To Be Muslim and Queer in America, to Create Simpsonwave Sounds, 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 an intimate look into Robin Wasserman’s recounting of a friend’s passing, a look into the struggle of being both Muslim and Queer, an interview with Simpsonwave connoisseur Lucien Hughes, and an open letter from an anonymous juror on the Brock Turner rape case.

At Buzzfeed, Robin Wasserman opens up about her painful experience of having to write about her best friend’s death.

Robin Wasserman, author of Girls On Fire, published a piece on Buzzfeed about grappling with her best friend’s death. It’s a beautiful and tragically written piece, and it’s heartbreaking. Between battles of picking the right words, or not having words at all, the experience is both visceral and surreal at the same time. Wasserman structures the piece day-by-day following her feelings of grief, beginning with the end and ending with the beginning.

I think it was raining. I know I was wearing borrowed clothes, because I was only in the city for the summer and hadn’t thought to pack for a funeral. Crowded with people who hadn’t seen each other since graduation, the church had the feel of an ersatz reunion, how have you been, where are you working, what the fuck do we do now that we know we can die. I am the writer, and this is all I write: girls who need each other to survive. Girls who hold on too tight, girls who let go. Lost girls, lonely girls, dead girls. I write fictions of abandonment and blood—everything that feels true, nothing that is. I am the writer, but I never write about this.

At the Village Voice , Raillan Brooks explains the extreme complexities and intimate journey of living as a queer Muslim in America.

After Sunday’s horrific event in Orlando, Brooks was on Twitter when he made the decision to address an extremist and bigoted comment generalizing how all muslims hate the LGBT community. As both a muslim and member of the gay community, he felt he had a responsibility to disprove the generalization. What unfolded was, sadly, to be expected: a bunch of Twitter trolls calling into question his intellect and mother country. Brooks deftly addresses the small space between a rock and a hard place where those that are both gay and Muslim stand.

What results from this noxious brew of misread history and flawed assumptions — liberal self-congratulation, LGBTQ political complacency, past and present colonial statecraft — is Orlando: People like me were massacred for who they were, and people like me get blamed for it because of who they are. Neither side realizes it’s being played against the other. There was a third group of people who found me amid the social-media fracas. Other gay Muslims filled my inbox with all sorts of feeling: thanks, profound sadness, gratitude for the “bravery” of my tweet, if that’s a possible thing. But mostly, they felt stuck. How does one mourn dozens killed for their sexuality while asserting the fundamental humanity of the man who killed them?

Over at Pitchfork, Kevin Lozano breaks down the definition and idea behind Vaporwave’s subgenre, Simpsonwave and interviews Lucien Hughes.

Lozano dives into the origins of the movement, which began in April with YouTuber FrankJavCee. Although Simpsonwave has come to a head as a comical and entertaining soundtrack of sorts, its longevity and artistic merit are often called into question. Lozano sits down with Hughes, who plays a pivotal role in the musical movement.

So what exactly is Simpsonwave? Basically, Simpsonwave constitutes a genre of YouTube videos that collage classic “Simpsons” moments with vaporwave tracks. The clips from “The Simpsons” are often heavily edited, given a codeine purple filter, a static-y VHS feel, and generally arranged with psychedelia in mind. Overlaid on these clips are the classic vaporwave sounds of John Carpenter synths, cheesy muzak saxophones, and skittering drum machines, making the otherwise strange edits feel complete. The mashup of the both is startlingly relaxing. Those early seasons of “The Simpsons” are reeking with ‘90s nostalgia and flashes of surrealism, while vaporwave accesses something deeper in that energy, tapping into a sort of dreamy ennui.

On Palo Alto Weekly, an anonymous juror from the Brock Turner sexual assault case sent an open letter to the publication, shaming the judge for his sentence.

A juror from the Brock Turner case sent a letter in regards to the outcome of Turner’s trial saying, “Justice has not been served.” Like many observers of the case, trial, and sentencing, shock, disgust, and anger were some of the immediate reactions. To be involved in such a case, and a part of a jury with a unanimous conviction, was just even worse, writes the juror.

“After the guilty verdict I expected that this case would serve as a very strong deterrent to on-campus assaults, but with the ridiculously lenient sentence that Brock Turner received, I am afraid that it makes a mockery of the whole trial and the ability of the justice system to protect victims of assault and rape,” the juror wrote to Persky. “Clearly there are few to no consequences for a rapist even if they are caught in the act of assaulting a defenseless, unconscious person.” “It seems to me that you really did not accept the jury’s findings. We were unanimous in our finding of the defendant’s guilt and our verdicts were marginalized based on your own personal opinion,” the letter said.