Category: Links

Weekend Links

Hi fam, how are we? We limber, rested, hydrated? Or we spiraling into existential dread? All are welcome in Small Dog Nation without guilt or shame.

This week’s links are not terribly light and fluffy, but are important. We’re emphasizing online culture, disinformation, and one or two nice things thrown in to surprise the palate. Let me know what you’re up to in the comments and keep safe!

Everyone who wants to understand current radicalization of all stripes NEEDS to understand the transition from meme/online culture to real life. Whether ISIS’ robust online PR operation to radical leftist anarchists on 4chan, the pathways are eerily similar.

as I was saying

again, still saying

Not unrelated: the attention economy politicians work, think, and measure success in a different way than actual politicians. Understanding this is important.

We’ve still focused on the police, don’t get it twisted. But we need to understand their culture in order to make change.

Also key: how the internet and online life is changing. Will the attention economy politicians keep up or will they be outstripped or outflanked by the meme cycle – including among their own ranks? I continue to believe that this cycle has dragged the right and left in their extremists directions more than leadership has – people are radicalizing themselves and institutions are scrambling to catch up or retain control. I also believe that the right has been more effective at allying around specific topics and staying on message than the left…but that this has in turn exacerbated the radicalization process and that they are at real risk of losing control of their wingnuts.

no shit, Sherlock.

Yep. Sure. The problem with the royal family is this pair and not…this mess. Sure.

Snowflakes.

Speaking of, “The Right Wing Myth of the Left Wing Mob,” is something that I sincerely want to send to a dozen specific people. But I’m not trying to convert anyone anymore (she reminded herself).

Meanwhile, on YouTube

Here is a nice list of book recommendations to consider!

(takes deep breath) BIRTH CONTROL IS HEALTHCARE. This week the US Supreme Court gave the double whammy of allowing employers to deny birth control coverage to workers on religious grounds, AND upheld religious organizations right to discriminatory hiring practices. I worked for an institution like this once. Never again. I had health insurance and Planned Parenthood was STILL a better option for my reproductive health.

10% of our entire population.

Weekend Links – Independence Day Edition

Hey piglets, another short and dirty links post for your reading pleasure. We’ve got pandemics, fake feminism, Russian bounties, and even some GOOD news stories. The pubs are opening this weekend in the UK and Jeff and I will be staying firmly indoors, thanks. People who are acting like the global crisis will half a million cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths is somehow over stress me out. It isn’t. Make good choices, kids.

We’re going to fry some chicken, watch some Hamilton on Disney+, and only go outside with masks. Happy Fourth, yanks!

It didn’t need to be this way.

My brother is currently deployed. I hate this man as I have never hated any politician in my life. (ETA update.)

Politically I’m gleeful. Professionally I acknowledge the conflict of how many jobs and support industries this is going to affect, including my own. What a weird time to be alive.

The current cultural pushback against girlbosses isn’t a desire to be done pursuing equality, or to stop trying to eliminate workplace disparities. This mode of empowerment was briefly successful exactly because people had become more aware of—and uncomfortable with—the way power functions in America.”

Yes, let’s try it! Let’s run the experiment!

We don’t deserve dogs.

Huh. Totally inconsequential, I’m sure.

If you are just learning about how many of the “confederate” monuments and symbols are nowhere near the actual historical southern states…catch up. It’s about white supremacy, peeps.

Powerful opinion piece.

I think if he weren’t such an appalling human being, he would make a great president…” What an extraordinary statement and fundamental disconnect between one and the other. I continue to despair at the myth that he was a successful business man – he wasn’t, HE JUST PLAYED ONE ON TV. And the tired line that good business people make good leaders needs to die. Business and government are not the same thing and should never be confused. We don’t need fewer “politicians” in politics, we need better politicians who are actually interested in governing.

Huh. Well, let’s see what happens now. The attention here in the UK is on Prince Andrew.

Hey, some good news!

I am horribly late to this, but Todrick CAME THROUGH for us all:

Weekend Links

Hey fam, a short dump of links for you this Friday afternoon. I’m “on holiday,” which is hilariously no different from most days of the last three months, except I’m only checking my work emails rarely. It’s blistering hot and so everyone in Britain seems to be flooding the beaches and parks, which cynical me is darkly clocking as the beginning of our next “spike.” People are acting as if we’re through this. We’re not. I’m side-eyeing all the needless new cases in the States because people wanted to perform their tribalism more than listen to the science.

So this weekend, stay focused. Don’t let the discourse on racism fade, wear a mask, look after other people.

 

Both ridiculous and still deeply wholesome.

On the flip side, I’ll take headlines I never thought I’d see for $200, Alex.

Demilitarize the damn police!

Rooting for these two. I suspect he’s going through a similar culture shock, the way I assume she did (and has alluded to publicly) in the other direction, but they seem to have more privacy and more control and I hope it’s empowering and rewarding.

No complacency, it’s still #blacklivesmatter and #blacktranslivesmatter. If people have let it slide from their attention, shake the table.

This whole thing could not have gone less according to plan. And I am CACKLING as to one of the key reasons why. The kids are alright.

A beautiful piece on fatherhood.

Archaeology story!

Oh wow…guys, as much as we appreciate the effort, maybe let’s leave this stuff to the actual experts from now on?

Majestic.

And let’s also pay homage to the queen of camp herself, while we’re at it.

When we’re talking about white folx they don’t call it “identity politics,” but they should.

Racism isn’t meanness, it isn’t slurs. Those are the scabs, like smallpox. Racism is the virus itself which invades, overrides, infects, and produces the rot.

Once again, Leena Norms, everybody:

Weekend Links – Juneteenth

It took me into my 20s to learn what Juneteenth was. It needs to be an American holiday – along with election day, December 6th (13th Amendment), July 2nd (Civil Right Act of 1968) and August 18th (which I humbly suggest should be Suffragette Day). Every time the vote – and therefore the privileges of democracy and citizenship – were expanded deserves commemoration, as do the days associated with the end of slavery. It’s our Original Sin as a nation.

Good. Document the hell out of this moment.

Whiteness can’t save us.”

Protests work.

Less than two weeks.

Stay in the streets.

Finally some good news!

Less good news!

The police are a reflection of a society. They’re not a rogue alien organization that came down to torment the black community. They’re enforcing segregation. Segregation is legally over, but it never ended. The police are, in some respects, a border patrol, and they patrol the border between the two Americas.”

I am going to re-up this as often as needed: Antifa is not a group, an organization, or a confederacy (pun VERY much intended). It’s at best a very loose philosophy. More importantly, it’s a right-wing propaganda point and often outright conspiracy theory to create a sense of false equivalence which is not born out by the facts. The extremist violence we are seeing is almost exclusively coming from far right groups – whether throwing up Nazi salutes in London to – checks notes – defend Churchill, or using the cover of protests in the States to carry out violence aimed to incite an actual race/civil war. False equivalence and whataboutism are dangerous. If you feel able, challenge it when you see or hear it.

Gonna go out on a limb and say stuff like this doesn’t make it easy for various communities to trust cops. Also a good media and propaganda lesson for everyone about how bad information spreads – bad actors and genuine sympathizers.

Also, at least six black men and boys have been found hanging from trees in the last two weeks. Transparent investigations NOW, with oversight, because the so-called best case scenario is a rash of suicides (horrifying) and the worst is a rash of hate crimes that call back to the worst days of black oppression. And either way, a lot of law enforcement are hella untrustworthy.

Here, a palate cleanser for us after a dose of heavy links!

Also a story for Pride Month.

We need less indigenous “inspired” creative work, and more spotlighting and space for actual indigenous creative work from the artists themselves.

The intersecting worlds of publication, beauty, and fashion have a lot of work to do. Caroline Hirons delves.

Trump never wanted the job in the first place. The real question is, how does a clinical narcissist who refused to acknowledge any kind of wrongdoing, loss, or error either 1) decide not to run, which damages his ego, 2) or risk losing, which damages his ego?

The internet is fantastic.

Weekend Links

It’s been a week. Let’s get right to it. I’ve mixed in a few pieces of welcome wackiness to break up the anger and updates. I’m posting this early because just thinking about all the new that can break before the end of the day is making me sweat, and will likely require it’s own post to respond to.

If you’re going to any marches or protests this weekend, check in with me on social and let’s swap some photos.

STRAP IN.

Get mad. Stay mad.

This…isn’t bad for us. More savings and less spending.

Oh, so he was guilty. Who knew, right?

It doesn’t matter if you’re “good.”

Getting really, really stressed about November.

A friend and I were texting this week and I opined that you need a PhD in internet studies and memeology to understand most extremist groups these days – across all ideological stripes. I stand by that.

Two words: sex weasels.

There is a great confrontation coming in society about how much we can exist and expand as an economy based on “service.” Whether that’s other people cooking the majority of our food or serving it to us, we need to think boldly about alternative ways of living.

Small Dog Nation LOVES an art heist!

It also loves an archaeological find.

The last man in an iron lung.

You create this world where you’re not just militarizing the police—you equip the police like soldiers, you train the police like soldiers—why are you surprised when they act like soldiers?” Rizer, a former police officer and soldier, said. “The mission of the police is to protect and serve. But the premise of the soldier is to engage the enemy in close combat and destroy them. When you blur those lines together with statements like that…It’s an absolute breakdown of civil society.”

Well, I’m crying now

The Rhodes Center on what comes after COVID, optimism and pessimism both considered. (Finance and food updates are less than chirpy.)

QUEENS OF INFAMY UPDATE.

Seems like a relevant anniversary to remember with solemnity.

Zoom fatigue is real.

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Friend of the Blog Caitlin penned a piece on being a stranger in a strange land: a Canadian in the US in the current day and age. Worth a read.

When we elected Donald Trump, we elected a political arsonist. The sole consolation of his presidency, in its early years, was that there was surprisingly little dry tinder. The economy hummed along, seemingly imperturbable. We faced few foreign crises. Domestic divisions remained mostly digital. This is not to dismiss real disasters or excuse cruel policies — from children thrown into cages to toxins dumped into our streams to the lethal mismanagement of Hurricane Maria — but it could have been worse. Playacting civil war on Twitter, as the president often did, was never the nightmare scenario. The nightmare scenario was the social fracture and violent crises of the 1960s layered atop the political and media system of the 2020; the tests of presidential leadership that have defined past eras demanded of this leader, in this era. We weren’t there, and then, all of a sudden, we were. We are.

This cheetoh-dusted failure of a human being has made every single crisis we have faced – natural or man made – worse. Every single bloody one. I honestly hate him.

Edited to add: hate him. His malignant narcissism is a poison.

However, he doesn’t cause damage by himself or in a vacuum. He’s aided by protections from people who long professed contrary values but were happy to discard when push came to shove, and has surrounded himself with useless yes-men who add confusion upon confusion

K-Pop stans are having none of your racist bullshit.

No shit.

Call it out in your own groups.

….this is…this is a hell of a headline...

The god damned gall of this man.

General Mattis has chosen now to speak. So has a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

We live in the dumbest timeline, but we can’t change the past and we can change the future:

Weekend Links

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
– President John F. Kennedy 

Anyone who has cheered the dismantling of the State Department, the propaganda attacks that reduce the credibility of the Justice Department and trusted law enforcement, or outright dismantle them…

Anyone who cheered on some people marching on state capitols armed like militias, confident they would come to no harm…

Anyone who turned a blind eye to localized radicalization and militarization in their own community’s power structures, or worse enabled it because they knew they would benefit from it…

Anyone who shrugged at actual Nazis marching in the streets, or downplayed leaders who refused to condemn them…

Anyone who wanted systems broken rather than reformed in ways that meant they would have to share a bit more of their power, money, or sense of communal safety…

Anyone who worked to suppress voting of communities they didn’t want represented, undermining the point of the democratic process by ensuring that election results are increasingly at odd with with will of the electorate…

Anyone who shrugged or cheered when our press institutions were attacked, taken over by conglomerates, dismantled, and disparaged…

Anyone who raged at athletes kneeling, people marching peacefully, boycotts, and all other inconvenient non-violent actions as an “unacceptable” way to protest…

….what did you think was going to happen?  

What we’re witnessing in the States is not rioting, it’s rebellion. It’s what happens, in the words of Dr. West, what happens when the system cannot reform itself.

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Notorious AHP knocks it out of the consumerism park again – tackling how spending and debt has been ingrained into American/western society and framed not just as normal but necessary and even patriotic. Now it’s catching up with us all. But we’re also experiencing a forced alternative…and finding out how a forced break from our “business as usual” might be bad for “the economy,” but is much better for our brains and wallets for many. “In many ways, the pandemic has functioned as a great clarifier, making it impossible to ignore the dilapidated state of so many American systems. It’s highlighted whose work is actually essential, which leaders actually care about people who aren’t like them, and whose lives are considered expendable. The supply chain is broken; the social safety net is in shambles. And a whole lot of things we thought of as needs have revealed themselves to be pretty deeply unnecessary.”

Help, I’m poor but everything in me is craving this beauty of a summer dress.

Lizzo on the power of being your own hype man and rejecting performative feminine humility.

Karen-ism strikes again. Fellow white women, do better. (For the record, NO ONE should be subjected to the abuse being hurled at this woman, and the gentleman involved agrees, but she does deserve scrutiny and her behaviour condemnation for her actions. Her claim of not wanting to cause harm literally doesn’t make sense when she was explicitly attempting to get this man in some kind of trouble and was willing to dramatically exaggerate – to be polite – her description of circumstances to do so. She was trying to weaponize her privilege. That should come with consequences.)

Speaking of fashion, I think Gucci is on to something here. Seasonal collections are literally a hundreds of years old construct, and may not be as relevant in the current age. Go for it, Gucci, experiment!

Great idea in the middle of a global pandemic, cool leadership.

THINGS. CAN. CHANGE.

We live in the dumbest timeline

Anyone interested in going subterranean?

Another black man is killed on camera, another wave of protests, and quite likely another summer of rage opens.

To no one’s surprise, the algorithms of social media are fundamentally skewed in favor of radicalization. And thus too, their business model.

Sure. Why not? I assume we can expect the zombies soon?

It’s not even June yet…

 

Weekend Links – Bring on the Bank Holiday!

Ducklings, it’s a Bank Holiday weekend and the links are dropping early because mama needs to lie in a sunbeam and do as little as possible for three days. I mean, let’s be real that’s my usual go to, but with quarantine we do it with GUSTO.

This week I introduced Jeff to Fleabag and he got me to finish The Last Dance which I enjoyed tremendously, in spite of not being a sports person outside of live collegiate games.

I know the weather is brilliant in the UK right now, but guys…please don’t be dumb. There’s still a pandemic on. Act accordingly.

 

I’m obsessed with the squirtgun priest. More creativity in unusual times, please!

A charming story about my favorite wildlife critter.

A firm rebuttal to my post of earlier this week. Okay, okay I’ll give up on the self-loathing already!

The British Museum is producing a film of its famous Pompeii exhibition and making it available for free. (YouTube)

As a long time fan of The Financial Diet, this podcast episode (doubling up as a YouTube vid) discussing the ephemeral nature of fame and fortune that we’ve been living with (and completely rebuilt commerce and social capital around) was a great listen.

One of the few bright spots out of this mess, but also a sobering reminder of what it will take to affect climate change trends.

Setting aside the batshit craziness (which is admittedly a challenge) can we all agree at this point that the one thing we cannot and should not do is take the guy “at his word?

God, I hope we don’t go back, at least not the way things were.

Elegant and refined solution. Pure couture.

It’s bad faith all the way down and has been for a long time.

Yes, let’s experiment!

Still don’t really get where QAnon came from, what it encompasses, and what people who believe in it…believe? This is a long read, but worth your time.

Reader survey: trolling or a side effect of that unproven med we cannot be sure that he’s taken or not – thanks to the masterful work of a press release that refuses to confirm or deny whether he’s been dosed.

Trolls and Twitter eggs are going to kill us all… I don’t think anyone imagined the great science fiction digital undoing of our world to be this stupid.

Speaking of Twitter, yes, I followed this privileged saga and thought Roman really didn’t do herself any favors, but cannot help but contrast her being “on leave” while other (male) columnists have actively attacked and pursued punishing actions against critics (Bedbug Stephens, anyone?) and still have their jobs.  Roman publicly apologized and Teigen publicly accepted.

And in THIS week’s drama of white women trying to elevate themselves by comparing or contrasting themselves to other women – particularly women of color – Lana del Ray pulled one out too, on Our Lady and Savior Beyonce no less!

Weekend Links

Two links post in a single week, my doves, you’re either really lucky or we’re in the middle of a global pandemic that forbids us from leaving our houses. How are you keeping this weekend, beloveds?

Why yes, Small Dog Nation WOULD like a bunch of highly bespoke curated collections, thanks.

Another bit of SDN catnip, an antiquities mystery!

Anyone else follow the Alison Roman situation? One of the unexpected skills I’ve developed whilst being Extremely Online, is the uncanny ability to spot a cancellation coming. A few weeks ago, I was suddenly finding Alison Roman content everywhere, the algorithim was feeding it to (props to her PR team, without irony)…meaning it would not be long. Lo and behold, she said something super dumb and the internet piled on to rage at her in the time honored tradition of hating women – mixed with the problem of women putting down other women to tell their own stories. Nothing new to see here, kids, and yet Kristin Wong from The Financial Diet wrote something pretty dang smart about the whole Twitter tempest.

I’m still in mourning for a bygone time.

So what I’m hearing is that we could always have set up our fiscal and social policies differently to benefit workers more, but chose not to. Cool cool cool. Tax the rich next.

Bless their hearts.

Well, this is horrifying.

The disaster has become so dire so quickly owing, in part, to the legacy of the 2008 financial crisis. Minimum wage, in real terms, is more than thirty per cent lower than it was fifty years ago. (Since the nineteen-eighties, most of the benefits of America’s growing economy have gone to the wealthy.) Meanwhile, housing costs have more than doubled since 2000. “When people say they live paycheck to paycheck, it’s not that they’re managing their money poorly,” Sharon Parrott, a senior vice-president at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told me. “Instead, their housing costs are taking up a disproportionate share of their incomes.” The result is a slim margin of error: forty per cent of Americans don’t have four hundred dollars cash to spare in an emergency, and would need to rely on credit cards or friends and family to come up with the money.”

Truly.

We all remember Stanley Tucci being daddy and making cocktails for us, yes? Well, daddy came through with food.

Another Friday night, another Inspector General fired.

Gender equity in the workplace requires gender equity in the home. (Side note, I’ve have low key enjoyed the male commentary about being quarantined at home with children and how difficult it is to provide childcare and work at the same time. YEAH, MY DUDES. EXACTLY.)

Lockdown is horrible, but I am loving and eternally grateful for the cultural heritage industries in particular who are finding ways to bring us plays, operas, ballets, museums, and now art lectures in dark times.

I still hate the Space Force. Super Duper.

An ITG Top Shelfie for the ages.

Sigh…

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Midweek Links

You know what’s a first world problem? Your internet and broadband dying the Friday morning of a Bank Holiday weekend when you’re not supposed to go outside. It was fun. Not stressful in the slightest.

But we’re back and we’re connected and we’re overdue with some links so let’s hop to it, kittens! Mama’s missed you.

Let’s learn about monkeys.

Interesting read on the idea and power of “home.”

Oh J. Crew…I’m heartbroken for all my past love, but not surprised.

Will llamas save us all?

Seems natural

Brand matters!

A bit of science reporting to help explain the genetics of COVID-19 and how it can be traced. (I also recommend an old episode of Radio Lab about the evolution of HIV, but which explains how viruses make the jump from animals to humans in high detail but accessible narrative).

A damning/hilarious/chilling indictment.

It’s probably the epitome of tempting the fates, but is this peak 2020?

Cool. Cool cool cool...

The lipstick effect is real, and it is powerful!

For a bunch of personal and professional reasons (expat coupled with work coupled with an international family), I’m following the aviation industry news with a lot of mixed emotions right now.

The UK is such a strange place to be right now. Furlough has been extended until October, but what that means and how we’ll do it, and the implications of how we may possible inadvertently completely change the social safety net forever are still being worked through. Let’s see what happens and hope we don’t die, shrug emoji?

I have watched this 17 times:

Weekend Links – May Day, May Day!

Well, we made it, kittens. April is behind us and good riddance. Short and sweet today as we’re powering through the last few hours before the weekend…even though it won’t look massively different from our weekdays.

Nonetheless, this weekend I intend to enjoy the sunshine, cuddle effusively with my husband, and cook. Let me know your plans in the comments, and I promise to cheer them on whatever they are.

We elected our dumbest and worst person to be president. You cannot convince me otherwise at this point.

New single from The 1975, one of my favorite bands.

Culture matters in good times, but it matters desperately in rough ones. Take advantage of the artistic generosity swelling forth, but also donate if you can now and commit to funding it when you can later.

2020 is so wild that this barely broke into my awareness this week.

Shall we volunteer, Small Dog Nation?

As I spend more time cooking, I am thinking more about cookbooks (as opposed to family recipes, or what I find on pinterest or online). But I have read few as BOOKS, and plan to rectify this.

Andrew Yang was an unusual candidate in that he seemed fully focused on future problems and did not sugar coat the risks he saw. While he was never my preference, I’m pleased he advocated for certain issues and found this interview with him to be worth a read given the state of the world.

This may be the only time a mediocre book review compels me to read the book in question, because it so perfectly encapsulate a current moment that it might feel remiss not to. “As I read The End of October, I found myself resenting it. It was such a silly potboiler of a novel, with such unbelievable characters, such leaden sentences, such infuriatingly clumsy dialogue. How dare the world in which I am actually living so closely resemble a fucking airport thriller?

Yes, I have read “the nanny piece.” No, I have no further comments beyond “Eat the rich.”

The coming war between venues of all kinds, artists, distributors, and agents is going to be nuts. I don’t think movie theatres or theatrical venues are ever going to go away (if the last five thousand years of human history are anything to go by). But that doesn’t mean they won’t, or shouldn’t change. Concerts won’t stop, but I also hope artists will continue to stream straight to their fans when all this is over. I hope gyms will continue to provide online classes. I hope the ways in which we consume and enjoy all manner of things stays accessible and doesn’t just serve to make a few people rich.

Longtime readers will know that Small Dog Nation stans Yoga with Adrienne, so seeing her process and success detailed was both pleasurable and genuinely interesting. She’s a great exercise resource, especially right now.

Celebrating good spuds and good people.

Either we take sexual assault claims seriously or we don’t. Biden needs to provide answers to these accusations, the public needs to grapple with them and come to a consensus and partisanship won’t cut it. His statement today and call for transparency is the right first step, investigation must follow.

Death to FOMO.