“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
― H.L. Mencken, On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe
I quite literally cannot keep up with the sheer amount of news and bullshit this week. Believe it or not, I’m not rooting for President Trump to fail. I understand and accept that he won the election, I don’t dispute it and I don’t dismiss the millions of my countrymen who supported him. But policy and position are only part of the job, and the rest of it is procedure. Petulant chaos not only doesn’t impress me, and I can hand on heart say that from the vantage point of someone not living there, it’s also not improving America’s prestige or safety.
So with that ringing endorsement for the week’s news…here are your links, delivered with equal amounts of love and lady-rage from your friendly neighborhood C.!
This profile on a woman who creates customs suits for athletes was a nice and completely apolitical read.
The author of one of my favorite twitter feeds wrote an in-character opinion piece complaining about comparisons of his royal self to President Trump. The result is quite wonderful!
FFS, this is not a legal punishment!
#DressLikeAWoman was that rare thing, a hastag delight this week.
Melissa McCarthy, ladies and gentlemen!
A moment of win in the fight against sex trafficking.
A moment of NOT win in the fight for women and girls to have legal rights over their bodies.
This article from the New York Times describing the first couple of weeks of the new administration is well worth a read, and I found the description of President Trump as a man of flexible ideology but fixed habits a fascinating observation, particularly (as the article explores) in light of what that means for a guy living in a new town, with a new job, and his first shot at public service.
A sobering opinion on why propaganda in the 21st century is different, and why it’s frightening. But also what its potential downfall might be.
I’m usually pretty strict on not allowing undue criticism of the First Lady or First Family to slide, but this lawsuit is infuriating. Newsflash, you’re not supposed to be enriching yourself off your elected position…that’s kind of the point.
Meanwhile, I’m totally sure that this use of his platform, in response to multiple companies dropping Ms. Trump’s fashion and accessories lines, is presidentially appropriate.
Heartening updates in the realm of local media and combating fake news.
Disheartening news from Russia, that law they were debating has passed. WT actual F.
Relatedly, this piece candidly examining the media as co-equal unreliable narrator and what it might mean long term for its role in being one of our nation’s best checks to power is a thought provoking and important post. If both sides are seen as lacking credibility, who comes out on top? Historically, the guy in power.
Acts of racist vandalism have been reported several times in the news this week, but this story is a casual reminder that humans really are magnificent in small ways that matter.
Writing prompt of the week, from this incredible cartoon: America is the ultimate Girl Gang. Discuss.
And finally, I repeat my earlier prompt. Because I would be happy to go to my grave with my tombstone reading, “She persisted.”
It’s been a minute since we had some fun archaeological news, so let’s remedy that.
And finally, there are great people in the world.
Album of the week: Into, by Sonder
6 thoughts on “Weekend Links: Checks and Balances Editions”
Lots of great articles here – thanks for sharing! The Sean Spicer satire is becoming as funny – and on point – as Alec Baldwin’s impersonation of Trump.
The hilarity is incredible, no question! I about fell out of my chair when I recognised Melissa McCarthy in her first go round! I’m curious to see how (if a all) this satirising plays out in terms of cultural influence. I found the reports that President Trump viewed the skewering grumpily very interesting, given the supposedly competitive dynamic of his supporting staff. He does not strike me as a man who will bear his mouthpieces being laughed at well, since they are supposed to represent him.
I do not think he is a man who is used to be laughed at…he will have to learn that it’s apart of the deal for public service. The question of cultural influence is very interesting: I highly suggest Macolm Gladwell’s Satire Paradox on Revisionist History. In it, he harshly criticises SNL for essentially being too “soft”. Well worth a listen. http://revisionisthistory.com/episodes/10-the-satire-paradox
I agree that it’s an aspect of public life but one (among many) that his lack of public service has ill prepared him for. Which is among the many reasons that I found the argument that coming from outside the traditional realms of public service would be to his benefit fundamentally flawed. He’s a stranger in strange lands and, in my opinion, doesn’t understand the terrain. He also seems temperamentally unsuited to it and not improving. Granted we’re only three weeks in…but that’s not precisely comforting either.
I’m subscribed to that podcast, and great shout out! A very timely recommend.
Sometimes I have a brief moment where I think it’s worth it to have Trump as President just so I can see Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer impression every week. Then, it passes and I go back to crying.
I…do not have a lot of comfort to provide here…