Required Reading: All The Fits That Are New to Print

Welcome to “Required Reading,” where BTRtoday writers share the best stories they didn’t write. The stories aren’t necessarily new. They’re just words that might our lives richer or were interesting, moving or simply enjoyable.

Joe Virgillito

The Blind Confidence of Drafting Daniel Jones
Last week, the New York Giants selected average-by-every-measure Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the 6th pick in the NFL draft. Since then, I’ve been reeling about the pick and the general manager’s bizarre press tour to justify it. But for as many Twitter arguments as I started and analysis piece I read, no one broke down the inanity of the decision quite like Spencer Hall for SB Nation.

Democrats Have Created an “Electability” Monster
Alex Pareene is excellent, and here he dissects Democrats’ obsession with “electability,” a bullshit metric the party made up to prop up establishment candidates. But after Hillary Clinton was nominated in part for her electability, it seems the definition of the already fictitious attribute has changed, skewing away from female candidates. “If ‘electability’ previously meant ‘the candidate most associated with the hawkish and business-friendly wing of the party,’ it now seems to have become purely and nakedly demographic,” Pareene writes.

Elena Childers

What The Movies Taught Me About Being a Woman
This week I worked on an op-ed of the representation of punk women in cinema. I researched a lot of punk-centric films like Sid & Nancy, SLC Punk! and the newest Her Smell, to name a few. In my research, I came across this great piece about women in general in movies. This New York Times piece really breaks down some of your favorite kissing scenes in romance movies and points out the rapeyness of it all. It shines a light on how films have helped sculpt to this idea of the submissive female in society. It’s a great read and you’ll never be able to look at your favorite romance movies again.

We Rank the Albums of Nick Cave Because We Heard a Girl We Like Is Into Him
Hardtimes is one of my favorite satirical outlets and Nick Cave is one of my favorite musicians—so this hit all the right spots. How many times has a guy tried to impress me with a mostly Nick Cave playlist, but then not even include one song from The Birthday Party? Too many.

Adam Bulger

Women Did Everything Right. Then Work Got ‘Greedy.’
The information on this New York Times story was great but the framing was bizarre. So “greedy professions” demand that employees work punishing hours or else they can’t advance in their careers and the practice holds women back since family obligations keep make those hours impossible. The problem doesn’t seem to be that jobs are unfair to women but that the modern workplace is grinding its workers into dust and that working people need to stop competing with each other for scraps exploitation and band together and demand better working conditions. And, since that conclusion is inevitable, the story gets there eventually, in the final section, after over 2,300 words have already passed. Was the clearly correct conclusion uncomfortably socialist?

Universal Health Care Might Cost You Less Than You Think
Apologies, I guess, for the Times triple shot via myself and Elena. I was pleasantly shocked to see BTRtoday interviewee Matt Bruenig’s byline in the paper of record. As anyone who’s ever looked over a paycheck knows, health insurance premiums eat up a big chunk of our gross pay. The People’s Policy Project founder argues that we once we reimagine these premiums as taxes, we’d see that Americans pay some of the highest and least progressive labor taxes in the developed world. Like taxes, insurance premium payments are taken from gross pay. Only with insurance, your money goes to private companies instead of the government. It’s nothing earth-shattering for Medicare for All supporters but for the Times opinion section, it feels like the Communist Manifesto.

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