The Sunday Post for July 28, 2019

Each week, the Sunday Post highlights just a few pieces of longform writing that we loved reading. Settle in with a cup of coffee, or tea, if that's your pleasure — we saved you a seat! Read an essay or an article online that you loved? Let us know at Need more browse? You can also look through the archives.

The crane wife

“To keep becoming a woman is so much self-erasing work,” says CJ Hauser, while calmly, patiently, eloquently detailing the disintegration of an almost-marriage and what she found in the aftermath.

In the mornings we made each other sandwiches and in the evenings we laughed and lent each other fresh socks. We gave each other space in the bathroom. Forgave each other for telling the same stories over and over again. We helped Warren when he had trouble walking. What I am saying is that we took care of each other. What I am saying is we took pleasure in doing so. It’s hard to confess, but the week after I called off my wedding, the week I spent dirty and tired on the gulf, I was happy.
Archaeology of the 99%

Courtesy of Jason Kottke: This interview with archeologist Jeremy Sabloff details a tectonic shift (sorry) in the field of archeology: away from rich people telling the story of the rich people of the past, and toward a broader historical picture. Looking at the 100% (instead of the infamous 1%) can drastically change what we thought we knew about, for example, Mayan civilization.

We’re used to (though wary of) the page being a biased record. Turns out what we unearth can lie, too. This is a fascinating way of thinking about the historical record, especially when applied to the recent history of the United States.

Until the middle of the 20th century, much of archaeology was also carried out by people of wealth. The makeup of the field changed significantly after World War II, and its practitioners became much more middle class. One reason is there were a lot more jobs available, particularly at state universities. And you started to be able to get grants for fieldwork that wasn’t based on looking for objects or spectacular finds. All of this is related to the switch from the 1 percent to the 99 percent ...
Paper books can't be shut off from afar

In 2010, Amazon pulled 1984 and Animal Farm, apparently with no sense of irony, from Kindle devices, awakening an angry public to the fact that they did not own the books they’d bought. Sadly, the public went to sleep again quite quickly in the wake of Prime Day and Prime Delivery and Prime Amazon Everything.

Maria Bustilla takes a look, almost ten years later, at the current Kindle TOR. Things are of course vastly improved. I’m not saying don’t buy digital — but don’t buy only digital, in case the the tech elite moves to that island they keep talking about. You’ll need something to read.

My Fahrenheit-451-paranoia was fanned into a giant flaming ball of fear-napalm when I looked into the personal ownership of the files and books on my own Kindle. And things have only gotten a lot worse since then.