I took the weekend off, kittens. There was too much bad news and my husband had his first non-working weekend in a month, so we watched a lot of TV, went out to dinner with friends and spent six hours eating, drinking and talking, and lazed about together. It was lovely.
But Monday waits for no man, so let’s get up and at it, team. The news is bad, our morale is hardy regardless. Here’s some reading to kick off your week:
“You can be intellectually woke without being awakened to the largest truth: that we are all connected, enemies and allies alike. The United States is teetering toward authoritarianism. Are you still lecturing strangers on social media? Are you still shouting at a family member that they’re wrong? How is that working out?”
This year is determined to kill off everything that once was good, isn’t it?
Except BTS, apparently.
ALLIE IS BACK, YOU GUYS!
Seriously, we’ve had four years to learn this and I’m shocked at how few people have: exposes don’t pose any threat to a tabloid figure. It’s literally their bread and butter. Failure to adjust accordingly has harmed us.
We’ve run out of humans to celebrate, so this is heroism now. Honestly, I’m fine with it. Hope he gets an extra large helping of cheese tonight.
Susan Orlean’s Twitter feed has been a source of lighthearted joy, and if you have no idea who she is, let me introduce you to the patron saint of pandemic drinking.
I’m really looking forward to AHP’s new book, and in her newsletter she talks about an area of burnout that I hadn’t even considered right now: the clergy. Like so many other professions, they are doing a 21st century job on 20th and sometimes even 19th century infrastructure and assumptions. What does that mean when you combine that reality with a sense of divine vocation?
The New York Times got a hold of President Trumps tax information and are publishing a series of articles based on the investigation. Their opening piece is a summary of what information this does and does NOT give the public, and is a helpful primer. This is information that every other candidate offers willingly and his refusal has been a bone of contention for years. However the cynical part of me wonders what impact this is going to have. There has already been years of reporting about his losses, his confusing net worth, his shady business deals, more than enough to confirm to anyone paying the slightest attention that “he’s not a billionaire, he just plays one on TV.” This reporting delves more into some of these, but a lot of what’s laid out are known facts: bankruptcies, connections to foreign oligarchs with beyond shady ties, payments to family, write offs, facades to cover losses, and the fact that his political connections either from his campaign or now presidency are propping up his “empire.” Those who know, already know. And those who don’t care…don’t care. The more cult-y members of his base will dismiss any adverse information as false anyway, and too many of more establishment voters have already made their Faustian pact: put up with his hideous character and manifest unfitness so long as they get what they want out of him. This information doesn’t change that arithmetic.
The connection between loneliness and populism. This is a train of thought I hadn’t fully considered, but that makes perfect sense to me when you think about the demographics who are most likely to be populists (which come in both left and right varieties). We’re still only beginning to understand all the mental health concerns and psychology behind our cultural moment, but it’s not a coincidence that discussions of loneliness are a growing part of it.
Speaking of populism, history has a warning for us right now.
Rebecca Traister on the passing of RGB and female anger.