#5SmartReads - January 31, 2022
Hitha on coups, the underreported stories of Canadian truckers, and Rachel Lindsay's favorite books
A gentle reminder that you can join the conversation of the day’s reads by clicking the title above and add your thoughts in the comments! My goal for #5SmartReads has always been to start conversations and share our thoughts and perspectives. I hope to see you there!
Coups are making a comeback (Axios)
Well, this is terrifying.
It reminds me of a recurring theme that ran through every single history class I’ve taken - it’s often easier to seize power and control than it is to govern, and those who are capable at the former struggle at the latter.
This quote got me thinking quite a bit:
"The lesson being taken from the coups that occurred over the last year is that the international community is ineffectual in dealing with them, and there seems to be increasing evidence that people are more likely to tolerate them domestically," Powell says.
While coups themselves may benefit from a lack of international intervention, the new governments often lack the international support to be successful long-term, which is one reason why the leadership installed by coups don’t last very long.
Which opens yet another Pandora’s box of international intervention, but that’s for another day and another read…
Rachel Lindsay Shares Her Favorite Reads in 'Shelf Portrait' (Marie Claire)
And if I couldn’t be a bigger fan, she has outstanding taste in books (which appears to be as random as my own).
This is more of a smart watch than a smart read, but keep some paper handy so you can scribble down her book recommendations.
Thank goodness for long flights coming up!
Joe Rogan: rise of a highly controversial cultural power (The Guardian)
I’ve struggled to understand the influence that Joe Rogan wields over so many people (including my own friends and family).
Apparently reality imitates art in Rogan’s rise (he played a conspiracy-prone radio host on the show NewsRadio back in the 90s), before he became a UFC commentator and host of Fear Factor.
This article answers the “why do people flock to Rogan?” question I’ve had for a while. Rogan - and Charlamagne the God, Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuck to some extent - are, for many, their version of Oprah.
Money is power. Rogan’s podcast is the most profitable in the short history of the medium, and by a long shot. Inflammatory takes and misinformation get picked up by other press and are amplified by his listeners, earning him more money and thus more power.
Whether or not he believes any of this is anyone’s guess. But if it continues to grow his base - and thus his wealth - what’s the point in stopping?
5 Women on Being Jewish Right Now (Cup of Jo)
“Jewish preschools have upped security because of bomb threats — can you imagine dropping off your toddler at school with multiple guards with guns? The thing that’s weird for me, growing up in a very Jewish area in Michigan, I never felt fear at all. Friends’ grandparents were Holocaust survivors, and when I was younger, I felt like, okay, now we’re on the other side! But holocaust deniers seem more prevalent now. Seeing the January 6th attack on the Capitol last year — with all the Nazi symbols and ‘Camp Auschwitz’ sweatshirts — reminded me of the rhetoric and violence during the Holocaust. The scariest part for me is that these antisemitic attacks are growing.” - Leah Fink
I have no words about the skyrocketing rise of anti-Semitic attacks in the United States in the past few years. So I will leave you with my friend Leah’s words - and the words of 5 Jewish women - on how they’re feeling right now.
Much had been said about the Canadian truckers who participated in the so-called Freedom Rally. But not enough is reported on a significant group of Canadian truckers, whose stories are often omitted in the reporting.
And those are South Asian truckers, who represent 25% of all truck drivers in Canada and who have been advocating for protections against wage theft, for mandated sick days and rapid testing and healthcare.
This piece makes the important connection that some participants in the rally may be there because of these issues, and not necessarily for their stance on vaccination.
It’s an important reminder that there are many issues that factor into one that may seem simplistic, and to dig in and uncover more of the factors.