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Weekend Reads, Jan. 8

Our special guest this week is Deputy Global News Director Ryan Broderick, talking about some of his favorite stories he read online recently:

Posted on January 8, 2016, at 9:51 a.m. ET

You should go and read all of The Awl's “Save Yourself” series! Also, just read The Awl all the time. My personal favorite from “Save Yourself” was Cord Jefferson’s “Best Of Luck,” a beautiful meditation on life, and obviously death. It follows Jefferson discovering he has atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that causes irregular heart rates. He walks the reader through the frightening moments before and after doctors restart your heart. It's funny, embarrassing, scary, and a little sad, just like life!

OK, just one more sad piece, I swear. Wired published “Playing For Time,” an epic long-form feature by Jason Tanz about one man's quest to build a video game that honors the memory of his dead son. The piece includes grief, hope, religion, games, and the simple ways normal people cope with the universe's big questions. Don't make the same mistake I did and read this in public.

The Fader has an amazing piece up called “How Corporations Profit From Black Teens’ Viral Content,” by Doreen St. Felix. St. Felix interviewed Kayla Newman, the inventor of the word “fleek,” and Denzel Meechie, a dancer who freestyles dance moves on YouTube that can propel hip hop songs into the viral stratosphere. The piece takes a careful look at what young black teens are doing to American culture and how corporations are mining black communities for content, without paying or crediting them. St. Felix weaves the whole thing into a history lesson about blues music. It’s as fascinating as it is infuriating.

Lastly, Kate Dries’s piece in Jezebel this week, “Meet Reality Steve, the Man Who Spoils The Bachelor, and the Best Journalist Who Isn't One,” is a must-read. Basically, there’s a guy named Steve Carbone. He doesn’t really care about The Bachelor franchise, but runs a blog that spoils the outcome every season for viewers. He crowdsources leaked info and publishes it. Dries’s interview ends up being a mildly horrifying look at the women who are willing to completely debase themselves on national television and the man who is willing to obsessively follow the ins and outs of a show he isn’t that interested in that’s part of an industry he actively hates. Hey, that's actually a pretty good way to describe The Bachelor.

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