Weekend Links

A short intro this week, ducklings. I actually may have to take a blog break for a bit, life has simply overtaken me of late, but here’s some weekend reading to get you through until then. Sending you good vibes for the week ahead.

This is quite the romantic tale

Journalist Spencer Ackerman put it best this week, “If you read Comey’s memoir, the story that he doesn’t realize he’s telling you is a story about a man so convinced of his own heroism that he constantly searches for opportunities to intervene and ends up making things worse. An extremely American story.” It was in relation to this profile.

I want them. I want them all. (I mean, except the Nazi and Confederate ones and their various deplorable associates. Yikes, people!)

I laughed with Mr. Gowdy was announced, and reader I chortled to read the update.

This is vile and if I never hear another pearl-clutching diatribe about civility in the public square again it will be too soon. (For those who try to pull the “whataboutism” card of how satirists and political adversaries have also produced graphic depictions of violence towards political leaders, the important differences are context and power. A comedian acting in bad taste is just that. Boycott or shrug as you wish. A president or his supporters showing a violent targeting of enemies, at an event designed to garner support, is wielding power. One of these has an actual army under their command, the other doesn’t.)

Reality TV is all he understands.

This week in Mormon news: it’s not great.

Here have something slightly better: a deep dive into the wacky, wonderful world of the Utah film industry!

Ho’ boy. Seems fraud-y.

Caption this.

I found this article about a fan “breaking up” with a star incredible poingnant. It’s a silly topic on the surface, but surprisingly deep. It resonated with me and my experience breaking up with not just my religion, but specific cultural aspects of my old faith. I got to a point where I was reading and participating in the activism and blogosphere and personalities in the feminist Mormon community so much that it had taken over my life is highly negative ways. I defined almost everything in my life by my relationship to these communities! I had to choose to to assign my attention and time in fundamentally different ways–which impacts identity, priorities, and any number of other things–and it was not easy.

Cry me a damn river. I’m pretty well convinced this guy’s goal is to try and become president some day, and I will be delighted if his ambitions collapse. There are plenty of principled conservatives who could be elected whose policies I’ll cheerfully complain about, confident that they aren’t implicated in corrupt schemes.

The letter itself is insane and the response was just about as reassuring.

I.Con.Ic. Paint it in oils and hang it high.

Why the Young Folks are mad, exhibit 2,604.

If the most effective form of propaganda in the digital age is to overwhelm the public with so much bullshit that they stop believing anything, then that puts people like me in a near-impossible position because we’re no longer debating what’s true and false; instead, the question of truth is off the table, and politics is purely about aesthetics and cultural identity.”

A little seasonal witchiness for you.

Good, this is exactly a time where it needs to be tested and people need to make decisions. It’s a worthy debate to have in good faith, regardless on where you land on an answer.

One of the blogging OG’s reflects on the effects of social media on her self.

Rest in power.

Brexit slogs on. Johnson does as well.

GUYS, NO. This is how we die!

I’m kind of over the Joker discourse, but still enjoyed this take on why Jared Leto’s Joker in Suicide Squad (an objectively bad film) simply didn’t work.

Important cookie content.

The Duchess of Sussex did something quietly revolutionary this week: she told people how she felt. I’ve seen both American and British responses to her choice to be so vulnerable, but I don’t think most American realize that what she’s doing is completely outside the norms and expectations for her role. I applaud her. The virulent racism and misogyny she has been subjected to is next level and, I personally believe, she did not really comprehend what she was getting into. Even being a celebrity is no apprenticeship for being a royal. The scrutiny she was going to face was always going to be horrible, always. But I don’t think she (or probably her husband) realized it would be this ugly. Meanwhile, the role of the royal family is not to be human; it is to be a group of living, breathing symbols and ciphers for other people’s patriotism, criticism, pride, and anger. She is choosing to be a person. I cannot say enough how much I admire that, but she has unquestionably chosen the hard route. She will pave the way for many women, both in the public and private sphere who will find inspiration in her example, but I cringe to think how much more abuse she will be subjected to as a result of her bold choices.

The impeachment news this week is too much to try and summarize myself, so here’s a summary of updates from the week as well as a couple of new podcast resources (this one from WYNC is hosted by Brian Lehrer, this one is from Vox). It’s been interspersed with the ridiculously corrupt news that the administration (aka the President) effectively awarded a government contract to himself, in announcing that one of his resorts would host the next G7 summit. He walked it back days later on Twitter because of the backlash. I suspect it’s like a genuine attempt to drive money towards a business that the ProPublica and Washington Post teams have compiled enough evidence to confirm is wildly under-performing, wrapped a test case for what his party will and will not protect him from.


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