“What actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of human beings, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the sufferings of the injured.”
― The Qur’an
I really wanted to continue the trend of mostly funny and uplifting picks for weekend reading I’ve been on lately, but this has been a heavy week, my kittens. The news feels all bad and waking up to the updates from the unbelievably horrific terrorist attack in New Zealand was just the last hammer blow. I’ve still tried to put together a bit of a grab bag that also has some bits of light and joy in it, but truthfully I think it’s okay to be in a fairly somber mood about the state of humanity.
Take a moment to practice kindness this weekend. God knows we need more of it.
My friend Hannah (author of the wickedly good and recently released The Dead Queen’s Club) has been educating me a lot lately on the intricacies of modern publishing and some of the cultural conversations currently going on in that space. One one of our recent marathon phone calls, we were talking about sensitivity readers and the role they play–it was fascinating and I learned a lot. If you’re interested in the topic and attendant complexities, here’s an interesting piece.
Americans who want to travel in Europe in the future, take note.
Alexa, show me a self own.
Ooooohhhhhh. So the campaign promises about Medicare for all were lies. Jokes aside, this budget is fundamentally cruel and calls bullshit on all the waffling Republicans have been doing for years about whether or not they actually want to cut social programs (editor’s note: of course they do).
Thank god people aren’t letting this story go.
Another big investigation news story dropped this week. But do tell me more about how we are an unproblematic meritocracy as a society… If one good thing is coming out of this horrible era in politics and public life, it’s that a lot of unpleasant truths about privilege are being exposed and other falsehoods exploded.
Excuse me, every last one of you traitors who didn’t tell me that this glorious thing existed! How DARE you!
Brexit is a mess. A horrible, shambolic mess. Here’s one Brexiteer’s honest and thoughtful take (and to be fair, he is one of the more balanced voices in the debate even though I disagree with the position). As the old saying goes, “A litany of complaints is not a plan.”
Facebook and its satellites Whatsapp and Instagram went down for a day this week. …is that a BAD thing?
I am NOT sharing links to the manifesto of the shooter in New Zealand and I’m sure as HELL not sharing the horrific video. It was hideous news to wake up to, and how it reinforces the idea that we are living in a fundamentally new age where our media platforms and our acts are increasingly symbiotic. Even and perhaps especially our violence. Our massacres are now macabre performances. We all need to do a lot of looking in the dark mirror and start making some hard decisions about platforms. Salaam to the worldwide Muslim community. You can give to the families of the victims here.
A horrible, but timeline and important read. Racism, [insert religion here]-phobia, nationalism, and extremism are all cousins, all intertwined, and all fed from similar diets of conspiracy thinking and grievance. And we all much do better about looking our nations’ demons in the eyes so we can expel them.
Let’s end on a more hopeful note, if that’s possible. The kids are alright.