Discover more from Cruel Summer Book Club
Cruel Compendium #57 ⛵
Museum dates, the last internet cafes, and why all movies are made for teen boys
How’s your easy August going?
I wrote a simple FAQ about whether freelancers should form an LLC or an S Corp for Contently. As I write in the piece, I formed an LLC in 2022, and an S Corp earlier this year, so I’ve learned a lot about this subject recently. Plus, I had the guidance of the excellent financial educator Stella Gold, who I spoke with on the CSBC podcast last year. I’ll definitely share a longer piece about my business and freelance moves here in the future.
On to the links!
What I’m reading
Barbie answers Oppenheimer by Anne Helen Petersen
There’s a logic that’s long guided Hollywood, at least since the beginning of the blockbuster era: Teens will watch things intended for them but will shy from things aimed squarely at adults. Adults will watch things aimed at them, but will also watch things aimed at (older) teens. Men will watch things made for them, but will shy from things made “for” women. Women will watch films made for them and will also readily watch things made for men. So if you want to make the biggest hit possible, you aim for something that will hit all four quadrants: a film aimed squarely at an audience of 16-18 year old boys.
I thought my mother was an only child. I was wrong. By Jennifer Senior
This is behind a paywall but it’s well worth your time. In the early ‘50s, Senior’s aunt Adele was sent away to an institution at just 21 months old because she was mentally disabled. Senior tells the heartbreaking story of America’s cruel history of mistreatment of people with disabilities, as well as its slow march toward progress, and what happened when she and her mother reunited with Adele four decades later. If you’re not up for a long read, you can listen to Senior talk about the story on Fresh Air.
Dispatches from the last internet cafes around the world
These cool vignettes of the dying era of the internet cafe reminded me of 2009, when I traveled around the world on a ship on Semester at Sea with very limited internet and would sometimes stop into an internet cafe to send emails, check Facebook, and Skype with my family. I didn’t own a smart phone for a few more years.
How to have 155 ideas in 31 days by Chrissy Hennessy
Hennessy used her process to create short story ideas, but there are great strategies to use for any kind of creativity here! Remember, respect your own ideas.
How to stay safe on a solo hike by Melissa Urban
Never having children doesn’t mean you’re going to be lonely by Holly Williams
Questionable self-care advice
This week I’m sharing some guest obsessions!
Aja and Aliza write platonic love, a twice-weekly newsletter letting you in on their private conversations — about everything from motherhood and friendship to their weekly obsessions and hot takes. This week, they’re sharing six of their current obsessions with all of you:
⭐ AI-generated photographs of what Princess Diana, Tupac, John Lennon, and Amy Winehouse would look like if they were still alive
😋 What to cook when you consider yourself a “really bad cook.” You too can grill a steak!
🤖 The cool and useful ways friend of the newsletter Caitlin Dewey is using ChatGPT in her reporting
🔗 NYT Critic-at-large Amanda Hess’ internet
🎤 8 things singer-songwriter Eleri Ward learned that changed her life. This is about the music and theater industry but is relatable to whatever you’re passionate about! I fell in love with her Sondheim covers and she’s been sharing all kinds of really smart thoughts on process and knowing yourself on her Instagram lately.
💻 Hayti is a Black-owned app congregating news, podcasts, and more from Black creators
📱 Call the Pep-toc hotline, featuring pre-recorded life advice and encouraging messages from 6th graders: 707-8PEPTOC
Featuring a guest cat photo of my sister’s perfect kitten, Roscoe.