The 329th Five Star Mixtape Is Brought to You By E.L. Doctorow

This week's Five Star Mixtape is brought to you by the appearance of change and staying the same, judging love, the hard give and take of love, hard times, racism, a foolish American, the complexity of software, a daughter's grief, honest crap-cutting, and E.L. Doctorow:

by Mark Sobzcak [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

by Mark Sobzcak [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The writer isn't made in a vacuum. Writers are witnesses. The reason we need writers is because we need witnesses to this terrifying century.

— E.L. Doctorow —

"Web Design: The First 100 Years" by Maciej Cegłowski at Idle Words:

So despite appearances, despite the feeling that things are accelerating and changing faster than ever, I want to make the shocking prediction that the Internet of 2060 is going to look recognizably the same as the Internet today.
Unless we screw it up.
And I want to convince you that this is the best possible news for you as designers, and for us as people.

"Don't Know Love" by Megan Ferrell at Dangerous Curves:

You don’t know love. The words tripped off his tongue like the truest thing he knows, telling a young woman that life isn’t complete, she isn’t complete, until she has kids.

"Self-Made Man #32: Grief Is the Price We Pay for Love" by Thomas Page McBee at The Rumpus:

There is a story you know about me, the triumphant self-made man. I’ve been telling you it for years, mythologizing myself because my body is not the action hero of a hot movie in a cold theater, because in Rome last month I didn’t see any statues paying tribute to my nakedness, because I refuse to be an invisible man. And you conspired with me. 

"Forget Your Perfect Offering" by Amy Turn Sharp at Amy Turn Sharp:

Maybe in the middle of life we all lose our minds for a little bit. I think some people make it back like a vision quest or something.  I think some people don't. I used to think we were reckless back then. I have the most interesting and complicated people in my life and I always thought everything would stay the same if I willed it to be so.

"I, Racist" by John Metta at Medium's Those People:

…I had great reservations talking about the one topic that I think about every single day.

Then, a terrorist massacred nine innocent people in a church that I went to, in a city that I still think of as home. At that point, I knew that despite any misgivings, I needed to talk about race.

You see, I don’t talk about race with White people.

"He said my writing does not show him Africa…" by Ijeoma Umebinyuo at Ijeoma Umebinyuo:

…an American who has never stepped foot in my continent tried explaining my country to me. He said, “i am sorry, this is just not believable….” and then as i tried to hold my anger, i understood the ‘burden’ of writing an African story.

"Everything Is Broken" by Quinn Norton at Medium's The Message:

Software is so bad because it’s so complex, and because it’s trying to talk to other programs on the same computer, or over connections to other computers… Computers have gotten incredibly complex, while people have remained the same gray mud with pretensions of godhood.
Your average piece-of-shit Windows desktop is so complex that no one person on Earth really knows what all of it is doing, or how.

"Deep inside, below the gristle and bones part of you…" by Jennifer Pastiloff at jenpastiloff on Instagram:

Deep inside, below the gristle and bones part of you, lies the memory of a memory. Sleeping like a lazy cat somewhere in the part of you that has forgotten its own name but remembers the sound.

"'Positive Attitude' Bullshit: On the dangers of 'radical self-love'" by Chloe King at Posse.:

Middle or upper class young white women seem to be the demographic of the radical self-love movement. It is all well and good to tell them to “smash that class-ceiling” and just work hard to achieve your dreams and the bling and designer shoes will follow, but as Laurie Penny points out in her book Unspeakable Things, there are a lot of women drowning in the basement. In particular women of colour, trans, and queer women who disproportionality suffer from poverty, depression, feelings of alienation, and are discriminated against in the work-place…

Five Star Mixtape

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Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from schmutzie.com, spreads gratitude through the graceinsmallthings.com social network, celebrates quality blogging with the canblogawards.com, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

The 328th Five Star Mixtape Is Brought to You By Joyce Carol Oates

This week's Five Star Mixtape is brought to you by quality and clickbait, sexual heat, a refocusing of faith, the weight of guns, the removal of rose-coloured glasses, desperation, feeling undone, and Joyce Carol Oates:

by slowking (own work) [GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons

by slowking (own work) [GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons

Homo sapiens is the species that invents symbols in which to invest passion and authority, then forgets that symbols are inventions.

— Joyce Carol Oates —

"7 Ways Your Brazilian Girlfriend is Cheating On You" by Pam Mandel at Nerd's Eye View:

They haven’t given up publishing rubbish, but that stuff supports some worthwhile writing.
This seems like a good thing, but I feel unsettled by the idea of an expensive house built on a foundation of garbage. Especially if I have to sacrifice my non-existent third child to live there.

"Mother Fuckin’ Billy" by Shannon Barber at About That Writing Thing:

I see her cut her eyes at me, then turn her head. Her eyes narrow and she tilts her head up just slightly and I see a dahlia tattooed on the front of her neck. She runs a hand through her silver brush cut and that’s it.
Fuck me.

"6 Ways Christians Lost This Week" by John Pavlovitz at John Pavlovitz:

We who call ourselves Christians lost a great deal over the past few days, though it’s probably not in the way you might think.

"Have Gun, Will Tremble" by Eric M. Smith at Eric M. Smith:

But now I’m quiet because Bob has returned and he has a gun.
It’s a stainless steel hand canon and it’s holding court from the dinner table while Bob laces up his sneakers. Jen says something but that firearm has me locked in mental stasis and I’m no longer taking in auditory data. Every ounce of my attention is focused on that king-sized pistol. I don’t want to make any sudden moves.

"Fuck off with your selective nostalgia" by Daniel Nest at Nest Expressed:

If you’re going to reminisce about the past, it’s only fair to remember the awful stuff along with the good stuff. Otherwise, you’re doing a disservice to your own argument while also shitting on all human progress that’s happened since.

"Soft Spot for the Reckless" by Sean H. Doyle at The Tao of Sean:

Desperation makes people do terrible things they would never think they would do. When I was on the street I used to go to church fountains at night and fish out all the silver so I could stay in smokes and some food here and there. Other people’s wishes were my wish to eat.

"The Loose Ends of Racism" by Heather Barmore at TueNight:

I don’t want to talk. I want to cry. I want to fight back. I want to run away. I am a writer who has time and time and time again opened herself up to discuss race and the criticism that comes in response. I’m no longer done. I am undone.

And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing online:

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Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from schmutzie.com, spreads gratitude through the graceinsmallthings.com social network, celebrates quality blogging with the canblogawards.com, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

The 327th Five Star Mixtape Is Brought to You By Milan Kundera

This week's Five Star Mixtape come to you from a refugee's life, a road less travelled without regret, starting to figure out one's involvement in racism, the power of language, the weight of a man's blackness, and Milan Kundera:

by Elisa Cabot (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

by Elisa Cabot (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The stupidity of people comes from having an answer for everything. The wisdom of the novel comes from having a question for everything.

— Milan Kundera —

"Everything Is Yours, Everything Is Not Yours" by Clemantine Wamariya at Medium's Matter:

People listen, and they don’t listen. They’re amazed and moved, and they look bored and proud of themselves, like they’re checking a box. I try to be relevant and not frightening.

"The Night I Graduated High School" by Amanda Jetté Knox at The Maven of Mayhem:

I want them to understand that you don't have to walk the same path as everyone else to live a wonderful life. My life is incredible, in large part because I took the road less travelled.

"Dropping the Soap for Charleston" by Jim Lunsford at Coming Clean: Confessions of an HIV+ Dad:

I have long suspected that I may be a passive or cultural racist.

There, I said it. I understand that this particular confession may smell like some gratuitous, well timed, over baked click bait, but it happens to be true.

"As a Black Mom Raising a Brown Boy, I’m Bracing For the ‘N-word’" by Nicole Blades at Ms. Mary Mack:

For so many people, that word — despite tired attempts to reclaim the power rooted beneath it — will always be loaded with loathing and a brutal history, making it hard to truly shrug off. I may be able to let go of the incident in which it shows up, but the word doesn’t quite leave right away. It has a way of lingering behind like a noxious belch.

"President Obama Took Me To Church Today" by Greg Howard at Deadspin's The Concourse:

I was suddenly profoundly aware of my blackness, and this cape I wore and wear on my shoulders, every day, in the shower and to school and to work and on dates and to bed. The weight never gets easier, and it causes you to bow your shoulders and bend your knees, to tiptoe around. You shrink beneath it. Painfully aware of your blackness, you become smaller.

And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing online:

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Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from schmutzie.com, spreads gratitude through the graceinsmallthings.com social network, celebrates quality blogging with the canblogawards.com, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.