Category: News

Weekend Links

“Do what we can, summer will have its flies.”
–  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ducklings, the weekend is upon us! Jeff and I are off frolicking, planning our summer, and generally goofing off whilst avoiding the internet and news. Go do something pleasant and pointless and here’s some weekend reading to get you through while you do.

Let’s kick this of on a positive note, shall we?  Cute babies and great hats!

He’s not well liked or respected over here, my friends.

Megan Rapinoe is justifiably riding high with the whole Womens National Team, but this profile on her relationship with her brother shows a softer side to the certified bad ass and had me tearing up at my desk.

Throw Epstein and every single powerful, hideous, power-abusing creep he ever associated with into the sun. Every. Last. One. Turn their privilege and power upside own and bury them under the weight.

Meanwhile, give this woman every single award.

The New Yorker, asking the huge questions.

Holy crap!

Really not the news I wanted to be following after watching Chernobyl

First the bloggers, now the influencers!

In related news, influence is for sale and we have data.

What a fascinating piece on Big–er–Big Cats?

Diplomacy matters. For a long time I was an American in the UK without a representing ambassador, and now Britain’s envoy to the States has resigned when his private assessments of the Washington DC climate and Trump administration leaked.

And yet…for all that, there are times I say thank god he’s bad at his job and steps all over his own administration’s messaging.

BOY BYE.

Who has a chunk of change and wants to buy me a present? Because I am lusting after this single ear piece!

I’m still really, really undecided about the whole CRISPR thing…I just think we don’t quite understand what we’re tinkering around with enough to be messing about in the genome yet.

Toxic masculinity is wild and messing with your carbs.

White supremacy is even wilder and more ridiculous. Dangerous and malignant, don’t get me wrong, but also fundamentally ridiculous.

Yes, short answer.

Interesting read. Tangentially, I just learned the other day that a coworker of mine was actually studying to become a nun before she ended up going into the British Army instead and we had a fantastic conversation about women, religion, feminism, and vocations as a result of this discovery.

What a pleasant, pleasing story!

Damn, after saying I’m not a general fan of the Disney liveaction remakes last week, I’m officially excited for this one.

Finally, meet my new favorite Twitter feed. It’s summer, drink your water!

Weekend Links

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” 
― Desmond Tutu

It’s PRIDE weekend in London, my kittens. Go out and party or protest accordingly.

Here’s your weekend reading when you need to take a break from either.

This is extremely my jam.

This first person essay of gender transition and the role pop culture can play in it is deeply poignant.

Cher is everything.

Another week, another brilliant Tiny Desk Concert that left me gasping.

This piece gripped me. Modern media is a strange thing, and so are the people who run it.

One of my brothers sometimes volunteers at an area clinic that services rural communities and he’s shared some really humbling stories. I happen to believe there is no excuse for the wealthiest country in the world to have the discrepancy in healthcare that we do.

Baby elephant!

The end of an era and some people are mad.

Hold people accountable for rape. How the hell is this so hard?!

I am deeply invested in the stories of teenage girls who fight back. They will save us all.

Disney announced the casting of a beautiful and talented woman of color in the role of Ariel in the upcoming live action remake of The Little Mermaid, and some white people on Twitter decided to be upset about it. A few thoughts. These live action remakes are unnecessary. The Little Mermaid is trash and I’m smug that from a young age (we’re talking five years old), I thought Ariel was an idiot for giving up her literal voice for some dude she had never met. Finally, racists can stay mad and I hope this makes half a billion dollars at the box office. Also, please cast Keanu.

Democracy is a wild trip, ya’ll.

In Mormon news, the LDS church’s rebrand one year on–after which both the terms “mormon” and “LDS” are no longer acceptable. How this change played out practically and logistically, and what it means for the community of the faithful. Though no longer a member or believer, I still claim the term “mormon” as the one that best encompasses the much wider history of the religious movements associated with the faith tradition…and therefore still has the space for a heretic and apostate like me.

Also in Mormon news, scholar Jana Reiss takes on a common misconception and trope around people who leave the LDS church and their subsequent feelings towards the institution.

Also ALSO in Mormon news: this.

Warning about some less than savory photos. “The Border Patrol Facebook group is the most recent example of some law enforcement personnel behaving badly in public and private digital spaces.” We BADLY need to reexamine law enforcement in this country.

Drag queens have always been with us. Thank god.

Hmm….

I have seen this movie and I’m positive it does not end well.

An update from last week. Outrage works, but it’s still fucked up this was even possible.

BRB, bathing in male tears.

I still struggle to explain America to non-Americans. Articles like this make me wonder if I’m even qualified to try!

Yikes, stay safe, Californian ducklings.

HAHAHAHAHAHA. We’re doomed.

Asking the good questions

Let’s end on a positive note, shall we? Jeff and I celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary this week and while I’d never claim to be any kind of authority on love, I think this piece by the Great and Good Caitlin Moran sums up our take on it pretty nicely.

 

Weekend Links

“At midnight, in the month of June, I stand beneath the mystic moon.” 
― Edgar Allan Poe

Gruntlings, it’s been another long week, but happy solstice. We made it to the halfway point!

At time of writing I’m unsure if we’re head towards another war in the Middle East, Boris Johnson is probably going to be Prime Minister, and another assault allegation has been made against my president. You’ll find out more as soon as I do…

Enjoy the weekend, and if you’re feeling dispirited by the general state of things, don’t. Turn it into action. Fuel something you are passionate about this weekend, even if it’s hard. Especially if it’s hard.

I worked for a police department for five years, and I am not at all surprised to read this reporting at all. My memory of the attitudes towards my then coworkers is much more around gun culture, hyper social conservatism, and militia group interest than overt racism but if the last decade has taught me anything, it’s that racism and misogyny are inherent to these other forms of extreme views, as do certain attitudes towards how they should be able to do their jobs. And worth noting that my old department is embroiled in a scandal about unethical or unlawful dissemination of records. I don’t think all cops are bad, not by a long shot! But I do think we need to look at their systemic power when it leads inevitably to abuse, admit what’s broken, and fix it.

Some people have way too much money.

I’m pretty sure he cheated on her, but nice to hear things are back on track (or at least their PR teams are excellent at their jobs).

Another week, another report that would paralyze or end an administration in normal times. This week the New York Times reported that cyber warfare with Russia is ramping up…and that Pentagon officials aren’t necessarily briefing the President about it. Because they’re afraid he would countermand the work, or divulge it. Cool…. If they’re wrong, this is a horrific breach of the chain of command and if they are right, he probably should have that command in the first place.

I am excited for this exhibit coming to the British Museum!

On The Media has done a new series, about the issue of home eviction in America. Should be a good, and powerful listen.

We’re going to run out of planet.

Let us all be chastened for our snark. All hail Boaty.

In recent years, there has been enormous concern about the time we spend on our web-connected devices and what that might be doing to our brains. But a related psychological shift has gone largely unremarked: the way that, for a certain segment of the population, the news has come to fill up more and more time – and, more subtly, to occupy centre stage in our subjective sense of reality, so that the world of national politics and international crises can feel more important, even more truly real, than the concrete immediacy of our families, neighbourhoods and workplaces. It’s not simply that we spend too many hours glued to screens. It’s that for some of us, at least, they have altered our way of being in the world such that the news is no longer one aspect of the backdrop to our lives, but the main drama.”

The short video on egg yolks you didn’t know you needed. I now want to make all of these recipes.

…have we all been doing this wrong for centuries? The New Yorker was immediately on the case.

Are straight men ok? (Trick question, we know the answer is “no.”)

Wait…is anybody okay?!

Let’s line up a little summer pleasure reading, shall we? This list of delightfully diverse romance novels is a good place to start and includes the line “Agatha Christie but make it gay!” So you know it’s good.

Speaking of book’s Hannah’s next novel FOUL IS FAIR is coming, and she’s currently hosting an ARC giveaway content on her social media.

Another week in America, another mass shooting. A local photographer managed to photograph the shooter before the attack started and honestly, as much as I don’t want to elevate this man’s profile, it’s such a simple example of what extremism actually looks like in American that I think it needs to be shared. It’s not an brown person of indeterminate origins, it’s typically a white guy in glasses with a horrifying arsenal that no civilian needs. (Continuous developing story at NPR.)

I’m with the swan.

All the bad faith handwringing about whether “detention centers” are “concentration camps” or not, when THIS is happening, “A 14-year-old girl from Guatemala said she had been holding two little girls in her lap. ‘I need comfort, too. I am bigger than they are, but I am a child, too,’ she said.”

We are not safer as a country without a confirmed Secretary of Defense–and a competent one at that. My family and its military members is less safe. The political is personal as well as vice versa.

“Two months into his detention, an immigration officer came to Mr. Mutu with an offer. As he understood it, if he gave up his claim for asylum, he would be deported back to Romania with Constantin. He agreed, and on June 3, 2018, he was released from his cell and loaded into a van. He looked everywhere for Constantin and asked the officers where his son was, but was not given a clear answer. At the airport, he refused to board without the baby. The immigration officers, he said, told him that Constantin would be handed to him once he had taken his seat. But the plane lifted off and the baby never came.” THIS. SHOULD. NOT. BE. POSSIBLE.

This is a parody. Cool cool cool…

I spend a lot of time thinking about how America seems to have squandered a half century of goodwill and leadership in what feels like record time (by historical standards).

Start that podcast.

The longform read that gripped me this week was about the loss of Malaysian Airlines flight 370. It’s riveting: “The disappearance of the airplane has provoked a host of theories. Many are preposterous. All are given life by the fact that, in this age, commercial airplanes don’t just vanish.”

The last link is a really hard hit, so here: have a cheerful dive into the wackiest hats of Ascot this week first.

Famed advice columnist E. Jean Carroll published a gut punch of a piece about her list of “hideous” men. Yes, it includes the president, but that’s not necessarily the most powerful part of the piece–I’m deeply angry to type–it’s that he was is just one of many men who continues to get away with it all. “And many women my age just “get on with it” too. It is how we handle things: Chin up! Stop griping! We do not cast ourselves as victims because we do not see ourselves as victims. While the strategy has worked for me, I wish I hadn’t waited so long to say something about two of my Hideous Men.”

Weekend Links

“At midnight, in the month of June, I stand beneath the mystic moon.” 
― Edgar Allan Poe

Happy weekend, kittens! Jeff is at a friend’s birthday abroad this weekend, and I’m cheerfully scheming of what I can get away with in his absence. In the midst of all that, I’m also getting a lot of adult tasks done like the usual household maintenance and laundry because adulthood is a never ending list of monotonous chores. Weekend Links

Procrastinate with me by enjoying this nice batch of weekend reading I’ve put together for you. I’m obviously biased, but I think this is a rather nice assemblage of pop culture, feminism, PRIDE celebration, fashion, politics, and archaeology. Why else do you people come to this dinky little site?

The uncomfortable State Visit is over, and here in the UK we’re using some pageantry in the form of Trooping the Colour as a palate cleanser, whilst my president is awkwardly stepping on his own NASA message and conflating the Moon and Mars on Twitter. Totally on par examples of the symbolic role of the state.

I never get over these stories. How do people just misplace this stuff!?

Kimberly Clark–drag queen and YouTube legend of anti-beauty-consumerism–is back!

There is a great interview with Stephen Colbert in the New York Times this week, and it will not surprise you at all to hear that I loved his thoughtful answer to why he loves Tolkien so much. He is a noted fan and, as all the best fans are (regardless of what their fandom is centered on), his reasons for his love are deep and personal. Speaking of, he also gives an excellent answer to what he sees the differences are between good and bad for you faith, interverweaving his own religious faith and life history.

I need this tattooed somewhere.

My interest in J. Crew think pieces is inexhaustible but this Vanity Fair article is pretty darn good despite the plethora of options from which to choose. “The narrowness of the world the company first opened a window to is now, thankfully, a thing of the past. There is no one way to look or dress “American.” So how do you resuscitate a brand built on this definition? And is there still room for it?”

Ooh, our next bonnet and corset drama is coming!

I agree.

Anne Helen Petersen drops her latest deep dive.

Some commentator made the point that at most other points in human history, the inability to plant or harvest an estimated 70% of ones crop might be considered something of a setback…

Step aside, Florida Man!

An excellent piece from Tom and Lorenzo about some of the history and mythology around the Stonewall Riots. Fascinating, PRIDE Month appropriate, and important.

Of wifehood and wifery.

While I’m not at all a fan of those who try to claim Shakespeare was not Shakespeare…I have to admit I liked this article at The Atlantic!

There is an unsubtle connection between misogyny and terrorism. “In 2018, a few months before Beierle stood in that studio, the Southern Poverty Law Center added a new category to its tracking list of hate movements around the country: male supremacy….While old-guard white supremacists revered women as the mothers of the race, younger bigots despise them as just one more group responsible for eroding their status.”

It’s summer. Wear sunscreen.

Rhianna is getting her money, in the literal definition of goals.

There was a fun experience going around social media and specifically Instagram this week, where some simple instructions showed users how to access the information that is used to control the ads that they see on the platform. The joke was, that almost everyone was baffled by what their data showed as their interests…it was almost always weird or wrong (if you believe people on the internet talking about themselves…but mine certainly made little sense!). The consensus opinion being that people are liars or the algorithms are not as strong or correct as we are often led to believe. I lean towards the latter. Algorithms, for all they control our world, are man-made things. Popular science YouTuber Veritasium happened to make a video about this from the YouTube perspective this week, which is worth a view if you want to understand the fraught relationship between platforms, creators, and views–as well as how sensationalism has overtaken…everything. This is true of our politics, media, and publishing worlds as well.

INDEED.

Babies and young children are dying in facilities in which they should not be being held in the first godamn place. If you have extra cash to spare this week, throw it at RAICES who is doing important work on the border. Our president may not be able to make up his mind whether he’s pro or against tariffs (and trying to avoid a fight with his own senate) but children are still dying.

Like everyone else in the world, I am debating whether or not I could pull off THAT Fleabag jumpsuit. I suspect not. I suspect I may buy it anyway….

Straight Pride…I can’t even. What a basket of WTFery.

Exhibit 1,403,582 why PRIDE matters (read the story):

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Weekend Links: How the Hell is it Already June, Edition

“Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June.”
– Al Bernstein

This was a short work week, and so I’ve mostly been head down and nose firmly to grindstone, ducklings. What did I miss?

[Scans news headlines. Screams into cushion for full five minutes. Rises and shakes self off in a supremely British manner.]

Okay. I’m caught up. Woof. Let’s just get to the weekend reading and sharing of good things, shall we? This weekend we’re brunching with friends, celebrating my birthday, soaking up the sun and yes…unfortunately doing a bit of work. C’est la vie. Share your favorite links and stories with me in the comments and tell me what nice things you are doing with friends, family, or your glorious self. Points for bragging!

First and foremost, happy Pride Month! I hope all in the community and allies are doing something absolutely joyous and fun to celebrate.

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

The BBC is about to do it again!

The long term effects of male-preference is going to last for a least a couple of generations, and some sociologists have shown rises in crime or military activity alongside gender ratio imbalances this great. The cost for women is inevitably huge, with rises in trafficking and worse. But the honest question I have in reading so many of these stories is one of foundational math: if you and everyone else you know are having sons, where exactly do you think your grandchildren are coming from?

What a ride this tale was!

A delightful Instagram account for your delectation.

The absolutely galling shenanigans having to do with the USS John McCain this week are embarrassing. Not least of all because the administration tried to put the genie back in the bottle and declare the whole news piece “fake,” after administration official already confirmed it. And frankly, the most generous interpretation of the situation is still pretty bad.

Congress is the only check on the executive that we have in the US system. I feel that Mr. Mueller has made it clear that this is his formal position. His actions have been as per existing law. The trouble…is Congress. And the fact that rules don’t seem to apply anymore.

The systematic changes to how the US government is tracking and publicly reporting on climate change is bad. There is a great The Daily podcast episode on this as well that’s worth a listen.

I delight that someone has studied this.

The kids are alright.

You’re either on the side of women having autonomy over their own bodies or you’re not. It’s that simple.

It’s the end of an era! Sidenote, I definitely have an old iPod with a bunch of unsynced songs somewhere. I should dig that sucker out.

The census isn’t sexy but it’s important and there is a reason that conservatives are targeting it. And they ARE targeting it. Our saving grace may yet be that a lot of bad faith actors reveal themselves to be piss poor at covering their tracks in the end.

So clearly the other side thinks that event went really well.

What is it going to take?!

My people are a proud people, our culture a vibrant culture.

Our president is an idiot or a troll, and either option is Very Bad.

And finally, you cannot convince me that this wasn’t some kind of lifetime high for several people involved:

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Weekend Links

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” 
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Ducklings, I write to you from the comfort of my own desk as I took today off for an extra long Bank Holiday weekend. I’ve been working late most days for several weeks and Jeff’s schedule has been even worse by order of magnitude. My delightful near-impromptu romp to Italy with X notwithstanding, we continue to feel a bit run down and overextended lately. Hence an extra long weekend, and possibly the last one until the heady days of August.

Happy Memorial Day to American kittens, and enjoy the long sunshine to Brits and Yanks alike. I’ve pulled together a nice batch of weekend reading to take you through until Tuesday. Let me know what you’re getting up to in the comments, and share your favorites reads and finds from around the interwebs in the comments!

What must it be like to have leaders forced from office for this sort of crap? Sounds nice…

If you need a chuckle and enjoy people who in turn genuinely enjoy and revel in the weird things that give them pleasure, this one’s for you.

Go, girl!

Vanilla is not nearly as boring as it has come to colloquially represent.

Maybe let’s at least…try?

From the bottom of my heart, **** this guy.

A short but interesting video journalism piece on K-beauty, resistance, autonomy, and the strength of both personal and international soft power.

This is weirdly sad to me. There are almost no pristine places left to us.

Julian Asange is a bad guy, in my opinion. Full stop. But the way we prosecute him for his actions is going to be important and I’m afraid that the current indictments could open new precedents which could backfire on actual journalists.

Cool. What are you going to do about it, Representative?

What’s in a name? Turns out an awful lot, include podcast readability!

….yeah….

GIRL GANG GOOD NEWS MINUTE: Hannah’s second book cover has dropped and I cannot wait for you guys to read this absolute banger of a book! Revenge has never been colder or more sweet!

Very stable genius.” It really is extraordinary how almost uniquely good the Speaker is in getting under his skin. Why is that I wonder? Trick question, it’s because she’s a woman. (In related news, I’m already tired of 2020 bullshit. Here’s hoping we’re all a much better informed electorate this time around, because active misinformation and selective classification/declassification is getting weaponized in new ways.)

Well, it’s happened…and Britain is…the same, now? I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster of deeply disliking this leader’s policies and mandate, disagreeing intensely with her choices, and grudgingly feeling sorry for the absolute shitty hand she was dealt when a lot of people pushed buttons and scampered away from the subsequent explosions and messes. She was never going to get out of this job unscathed. If we get Boris Johnson as PM I will have to scream into a cushion for a while.

The pettiness is the point.

We will not go back.

Weekend Links

“Man is defined as a human being and a woman as a female — whenever she behaves as a human being she is said to imitate the male.”
― Simone de Beauvoir

Darlings, I type this to you after a week spent preparing for and running a large work event. It went well, I’m delighted to say (notwithstanding a couple of technical snaffus that required MacGyvering mechanical fixes at 6:30 in the morning), but I am wiped after it.

Nonetheless, I have still whipped together a nice bunch of weekend links–because I love you, kittens!

I’ve spared you most American and British political news this week because it honestly makes me to angry. Instead I’ve bundled you up some reading that is a mix of tribute, lifestyle, weirdness that that jolly and uplifting standby: female rage in the face of attempts to control our bodies. All with a few chasers of wholesome loveliness to keep your spirits buoyed before we take to the streets.

She was a warrior in a cardigan.” I failed to include this farewell missive last week, which is criminal. She will be missed.

Patriarchy hurts everyone.

I’m hopeless, I guess, because I hate getting up in the morning.

…this is a thing?

HBO has chosen it’s attempt to keep the serial fantasy genre going once Game of Thrones ends this weekend. They’ve clearly spent the money on a good cast, but I wonder how this is going to work out. It’s an interesting move since I think the film adaptation of this didn’t do so well and the viewing public, being the fickle thing that it is, may be in the mood for something different than high fantasy.

Twitter is garbage but I’m never going to quit a site that gives me this:

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Bill Nye has snapped.

The food revolutions have not reached everyone equally. Well, except maybe the bad ones.

This is fucking scary. (It’s also not fucking surprising. Every single person who told us to “calm down” about Justice Kavanaugh or any of it can take a flying leap.

Because they are our bodies, it must be our choice. [uncensored images of postpartum women’s bodies in all shapes and sizes ahead]

Educate yourself.

…And then put your money where your mouth is.

Rebecca Traister, noted chronicler of women’s rage, its use in public life, and the many ways people try to use it to discredit the women feeling it, has some thoughts on this law as well as well as some solid advice. She does not disappoint. “…never again let anyone tell you that the fury or determination to fight on this account is invalid, inappropriate, or inconvenient to a broader message. Consider that this is also what women and marginalized people are told all the time about their anger in general: that they should not express it, not let it out, because to give voice to their rage will distract from their aims, undermine them; that it will ultimately be bad for them. This messaging is strategic. It is designed to get angry people to keep their mouths shut.”

An honest to goodness charmer of a story!

Style matters, and style guides matter.

Gen Xers, you have been profiled.

Oof, just read me, why don’t you….

I can’t believe we have to say this in the year of our Lady Beyonce 2019, but vaccinate, people. We’ve been doing it for a while!

RIP.

And in related news, a lovely take on THAT Keanu pop culture moment.