- UNESCO just voted to name the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks in Ohio a World Heritage Site, and Julie Carr Smyth reports on their history and significance to Native communities across the state for AP News:
The massive earthworks comprise eight ancient sites spread across 150 kilometers (90 miles) of what is present-day southern Ohio, including one located on the grounds of a private golf course and country club. The designation puts the spot in the same category as wonders of the world including Greece’s Acropolis, Peru’s Machu Picchu and the Great Wall of China.
“Pure excitement and exhilaration” were the immediate reactions of Chief Glenna Wallace of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.
“Tears came to my eyes, and exhilaration turned into reflection, knowing that the world will now see and recognize the commitment, spirituality, imaginative artistry and knowledge of complex architecture to produce magnificent earthworks,” she said in a statement. “Our ancestors were true geniuses.”
- Jodi Picault, Jonathan Franzen, and other authors are suing OpenAI for training ChatGPT on their novels. Alexandra Alter and Elizabeth A. Harris report for the New York Times:
Douglas Preston, a novelist who joined the lawsuit, said he was shocked when he asked ChatGPT to describe minor characters in his books and it spat back detailed information that wasn’t available in reviews or Wikipedia entries for the novels.
“That’s when I looked at this and said, ‘My God, ChatGPT has read my books, how many of my books has it read?’” he said. “It knew everything, and that’s when I got a bad feeling.”
- Amid revelations that comedian and writer Hasan Minhaj fabricated entire anecdotes in his sets, including descriptions of being brutalized by police, critic Raja Sen explains for Mint why people are so upset:
Minhaj, however, is a different kind of comedian. A Muslim-American performer who primarily rose to fame as a correspondent on The Daily Show, he went on to host the White House Correspondent’s Dinner and, alongside his award-winning Netflix specials, started his own truth-telling show Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj (Netflix) where he stood inside a hyperactive powerpoint presentation to point fingers and hurl statistics at the wealthy and the wicked. One episode titled ‘Saudi Arabia’ that was strongly critical of Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman was removed from Netflix in that country, while in other episodes he critiqued world leaders like Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines and even India’s Narendra Modi.
It is therefore disconcerting — and fundamentally disappointing — that Minhaj, in his specials that speak mostly about his own identity (they are classified by Netflix under the tag “Personal Storytelling”), has been lying to us. Truth has been an integral part of his crusading brand of comedy. He has consistently leaned on his Muslim American identity in order to make large and important statements about race and racism, and knowing that the big things didn’t really happen to him unfortunately take away from the valid points he has made.
- A new book chronicles the plateauing of Glossier, once the darling of the beauty industry. Hanna Kozlowska interviews author Marisa Meltzer for the Cut:
In her new book, Glossy: Ambition, Beauty, and the Inside Story of Emily Weiss’s Glossier, Meltzer argues that the company’s success was never really about its cult-favorite products. Instead, it was about the image of femininity that those products sold: chill, carefree, and natural. “But like the labor of applying makeup to make you look naturally beautiful, nothing about Glossier is effortless,” she writes — least of all its founder, Emily Weiss, whose ambition was clear from her first appearance as the hypercompetent Teen Vogue “superintern” on MTV’s mid-aughts reality show The Hills (a rewatch makes for an excellent pairing with the book). “I’d never seen anything like it,” Meltzer writes about the “born networker” who learned how power worked in the fashion and beauty industries by sitting on insiders’ toilet seats and rifling through their medicine cabinets for her first venture, the beauty website Into the Gloss.
- Dalit activist and artist Thenmozhi Soundararajan pens a piece for Religion News Service about leading a hunger strike in support of a California bill to end caste discrimination:
Our lived experiences and data are telling. In our research at Equality Labs, we found that 1 in 4 people from caste-oppressed backgrounds face physical and verbal assault, 1 in 3 educational discrimination, and 2 in 3 workplace discrimination. This data set is buttressed by research from Harvard, Columbia, Stanford and hundreds of scholars across the United States. The issue is not whether or not caste exists in the U.S., but rather how we should address the liability created by such severe discrimination.
The coalition that helped push through this bill represents constituents from San Diego to Bakersfield, Fresno to Sacramento, Yuba City to the Bay Area and Shasta County. We are farmers, truck drivers, nurses, restaurant staff, small business owners, doctors and techies, each with our own story of heartbreak and a shared determination to end caste discrimination once and for all.
- TikToker Teddy Siegel, better known by her unmistakable handle @Got2GoNYC, has been raising awareness about the city’s public restroom shortage and its consequences. Andrew Lloyd writes for Insider:
She knew public toilet access was important, but saw her TikTok account as a “funny thing that I did” and acknowledged it was pretty “quirky,” until she started to receive comments and messages from viewers who expressed how deeply the lack of bathroom access had impacted then, from delivery drivers who worked night shifts and had given up trying to find them, to homeless people.
“That was really a turning point for me in the account,” she told Insider. “This really is so much more than a public health crisis. It’s also an equity crisis.”
- Apparently not everyone knows this, but it is, in fact, not legal to run over protestors (despite some Texas, Tennessee, and Missouri lawmakers’ recent attempts to make it so):
- New York Fashion Week attendees got an architecture pop quiz, and I think we can all agree that Ice Spice aced it:
Required Reading is published every Thursday afternoon, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts, or photo essays worth a second look.