Haven't Had Your Soul Ripped Out Through Your Chest Today? Read This.

Illustration for article titled Havent Had Your Soul Ripped Out Through Your Chest Today? Read This.

Sorry in advance for what I'm about to do to you lovely people, but I can't be alone in these feelings anymore. Ariel Levy's essay in the latest issue of the New Yorker is devastating, grim, bleak, and... beautiful. And it's the best thing I've read, on the internet or elsewhere, in a long time.

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"Thanksgiving in Mongolia" details a personal tragedy Levy faced and dealt with alone while traveling in Asia, and the ensuing emotional fallout upon her return. Don't dive into this piece if you're feeling fragile; I started the day positively loopy and I had to stop reading it and cry three times before I made it all the way through; I cried partly for Levy and partly because her essay forces the reader to confront the terrifying notion that "it will be okay" is a mostly-meaningless platitude. Maybe it won't be okay. But you — and Levy, and untold millions — go on.

Read it. Read it, read it, read it.

[The New Yorker]

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DISCUSSION

courtneyarrrgh
courtney bananafish

Why does it matter so much that this happened in Mongolia? I'm so tired of entire countries and cultures being used as props in the background of White People Stories to make them more Interesting/Meaningful/Profound. Also, WTF is "Mongolian AIDS", how is it different from regular AIDS, and why is the New Yorker allowing that nice bit of racism to be published?

10-20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. I'm not denying that what happened to Ms. Levy was tragic and awful and surely a great source of pain for her, but why are only the miscarriages of wealthy white women who happen in exotic locations worthy of publishing an essay about (besides the obvious fact that it takes quite a lot of privilege to be able to take the time to write an essay about your experience and get in published in the New Yorker). Would this be newsworthy if it was blue-collar woman of color, who afterwards don't get to write about it but just quietly move on with their lives?

I'm not trying to downplay the personal tragedy of what has happened to her. As a fellow human, I am deeply saddened by her loss and her pain. But I think as a culture we think that only certain kinds of pain/certain people's pain is worth recognizing or publishing in a magazine, and it irritates the absolute shit out of me.