What we've been reading: oral histories, workers, hippies and chicken churches

What we've been reading
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Looking at Easter through a startup lens, you quickly realise that it - much like Christmas - is a beautiful pivot.

The term ‘Easter’ itself most likely comes from pagan god Ēostre. The Church, pragmatic innovators that they are, just piggybacked on any pagan connotations and recuperated them.

There’s an amazing scene in the film ‘Hot Rod’ where the character Rico steals a man’s hat after a fight. He takes the hat, ill-fitting and in poor condition, and plops it on his head. “This is my hat now,” he says, “totally my hat”.

Easter, it seems, isn’t that far removed from this. But who am I to complain? Long weekend, innit? Enjoy it and if you have a moment to spare, please enjoy the fine pieces of journalism we’ve curated below!

Fuck You And Die: An Oral History of Something Awful and Funny or Die at 10: An Oral History

The oral history is such a cool way to flesh out a narrative. It’s all first hand, told verbatim by the people who were actually there.

This week saw the emergence of two brilliant oral histories. One featuring Something Awful, the bellwether of the modern internet, and the other on Funny or Die, the Frat Pack’s garage project turned legit business.

Both stories are Odyssean and blithely funny, populated by characters who never planned on success.

These startups are ditching the Uber model and hiring full-time workers

It’s up to you - but building your startup on the back of ‘contractors’ is becoming increasingly dicey. Around the world, Gig Economy startups are feeling the wrath of its workers.

But does the model require freelancers to work? Not necessarily, according to a new generation of Gig Economy startups that are favouring full employment.

Maybe, just maybe, the Gig Economy is beginning to grow up.

The Hippies have won

“You’re not just selling food,” the chef Gerardo Gonzalez tells the New York Times. “You’re giving the promise of a healthier life, a more enlightened meal.”

Gonzalez, a card carrying Hippie, is just one of the army that have conquered our taste buds. We, all of us, are now granola eating, quinoa cooking, organic disciples.

In cuisine at least, the counterculture never ended. Indeed, it has become ‘the culture’ - not just an argument against a prevailing one.

Gereja Ayam, the Abandoned Chicken Church

Now seems like the right time to tell you there’s a dilapidated chicken shaped church in the Indonesian rain forest.

That’s it. There’s no lesson here. It’s just an oddity that’s worth seeing. In fact, if you have time check out Atlas Obscura’s other odd attractions. Maybe even plan a trip?

About Francois Badenhorst


Francois is the deputy editor of BusinessZone and UK Business Forums.


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