Mental Yoga Sunday / 5 Favorite Long Form Reads of the Week / Issue No. 10

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Mental Yoga Sunday is a callback to those lazy mornings and afternoons spent reading the newspaper or finishing up a dog eared novel. Days lost in long shadow in a hidden corner full of nothing but quiet and weak wifi. Immerse yourself for a spell in something longer than a text string but shorter than a binge marathon. Here are my favorite long form reads this week.


1

Sick of Myself (Real Life)

"According to the common story about our fall into postmodernity, being yourself has become hard work. Once, people were born into relatively stable situations in which identity was prescribed based on where one was born and to whom. There was little choice in the matter of what sort of life one would lead, and little social or geographical mobility. The social categories — class, gender, ethnicity, religion — that determined the possibilities for one’s life were essentially fixed, as were the way those categories were defined. But then industrialization and the advent of mass media scuttled those categories over time and rendered social norms more fluid and malleable. Identity was no longer assigned but became a project for individuals to realize. It became an opportunity and a responsibility, a burden. You could now fail to become someone." - FULL ARTICLE

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2

The Curious Case of the Disappearing Nuts (Outside)

In California, millions of dollars' worth of almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are disappearing. Farmers are perplexed, the cops are confused, and the crooks are getting richer. We sent Peter Vigneron to the Central Valley to take a crack at the crimes. - FULL ARTICLE


"So, an old man walks into a TV studio... How old? He's so old he's been bald since the 1950s. He's so old his eldest daughter is 70. This isn't a joke, exactly. But the old man does wear a funny hat. Because years ago, when he was writing sitcoms, he'd pick at his bald pate out of nervousness. And he does have this perpetually bemused smile on his face, like he's about to laugh at a joke or crack one. But, anyway—old man walks in with an idea for a TV show, an idea so old it was hatched before Nixon's resignation, that's how old it is. About a divorced mother raising her two kids.

Look, this is the mid-'10s. We're all about to die in nuclear Armageddon with North Korea, so maybe someone at the studio takes the meeting because the old man has been big in the business. We're all gonna die, so why not make a little television in the meantime? But has the old man not seen Gilmore Girls or Reba, has he not seen Jane the Virgin or The New Normal? Seems as if the single-mother thing's been done before." - FULL ARTICLE


4

My Son Died in 1994 But His Heart Only Stopped Beating This Year (BBC News)

"The first time I sensed danger was when a dark car came up close behind us and stayed there for a few moments," says Reg Green, who is remembering the night his son was inexplicably shot by strangers in southern Italy. "Shortly after, this car began to overtake. I relaxed, thinking there was nothing wrong after all." - FULL ARTICLE


5

Remembering Mr. Rogers, A True-Life 'Helper' When The World Still Needs One (Entertainment Weekly)

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"I was putting my 4-year-old son to bed on Monday night, and scrolling through the news in the dark, finding only more darkness beyond.

The horror and heartbreak of the bombing in Manchester, England were unfolding. Amid the fear and uncertainty, I saw countless instances of selflessness and unity — people welcoming strangers into their homes, taxi drivers helping families get away from the scene, family reaching out to find loved ones who haven’t answered their phones (often finding them scared but safe).

Threaded throughout these messages, I saw one meme being shared and reshared. It was something Fred Rogers once said, advice for parents trying to find a way to talk about violence and tragedy with young children.

The photo of him is accompanied by these words. “My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”

Some wonder if he really said this. Often quotes online that seem too perfect to be true are exactly that. But no, Mr. Rogers really said it. He said it often." - FULL ARTICLE