Even though we like to harp about how the internet is a polluted wasteland careening towards disaster, there really are multiple lifetimes’ worth of “good reads” out there. Here are some we’ve read recently.

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“Now is the time for a Black graphic design”

by Michael Collett (@WorkingMichael)

He starts by complaining about the #ICantBreathe shirt being in Comic Sans, but then it gets real immediately afterwards. Basically, he’s talking about how important art is to political movements. Short, but important. – Dexter Thomas

 

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“The Gag Man”

by Matthew Dessem (@MatthewDessem)

I’m proud of pretty much everything that appears on The Dissolve, whether I had anything to do with it or not, but I have seldom been prouder to be part of the organization than when Matthew Dessem, a brilliant historian and writer, wrote a touching, revelatory and heartbreaking piece about Clyde Bruckman, who was sort of the Zelig of early comedy. Dessem is turning it into a book and I couldn’t be more excited to read it. – Nathan Rabin

 

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“The Desert Blues”

by Joshua Hammer

This is what happens when two brothers from Mali create a globally renowned music festival and let Muslim ideology tear it, and them apart. – Marcus Dowling

 

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“Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Archmage ‘Khadgar'”

by Anne Stickney (@ShadesOGrey)

This is part of a long-standing series of articles written about the lore in World of Warcraft, explaining connections and back story and sometimes (as is the case with the linked article) discussing theories based on established lore. They’re eloquently written and are great for both helping new players to familiarize themselves with the longstanding history present within the game’s universe as well as spurring great discussion and presenting interesting ideas to lore experts. Overall, a fascinating and accessible read! – Colin Curry

 

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“After a long hiatus, Beauty Pill returns with vigor and a new record”

by Marcus J. Moore (@MarcusJMoore)

Marcus J. Moore details how D.C.-area band Beauty Pill dealt with member Chad Clark’s life-threatening illness en route to releasing its new album. Prepare to be moved. – Julian Kimble

 

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Showgirls, Casino, and the Dark Side of Las Vegas”

by James Walcott (@JamesWolcott)

A high-minded assessment of a lower-than-low-brow piece of film history. Wolcott finds the heart behind a film preoccupied with other body parts. – Charles Bramesco

 

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“How Real Is Reality? It’s Rather Hard to Tell”

by Derek Mead (@DerekTMead)

Think pieces like this are good reminders that nothing truly matters so getting worked up over the little things is foolish. At the same time reading things like this make it hard to return to this reality and worry about things like taxes, hygiene or even global warming. I guess the best thing to do is surrender to this simulation we call ‘real life.’ – Joe Corbett

 

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“Bill Simmons: A Begrudging Appreciation”

by Jeb Lund (@Mobute)

I’m as big a Bill Simmons diehard/apologist as anyone, but Jeb Lund does a great job capturing the moment when it comes to this Bill Simmons/ESPN drama. At this point, all I can say is that it’s going to be really interesting to see where Billy goes from here. Can someone let him know about Patronizing? – Bryce Rudow