Long Reads: FIFA, Mothers Day, preppers and the law

Rich Jackson’s weekly #longreads, on this Mothers Day covering Sepp Blatter and FIFA, suburban “preppers” awaiting our doom, holes in the law and a reluctant PB on Mothers Day.


A league of his own: How Sepp Blatter controls soccer – Tariq Panja, Andrew Martin and Wernon Silver (Bloomberg)

This is a really great profile on the head of FIFA, Joseph “Sepp” Blatter. I find FIFA unbelievably frustrating. It’s like talking to someone with different political beliefs – you just arguing your point, while he or she won’t even engage, just shutting you down, saying “nah” – that’s FIFA. All the evidence of their corruption is thrown at their feet, and they just give a shrug: “meh.” I just find it absolutely abhorrent that they gave the World Cup to Russia and Qatar due to both countries records’ on human rights. I mean, Qatar is literally using slave labour to build the infrastructure, it’s a disgrace.

Here is John Oliver on his show Last Week Tonight talking about FIFA, aptly applying the “sausage principle” to it: “if you love something never find out how it is made.” Unlike me, he made the story funny and cathartic, and he has beautiful dimples that I want to lick.


These suburban preppers are ready for anything – Rod O’Connor (Chicago Magazine)

Preppers are the people who believe that we on are the verge of the end of civilization, whether through electromagnetic pulse, economic collapse or societal collapse, and that when that happens we are all going to revert to a more primal, violent state, so they prep for this “eventuality.”

When you generally think of this movement, images of the tinfoil hat brigade do appear, and you usually think of them being in the countryside. Well, this article follows the suburban preppers, discussing doctors and upper management types, what motivates them to do this and what lengths they are going to to prepare for a Mad Max style world.

All I know is I would suck in a dystopian future, and I think most people would – people lose their shit when they can’t connect to Wi-Fi.


The legal burden – Elizabeth Van Brocklin (Duke Magazine)

Here we have a Duke law student, Jyoti Jindal, who amongst her studies and numerous other academic commitments that she puts on herself, is involved in the wrongful conviction case of Derrick McRae, who was sentenced to prison in 1998 for the murder in 1995 of Jeremy Rankin in Rockingham, North Carolina. I am very happy to hear that there are people like Jindal working hard on meaningful and important issues in university. I am also fairly ashamed of myself, ’cause god knows I pissed my university life up the wall.

“What people like about the law is that it’s rational, it doesn’t pick sides, it treats everyone fairly. But then you get a case like this, you see that isn’t really the case,” Jindal says. “There are a lot of people who are disadvantaged. In this case, it appeared Derrick was preyed upon because of his disadvantages to ensure his conviction.”

That quote and this article get to an essence within the work of The Innocence Project and wrongful conviction cases, that the state rarely admits fallibility because then the system itself is exposed as flawed, and therefore appears weaker.


Editor’s pick from narrative.ly

Things my mother told me – Meghan Horvath

It’s Mothers Day today and TBS hasn’t gone all massive on the day because, well, let’s face it, not everyone has a mum, or maybe some people have lost their mums and find Mothers Day painful and don’t want to be reminded of it?

And, to be frank, some of you who even love your mums big time might find Mother’s Day to be a whole lotta commercialism crap that has not much to do with mothers and a whole lot to do with mega-money for multinats, and them profiteering from emotional blackmail buys. (OK, what a hard-hearted not-so-mummy’s boy I am – sue me already. My mum probably will…)

Regardless, this short video on the mother-daughter relationship is cool and, if we were gonna cover Mother’s Day, is the way we (Ok, read, me, PB) would want to cover it.


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