India’s Hospitals Are Filling Up With Desperate Americans [Foreign Policy] – A perspective on the medical tourism industry in India which talks about how this impacts healthcare access for poorer Indians.
United States of South India: Can a southern collective get us a better deal from Delhi? [The News Minute] – Economic arguments for why the states of southern India need to make a united political stand. While I’m normally not in favor of amplifying regionalist arguments of any kind, this fits in well somewhere in the debate of the cultural imposition by the Central Government on the rest of India.
How Union Pool Became the Horny Utopia of 2000s Williamsburg [The Cut] – I love stories about the gritty underbellies of urban areas.
FBI’s ‘Gamergate’ file says prosecutors didn’t charge men who sent death threats to female video game fans — even when suspects confessed [Business Insider] – The next time someone says that the law appropriately handles cases of sexual harassment, show them this.
Is everything you think you know about depression wrong? [The Guardian] – The title is a little clickbaity, and part of a series of posts in The Guardian about the excesses of neurochemical treatments for mental health diseases. Obviously, cultural context is crucial, and this topic is sensitive, so read it with caution. If you’re someone who has been helped by medication, this might challenge your story, whereas for those who haven’t found relief even through medication, there might be interesting ideas in there. In general, our medical, cultural, and social narratives around mental health are constantly shifting, and this adds another perspective to the discussion.
99% Invisible became my favorite Podcast in January. Here are some of the episodes that stood out:
Half Measures [99% Invisible] – A history of why the metric system just doesn’t catch on in the US. Like with most things, the answer is complicated and contains a dose of “freedom” à la America.
The Athletic Brassiere [99% Invisible] – The ubiquitous sports bra wasn’t always as ubiquitous. It’s a fairly recent invention that changed the way women (and people with breasts) exercise.
Repackaging the Pill [99% Invisible] – The birth control pill was the first “lifestyle pill”, one that was prescribed to adults not suffering from any particular condition. It was also one that patients demanded from doctors, as opposed to doctors prescribing based on their judgment. Among all this, its packaging has evolved and influenced how other drugs are sold and advertised currently in America.
A Death in the Gunj – It was a matter of chance that I decided to watch this movie on my flight from Mumbai to San Francisco. I’m glad I did, because it was a very captivating story about a family vacation focusing on themes of isolation, depression, grief, harassment, and much more, all laid out very eloquently. What’s more, at the end I learned that this was a directorial debut for Konkona Sen Sharma, whom I really admire.
Dear Dad – A dad comes out as gay to his son during a roadtrip with the son. The topic has been handled with more sensitivity than most portrayals of homosexuality in Hindi movies, even if it’s not quite perfect. The movie also briefly and subtly touches upon ideas of masculinity. It was good to see Arvind Swamy after a long time (he plays the dad).
The Post – A thoroughly enjoyable dramatization of events during Nixon’s presidency, featuring a war between the press and the government, told in the context of the the history of the Washington Post becoming a public company.
Moonlight – A refreshing take on the life of a young African American gay man. Refreshing because you don’t have big budget mainstream movies with this kind of representation on a regular basis. It also won the Academy Award for best picture last year.