The straw is us.

The straw is the opposite of special. History has flowed around and through it, like thousands of other bits of material culture. What’s happened to the straw might not even be worth comment, and certainly not essay. But if it’s not clear by now, straws, in this story, are us, inevitable vessels of the times in which we live.

Alex Madrigal, writing in The Atlantic, on how we’ve allowed capitalism to hollow us out, even while we slurp our McDonald’s shakes.

On art.

“I love the idea of “problematic.” Problematic art isn’t bad art, it’s art that has problems. “Problematic” is an idea that lets us lower the cost of acknowledging and fixing bad and wicked things in our world. Without “problematic,” all you have is “bad” and “good,” and that means that any stain on a piece of art that moved you, improved you, opened your horizons and lifted you up is a disqualifier — being virtuous means that you have to reject the art because of its irredeemable sins.”

Cory Doctorow, reflecting on Molly Ringwald’s essay about John Hughes, #metoo, and how the implications of art change over time.