The Prohibition Party, Pizza Hut, Mark Twain’s Ghost and More: Today’s Recommended Reading


Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the Internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘Net are doing, too.Today, we have a feature about the App Store hustle, an essay about Pizza Hut and personal identity, and a report on the Prohibition Party, which is still trying to ban alcohol in three states. Plus, there’s a story about the legal battle over a book written by Mark Twain from beyond the grave.

The Verge recounted the story of Pixite — a successful mobile app developer whose revenue suddenly plummeted — as a window into the hard knock life of making smartphone software.

For all but a few developers, the App Store itself now resembles a lottery: for every breakout hit like Candy Crush, hundreds or even thousands of apps languish in obscurity. Certain segments of the app economy remain vibrant — ludicrously profitable, even… But for a large swath of these app developers — particularly those without venture capital and sophisticated marketing tactics — the original App Store model of selling apps for a buck or two looks antiquated.

Meanwhile, The Verge’s its sister site, Eater, published an essay from Jaya Saxena, who recalls how family dinners in a Pizza Hut helped her find cultural harmony between her Indian and white identities.

Some days I still don’t know if I can be everything I think I ought to be, and often I just don’t want to deal with identity at all. But the existence of Pizza Hut does not negate the existence of a New York slice. Neither is incompatible with potatoes and dal. Enjoying a cheese-stuffed crust didn’t make me less of a New Yorker, and neither did it make me white. I can be Indian and like American food, I can be American and embrace my Indian roots.

Atlas Obscura reported on the Prohibition Party, the oldest third-party platform in America, which advocates for social reform, including, obviously, alcohol prohibition.

Like their forefathers, 21st-century prohibitionists are playing the long game. [Prohibition Party Executive Secretary Jim] Hedges, who turns 78 this year, is not much of a campaigner. There’s no money to send him around the country. Ask him to pretend he’s making a stump speech, and says, “if a bunch of guys sit around and get smashed and then try to draw up a policy, it’s difficult to get it right”–which, while undoubtedly true, isn’t much of a peg to hang a “Make America Dry Again” hat on.

Fusion recalled the story of Jap Herron , a 1917 novel that caused a curious copyright lawsuit because its author, Emily Grant Hutchings, claimed the book was relayed to her by ghost of Mark Twain via Ouija board.

At the heart of the case were some novel legal questions: Can the law recognize a dead person as the author of a new work? And if so, could Twain’s ghost (or its human mouthpiece), wiggle out of Twain’s agreement with Harper & Brothers to publish all of his books? Finally, even if those copyright hurdles could be cleared, what about using Twain’s pen name, which the publisher held as a registered trademark? (Twain’s legal name was Samuel Clemens.)