Conversation Pieces: 5 New Articles Worth Discussing This Weekend


Welcome to Conversation Pieces, where Flavorpill curates five articles from the past week that you should read. Some are long, others are short. Some are from major publications, others aren’t. The only thing all these articles have in common is that they’re interesting. This week, we cover the shortage of women writers in 2010, the art of editing, how you can earn lots of money by fostering the infidelity of others, Billy Ray Cyrus’s regrets about making his daughter famous, and more. After the jump, find something exciting to discuss this weekend in the home, at the bar, or on the street.

1. Fame Tore This Family Apart

It’s not every day that you hear rich and powerful people in the entertainment industry say they’d “take it back in a second.” Here, Billy Ray Cyrus does just that. With an impending divorce from his wife, Tish, and an increasing estrangement from his daughter, Miley, this all-American family has become all too American.

GQ: “Mr. Hannah Montana’s Achy Broken Heart”

2. Why We Need to Read Women Writers

Have you seen those pie charts proving that even in 2010 men were still getting most of the attention when it comes to ideas, books, and reviews? It just ain’t right. But what do we do about it? In this article, author Eileen Myles has some suggestions. As usual with pieces published on the internet, this conversation continues deep into the land of comments.

The Awl: “Being Female”

3. Editing as Writing

Editing is a craft that requires both controlled patience and unruly passion. It is necessary in the process of arranging words and sentences into some particular order that communicates truth. Now we live in a time when thoughts get directly uploaded onto blogs and Facebook walls, making any mediator seem meddlesome or suspect. Editors have become second class. So how’s that turning out?

The Guardian: “The Lost Art of Editing”

4. Adultery Is Bad for Marriage, But Good for Business

Meet Noel Biderman, CEO of, a dating site for individuals looking to cheat. The company’s tagline is “Life is short. Have an affair.” It’s a profitable venture. The question is, will it lead to the demise of monogamy, or is monogamy dead already?

Bloomberg BusinessWeek: “Cheating Incorporated”

5. Being Smart Means Getting ‘Er Done

Do you ever get the feeling that philosophers are only good at making you doubt everything you’ve ever known? That they don’t contribute anything to the world except for a drab sense of confusion? This argument has been put forth! Read Robert Wright’s journey toward the behaviorist B.F. Skinner, who only wanted his ideas to have concrete results, and Wright’s eventual disenchantment with this line of thinking.

The American Prospect: “Beyond Intellectualism”