The Best Things We Read on the Internet This Week: Vintage Ralph Lauren, Flannery O’Connor Talking Smack

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Listicles, tweets, your ex’s Facebook status, picture of dogs wearing costumes — the internet offers no shortage of entertaining stuff to look at. But there’s plenty of substantial writing out there, too, the pieces you spend a few minutes reading and a long time thinking about after you’ve closed the tab. In this weekly feature, Flavorwire shares the best of that category. This week: LGBTQ books, Flannery O’Connor being extra awesome, Mavis Staples on The Last Waltz, and more.

“Mavis Staples Remembers Singing ‘The Weight'” by Elon Green, The New Yorker

The whole thing is great, but the part where Mavis talks about Pops Staples realizing Levon Helm is smoking weed is pure gold.

“30 Iconic Ralph Lauren Ads” by Rachel Tashjian, Vanity Fair

Excuse us while we geek out over three decades of Ralph Lauren ads that go “from rhapsodically Waspy to noir camp.”

“Flannery O’Connor: Friends Don’t Let Friends Read Ayn Rand,” Open Culture

If you ever think you need another reason to love Flannery, her 1960 letter to a friend — in which she says the Fountainhead author and Libertarian goddess “makes Mickey Spillane look like Dostoevsky” — should really make her one of your favorite people ever.

“Only Spinning Forward: On the Commercial Viability of LGBTQ Literature” by Alex Kalamaroff, The Millions

While the rest of the publishing world has a difficult time selling books, how do you think LGBTQ-oriented books are doing? Kalamaroff looks into it.

“How Tupac’s Words Changed — And Are Still Changing — The World” by Krystie Lee Yandoli, BuzzFeed

For the late rapper’s 43rd birthday earlier this week, Krystie Lee Yandoli took a look at his poetry.

“World Leaders Interacting Awkwardly with Soccer Balls,” The New Republic

And finally, one obligatory (and hilarious) World Cup post for you.