Category: Weekend

Weekend Links

“If the spirit has passed through a great many sensations, possibly it can no longer be sated with them, but grows more excited, and demands more sensations, and stronger and stronger ones, until at length it falls exhausted.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Gambler

What a year this week has been…

General mood.

This is a short but really compelling TED talk and very well worth your time.

That’s a lot of Brits to repatriate in peacetime!

This headline should read, “Mr. Trump Tried It.” Ms. Thunberg was ready for the clapback, as you might have expected. Never tried to out-internet the children. They haven’t had to acclimate to this world the way we have, they are native users and they are SCARY. (Also, the sheer amount of adults trying to bully children is gross.)

Her murderous rampage continued and reader, I cackled!

Why traditional self-help narratives aren’t resonating with The Young Folk.

I think I’m pretty pleased about this, actually?

Thoughts?

Um, Atlantis, is that you?

Trickle. Down. Economics. Is. A. Lie.

I’m very stressed about this utterly trivial thing! Bite Beauty makes my hands down favorite lipsticks on earth and I’m nervous about and shakeups. Anyone want to buy me a handful of backups?

Fast Company has a couple of interesting stories this week about the perils of IPOs and the “gamechanging” companies in the news of late. This on was my favorite.

In a similar vein, Rent the Runway is also struggling.

Dame Helen Mirren, ladies and gentlemen! What an icon.

Hurrah for nice things, like beloved TV shows about being a good person.

Holy crap.

[ETA: the below updates were added as news broke this week…which was approximately every ten minutes]

HOLY CRAP. This change in stance came swiftly as a result of the cascading reporting on a whistleblower case. As the week progresses, the facts on the ground get weirder and worse for the administration. A “transcript” of the call was released by the White House, ostensible to explain how the call was not as bad as the media was making it out to be. It was considerably worse. Not only that, it transpired that the whistleblower complaint (which was also released) was about a much wider array of actions not just from the President, but included efforts by others to shield his actions from scrutiny and oversight.

Rudy Giuliani continued to act like a reasonable and sane person and in no way seemed to be trying to drag the actual State Department under the bus whence he is getting thrown. It’s okay, he was not the only one making mistakes. Snark aside, a lot of people from the State Department, to the Attorney General are implicated by this activity. Mr. Volker is the first to step down from a post, I can’t imagine he’s going to be the last.

Good lord, quid pro quo is something of a theme this week, eh? How do ANY of these men still have their jobs?

Call me petty, but I hope things are getting downright tense at headquarters.

And finally, a little levity for you all.

ETA AGAIN: HOLY. CRAP. Honest question, how did none of this come out previously? No whistleblowers, nothing in the Mueller report, nothing at all?

Weekend Links – Flying Flamingos Everywhere

“We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost.”
– Heny Rollins

Beloved kittens, I type this to you full of trepidation. Another co-worker has discovered this site and I suspect commentary or judgement will soon flow in full tilt.

Ah well, Small Dog Nation grows. (Hi, Tom!)

This week we continued to get the last straggling task from the move over the line and try to settle into a new home without any internet. A literal nightmare. However, I learned from the Evening Standard this week that as many as 20% of Britons don’t have or use internet and it gave me pause because–on an intuitive level, it rings true to me. I work in an industry now that pulls from many, many demographics and have learned that not all of them are “very online,” as the kids say. To me, this represents a potential manifestation of the growing discrepancies of access, opportunity, wealth, and education in society that we are all collectively becoming increasingly aware of. I’d be fascinated (and possible disturbed) to see current data on this for the US as well, where we know the urban/rural divide in particular includes access to internet services.

What interesting tidbit caught your attention this week? Share in the comments. Meanwhile, I’ve pulled together a smorgasbord of reading to get you through until Monday. The new continues awful, the pop culture varied, and beauty news surprisingly good.

McKay Coppins at The Atlantic has published his latest longform about the dynastic duelling within the next generation of Trumps as they try to position themselves to take over the family business…whatever that business happens to be. Thus far it’s been development and branding, but can political mantles be inherited? Thus far there are few successful examples of this in the US and those who have tried (Hillary and Jeb spring to mind) tend to be on the receiving end of good old fashioned American scepticism about dynasties.

Ha! My long-held pet social theory is given credence in this pretty impressive interactive piece from the New York Times: how politics and pop culture are colliding and entangling, and why that’s not really good for any of us.

What a beautiful piece of science and culture writing!

Excuse me, what? What doesn’t Tina Turner deserve?! (Full piece here.)

Sharpiegate continues because it was NEVER about the Sharpie. It was always about who Mr. Trump could bend to his narrative will, and at what institutional cost.

Bolton is out. I’m not surprised but I am cackling because of course Mr. Trump is not really a hawk and never has been. I think Mr. Bolton has done damage and I’m not sorry to see the back of him, but I also think the constant whiplash of what my country’s actually policies and approaches are across the world aren’t doing anyone any favors.

The absolutely wacky handling of the Taliban talks could not have helped. We’re just announcing international negotiations on Twitter now I guess…

Kind of like the reporting on the lifting of a major intelligence asset out of Russia, because we didn’t trust the president NOT to out them. We’re not usually supposed to hear about this stuff as the lay citizenry…

It’s the corruption, stupid. Once again, even the most charitable interpretation of these events is not great. The President is supposed to be surrounded by people who not only keep him from corruption but also help him avoid the shallow appearance of it!

My previous life in luxury property means I found this story fascinating: there is too much luxury property stock in NYC (and frankly London) and little prospect of sales at expected prices. This seems niche, but I think reveals a lot more about the economy of who we’re building for (right people) and why (investment, not housing). There’s a reason populism is on the rise.

Meanwhile, in Britain….(the Speaker gave the British Parliament version of a mic drop on the way out. For more context and less snark, see here). Britain and the US are stuck in a game of onedownsmanship, but they have us whipped on theatricality, it must be said. (ETA, the courts are now involved! It’s so ridiculous and messy.)

People can be trash, but they can also be kind of great. Both in one story.

Progress is not inevitable, but we are learning how change happens. It takes effort.

…and we might be up against our own evolutionary biology

I really want to read this, but it’s going to be difficult.

The New York Times did another incredible interactive report on the flooding that has taken place across the US this year. It puts what appeared to my untrained and uninformed eye a series of isolated events into a much bigger pattern.

UGH. I didn’t want to link that That Story this week, and yet here we are. The thing that convinced me it was worth sharing (besides the viral nature of the story) was this take from Vox on what our collective fascination about female scammers might say about us as a culture.

The universe is not all malevolent, my treasures, for it is giving us more Phryne Fisher!

Victoria Beckham finally launched her eponymous beauty line and the first product drop was very on brand. As a devotee of the collections she did with Estee Lauder, I’ll be keeping an eye on developments.

It’s fashion week. Let’s unpack some relevant shit.

GOD. DAMN. IT. What a nauseating farce this whole thing was/is.

This piece is gorgeous. I’ll leave you with this tiny taster: “The mystery of cosmic asymmetry will always be the point at which an imaginary conversation with my brother about God would begin.”

I never thought I’d be engrossed in the niche world of chess, but this unusual way in hooked me.

In the world of stand-up, where nothing’s valorized quite like edginess, Mulaney relishes his squareness to an almost defiant degree.” I’m a full on stan at this point.

Go on

Weekend Links

“Solitude is fine but you need someone to tell that solitude is fine.” 
― Honoré de Balzac

Darlings, it’s been a shit week on the personal front–one of those sorts of weeks where it doesn’t seem to matter how you try and approach a problem, there is no way to proceed without some kind of negative consequence, regardless of desire or intention. Meanwhile, it’s Accountancy Widow Season and Jeff has to work horrible hours to get his assignments over the line and we go days without only a few hours of overlap at times. Blech.

And so, to cope I have put together a great batch of weekend reading for you all–with absolutely no current political affairs for once! Let’s delve into the worlds of science, beauty, music, women and money, and Twitter threads that won’t make you want to burn something to the ground.

This weekend I’m catching up on the things that provide some balance and delight–books, podcasts, chats with friends–and tend to fall behind when work takes over. It’s not going to be a wildly productive weekend, but hopefully it will be restful one. Let me know your plans in the comments.

 

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I should have included this last week, but the truth is there is more mystery than news in this brand launch tease. Any guesses? What can you stateside minions report back?

No kidding.

NO KIDDING.

The only political story I am posting this week because I am too angry about too many things to list and choose to focus solely on foreign policy. What we are doing now is going to have ripple effects lasting generations, and we should care if people are unprepared or incompetent for the job.

We must stop looking to leaders of all kinds and swallowing their PR wholesale (especially when it comes to claims of moral authority of any kind). What people claim they value and promote is meaningless; what people actual value and promote is everything. As our suffragette foremothers said, “Deeds, not words.”

And on that note, why the world being built around men (even and perhaps especially as a default rather than any intended malice) is dangerous for women.

After years of ignoring or avoiding some hard accusations, we are going to have to grapple with another great artist who has caused horrible harm.

A really excellent episode of The High Low recently tackled the issue of great artists who are terrible people: what excuses are made for them, whether we should “cancel” their art, and why we need to think more about the many prospective artists who have never created because of the harm done to them which cut careers and ambitions short. Well worth the listen!

WHEW, this excellent interview with Aminatou Sow about money and work is a piece for lots of people I know, including myself, to either pin or tap to a mirror as a reminder. “There’s this idea that you’re supposed to be modest and put your head down — that work is your “family” and you’re lucky to be there. But work is not your family. The only way work shows how much they care about you is by how much they pay you.”

What a strange story.

Ugh, yeah, I’ve been saying this for a hot minute. #Lizzo4President

On the one hand, I don’t like the increasingly blurred lines between many spaces that social media is creating. But taken a face value and only by intent, I think this is lovely.

Truly, content for our times.

Cosmological Whack-a-Mole” is such a great phrase, but the whole article on the great unknowns in physics is worth a read.

Solange knew we would need good music this week and blessed us with this album drop.

Speaking of music and queens thereof, this interview with Stevie Nicks is a joy. She has a shawl vault. She revels in cashmere. She is fearless in her devotion to her art and muse. She is literal goals.

The Museum of English Rural Life, lately of museum/duck twitter thread fame, has done it again with a heartwarming story I have been following all week. Long live Merlin.

Headline of the week.

Shameless self promotional plug, but if you haven’t checked out this year’s Oscars Red Carpet Run Down, do!

Weekend Links

“History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.” 
― Thomas Jefferson

Happy weekend, darlings! The Amazon/New York deal is off, a national emergency has been declared over something that will not substantially affect the very thing that the US government is declaring is the root of the emergency in the first place. What a hideous mess. We are in the upside down.

Never fear, I’ve put together a list of weekend reading for you that is light on the politics and heavy on the pop culture and obscure scientific weirdness. Truly the sweet spot of the Small Dog Nation!

This weekend Jeff and I are doing a belated Valentine’s day date after basically only catching glimpses of one another for a solid week and general life admin. Very sexy and the stuff of true love. Let me know what you’re up to in the comments.

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My hypothetical children are doomed.

Spoilers if you have not yet seen Russian Doll on Netflix, but this write up from Vulture is so good. Relatedly, if you have not yet watched Russian Doll, stop what you are doing and binge it immediately.

*Files away as she continues to try and learn how to do her hair, despite being in her 30s.

I had to study up on population distribution in the British Isles for my immigration test, and once again was reminded that for all London may feel like the center of the world, the nation is the size of Idaho with a very unevenly spread populace. A fact driven home by this short bit of pre-Brexit reporting.

This is accurate, do not @ me fellow 90s girls.

Racism and its ugly history is everywhere, and academia is just enjoying/enduring a moment in the spotlight as part of a much larger and overdue examination. It wasn’t until my early 20s that I actually did some hard looking at and grappling with the communities I was raised in and lived in–including my almost notoriously mostly-caucasian university, flagship education program of a religious institution which didn’t start ordaining black men to its priesthood until 1978. Correlation? I think so.

We haven’t had a great archaeology story in a while, enjoy!

After a deservedly-viral piece last month, Anne Helen Peterson is back at it with another piece, this time on the realities of student debt and what some of the long term ramifications of this debt will be. There are racial issues, gendered issues, policy issues, psychological issues all to be considered and Peterson does a great job of parsing through them.

Science is brilliant.

This Medium post on the differences, but more importantly similarities, one woman is experiencing at a 20 year distance was a thoughtful read.

My time in certain industries bears witness to this. What a sobering read…

A healthy society should constantly reassess what it finds offensive, but it is fascinating to consider what used to bar people from public life back in the day vs. what they are able to get away with now.

Farrow dropped his latest. It’s his usual brand of jaw dropping.

What could possibly

Black Panther, is that you?!

I do want better examinations of boys and men and masculinity…but this article seems like a bad misstep. The internet agreed.

This is such a specific problem that I never, ever thought about until I read this piece.

What an idiot

Good boy, rover.

NEW LIZZO ALERT. Happy Valentines Day!

Holy crap.

And finally, what a mess. I ask because I genuinely want to know and I genuinely need more some expert to tell me: are we at constitutional crisis yet? The whole thing is farcical…and a bit frightening. And once again I have not the smallest faith that the party who has spent the vast majority of my adult life screaming about constitutionality, balanced budgets, limited government, and so forth will do a damn thing to check him. Meanwhile, this action is almost certain to run into legal and procedural roadblocks, all for an outcome that in the “best case” scenario will net the administration less money than congress was willing to give it a year ago if it had…you know…negotiated.

 

Weekend Links

“Were it left to me to decide if we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
– Thomas Jefferson

Kittens, another weekend is upon us! And as usual, I have sourced a plethora of good reading to get you through the weekend, whether you are hunkered down in the cold or casually flirting with the idea of breaking our your spring clothing. (Don’t do that, crazy person!).

This week in news, we have the whole of the state of Virginia showing its ass, blackmail attempts, more government mess…look, it’s been a rough week. I’ve rounded up the best of serious and trivial reading for you to get you through the weekend without screaming.

What a shambles

This is a headline!

How is this for sartorial goals?!

It has been really cold the past few weeks….

What a tale!

A YouTuber talks transparently about how they make money, what gendered issues some are up against, and what actually makes a business-successful influencer. I’m fascinated by “independent” media creators and think a lot (probably too much) about how bloggers and vloggers have changed the media landscape.

Virginia…are you okay?

This story is not at all surprising, but is still heartbreaking.

This seems like something we should be worrying about and working to prepare for now.

What the actual fuck is going on with Italian fashion houses right now? D&G, Prada and now Gucci have all done horrifically racist–or if you want to be extremely generous in a way I find mind bending to attempt, extremely tasteless and culturally ignorant–crap recently.

Honestly, The Financial Diet’s YouTube channel has been killing it lately.

MY HEART.

CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos has written a Medium post detailing his account of attempts by American Media Inc (AMI) to extort a decision from Mr. Bezos to end an investigation into how they got hold of negative information on his private life. This is of course the same company that has been revealed to use aggressive “catch and kill” tactics in other salacious media stories (most prominently with President Trump’s alleged mistresses). The Daily Beast and other journalists have weighed in to say they have experienced similar intimidation attempts from AMI in the past. In other words, it could be argued that extortion and blackmail are part of their business model. It could also be argued that trying to blackmail the richest man in the world was a hilarious undertaking and how on earth they thought they could coerce him to bend to their will is beyond me. Mr. Bezos accuses AMI’s actions of being politically motivated because of The Washington Post’s aggressive reporting into Mr. Trump’s businesses in particular. Which makes this story all the more weird! AMI is cooperating with law enforcement elsewhere in the Michael Cohen case, so how was this sort of action considered wise if you’re trying to cozy up to investigators?! (ETA: idiots.) Anyway, I applaud Mr. Bezos for detailing this publicly–even as I acknowledge how strange it is to be “on the side” of a billionaire who has cheated on his wife…

A fascinating reveal into Twitter’s actual numbers (and therefore outsized influence?).

Fahrenthold dropped his latest. It’s a doozy.

Everybody needs a Fuck Off Fund. Everybody.

I am very excited about this.

GIRL GANG GOOD NEWS, HANNAH’S BOOK REVIEWS:

NPR review.

Vox review.

Weekend Links

“In science it often happens that scientists say, ‘You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,’ and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.” 
― Carl Sagan

I’m probably going to type this phrase at least thirty more times this year, but it has been a hell of a week, pumpkins…

I’m steering clear of shutdowns and witness tampering in public on the opposite side of the Atlantic, and not touching Brexit. The world is a mess, the media is cutting good journalists and other workers from the very institutions we need most right now, and Ebola cases are rising. There’s a lot to take in and I’m afraid I’m going into the weekend feeling a little moody and grumpy over all.

Cheer me up! Let me know what you’re getting up to in the comments and share a GOOD news story that delighted you this week.

Some shit is going down in Zimbabwe and we need to be following it.

This series of short essays at The Atlantic actually dropped last week but is still worth a review.

This longform piece on human history, DNA, and the complexities of trying to solve the deepest questions of our existence is well worth the time. Our better technology is not exactly uncomplicating the matter.

Quite literally a problem I had never thought of before!

I wrote a piece last week about the confusion I feel over people who align themselves with political movements, the end point of which seem to require their eventual removal from power. It seems dangerously short sighted.  I am equally confused about the point that this piece from the Huffington Post raises: one day Mr. Trump will no longer be president, however and whenever that may be. The Republican party has rebranded itself in his image in record time. What on earth is the plan for when he’s no longer in the Oval Office? He has reduced his political focus to the circa 35% of people who fanboy for him, specifically aggrieved white men, and leaned blatantly into racism and misogyny. While this may be heart-rendingly powerful in the short term, in the long term it is not a winning coalition–the demographics are against you.

This should not be.

And on the back of the previous link, this opinion piece: “Populism of all stripes may be anathema to the billionaire class, but they helped create it.

Tax. The. Rich.

Oh dear

I’ve been craving a longform or profile piece on Senator McConnell lately, to better understand his motivations or endgame. The New York Times came through. It’s a fascinating read, not least of all because of how many connections the Senator is able to call on to speak on his behalf. I dislike much of what he has done, but he is damned effective at his job.

The saga of J. Crew continues.

Oh you KNOW I was going to share this piece. I either want to beg, borrow or steal the MERL’s social media team for my own nefarious work devices.

“I am quite literally from another age,” Attenborough told an audience of business leaders, politicians and other delegates.

This is a concept I will fully and unabashedly stan.

I have been following the #CovingtonCatholic story all week and it’s a mess. The initial images went viral for a reason, the clash of two competing moral positions each staked out with handy props. On one side, while and male America with his MAGA hat, and on the other a champion of identity and narrative politics. Both sides believe they are defending themselves, and they have armies of Twitter eggs on their mutual sides. First the tale was of on the side of the indigenous Elder, then the wronged Good Catholic Boys, and then who even knows. As the story has continued to spin out as it’s been revealed that the children are represented by a PR firm who was aggressively pushing narratives on their behalf (and booking them news slots), further clips of further bad behavior of the sexist and racist variety have surfaced undermining the GCB narrative, and the timeline of events has clarified. In other words, yeah…the kids were behaving in demonstrably racist ways and the initial images probably portrayed the emotional truth. But by this time, the real story is the overcorrections by the media first to cover the story, then to cover the counter stories, and then to mop up the timeline long after the damage was done. The event is a Rorschach test for your political views and we’re long past the point where the facts matter.

I’ll just end by saying that Trayvon Martin didn’t have a PR team. Tamir Rice didn’t have the backing of one of the world’s most powerful religious institutions. Thousands of children have been separate from their parents, made orphans or actually LOST. Meanwhile these Good Catholic Boys are being defended from within the Oval Office and still being positioned as victims of oppression. Spare me. This whole exercise reaffirms the underlying conflict in the initial images that caused this media incident: who is power, and who isn’t? Who is protected and who isn’t? The victimhood narrative does not work when you control all of the levers of power.

Senator Bennett sort of drops the mic

Let’s end on a fun note and an aesthetic I can get behind!

 

ETA: JUST KIDDING. I should never publish Weekend Links early on a Friday in 2019, I truly should know better by now. Excuse the language, but holy shit…lying to Congress is not a “minor charge,” whatever his lawyer may say.

Weekend Links:

“Each age has deemed the new-born year
The fittest time for festal cheer.” 
― Sir Walter Scott

Hey there, kittens. I’m back and WOOF there was a lot of news whilst I was away. I shan’t attempt to recap it here, let’s just pick up fresh and lean into the fact that Lizzo has released a new song and there are tons of more women elected to representative office in the US. I can be happy all weekend off of that! It’s 2019 and there is much to do and celebrate.

Let’s kick off with one hell of a Girl Gang Good News Minute: Hannah’s book is coming out this year and you guys need to read it!

The third season of The Trump Show has premiered and right on target there is an old rival from a previous season (a certain senator-elect from the Beehive State), fresh new antagonists (in the form of dozens of new congresswomen and senators), and a disappointing and lackluster character has been written out (hand over the gavel, Ryan). I kid, I kid! I would never think of our government in terms of reality television!

A quick editorial note generally: we aren’t allowing ridiculous comments about a then-teenage woman having fun with a viral sensation or a grown woman’s “likability” distract us. Misogyny is very 2016, guys. We’re on to you and we’re not having it.

The plight of rural America and why a country that is so unevenly resourced with fair wage opportunities is a problem for everyone.

More end of year lists!

Ah yes, content that was meant for me, specifically, to consume.

This. Is. Spectacular.

The essay that made a lot of people (including me) cry recently.

I’d come expecting to meet fierce partisans, die-hard right-wingers, guys who were truly preparing to fight the real-life battle everyone in the media seems so sure is coming and that a few lunatics are clearly trying to spark. Instead, everyone seemed kind of horrified by the idea.”

THIS is a headline.

Never mind the US government, who the hell is running its Twitter feeds?!

Speaking of, Politico makes the case that our Tweeter-in-Chief is actually getting worse at Twitter. Seeing as how it’s probably the medium most responsible for his”political” career, what does it mean that he’s no longer really a master of the medium and has been supplanted by younger native users and more adept wielders?

Demanding better of men is our mood for 2019.

My goodness, I want these jewels fiercely.

Another gorgeous piece from over the Christmas holiday to make you feel all the feels.

For all intents and purposes, we’re only 35 years into a 75- or 80-year process of moving from analog to digital,” said Tim Bajarin, a longtime tech consultant to companies including Apple, IBM and Microsoft. “The image of Silicon Valley as Nirvana has certainly taken a hit, but the reality is that we the consumers are constantly voting for them.”

NEW LIZZO ALERT.

A little something to make you think.

God damn it…I’m not crying, you’re crying:

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