“If it could only be like this always – always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe and Aloysius in a good temper…”
―Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
It’s been a week, kittens; let’s hop straight into it. Don’t worry, there is plenty of good stuff in here to help you swallow the news pills in between.
Tell me what you’re up to this weekend in the comments. I’m frantically preparing for a move and even typing this up is distracting me from my purpose! Keep up on any shenanigans here but otherwise, let’s catch up in September!
Please god, let her live to be a million.
I cannot believe I missed this piece when it came out in July, but it’s brilliant. “I am told that routine and structure are good for the nerves. I’m told predictability and mindfulness will give me strength and peace. I believe them, but consider this too: What if my goals have nothing to do with peace and calm? What if peace and calm are the last things I want?”
EXCUSE ME WHERE CAN I BUY THESE?
ANOTHER thing I missed (I can’t ever go on holiday again, the FOMO is insane) was this style gallery. Yes, it’s ridiculously white and rich, but I don’t care. I have my new vision board.
Speaking of ridiculous, (probably) white, and rich: this story!
“If destroyed or degraded, the Amazon, as a system, is simply beyond humanity’s ability to get back: Even if people were to replant half a continent’s worth of trees, the diversity of creatures across Amazonia, once lost, will not be replenished for roughly 10 million years. And that is 33 times longer than Homo sapiens, as a species, has existed.”
Who wants to go on a mini-London road trip?
So…we’d essentially plumet right back to the 19th century. Cool cool cool. Sounds about right.
I completely missed this last week…WUT.
“The tragedy of digital media isn’t that it’s run by ruthless, profiteering guys in ill-fitting suits; it’s that the people posing as the experts know less about how to make money than their employees, to whom they won’t listen.”
Policy and culture go together inextricably. This piece on why America still hasn’t implemented child care options on the scale of some other countries cuts right to the heart of the matter: a significant portion of the American populace believes that mothers should be the primary carers for their children. That’s it. We have so structured society (married, straight, middle class, supported on a single mostly-male-earned income), and thereby made it difficult for individuals and families who cannot make that paradigm work for them to cope. And even though that paradigm is less and less sustainable, even for the groups of people it supposedly benefits, a lot of people are still clinging to it and refusing to allow other paradigms to come to the fore. It’s maddening.
Mother Earth is such a strange and wondrous dame.
GUYS, we need to talk about the VMAs. Missy Elliot took home her long overdue Video Vanguard award, and delivered a blazer of a performance in her undeniable style and with a bunch of throwbacks.
And yes, LIZZO ALERT. She’s a great performer live, but this is easily her best so far. It’s a sermon of self-love and acceptance and I am here for it!
How does an industry navigate a crisis of conscious and purpose? On a cult-like meditation campus, apparently. Honestly, the piece is really interesting and raises good questions, but doesn’t do much to convince me that the people who created the problems we’re going to face in the third decade of the 21st century are the right people to fix ’em.
Speaking of cult-like meditation! The Atlantic had another fire week and I’ve got three pieces to share starting with this reported piece on GOOP, Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness empire and what she’s really selling.
Then a pivot to the traditional male space with a piece on Andrew Luck announcing his retirement from professional American Football because, to put it mildly, it’s broken his body. The negative response from “fans” was horrible to watch and betrayed the almost gladiatorial perspective American’s have of their sports figures. Our hostility to their personhood (whether it’s political opinion or pain) or the willingness to turn a blind eye (especially to domestic abuse and sexual violence) are two sides of the same coin: we don’t care as long as we are entertained. The players seem to be pushing to change this more quickly than the viewing public is willing to accept.
ETA: ANOTHER Atlantic piece because General Mattis breaks his silence and while I still have a lot of issues and disagreements with him, I also retain a very real respect in some key areas.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the Tea Party and what’s happened since.
Is the purpose of business changing? The Business Roundtable updated their own definitions this week to include the statement that businesses have more stakeholders (including communities) that just shareholders. As you might have guessed, everyone seems made about it from capitalism “purists” to revolutionaries.
Reader, I might have cried reading this.
There was a social media kerfuffle this week when a prominent opinion columnist at the New York Times (most famous for his idea that free speech shouldn’t be curtailed when it hurts people’s feelings…which is relevant) got mad at something someone said about him, threw a tantrum, asked to metaphorically speak to the manager in a move he claims was not about getting the person in trouble (“Sure, Jan.”), and flounced off the platform. He also got a speaking invitation out of it?! Men really can just…fail upwards, can’t they? This story is a textbook temptest in a teacup, but seems to have taken hold because it once again put some hypocrisy on display, and also reveals how ill-qualified a lot of our most prominent opinion-havers seem to be.
Update: Dave Karpf, the target of this outburst, responded and frankly wiped the floor with Mr. Stephens. “Stephens reached out to me in the mistaken belief that I would feel ashamed. He reached out believing my university would chastise me for provoking the ire of a writer at The New York Times. That’s an abuse of his social station. It cost me nothing, but it is an abuse of his power that would carry a real penalty for a younger or less privileged academic.”
Someone from NYC, please report!
All 2019 was missing was a challenge to the Fermi Paradox…
A palate cleanser. I LIVE.
In Brexit news, PM Johnson wants the queen to suspend Parliament. Cool. Last time a monarch did something similar there was a tiny little Civil War. (The Guardian, as per usual, has a really comprehensive set of updates posted as this story broke which is worth a read. Includes information on the parliamentary process–called proroguing–works.)
I’m watching this story as a military brat, and thus far even with the hasty “clarifications” issued following the initial story breaking, I’m really angry about this. As an expat, I have a lot of questions about how similar policies may affect the civilian world. (Lisa DeJardins of PBS NewsHour did the breaking news and excellent follow up reporting for a play by play.)
Finally, because apparently we need to have this discussion:
You cannot nuke a hurricane for obvious reasons. The resulting shockwaves could reverberate into space, shatter the Phantom Zone and release galactic criminals into our atmosphere who may then try to invade Earth. I can’t believe this is even a discussion.
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) August 26, 2019