This week, Johnny Depp became single. Obama made a historic visit to Hiroshima—and conspicuously snacked in Hanoi, street-side, with Anthony Bourdain. Australia outpaced the world with an apology for anti-gay laws. Trump promised to cancel the Paris Climate Deal and preached that wind turbines serve only to kill the eagles—all that while clinching the mofo nomination. Rumors swirled that drifting constellations have rendered your zodiac sign a joke. Adidas built a robot-led factory. And Gillian Anderson threw her hat in the ring to be the next Bond. Jane Bond. 

Down in the Australian state of Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews issued what is believed to be the worlds first apology to those whose lives have been destroyed by a government’s anti-homosexuality laws. His full speech is a brilliant, honest, searing indictment of the state’s fascination with “the private mysteries of men” and a demand that the Parliament itself be “held to account for designing a culture of darkness and shame.”

Yes, the law was unjust, but it is wrong to think its only victims were those who faced its sanction. The fact is: these laws cast a dark and paralysing pall over everyone who ever felt like they were different. The fact is: these laws represented nothing less than official, state-sanctioned homophobia. And we wonder why, Speaker – we wonder why gay and lesbian and bi and trans teenagers are still the target of a red, hot hatred. We wonder why hundreds of thousands of Australians are still formally excluded from something as basic and decent as a formal celebration of love. And we wonder why so many people are still forced to drape their lives in shame.

Peter Thiel stepped out from behind the no-doubt tasteful curtains at Hulk Hogan's house this week and the media earth shook. The ongoing battle between Hogan and Gawker was already a hugely important case for press freedom, but the revelation that everybody's favorite Randian billionaire had been bankrolling the case as part of an ongoing personal vendetta against Gawker changed the narrative entirely. For Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall makes the case that, despite the one percenter’s habit of using the courts to wield power, Thiel’s play here is far more sinister. Meanwhile, for The Atlantic, Ian Bogost argues that this sort of petty, egomaniacal grudge would never see the light of day in the old money world, and that there’s something about the Silicon Valley version that feels a little too much like abusive Twitter wars taken to the extreme.

Naomi Klein, climate change refugees, and the people raising their houses on stilts to stay put as sea-levels rise have all made the connection between environmentalism and humanitarianism. But in delivering this year’s Edward Stein Lecture, Klein also asserts that this link is a reinforcing cycle: the industries that have contributed to climate change are also the ones that rely on violent othering in their practice. 

For The New York Times Magazine, Chuck Klosterman imagines how rock and roll might be assessed 300 years from now, arguing that maybe NASA got it right when they chose Chuck Berry for the alien mixtape that was Voyager. Meanwhile, over at Atlas Obscura, Cara Giaimo zooms out to survey the entire history of the time capsule—those vehicles through which we “brag to the future.”

Sometimes the most telling of those time capsules are the accidental ones. In 1926, when Firestone dispatched a group of Harvard scientists and students to their new rubber plantation known as Liberia, medical student Loring Whitman documented the expedition. Now, in an ambitious project by the Liberian government, Whitman’s photographs and film are published. This is some of the earliest surviving motion documentation of the country at a moment of profound rupture and transition.

File this one under those oddly sweet ad stories. Here’s a history of how Subaru first noticed, then warmly embraced, its lesbian market at a time when such a thing was brave and even radical.  

Bless The Awl for writing a summer guide to shorts-wearing for men.

John D’Agata just finished his epic, three-volume, twenty-year project A New History of the Essay. Here’s D’Agata in conversation with the always delightful Michael Silverblatt. His reading of the epigraph, a brief Cahto creation myth, is really beautiful.

The mainstream is not a stream at all: it’s a massive rolling wave, frothing with subcultural bubbles that are subsumed the instant they emerge. The deafening roar made of countless, minute implosions. Watch Zac Efron in ​We Are Your Friends and witness the nuances of the millennial trope getting crushed by that wave.

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Illustration by Chris Lange.