Smart and timely commentaries from events in the Middle East to Hurricane Sandy. Honest, beautifully written reflections on life, culture, and one’s place within it. Original photography and stunning photo essays, from one’s neighborhood to another’s faraway travels. Simply put, November’s Freshly Pressed posts impressed us. Here are some standouts:
I don’t believe all nonviolent options for peace are exhausted, and I don’t accept that the killing of Hamas operatives is ever so imperative that targeting errors resulting in the death of innocent civilians should be tolerated.
Nora, a graduate student in Haifa, Israel, writes about her work and experiences in the Middle East at Circles in the Sky. Her commentary, original photography, and on-the-ground observations from an afternoon of demonstrations in Jerusalem’s Old City caught our attention.
My punishment was her face. The hurt in her eyes. That moment when I knew that I was no better than any of them because the first time I had the opportunity to be shitty to someone else to fit in, I took it. Even though I knew it was wrong.
“Even after twenty years, her mom ignored my friend request.” This opening line of Rachelle’s post, “Moms Don’t Forget,” pulls us in. In this coming-of-age piece, she recounts a time at a summer cheerleading camp when she helps play a joke on another girl — just to become a “mean girl” for a day. We love Rachelle’s strong voice, and the very relatable story she tells.
Russ Taylor’s photo essay of Himachal Pradesh, India, really moved us, and we know you’ll enjoy his full-size images documenting daily life in the Ropa Valley. We’re especially drawn to the vibrant wall colors and details in each shot and the warm, welcoming faces captured in his portraits. What a treat to see life through his lens!
Interested in more photography? Be sure to also check out Jenna Pope’s powerful photo essay of the Breezy Point neighborhood in New York City. She compiles images of the devastated area 15 days after Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast.
“I want to belong,” pleads a woman whose face is swathed in bandages. “I want to be like everybody.”
Nearly all of us do at one time or other. The desire to fit in can exert a seemingly irresistible force. “Conform or be cast out,” Geddy Lee sings in the Rush song ”Subdivisions.” The question is, how far will we go to do so? What will it cost us? And what happens if we fail?
We read a variety of entertainment reviews and analyses — for books, movies, TV shows, and the like. Paul’s focus on “The Eye of the Beholder,” an episode of The Twilight Zone, has it all: a recap with just the right amount of detail, and his own commentary seamlessly weaved in. The tightly focused post comments on something larger and universal: the desire to fit in, “to live a life in which you are merely an interchangeable cog in a vast wheel.” In short, this Shadow & Substance post is smart pop culture commentary.
Even nearly two weeks after Hurricane Sandy unleashed her fury, the Garden State is still struggling to recover. And let me tell you: Living without power for that long will quickly make you appreciate the little things.
At I Kissed My Date Goodnight, Ruth shares her thoughts on faith and chronicles her experiences in the 30-something dating scene. In this post, she spends time with her family in the dark, without electricity, and ponders things in life that have become too complicated, like dating. “Grab a lantern and meet during a power outage,” she suggests. Engaging and entertaining, “Dating in the Dark” is a nice introduction to Ruth’s writing.
On Thursday, we’ll highlight more notable picks from the Freshly Pressed bunch in November.
In the meantime, read the latest Freshly Pressed picks; check out our writing challenges, photo challenges, and other blogging tips and inspiration at The Daily Post; visit our Recommended Blogs; and browse the most popular topics in the Reader.
For editorial guidelines for Freshly Pressed, read: So You Want To Be Freshly Pressed.