Richard Jackson

LR: The asylum seeker lawyer, Prince’s unwanted legacy, the public vitriol against police

Approx Reading Time-10For this week’s Long Reads we spin tales of Prince’s complex legacy, a lawyer that protects asylum seekers, and the sad end of a genius.

 

The lawyer who takes the cases no one wants – Aida Edemariam (The Guardian)

I always like to rant about how the system is stacked against us; it’s not so much the little guy, but rather all of us. We’re all little guys. However, if there is a little guy among little guys, it is those who seek asylum.

This article follows Tom Giles, an immigration lawyer in England as he works various cases, assisting people to stay within the borders. The article shows just how politicians rig the game.

Money quote: “On a human compassionate level we can all see why he should be allowed to stay. But there’s also what’s legally possible, and the two are not the same.”

 

Chicago after Laquan McDonald – Ben Austen (The New York Times Magazine)

Laquan McDonald was a 17-year-old black man who was shot 16 times in the chest by a Chicago police officer. All of this was caught on a dashboard camera and released to the public. This article deals with the apocalyptic reaction of the populace towards the police force and details how the political landscape has changed after the incident. Excellent read.

 

Prince: Gay Icon, Whether He Wanted to Be or Not – Spencer Kornhaber (The Atlantic)

When a great artist passes away, the focus moves to defining their legacy, which is a bit of a pickle with Prince. He’ll be remembered as an icon to the gay community even though he had a few problematic things to say about them.

Prince was labelled a homophobe after particular comments in 2008 when he dismissed homosexuality as a sinful act, or in his words: “‘God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was, like, ‘Enough.’”

The article continues from there, outlining examples in his lyrics that either refute or support these claims. Lyrics such as “I’m not a woman / I’m not a man / I am something that you’ll never understand,” muddy the water and allow you to draw a conclusion that follows your stance.

Bobby Fischer’s Pathetic Endgame – Rene Chun – (The Atlantic)

Bobby Fischer was an undisputed genius, but only within the dimensions of the chessboard.

Beyond that it gets murky. The unravelling of his genius is a long tale, and this article addresses its sad conclusion. He was crushed by what was simultaneously his greatest talent and his greatest detriment: his computer-like mind. It now runs in a babble of revenge fantasies and reprehensible opinion.

Through his radio show in the Philippines, he mixes karaoke with awful rhetoric: supporting 9/11, railing against the “International Jewry” and how the hand that fed him, chess, has turned numb.

Great read, but a horrible epitaph.

 

 

 

 

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