The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

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1. A Bitter End

Emily Guendelsberger | Philadelphia City Paper | June 26, 2014 | 50 minutes (12,732 words)

A daughter gets caught up in a right-to-die case after she hands morphine to her 92-year-old father, who, for a long time, had expressed a desire to die:

Mancini had explained to the nurse that her father wanted to die, and that he had a DNR on file. To her shock, the nurse called 911, and the police and paramedics arrived. “I told them, ‘He asked me for his morphine, and I handed it to him,’ and they said, ‘Well, let’s go to the hospital,’” says Mancini. Despite her pleading, Yourshaw was loaded into the ambulance and taken to the hospital. “I said, ‘He’s suffering! He wants to die!’ And that got turned into, ‘She gave him his morphine so he could die.’” That phrasing appears many times in official documentation of what happened.

 

2. Even The Most Progressive University In North America Doesn’t Know How To Handle Sexual Consent

Katie J.M. Baker | Buzzfeed | June 22, 2014 | 15 minutes (3,980 words)

When a tiny liberal arts college in Canada is rocked by sexual assault allegations, none of the students involved feel as if their issues and concerns were fairly addressed:

Helfand said the school educates students on consent during orientation (although multiple students said the “workshop” consisted of a brief PowerPoint on Canadian laws) and recently hired a visiting faculty member to consult on related training and education. He reiterated that Quest allows students to switch classes and residence rooms even if complaints are unsubstantiated.

“It’s simply not true” that Quest students don’t feel listened to, he said.

But the students whose claims were proven false say there’s no more evidence they could’ve provided. Worst of all, they said, was that the school treated them like liars. The police couldn’t press charges when Carrie and Sasha called them, but at least they were sympathetic.

“If I was going to make something up, I would have made it worse,” Carrie said.

 

3. Street Fighter

Jana Pruden | Edmonton Journal | June 21, 2014 | 15 minutes (3,852 words)

A Canadian youth worker has become a social justice celebrity, utilizing social media to advocate for his vulnerable teen clients. Many call him a hero, but others question the safety and ethics of his work.

Mark Cherrington’s phone rings for the first time well before 4 a.m., the Samsung glowing in the dark as he grabs it off the bedside table. His wife barely notices. In nine years of marriage, she’s grown accustomed to late night phone calls, and she usually turns over and goes back to sleep. The girl calling just needs to talk. If she needed help right then, Cherrington would be up and gone. Instead, he speaks to her until she feels better, then catches a few minutes of sleep before crawling out of bed.

 

4. No Country for Old Pervs

Molly Lambert | Grantland | June 25, 2014 | 11 minutes (2,862 words)

Lambert looks at the sex scandals involving photographer Terry Richardson and American Apparel CEO Dov Charney, and asks: how did they stick around for so long anyway?

I remember thinking in 1999 that we were finally on the brink of the future. I saw how wrong I was about that repeatedly. After 9/11, the culture became demonstrably more conservative. Gender essentialism returned, and the ’90s were suddenly considered a failed experiment, like the ’60s, in pushing the boundaries for sex roles too far.

 

5. The Near-Death of Grand Central Terminal

Kevin Baker | Harper’s | June 24, 2014 | 11 minutes (2,963 words)

How we almost lost a New York landmark:

Many consider the destruction of New York’s original Pennsylvania Station in 1963 to have been the architectural crime of the twentieth century. But few know how close we came to also losing its counterpart, Grand Central Terminal, a hub every bit as irreplaceable. Grand Central’s salvation has generally been told as a tale of aroused civic virtue, which it was. Yet it was, as well, an affirming episode for those of us convinced that our political culture has become an endless clown-car act with the same fools always leaping out.

Photo: Philadelphia City Paper