Category: Weekend

Weekend Links

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” 
― Augustine of Hippo

We’re back from Prague and what a joy it was to have a break from the news…but what a week it was. Between threatening the NATO alliance, praising the NATO alliance, trashing the British Prime Minister in an exclusive interview to a tabloid, being unwilling to answer questions about that interview when he visited the PM’s house the next day and walking back his statements, and messing up protocol when visiting the Queen….President Trump…honestly, he met my expectations. All of this bullshit and nonsense is absolutely par for the course. Can you image Prime Minister May touching down in the US and criticizing the President’s trade war with China from a podium in the Rose Garden, while opining that Speaker Ryan (or for the sake of argument, Secretary Clinton) really would have been a preferable president? No, because that would be INSANE.

The curve this man is graded on continues to astound me. I take refuge in the protests to confirm that not everyone is letting him get away with it.

Meanwhile we have a Supreme Court nomination who cut his teeth in the Ken Starr investigations and has some interesting ideas about how presidents can or cannot be held legally accountable while in office, former FBI agent Peter Strzok gave the most full throated rebuttal of the Deep State conspiracy theorist trash of anyone actually in or formerly in the government (which is sad and which I think is part of the reason that the oversight committee has not, at least at time of writing, asked the other party in the Sexting Scandal Lisa Page to testify publicly), and the Mueller investigation just handed down more indictments and have now formally laid out specifically how the Russian government took action to attempt to affect the 2016 elections (the documents are worth reading). And finally, the president once again used racist and enthno-nationalist dog whistles throughout.

And England lost their World Cup match. UGH.

Happy weekend!

So, it’s going well, then?

Going super well!

Sometimes I ponder how much power Senator McConnell has wielded and to what ends, and I want to punch something. Then I donate to a cause a I care about and encourage people to register to vote and feel a tiny little bit better.

A bit of statistical analysis on the president’s statements over the past two years, given his recent running off at the mouth.

Sali Hughes and Caitlin Moran talk life, writing, beauty products, and the need for a wide range of girls’ story being told in fiction in Sali’s brilliant In the Bathroom series. Part 1. Part 2.

If you know anything about the relationship between American Evangelical and Mormon communities, this is incredibly funny.

Oh Henry Cavill, I want to root for you and then you shoot off at the mouth like this

Ooh, poisonous books?!

This unexpected benefit of Britain’s heat wave delights me!

Whatever you opinion on the actual subject, Brexit arrangements are a trainwreck in slow motion.

Later the same day, holy shit. This is a bloodbath as politicians scramble to not be holding the hot potato when it hits, to mix my metaphors.

As a military brat with three generations of military service in my family, this enrages me and should enrage more of us.

More diversity in romance novels, thanks!

I appreciate the gesture, but there are also a lot of much more recent killings of black men and women who deserve additional resources and attention. This murder was a landmark event in American society and is one of the sparks of the organized Civil Rights movement and deserves an ending…but so do many more ordinary men and women. Black Lives Matter turns five this week, by the way.

Oh Roger Stone…always saying the quiet parts loudly.

A nice archaeology story to break things up a bit.

Maddening. Maddening and bad.

Were we asking for this, friends? I’m unsure.

Yes, I definitely struggle with this concept more than I should or want to.

“The erosion of the division between public and private has been coming for a while now.” If you’ve been following the gross “Planebae” story and it’s aftermath, this piece is required reading about the scary new reality where everyone, everywhere is a public figure now, and what the consequences of that may be.

To say that I’m crushing on Alex Ohanian and Gareth Southgate of late would be colossal understatements. Positive masculinity role models for all!

And finally, 50,000 people were expected to protest Donald Trump’s visit to the UK. According to the Evening Standard, 250,000 showed up.

Let’s end with a good news story:

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Weekend Links

“What fresh hell is this?”
– Dorothy Parker

I keep saying it, but the current pace of news is scary. We have not had week in this administration that hasn’t contained some kind of significant decision or change that will have lasting impact. This was no different.

Another Supreme Court seat is now in the mix and I assume that Senator McConnell will not seek to fill it as it’s an election year, right? I assume that if an election weren’t enough to warrant a delay in hearings, that investigations into whether or not the President and his election team were aided to power by a foreign adversary would, right? No, it was only about President Obama? K. Mitch McConnell is incredibly good at political power, but the cost of it is so, so high…

Seriously, this seat matters. Justice Kennedy was a conservative/libertarian in his position and as such was considered a swing vote in many cases–which is itself interesting. The court has shifted to the right in the past generation and that Justice Kennnedy is considered the occasional “moderate” voice is noteworthy. His vote has mattered in issues on LGBT and reproductive rights. It has also mattered to immigration cases, union cases, voter rights and access issues, presidential elections…the seats are probably the longest lasting appointments and offices in our government.

Elections matter. Too many people who are now angry about the direction of the country sat out of the last one and this week is the culmination of that choice.

In summary…

Lest we forget there are children who have been removed from their parents. Remember that? Here are multiple organisations you can donate to to help fight this.

If you are a liberal snowflake like me, here’s an avalanche you can join. November is closer than we’d like to admit and none of you get to sit this one out.

Judge Sotomayor’s dissenting opinion mirrors my own concerns with this decision. I fear we have overturned a bad legal precedent and just slotted in a new one in its place. It’s also one hell of a position that, “It’s legal if you set aside almost everything the actual president of the United States has said about this policy.” I wonder if and when some future court will be apologizing for this the way they are doing for Korematsu.

I’m never not interested in J. Crew news. It’s a brand that really lost me as a customer but I still perversely hope to root for.

Deeply relevant to my interests!

Netflix fires its communications officer for racist language.

What an amazing tribute in the face of tragedy.

New Lizzo alert! (PS, I’m three weeks late on this but Big Freedia ft. Lizzo alert too while we’re at it!)

Interestingly enough, there’s a whole swath of American people who think that your personal values should allow you to determine who you do business with (she typed sarcastically). That’s the problem with these kinds of positions. Sooner or later, they might turn against you.

To say that Brexit is going poorly would be an understatement. Regardless of whether or not individuals support it, it has now been two years since the vote and nearly nothing has been agreed or finalized in the negotiations to leave the EU with a deadline now less than a year away.

Honestly, and I recognize the irony of typing this, but this approach to masculinity is so damn sexy and attractive.

Big news from Saudia Arabia this week. Now let’s dump guardianship laws, k?

In Mormon news, the denomination’s hymnal is getting a long overdue update to better reflect the global membership. I’m also pretty pleased that national anthems are getting dropped, though I expect some Americans are going to be in their feelings about this.

Watching Glenn Beck help midwife much of our conspiracy theorist based media hellscape, try to rebrand himself as a Never Trumper, only to subsequently roll over legs waving in the air and be rewarded by a slow moving collapse of his media empire has been…weirdly enough, a little sad. But I’d be sadder if I didn’t feel he was one of the emotional architects of said media hellscape and a probably metaphor for what so many people are going to get out of this administration.

We all need more laughs. NPR is here to help.

Please don’t make me sound horrible.” Ma’am, you didn’t need anyone’s help for that.

Another well intentioned art vandal.

Some good news: shut up to me about how identity politics don’t matter. Also I am pleased to report that I totally own this lipstick. May it imbue me with badassery!

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG.

In more Mormon new, I enjoyed revisiting this then-viral piece about Mormon Mommy Blogs in the early 2000s and what’s happened to one of the OGs.

Such shock. Much surprise.

X sent me this link as it was “relevant to [my] interests.” As usual, she was RIGHT.

Immigration in the States is down. Immigration in Europe is down. And the President wants to make this the foundational plank of this election year because the facts don’t matter and he needs a fake enemy to bash, so people of color, the dispossessed, and the desperate will do. Shut up to me about the dangers of identity politics, the right plays it just as much as the left, they just couch it in different terms.

This doesn’t surprise me to read.

And nor does this, I’m heartsick to type…as I add this, it’s unclear what the motivations behind this shooting are (and fundamentally, it doesn’t matter because people are dead). But that the first place my brain went was to wonder if this was political speaks volumes. Just because it’s idiots calling for it doesn’t mean people aren’t listening.

ETA: More information is emerging about the shooter and his motivations.

On that note, also shut up to me about calls for civility from the right. You had a guy who was civil, who followed the rules and took the high road more times than I can count when confronted with racism and disrespect to his office. You declared obstructionist war against his administration. Don’t throw the mantra of the former First Lady in my face about going high when others go low, when the current First Lady is party to a government by internet trolling. The same people calling loudest for civility are supporting a leader who rose to prominence on a racist conspiracy theories and cyber bullying, warning against a militant left while arming themselves with more guns than there actual people to wield them in the country, detesting political correctness because they want to be able to use ugly language without consequences, and going to war over fiscal responsibility only to give up the fight when back in power. Fuck civility. You want it, you go first.

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Weekend Links

“Maybe you guys should ah, get a sense of humor and try it sometime… but, ah, he simply made a joke.”
-Sarah Huckabee Sanders, October 10, 2017

Woof, the news this week again should have lasted us a month, but it’s 2018 and the space time continuum doesn’t make sense anymore. Between Rudy Giuliani, that weird doctor, the ongoing issues with porn stars, another shake up to the president’s legal team, leaks of questions in the Mueller probe, and Kanye West, I JUST CAN’T. I didn’t even reference most of these stories in the links because at time of writing, the news is flying so fast that anything I post will likely be invalid within ten minutes. I will say that unless the plan is to simply declare that Mr. Trump is above the law (and let’s face it, that doesn’t feel beyond the realm of possibility), Mr. Giuliani isn’t striking me as a particularly good lawyer right out of the gate…

It’s Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK and I’m logging off for a good while to celebrate. Share your weekend plans with me in the comments!

The “furor” over the White House Correspondents Dinner exhausted me. Organization hires comedian to roast the media establishment including those in the room, comedian does that job, establishment who offered invitation and knew what the job entailed wrings hands at being roasted. Side helping of virtue signalling from those who have either turned a blind eye to or actively participated in the coarsening of our public discourse by defending the most coarse and crass person in it: the actual man in charge–who coincidentally spent the evening ranting falsehoods about said establishment to his base. Spare me. She did her job and the performance of disappointment over it is annoying.

ETA. Ha, all we had to do was wait a couple of days to be reminded that Ms. Sanders is either badly out of the loop in her own place of work or willfully misleading the press. Either of which makes her badly placed to do her job and probably not deserving of a huge heap of defense.

I was a child bride who got married before the world of Tinder and I routinely joke that if Jeff dies young on me, god forbid, I’m calling it. Done. I’ll buy fourteen cats and be done with the world, because the world of dating just seems cripplingly complicated to me.

Or I could just schedule an appointment with this woman. What a story!

We can’t win.

Everyone has a problematic fave. (ETA: good lord, Kanye, shut up.)

Busy Phillips, meanwhile, is a non-problematic fave who we should enthusiastically support!

Okay, what do we mean when we say toxic masculinity? Believe it or not, there are actual organized “movements” or “tribes” who embody and proselytize for institutionalized misogyny. The “incel” subgroup has been getting some attention (finally) and its online presence is both horrifying and morbidly fascinating to read about because it so ugly and so blatant of its ugliness. There needs to be a lot more attention towards the radicalization of young men online across the world and across ideologies; people are dying from it.

Speaking of, let’s discuss some of the terminology of this movement. Let’s also dwell on its idealized version of femininity and how I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist in nature…

WOW, bad optics.

Someday bad editing from this administration will tweet us right into a war.

WHO ASKED FOR THIS?!

These drawings are incredible.

How does this man still have a job?

The analytics company is deadlong live the analytics company?

Yes, for the love of god, stop doing this.

Also, stop writing pieces like this. Just stop. Everything about this is dreadful and makes me want to scream into the howling void.

The only redemption, and it’s cold comfort, is the twitter jokes.

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And possibly this Twitter rebuttal.

Wow, memories of this hysteria are flooding back.

Time. Is. Up.

Weekend Links

“He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.” 
― George Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara

We’ve had a month of news in a week.

The royal baby has a name (Louis!), Kanye West had a meltdown (again!), and ABBA is reuniting for the first time in three decades (what?!). North and South Korea had a pretty dramatic meeting, the president of France played good cop with President Trump and tough cop with Congress, Dr. Ronny Jackson’s professional reputation (rightly or wrongly) was unmade in about 48 hours because everyone Mr. Trump touches seems affected by his anti-Midas properties, and Mr. Trump actually had to be politely shooed off of Fox News when he shot off at the mouth for too long.

Here are you links, kittens, let’s catch up in the comments.

I look forward to the Lifetime Original Movie.

Is anyone truly stylish in the age of the algorithm?

Restorative, conservationist farming is an option? You bet!

What a story

Apology after damn apology.

Royal baby news this week, and hey, who does like babies?!

Why no, I’m NOT sick of thought pieces about Beyonce yet.

This take from Vox, that the fantasies of a dramatic and corrective end to the Trump presidency are delusional and unhelpful, feels horribly correct. I am still standing by my wager that Trump will probably not last a full term. On the other hand, I now suspect that if he does, he’ll probably be reelected. “Ending the Trump presidency will not fix, or even substantially ameliorate, most of the problems plaguing the American political system. They were mounting for years before he took office — indeed, they made him possible — and they will continue to plague us for years after he leaves.

Meanwhile, over at Politico, a former Clinton aide makes the point I was trying to make last week much more articulately, “There is no telling the damage one can do in a republic when you mistake your will to do good with an authority to do what you judge to be right.”

Roxanne Gay’s Unruly Bodies series has been intense to read and her latest own personal essay is definitely worth a read.

Janelle Monae dropped a visual album and it’s a stunner!

First Lady Melania Trump was in command of the first State Visit for the President of France and she did a meticulous and stylish job. I wonder if this signals a more high profile role for her, as she’s been very low key to this point. In the more traditional mode of a first lady, through style and entertainment in the role of hostess of the nation, she may be an as yet untapped asset to the administration which badly needs some kudos where it can get them.

The Toronto van attack story is awful, but there are some positive aspects like the fact that the officer was trained in and able to deescalate the situation in a genuinely heroic way. Alternatively, I’m not surprised at all to read that a crisis of masculinity and hostility to women may have been a factor.

This memorial opened and kicked me in the gut. There is so much ugliness and wrong to redress.

Speaking of…NFL owners would really like people to stop kneeling for the national anthem. Doesn’t sound likely.

WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS HOW MUCH I HATE THIS.

Angry women have the answers.

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.