The Week’s Best Longreads: The Daily Beast Picks December 22, 2012

The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week. By David Sessions.

JoyZadie Smith, The New York Review of BooksWhat is it, and why does it hurt so much?

Jerry Seinfeld Intends to Die Standing UpJonah Weiner, The New York Times MagazineThe comedy star is 58, rich beyond imagination and still working.

Utopia for BeginnersJoshua Foer, The New YorkerAn amateur linguist loses control of the language he invented.

How a Gun-Loving West Texas Girl Learned to Fear Assault WeaponsHaley B. Elkins, XOJaneFor every outraged indigence about “trampling” on the second amendment, with every word and breath, I am that young woman again, sitting in her truck in a parking lot, alone except for a 911 operator.

The Woes of an American Drone OperatorNicola Abé, Der SpiegelA soldier sets out to graduate at the top of his class. He succeeds, and he becomes a drone pilot working with a special unit of the United States Air Force in New Mexico. He kills dozens of people. But then, one day, he realizes that he can’t do it anymore.

The Shit Were InJohn Lanchester, The London Review of BooksThe failure of Britain’s finances.

For more great longreads, visit our friends at Longreads.com.