Category: Links

Weekend Links

Your weekend reading is here! And once again, mostly as an act of self care, it’s almost entirely politics free–ENJOY.

We talk a lot about the President’s use of Twitter, but this deep dive into the online world in which his Twitter feed operates and feeds itself is the first examination of that particular ecosystem that I’ve seen. And I think it’s long overdue.

Answers to one of the most consuming and awkward questions of my childhood!

What a harrowing story

Something is definitely in the water (and by “water” I mean capitalism and social media).

So, media is changing all around us. What does this mean for one of the biggest names in magazine publishing, you ask? This is an engrossing read for anyone who is at all interested in the media landscape.

Also from The Intelligencer, this…opening line: “White nationalism has a branding problem.” It’s actually a good review of the state of several of those “influencer Nazis” that everyone gave platforms to because they dressed well and managed to be well-spoken. How’d that turn out for us all? Snark aside, this piece actually has some good points to make about respectability politics for horrible people.

This op ed is infuriating.

Meanwhile, this saga is charming. Let them look at the art!

Crissle West (one half of the EXCELLENT and popular podcast The Read), deserves every ounce of her success.

Genuinely interesting election news–because it’s about process not personalities. Like unto other social experiments, I want to see a decent ranked voting case study in action. It strikes me as much more likely than first-past-the-post to engender a consensus agreement on the results of an election rather than the partisan bitterness we see so much of now.

The revolution will be sloganized.

If there’s one thing we at Small Dog Nation can’t get enough of, it’s a good archeology or excavation story!

Here for the clap back!

The THIRST.

Notorious PWB.

Obviously I have a deep appreciation for the role of “Mormon mommy bloggers” and the role they played in internet culture. Whilst not a mum, Mormon blogging has been a big part of my writing background and personal story, so I still feel weirdly protective about some of the OG characters of the genre.

Weirdly fascinating!

 

Weekend Links: WAGatha Christie and Wagging the Dog

“The glory which is built upon a lie soon becomes a most unpleasant incumbrance. …  How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again!”
– Mark Twain

This week has been NUTS. We’ve got footballers wives doing a better job that national security apparatuses, the Ukraine scandal spiraling into new depths, and ursine QUEENS. This is an extra hefty dose of links to help you process the *waves hands at general state of things.*

It’s going to be a very normal and calm week, I see…

Super normal.

What BULLSHIT. This is what toxic gender roles mean for everyone: loneliness and disdain for all involved, unless we all participate in a system which requires a hierarchy with winners and losers. Imagine the world we could build if we dedicating one tenth of the energy we put towards reinforcing unequal systems to building better ones that rewarded different many different kinds of success instead of a designated few.

We’ve been playing the “horrible goose” game for a week, this might be next.

I’ve fled that country

Words cannot express how much I love Caitlin Moran and her writing. Her last column in the Sunday Times is short but nails the appeal of chaos to so many right now–particularly those who should, theoretically, be most opposed to it.

LOL to the entire idea that Perry is the criminal mastermind. Also, the internal logic continues to impress me. This “perfect” phone call that is entirely above board was also totally this guy’s fault. Let me be clear, I completely am onboard with the idea that Rick Perry is involved in this mess (and so do other people, given he’s been subpoenaed), but you will have a hard time convincing me that the Oops Guy is responsible for it all.

I need to print out this list and post it. It’s nominally about writing, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the advice is multi faceted.

A rather interesting case progressed this week, wherein the President tried to keep his personal financial records hidden via a rather extraordinary set of circumstances and claims that his office grants him immunity from any kind of criminal prosecution–which would have been a deeply problematic ruling to enshrine in precedent.

This shift in policy is not just bad and last minute on it’s face, it puts one of our most stalwart allies in the fight against ISIS in direct harm’s way, thereby breaking promises and diminishing the likelihood that we are seen as a trusted partner to our own friends the world over. (ETA, two days later…)

TikTok makes me feel very old.

Ooh, someone running the social experiment I want follow!

Ronan Farrow’s latest book exposes a lot more about the shadowy world of private protection and security that the wealthy move in to safeguard them against reputational damage. He’s released excerpts with The New Yorker and they are not fucking around! Part I, Part II, Part III.

Related to the previous, what happens after, you ask?

who’s in for the next pony party?

I don’t like this weird dystopia.

Meanwhile, Holly is a goddamn icon as far as I’m concerned!

SOMEBODY BUY THIS CAPE RIGHT NOW.

We’ve had to go through a lot of pain to realize that this should have been the take from the jump as a society, but I stan a sassy delivery of truth any day of the week.

Also, Elizabeth Warren is extremely good at this.

What a mess this is going to be…on Tuesday the White House sent a rather sloppy legal letter advising the House that they aren’t going to participate in the investigation into their behavior. This is either ridiculous gaslighting or they don’t understand how an investigation works. Likely both. Now is when we are going to see if our constitutional checks and balances actually work: will the House be able to serve and enforce subpoenas, or is the president above the law? Regardless of your politics, this has huge implications for American politics.

On Wednesday, the prominent legal scholar Noah Feldman summed up the impasse are barreling towards.

Also, greater insight into how a fairly small outfit (all things considered) is destabilizing nations and events around the world.

Something I honestly think about a lot: will Jeff and I ever really be able to retire?

A tragic and difficult read, about individual pain and community trauma.

I love fall!

The kerfuffle with the NBA and China, explained.

How did you survive the WAG War of 2019? Anything that gets the term “Wagatha Christie” trending will absolutely command my attention.

How handy! A new list of things to read, all of which tickle my fancy!

Another week, another great Amanda Mull piece.

It’s leather jacket season!

Thursday. Welp. (A tiny reminder of how deeply incestuous all of this world is, and a quick summary. Another tiny nugget/reminder that their companies are called Fraud Guarantee and Mafia Rave. Seriously.)

“…the best people…”

Reminder: to understand the Ukraine shenanigans, you have to understand the world of conspiracy theories. It’s also increasingly likely that some of the most powerful men (and they are mostly men) in the world, actually DO believe these.

On the flip side, here’s a succinct timeline of the Ukrainian situation as it actually happened. In other words, Mr. Guiliani was not “looking for dirt”

All the AOC haircut “scandal” has made clear to me is that most men don’t realize how expensive it is to be a woman.

Hey, that Webtoon I shared on a previous monthly favorites post has some great news!

Friday. The role of the Supreme Court really is the Chekov’s Gun in the Trump presidency.

Also Friday.

Also also Friday. (Her statement is not messing about.)

And did sweet f a about it, apparently.

Fuck.

Extremely relevant to my interests and past professional life. This change will affect how money flows across this entire planet!

SHAMELESS PLUG OF THE WEEK. I’m so bloody proud of her I could burst! Enjoy this pleasing tease of the British version of her upcoming book and sharpen your knives in anticipation.

Welp, this baby made me cry.

Weekend Links

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
― Groucho Marx

Ducklings, another weekend is upon us and it has been a bonkers one. Short intro this week we have a lot to catch up on and discuss!

Honestly, SNL nailed it. And by “it” I mean my fears, the reality of the moment, and the correct chaotic energy.

I heartily love the phrase “yoga babble” and find it a very apt description.

RIP to an icon.

I’ve gone on a roller coaster in the run up to this film, first being excited by the idea of it, put off by the groundswell of toxicity that sprang up in the worst corners of the internet around it, and troubled by … Based largely on this review, I think I’ve circled back around to being fairly excited to see it. It seems very current to the times and for that reason, I’m interested. Jeff and I went to see Hustlers last week (bit of a weird segue, but walk with me) and afterwards I opined that it was the first film I’d seen since The Big Short that I felt was about our current era in a very deliberate way. It was certainly the first movie I’ve seen that expressed anger and a revenge fantasy for the past 10 financial years. Pop culture has been largely been centered in the realm of science fiction and fantasy (Marvel and Game of Thrones, anybody?) and avoidant of The Now. I know Joker is a comic book piece, but the themes it’s clearly tackling are all 2019.

Like catnip for Small Dog Nation.

I too am THIS many years old.

In fact, I’m getting too old for the new platforms of Kids These Days…how grim.

Of COURSE they are. Just get out of the way, peeps, and let the teen girls do their thing. They are 100% our best hope for the future.

Shaken or stirred?

DUH.

How is James Franco still allowed out in society?

Baby steps, I guess? I actually perversely hope that what this accomplishes is enough social cognitive dissonance to drive real social change for women.

You guessed it, I’m still not over this business story.

Content warning: this reporting from the New York Times is incredibly hard to read, and some people may not be able or wish to, but it’s important. The scourge of online abuse and sexual exploitation of children has exploded in recent years and our ability to track it, hold abusers to justice, and protect victims is fundamentally not scaling with the technical ability of the individuals and communities creating and spreading it. Here’s hoping that sunlight provokes change.

The political news will be summarised at the end of this post (to avoid my brain exploding) but this piece is worthwhile both because from what I’m seeing early on this week, most of the defense attempts of the administration’s behavior are trying to invoke an outright conspiracy theory. This needs to be understood, alongside the remembrance that the current president rose to political prominence and viability off the back of conspiracy theories. It’s simultaneously vital info, but will not dissuade those support him BECAUSE of conspiratorial views and not IN SPITE of them.

Meanwhile, some local reporting out of Wisconsin that has relevance not just to the state and a major local industry but also to America, the land of opportunity and where hard work definitely always pays off… In America, the big get bigger and the small go out,” Perdue said. “I don’t think in America we, for any small business, we have a guaranteed income or guaranteed profitability.”

Ah, another British American cross over event. Our special relationship is not just about hairstyles, it’s about mutually punishing political foes. Cool.

In other British news

Brexit is also going great, by the way.

We are a pro-bath family.

“Kirstjen, you didn’t hear me the first time, honey,” Mr. Trump said, according to two people familiar with the conversation. “Shoot ’em down. Sweetheart, just shoot ’em out of the sky, O.K.?” What. The. Fuck. I’m not talking about the alligator filled moat. I can’t.

QUEENS OF INFAMY UPDATE.

Maybe dudes should sit this one out, just generally.

What a beautiful essay from Zadie Smith.

AH. Nothing is new. We’ve circled back to his original desired endgame, back before he thought he would win.

The UK and the US are both reporting dramatic drops in native wildlife in recent decades. In case you wanted some cheery news this week…

LOLOLOLOL. This guy is SO bad at crimes. Her subtweet was perfect.

Who had “Ruin Whisky” on their 2019 bingo card?

At this point I will read anything by Amanda Mull, her beat of shopping, consumption, women’s perspectives, health and wellness is very much my jam. Her latest on how Forever 21 (but really a lot of other people in capitalism) underestimated the young folk, and women in particular, to simply not need them.

Who asked for this? Why? How did they do the math to identify this demographic?!

Oh, fuck off. Woke culture didn’t harm you, it’s making you rich. Shut up.

This week’s best Twitter profile.

Okay, this is moving unbelievably fast. *cracks knuckles*

Monday through Wednesday: let’s sum up the mess of conspiracy theorist trash, honest debates about nepotism we need to have–right alongside the discussion of bad faith defenses of corruption when it’s Your Guy we’re talking about, and wide ranging complacency/complicity that got us to this point. (This interview with the former Ukrainian prosecutor general is stunning, but it cuts through the noise quite a bit.)

Thursday: THERE it is, just saying the quiet parts out loud and betting that if he does it in broad daylight, he’ll get away with it. He may, depressingly, be right. Meanwhile, at the OTHER coverup

Friday: a summary. Bleeding hell. A lot of aides have apparently been privately “horrified” at the President’s cavalier calls for a long time and decided to do fuck all about it. Profiles in courage.

Weekend Links

“If the spirit has passed through a great many sensations, possibly it can no longer be sated with them, but grows more excited, and demands more sensations, and stronger and stronger ones, until at length it falls exhausted.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Gambler

What a year this week has been…

General mood.

This is a short but really compelling TED talk and very well worth your time.

That’s a lot of Brits to repatriate in peacetime!

This headline should read, “Mr. Trump Tried It.” Ms. Thunberg was ready for the clapback, as you might have expected. Never tried to out-internet the children. They haven’t had to acclimate to this world the way we have, they are native users and they are SCARY. (Also, the sheer amount of adults trying to bully children is gross.)

Her murderous rampage continued and reader, I cackled!

Why traditional self-help narratives aren’t resonating with The Young Folk.

I think I’m pretty pleased about this, actually?

Thoughts?

Um, Atlantis, is that you?

Trickle. Down. Economics. Is. A. Lie.

I’m very stressed about this utterly trivial thing! Bite Beauty makes my hands down favorite lipsticks on earth and I’m nervous about and shakeups. Anyone want to buy me a handful of backups?

Fast Company has a couple of interesting stories this week about the perils of IPOs and the “gamechanging” companies in the news of late. This on was my favorite.

In a similar vein, Rent the Runway is also struggling.

Dame Helen Mirren, ladies and gentlemen! What an icon.

Hurrah for nice things, like beloved TV shows about being a good person.

Holy crap.

[ETA: the below updates were added as news broke this week…which was approximately every ten minutes]

HOLY CRAP. This change in stance came swiftly as a result of the cascading reporting on a whistleblower case. As the week progresses, the facts on the ground get weirder and worse for the administration. A “transcript” of the call was released by the White House, ostensible to explain how the call was not as bad as the media was making it out to be. It was considerably worse. Not only that, it transpired that the whistleblower complaint (which was also released) was about a much wider array of actions not just from the President, but included efforts by others to shield his actions from scrutiny and oversight.

Rudy Giuliani continued to act like a reasonable and sane person and in no way seemed to be trying to drag the actual State Department under the bus whence he is getting thrown. It’s okay, he was not the only one making mistakes. Snark aside, a lot of people from the State Department, to the Attorney General are implicated by this activity. Mr. Volker is the first to step down from a post, I can’t imagine he’s going to be the last.

Good lord, quid pro quo is something of a theme this week, eh? How do ANY of these men still have their jobs?

Call me petty, but I hope things are getting downright tense at headquarters.

And finally, a little levity for you all.

ETA AGAIN: HOLY. CRAP. Honest question, how did none of this come out previously? No whistleblowers, nothing in the Mueller report, nothing at all?

Weekend Links

“We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost.”
– Heny Rollins

It’s the weekend, piglets! A short intro from me because I’m technically supposed to be on holiday…even through the reality of my job means I’m still doing a bunch of work this week, I’m annoyed to say. Hey ho, such is life. Jeff is in a similarly grim set of circumstances and we’ve agreed therefore that a long Christmas break, possibly to include foreign travel, will therefore be justified. Win some, lose some.

It’s a rainy sunday here, so that means I’m going to log off, make a couple of batches of soup, drink copious amounts of tea and alternate between Agatha Christie’s Poirot and my newest love, Schitts’ Creek by way of relaxation. Tell me your plans in the comments!

Happy weekend to JLo and literally no one else. This is what fashion and media types call “a moment.”

What an awful scam on every level, do not @ me.

One of the Founding Mothers of NPR has passed away. RIP Ms Roberts.

*screams into the void* I’m (sadly) not at all surprised by this at all, only angry and depressed. Sometimes I think about how the vast majority of sexual crime statistics track almost perfectly over my closets female friend groups and myself and I just want to set something on fire.

And as a follow up, the pertinent question. (My own question about what the Kavanaugh hearings really ask remains: are women acceptable collateral damage on someone else’s journey?)

Hook ’em on Shakespeare young.

This investigative piece on the harshness of live on the high seas (an excerpt from a forthcoming book) is hard to read but is evidence of how many industries have horrifically out of date practices and next to no labor protections. We’re not nearly as advanced as Silicon Valley would have us think, sometimes.

Hm. This seems super not great for us as a species

I will read anything by Anne Helen Petersen, and we were blessed with another gem this week.

Seriously, guys. Let’s just try some ideas. Let’s run the experiments.

Highly relevant to my interests.

In case you’re looking for your next book read.

Smoking is bad, team. Smoke if you’re a grown up and damn well please, but there is no need to relitigate the health hazards.

I’m for Boleyn-core, 100%.

The kids are going to save us. They shouldn’t and we shouldn’t have to ask them to, but they are. And I hope that leaders around the world are doing a bit of demographic math in their heads in response to the images and headcounts of the marches this week. Kids grow up and they vote.

Data is fascinating, and useful. We need more of it and less punditry.

A pet theme of mine is how much I wish Americans could see their news through the lens of another nation’s media. It’s enlightening, whatever your political bent.

I know it’s only the latest in a long list, but this is a really serious allegation. In normal times, we would never even have gotten to this point, and yet here we are and I’m not convinced there will be any consequences. How bloody GRIM is that?

And finally, please enjoy my favorite new Twitter account.

Weekend Links – Flying Flamingos Everywhere

“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!

Excuse me, what? What doesn’t Tina Turner deserve?! (Full piece here.)

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.

Go on

Weekend Links, Moving Day Edition

“When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.” 
― Rodney Dangerfield

Kittens! I type the final notes on this week’s links drop to you from my absolutely madhouse of an apartment just before the movers show up. Please send prayers, votive offerings, or appropriately slaughtered sacrifices to your deity of choice on our behalf today. I leave you in the comforting arms of a nice bunch of reading material.

I cannot go into everything that happened in British politics this week, suffice to say it’s been BONKERS. I recommend The Guardian’s news podcast Today in Focus for several of their most recent episodes regarding the recent slings and arrows, but also their Brexit updates over previous months to try and catch up.

Too much advice about going green involves pushing slightly less toxic alternatives to things we don’t particularly need, to distract us from thinking about whether they were necessary in the first place.”

More information on the Second Hand September campaign.

Two articles, one British and one American, about who has really benefited from property and development investment in recent years.

It’s sacrilegious but I chuckled.

Hurricanes are getting stronger, and here’s some science as to why.

Who doesn’t love baby pandas?

Know her name.

If you’ve ever wondered about the afterlife of famous puppets, wonder no more!

My generation may be losing its faith in, well, faith. And not just religiously.

The ONLY perspective I am sharing on the sheer stupidity that is Sharpiegate: “He has a tremendous skill for controlling and crafting narrative, but instead of using that for any kind of shared vision, it’s always only about himself.”

ETA: FFS. He’s so fucking good at reality TV marketing that it sometimes makes my teeth hurt.

Here, clean your eyes and soul by donating to the INCREDIBLE humanitarian work coordinated by Chef Jose Andres who is setting the standard for crisis responsiveness with food at this point.

Three of these are absolutely our love languages.

Etsy was supposed to be different.”

Because 2019 is a shitshow and the universe knew we all needed a win and that Lizzo was the one to deliver.

Speaking of Lizzo, I’m excited for Hustlers and did not know it was inspired by true events.

On the flipside, Lana Del Ray reacted very poorly to what was (I and a lot of other people thought) a very thoughtful and in depth review from one of the best respected critics in the biz. Sorry, LDL, but this ain’t it.

Dear god, why?! Why would anyone give that hellsite more of their intimate life details?

Ronan Farrow has dropped a book on the tactics wealth men have used to systematically silence victims bury evidence of their abuse. He’s also dropped some serious reporting on how notable organizations courted Jeffrey Epstein’s wealth, showing how this system works in detail. Keep going, Mr. Farrow.

The Atlantic is going to a subscriber model but I will absolutely be spending money on a subscription because their wide-ranging reporting–never anything to sniff at–has been especially brilliant of late. Especially in the health and lifestyle arena. This week in shocking but not surprising: vaping is problematic.

Retaliatory politics. Cool cool cool.

STIFLING politics. Cooler cooler cooler.

Gerrymandered politics from known biased operatives (see the citizenship question for the census). Coolest coolest coolest.

Who on earth thought this was going to be an okay (or intelligent!) move?

Another pop culture item I am late to is Schitt’s Creek, which is just as wonderful as everyone says. This summary of the dating history of the daughter of the house/motel had me in stitches. Spoilers, duh.

This…this is a tale….