“We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost.”
– Heny Rollins
Beloved kittens, I type this to you full of trepidation. Another co-worker has discovered this site and I suspect commentary or judgement will soon flow in full tilt.
Ah well, Small Dog Nation grows. (Hi, Tom!)
This week we continued to get the last straggling task from the move over the line and try to settle into a new home without any internet. A literal nightmare. However, I learned from the Evening Standard this week that as many as 20% of Britons don’t have or use internet and it gave me pause because–on an intuitive level, it rings true to me. I work in an industry now that pulls from many, many demographics and have learned that not all of them are “very online,” as the kids say. To me, this represents a potential manifestation of the growing discrepancies of access, opportunity, wealth, and education in society that we are all collectively becoming increasingly aware of. I’d be fascinated (and possible disturbed) to see current data on this for the US as well, where we know the urban/rural divide in particular includes access to internet services.
What interesting tidbit caught your attention this week? Share in the comments. Meanwhile, I’ve pulled together a smorgasbord of reading to get you through until Monday. The new continues awful, the pop culture varied, and beauty news surprisingly good.
McKay Coppins at The Atlantic has published his latest longform about the dynastic duelling within the next generation of Trumps as they try to position themselves to take over the family business…whatever that business happens to be. Thus far it’s been development and branding, but can political mantles be inherited? Thus far there are few successful examples of this in the US and those who have tried (Hillary and Jeb spring to mind) tend to be on the receiving end of good old fashioned American scepticism about dynasties.
Ha! My long-held pet social theory is given credence in this pretty impressive interactive piece from the New York Times: how politics and pop culture are colliding and entangling, and why that’s not really good for any of us.
What a beautiful piece of science and culture writing!
Sharpiegate continues because it was NEVER about the Sharpie. It was always about who Mr. Trump could bend to his narrative will, and at what institutional cost.
Bolton is out. I’m not surprised but I am cackling because of course Mr. Trump is not really a hawk and never has been. I think Mr. Bolton has done damage and I’m not sorry to see the back of him, but I also think the constant whiplash of what my country’s actually policies and approaches are across the world aren’t doing anyone any favors.
The absolutely wacky handling of the Taliban talks could not have helped. We’re just announcing international negotiations on Twitter now I guess…
Kind of like the reporting on the lifting of a major intelligence asset out of Russia, because we didn’t trust the president NOT to out them. We’re not usually supposed to hear about this stuff as the lay citizenry…
It’s the corruption, stupid. Once again, even the most charitable interpretation of these events is not great. The President is supposed to be surrounded by people who not only keep him from corruption but also help him avoid the shallow appearance of it!
My previous life in luxury property means I found this story fascinating: there is too much luxury property stock in NYC (and frankly London) and little prospect of sales at expected prices. This seems niche, but I think reveals a lot more about the economy of who we’re building for (right people) and why (investment, not housing). There’s a reason populism is on the rise.
Meanwhile, in Britain….(the Speaker gave the British Parliament version of a mic drop on the way out. For more context and less snark, see here). Britain and the US are stuck in a game of onedownsmanship, but they have us whipped on theatricality, it must be said. (ETA, the courts are now involved! It’s so ridiculous and messy.)
People can be trash, but they can also be kind of great. Both in one story.
Progress is not inevitable, but we are learning how change happens. It takes effort.
…and we might be up against our own evolutionary biology…
I really want to read this, but it’s going to be difficult.
The New York Times did another incredible interactive report on the flooding that has taken place across the US this year. It puts what appeared to my untrained and uninformed eye a series of isolated events into a much bigger pattern.
UGH. I didn’t want to link that That Story this week, and yet here we are. The thing that convinced me it was worth sharing (besides the viral nature of the story) was this take from Vox on what our collective fascination about female scammers might say about us as a culture.
The universe is not all malevolent, my treasures, for it is giving us more Phryne Fisher!
Victoria Beckham finally launched her eponymous beauty line and the first product drop was very on brand. As a devotee of the collections she did with Estee Lauder, I’ll be keeping an eye on developments.
It’s fashion week. Let’s unpack some relevant shit.
GOD. DAMN. IT. What a nauseating farce this whole thing was/is.
This piece is gorgeous. I’ll leave you with this tiny taster: “The mystery of cosmic asymmetry will always be the point at which an imaginary conversation with my brother about God would begin.”
I never thought I’d be engrossed in the niche world of chess, but this unusual way in hooked me.
“In the world of stand-up, where nothing’s valorized quite like edginess, Mulaney relishes his squareness to an almost defiant degree.” I’m a full on stan at this point.