Weekend Links

I have never in my life found myself in a situation where I’ve stopped work and said, ‘Thank God it’s Friday.’ But weekends are special even if your schedule is all over the place. Something tells you the weekend has arrived and you can indulge yourself a bit.
– Helen Mirren

This has been a roller coaster of a week for me, kittens, both newswise and personally and I am very glad the weekend is here. Apart from laundry and cleaning the house, I intend to do as little as I can get away with. I need to pick up and mail off some presents to people, send out some cards, and write some blog posts, but other than that all bets are off. I’ll be avoiding the news this weekend because as fake Lester Holt put it…

POTUS gave a SOTU address (remember that? It seems a weirdly long time ago…) and there have been endless think pieces so I won’t bore you with those. But I will say that there was a lot of rhetoric with little policy and no plans, with a nice undercurrent of the kind of talk that historically precursor-ed foreign conflicts. In case you were wondering how I felt about it.

There was an awful train accident with a number of congresspeople as passengers. Thankfully there was only one fatality, but tragically it was the driver of a vehicle that the train struck, which is awful. Horribly, the conspiracy theories about this accident started almost right away, and I’m not going to link to a single one. We live in a scary time. Meanwhile, here’s the GoFundMe campaign to support the family of the victim.

The incredible reinvention of the Religious Right, even just in my own lifetime, is constantly remarkable to me. In a bad way.

Trigger warning, this is a story about revenge porn. And it’s important to read because, given changes in media and technology, this possibility even more insidious than usual.

Meanwhile, most of the kids remain solidly alright.

Hmmmmmm….

Racked did a great piece on the history of black-owned beauty brands that is well worth a read. The market is making great strides in correcting the absolutely ridiculous limitations of shade ranges and products for women of color (and its propensity to treat “ethnic” products separately from “normal” products), but there is still work to be done. Insert reminder here that the best way to support the brands making change happen is with your money.

Stop accusing women in Mr. Trump’s orbit of sleeping their way to power. There is no evidence of this and even if there were, it’s a gross tactic to delegitimize their power. There is plenty to consider or critique without a single comment on their sexual choices.

We might need bodice ripper sex ed.

This is why.

It’s all about the statement outerwear this year, Paris says so!

I wanted to tell my story because I’m afraid people are forgetting. We can never forget what happened. We can never let it happen again.”

This guy was afraid of being shunned so murder was his out?!

This deep dive report by the New York Times into the world of fake or “bot” social media accounts, including how they can be bought and sold as “followers, is required reading to understand the bizarre media landscape we find ourselves in. From Fake News, to social media influencers, to online popularity wars, how much of this landscape is false or fraudulent? Turns out, a lot of it. What does this mean, and how should this knowledge affect us? I’m clearly not the only one who has questions about the worth of social media on the brain.

Meanwhile, here in Britain

So, the FBI is saying that the infamous memo is dangerously inaccurate. Great.

This beauty article is getting some hype this week, but I find its premise flawed. Beauty rituals have medical and psychological value. By all means, tell people to be smart about the chemicals they put on their skin. But don’t tell them that there is no value in taking care of your skin or that they are stupid for doing so or pretend that humans haven’t been slathering themselves in treatments for thousands of years to right a variety of wrongs and health situations.

Here’s a much better piece on why content on or about skincare is so prevalent right now.

San Francisco is trying something different.

While the president’s language around immigration seems vested in violence, here’s a casual reminder that the greatest amount of exteremist crimes in the US last year was by white supremacists.

A touching archaeological find from our extinct cousins/ancestors.

Hmmm, is Glossier making some mistakes with its latest product offering? The reigning UK Queen of Skincare weighs in.

And finally, the #Releasethememo frenzy hit its peak with the release of the memo in question, over the objections of the FBI. NPR has annotated and fact checked the document. My opinion is that the memo actually undermines the White House’s narrative that the investigation into whether or not the administration has had improper dealings with Russia started with the infamous Steele dossier. But if the aim is simply to throw the intelligence community into chaos and undermine public trust…mission bloody accomplished, and all of us are endangered for it.

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