Category: News

Weekend Links

“Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated.”
– President Donald J. Trump

It was ironic when Republicans had to delay a vote on their healthcare initiative because one of their senior members had to undergo surgery–his healthcare is of course taken care of due to his position in the Senate. It turned tragic when it was later revealed that the surgery exposed the fact that Senator McCain has brain cancer. Senator McCain is one of the elder statesmen of both his party and the country, a veteran of not just military service but the civic process that guides our governing bodies. Despite disagreeing on many positions, I admire him a great deal and was dreading the day that age or health would bring him to retirement, so to see him diagnosed with something so serious is a bit frightening politically as well as personally. Wishing him and his family the best as they gear up for a fight!

The other news was much of the usual recent nonsense, but I’ve included some of the standout stories in the links this week–which are extra long for your enjoyment! Go forth and enjoy the summer weekend, kittens!

I don’t know if I need pink tigers or green pineapples, but I know I need these pyjamas.

My childhood is coming for you and it looks gorgeous.

Keep dreaming, sir. I’m more chilled by the request that the Prime Minister “fix” the media.

Reporter Tamara Keith (of NPR and PBS) pieced together a fascinating and helpful timeline of the Trump campaign as new facts and unreported meetings have come to light.

A single drop or the first of a cascade? I foresee many a book deal after this administration.

The next Doctor Who is a woman and at the announcement, Twitter resounded with the gnashing of teeth of a million dudebros, and the full bodied cheers of women who, in addition to Jedi knights, Ghostbusters, and their own superhero movies, now get to be timelord protagonists. This after the Wrinkle in Time trailer…I could weep with how great pop culture is right now.

Eats, Shoots and Leaves goes next level.

This dude is living his best life and I love him.

Ready for you, Jane.

Let’s just call it, the President doesn’t understand that conversations with Mr. Putin about adoption (off the record ones at that) are actually conversations about sanctions. The wider New York Times piece from which this snippet derives is fascinating.

Color me heartwarmed.

This write up of a “famous online” person, of whom I had never heard, was weirdly fascinating.

One for the fall calendar, if you live in London.

This article on how the beauty industry is being disrupted was catnip to me. I’m in marketing, I’m both a sucker for good branding and a devotee of the power thereof, but

One of NPR’s new podcasts is It’s Been a Minute by Sam Sanders (formerly of the NPR Politics podcast), and the episode containing his conversation with Anne Helen Petersen, author of Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman is a great listen!

Album of the week: Sounds From the Other Side, by Wizkid

 

Four Days in Paris Part 1

“Cities have sexes: London is a man, Paris a woman, and New York a well-adjusted transsexual.”
― Angela Carter

I’ve been putting these posts together for a while now, and the day I was going to post the first part of the story, there was another attack in Paris. The information of this us still being pieced together.

The city of light is a resilient old girl, just as London is a crusty old guy, and both are holding it together spectacularly. And yet. It does feel like there are people who want to rip it to shreds because it’s beautiful and (at it’s best) it an be seen as a symbol of people getting along in spite of forces trying to rip it apart. Sometimes failing miserably, but still trying.

There’s a reason people fall in love with Paris. It revels in beauty and thought and language, which is dangerous to the harsh and the narrow. It’s sumptuous and gauche and luxurious and wretched all at the same time. It wears its age and its history well, and it doesn’t seem to be ashamed of even its own darker moments. It’s easy to love and so I think it must be easy to hate too.

It’s not surprising to me that Paris is considered female or feminine in its language or its characterization. It’s not safe to be beautiful, disappointing, sexy, boring, interesting, complicated, conflicted, contrary, romanticized, fetishized, put on a pedestal, found lacking, found transcendent, loved, or hated. Paris is all of these things. I’m always glad when go and I’m sorrowed that I or other people have to second guess whether or not it’s safe to right now. We need her romance and charm and pleasure and sober history more than ever.

Weekend Links

“If it could only be like this always – always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe and Aloysius in a good temper…”
― Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

Hi, kittens. It was another rattling week of news and the general sense of overwhelm continues. Between acts of violence, tragedies, media shenanigans, Twitter-happy trigger fingers, ongoing debate or outrage over American legislation, grumpiness over British politics, and goodness knows what else, there was a lot to absorb.

On the personal front, work continues to plug along and the benefits of my Paris break seem to be sticking around. I put to bed a yearly budget, sat down with some creative pals, am back to working on some of my 101/1001 goals, and Jeff is acting a personal training and nutrition coach as we try to get back to being healthy. You may imagine how the last bit thrills me.

Here is a nice batch of links for you, some funny and some serious, to help kick off your weekends. I’ll be at the gym. Crying.

I mentioned this last week, but this summarizes why the Comey Hearing had so many specific overtones to women.

HIDEOUS.

Summer street caller response prep.

There’s little I love more than a good disruptor story, particularly in the world of beauty!

When I first saw this story, I legitimately thought it was satire. It’s not.

Shut up and take my money!

Seriously, just take my money. I mean it.

Alas, poor J. Crew.

Having said that, I appreciate the kitsch quotient in this sweater.

After multiple mass shootings this past week, which were all horrible, let’s talk about it and some facts around it. Also, here’s an overview of the mass shootings of the last 18 months. In fact, here was an overview of all the shootings that happened that same day.

I indulged in some major vintage scouting while in Paris but at the moment, a lot of easily accessible vintage pieces are not from the eras or decades that I like and so I sat on my hands on all cases but one. But it got me in the mood to read more about vintage, so this article was right on target!

This piece from the Columbia Journalism Review is nicely thought provoking.

Album of the Week: How Did We Get So Dark, by Royal Blood

Weekend Links

“When good Americans die, they go to Paris.”
― Oscar Wilde

So, we went to Paris for a few days, and didn’t miss any news at all.

Just kidding! Because it’s 2017 and the pace of the spacetime continuum is on warp speed!

The UK had a general election that did not quite go according to the Prime Minister’s plan, and Mr. Comey testified before Congress on the investigations into Russian interference in the US election–sounding for all the world like a victim of sexual assault or pressure from the way the president behaved to the way people are trying to make the subsequent decisions of all involved Mr. Comey’s own fault. It’s been shocking. The US president continued to tweet up a storm (which, let’s be clear, is precisely what kicked off this whole mess with Mr. Comey in the first instance), leading to his own teammates delivering the weakest defense possible to explain away his actions: “He’s just new this this.” No shit, Mr. Speaker. That’s always been the problem, and in no way absolves him of the responsibility of catching the hell up with professional expectations.

At time of writing, the White House has canceled an anticipated state visit to the UK. Trust me, President Trump would go down like a lead balloon at the moment, following his outbursts in response to the London attacks. Current reports are that he doesn’t want to have to deal with prospective protests or negative coverage, the poor dear. Though let’s be clear, the UK government is far from having its ducks in a row at the moment! Nevertheless, it astonishes me how he continues to casually do damage to some of the most enduring relationships in Western democracy, and I continue to be dismayed by the failure of his own (supposedly constitutionally mad) party to check him. The fact that the most likely outcome of the Comey hearing is, at this moment, nothing at all is deeply disheartening.

But a break from that, ducklings! I’m feeling marvelously refreshed after our short holiday–posts coming as soon as I clean the house, do masses of laundry, shop for food, go the gym, try to meditate, and generally try to get our lives back into some semblance of working order. Stand by. Not sure for how long. Meanwhile, I’ve put together a delightful batch of links to make you feel prepped to take on the coming week, regardless of whether or not you are currently stuffed to the brim of delicious French food.

A diverse list of female medieval writers.

I loved–LOVED–the Amazons of Wonder Woman, both the fictional characters and the casting. Different sizes, shapes and colors. Some were teachers, some were fighters, some were senators, some were thin, some were highly muscled, and every last one of them was a badass. Where the hell do I enlist for the Claire Underwood battalion? The outpouring of love and appreciation from other women for this film has been a source of internet joy for me from the get go, but

In tragic nerd news, Adam West passed away. A writer I enjoy pays tribute here.

In heroic and joyous nerd news, the first Black Panther trailer came out!

This generator gave me quite a chuckle. My favorite thus far have been “Islamic Revolutionary Thatcherite” and Post-Colonial Anarcho-Communist.”

Nope.

A fashion designer urges consumer to not buy anything this season. I see the appeal!

 

Album of the week: Ti Amo, by Phoenix 

Weekend Weeks

“Men argue. Nature acts.”
― Voltaire

This year is absolutely flying by, how on earth is it June already? I’ve taken some work home with me this weekend, but it’s all for a good cause as we’re off to Paris next week, and I plan on rewarding my unbalanced work ethic with a trip to see Wonder Woman. Proper summer has finally arrived, but there is one last push required to get to it!

The news this week continued grim and bad for the planet–this week a bit more specifically than usual. Because when you are talking about the entirety of the globe, there’s not much difference between Pittsburgh and Paris. Until our policy is realigned with facts–not just on climate change but on crime and labor and economic growth–we will do damage. Yes to other, but mostly to ourselves.

Here are your links, kittens. Cheer me up with good news or pictures of puppies in the comments.

Go ahead and weep, I welcome the tears. This is how it feels to be systematically excluded; and these dudes are getting a single taste of it and losing their ***. Over a single movie screening. Even if you’re not a fan of the decision, do me a favor and step back to consider the wider optics of that for a moment. 

Here’s some ice for that burn, hapless dudebro.

Trolling is not leading!

Three very different men, all harmed and two dead, but they all decided to step in because they saw that two women were being targeted by hatred and aggression.

Short poems to wreck your insides.

In honor of “covefe.”

Our robot overlords are coming.

I found this piece on President Trump’s rise to power as something of a personal tragedy, a fairytale warning of hubris, an interesting and thoughtful take. Give it a try, even if we disagree politically.

Because one’s need for certain types of healthcare does not depend on how you pray, but whether or not you have a uterus.

Album of the week: Different Days, by The Charlatans

 

Weekend Links

“They want us to turn on our neighbors and it will never happen.”

It was a rough week here in the UK, as I’m sure international readers may imagine. The company I’m contracting with is tangentially but significantly affected by security changes throughout the world so work was a bit full on this week and London was operating at a heightened state of vigilance. Nothing but praise for first responders and the Manchester community who showed up to support their city, refused to tolerate malicious commentary based on prejudice, and general came together in ways that might have made me tear up a bit. Oh, and humor. The Brits responded with humor.

The American president leaked I mean mentioned in casual conversation the location of nuclear subs, put forward a budget that is (in my opinion) aggressively hostile to poor and disenfranchised citizens whilst potentially seriously ******* with NATO’s ability to function, and quite literally cost a dear friend of my her job–in case you thought it had to pass through Congress before having any effect. He also received the Pope’s treatise on climate change. Boy I hope they included the Cliff Notes.

Meanwhile, I’m happy in the knowledge that human beings are fantastic.

Here are you links for the weekend, kittens, and hope you find some joy in it. Stories and sharing in the comments, please!

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Here, have some balm for the soul.

Fellow yanks, let me translate this British for you: they are pissed at us right now.

Not subjected to high levels of editorial scrutiny, huh? You don’t say. (I don’t have time to delve into why this whole conspiracy theory story and the people promoting it are garbage, but there I stand. In case you were wondering.)

Heartbreaking

Enough with the depression, let’s have some fun for a bit! This bot is doing the lord’s work.

Guy, GUYS! The internet did something good!

Also, GET HYPE. 

Loved this piece in Bazaar. It’s fine, good, and healthy to want a loving partner and committed partnerships–and voicing your support for feminism and feminist causes is NOT a barrier to that. I have a kind of great partner who proves that point. False dichotomies are lazy and unhelpful–and dare I say, tools of the patriarchy. Meanwhile a partner who abuses you, limits your choices, is unwilling to find family-specific and personal compromises on all aspects of home and family life, or is otherwise a jerk to you for having opinions IS a barrier to a healthy, happy, and productive life.

Here’s an instagram feed to make your day more pretty.

This story is altogether too common, but I’m thrilled her account is getting recognized and is being taken seriously.

You decide, ducklings: how important are these pineapple earrings to my happiness?

It’s going to be a summer of TV for me, between Game of Thrones, The Handmaid’s Tale, American Gods, and a list of other pop culture To Dos. But I’m also committed to finishing up my audiobook goal and getting my Goodreads year end report looking impressive.

Album of the week: True Care, by James Vincent McMorrow

Weekend Links: Good. Lord.

“You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.”
― Malcolm X, By Any Means Necessary

Reading the news this week has been one long continuous headdesk. After claiming that Secretary Clinton couldn’t be trusted with classified information, President Trump…simply divulged classified information to an adversarial power. Once again he also threw his entire messaging team under the bus, after they’d gone out of their way to discredit the early claims of the leaked story, by not only confirming that this actually happened, but that he was perfectly within his rights to do so.

Let’s be clear. Of course the president CAN do and say a lot of things, but that doesn’t make it a good idea much less sound policy. I would like to politely posit that had 44 or alt-45 discussed classified information of any kind with a generally-deemed hostile government, some of you reading this would be foaming with fury right now. Add in any of the extracurricular details and I’d fear for some of your blood pressure levels. I’ve written before that I don’t believe many Americans understand how much of our government’s functionality is not codified in law so much as respected through precedent. This is a textbook example of this theory.

Editor’s note: I typed that above bit on Tuesday. By Thursday…look, I tried to summarize, but here:

Then this was Friday. I’m tired, kittens, here are your links. I’m sure we’ll check in with MORE breaking news again before the end of this weekend. Good bleeding lord.

This thread. It is life.

But, here. Have a palate cleanser before we continue.

Dinosaurs!

Interesting editorial on the difference between conservativism and what the author calls “anti-anti-Trumpism,” or the desire to see liberal positions mocked and trolled more than genuinely pushing for conservative political principles in action. I don’t agree with everything here, but I do see enough of this general attitude to take it as anecdotally true. And if we’re all more concerned with poking the “other” in the eye than actually arguing our own cause or beliefs, then we are well and truly ******.

Longbourne is for sale and it has a secret Nazi past.

This is a couple months old but the Attenbourough-inspired take on Fashion Week made me howl.

If the state of our government weren’t at stake, I could feel some sympathy for a seemingly lonely, narcissistic old fool. Unfortunately, he’s the supposed leader of the free world and I have expectations of him.

Fully intend to buy one of these at some point. Specifically this one. (Editors note: totally bought it.)

Let’s go shopping! (h/t Caitlin Kelly)

Damn it, I’ve missed out.

The Dutch king has a secret life, and it’s kind of great.

Album of the week: Compassion, by Forrest Swords