January Golden Giraffe for Writing

The Browser newsletter celebrates the best writings and listenings from around the web, pieces of lasting value on any topic that surprise and delight. Every month we choose a written winner and an audio winner, from the Browser’s expertly curated selection, for a cash prize of $100. At the end of the year, we select the best of the year for a grand prize.

The Winner of the Golden Giraffe for Writing, January 2019 is….

Labor Supply And The Attention Tax

Andrew Kortina and Namrata Patel | Kortina | 22nd January 2019

Young men are staying at home to play video games instead of going out to find jobs. There seem to be two related reasons for this: Video games are amazingly good; and there is no such pleasure to be had from anything else you might buy on a minimum wage, so why bother earning one? If this seems a sorry state of affairs, here’s a solution: tax media companies for the hours of human attention they consume. Give them an interest in reducing the hours that people spend staring at their screens (3,500 words)


Congratulations to Andrew and Namrata.

The two runners up for the Golden Giraffe for Writing, January 2019 are outstanding pieces by Michael Erard and Richard Gergal.


What People Actually Say Before They Die

Michael Erard | Atlantic | 16th January 2019

Deathbed aphorisms and declarations of love for one’s country are exceptions or inventions. According to one doctor, the last words of the dying are often strings of curses; a hospice nurse says that most dying men call for ‘Mommy’ or ‘Mama’, if they can call at all. “At the end of life, the majority of interactions will be non-verbal as the body shuts down and the person lacks the physical strength for long utterances. People will whisper, and they’ll be brief, single words — that’s all they have energy for” (2,430 words)


The Blinding Of Sgt. Isaac Woodard

Richard Gergel | LitHub | 23rd January 2019

Read and weep. A decorated and newly demobbed black war veteran boards a bus home from Georgia to South Carolina in 1946. The white bus driver takes a dislike to his passenger, stops at a small town en route, and reports him to the local police as drunk and disorderly. The arresting police sergeant beats the soldier unconscious with a baton and a blackjack. The soldier is locked up overnight. By the time he appears in court the next morning he has been blinded, permanently, by blows to both eyes. The judge sees no cause for concern. He fines the soldier $50.00, or 30 days hard labor (4,300 words)


We hope you’ll enjoy these treasures as much as we have.