The Catalogue: No. 9

Sunday, July 1, 2018


As usual, a smorgasbord of interesting reads.

The Reputation-Laundering Firm That Ruined Its Own Reputation | Ed Caesar for The New Yorker
A PR company that worked with dictators and oligarchs deliberately inflamed racial tensions in South Africa-- and destroyed itself in the process.

 How Anna Delvey Tricked New York | Jessica Pressler for New York Magazine
Maybe she had so much money she just lost track of it. Somebody had to foot the bills for Anna Delvey's fabulous new life. The city was full of marks.
Maybe it could have happened. In this city, where enormous amounts of invisible money trade hands every day, where glass towers are built on paperwork promises, why not? Watching the Rikers guard shove Fast Companyinto a manila envelope, I realized what Anna had in common with the people she’d been studying in the pages of that magazine: She saw something others didn’t. Anna looked at the soul of New York and recognized that if you distract people with shiny objects, with large wads of cash, with the indicia of wealth, if you show them the money, they will be virtually unable to see anything else. And the thing was: It was so easy.
Her story is allegedly being adapted into a Netflix series, and while I am not a film critic I would much rather see this done as an "I, Tonya"-esque movie. I feel like a series would rely too much on glitzy party scenes to pad the content, but nobody asked me, so onwards, Shonda Rhimes.

The Arlan Hamilton Interview Series | Startup Podcast
I am so late to celebrating Arlan Hamilton and examining her work more in-depth, but this is the woman who pulled together a $36 million venture capital fund to invest exclusively in black women-led startups and entrepreneurs. Holy shit. This, by the way, is in response to the super shitty statistic that only 0.2% of Black women entrepreneurs receive funding. Read more about that in this Forbes profile by Dominique Fluker.

Bao | Domee Shi for Pixar
I've been increasingly exhausted and suspicious of identity politics since graduating, but I think the cultural divide stemming from Bao is real and worth addressing.  More eloquent thoughts from me forthcoming (perhaps), but for now, some other voices:
Hey, White People: Pixar's Short "Bao" Isn't About You - Eric Francisco for Inverse
Here's Why Pixar's Asian-Focused Short "Bao" Has White People Confused - Michelle Rennex for Buzzfeed
Pixar's 'Bao' Draws Mixed Reactions from White Peeps Who Don't Get Asian Culture | Kimberly Yam
I do wish we'd stop centering white people's confusion in the Bao discourse because it's so unproductive to laugh at them for laughing at us. I think it far more valuable and uplifting to celebrate how poignantly "Bao" addresses what we'd taken for granted: that our mothers keep us close in ways that hurt them and us, that justly or not we are born indebted to them, that freedom often feels so guilty. That we love in such complicated and layered ways. That Domee is a genius, and we are so glad to have her on our team.

How We Treat Immigrants is How We Treat God | Steven Mattson for Sojo
Many of Christianity’s tenets are inherently illogical and absurd —  a person being fully man and fully God; a person rising from the dead; miracles (like being swallowed alive by a fish); angels and supernatural beings; an afterlife … If Christians can accept these things as true, the basic themes of the gospel: love, joy, peace, kindness, forgiveness, and hope can hardly be questioned. Yet many Christians are failing to abide by these fundamental truths, refusing to follow God’s greatest command. For people claiming the faith of Christ, showing love and compassion to immigrants, no matter their status, is a requirement of following Jesus — there is no alternative.

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