A few things of note from around the Internet this week:
I remember the thrilling convenience of buying a book online for the first time, and the sudden insatiable 2AM desire to have The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes or Hiram’s Red Shirt. Because I can! That feeling is separate from the responsibility of owning that book, separate from the act, spread out over hours, days, and weeks, of reading the book, separate even from the feeling of being possessed by one. I know this. And yet the moment when the mouse hovers over the purchase button contains the promise of transformation, a hope that obliterates the knowledge there is no more space on the shelves. It’s a feeling far less tidy, and far less personal, than joy.
But for Swaney, the very qualities that got her into the Olympics in the first place — the unadulterated belief that her hard work would somehow pay off, her refusal to succumb to, or even acknowledge, self-doubt — were the very things that prevented her from being an athlete the public could connect with. When the online trolling began, Swaney responded not as someone who understood what spectators needed — an acknowledgment of her underachievement — but as someone who felt pride in what she had managed to accomplish against long odds.
Diversity is what makes us stronger, not weaker. Biologically, without diversity we die off as a species. We can no longer adapt to changes in the environment. This is true of social diversity as well. Without diversity, we have no resources to face the inevitable challenges, no potential for beneficial mutations or breakthroughs that may save us.
I was never a person who wanted to be famous. I’m a guy from Minnesota who loves the game of basketball. And yeah, 99 times out of 100, when people come up to me, it’s still “Bro, are you that dude?” But one out of 100, someone will come up to me and say something like, “Hey, all the bullshit aside, I watched those Nets teams, and you really played hard, man.” Whenever that happens, I say thank you, but deep down, I almost want to stop and give them a hug.
Even so, l’affaire Jordy is emblematic of a well-established Kardashian ecosystem: Family turmoil feeds the celebrity news cycle, which drives interest in the TV show, which then helps to publicize an ever-increasing number of sponsorships and branded products.