the company, its place in cities, and more. This piece is on the rise and fall of a New York City taxicab empire run by Gene Freidman, specifically the battle over medallions and the invasion of Uber in NYC. Fifty-eight percent of New York's cabs are owned by corporate entities, so most taxi drivers in the city end up working as independent contractors with crazy hours like Uber drivers, anyway. Zuylen-Wood explains the yellow cab v. UberT v. UberX v. the world, and why this whole "taxicab Armageddon becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy."

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What It Means When Female Pop Stars Pick Up Guns

Aimee Cliff, The FADER (8/27)

This week's edition of Aimee Cliff's Popping Off column is on violence by women in music videos. Recently, we've seen a lot of it. In Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" video, Lana Del Rey's "High By The Beach," Nicki Minaj's "Lookin Ass," and most memorably, Rihanna's "Bitch Better Have My Money." Read Cliff's take on the trend.

No One Is Ready For The Next Katrina

Nick Stockton, Wired (8/27)

On August 29th (that's this Saturday), it will have been ten years since Katrina. We all remember the destruction that occurred in the wake of the storm, and the restoration that is still unfinished. We're not ready for the next big storm, though, as Nick Stockton writes. The sea is rising, and infrastructure around the U.S. is still not sound enough to weather another catastrophic hurricane. It's all explained by Stockton over at Wired.

Searching For Sugar Daddy

Taffy Brodesser-Akner, GQ (8/27)

The true, unadulterated stories of Thurston Von Moneybags, Kitten Babypuss, Scrooge McFuck, Tigress St. Fawn, John, and Rich and Ilene, as told by GQ's Taffy Brodesser-Akner. It's a bold new Sugar Daddy world, and SeekingArrangements.com is just the tip of the iceberg. Read all about it.

How Flying Lotus Built Brainfeeder, His Spiritual Little Empire

Laurent Fintoni, The FADER (8/26)

"I’m attracted to artists who are looking for the meaning of life, people seeking to understand the universe through their work," says FlyLo. The producer and founder of Brainfeed dreamed of starting a label when he was a little kid, and now it's a reality. A really cool reality. Laurent Fintoni got the whole scoop, and tells how Brainfeeder is "using hip-hop’s approach to introduce a new generation to what came before while releasing music that hints at what might be next."

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Slender Man Is Watching

Lisa Miller, New York (8/25)

If you haven't already heard the chilling tale of how two tween girls became obsessed with a Creepypasta urban legend and attempted to murder their classmate as an offering to Slender Man (a paranormal figure who lives in suburban woods, preys on children, and "enjoys stalking people who become overly paranoid about his existence"), then you should read Lisa Miller's article. Actually, everyone should read this piece in New York Mag, because this story is really crazy and Lisa Miller does an incredible job of putting all the pieces together.

Why We Can’t Get Over Ourselves

Nicholas Epley, Nautilus (8/27)

Ever wonder why you can't understand what the heck is going on in someone else's head? Same. The reason seems simple—that you just cannot get over yourself—but there is a lot more to be discussed. Nicholas Epley explores the idea behind egocentrism and how it applies to God, emails, and something called the Barry Manilow experiment. Really cool and thought-provoking read.

The FADER Weekend Reading List