Category: Links

Weekend Links

It’s been such a strange week. The impact of COVID virus is affecting work – canceling events and tracking news for decisions to be taken about working circumstances for employees. It’s sobering to see, in real time, the ripples begin to move outward from seemingly small decisions and what the effect at macro level is turning into. Aside from the very real and paramount human tragedy, this is going to be an event with long echoes across lives and industries.

On the other hand, we spent three lovely days in Paris with X and her man and the sheer pleasure of wandering perfume shops (her personal vice) and hunting for treasure (mine) together was total. The boys got drinks at the Ritz, and we lingered over dinner together eating buckets of onion soup and lovely wine. It was refreshing in every sense.

Ultimately I don’t think anything gets us through big challenges or great unknowns like small, vivid pleasures.

We live in the dumbest timeline

Know your brain!

2020 ain’t slowing down.

Following on from last week’s Mormon news, what an utterly unkind, utterly avoidable PR nightmare…. (It’s heartbreakingly on brand.)

I have loved him since childhood and teared up unapologetically to see it.

It’s the corruption, stupid.

They look absolutely glowing in these photos and I hope the British press is gnashing its teeth at having driven away their literal bread and butter out of sheer nastiness, racism, and spite. Wallow in their happiness, bitches, I hope you choke on it.

Speaking of bitchiness, this is a snarky op ed but my malicious, witchy soul did get a good cackle out of it.

Something else Paris related for your viewing pleasure.

Signs point to yes. (I’m politically heartbroken a her dropping out…)

Excuse me?!

Reader, I laughed.

After leaving our original one in storage in the States nearly seven years ago, I got a new one for Christmas this past year. Oh my god. I have missed it.

I do not need another reason to see yet another adaptation of Emma (the best Jane Austen novel, do not @ me), but hats would persuade me were I on the fence.

Oh thank god, someone is asking the question!

Okay, let’s talk about COVID-19  irreverently for a few links. First, a primer.

Hamsterkäufe, meaning to shop like a nervous, bulging-cheeked hamster.”

WASH YOUR HANDS.

 

Weekend Links

Still OOO, kittens, have some weekend reading! Short and sharp and mostly avoiding the various catastrophes conspiring to kill us all. That can wait until Monday.

This past week in Mormon news was a doozy! Truly wild!

Never have I related to a politician more.

Several months old but new to me and delightful.

Everything about this story is charming and the photos are stunning.

A bit of archaeology news for our collective enjoyment.

SEEMS NOT GREAT.

Irony is dead. We need immigration desperately in “the west” and the “global north” and there are no two ways about it.

Everyone else can go home, the perfect photoshoot has been achieved.

This is just a good idea all around. Icon’s gonna icon.

Weekend Links

Happy weekend, beloveds! I’ve done three loads of laundry, got my teeth cleaned, and finished another armful of books so far, and this after a pleasantly productive workweek. We’re planning some upcoming travel with friends and family which is giving us something delightful to look forward to – Paris is, as they say, always a good idea.

The news is still mostly grim, but I’m cackling watching people panic over Senator Sanders take the Nevada primaries. I’m all in for Warren, but it’s so satisfying to watch the commentators wring their hands over why people want more aggressive solutions to upend the status quo. As if the media hasn’t spent the last three years obsessively dissecting the same sentiments on the right. Minus the ugly nativism (and let’s be blunt, not always this), we know what the problems are: economic inequality, crippling debt, changing industries, unequal access to opportunity due to systemic imbalances in investment and infrastructure, and anger. The motivations are the same, the direction of travel in considering solutions is different. The political debate of the next few decades is which way are we going to go.

I’m always a sucker for a mudlarking story.

Good grief. I’m afraid I can’t help but wonder what the withdrawal of the LDS church (one of its biggest supporters) from the organization has to do with the bankruptcy. And frankly, what the reports of sexual exploitation have to do with the withdrawal of the church. My family has been involved with scouting for most of my life and my memories are very fond, but the more that comes out, the more radical reform or closure looks like the right thing to do.

Whatever could he be building up to

Everyone involved is an unreliable witness, but still. Damn.

The guardrails are gone, it’s happening again, and this time it’s in plain sight.

Lesser men, indeed.

Irony is dead.

This is beautiful promotion!

I cringe for I am just as guilty as any.

Wash your hands.

Reader, I cackled. No one knows what’s going to happen but for some reason this is a metaphor for everything Brexit to me.

Let’s end on the sublime shall we? A deconstruction of one of the most iconic, beautiful pieces of music ever written.

Weekend Links

Greetings from soggy London, my doves. Storm Dennis is swirling overhead and dumping all over the country, and we are hunkered down at home refusing to leave the apartment. Jeff is recovering from the first major project of accountancy “busy season” and I’m just being lazy after an unexpectedly hectic work week. Books and tea for me, NBA for him, planning an upcoming trip to Paris to meet up with X for both of us! 2020 is the year we finally get our holidays sorted.

Happy weekend, kittens. I hope my Brits are staying dry and safe.

Jordan Peterson is a deeply strange and problematic man, and has been for years, but I will no ill on him. That being said, every word of this story baffles me. I have a million follow up questions.

What a ridiculous story. All of it: the initial photo, the fact it was deleted, the black and white second attempt, and finally the post-truth silliness of the attempts to turn it into a scandal. All this could have been avoided if he learned to blend his products. I have a long list of beauty writers and vloggers I can recommend.

In Mormon news…I have a lot of thoughts about this continuing story and almost all of them are unflattering.

Be care not to conflate the fantasy with reality. Evergreen advice, really.

This is important political reporting, but three years in I think it should be obvious to most observers that his supporters don’t actually care about this issues – at least not as a macro collective. These topics have been ciphers for other priorities and concerns for years. Those who do want the traditional conservative talking point policies are not representative of the party they claim.

FFS

It all adds up.

One of my favorite romance authors took on sex and romance during Valentines Day week. Rock on.

All I’m going to post about the shenanigans with the US Department of Justice.

He Did It, part 1,043 out of infinite.

Roxanne Gay’s piece on Kobe Bryant is really worth a read.

Lost history is always prime Small Dog Nation catnip!

Britain’s tabloid culture is killing women, or contributing to their misery, and has for years. Stop reading and buying the trash.

Weekend Links

Well hi, kittens.

What a couple of weeks. I’m angry about Brexit, and angry at the naked transparency of my own elected officials in tying themselves to our home grown demagogue and throwing out every “principled” talking point they’ve shouted about my whole politically aware life. The overall general mood of the Demos seems to be a bitter determination to go down with their various ships and I simply do not understand this perspective. The cynicism and sense of isolation/persecution that seems to be required to wish the dissolution of alliance or to uphold the power such an unworthy person floors me. I’m not linking to any of that news, I’m too angry.

On the flip side, my family dog is NOT dead as believed but instead had been KIDNAPPED. So that emotional rollercoaster happened as well.

Enjoy your weekend, ducklings, I’m curling up with another murder mystery to make myself feel better. I’m not saying I’m emotionally healthy, I’m saying I’m self-aware.

RIP to a complicated but important figure.

We’re governed by toddlers

Yes, I will be mourning and celebrating The Good Place for a long while. The Atlantic actually did two pieces on it this week, one on aesthetics and the other on – you know – the existential questions of existence – and both are worth a read.

Sorry, yet another Atlantic piece, but fan as I am of Amanda Mull’s writing, I couldn’t not share this piece that resonates in my soul. My Christmas present was a KitchenAid – something I have not had since we moved to the UK and which I have missed dearly. Obviously, the KitchenAid is also a metaphor. “Young Americans are sometimes described as unwilling or unable to grow up; it might be more accurate to say they’re growing up differently. The traditional markers of adult achievement have yet to click into place for many people in their 20s and 30s, which has required them to reimagine what stability in America might now look like.”

GOD YES PLEASE.

Another power-behind-the-politician profile that I enjoyed this week. Let’s not talk about the Iowa Caucuses. I can’t.

Prime Small Dog National archaeology porn content.

Deeply necessary addition to our universal symbolic language, which shall be all that’s left to explain us when aliens finally find the rubble of our civilization. Good luck deciphering our weirdness!

Thank goodness. To deny oneself (to say nothing of us jackals who consume this content) of beauty and style because of some strict rules of how men should dress is silly. More velvet! S&M inspiration! Gowns, they’re great!

Damn, sorry. Another piece from The Atlantic this week, from perennial fave McKay Coppins: we’re not ready for this election

See also.

YESSSS…. (please don’t ruin it)

This man deserves recognition. Secrecy is impossible in our age and it will only delay our ability to respond to the when (not if) of pandemics. We’re astonishingly lucky that as a macro collective, it’s been a century since our last one, and it’s not reasonable to assume this luck will continue indefinitely.

We’re screwed, guys. I mean, we’ll survive for a few centuries, but everything is going to get harder and countless people are going to suffer.

Important wintertime tips.

Weekend Links

My family dog died this week. My wonky leg is acting up. My mental health continues up and down. This year is off to a bumpy start, my doves. I’ll be keeping my knee elevated this weekend, continuing to read up a storm, and avoiding household chores. Here’s a nice little bundle of weekend reading if, like me, you want to procrastinate anything. There’s nothing impeachment related, because the whole situation makes me so furious I could spit. Register to vote if you haven’t.

British crisp flavors are notoriously wacky.

A fantastic essay on how the, for lack of a better term, ideology of Silicon Valley infiltrates us.

What a trainwreck this story has been, start to finish. What on earth is the point of an archive otherwise?!

Why we’re mad, part 107,893.

It’s the corruption, stupid.

Bless.

No, I’m not over him and am still obsessed.

So, no one is safe. Cool cool cool. (Story continues.)

Sorry, this isn’t brave or groundbreaking in anyway. These are two very different candidates and platforms, endorsing them both makes no sense. It doesn’t take a stand, it avoids doing so.

Oh dear!

The investigation we all wanted.

Also, the content we DEFINITELY all wanted. (I’ve been pulling for Cavill years and want good things for him, mostly for my own aesthetic gratification.)

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.