What Are You Reading?

by John Shankman

Over the next few weeks for a sponsored project on behalf of Byliner, The Billfold’s Mike Dang and our publisher John Shankman will be selecting stories from the Byliner platform and chatting about them.

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John: Hello, good sir.
How do you do?

Mike: Hi John! I’m good, how are you?

John: I’m good! A bit self conscious about punctuation after our last chat, but other than that? Superb!

Mike: Haha, well, that’s how people like to chat using instant messenger. I happen like typing with punctuation!

John: hm
seems there is a typo in that last sentence tho

Mike: Ha, yes, that does occur

John: #typos
but this alas this chat is not about the story of the last week– Twitter’s #IPO
i do believe we are here once again to discuss some excellent reads from Byliner

Mike: Yes, let’s not talk about TWTR.
How were your stories, John?

John: o man
i will say INTERESTING
for this chat i dove into a story called Scorcese on the Cross
i selected it because I LIKE MOVIES
(irony i suppose since this was an article, but hey)
it was sort a bit surprising in that in the beginning all it discussed was catholic imagery and the experience of being catholic
and nothing about Martin
but then, it tied that all back to why Scorsese’s work is actually so masterful
a true master of tragedy

Mike: I do like his films.

John: I enjoyed the piece very much by the end
your reviews are way more pro than mine tho
what did you select

Mike: Amy Harmon’s really terrific Byliner Original Asperger Love which she did in conjunction with The New York Times, about a young couple named Jack and Kirsten and how they navigate a relationship with Asperger syndrome, which often makes it difficult for people to read social cues.

John: i see we’ve chosen some light topics this week
i kid
I imagine either Jack or Kirsten is the one with Asperger’s?

Mike: I mean, we all can identify with stories about people trying to figure out relationships, but this had another level to it.
Both do!
Which makes it that more interesting.
There’s this line in the story that Kirsten gives: “Parents always ask, ‘Who would marry my kid? They’re so weird.’ But, like, another weird person, that’s who.”

John: we’re all a little weird

Mike: Totally.

John: Are they happy together?

Mike: It appears like they are! After the story, Amy Harmon provides this extra bonus of explaining how she reported the story.
She says she told the couple that she wanted them to pretend that she wasn’t there — that she wanted to be like “a fly on the wall.” Which I think is what a lot of journalists aspire to do.
Jack’s reaction was kind of priceless and indicative of the logical way people with Asperger’s think.
He said, “The problem is: You are not a fly.”

John: haha
that is a pretty amazing response

Mike: Right? Amazing

John: and i think we can all agree

Interested in reading more? Byliner has thousands of great fiction and nonfiction stories. Check it out here.