Today's post is late because this morning was the annual Pittsburgh marathon. Open Hand Ministries asked me if I would be willing to volunteer at the fluid station they man every year, and so I spent the first part of the day cleaning up used cups thrown on the ground by marathon runners. Some time ago I read on the internet that races are ecological disasters, and I can now confirm that is true. I picked up hundreds of half-eaten goo packets and even a big hunk of watermelon.
So it was a dirty and gross end to a week that started off on a fairly high note. I put the finishing touches on my essay about YouTube decluttering videos and launched the second issue of Brisket out into the world. I've never been happier with anything I've written. Part of that is due to the generous but firm guidance of expert editor Beth Anne Macaluso, but it's also because solving the mystery of why 600,000 decluttering videos exist on YouTube brought together my interests in pop culture, political economy, mental health, and makeup. It was a joy to struggle with the narrative and the argument of this essay each and every morning during my #shutupandwrite sessions.
I've now moved on to writing about feminist entrepreneurship, which grew out of a spectacularly thought-provoking and productive conversation with a friend who has years of experience working in tech start-ups. It's giving me the opportunity to finally write about the Kardashian-Jenner family and their history of entrepreneurship, so I'm stoked. I think I'm trying to turn myself into Anne Helen Peterson.
Here's what captured my attention this week...
I'm reading: Not much, honestly--I barely read anything this week. I did so much writing most days that by evening all I wanted to do was watch television. But I did read another issue of True Story and a few articles in the most recent New York magazine. I'm hoping to finish a few books this coming week, so I'm tentatively promising a more robust write-up next Sunday.
I'm listening to: Childish Gambino's This Is America.
I'm watching: Videos of marbles racing down elaborate tracks. I discovered this genre by asking readers of Brisket what they watch on YouTube. Someone said that she watches marble racing videos, and after my shock subsided I devoured (and greatly enjoyed) a number of them. The swooshing of the marbles down the tracks and the clacking of marbles against obstacles is reminiscent of other ASMR triggers. Indeed, I found that these videos can be quite soothing. That's why I wasn't surprised to find that marble racing videos are just as popular as decluttering videos, also numbering around 600,000. If I've piqued your interest, I recommend the channel Jelle's Marble Runs.
Enjoy posts like this one? Check out Brisket to read more about what's on my mind--just bring some bread to go with the meal!