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.
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.
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.
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)