2018 was a big year for Tropics of Meta. We welcomed new contributors (shout out to Eric Michael Rhodes, Brianne Wesolowski, Ansley Erickson, Gavin Benke, and many more!), and published some great stuff. As a labor of love in the truest sense, this publication only exists because it is continually replenished by the creativity and generosity of many very, extremely, highly uncoordinated people. Will Greer came on as our digital content coordinator, and Jason Tebbe and Stan “the Man” Thangaraj joined us as senior writers.
Perhaps most significantly, our East of East project is approaching realization after a truly epic journey. It was over six years ago that Carribean Fragoza and Romeo Guzmán came to ToM and talked about the idea of partnering on a sweeping digital and public history project about the history of El Monte and South El Monte, two communities in Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley. Through the writing of dozens of wonderful essays, the creation of original woodcuts and photography, and the collection of oral history interviews, East of East has been a big trip for all of us. The book is under review at Rutgers University Press, and we’re making our final changes now. Hopefully, in the next year or so, we will see this book sitting on a shelf, being taught in courses, and so on.
We’ve made it through two years of government by the Orange Menace and the white supremacist movement he leads. But we’re still here. We’re still writing and we’re still teaching. We won’t go away.
With the end of the year upon us, let’s fire up the whirligig and do one last best-of for the week.
The Onion Goes Union: Humorists Ratify First Contract With WGA East (Deadline)
Der Spiegel journalist messed with the wrong small town (Medium)
With late spurt, exchange enrollment almost catches up to last year’s total (Georgia Health News)
When Downtown Department Stores Spelled Christmas (New England Historical Society)
WTJU’s DIY Spirit Inspired Some of Indie Rock’s Greatest Bands (noncomMUSIC)
Linda Brown, Who Was At Center Of Brown v. Board Of Education, Dies (NPR)
Could Uber fee pay for mass transit in Georgia? (AJC)
Metroid’s Samus Aran is a Transgender Woman. Deal With It. (The Mary Sue)
Nashville’s Star Rises as Midsize Cities Break Into Winners and Losers (NYT)
Jazz legend Herbie Hancock becomes first musician to receive Ben Franklin Medal (WHYY)
The most screwed-up employee perk in America (and the man who just might fix it) (QZ)