Richard Jackson

Long Reads: Stephen Glass, bullying, flying to Mars and being #BUSY

Stephen Glass
Image: AAP

Rich Jackson’s weekly long reads focus on fabulous fabricator Stephen Glass, confronting bullies, flights to Mars, and PB’s Editor pick is all about being busy busy BUSYYYY.

 

Stephen Glass’ New Republic scandal still haunts his law career – Hanna Rosin (The New Republic)

Stephen Glass was a golden boy at the New Republic, writing piece after piece of interesting, insightful and witty stories on a range of topics. The only problem was he falsified everything. Going so far as to create websites, fake interview notes, business cards and voicemails. Hanna Rosin was a colleague and a friend of Stephen Glass and they hadn’t spoken since his lies were exposed. She tracks him down and interviews him to ask why he did it? Does he regret the lies? And the damage it caused to the people around him? Ultimately she seeks to find out whether Stephen Glass is a changed man.

 

Whipping Boy – Allen Kurzweil (The New Yorker)

Allen Kurzweil remembers his time in boarding school and the bully who tormented him, both physically and mentally. Like an autobiography, he starts to connect things in his life and personality and how this affected his life. After years of dwelling on it, he tracks the bully down, to ask why. The answer is not what you want it to be, but probably what life entails it should be. Anti-climatic.

 

All dressed up for Mars and nowhere to go – Elmo Keep (Medium)

The story of a planned one-way flight to Mars launched by a private company. The whole thing immediately seems ridiculous, and you know, without even having an understanding of the science and money needed, it also seems that it just isn’t going to happen. The article focuses on Josh, from Perth, WA, who is one of the 200,000 people who signed up for the flight, and one of the select few chosen. The author asks what could drive someone to want to go on a suicide mission and devote themselves to such an unlikely thing to actually occur.

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE from Narrative.ly

The Disease of Being Busy – Omid Safi

I reckon I’ve had the conversation about “being busy” with my friends about a zillion times – you know that thing about there never being enough time, how it didn’t use to be like this, what has changed, etc. So of course the title of this piece caught my eye as this busy thing is kind of like a disease, right? Don’t get me wrong – I like being busy, and am not looking for any kind of cure to this “disease,” but then again maybe it’s just because the disease has addled my brain…this quote got me:

How did we create a world in which we have more and more and more to do with less time for leisure, less time for reflection, less time for community, less time to just… be?

Somewhere we read, “The unexamined life is not worth living… for a human.” How are we supposed to live, to examine, to be, to become, to be fully human when we are so busy?

Food for thought…if only we had time to think about it…

 

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