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#225: Lost In Summerland

The Highlighter
We’d all be better off, I’m convinced, if we kept wishing people a happy new year, without limit, all the way through December. I mean, why not? Here goes: Happy New Year, everyone, and thank you for reading The Highlighter! (Also, I’m grateful to the 37 loyal readers who sent kind notes last week. If you missed your chance, there’s still time: Just hit reply.)
Today’s issue features four first-rate articles on a variety of topics, including psychics, the bottom of the ocean, historiography, and authentic cuisine. In particular, please trust me when I urge you to read this week’s lead article, a phenomenal piece of writing that I predict we may see again on end-of-year best-of lists. You’ll enjoy the other pieces as well (especially the second one), but if you have only 45 minutes this week to read, the lead article is your best bet.
+ Article Club has begun strong! This month, we’re discussing Jia Tolentino’s “The Tyranny of the Ideal Woman.” I’m happy to announce that Ms. Tolentino, bestselling author of Trick Mirror, will be answering our questions as part of an upcoming podcast episode! If you’re interested in discussing this article with other thoughtful readers, you have until this Sunday at 9:10 am to sign up. Go here and announce, “I’m in!” in the comments.

Lost In Summerland
The Race To The Bottom Of The Ocean
You like highlighting your print publications like I do, right? Snap a photo and send yours in! (Also, this article, about Mam interpreters, is excellent: hltr.co/mam.)
You like highlighting your print publications like I do, right? Snap a photo and send yours in! (Also, this article, about Mam interpreters, is excellent: hltr.co/mam.)
The 1619 Project: A Racialist Falsification of American History
What Does Authenticity In Food Mean, And Who Gets To Define It?
+ Reader Annotations: Last week’s article on the challenges of raising boys led loyal reader Tony to share these thoughts:
As a parent of a 16-year-old boy and someone who has worked with male students between the ages of 14 and 21 for years, this piece hits home.
As I read the article, I thought about how certain messages meant to mitigate toxic masculinity get co-opted by the larger social contexts and end up serving what they initially meant to undermine. When, as the article discusses, a young man says, “no homo,” it suggests only gay men express love and intimacy, and at the same time, reminds me that young men, as the article states, feel that “the only person with whom he had been able to drop his guard was his girlfriend, but that was no longer an option.”
This worries me about my own son, who seemed to share so much with his previous girlfriend but who now lacks someone in his life to do this with. I hope he can drop his guard with his group of friends, but most are “bros” and athletes, and while he seems to reject much of the culture that comes with that in my presence, I wonder how things are when he is engaging with them on social media and in the locker room.
Thank you very much for your thoughtful contribution, Tony. Loyal readers, if an article challenges you, or gets you thinking or feeling something, please hit reply and share your thoughts, if you feel comfortable. Our reading community will benefit from your voice.
Did you find at least one article that engaged your interest? I hope so. Please vote using the thumbs below. Also, let’s welcome our reading community’s three new subscribers: Paul, Robin, and Blake. I hope that you find the newsletter a welcome addition to your Thursday email inbox.
If you like The Highlighter, please help it grow and get better. I appreciate your support. Here are a few ways you can help:
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On the other hand, if you are Marie Kondo-ing your inbox, and this newsletter no longer brings you joy, please unsubscribe. See you next Thursday at 9:10 am!
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Mark Isero
Mark Isero @iserotope

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