Category: Links

Weekend Links

Hola, beloveds! This ended up being a rather grueling week, including a day and a half flat out sick and bed ridden, but the upside is that that I’m reading up a storm to start the year. It’s not all bad. Work continues to trend in the right way and in spite of feeling under the weather, I still was able to have a rather interesting PR day with a politician who, while I disagree with many of their positions, pleasantly surprised me by being a nice conversationalist and thoughtful speaker. Here’s to humanizing more of the talking heads we see on TV.

I’m having another weekend of moderate relaxing, but might hit up a food market and try to spend some time outdoors. It’s an unseasonably warm winter thus far (hi, scary climate trends!) so I’m getting much more sunlight that usual for this time of year, a welcome boon to my ongoing fight against depressive dips and anxiety attacks. Meds are a godsend, by way of your regular reminder.

The political world remains a dumpster fire, with ambassadors being stalked, criminals trying to flip, TV lawyers doing their absolute worst, impending price hikes for trade with the EU, tempests in teapots for the endless-ly infighting left, and general madness. In response, here’s a short but punchy burst of nice things for you to leaven the news with. Stay engaged and limber, kittens, we’ve got 11.5 months to get through. Humor will be our aid!

I’m adding basically all of these to my list of recipes to try.

God yes, more of this.

SO SAY WE ALL.

This story is awful and incredibly hard to read, but represents a lot of dedicated reporting in a community that is difficult to access. These stories need to be told. Systemic abuse isn’t broken otherwise.

Timely advice now that 2020 is upon us.

Why no, I’m not tired of good reporting on the property market and the disparity between the ultra rich and the most marginalized.

We stan a Cheese King.

I’m making Roberto next.

Whyever would they want a different life? Whomst can say?

This was included in a previous round up but the story evolved and got even weirder since I watched the initial Twitter meltdown via several authors and agents I follow.

If someone could buy me this, that’d be great, thanks.

Weekend Links

…What a week. I can’t summarize it, it was too nuts. Have a nice batch of weekend reading and take care of yourselves this weekend, minions. I’m going to read, cook, spend time with my partner, and do nothing else.

This is not unexpected, but it’s still pretty damn heinous. I read Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow recently, which documents a lot of similar tactics used to try and shame and silence his victims. It’s very detailed and very chilling. Harvey Weinstein can be fired into the sun as far as I’m concerned.

The only ranking I care about this week follow the wrapups of the previous decade.

Wow. An artist for our times.

Maybe I’m just a messy bitch who lives for drama (especially that which distracts me from Australia being on fire, Iran, et al.), but this is downright juicy. Honestly, GOOD FOR THEM. First off, the monarchy is looking to slim down in terms of “working” members of the family anyway – as much for a financial and PR exercise as anything, I imagine – and second, in a modern age there are few “needs” for additional royal family members. Frankly, a lot of other European royal families have been similarly downsizing and fading into the background for a long time, it’s not surprising to me to see Britain doing the same. They aren’t making alliances through marriage, the need to have multiple spare heirs is practically a thing of the past. If you aren’t the monarch or a monarch-in-waiting (such as the Prince of Wales or Duke of Cambridge), who have a specific role to fill as almost living icons (in the religious sense) and a human symbol of the state…what’s the point of your job? I’m not saying it’s worthless, but I am saying I respect people who can apparently examine that state, interrogate it, and make a conscious choice that the restrictions required are not worth the life they want. Not least of all when their current life is dogged by misogynistic and racist…everything. Good luck!

FURTHER UPDATE: interesting details. I’ll be blunt, the fact that the Duchess is getting “blamed” for this decision (at least by the right wing press and bevy of Twitter bots) says all you need to know about the story. There’s no way this wasn’t a joint decision, and frankly would not happen at all if the actual prince of the blood in question had the slightest hesitation about it. At the end of the day, this is his call. Prince Harry has been the face of any anger they feel over the (hideous) treatment of the British press towards her. He’s been talking for years about wanting a different role. He has gone on record many times, forcefully claiming the right to make personal decisions to protect his family, and he has been highly protective of her since day one. AS WELL HE SHOULD. May we all have partners unafraid to make unpopular decisions to center their family and best beloved in their lives.

Great, can we do this nationally already?

Fabulous profile of a scammer supreme. Alcatraz features.

This week in Mormon news is…not great.

If you have feature film length amounts of time, prominent YouTuber ContraPoints (who I’ve shared work from previously) has released a video that manages to be both an anatomy of “cancel culture” and an education on the intricacies of trans and nonbinary culture. I’m personally a fan of Ms. Points, who has been an entry point for a lot of information and education about communities that I still need to learn a lot about, and I really enjoy her content overall. In this case, however, I think she has something important to say about how the worst of internet culture behaves, and what the consequences of in-fighting (particularly on the left) can be. I’m not for one moment saying that HOW we conduct discourse isn’t vital and that we have many issues in our midst, but I agree that far more does (or at least) should unite us in allyship. As usual, disclaimer that she discusses sex and sexuality in extremely blunt and irreverent ways, which won’t be every reader’s cup o’ tea…but I think you should probably give it a shot anyway.

High on my list of petty, gentrified annoyances is that no one in the UK carries Bite Beauty – my favorite lipstick brand. They have just launched a new reformulation to their lip products AND launched some complexion products. Someone please indulge and report back to the minion coterie? (ETA, I’m such a nerd I Tweeted the brand and they confirmed they’ve updated their shipping to go international!)

HASHTAG BLESSED.

I don’t see myself ever giving up meat, but I am trying to reduce my overall consumption and make what I eat much more ethically sourced. I’m also deeply interested in the various kinds of lab meats or alternatives science seems to be working on, as well as the various moral, er, contretempts that spring up over various diet choices. Ergo, this piece was right up my alley!

Friend of the blog Caitlin Kelly has finally dropped her piece, titled “What Medicare For All Really Looks Like,” which is an in depth dive into the Canadian health system. I can’t imagine a more timely piece of reporting for a domestic issue for North Americans which continues to top most voters’ worry lists. As she often does, she’s also done a write up on the journalist process of reporting a story like this, which is a great read for any writers, veteran or aspiring.

Some options to help out our Australian friends.

Some options to help out our (if your American like me) fellow citizens in Puerto Rico, still under onslaught from Mother Nature in a bad way.

Weekend Links: 2020 Begins Edition

Beloveds, 2020 is upon us! And my god, we’re only three days in. I’ve honestly been trying to muster up some positivity for the new year, as I normally enjoy fresh slates and clean starts, but I’m struggling. 2019 was hard on a personal level and scary on a macro one, and 2020 is…ah…seeming to start as it means to go on.

However, on a long and delightful call with X the other day we discussed the wonderful motivating power of SPITE. So join me, poppets, in declaring at the outset, that we are not going to give in to despair or undue cynicism–for no other reason than that our collective antagonists are hoping for just that. Get hydrated, caffeine up, register to vote, pick a small handful of causes that you care about deeply to devote your energies to, decide whose good opinion and love is actually important to you and prioritize your life according, and hug a dog. We’re going to get through this year and we’re going to do it with aplomb.

Here is a nice batch of weekend reading to look back fondly on the good, catch up on some things you may have missed, and ground yourself for what we’re likely going to deal with in 2020.

The year in memes.

The year in fashion.

The year in podcasts.

I bet you didn’t know you needed a deep dive into the world of lingerie, but you do.

I’m glad that the news media seems final able to confront some of their failings, particularly the areas that fall in talking head and “opini-tainment” as Jon Stewart once called it. I also think that for it to have taken this long denotes something more disappointing if not sinister.

Anatomy of a radicalization.

At this point, reporting that does not do the connecting work of white nationalism and other political views is doing an active disservice to us. I’m grateful to see this changing.

I’m also grateful to see the discourse on climate change improving, but it’s horrifically late.

Let’s hear it for the girls.

This is a fantastic round up of culture “moments” of the past year, and a good list of things to try and catch up on if you’ve thus far missed out.

Behold a goddamned headline!

People who are anti-immigration in my country can’t do math.

I could read a whole book on how “fan culture” has taken over everything from politics to pop culture, and what this means for us as a society. I spend an inordinate time thinking about it. In the meanwhile, this article is a great starting point.

Romance is a genre I used to morally eschew, then read in shameful secret, and now revel in openly. There is some seriously good writing to be found in its pages, too often dismissed because the target audience is women and the main topic is feelings. That’s a rant for another day…what you need to know is that some major DRAMA went down in the Romance world this week. I watched it unfold in real time on Twitter, but for those who need a primer, Lois Beckett from The Guardian is here to help!

Relatedly to all of the above mess, let’s all diversify our reading this year, shall we?

Oh. So that’s why witnesses are being blocked. Shock, surprise.

Oh. So that’s why the secrecy. More shock, surprise.

We had a fascinating debate in my office about this! It spiraled into the differences between religious and “philosophical” belief systems, and how we chose to allocate protections.

Still developing as I finish up this post but…this feels horribly huge. The consequences are already starting. Mar-al-ago guests and Russian diplomats knew about the attack before the appropriate members of congress did. I remember this all too well from 20 years ago. The performative hawkishness and patriotism, the propaganda to circle the wagons around the government, the othering of whole nations and cultures with a long tail of hideous racism that we are still dealing with. 20 years later, thousands of Americans and allies dead, hundreds of thousands of civilians dead, no clear gains, no increased stability, recent revelations that there was no fucking plan in the first place…NO. NOT AGAIN. Not to appease ideologues, not to distract from domestic scrutiny, not for anything.

Weekend Links: Yuletide Edition

It’s Christmas week, kittens! We were woefully unprepared for the holidays this year and much of our preparations have been of the last minute variety. I snagged the last slot available for Tesco grocery delivery, the last tickets for our local theatre’s “The Rise of Skywalker” (didn’t like it at all, I’m sorry to say), and the second to last delivery option for our Christmas tree. We got my sister’s present in the mail to Japan on the last possible day. We are one missed time slot away from disaster, here!

However, this year we are attempting some holiday baking which is not something we’ve really done in our time in London. Every year that goes by and we “settle” we seem to have a more functional kitchen, so we are leaning into that this season. That being said I burned the last thing I put in the oven to charcoal crisps so…watch this space.

Other than that, we are indulging in food and drink this week and doing precious little else. There are a few more posts coming your way before the end of the year, but in the meantime, I hope your Christmas preparations are going better than mine–if you celebrate–and that you are enjoying the winter season with friends and family.

We’re all going to have to move.

I’ve made a complete break mentally with the world I used to live in.”

Some leading conservative commentators, campaign veterans and media personalities have launched a PAC aimed at defeating President Trump in 2020…or more specifically Trumpism. Their argument, with which I agree, is that Trump does not represent the ideological conservatism that they revere and wish to restore. However, the rise of Trumpism has made me question how much of this ideology was genuine in the first place, and how much of it was simply a wish for ingroups to maintain their own power (financial, racial, perceived control over life circumstances, and so on). Trumpism s

It’s always a joyous week when Anne Thériault drops her latest in the Queens of Infamy series!

Add this to the list of films I want to see. Preferably with Hannah whilst sipping wine.

This piece is over a year old but it’s new to me and how pleasing it is!

I am glad we are asking the question seriously, “What are we going to do with/for/about men?” and making art that tackles that topic. Men may need to puzzle this out on their own, and there’s a question of what role women should take in this debate. (Contrapoints, a prominent left-wing YouTuber, recently made a video arguing this point of view as well–content warning re drug references, sex and sexuality frank talk, and some pretty bold/provocative visuals. I love her and her hyperbolic and performative aesthetic, but she’s definitely not going to be all my reader’s cup of tea!)

Longtime readers know how much I love murder mysteries–a “cozy” murder read or show is quite probably my favorite way to relax. …I’m not saying I’m healthy, I’m saying I’m self aware. And one of the purely aesthetic aspects my film and TV murder favorites all share is that they are stylish as hell. (And in Small Dog Nation, we stan Madeline Khan forever!)

Well, it’s happening.

In religion news this week, this editorial is blistering and it’s still sobering to think of how little effect it will have on the intended community. (ETA, The National Review got in on the act. I predict the same results.)

The Good Place is on hiatus until January, but here is a lovely piece on it and its approach to hopeful humanism and the limits of philosophy. I truly believe TGP is an active force for good in the world.

More Small Dog Nation catnip!

Woof. This is something I’m thinking a lot about recently, both in and out of therapy.

Weekend Links

It’s been a rough week of news, kittens. Between the British election (which went the way I thought it would but much more overwhelmingly than I anticipated) and the impeachment news in the US, I’m feeling pretty grim overall. Taking a step back, the largest takeaway I continue to have is that all of the old ways of categorizing people and voters seem fundamentally overturned. Old party lines have been redrawn along very different agendas and it’s foolish for anyone, of any political persuasion, to rely on traditional default allies. MAGA and Brexit have subsumed any other conversation or loyalty. Normally these flips take at least a generation, now it’s happening in single term limits. Setting aside my personal biases, it’s academically fascinating. I still think the direction of travel is badly dangerous.

Here’s a week of reading to help you muddle through. It’s entirely election-free, for your mental health and mine.

Yes, I saw the story about the banana. I cackled.

Weeping.

An interesting news story out of Finland! While I would obviously like to see more female leadership overall, I’m also interested in younger leadership in politics. In the same way that we have actively promoted other forms of diversity, I think we need badly to add more elected representatives in the age ranges of the electorates they represent…ie, I’d like more millennials representing me because I’d trust them to have a more personal and correct view of my experience and priorities as a citizen.

What a grim, grim piece of reporting–thanks to aggressively pursuing FOIA requests for years.

Climate change, like the gun debate, often serves as shorthanded for wider culture wars in American society. It’s tribalistic and unhelpful when facing planetary crisis, so I was pleased to read this piece on how the tide may be changing with a key demographic. It’s self-evident to me that the agriculture industries could turn into one of our biggest assets in dramatically reworking our ways of living around necessary change.

Rise up, Vanna!

Why yes, I would like a decade perspective of our Queen and Goddess Beyonce.

OH DUCKLINGS, I will have much to say on the glory of the knitwear of Knives Out later, but in the meantime this article will suffice more generally.

Ugh. With the benefit of hindsight, I’m very convinced that being on hormonal birth control for a decade contributed significantly to my health challenges (especially regarding mental health and anxiety). Let me be clear, I am NOT a person who dismisses hormonal treatments and scientific medicine and people who try and peddle pseudoscience around health enrage me. But I wish I had been much more proactive about seeking medical guidance on what was the best option for me long before I finally did so. Don’t make my mistake, peeps. If you’re not feeling right, physically or mentally, ask for help!

This should have been a much bigger news story, but of course it landed among all NAFTA 2.0 and impeachment news and so got a bit lost in the shuffle.

Good for her! Though I’m reminded that she herself once said something to the effect that the grownups would laud her and probably not do anything to fix the problem…

And all shall bow before him!

This piece thoughtfully lays out the debate I’ve been having with myself for most of my adult life, and which I believe to be the simmering argument beneath a lot of American politics. What do we need to adapt or tweak, and what do we need to tear down and rebuild outright?

Global inequality is now more about disparities in opportunity than disparities in income.”

Yes, give me a longform read on this meme!

Jia Tolentino, who you may remember from my recent favorites posts if you weren’t already familiar with her writing, has dropped her latest for The New Yorker on how our current media and online life is leading to a fairly comment “lewk,” as the children say. What this reveals about is is…a bit scary.

Weekend Links

Gather round for your batch of weekend reading, my Christmas goslings! I am currently still basking in the joy of seeing a really good movie (“Knives Out,” go see it!) and reading up on Instant Pot recipes after we went to dinner with friends from out of town last weekend and they convinced us to buy one. In other words, prime weekend activities. Let’s all cozy up and be lazy together, shall we?

 

Lisa Page’s professionally mandated silence is up and I’m pleased she’s speaking out against the institutional breakdown and gross misogyny she has faced.

Festivus is here with the airing of grievances. I joke to keep from screaming into a cushion.

How is she out and mediocre, old white men are still buying their way in? I’m actually angry…the only consolation is that she will be able to focus on the senate activity coming up and possibly be a contender for future cabinet positions. I’d be delighted to see her as Attorney General. (I type this pretty well convinced at this moment, grimly, that Mr. Trump will get re-elected if something big doesn’t happen.)

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

 

A dual piece of good news: NPR has released their list of the best books of the year and HANNAH’S DEBUT IS ON IT. (How to find her first and pre-order new next novel here!)

It. Never. Went. Away.

I’m very curious, kittens: what changes, if any, are you making to your digital footprint as a result of data breaches, information on how personal information is used, your perception of social media, or other factors?

We wouldn’t believe this shit if it was scripted for TV

Yes. I have seen the Peloton ad. Do we need to stage a rescue for this woman or what? (The Great and Good Mull breaks it down a bit more.)

Gotta hand it to Ryan Reynolds, though, this almost-immediate follow up ad was genius. I hope this actress rides (if you’ll pardon the pun) her fifteen seconds for all they are worth.

Go Miguel!

Diplomacy is going great, team…

Investigative journalism.

I’m always here for the podcast rankings, oversaturated as my beloved medium market may be.

Being a woman caught between nations is such a strange thing. I’m invested in so many elections in which I can’t participate, but which intimately affect my life. Both of “my” countries feel so deeply unmoored and subdivided right now. But I feel as though Britain–smaller, more internally diverse and multi-national in its own right–should serve for a lesson for the rest of the democratic west. This election feels like a bellwether.

Color me underwhelmed. (See what I did there? See?!)

I’m actually interested in this live action remake, what on earth is happening. (Editor’s note: Gong Li was what was happening. C. has had a crush on her for literal years.)

At this point this is the only famous person I still care about, and he still has much to teach us.

Wut.

“Weekend” Links

Happy Monday-after-Thanksgiving, kittens! We spent a few days on break and hanging out with friends, blissfully ignorant to most of the world, and it was delightful. But I would never leave you totally defenseless to face the week…have a nice batch of reading to kick off December!

We’re all a lot more conscious of how our digital data is being used (which is a good thing!). If you want to have a bit more control over your data situation overall, this handy primer with links on how to “opt out” out of common data handlers is a useful read.

Small Dog Nation loves a heist.

We’re not ready for 2020, the latest episode.

So long, fare well, auf wiedersehen, goodbye!

An interesting change for Londoners, and interesting in the ongoing debates about the gig economy and related topics.

Not great.

You might think that e-books meant easier experiences for readers at libraries…but you’d be wrong! A fascinating dive into why e-books, which could theoretically democratize books in so many ways also suffer from some peculiar limitations.

What a pleasing project!

A perfectly seasonal and topically appropriate piece.

My fellow winter lovers, unite.

This planet is going to shake us off like a case of the fleas….

Ditto above, this time from the sea.

What the actual fuck is wrong with these people?!

This is such a Small Dog Nation catnip story.