Sitdown Sunday 7 deadly reads

first_imgJapanese pitcher Satoru Komiyama, who played for the New York Mets, believes that players like Shota should sacrifice for the team. That act of preservation is a major act of defiance. By refusing to take the mound at every opportunity, Shota is challenging the orthodoxy of Japanese high-school baseball, where sacrifice for the team, obedience to coaches, and endless throwing are sacrosanct. IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chairIWe’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.1. I drove my Merc to pick up food stamps Source: AP/Press Association ImagesWhen Darlene Cunha wrote about her experience of life on foodstamps, her story received as much criticism as it did praise. Here’s the original piece – what do you think?(Washington Post, approx 8 minutes reading time, 1799 words)I didn’t feel animosity coming from them, more wonderment, maybe a bit of resentment. The most embarrassing part was how I felt about myself.How I had so internalized the message of what poor people should or should not have that I felt ashamed to be there, with that car, getting food. As if I were not allowed the food because of the car. As if I were a bad person.2. Giving my daughter my last nameMolly Caro has always wanted to give her daughter her last name. So when she and her husband did just that, she was blown away by the response.(The Hairpin, approx 8 minutes reading time, 1789 words)We drove around her neighborhood and she showed me the street art she photographs. At some point, I told her about my baby’s last name. She lifted her hands off the steering wheel and yelled, “What?!” as if in prayer, as if the earth had shuddered.3. I was captured by the Taliban File: Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid, centre, flanked by his bodyguards Source: AP/Press Association ImagesFilmmaker Sean Langan crossed into Pakistan from Afghanistan illegally in order to secretly film Taliban and al-Qaeda training camps. But he was caught, and arrested. yet when he was eventually released, life got even tougher.(The Australian, approx 14 minutes reading time, 2802 words)My second mistake was agreeing to go on Richard & Judy [a TV chat show]. One minute I’m sitting in a dark room, waiting to have my head chopped off by the Taliban, and the next thing I know I’m sitting next to my fellow guest, Henry Winkler, who played the Fonz in Happy Days. Even before I opened my mouth, Judy’s eyes welled up and she started blubbing. Looking back, if you were to ask me to plot the development of my post-traumatic stress disorder on a chart, I would pinpoint that precise moment as the start. 5. Manic Pixie Dream GirlSource: ©Arroyo-OConnor/AFF-USA.comWe’ve all heard the phrase ‘manic pixie dream girl’ – and seen it used in many movie reviews. But the man who invited the phrase in 2007, Nathan Rabin, regrets it – and says it’s sexist.(Salon, approx 8 minutes reading time, 1509 words)It’s an archetype, I realized, that taps into a particular male fantasy: of being saved from depression and ennui by a fantasy woman who sweeps in like a glittery breeze to save you from yourself, then disappears once her work is done.6. Fighting in the Ukraine A Ukrainian government army’s APC, right, stands near a destroyed pro-Russian APC Source: AP/Press Association ImagesArtur Gasparyan (24), from Armenia, was recruited in Moscow in May to fight in eastern Ukraine. He spoke to Mumin Shakirov about what happened after he became a separatist fighter.(Radio Free Europe, approx 15 minutes reading time, 3148 words)They taught us to communicate using gestures and signs in order to recognize each other, to communicate silently at night, to give commands like back, forward, stop, get down, danger, and so on. Now I can speak with my hands like a deaf person. All this was taught by an instructor in civilian clothes.….AND A CLASSIC FROM THE ARCHIVES… Source: David Rhodes/Wikimedia CommonsDavid Foster Wallace died in 2011. John Jeremiah Sullivan looks at his final piece of work – the unfinished The Pale King – and considers his legacy.(GQ, approx 36 minutes reading time, 7242 words)Here’s a thing that is hard to imagine: being so inventive a writer that when you die, the language is impoverished. That’s what Wallace’s suicide did, two and a half years ago. It wasn’t just a sad thing, it was a blow.More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >The Sports Pages – the best sports writing collected every week by >center_img 4. Field of dreams Source: Nick WassBaseball has taken off hugely in Japan over the past few decades – so much so that some of the world’s best players come from the country. But is the regimented approach to learning actually harming some young men?(Wall Street Journal, approx 26 minutes reading time, 5288 words)last_img read more