Each week, members of the WFPL News team spotlight interesting stories we’ve read and enjoyed, for your weekend reading pleasure:
Phillip Bailey: The Supreme Court hearings on the Defense of Marriage Act of has put LGBT issues back at the forefront. What fascinates me most about the gay marriage debate is how rapid the American public’s views have changed. The dividing line is clearly generational, with a seismic shift of young Americans from all political stripes being either more tolerant or more aloof to the question. It was just three election cycles ago when “civil unions” was the mainstream compromise, and dozens of states were passing anti-gay marriage laws. This makes one wonder where the debate will be in a decade, especially for Kentucky since it passed a constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage. Read How Gay Marriage Won.
Gabe Bullard: Friday morning, I heard Jeremy Miller on Morning Edition talking about his Orion Magazine article on the American Centroid. The Centroid is the center of the U.S. population. It’s official location changes every decade, and the solid westward track of the centroid says a lot about where Americans live. Centroid interest seems trivial, but the designation is a big deal. When I was a kid, in the ’90s, my family moved to Mascoutah, Ill., which was the Centroid in the ’70s. Even though the designation had long since moved west, the town’s reputation as the center of population stayed with it, and was a point of pride for the 5,000 residents (demonym: Mascoutan). Read The Centroid.
Bonus: I’ve been trying to learn French. My decision to study it was spurred in part by my wife—who, along with her family, is fluent—and by Ta-Nehisi Coates, one of my favorite writers. Coates blogs for the Atlantic, and he covers a variety of subjects. For the last two years, he’s written about his French studies. Now he’s in France, and blogging about it. Read Coates’ blog.
Laura Ellis: I’m not reading anything this week. I’m just watching this video over and over and over and over again. Okay, I also read this piece about how cops in Boston are going undercover online to infiltrate the DIY music scene. The problem is their profiles and messages are ridiculously out of touch with the culture they’re trying to spy on. I mean, one of them posted asking, “What is the Address for the local music show tonight?” I mean, Sydnor would have never made a bone-headed mistake like that. Read Boston Punk Zombies Are Watching You!
Devin Katayama: It’s spring. So, to get in the mood for warmer weather I’ve decided to begin an outdoor adventure book called “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed. Yes, it’s listed in Oprah’s book club. Yes, my mother recommended it. Yes, it will get me in the mood for my own Red River Gorge adventures I plan to embark on this spring and into summer. Time to get the gear.
Joseph Lord: Last week, Gabe brought up the turmoil in NBC’s late night programming. This week, I bring you turmoil in NBC’s morning show. Today co-host Matt Lauer has gone from Guy Everyone Likes to Guy Everyone Hates in a matter of months. This New York Magazine piece explains. Read Long Night at Today.