Category: Pop Culture

Weekend Links: We Need to Talk About Kavanaugh

“The President and the Congress are all very well in their way. They can say what they think they think, but it rests with the Supreme Court to decide what they have really thought.” 
― Theodore Roosevelt

Darlings, again Friday is upon us and again I have put together an absolutely scrumptious and extra long list of links for you. I am making an effort to leaven political news with humor, thoughtfulness, and ardent feminism. FUN! And once again, I’m dropping this post early because it’s already ridiculously long. This is probably unwise because all the news bombs drop on Friday these days, but oh well!

This week, of course, the FEMA Chief is under investigation, a former National Security Adviser is having charges brought against him, the administration announced another $200m in tariffs (aka, fancy taxes), a Supreme Court nominee stands accused of sexual assault in his minor years (and the nation doesn’t know what to do with this information). It’s provoking a lot of challenging conversations, which is good, but I still believe he is likely to be ramrodded into a seat on the highest bench in the land, which I believe to be bad. It is not too high a bar to clear to ask that our Justices be either free from or cleared of such allegations before taking a lifelong appointment.

Should past sins haunt a man for the rest of his days? Well, it depends. A lot of people who say that a teenage mistake should not condemn a man for the rest of his life are gung ho about a teenage girl carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term, or jailing other teenagers for life for some infractions. Others seem to want to declare an amnesty period for all men: prior to 2018, no sexual crimes should count against us, we know better now! …As if we didn’t have laws or society expectations until two years ago when this reporting started coming out. Overall, a lot of people seem to want a revolution without having to pay a price or do the work required to make society better. Part of that work is the uncomfortable task of holding people to a new standard, even when it’s “your guy.”

Meanwhile, this guy in particular is the culmination of a near half-century strategy to stock courts with justices of a particular political persuasion. He’s also been appointed by a president who is under investigation for obstruction of justice. What are those in power willing to overlook in order to meet their goal? Well, we will see. I expect: all of the above.

We’re in the midst of Fashion Month, so this investigative reporting on the shocking wages some craftswomen earn whilst propping up some of the world’s luxury fashion houses is very well timed.

Americans need to stop believing that women do the majority of care work because we want to. It’s because we’re expected to, because we’re judged if we don’t, and most of all, because it’s incredibly difficult to find male partners willing to do an equal share of the work.”

Another story that should be too stupid to be real, but is.

Guys, did anyone else not realize that “comedic wildlife photography” was a thing? If so, let me share some recent enlightenment with you!

From the very beginning, the devices that the Founders hoped would prevent the rapid mobilization of passionate majorities didn’t work in all the ways they expected,” writes Jeffrey Rosen in The Atlantic.

This weather report went viral for a reason. (language warning on the link) This is a great example of how media and digital innovations can be used to educate and provide context to a population.

There is something deeply, deeply chilling about the idea that a sexual assault allegation surfaced about a Supreme Court nominee and somehow his supporting party had a 65-signature letter ready to go to testify to his decency. In other words…the Republicans knew. And it was not disqualifying or even worthy of commentary, just a problem to be preempted. I felt physically ill reading these updates.

Hot DAMN, what a thread!

Everything is going to kill us

YouTuber and Guy On the Internet CGP Grey is thinking about something that I too am thinking about a lot. I have felt my own attention span shrink over the years and have also filled up silences with the noise of podcasts, videos, music, the endless phone scroll, and so on. And I also wonder collectively what this is doing to us as a society in which most of our problems require long term solutions and our patience and ability to focus is in ever dwindling supply.

Further to the previous link, this piece about the confluence of our current tech and culture and our own primal instincts (and the damage it might be doing) is a sobering but worthwhile read.

This news story is chilling and bizarre.

I want to frame this entire Vox piece on the “redemption” arc of #MeToo perpetrators and what so many (mostly men) are STILL NOT GETTING. “By any sane moral calculus, concern for restorative justice or redemption ought to focus on the victims. The women. What is their “road back” from the harm C.K. did to them? How will they be restored or redeemed? What are we doing for them? What is C.K. doing for them? This is what women see: that somehow, we’ve made men the protagonists again. Somehow or other, it always ends up being about the men, their struggles and second chances, our feelings for and about them.”

What do women want from the #MeToo men? More than the bare minimum of human decency, writes Anne Theriault.

…it seemed to me essential, as a bare first step, for the man in question to understand that his experience is not inherently more important than the experiences of women, to acknowledge what he did, and that it was wrong. This is the minimum precondition for the better world we’re struggling toward. It is amazing, if not surprising, how many of the men in question are incapable of it.” Give this woman all the accolades.

NO SHIT.

I believe her.” A powerful essay.

How good men become complicit in protecting bad ones. (Can be extrapolated to any powerful group over less powerful ones; see also: police.)

Dealing with good art from bad people.

The 2008 Financial Crisis officially kicked off ten years ago this week. I had quite literally just graduated from university a couple of weeks earlier.

The Economist is celebrating their 175th anniversary with a manifesto issuing a call to rekindle liberalism as “universal commitment to individual dignity, open markets, limited government and a faith in human progress brought about by debate and reform.” It’s well worth the read.

Interesting.

I loved this article by Pandora Sykes in interrogating what we share and what we withhold, especially in a culture where our ability to overshare has never been greater.

I will be very upset if Gen. Mattis goes.

WHO WANTS THIS? WHO ASKED FOR IT?

Give this man a programme and a massive budget to accomplish this mission.

The gross catch 22 of the pro gun lobby when it comes to black men in particular (in the wake of the hideous murder of Botham Jean): more of you should be gun owners to prevent harm being done to you, but possessing a gun will automatically put you on the threat register of law enforcement and common citizens and make you more likely to be the target of violence or a police shooting.

Speaking of, what would stop or at least limit mass shootings? One journalist decides to ask an unlikely set of experts: mass shooters.

This is my local farm and my local piglets. Return them, scoundrels!

Planet Money re-released their first ever episode in honor of both their anniversary and the anniversary of the global financial crisis they were more or less founded to help explain. It’s a doozy in retrospect. They’ve also listed their Top Ten episodes which are well worth a listen! This has been an important show both in the trajectory of podcasting as a medium, and more me personally as I’ve lived through a recession and learned a lot about economics and money through quality journalism and nonprofit medium.

This seems…well…unsurprising and increasingly common.

Guys, this is super awkward, but one of you is going to need to buy this for me.

No. Just no to the awful and tired phrase, “boys will be boys.” Boys will be men someday, with the power and weight of patriarchy behind them.

We as a society need to take a long, hard look in the mirror on the subject of basic empathy and kindness.

Salute the Captain!

The Duchess of Sussex nailed her first major public issues project, but what we need to talk about is how absolutely adorable and lovely her mother looks!

Weekend Links

“It’s 4:58 on Friday afternoon. Do you know where your margarita is?”
Amy Neftzger

Another Friday is upon us and I’ve compiled a bit batch of weekend reading to get you through the long hours until the Sunday Blues! It’s been another wild week of news and we have much to discuss. Meet me in the comments!

#FreeTheNipple goes way back!

Something wicked

The joy of fall dressing is real!

A thoughtful take on the future of a franchise.

Super normal.

Super great.

“Be aware of false balance” is an editorial directive that should get behind a lot more topics and not just this one in particular.

Two queens. I appreciated the conversation this sparked about how and where women’s rage is still deemed inappropriate, even among champions. Also, women supporting other women (especially in the face of absurdity and impediments) is literally the best thing in the world.

This follow up piece resonated within me like a struck bell: demand the apologies you deserve.

More good things to look forward to as a species.

It’s not an accident that the US President and others has tried to rebrand protests against police brutality (and by extension racism, corruption or bad faith). It’s a conversation a lot of people are desperate to avoid.

More allegations. Genuine question: when does Ronan Farrow sleep? [ETA later this week: Moonves and others out. Good. But my god, do NOT try and fuck with or attempt to discredit Farrow.]

Just awful.

This should be unacceptable and completely avoidable in a modern, advanced society.

GOALS GOALS GOALS. Shut up and take my money!

A thoughtful take on this next phase of #MeToo we find ourselves in.

Another one bites the dust…I’m very sorry to say.

Answer: no, but good question.

Shock. Surprise. A lot of our preconceived notions and propaganda points about immigration are wrong and the actual facts are fascinating!

A break from terrible news for this tease!

This story is a good example of something that I find troubling and an example of how certain bad faith actors are incredibly good a manipulating media. It is very common for conservatives in particular to say that conservative viewpoints are censored–when what they really mean is unpopular in popular spaces like certain social media platforms. This is bad faith because it denies the reality of algorithims which cater and boost content relevant to the viewer in question–meaning that a person with a certain viewpoint is actually statistically likely to get their view reinforced with content. It is also bad faith because it fails to acknowledge the wealth, power, and influence of the conservative media machine and the fact that conservative politicians and appointees are in power at every level of state and federal government. What censorship?! The President routinely favors and calls into certain networks and platforms while vilifying others. Organizations who are led by left-leaning individuals are then pressured into appearing unbiased in favor of their own view points and, in my opinion, go out of their way to then cater to opposing view points. This is, of course, exactly what the aim of the accusations is in the first place. Again, bad faith.

We have a new president…of Planned Parenthood!

Absolutely fuck this noise. The number of immigrant children being detained has spiked again.

Let us celebrate the anniversary of his never-ending war with Eddie.

We have a contender for the “most dystopian phrase I’ve heard in a while, and boy isn’t that saying something” category from Mr. Bezos.

And finally, we have another contender for the “worst thing he’s ever tweeted” category this week:

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ETA: your Friday news blast.

Weekend Links: Bread and Circuses Edition

“Two things only the people anxiously desire — bread and circuses.”
– Juvenal

Unpopular hot take: nothing in political news that happened this week is exactly revelatory. President Trump is exactly the same in private as he is in public–which is what interviews, background statements, and his own Twitter feed have been telling us since day one. A lot of people are willing to complain about him, but only anonymously, and few are willing to do anything that actually holds him to account. This is the new status quo.

Here’s a batch of weekend reading for you, my lovelies. It’s not all bad political news, I promise.

Another book about the Trump White House dropped this week and unfortunately (for him) this one’s by an author that a lot of D.C. takes pretty seriously. He’s also got receipts.

The Academy walks it back!

Hideous, but not surprising. I’m immensely sorry to say.

Equally horrific and unsurprising at this point.

Mix me the perfect green, someone.

Somebody check on Sandra Bullock and George Clooney real quick.

A compelling longform piece about, ah, enhancements.

New Gambino video!

I have been pondering lately on the reality that an entire industry exists to put people in financial thrall to the government, making the government quite a tidy profit. The more I think about this, the angrier it makes me.

I genuinely teared up reading about this news story this past week. Cultural heritage is human legacy and it’s irreplaceable.

?!?!?!?!

Okay, I put it off for a bit and tried to get some fun content in…but we’ve got to talk about it. Even by the absolutely topsy turvy standards of the times, this op ed was astounding. And the theorizing commenced immediately. Lots of theorizing. It’s fun to speculate (I mean, as “fun” as the public debate over whether your democratically elected leader is in fact 1) unfit for office and 2) is actually being managed by a shadowy cabal–either of these options being bad for said democracy in some way or another–can be) but my possibly unpopular take is that this op ed feels self serving and cowardly instead of brave: either sign your name to your opinions and quit like a principled public servant, or protect and serve an administration you genuinely support. To do anything other is to be complicit in destabilizing the country. These background style interviews and exposes are of decreasing value to us as citizens. Go on the record if you feel the situation is really so dire, or shut up.

Another option is that this is signalling to supporters of the policies, if not the man, to stay the course. Which also feels  like cowardly way to go about governing a country.

Finally, here’s a piece arguing in favor of Anonymous, positing the like-minded civil servants are really all we have between us and bad leadership. A cynical if ruthlessly cleared view of a government based on the honor system and how we cope with the reality that no one is playing by the rules right now.

This piece is both about Tucker Carlson, and not. Either way, it’s good.

Maybe don’t buy the fish

I have been following the Judge Kavanaugh hearings but only in small briefs from trusted news sources. I’m too angry to take in more than curt, factual summaries and at time of closing on this post, the story is moving too quickly for me to link anything. Between grandstanding politicians, leaked documents, and protests, I have no idea how this story is going to end…but I’m going to guess with a partisan confirming vote. No links, only gnashes of teeth.

Here at least is an op ed I can get behind.

Beauty YouTube drama, explained.

This is a statement. The risks for a campaign like this are not small for any business, but you have to admit it got people talking. I love it.

 

Ruined Women

“Sometimes that’s what happens. No cigarette burns, no bone snaps. Just an irretrievable slipping.” 
― Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects

I am still processing Sharp Objects as a cultural piece and still incapable of finding what I want to say about it as a series. However, in trying to force out some words, there is one moment of the show that has lingered in my mind for weeks now.

In one episode, dissatisfied with her daughter’s clothing in the face of an upcoming neighborhood event that requires a display of carefully maintained artificiality, Adora takes her daughters shopping. Nothing in the store will work for Camille, who covers herself from neck to toe to hid her private pain and after trying to demure or avoid her mother’s gaze, Camille finally flings open the dressing room door in a fit of anger to reveal her body. Adora sees Camille’s self-harm scars, the physical manifestation of Camille’s trauma and pain, and after a horrible pause to take in the tapestry before her the first words out of her mouth are a devastating summary: “You’re ruined.”

That line actually landed on my chest like a punch. I nearly started crying, it felt so quiet and harsh and all encompassing all at once. As Adora quickly shepherds her younger daughter away from her older’s bad influence and bared scars (and delivers a few final cutting comments for effect), Amy Adams’ Camille muffles a scream and sinks to the floor.

This is a deeply personal take, but in considering why I’m still thinking about it weeks later, I think it’s because almost every negative thought or rejection about women (at least as objects or concepts, to say nothing of people) can be boiled down to some element of that idea: you’re ruined. You’ve either done something or had something done to you that has made you less in some way.

You don’t have to look hard to find “ruined” women, we’re in every genre of literature–heck, it IS a genre–and almost every pop cultural narrative you can find. Eve ate the apple and ruined everything. Being ruined is the worst thing that can happen to a woman. Think of Lydia Bennett running off with Wickham and her mother’s hysterics on the ruination of the family, the fall of Madame Bovary, the secret of Lady Dedlock that she will go to extraordinary efforts to keep. When men declare, “I’m ruined,” they are almost always speaking in financial terms. When women say it or it is said about them, it is usually indicating some kind of permanent social death or devaluation that impacts every aspect of her life.

Having consensual sex for the first time? You’ve lost your virginity. Been raped? Don’t get me started on the horrible work society does to convince itself that the woman must have earned or deserved it in some way. Women who cut their hair too short? Insufficiently sexy. Women who try to attract the male gaze? Slutty. Relationship break up? You lost your man. Stay with a guy you shouldn’t? You don’t have any self respect. Cried at work? Couldn’t tough it out. Showed insufficient femininity? You’re a bitch. Make a parenting mistake? You’re a bad mother. Too involved as a parent? You’re an unnatural mother. In every case you’ve “lost” something of value in the eyes of the beholder. Your perfection, non-existent to begin with, has been tarnished and you are the less for it.

It’s not just sexual, even though that’s the easiest route to police and punish women’s transgressions. I think back to the Sunday School lessons I had on chastity and virtue in church with their object lessons. Emphasis on the object. My body and soul were portrayed as gum that once chewed or cupcakes once bitten into were less desirable and holy. God could repair the spiritual damage for sexual transgression, of course…but you can’t unchew gum.

It’s alarmingly easy to be “ruined” as a woman. We might not tar and feather them anymore (at least not everywhere…plenty of woman are still whipped or stoned to death, or raped in punishment), but Sharp Objects also did a deft job of showing how women can be excluded, gossiped about, antagonized, denied support or compassion, or ostracized for their failures too. Affection can be removed, respect can be withdrawn, punishment can be meted out in the court of public opinion, or even just in the dark recesses of our own minds.

I’ve been ruined–in mostly small ways, thank god. I’ve been deemed insufficiently feminine and too deviant for my community in ways that produced isolation and even once made me fear a job might be on the line. I’ve been called a bitch and gossiped about. I’ve left a faith. As an inveterate Type A personality, I have failed at things and felt my self of self and self-worth absolutely crumble. Whether from other people or self inflicted, the concept of being ruined is a powerful one. Rational or not, I fear it.

Less toxic by far, the memory that immediately sprung to mind at Adora’s words were from my own mother when I got my ears pierced at 13. She cried because, as she told me, we put holes in “something perfect.” I remember being really confused and even a little unsettled by her reaction. As an adult, and through this lens, it makes more sense to me now. I was just growing up and this was a normal rite of passage for most girls. It was a small kind of imperfection or change–a little ruination. But my mother still cried over it. It’s impossible not to internalize a life lesson like that.

 

Weekend Links

“Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions.” 
― Edward R. Murrow

Happy September, darlings! Both Jeff and I have to work this weekend, but I have put together an extra long batch of weekend reading to tide you over until regular posting resumes…unless I desperately need to procrastinate and decide to bang out a few hundred random words.

Here are you links, tell me what you’re up to in the comments!

In the “This Should Have Been a Bigger Story,” portion of the weekly links, the President tweeted conspiracy theories from The Daily Caller as fact and the FBI had to go on record to correct the statement. Reporting by The Atlantic also outed (yet another) white nationalist who has subsequently retired, and I shan’t link to that because fuck that ideology.

The political news is once again, almost all bad. This take from Crooked Media  on the confluence of courtsis a bit drastic…but a lot of it feels plausible and correct to me.

Senator John McCain passed away after his public battle with brain cancer. The internet was immediately swarming with hot takes on his status as a great man, a “great man,” and as a failed great man–think a person can be all of these things and more at once. I disagreed with much of his politics, but I sincerely admired many things about him and considered him an Elder Statesman of his party in the best sense of the term. We need elder statesmen, they carry institutional knowledge and perspective, as well as the ability to work towards pragmatic compromise–something our Congress seems to be systematically dismantling. With his passing, I have no idea who can step into the role he held in the way that he held it. His parting statements are worthy of a read and consideration, and it’s impossible not to read a rebuke in them of our current political landscape right across the spectrum.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

We have a gun violence problem. We have a toxic masculinity problem. Our society has combined the two into a epidemic of violence against women. It’s everywhere. It crosses age and class and race and ideology.

This is the end of an era

We need to talk about whether or not Serena Williams’ catsuit violates…anything?

Science is amazing!

And I’m sure, seeing as we handled the crisis in the Mediterranean so well, that there will be no social, racial, or economic backlash to this in the Americas.

This thread was a wild, wild ride…

The global water crisis is already here.

Lawfare has a thoughtful take on the strangeness of the office of the American presidency in determining what may or may not be law.

J. Crew is trying to win us back–written from the male perspective!

A democrat and a republican face off in Texas

I wrote about Sharp Objects as one of my monthly favorites this past week, but there is so much more I wish I could say about this series if only I could string the words together better. One of my favorite summary pieces on the finale came from Vulture and is well worth a shout out. Obviously don’t read unless you’ve watched the series or don’t mind some serious spoilers, but if you have, enjoy diving into the editing, music, and deep dive thoughts. The last line absolutely floored me.

HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?!

This is maddening. Republicans released a list as a mobilizing scare tactic, documenting all of the things that Democrats may investigate if voted into power. Read more cynically, this is a list of a lot of things that, as the ruling party THEY should be investigating.  But of course they can’t, because so many of them have tied their political fortunes to a capricious president who has given them a lot of bad PR and a tax cut that made a lot of donors happy, but rings pretty hollow to the populist base they have embraced.

Oh my. Hard not to read some of this story as a blatant demand for a pardon, or else.

I really liked this piece at Man Repeller at the social media driven shift in our culture to reactions–or rather, how we perform reactivity and outrage for wider consumption, and how that drives our culture progress (or lack thereof).

Again, this new friendship of ours seems to be going super well...

He’s not even being subtle at this point.

Is anyone surprised by this? Anyone? Bueller?

Also, is anyone surprised by this leak?

In lighter news, the Fug Girls put together an edit of fall floral frocks…and I might be into florals suddenly? Who am I any more?!

AMEN, REBECCA TRAISTER. These men are mostly still free, still wealthy, and still influential. They are fine. They are better off than almost all of the rest of us. Six months in the wilderness does not a consequence make and they do not deserve special treatment. In my workplace, if a colleague harassed me, he would come under review at the very lease (depending on the severity). If he assaulted me, he would lose his job. Celebrities and powerful men do not deserve differently. Boys, bye. Roxanne Gay also has thoughts worth reading.

In religion news, another child sex abuse scandal is rocking the Catholic church. Aside from the absolute horror and extent of these stories, which are grim, there are political implications for the church as internal factions try to use these crises to different ends. This episode of The Daily which delves into the topic is worth your time.

What is the role of the magazine editor now?

This story is scary as fuck. Anyone who claims the privilege of a passport needs to thoughtfully consider the implications because if birthright citizenship can be taken away or doubted for one group, it can be taken away from anyone. Due process applies to all of us or it applies to none of us.

A profile I did not realize I needed!

An insider looks upon his work and has opinions.

This to me does a much better job of summarizing my thoughts on performative patriotism (which I’ve written about before) and what is worth our time, attention, and outrage as a society: clean water and working municipal sysems may be a better indicator of freedom than any number of other measures.

Some days you’re the cat, some days you’re the bag.

And finally…

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Weekend Links

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” 
― John Lubbock, The Use Of Life

What a week, ducklings. Work shenanigans, news shenanigans, and life shenanigans, all colliding into a potpourri of nutty. That is a dreadful mixing of metaphors, but true nonetheless.

As part of my goal to do better at using my holidays, I took Friday off in advance of the Bank Holiday weekend and indulged in some market wandering and long walks in the neighborhood. The weather has turned a bit cooler and more moody, a sure sign that fall is on the way! I’m ready for the jumpers and boots and hot drinks. However I ended up still having to do a bit of work and emails…c’est la vie.

We had plans to try and squeeze in a short trip to Bath or somewhere else this weekend, but between our ceiling leaking and a few other unexpected adventures, we’re behind on…everything that requires even a modicum of planning. We’ll be playing the weekend by ear and see what we can salvage. Let me know what you’re up to in the comments!

There is not nearly enough coverage of this story. This is slow moving “cleansing.”

Queer Eye is doing some heavy lifting for society right now.

Truly, how do we know what we’re supposed to slather all over our bodies or eschew eating forever, anymore?!

Thank god, a beautiful Yo-Yo Ma Tiny Desk Concert is exactly what I needed this weekend.

Oh dear…this is very sad.

More than you ever wanted to know about pockets and sexism!

Ancient Egyptian fashion was en pointe!

What to do when your #MeToo heroes let you down.

Choose your own Brexit adventure. This made me want to scream into a pillow somewhere.

GOOD political news!

Trump News. Ugh.

Alright, let’s do Trump news. Monday and Tuesday were spent dealing with the weekend revelations in the New York Times that Mr. McGann (White House lawyer) had been interviewed by Mr. Mueller’s team and what the implications of that may be. Then on Tuesday…you couldn’t script this better if you tried. I can’t tell if that makes it highly suspect or not. This news broke almost simultaneously to news breaking that the jury returned verdicts in eight out of eighteen counts in this case (this guy has another trial coming up later this year). We live in a reality show now. Russia turns out to be less than entirely friendly, who knew? The president is handling all of this with his customary truth telling and good humor. Also, a second sitting member of was indicted for crimes in a week. I can’t imagine what else is going to drop by the end of the week, but the following is now fact:

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On Wednesday, the President continued to shoot off at the mouth. Honestly, though, I feel like this underpins my theory that as a run-of-the-mill presumed-committer of white collar crimes, he is used to getting away with a shocking degree of shady or criminal behavior and literally doesn’t know how to deal with scrutiny when it turns on him. Speaking of I am going to repeat this until I’m blue in the face: there is so much money in the world and an alarming portion of it is being criminally managed as an open secret. ProPublica also wrote a good piece on this topic.

Thursday: how indeed

Friday: a tale in three Time covers. Meanwhile the President and his Attorney General traded quips like perfectly normal public servants and a second person in as many days was granted immunity in the Mueller investigation, this one is the Trump Organization’s CFO. Woof. This is a man who potentially knows a lot about what money has gone where over the years, it’s big. I really recommend a listen of this Vox podcast if you haven’t heard it already. There are now state, federal, and organizational investigations into the Trump Organization, the RNC (of which Mr. Cohen was an official, recall), and several individual persons in the Trump orbit. It is entirely possible that none of them will lead to any evidence of wrong doing of the President, either in his current office or in his life as a private citizen/media personality…but the longer it goes on, the less as less statistically likely this is to be the case. And as Crooked Media put it, the overlaps are becoming such that he can’t fire or pardon his way out of this web anymore.

Weekend Links

“Ocean, n. A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man — who has no gills.” 
― Ambrose Bierce, The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary

What a week, kittens. Work has been mental in my new role (pleasantly challenging…but still mental) and this week the apartment above us decided to spring a leak or twelve. To cut a long story short, we have water damage in almost every room of our house and multiple light fixtures disconnected from the electrical supply to avoid murdering us in our sleep. It’s been emotional and sleep deprived au chez Small Dog this week

This weekend I’m writing, cleaning up the mess from said aquatic shenanigans and catching up on work emails. I also intend to force myself to exercise, which will clash with my other intention to lounge and read. Here is your weekly batch of reading, let’s catch up in the comments!

A queen has passed. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Stop teasing us with the possibility and just make him Bond, you cowards!

It is very interesting to watch the White House struggle to cope to Omarosa’s media circus. On the one hand, she is a deeply unreliable narrator…but so is almost everyone else in the administration at this point. And it’s difficult to know how to position the story because she’s released audio: she has receipts. What else might she have recorded? Setting aside the HUGE national security implications (which is bad, let’s be clear), no one wants to deny an allegation only to be proved a liar. Secret recordings have become a theme in this administration…

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On Wednesday the White House fixed on it’s retaliation policy or at least an attempt to shift the media narrative…by revoking the security clearances of a whole bunch of other people who are security experts and have been critical of the current administration, who are not Omarosa. Cool. That makes sense./s Reporters noted that the original statement on the revocation was dated to late July and when asked about it, the White House issued a new statement with the date removed. So either their comms team is ridiculous, or the administration has been sitting on this a while. Either way, the national bench team of experts who can be called up to assist in a national emergency, has now been reduced. I’m not even going to touch the question of whether or not Mr. Trumps sneering Twitter tirades towards his reality TV protégé are racist. His racism has been well documented for forty years, whether there is a tape of him using racial slurs or not. A Klan leader has endorsed him, white nationalists chant his name. What else do you people need?

These books were so good and so much fun. I hope the movies are good! (The fashion is going to be appropriately extra and  Constance Wu’s beauty game is just *chef’s kiss.*)

This week in corruption-is-normal-now news: the shadow administrators of the VA.

I loved this designer’s feature.

Jeff sent me this tweet because, “It made me think of you.” That is love, I think:

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

An 11-year-old hacker was able to change an election result in competition. Which bodes SUPER WELL for the country.

Let’s talk more about masculinity! The Wayfarer YouTube channel did an interesting series on masculinity which I enjoyed watching and hope to similar media of more widely. Episode 1, 2, 3, and 4. (Creator and actor Justin Baldoni gave a good Ted Talk on this as well.)

Of course he cancelled it

A positive outcome from this heatwave!

Wow. It is not every day your uncle writes an op ed to call out your genealogical bullshit.

The hero we need right now.

He hires the best people.

X sent me this piece and felt surreal to read, almost as if I had stumbled across a sort of (much more brilliant and articulate) cultural mirror image. I haven’t been able to string together my thoughts on being a third culture kid who feels a bit adrift between Brexit Britain and Trump’s America….but clearly I don’t need to because this woman handles the conflict (or at least the writing of it) deftly.

Katarina’s book drop is coming and you can enter to win an ARC here. It’s stupid good, guys, trust me on this!

I failed to share this last week, but Big Freedia and Lizzo’s latest single has a music video. It’s a bop and who doesn’t love some NOLA bounce in high summer?!