Things to Read - Interesting Articles From Around the Web (Salman Rusdie, Perfect Women, Creative People, and Pictures of Children)

1. Salman Rushdie wrote a great article for the New Yorker about life in hiding, art, and Islam - "The book took more than four years to write. Afterward, when people tried to reduce it to an “insult,” he wanted to reply, “I can insult people a lot faster than that.” But it did not strike his opponents as strange that a serious writer should spend a tenth of his life creating something as crude as an insult. This was because they refused to see him as a serious writer. In order to attack him and his work, they had to paint him as a bad person, an apostate traitor, an unscrupulous seeker of fame and wealth, an opportunist who “attacked Islam” for his own personal gain. This was what was meant by the much repeated phrase “He did it on purpose.” Well, of course he had done it on purpose. How could one write a quarter of a million words by accident? The problem, as Bill Clinton might have said, was what one meant by “it.”

. . . .

"In a very short time, he grew extremely fond of his protectors. He appreciated the way they tried to be upbeat and cheerful in his company to raise his spirits, and their efforts at self-effacement. They knew that it was difficult for “principals” to have policemen in the kitchen, leaving their footprints in the butter. They tried very hard, and without any rancor, to give him as much space as they could. And most of them, he quickly understood, found the confinement of this particular prot more challenging, in some ways, than he did. These were men of action, their needs the opposite of those of a sedentary novelist trying to hold on to what remained of his inner life, the life of the mind. He could sit still and think in a room for hours and be content. They went stir-crazy if they had to stay indoors for any length of time. On the other hand, they were able to go home after two weeks and have a break. Several of them said to him, with worried respect, “We couldn’t do what you’re doing,” and that knowledge earned him their sympathy."


2. Why Women Should Stop Trying to Be Perfect by Debora Spar - "many of the problems that plague women now are not due to either government policy or overt discrimination. They cannot be resolved solely by money and they are not caused only by men. Instead, the problems we face are subtler. They come partly from the media, partly from society, partly from biology, and partly from our own vastly unrealistic expectations. To address them, we must go beyond either policy solutions or anger with the patriarchy. We must instead forge partnerships with those around us, and begin to dismantle the myth of solitary perfection."


3. 10 Lessons for Creatives from Lena Dunham - I really like #10 - "I think success is connecting with an audience who understands you and having a dialogue with them. I think success is continuing to push yourself forward creatively and not sort of becoming a caricature of yourself. I think success is figuring out a balance between a really rich, intense, fulfilling work life, and the kind of personal life that makes that work life possible and that makes that work life meaningful. I think failure would be the opposite of those things. I think it would be becoming too involved with sort of the traditional markers of success. I think it would be stopping my sort of pursuit of new forms of expression. And I think it would be putting something out in the world that didn’t feel honest and exciting to me."


4. Why We Should Take Fewer Pictures of Our Children - "The more we film — and indisputably, we film a lot today — the more time our kids are, to one degree or another, knowingly acting a scene for the camera rather than just being present." Food for thought (for me, especially).


  1. Thanks for sharing... these all sounds like interesting reads!

  2. I particularly enjoyed the article about taking fewer photos of our children - it really made me think. thanks for sharing.




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