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The case for Black with a capital “B”:

Linguists, academics and activists have been making this point for years, yet the publishing industry — our major newspapers, magazines and books — resist making this simple yet fundamental change. Both Oxford and Webster’s dictionaries state that when referring to African-Americans, Black can be and often is capitalized, but the New York Times and Associated Press stylebooks continue to insist on black with a lowercase b. Ironically, The Associated Press also decrees that the proper names of “nationalities, peoples, races, tribes” should be capitalized. What are Black people, then?

“All My Friends Are In My Head”

Collectors Weekly on the strange phenomenon of trying to make antiques more manly:

Bradley: It’s one of those things where you know it when you see it. I like to say mantiques are at the nexus of rusty, sharp, strange, vintage, and retro. It’s the type of thing that my dad used to keep in our basement, like a mounted jackalope hanging on the wall. Dad decorated our basement family room with things that my mother wouldn’t let him bring upstairs—coon-hunting trophies, farm implement signs, Tom Mix pocket knives, and woodworking tools that were very cool. Mantiques often go back to your childhood and things you grew up with. A lot of the mantiques collectors I’ve met have these odd things they keep. Thinking about it this way helps explain why unusual people do what they do and why they collect what they collect. They’re all different, but they’re all kind of the same, even though one guy looks rough and tough and hard to bluff and another guy’s a single dad in his early 30s.

A short story about dogs and bullshit boyfriends.

Finding Marlowe:

Marlowe was born Aug. 3, 1890, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. According to The Times obituary, he served in Britain’s Egyptian Expeditionary Force, a World War I fighting brigade that guarded the Suez Canal. After the war, Marlowe immigrated to the U.S., settling in Los Angeles, where he soon became a private detective. Both obituaries made the same bold — and almost certainly untrue — claim: “In L.A., he was the first licensed P.I. west of the Mississippi.” The notices were larded up with the private eye’s civic achievements, even referencing a few organizations — like the Old Black Screen Actor’s Guild, from his days as a bit actor — that I couldn’t verify ever existed.

Here is a long profile of Benedict Cumberbatch I could not possibly bring myself to read.


Please relate one fact about yourself that has never appeared anywhere else in print or on the Internet.

When I was twenty years old I had gum grafts put in. My dentist told me I had the gums of a seventy-year-old, and they offered me two options: they could remove skin from the roof of my mouth and graft it on (but there was no guarantee the roof of my mouth would ever heal, which seemed like it was just…moving the problem from one place to another), or they could use cadaver gums. I opted for cadaver gums. It’s my favorite story to tell someone after I’ve started dating them.

“Escape From Jonestown”

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