Weekend Links

“… millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.” 
― Susan Ertz

It’s springtime in London this week, meaning it’s a bit warmer while still very gray and rainy. However, the daffodils are out, and sunlight hangs around until after we typically leave work so all things considered, this is a solid improvement over late season snow storms!

It’s an extra short post for you this weekend, kittens, but an extra juicy bunch of links to make up for it. Come avoid the Sunday Scaries with me with some longform writing and pop culture conversation. The news has been wacky again this week, but I’m determined to stay chipper…if snarky.

Well this is…bloody heartbreaking

I wish I didn’t have expensive taste. But I do. And I love and covet this blazer.

I find Ann Coulter a deeply problematic person and agree with her on approximately zero issues. But this interview with the New York Times is interesting to consider as we are no about half a year away from mid-term elections, because I don’t think she’s necessarily wrong about Trump voters.

Ambassadors share their recommended reads before you visit their countries.

Objectively scary.

A great and hilarious read on the epitome of hashtag GOALS, Eleanor of Aquitaine.

This Bustle post on the modern working woman and motherhood choices doesn’t cover tons of new ground, but this passage struck me: “As women continue to ponder the question of whether or not to have kids, they know the clock is running out — and they also know that the system is not going to change before their childbearing window closes.” I don’t want to try for kids for a few years more yet, but I’ve written before of the financial pitfalls having a child in London set us up for. And I’m keenly aware that even in a country with a significantly more progressive stance on maternity leave than my own, my career is such that if I paused it for up to a year to give birth parent a baby, that is a year that I will not get back professionally speaking. It would be a lie to say I don’t think about this a lot.

What do the aid epidemic, the Mueller investigation, science fiction, and the problem of anxiety have in common? I’ve discovered this podcast and if you are interested in an amazingly intelligent conversation about The Way We Live Now, seen through the lens of culture and cultural pieces, check out the March 29th episode pronto.

And if you’re in a podcasting mood, this interview with Mark Zuckerburg at Vox is a timely one given our current cultural dialog about human attention as a product, what can or should be regulated in the information age, and what makes a business ethical. Editor Ezra Klein asks a lot of pointed and intelligent question, and whatever your opinion is of Facebook these days (I’m not too positive), it’s interesting to hear from the CEO directly rather than just via talking heads. There’s an interesting point towards the end at how Silicon Valley is essentially techno-optimist and Facebook frankly didn’t consider at the outset the dark side of the idea that “anything is possible.”

Relevant to this, is a piece over at WIRED detailing the long history of Mark Zuckerburg apologizing for the “mistakes” of his company and the author calls bullshit. “There are very few other contexts in which a person would be be allowed to make a series of decisions that have obviously enriched them while eroding the privacy and well-being of billions of people; to make basically the same apology for those decisions countless times over the space of just 14 years; and then to profess innocence, idealism, and complete independence from the obvious structural incentives that have shaped the whole process. ”

I feel a sudden, overwhelming need to own a small house donkey.

Well hey, we’ve now come full circle to Mexican rapists as threat device. This man does not have very many ideas to begin with and has exhausted them, all he has is conspiracy theories and stunts. It’s all he’s ever had.

And the Darwin award for the week goes to

This story is wild.

Well this list is certainly instructive!

Molly Ringwald wrote a very good piece for The New Yorker about questioning the media she helped to make (which was genuinely groundbreaking) and where cultural conversations about young people and young women need to go.


3 thoughts on “Weekend Links”

  1. “if I paused it for up to a year to give birth parent a baby, that is a year that I will not get back professionally speaking. It would be a lie to say I don’t think about this a lot.”

    There’s an interesting/scary story in today’s (?) NYT about how much $$$ women lose by having kids…and the only answer is that they should also (?) be adding parenthood’s non-monetary joys and pleasures beyond “mere” work.

    It’s going to be some difficult math to figure out loss of your income (if you stop work for a while), plus opportunity costs (all of which are real) versus the pleasures (and exhaustion) of caring for an infant.

    I sometimes think only the wealthy (or people with very large extended families) can really fully enjoy motherhood — because they can rely on a lot of help (nannies/governesses/au pairs — all of whom need space to live in, which means a large flat or house which means $$$$) or lots of loving hands to take over when you’re knackered.

    1. Fab comment! I also think a lot about how I was raised in relation to these questions. In mormonism, stay at home motherhood is literally the highest and noblest calling for a woman, but how many women can actually AFFORD that? Given recent social changes, fewer and fewer families can survive on a single income.

      It’s also such a relatively recent development in the history of domesticity for a woman to stay at home and not produce some kind of income-generating labor (to say nothing of the physical labor that used to go into housekeeping where everything from food to clothing to every day materials was self-produced). For stay at home motherhood to be held up as an ideal is to really only focus on the 20th century as a standard of behaviour.

      To get even more uncomfortable, it’s mostly white women with a certain amount of money who have been able to stay at home with their children, at least in the US. Poor women and women of colour have ALWAYS had to work outside the home.

      I strongly support the choice to stay at home with your children, but that means we as a society need to continue to grapple with how much we actually value “women’s work,” whether that’s caregiving or in an office. It feels like all choices women make are punishable in some way…

      1. It’s a lot to unpack…

        The very fact that women who leave the workforce to become mothers FT also lose access to Social Security during those years also means many of them end up poor(er) in later years (plus lost income, obv. and, one hopes, rising wages.) Not to mention laws that favor men in divorce (they can afford better lawyers!) and so many women can be so economically vulnerable, mothers or not.

        Then there’s the whole issue of when and how to claim full responsibility for handling our own finances. I have been doing a MUCH better job with my investments than the “expert” in Canada who can’t seem to make me a dime. UGH.

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