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.
Where Prince Charles Went Wrong
In the wake of Trump’s meeting with the British royal family, I’m indulging one of my passions: telling people how much Prince Charles sucks. As this 2017 New Yorker book review/essay makes royally clear, the man who may be king is a “ninny, a whinger, a tantrum-throwing dilettante” who’s “hopelessly thin-skinned … naïve and resentful.” As badly as Charles is portrayed, it could’ve been worse: the Prince of Wales’ friendship with serial child molester Jimmy Savile goes unmentioned.
How to Be a Great Uncle For Your Nieces and Nephews
I wrote this article for Fatherly and like the way it turned out. Hope dudes take it to heart.
New Web Project Immortalizes the Overlooked Women Who Helped Create Rock and Roll in the 1950s
Leah Branstetter, a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at Case Western Reserve University, created a site recognizing the women who helped shape rock ‘n’ roll. Branstetter documents their oft-overlook contributions through biographies, interviews, analysis, playlists and essays. Learn all about the women who should pioneer rockers like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly a thing or two.
”Untypical Girls”: Early Photographs of Women in Punk from Between the Late 1970s and Early 1990s
Guess I was on a roll this week with women musicians. This next piece is a great photoblog of punk rock women. It’s a great way to discover new music and get some style inspiration—plus feel a little envious of how cool these ladies are. I’m always on the lookout for that strong and cool female musician to look up to.
Happiness doesn’t follow success: it’s the other way round
Two-bit advice columns and quote memes about happiness are easy to find. They repeat cliches, stress the importance of being happy and say that success and happiness are not the same. Psychologists Lisa C. Walsh, Julia K. Boehm and Sonja Lyubomirsky outline the relationship between happiness and success referencing peer-reviewed research. And that somehow makes the idea of happiness leading to success more comforting, even to a cynic like myself.
The Case Against Hope
I’m not sure what sharing articles about hopelessness and happiness say about my current mental state. In her New York Times opinion piece, Roxane Gay succinctly lays out the myriad of reasons we should not be inherently hopeful about the world—some political, some environmental, all quite bad. They’re also all reasons I agree with and have openly complained about with friends and family and new acquaintances. The piece seems negative as Gay makes it clear that she “doesn’t traffic in hope.” But it leads to a potentially hopeful place, hope for collective action to improve our world. “Luck is like hope — too far beyond our control, too ephemeral,” Gay writes. “What we really must wish for one another is the power of all that might be possible if we do anything more than hope.”