Welcome, friends, to another some millennials weekly series – this time, each of the site’s three main writers will tackle a day of the week to round up our favorite links to celebrate the best writing on the web (that isn’t done here). I am closing out the week with a roundup of politics and general culture writing that has caught my eye, and this week’s five lead you into the weekend with The Weeknd, contains three impressively different longform pieces, and includes a primer on healthcare in Vermont. Without further ado, the best articles of the week.
Washington Post – “What does it mean when the Weeknd hits a high note?” by Chris Richards
Maybe it’s not a float so much as a drift. On the Weeknd’s earliest recordings, you could hear a tremble in Tesfaye’s falsetto — tiny quivers of uncertainty that made his glamorous ballads feel perilous. He sang like something was at stake, maybe even his own life. Now, the only thing at stake appears to be his streaming royalties, and his high notes evoke the whine of a flatlining EKG monitor. Existential dread has deflated into existential boredom.
BuzzFeed – “Intake” by Rosalind Adams
Current and former employees from at least 10 UHS hospitals in nine states said they were under pressure to fill beds by almost any method — which sometimes meant exaggerating people’s symptoms or twisting their words to make them seem suicidal — and to hold them until their insurance payments ran out.
Governing – “Vermont Takes a Health Risk That Many States Abandoned” by Mattie Quinn
For one, Vermont's system will cover all providers -- hospitals, primary care, specialists, urgent care clinics, you name it. And instead of the state paying the providers their monthly fixed sum, it will be up to accountable care organizations (ACOs), which are groups of providers that have the same goals as all-payer: to reduce spending by rewarding better, not more, care.
Tiny Mix Tapes – “2016: The Strength of Vulnerability” by Ben Levinson
The public secret functions on the predicate that feelings are insufficient as sources of meaning. Artists, musicians, writers must acknowledge this and interrogate it if they wish to radically exhibit the nuances of feeling and rethink forms of political art. Perhaps art, so long as the art under interrogation is non-presumptuous and hazard-less, is the one field in which one should never need to make claim of their validity. Perhaps self-gratifying art will always be understandable.
Jacobin – “How Kissinger Won” by Jelle Bruinsma
As a Harvard graduate student, we are told, Kissinger was heavily influenced by Oswald Spengler, but replaced his pessimist determinism with a call for action, a need to seize the initiative and create one’s own facts — both as an individual and as state policy. This worldview didn’t distinguish between “good” and “bad.” In a 1953 Harvard seminar, Kissinger tellingly “used Kantian existentialism (the idea that human beings are radically free) to undermine Kantian morality. ‘We can hardly insist,’ he said, ‘on both our freedom and on the necessity of our values.’”