The Oral History of Office Space: Behind the Scenes of the Cult Classic

At one point, Twentieth Century Fox Film Group tried to convince Mike Judge, Office Space‘s director, to cast Matt Damon, feeling the film wouldn’t draw audiences without a star. Twenty years later, it’s inconceivable that anyone but Ron Livingston could have played Peter Gibbons.

Published: Jan 11, 2019
Length: 12 minutes (3,043 words)

The Valedictorians Project

These Boston high school valedictorians set off to change the world.

But good grades only got them so far.

Source: Boston Globe
Published: Jan 17, 2019

To All the Moms I’ve Ignored Before

In this hilarious piece, Meaghan O’Connell reflects on all the “being a mom” advice she ignored before having kids, that now, she not-so-secretly wishes to be consulted on.

Source: The Cut
Published: Jan 17, 2019
Length: 8 minutes (2,059 words)

Consolation Prizes

“People don’t necessarily revolt when things are bad, but they might when things aren’t getting better, or are getting demonstrably worse.”

Source: The Baffler
Published: Jan 7, 2019
Length: 18 minutes (4,745 words)

What Is Common, What Is Rare: Why Extraordinary Events Cannot Eclipse Everyday Racism

In this braided personal essay, Patrice Gropo compellingly draws together narrative threads about the solar eclipse in August, 2017, and how it, in ways eclipsed the white nationalist march on Charlottesville 10 days before; and the way in which a white writer effectively eclipsed her by publishing plagiarized portions of an essay she’d read at aloud at a conference.

Source: Catapult
Published: Jan 14, 2019
Length: 11 minutes (2,799 words)

Into a Crueler America: Two Border Crossings, Thirty Years Apart

A chance run in with a recently-released detainee drives home that the border Reyna Grande crossed into the U.S. with her family 30 years ago doesn’t lead to the same place as the border crossed today.

Source: LitHub
Published: Jan 14, 2019
Length: 8 minutes (2,139 words)

Song Flute

When relationships grow tired or toxic, some people write songs about the people they leave behind, the way John Coltrane did for his first wife Naima Grubbs. For others, like this essay’s author, there are too many things that can’t be spoken about, so they talk mostly about music.

Source: Iowa Review
Published: Jan 15, 2019
Length: 14 minutes (3,643 words)

How a Stroke Turned a 63-Year-Old Into a Rap Legend

For stroke survivor Sherman Hershfield, rapping and rhyming kept his seizures under control.

Author: Jeff Maysh
Source: The Atlantic
Published: Jan 16, 2019
Length: 18 minutes (4,683 words)

How a Career Criminal Broke the Convict Code and Saved Himself

In USP Florence, the most violent prison in the U.S. federal prison system, rats don’t live long and they don’t die peacefully. But Wayne Byerly talked, and lived — and found redemption.

Source: Westword
Published: Jan 10, 2019
Length: 47 minutes (11,920 words)

Of Blackness and “Beauty”

At an art exhibit exploring black models through Western art, Morgan Jerkins finds historical evidence of the white supremacist definitions of beauty Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom identifies in Thick: and Other Essays.

Source: Longreads
Published: Jan 16, 2019
Length: 10 minutes (2,731 words)