Soda is bad for you. Sugary soft drinks like Coca-Cola, for example, have been linked to depression, diabetes, osteoporosis, and are known to accelerate aging. Last year, along with the American Beverage Association and Alliance for a Healthier Generation, several major beverage corporations decided to "promote smaller portions as well as zero and low calorie offerings, and provide calorie counts on vending machines, soda fountains, and retail coolers." Why? Because we're a nation of voracious consumers—clothes, TV, food, among other cravings—and, over time, soft drinks like Coke had become a leading contributor to America's obesity epidemic. What, then, should the purpose of a mega-corporation like Coca-Cola be? To sell a product and create a "lifestyle" for consumers? To profit at all costs? To make sure its customers don't die from heart disease? Or, perhaps, to make the internet a "more positive place" via an ASCII art Twitter bot? Whatever it is, it's certainly not the latter.
"Eddie Huang Against the World" by Wesley Yang
Huang feels that by adulterating the specificity of his childhood in the pursuit of universal appeal, the show was performing a kind of "reverse yellowface" — telling white American stories with Chinese faces. He doesn't want to purchase mainstream accessibility at the expense of the distinctiveness of his lived experiences, though he is aware of how acutely Asian-Americans hunger for any kind of cultural recognition. "Culturally, we are in an ice age," he said. "We don't even have fire. We don't even have the wheel. If this can be the first wheel, maybe others can make three more."
Then, he added, "we can get an axle and build a rice rocket."
"One Man's Quest to Rid Wikipedia of Exactly One Grammatical Mistake" by Andrew McMillen
Henderson has now made over 47,000 edits to the site since 2007, virtually all of them addressing this one linguistic pet peeve. Article by article, week by week, Henderson redacts imperfect sentences, tightening them almost imperceptibly. "I'm proud of it," says Henderson of the project. "It's just fun for me. I'm not doing it to have any impact on the world."
Every Sunday night before going to bed, Henderson follows an editing routine that allows him to efficiently work on the approximately 70 to 80 new 'comprised of' errors that appear on the encyclopedia each week. The entire process takes an hour, at most.
"My Dad, the Pornographer" by Chris Offutt
Clearing Dad's office felt like prospecting within his brain. The top layer was disorganized and heavy with porn. As I sorted, like an archaeologist backward through time, I saw a remarkable mind at work, a life lived on its own terms, the gradual shifting from phenomenal intellectual interest in literature, history and psychology to an obsession with the darker elements of sex.
"No More, The NFL's Domestic Violence Partner, Is A Sham" by Diana Moskovitz
What begins as a push for change becomes an invisible force telling us that we must buy specific items and wear certain logos so we can feel better about ourselves, and if we go along, we do so not because we care but because we don't want to feel left out. What good this does for people in need of help isn't always clear, but it's great for the brands, because all they have to do is slap logos on a few products and/or advertisements and throw a few pennies to charity to make themselves seem socially conscious. These logos are an embodiment of magical thinking, promising that you can do good without having to actually do anything. They're shams, basically. Now, we've got another one.
"The Next Internet Is TV" by John Herrman
What was even the point of websites, certain people will find themselves wondering. Were they just weird slow apps with nobody in them?? Why? A bunch of publications will go out of business and a bunch of others will survive the transition and a few will become app content GIANTS with news teams filing to Facebook and their very own Vine stars and thriving Snapchat channels and a Viber bureau and embedded Yakkers and hundreds of people uploading videos in every direction and brands and brands and brands and brands and brands, the end. Welcome to 201…..7?
"A Target and a Threat: What It's Like to Be a Black Cop in America" by Esmé Deprez
In uniform, his medium-brown skin invites taunts: Oreo, sellout, Uncle Tom. The ugly names have increased since Ferguson, Sims says. Now, as he approaches people, they'll often raise both hands and say, "Don't shoot," as some witnesses said Michael Brown did.
"They don't view us as being black," Sims said. "They view us as being a cop."
Those views were once his own. Growing up in a gang-infested neighborhood, Sims listened to rap music that glorified cop-killing, and shared his friends' conviction that police were to be shunned. Now, on patrol, he is reminded of that sentiment by "187 SBPD" graffiti, referring to the penal code for murder and the San Bernardino Police Department.
[Image via PixGood]