The 328th Five Star Mixtape Is Brought to You By Joyce Carol Oates

This week's Five Star Mixtape is brought to you by quality and clickbait, sexual heat, a refocusing of faith, the weight of guns, the removal of rose-coloured glasses, desperation, feeling undone, and Joyce Carol Oates:

by slowking (own work) [ GFDL 1.2 ],  via Wikimedia Commons

by slowking (own work) [GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons

Homo sapiens is the species that invents symbols in which to invest passion and authority, then forgets that symbols are inventions.

— Joyce Carol Oates —

"7 Ways Your Brazilian Girlfriend is Cheating On You" by Pam Mandel at Nerd's Eye View:

They haven’t given up publishing rubbish, but that stuff supports some worthwhile writing.
This seems like a good thing, but I feel unsettled by the idea of an expensive house built on a foundation of garbage. Especially if I have to sacrifice my non-existent third child to live there.

"Mother Fuckin’ Billy" by Shannon Barber at About That Writing Thing:

I see her cut her eyes at me, then turn her head. Her eyes narrow and she tilts her head up just slightly and I see a dahlia tattooed on the front of her neck. She runs a hand through her silver brush cut and that’s it.
Fuck me.

"6 Ways Christians Lost This Week" by John Pavlovitz at John Pavlovitz:

We who call ourselves Christians lost a great deal over the past few days, though it’s probably not in the way you might think.

"Have Gun, Will Tremble" by Eric M. Smith at Eric M. Smith:

But now I’m quiet because Bob has returned and he has a gun.
It’s a stainless steel hand canon and it’s holding court from the dinner table while Bob laces up his sneakers. Jen says something but that firearm has me locked in mental stasis and I’m no longer taking in auditory data. Every ounce of my attention is focused on that king-sized pistol. I don’t want to make any sudden moves.

"Fuck off with your selective nostalgia" by Daniel Nest at Nest Expressed:

If you’re going to reminisce about the past, it’s only fair to remember the awful stuff along with the good stuff. Otherwise, you’re doing a disservice to your own argument while also shitting on all human progress that’s happened since.

"Soft Spot for the Reckless" by Sean H. Doyle at The Tao of Sean:

Desperation makes people do terrible things they would never think they would do. When I was on the street I used to go to church fountains at night and fish out all the silver so I could stay in smokes and some food here and there. Other people’s wishes were my wish to eat.

"The Loose Ends of Racism" by Heather Barmore at TueNight:

I don’t want to talk. I want to cry. I want to fight back. I want to run away. I am a writer who has time and time and time again opened herself up to discuss race and the criticism that comes in response. I’m no longer done. I am undone.

And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing online: