Supercreator Daily: We're already halfway through 2021 😱
Shout out to you for making it this far.
👋🏾 Hi, hey, hello! It’s Wednesday, Jun 30. I’m Michael, writing to you from New York City. It’s the last day of the second quarter, which means we’re already halfway through 2021. And yes, it’s still hot AF.
I skipped today’s news section due to getting back to my apartment late in the afternoon after a meeting with a source went longer than we expected. So this issue only includes Read All About It and Michael’s Pick. I’ll be back tomorrow with our regularly scheduled programming.
Read All About It
Claire Lampen at The Cut on Gwen Berry and Olympic neutrality:
Heading into the Olympics, the tension between being made to talk and threatened over what you say feels palpable. If kneeling for the anthem sends a political message, then so does standing with your hand over your heart; telling athletes to do the latter or risk ejection from the games isn’t neutral, it’s censorship, and a setup. It obligates athletes of color to support systems that have never supported them, for the comfort of white audience members. If it is really Berry’s job to “represent America,” as Crenshaw put it, then a fist in the sky or a back to the flag feels like a crucial contribution to the project.
Emily Stewart at Vox on how big business exploits small business:
What can get lost in this is that small businesses already are at a competitive disadvantage, often because of the bigger players that purport to support them. Large corporations are happy to invoke small business when convenient, especially when it helps them keep power. It’s essentially reputational laundering. But what can be less obvious is that these same entities are constantly finding new ways to stunt small-business growth to keep new entrants and potential competitors at bay. They also create roadblocks and find ways to extract money and power from small businesses in order to maintain their positions and increase profits.
Richard Morgan at Esquire on the gay Asian-American male experience:
A minority upon a minority, gay Asian-American men describe a lot of overlap in their identities: Both sides of that intersectional identity are affected by enclave living (in either ethnic neighborhoods or gayborhoods), presumption of crazy rich lifestyles despite extreme wealth disparity for both Asian and gayAmericans, and a sheen of emasculation that was infamously caricatured in a racist national magazine spread from 2004 that asked of its readers, “Gay or Asian?”
It seems some gay Asian-American men across generations are leaning into a sense of belonging by birthright and all the brash confidence it gives them, at a time when what it means to be American and what it means to be gay are escaping the grip of white hegemony. In music, K-pop boy band BTS has transformed the aesthetic of teen heartthrobs. In film, Henry Golding’s Snake Eyes and Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi are giving Asian men A-list status as action-packed sex symbols, while Randall Park in Always Be My Maybe serves rom-com charm. And on television, gay Asian characters have swung from the smoldering Nico Kim on Grey’s Anatomy to Bowen Yang’s iceberg on Saturday Night Live.
Matt Ford at The New Republic on the Supreme Court:
There are strong reasons to believe a six-justice conservative majority will broaden its horizons even further in the coming years. Gun rights advocates will press the court to embrace a broader reading of the Second Amendment, one that could invalidate state and local restrictions across the country. Opponents of affirmative action in higher education recently asked the justices to review a major challenge to Harvard’s admissions policies. And the Supreme Court has already docketed its most highly anticipated case in years for next fall: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, where the justices could reverse a half-century of abortion rights precedents.
I won’t begrudge liberals for breathing a sigh of relief that this term wasn’t worse for them. With a putative supermajority on the high court, it’s also hard to blame conservatives for wondering why they’re not doing better. It’s possible that the court continues to hand out half-victories and not-quite-defeats for the foreseeable future. But when it comes to whether the Supreme Court is really that conservative, the best answer can be summed up in two words: Keep watching.
Jonathan Zittrain at The Atlantic on the internet:
This absence of central control, or even easy central monitoring, has long been celebrated as an instrument of grassroots democracy and freedom. It’s not trivial to censor a network as organic and decentralized as the internet. But more recently, these features have been understood to facilitate vectors for individual harassment and societal destabilization, with no easy gating points through which to remove or label malicious work not under the umbrellas of the major social-media platforms, or to quickly identify their sources. While both assessments have power to them, they each gloss over a key feature of the distributed web and internet: Their designs naturally create gaps of responsibility for maintaining valuable content that others rely on. Links work seamlessly until they don’t. And as tangible counterparts to online work fade, these gaps represent actual holes in humanity’s knowledge.
Corbin Smith at The Daily Beast on the NBA:
At a time when a lot of reasonable people are pointing to the efficacy of a remade NBA season structure that prioritizes more rest and fewer games, the league chose to double down on overworking its players in service to the needs of their TV overlords. The future isn’t looking so good, either: the league’s proposal for a “shortened” season would only take four games off the regular schedule and replace them with a gimmicky mid-season tournament. Ownership refuses to change anything that might threaten the bottom line, even when it’s clearly degrading the product and damaging the bodies of its players. These billionaires’ greed at the expense of everything else caught up with them, and made for a season like no other. In a bad way.
UnSun Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen In “Medium/Dark” ($29): This disrespectful heatwave is a potent reminder of the importance of sun protection.