Weekend Links

It’s amazing how much better I have felt this week after the US inauguration. I didn’t realize until it was over how frightened I was for something ugly and dramatic to happen and disrupt or derail the day.

Now, the background buzzing dread of a pandemic badly handled in both my native and adopted countries, heightened political tensions, and general instability is still humming away. Don’t get me wrong, things are still bad, but I am enjoying the sensation that the institutions that govern a large portion of my and my loved ones lives aren’t actively making things worse on purpose.

In other words, I’m excited to return to a world of unintentional mistakes instead of willful ignorance or malicious intent. Humble goals, fam.

This week I’ve found plenty of fun things to read, but I’m clearly still concerned about the next phases of extremism and alternative realities which have taken over too many people’s lives. It’s a mistake to think that these worldviews or behaviors are going away.

Well, yo ho ho.

This article is a profile of a single person, but is an excellent perspective into the wider movement. “For her, QAnon was always less about Q and more about the crowdsourced search for truth. She loves assembling her own reality in real time, patching together shards of information and connecting them to the core narrative.”

I’ve shared this before but it’s worth reupping right now. Particularly the aspect of “forcing the end” in extremist movements, and in the wake of the Capitol storming. Yes, it’s the length of a film. Get some popcorn and watch it anyway.

So, what is going on with QAnon you ask? Well, predictably, some people are going through a faith and grief crisis…and already others are doubling down again. And they are already being targeted by other extremists groups for recruitment. Again.

A really interesting interview on why too many people (guilty!) are looking to European fascism in the 20th century to explain radicalism in the US and we need to look closer to home in our own Civil War and Reconstruction.

How to create a healthier media environment for yourself in 2021.

Honestly, just grim. Necessary (for both military and law enforcement more generally), but grim:

Oh look, that thing I’ve been worrying about for a long time now and fully anticipate we’ll have to deal with next.

WE’VE BEEN SCAMMED INTO BELIEVING Q!!!” a Telegram user declared. “WHAT NOW?!?!?! Indeed, random QAnon Avatar.

Palate cleanser of pure delight.

I’m looking forward to seeing a lot more VP coverage in general, as (not entirely unlike the role of First Lady), it’s a job that seems to get a lot of ceremonial attention but less practical. And in the last administration the coverage was frankly tabloidesque – understandably. That being said, I ate up this insight into the temporary VP residence with a spoon. I need that 18th century teal wallpaper.

And in a typical display of howling hypocrisy from me, loved this insight into inaugural fashion for Dr. Biden.

I’m still awash in delight at the Moment that Bridgerton has produced in the cultural zeitgeist. More fantasy! More women’s POV! More sex positivity! More over the top fluff just because it feels good and is fun to enjoy! At some point I’m going to have to do a full post on it. In the meantime, if over embellished tops and embroidery on the Zoom calls, tea sets, and thirsting over male forearms is the new normal, I’ll take it.

POW. Right in the feels

2 thoughts on “Weekend Links”

  1. After reading “WE’VE BEEN SCAMMED…” on Huff Post (Verizon?) , I guess I’m a little shocked. Like I knew the tenets of Q and the true believers, but I didn’t think people really believed that nonsense. It’s like the Christian cults that have set a specific date for the rapture. What a crisis of faith when it doesn’t arrive. Instead of holding these people in disdain, I’m actually sorry for them. There must be a lot of mental illness in that crowd.

    1. Like all such things, there seems to be various layers of belief and participation but I wouldn’t hesitate to classify the most dedicated in the cult category. The video I shared from Folding Ideas makes the case more articulately than I have ever been able to, but the parallel you draw is actually spot on and pertinent to understanding the disappointment, rage, and disillusionment (for many). Really recommend it if you haven’t watched it yet!

      I think there is mental illness in some cases, but media illiteracy in a world of algorithmic engagement and echo chambers, existing bias confirmation, loneliness and lack of community or connections… This is why I have a hard time categorizing people involved in it. Binary thinking is what got a lot of people into this mess – good and evil at its most basic – and I think we need to have a lot more nuance in our thinking and solutions to extremism. Not all extremists think the same thing, at their worst they are a coalition of people who share ENOUGH common thought or cause to work together.

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