11 Great Stories to Save for When the Power Goes Out

Do you live in a home without books or magazines? Or have you burned them all for heat yet? Then great news! It’s likely a good chunk of the East Coast may lose power and Internet. So here are some things that you could either PRINT OUT (yes, I am serious) or of course also save to your nice, long-lasting-battery’d digital reading device.

The story of the Occupy Wall Street Archive starts with Jeremy Bold, so we might as well too. When Hollywood decides to cash in and make its OWS movie, central casting could do worse than work off a picture of Bold—he has a dark goatee and black plastic-rimmed glasses. He has a “protest name”—Jez. He’s in dark, long-sleeved t-shirts and jeans whenever I see him, hair askew, a well-worn nylon backpack slung over one shoulder and a scarf not infrequently tied around his neck. In other words, he looks like any number of people you might have seen at Zuccotti Park. Jez is 27 and originally from North Dakota. —The Struggle for the Occupy Wall Street Archives




It was early September 2008. Obama, by then widely regarded as the frontrunner in the general election, was campaigning from atop one of the most sophisticated, fully conceived political organizations this country has ever seen. An old college acquaintance of mine who was working for the campaign, Emily Thielmann, sent an email to a few friends saying her regional field director was looking to hire an additional field organizer. A mutual friend forwarded me the email, which I initially ignored, having little interest in quitting my job and moving to the small, mostly rural county in the thumb of Michigan where the office was. A few days later I was laid off and found myself on the phone with Andy Oare, Emily’s immediate superior. At the end of the conversation Andy asked me how fast I could get to Port Huron, Michigan. It was a Wednesday. I said I could be there on Sunday. —A 2008 Obama Field Team Then and Now




In February 1970, at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a pregnant woman named Colette MacDonald and her two children, Kimberley, 5, and Kristen, 2, were slaughtered in their home. Colette’s husband, Jeffrey MacDonald, a 26-year-old doctor and Green Beret at the time of the crime, was convicted of the murders in 1979. MacDonald faces the next of countless court dates on September 17, still seeking exoneration. The MacDonald case has been an object of obsession and controversy for more than four decades and the subject of high-visibility journalistic debate. But respectable opinion has always vastly favored the jury verdict of guilt. Errol Morris is trying to change that. —The Murders and the Journalists




At a performance last August, the deliberate and sharply dressed emcee, who is also well known as an actor, announced his “official transition” to a huge audience gathered in the parking lot of a popular pub and pizzeria in Anchorage, Alaska: “My professional name will be my chosen and my legal name, which is Yasiin Bey. … And I don’t want to have to wait for it to be in Source or Vibe or someplace. I figure, we’re all here. We can see each other.” And then he spelled it out for them: “Y-A-S-I-I-N, first name. Last name: B-E-Y.” —Yasiin Bey Would Like You To Quit Calling Him Mos Def



About two months ago I started reaching out by email to a group of people whose lives I wanted to know about and understand: The Trappist monks of Oka Abbey, in Quebec. Oka Abbey is the oldest Trappist monastery in North America. A century ago, it was a powerhouse; but in recent decades, the community had dwindled to a fraction of what it used to be. After leaving the Abbey to a heritage group, to be preserved as an historical site, the remaining monks relocated to a smaller retreat in the mountains north of Montreal. —How Silence Works: Emailed Conversations With Four Trappist Monks




In the final episode of “Freaks and Geeks,” the Freaks group leader Daniel Desario accepts an invitation to play Dungeons & Dragons with the notoriously geeky A/V club. Surprised by Daniel’s warm receptivity to the game, the Geeks wonders what this means for their future status. As Bill puts it: “Does him wanting to play with us again mean he’s turning into a geek or we’re turning into cool guys?” Sam answers, “I’m going to go for us becoming cool guys.” It’s a nice ambiguous note on which to end the show. —When Exactly Did It Get Cool To Be A Geek?




Ten years ago today Winona Ryder stole several thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from the Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue. I reacted to the news of the incident the way I react to most celebrity scandals—with unmitigated delight—and prepared myself to follow subsequent action with mild interest. —Winona Ryder’s Forever Sweater




When I was in second grade, my teacher sent a note home to my mother. I had recently been skipped ahead from first grade to second grade and the new teacher was worried about me. I was keeping up with the class fine, I was having no problem with that, she said in the note, but she was worried about me because all I would ever write or talk or draw about in class or in my journal or for homework were video games. They seemed to be the only thing that I thought about. She wondered whether maybe there might be something wrong with me for me to be so obsessed with games. —The Tetris Effect




I saw Pauline Kael speak once, “in conversation” with Jean-Luc Godard, many years ago at Berkeley. The place was mobbed and the event was a mess, with the so-called conversation quickly devolving into a shouting match (about Technicolor film stock, as I recall). But it was so great watching Kael yell at Godard, who was such a god around Berkeley at that time. Pleasurably shocking, in much the same way her movie reviews are. “Perversity!” she kept howling. I still yell that sometimes just for fun, in her memory. —What Makes a Great Critic?




Samuel Hengel put a .22-caliber Ruger, a Hi-Point 9mm Luger, two knives and 205 rounds of ammunition in a duffel bag. Then, on Monday morning, he walked out of his Porterfield, Wisconsin home for the last time—another young American boy going to school with guns, ammunition and intention. —Two Hours in Marinette: Lessons From a School Shooting





Blue ripped up most kites and flushed the pieces, but some, especially those received in the exercise yard, he ate. Blue, who is 20 years old, knew that even temporary possession of written notes was against the rules, but he shrugged it off as a necessary risk. One such “kite” was an invitation, which read, “Look we cookin…send some kinda meat for your bowl.” It was scrawled across a scrap of notebook paper, folded seven times and passed from one inmate to another via a third. The paper traveled across cellblock C of the correctional facility, a maximum-security prison in a small town in New York. —What Paper Means in Prison

There’s so much more here.