Category: Weekend

Weekend Links

“The Seder nights… tie me with the centuries before me.” 
– Ludwig Frank, Aufsätze, Reden und Briefe, ausgewählt und eingeleitet, 1924

Happy Easter and Passover Seder weekend, kittens! Whether to you these are holidays, holy days, or both, I hope they are good for you.

I’m smack between two well appreciated Bank Holidays for an extra long weekend, and putting the finishing touches on this post while making our typical weekend breakfast fry up and preparing to hit the town and do some exploring. Every winter we go into a bit of a self-imposed hibernation and between careers and cold weather, plenty of weekends go by where we barely leave the flat. But! Once the temperature begins to warm and daylight last past 4pm, I’m ready to return to old hobbies like picking a part of the city we’ve not really gotten to know and hitting the streets.

There was a lot of political nonsense this week, but I’m sparing you most of it (in the spirit of Holy Week, or whatever). Here are you links, share your favorite stories or moments in the comments!

This should be unacceptable.

There is an important conversation happening in British politics and media right now: confronting a rising tide of antisemitism and what this particularly hateful and insidious bigotry reveals about wider society.

Someone in DC has a wicked sense of humor.

You wouldn’t guess that a fast food chain would drop a diss track, but

Um, is body glitter back? Am I supposed to be excited about this 90s throwback? Am I supposed to be excited because RiRi is the one behind it? I’m so confused.

It’s just there.” Science discovers a new human organ.

“Just about exactly when women started to use the internet to organize in ways that kept patriarchy awake at night, it started to become a truism that the internet was a dangerous place for girls.” This long read is worth your time.

Do right by my childhood, Netflix!

Another major political shake up with the head of the Veterans Affairs getting the boot. Far be it from me to defend the majority of Trump appointees, but his parting Op Ed shot in the New York Times–leveling the charge that while the excuse for his termination has been his unethical use of funds, the real motivation is his opposition to privatizing medical care for veterans–is worth a read. If unethical conduct were such a priority for this administration, there are a lot of senior government officials (to say nothing of family members) who should be out of a job right now

The teacher protests are spreading. Good.

Ah fashion, you’re a fickle fiend. This brand has been the It label for all of a hot minute, but I think people’s taste for irony may have cooled lately.

New Lizzo single alert! In related news, I think it’s time to get back in the gym…

Weekend Links

“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.”
— Edith Head

London is still freezing, kittens, and I’m putting the finishing touches on this post from bed. I report to you live, swaddled in two layers of loungwear and four layers of blankets.

It was another wild week of news: the White House is still chaotic, the Brexit process is as opaque as ever, and apparently trade wars are good now? I’ve forced myself to not pile on the gloom for you in the links this week, however, so here is a lovingly curated batch of reading to take you through your weekend, no matter how cold it is outside or how weird your newsfeed is. I’ll be bringing you our favorite fight of the year, the Oscars Gown Rundown as soon as I can get it up!

Happy Women’s History Month, let’s celebrate with the most badass board game I can’t believe I had never heard of!

We LOVE a good missing-art-piece-turns-up-in-an-unlikely-place story around here!

This is a couple of weeks old now, but I just found it and it’s worth a read: what’s been happening over at Facebook for the last couple of years, both in terms of business and technology, and why it all matters to us as a society.

This profile in GQ on the popularity arc of Brenden Fraser answers a question I didn’t realize I’d been asking myself for years.

Well bloody deserved!

Long live the king!

Beauty Instagram has teased a launch from an eyeshadow brand that I love that I can already tell is going to test my willpower not to buy it. I’ve seen a decided uptick in green shadows lately and it’s none too soon as far as I’m concerned.

This is absolute trash. Do better, South.

I have been waiting for this since 9th grade.

Monica Lewinsky has something to say, and it’s well worth the read.

Want to know how to expertly cook salmon? The NYT is here to help!

Hicks is out.

This is heartening.

Girl Squad bat signal, my best mate wrote a thing!

This is dramatic and disheartening news about the scope and scale of foreign money that may be influencing powerful forces in our society: we need far, far more transparent money records in politics.

Long before Google, librarians.

Because librarians are bosses.

Weekend Links: Over and Over Again

“It’s very dramatic when two people come together to work something out. It’s easy to take a gun and annihilate your opposition, but what is really exciting to me is to see people with differing views come together and finally respect each other.” 
― Fred Rogers

Another successful Infrastructure and Immigration Week for the White House and its policy agenda, gone off without a hitch.

Pardon the dark humor, darlings, it’s just that sometimes it feels as though Everything Is Terrible. Another awful school shooting captured in real time by the children who experienced it, another week of sex and abuse scandals that rocked everything from charities to the White House, another week of an intransigent Congress, another batch of news about what is now being termed “informational warfare” against my country.

I’ve tried to keep some good news and fun links mixed in here, but it’s been a rough week, kittens, and we need to sit with that. Our society suffers from extensive abuse and systems that enable abusers. We have powerful veins of violence running through our core and the people who most represent those veins have been strategically armed. We have money speaking louder than people. We have big problems. And then we need to get off our asses and do something to make things better even if it’s small. This weekend, I’m donating some clothing and home items to a charity I have researched and support, donating to a cause I care about, spending some time keeping my body and our finances healthy, and going to see Black Panther. How about you guys? What are you doing in your own corner to take care of yourself or your patch?

There was another mass shooting this week and at time of writing, 17 victims have died including children. Three out of ten of the most deadly mass school shootings in US history have happened in the last 6 months. This is grotesque, it’s unacceptable, it’s horrific. It’s awful how little I’m convinced that this culture of violence with easy access to military grade killing machines is going to change as a result. The only bright spot has been the ability of the children involved to avoid being used as totems by interested parties and staying in control of their own voices, stories, POV, and narratives. The coming generation gives me much hope.

How much of what you read do you remember?

NYFW is over (London is next!) and Into The Gloss runs down their picks for the best beauty looks. If Tom Ford and co. could kindly run me one of those leather headbands, that would be great.

Swipe left.

Another excellent episode of Drunk History for your delectation.

A perennial topic of interest to me: changing trends in clothing. Front production to sales to consumer habits to start ups, Americans are buying less and that has some wider implications across the industry.

Loved this Black Panther review at NPR, with particular emphasis on how certain heroes are created or achieve resonance due to certain cultural moments.

This is…a hobby…?

It was yet another busy Friday afternoon when the DOJ released an indictment of Russian individuals travelling to the US, setting up VPNs to mask the origin of their content, and then spread derogatory content about some politicians (guess which ones) while promoting others (GUESS WHICH ONES). This dates as far back as 2014 according to what I’ve read, item 6 on page 4 states that some of these operatives communicated with “unwitting” members of the Trump campaign. Of no surprise to me was the information that after the election, the activities turned towards inflaming anti-Trump sentiment in some cases. They had one aim. It’s worked. They tried to divide along religious, racial, and regional lines, and it worked. They did their homework, investigated the weak points of our civil society, and went after those points with precision. This thread sums up my feelings (also, I’m more convinced than ever that Facebook is bad for us). Where we go from here, who we hold responsible, and how we choose to come together across divides is up to us.

Oh Mitt,you suffer from terrible timing. Friday in Trump’s America is not the time to be doing this sort of thing, you will always be upstaged.

I haven’t been following the Olympics this year, but figure skating will save us all.

Here. Have a vid of a dog eating pizza, just because.

Weekend Links

I have never in my life found myself in a situation where I’ve stopped work and said, ‘Thank God it’s Friday.’ But weekends are special even if your schedule is all over the place. Something tells you the weekend has arrived and you can indulge yourself a bit.
– Helen Mirren

This has been a roller coaster of a week for me, kittens, both newswise and personally and I am very glad the weekend is here. Apart from laundry and cleaning the house, I intend to do as little as I can get away with. I need to pick up and mail off some presents to people, send out some cards, and write some blog posts, but other than that all bets are off. I’ll be avoiding the news this weekend because as fake Lester Holt put it…

POTUS gave a SOTU address (remember that? It seems a weirdly long time ago…) and there have been endless think pieces so I won’t bore you with those. But I will say that there was a lot of rhetoric with little policy and no plans, with a nice undercurrent of the kind of talk that historically precursor-ed foreign conflicts. In case you were wondering how I felt about it.

There was an awful train accident with a number of congresspeople as passengers. Thankfully there was only one fatality, but tragically it was the driver of a vehicle that the train struck, which is awful. Horribly, the conspiracy theories about this accident started almost right away, and I’m not going to link to a single one. We live in a scary time. Meanwhile, here’s the GoFundMe campaign to support the family of the victim.

The incredible reinvention of the Religious Right, even just in my own lifetime, is constantly remarkable to me. In a bad way.

Trigger warning, this is a story about revenge porn. And it’s important to read because, given changes in media and technology, this possibility even more insidious than usual.

Meanwhile, most of the kids remain solidly alright.


Racked did a great piece on the history of black-owned beauty brands that is well worth a read. The market is making great strides in correcting the absolutely ridiculous limitations of shade ranges and products for women of color (and its propensity to treat “ethnic” products separately from “normal” products), but there is still work to be done. Insert reminder here that the best way to support the brands making change happen is with your money.

Stop accusing women in Mr. Trump’s orbit of sleeping their way to power. There is no evidence of this and even if there were, it’s a gross tactic to delegitimize their power. There is plenty to consider or critique without a single comment on their sexual choices.

We might need bodice ripper sex ed.

This is why.

It’s all about the statement outerwear this year, Paris says so!

I wanted to tell my story because I’m afraid people are forgetting. We can never forget what happened. We can never let it happen again.”

This guy was afraid of being shunned so murder was his out?!

This deep dive report by the New York Times into the world of fake or “bot” social media accounts, including how they can be bought and sold as “followers, is required reading to understand the bizarre media landscape we find ourselves in. From Fake News, to social media influencers, to online popularity wars, how much of this landscape is false or fraudulent? Turns out, a lot of it. What does this mean, and how should this knowledge affect us? I’m clearly not the only one who has questions about the worth of social media on the brain.

Meanwhile, here in Britain

So, the FBI is saying that the infamous memo is dangerously inaccurate. Great.

This beauty article is getting some hype this week, but I find its premise flawed. Beauty rituals have medical and psychological value. By all means, tell people to be smart about the chemicals they put on their skin. But don’t tell them that there is no value in taking care of your skin or that they are stupid for doing so or pretend that humans haven’t been slathering themselves in treatments for thousands of years to right a variety of wrongs and health situations.

Here’s a much better piece on why content on or about skincare is so prevalent right now.

San Francisco is trying something different.

While the president’s language around immigration seems vested in violence, here’s a casual reminder that the greatest amount of exteremist crimes in the US last year was by white supremacists.

A touching archaeological find from our extinct cousins/ancestors.

Hmmm, is Glossier making some mistakes with its latest product offering? The reigning UK Queen of Skincare weighs in.

And finally, the #Releasethememo frenzy hit its peak with the release of the memo in question, over the objections of the FBI. NPR has annotated and fact checked the document. My opinion is that the memo actually undermines the White House’s narrative that the investigation into whether or not the administration has had improper dealings with Russia started with the infamous Steele dossier. But if the aim is simply to throw the intelligence community into chaos and undermine public trust…mission bloody accomplished, and all of us are endangered for it.

Weekend Links

“We have currently a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information. Our mass media reflect this. But unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse, and insulate us, then television and those who finance it, those who look at it, and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late. ” 
― Edward R. Murrow

Another riotous week of political news, but never fear! I shan’t let the confirmation that the President probably tried to fire the man investigating him derail our good humor this weekend. There is much to celebrate and cheer on, kittens, in spite of the fact that the Doomsday Clock hasn’t been this close to midnight since before I was born.

We are defiant, unbowed, and full of confidence. Let this gif of Judge Aquilina’s handling of Larry Nassar’s letter, stating how distressing it was for him to hear the stories of his victims, be your moodboard for this weekend and all of 2018:

Greatist put together a list of resources and content for survivors of sexual assault and the people who want to care for them.

This piece on Buzzfeed of life after a polygamous FLDS cult is hard to read but powerful.

No shit.

Whoa, bad news for the Y chromosome, scientifically speaking…

So, we’re doing this every year now, yes? Regardless of the party in power, yes? Good.

Irony is dead.

I am so excited for this return, as much as I’m apprehensive of the emotional roller coaster it’s going to send me on.

Waiting for them to get to Gemini!

UGH. (Update, the reaction to this piece has been so extraordinary that the Financial Times has removed the paywall. Good. The only treatment for systemic bullshit hidden in shadows is sunlight. Follow up is still rolling out.)

So you want to write a nonfiction book? Let Friend of the Blog Caitlin Kelly walk you through the process.

It’s weirdly charming to me to think of a leader who doesn’t default to Twitter. I mean, no excuse for the collective heart attack, though!

The FBI Director threatened to resign this week in our perfectly normal and functioning democracy, thank you very much.

Inclusivity in beauty pays. Literally.

There was another awful school shooting incident, made more awful by confirmation that it’s the 11th such event so far this year. We’re not out of January yet.

You can take the girl out of Utah, but you’ll pry the RadioWest podcast from Salt Lake City’s public radio station from my cold, dead fingers. This past week they covered the Sundance Film Festival with a series of filmmakers and subjects in interviews worth listening to. My favorites were Believer, about a major poprock artist who seeks to find a way to advocate for LGBT communities without alienating his own Mormon people, and Won’t You Be My Neighbor, a film about the life of Fred Rogers.

Suck a shedload of lemons, dude.

Weekend Links: Come at Us Edition

Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, 
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” 
― Alfred Tennyson

Well, kittens, here we are: the last links of the year. It’s been a wild ride.

I had a nice long chat with Katarina the other day (a weekly occurrence and quite necessary to my happiness) and we were reflecting on the year that was. She mentioned, and I agree that 2017 really feels like a companion piece or sequel to 2016 which was, we agreed, a totally shit year. From the ridiculousness of global politics to the slew of pop culture deaths to my own personal background challenges, 2016 felt like something to be endured. Everyone just hunkered down as the blows kept raining down, never quite certain when the next one was going to land.

2017 by comparison, for all it has been awash in its own unrelenting ridiculousness, has felt like a response. From the Women’s Marches to #MeToo, a lot of simmering rage and pain on the part of women has gone from “open secrets” and back room whispers to full on mobilization. Communities of color, minority groups and faiths found themselves under siege from some quarters and in turn also mobilized in their own defense from kneeling at football games to showing up for elections. Allies and support systems coalesced when it became clear that they needed to be built. Hard conversations and revelations have been had across the social landscape. A lot of people like me who like to consider themselves “woke” realized that it’s not enough to have opinions, they must be married to actions and effort and put volunteer work, money, and talk into public spaces and areas where they may not have felt comfortable to do so before.

2016 felt like a siege, but 2017 feels like a counter strike. I have no idea what 2018 will bring, but in spite of the roller coaster of emotions of this past year, I’m not worn out thinking of it: I’m energized. I like to think that the forces that may be counting on our/my apathy or exhaustion–whether personal issues I deal with in the background, the global state of affairs swirling around us, or any other challenges–will be sorely disappointed.

I hope the end of the year is treating you kindly, ducklings, and that you are looking ahead with if not wide eyed hope, then at least steely eyed determination. You are going to rock this year.

That’s right, we’re being positive!

A post written for me: book and lipstick pairings.

This is not only a correct summation of 2017, but could also be the title of my autobiography.

NPR’s list of the top 100 songs of 2018 makes a great playlist, if you are so inclined.

Hey, fellow political junkies, here are 100 women of color running for office next year to support.

My body is ready!

That is certainly one tax plan

Headline of the week.

I find this to be a pretty fairminded assessment of the President’s learning curve one year into the job: namely that (unusual for a man who won the White House) he simply didn’t really understand a lot of aspects of the job and is having to learn by doing. Ditto for much of his staff. Whatever I think of his behavior or policies, I can empathize (briefly) with a whole administrative team being badly, badly out of their depth.

#MeToo rolls on.

As a former Mormon, polygamy fascinates, disturbs, and challenges me. This piece on its link to violence is not surprising to me, but is deeply interesting.

And suddenly, I want to bathe in Pitbull’s perfume. Who knew? As someone who knows herself to be a sucker for branding, I love the idea of this shop!

Gucci’s new ad campaign is even more gloriously extra than usual.

Well, thank goodness for late awakenings. Seriously, I applaud this, even if his last paragraph reveals he (and by extension a lot of us) still have a long way to go.

I’m among those who think automation may very well prove the next “industrial revolution,” probably to include the massive social upheaval that went along with the last one. I’m therefore very interested in programs or ideas built around minimizing the human cost of this potential change, and there is an interesting piece in the NYT about this worth reading if this is also something that keeps you up and night. …Just me?

Album of the week: Acoustic, by Betsy (and with this, I’ve met my goal of listening to one new album a week for a full year) 

Weekend Links

“After luncheon the sun, conscious that it was Saturday, would blaze an hour longer in the zenith,…” 
― Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way

Good lord, it’s been another massive news week, so what follows is the links added in mostly chronological order. I started before the Alabama election, the FCC vote, before the rumors that Paul Ryan might be contemplating retirement, before Omarosa was fired/quit… Regardless, I think the lesson of not just this past week but the whole past year is that journalism–investigative, exhausting reporting–matters. Less punditry, more reporting, please.

But fear not, kittens, there are fun links this week too! We need to finalize some Christmas shopping this weekend, enjoy our Christmas tree, probably see the new Star Wars film, and stay bundled up because London is cold these days. Let me know what your plans are for the weekend in the comments, and I hope they are merry and bright.

An attempted terrorist attack in New York City.

While we’re talking about Alabama, let’s talk about this! There is a long an ugly history of voter suppression of people of color and it must be fought.

Reminder: there are 16 separate accusations on record.

I am on the one hand, very pleased that trans people who are already serving in our military will be allowed to continue to serve (until the inevitable court cases at least), and that others who come after and wish to serve will be able to do so. However. The precedent of the Pentagon overruling a president should chill us, regardless who sits in the Oval Office. Generals side stepping or disregarding elected officials is an historically dangerous move with a several thousand year history.

This is a fascinating piece about whether Vladmir Putin is the mastermind his is often credited as, or a man trying desperately to stay one step ahead of crisis who has occasionally gotten lucky with a ploy or two.

The Creep Purge of 2017 hits the food world.

Also a bit chilled that people think this is how juries work. A bit more chilled to consider they may be right.

The president (probably deliberately) sends a tweet out which could easily be read to imply that a senator may have given sexual favors for campaign contributions. Because he is the literal worst.

Lipstick is the answer.

Cat Person exploded all over the internet, as did the think pieces. I liked this Man Repeller one a lot.

As the Alabama election was still in full swing, this writer looked into and pondered on the zealotry of Roy Moore’s version of Christianity.

Speaking of, this interview clip was extraordinary, sad, and a bit scary.

The jewels are stunning, but more importantly, I need to learn to recreate this beauty look for the rest of the winter.

This pop culture thread? Completely hilarious.

Oh my god, Alabama come through!

There was immediately a huge amount of praise for the black community for the political mobilization, particularly women, but others saw this as perpetuating the “magical negro” trope. It’s an important discussion to have. In the meantime, how to truly support women of color and thank them for political action and involvement. Talk and tweets are cheap.

God damn it. So few heroes left to root for…

The FCC voted on Net Neutrality.

If this is true, he is an arsonist who helped to set a country on fire and then first looked then ran the other way.

The #MeToo backlash is here, here’s some thoughts on fighting back.

Rebecca Traister knocks it out of the park again: this moment is not (just) about sex.

Interesting piece on millennials and buying expensive jewelry. Spoiler: we’re buying less of it. Double Spoiler: we have nothing like the disposable income our parents had and this continues to shock people somehow.

Goodreads have released their reader-picked list of the best books of 2017!

Album of the week: Revival by Eminem