A Double Weekend Links

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
– Henry James

Beloved ducklings, we have returned from the West Coast of the US, exhausted but unbowed. It’s been a bonkers couple of weeks and as I type the finishing touches on this, it’s barely the middle of the day in the US. Plenty of time for more crazy to happen!

However, the links wait for no man. I’ve compiled two weeks worth of reading to get you through the Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK. As always, some of it is political, some of it is social, some of it is chock full of jewels. We are a niche bunch, we in Small Dog Nation, but we know what we like!

Emerald. Engagement. Rings.

Britain and America aren’t ready for their next elections. Our understanding of our data, our electoral protections, are simply not robust enough…

When four to five generations ahead of you have succeeded, and you come along and fail, you don’t see it as not your fault. You snap.”

This longform piece is scary, but feels like required reading. This follow up piece regarding YouTube is also worth your time.

This is a global problem.

We’re having an important family fight in public as a a culture about what individual racism looks like (hello, two-year anniversary of Heather Heyer’s murder in Charlottesville) versus what systemic but more subtle forms look like. It’s an important fight and words matter. And everybody who wishes to be an ally to the marginalized needs to do some hard work of reexamining their own frailties and preconceived notions.

Brief pop culture interlude: what a specific set of limitations!

but I thought China was bearing the costs of these…?

This girl is magnificent and deserves all the laurels!

HAHAHAHAHAHA! First of all, good luck. Second of all, seems like once again conservatives don’t actually value half the things they claim to. Maybe we can stop taking most of them in good faith until they give us better cause to do so.

Seriously, you think people can police this? We don’t need (just) law enforcement, we need armies of therapists.

We live in the upside down.

I might be over-emotionally invested in this, but the trailer looks so good!

Oh, my youth!

Just as Americans today look back wistfully to the Founding Fathers as patrons of an age of rugged independence and virtue, so did the Founding Fathers look back with an equal wistfulness to the early years of Rome.”

I can’t with the QAnon conspiracy theories. I. Just. Can’t. However, this piece is a good reason why people like me should stop rolling their eyes and actually consider how and why this thing is as powerful as it is, lest we fall for something similar down the line. The metaphor in the piece is particularly clever and useful as well.

This is pop culture gold reading!

We don’t do enough thinking about the fact that humanity has only been a scientific blip, but this piece does a good start.

Simon Biles is a scientific marvel!

The 1619 Project is just as powerful and necessary as everyone says it is.

I have been thinking about the service industry a lot recently for many reasons, not least of all my professional background, and wondering about its relationship to growing wealth disparity, technology shifts, and basically the world at large. This piece from The Atlantic is timely reading. There are a lot of memes out there about “disruptive” companies and technologies basically reinventing age old concepts…are we doing the same with servants?

Elizabeth Bruenig’s latest for the Washington Post on Mr. Trump’s appeal to evangelical christian voters is brilliant–open minded, open hearted, and deeply insightful.

Farcical.

SAD, as his former boss would say.

I love fieldmice to an unreasonable and fierce degree.

The Amazon is on fire, people. (This headline is a metaphor for more than Balsonaro, of course.)

Miley Cyrus on her divorce: a surprisingly self-aware and well-adjusted sounding thread. Pop culture will never cease to surprise me!

What a great story.

Regarding immigration, I have always found it telling whom the crackdowns target. Seldom the owners of businesses who knowingly employee illegal workers, and often than the (usually poor, often marginalized, and by definition outside the normal resources to legal and social assistance) workers themselves. I can’t help but feel cracking down on the former is a better way to accomplish the goals without victimizing those whose vulnerability is already being turned to profit. Oh, you say that the pay is too poor to attract American workers? Excellent. Raise it. And let’s form some new unions while we’re at it. Oh, that will make our food more expensive you say? …yeah. That’s the result. Put your literal money where your mouth is if you hold these policies and deal with the consequences.

I spend a lot of time consuming beauty products, and reading and thinking about the industry. I’m not surprised to read that consumption trends are shifting, given the glut of product that has been thrown at us, and the whole new models of selling (social media influencer as a career) invented to do so. If we’ve reached peak makeup and peak wellness, peak skincare can’t be far behind…then what?

Meet the unfluencer, the person who makes me want to do the opposite of whatever she’s doing and throw out whatever I already own that she has posted about.”

Oh look. Monetary policy cannot fully compensate for diplomatic and trade batshittery. Huh.

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