The Best of Five Star Friday 2012

The Best of Five Star Friday 2012

, the 219th edition, is brought to you by the daughter of an alcoholic, Newtown and the importance of our stories, the emptiness of tech gadget greed, mortality and the passage of time, the treatment of girls and young women in North American culture, the love and remembrance of a dear friend, the burden of nostalgia, what it is to be a real man, the grossest massage a pregnant lady could accidentally have, race and guns in America, and

Chaim Potok

:

chaim-potok.jpg
Every man who has shown the world the way to beauty, to true culture, has been a rebel, a 'universal' without patriotism, without home, who has found his people everywhere.
     — Chaim Potok

Five Star Friday started up way back in 2008. In part, I was being lazy and just wanted all of you to bring me good things to read on a weekly basis, but I was also interested in seeing what was out there to see. I had largely been invested in only a small part of the blogosphere for the first five years of my online existence, and I wanted to explore. For over four years since then, we have explored together, and I am so thankful for your support and all of the writers we have featured here. I have been dragged over the emotional coals, sent into long meditations, and had my heart and mind changed by the pieces we have shared over the years, and I thought it only right to highlight the best of 2012's 44 Five Star Fridays.

I spent a good part of today reading, making lists, and culling the best I could find from all of this year's Five Star Fridays. I started with a master list of 65 links, and then I organized them by genre, and then I alphabetized the genres, and then I pared it down to 24 links, and then I pared multiple posts from the same sites down to one, and then I sweat out the last seven deletions like I was deciding which books would be included in the Bible's canon. That's ridiculous, I know, but I dearly loved 24 of the posts, and saying no to 14 of them just felt unjust, but that's the way it is. So saith my arbitrary rule that I could only choose ten.

So, without further ado, here are 10 really and truly excellent posts culled from 2012's Five Star Fridays. Comments are a rarer thing these days and a valuable currency, so comment as you go to show these writers the appreciation they so deserve.

Happy Friday!

"

Day Fourteen

" from

Whiskey In My Sippy Cup

:

I learned to compartmentalize. I learned that [I] was able, if I wanted it badly enough, to love someone so much for what was good in them while at that very same moment, being absolutely terrified of every single way they were probably going to kill a part of me the next day.

"

Our Stories Matter Because We Matter: Thoughts On the Power of Our Voices

" from Brené Brown's

Ordinary Courage

:

Our complex, nuanced stories are the path to healing and change. They are the truth and there's no better foundation for change than the truth.
We need politicians and policies that reflect the stories of our lives, not the stories that are easy to sell because they create fear and blame.

"

Fever Dream of a Guilt-Ridden Gadget Reporter

" by

Mat Honan

at

Gizmodo

:

I'm forever wanting something new. Something I've never seen before, that no one else has. Something that will be both an extension and expression of my person. Something that will take me away from the world I actually live in and let me immerse myself in another. Something that will let me see more details, take better pictures, do more at once, work smarter, run faster, live longer.

"

April Flowers

" from

Crib Chronicles

:

it is April. twelve springs this year since i've seen myself reflected in her eyes, and mostly — even living here — she seems like memory. time does that. my children grow and i wax wistful and i know these early days will soon feel gone and historical and… simply done.

"

On Being an Object, and Then Not Being an Object

" from

Finslippy

:

Being middle aged renders you invisible to the kinds of creeps who dole out harassment, so you're mostly left alone. I'm really enjoying it. Not only do I not miss my youth, I am pleased to be rid of it.
To be a young woman in our culture means that you exist, from an alarmingly young age, for the appreciation of others. Therefore, your every feature is fair game for public appraisal.
It means you become accustomed to a certain kind of gaze: a cold survey of your merits and deficits.

"

In Our Hearts They Are Staying There

" from

Davka: Deer Girl Medicine

:

She loved me so much. She loved me so much. See? She said so. She loved me so much. So much. I was loved in this single speck of a life amidst aeons of stars and lives, I was so loved by her. And there will never be another love like it. She did understand me and that is so rare. Now she is gone and I don't know what to say except I want to wear those words of love like a badge of honor as I walk through my own life to say to anyone who cares, she loved me.

"

The Fauxtopias of Detroit's Suburbs

" from

Sweet Juniper!

:

I have never lived anywhere so burdened by nostalgia, which is a sort of enemy to history. How many older suburbanites will cluck on and on about the state of Detroit today and then wax nostalgic for how good it was in the good old days? If it was so good, why did anyone leave? Websites like this one sum up the nostalgia industry of the Detroit diaspora. Most of the folks who live in the communities I've discussed above do not trace their origins to whitewashed steeples or quaint one-room schoolhouses that have been saved as a nostalgic reminder of a past that never really existed. They trace their stories through Detroit, and the old world beyond it. While Detroit rots, the nostalgic, fauxtopian villages that surround that city are a vision of history some would rather embrace. This is what happens when we try too hard to preserve the past. We create towns without memories. We abandon buildings by saving them. We create history without any history. A history of nowhere. A history that is, I suppose, easier to contend with.

"

Self-Made Man #17: Real Men

" by

Thomase Page McBee

at

The Rumpus

:

We all get the message of what a man is meant to be but, unlike feminism's unbraiding of the ideal feminine, hypermasculinity sits like an elephant on steroids, stinking up the living room. It's complex to examine what being a man means because most of us, whether we realize it or not, are committed to a monolithic answer.

"

How I Might Have Just Become the Newest Urban Legend

" from

Pamie

:

And the masseuse opens the curtain at this point and sees me naked on my knees, giant tits and belly facing him and he’s like, "Do you need more time?" And I'm like, "Uh! Um… no, it's just… uh… there's something…" — you guys, I don't know what made me want to be polite in this situation, maybe it was the Enya or the romantic lighting, but mostly I was thinking of all the other people in their tents around me and while part of me is like "NO, I NEED YOU TO COME IN HERE AND DEAL WITH THE FACT THAT I AM COVERED IN JIZZ."
But instead I’m like, “Uh, there’s something on the bed here and I’m… it’s not… well, I think it’s… from a man. Don’t smell it.”

"

How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America: A Remembrance

" by

Kiese Laymon

at

Gawker

:

I've had guns pulled on me by four people under Central Mississippi skies — once by a white undercover cop, once by a young brother trying to rob me for the leftovers of a weak work-study check, once by my mother and twice by myself. Not sure how or if I've helped many folks say yes to life but I've definitely aided in few folks dying slowly in America, all without the aid of a gun.

Please come back and share good writing with us over the coming week to be featured on the next

Five Star Friday

. If you have read a really good piece on someone else's weblog,

submit it by Thursday at midnight CST

to have it featured on

Five Star Friday

.

And because you are a fan of finding good new writing on the internet: