Tag: Pop Culture

Weekend Links

“. . . the newspapers of Utopia, he had long ago decided, would be terribly dull.” 
― Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey

Kittens! Friday is upon us!

A major hurricane has struck the Gulf Coast and Florida, a prominent journalist has been killed by (apparently) Saudi Arabian order, Princess Eugenie got married (wearing hella emeralds), the stock market is veering all over the place, and Taylor Swift is political now. Just another week in 2018…

Share your weekend plans with me in the comments. I’m still dealing with a collapsed ceiling and we have set up camp in the living room at the moment. It’s all very exciting and uncomfortable. Keeping a household running when you’ve lost a third of your living space and the rest has been compromised is not a walk in the park, believe me.

HIGHLY relevant to my interests, childhood and other wise.

I’m still not over the new direction of Celine.

This piece better articulates than I could ever could why the rise in social tensions (spearheaded by racist and sexist language and policy) are so frightening in the larger context of Western democracy: “…a leader can more easily create political and legal hierarchies if there are other social hierarchies.” Strongmen rise to power on the shoulders of men mobilized to hate and diminish marginalized groups.

How nationalist populism has been on the rise since the 1980s, and why it isn’t going away anytime soon.

This past week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on climate change was issued, and the takeaway is sobering. In terms of agricultural shifts, natural disasters, coastal region changes, and ecological damage, the scientific consensus is that we will begin tracking even more noticeable and rapid changes in the next twenty years. So, what will produce viable change? Virtue arguments about natural preservation have been only moderately effective in addressing climate change, I wonder if issues of human migration and economy are the only ways to frame the risks in ways that the current political reality will accept or engage. That doesn’t speak well of us as a species…

Friend of the Blog Caitlin Kelly wrote a reported, but also deeply personal piece for the New York Times on her experience with a scary medical scenario and the importance of touch in the medical profession.

I am so excited for this show.

Helena Fitzgerald writes for my soul.

This is a hell of a security breach to simply not tell anyone about for this long! We need to lose the narrative that big data is going to save anything, they are just as muddled as the rest of us.

Denials aside, insert the “she’s running” jokes here. Maybe not just yet, or maybe just for future Secretary of State, but she’s running for something.

I’d absolutely spend money on this.

Woof, this beauty news story keeps spiraling…

I argue the premise with this headline. The NYT story didn’t bomb, it’s relevant. Any under-reaction is further testament to the reality that rich people can get away with operating in the shades of gray because people, governments, and even law enforcement don’t care to look into the machinations and side effects of wealth in the same way that they want to police the side effects of poverty.

Hurry up and get here, already!

What an utterly bizarre article

Although, this piece thoughtfully explores, maybe being bizarre and over exposed is the point. It’s working. The president doesn’t have supporters in the old way, he has a fandom in the new. And the thing about fans is that they are, well, fanatic in their love. That’s the point.

Weekend Links

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” 
― Elie Wiesel

Remember last week? Approximately thirty years ago?

My god, even in 2018-adjusted terms, this was a hell of a roller coaster and I’m having a hard time trying to put this post together when all I’ve been doing is working, watching the Kavanaugh hearings, and dealing with a fresh set of water leaks in our apartment in my “spare” time. I’m tired and I’m getting sick, which usually happens when the seasons change.

In happier news, a seasonal change means cold weather clothing, and I am ready! Don’t roll your eyes, kittens, in this day and age we need to take whatever trivial joys life gives us with both hands and run.

Here is an extra big heaping does of links for your weekend reading. I will just leave you with the following salute: I adore and am sustained by other angry women–in a way I find hard to explain to even my most sympathetic male friends. Angry women change worlds.

 

Glamour (going out of print, sob!) has a fantastic video series about how women at different salary levels spend their money. It’s interesting, insightful, and is a welcome resource. It’s alarming how little information was out there in terms of financial advice or context geared specifically towards women a few years ago, but I love content that redresses that balance. I really enjoyed their latest especially.

Deeply relevant to my interests and history.

This excellent story about obesity and how we as a society have failed on multiple levels (medically, scientifically, agriculturally, and culturally) to acknowledge and manage it is damning.

Men are cancelled.

The awful things Kavanaugh allegedly did only imperfectly correlate to the familiar frame of sexual desire run amok; they appear to more easily fit into a different category—a toxic homosociality—that involves males wooing other males over the comedy of being cruel to women.” POW. Right in the feels.

Wanting to be part of the solution requires knowing when you’re part of the problem.

What are we saying? What are our girls hearing?

Thank god for male allies. Though I will accept this rebrand.

THANK GOD FOR ANGRY WOMEN. To support the foundation that one of these brave souls serves as executive director, click here. Here’s to Senator Jeff Flake doing…the absolute bare minimum but thank goodness he is and at time of writing it appears there will be a (weirdly limited) investigation into allegations of poor behavior by Judge Kavanaugh. That is literally how these things are supposed to work: an accusation, and investigation, and a weighing of evidence. My cynicism suggests he will still be seated to the Supreme Court, however. Meanwhile, McKay Coppins of The Atlantic was there to snag the interview.

Literally saw this news alert at 9:30pm last night and logged off of everything but Netflix. There is simply too much happening too quickly

What some of the undercurrents of the 40-year mission to stock the courts with conservative justices look like and why.

This was an actual media event here in Britain while we’re debating how much sexual assault is TOO much sexual assault in the US.

In other men behaving badly news: Elon Musk.

And in businesses screwing up again: Facebook. Again. Oy.

What is the connection between Brexit and religion? You may be surprised!

A fantastic collection of photos–I’m struck at how incredibly American these shots look and feel. It feels poignant, especially given the circumstances.

The President gave a BONKERS hour and a half press conference, which I callously and cynically interpreted as a (slightly unhinged) attempt to grab control of the news cycle the next day…just in time for the Kavanaugh hearings and his much hyped meeting with Mr. Rosenstein. Which was subsequently cancelled, probably because of the Kavanaugh hearings.

Being bad at stuff.

I could be reading this wrong, but is the attitude towards climate change literally, “Well it’s happening and we’re all fucked so why change anything” here?

Long live Misty

Let’s talk about tea. (Editor’s note, this is not about tea.)

And finally, I had a bit of a grim realization this morning. Unlike in the Anita Hill hearings, the strategy was never to attack or discredit Dr. Ford, indeed many republicans said that they didn’t doubt her account exactly, they just doubted she was attacked by Brett Kavanaugh. Which is doubting her account. But no matter. They weren’t going to smear her, they were going to let her speak her piece…and then move on and appoint this man regardless. Yesterday I wrote a piece talking about the decision before us all as a society in this moment, not just with Kavanaugh but certainly typified by his hearings: are women acceptable collateral damage? It hadn’t fully hit me that the decision had been taken and the answer was yes. I am not sure what to do with this realization except to remind every last one of you to vote in the midterms. Confirm your registration today, inform yourself of your local ballot, and get ready.

A Woman’s Worth?

every woman in this pic tho pic.twitter.com/6Y2SvY4YlU

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The Kavanaugh hearings are a shit show but they do show what a corner certain parts of society have painted themselves into:

  • They’ve tried to argue, “it was a long time ago,” and lost the moral high ground because there is no expiration on decency
  • They’ve tried to argue, “even if it DID happen, he’s a good man,” and lost the moral high ground again because good men (and there are PLENTY OF THEM) don’t harass women
  • They’ve tried to argue, “the mistakes of youth shouldn’t follow people,” and lost the moral high ground for simultaneously holding opinions that young men and women who commit petty crimes or fall pregnant should have those choices follow them for the rest of their lives
  • They’ve tried to claim respecting women, and then got the highest office in the land to cast doubts and aspersions on the women who have come forward (almost all of them admitting fear of doing so, having seen what happened to Anita Hill and knowing how many of the EXACT SAME MEN will be questioning them in the same way).
  • They’ve tried to use the “drunken/slut/drunken slut” aspect…but women aren’t tolerating that shit any more.

There have been libellous accusations made on Twitter that cross the line into outright conspiracy theory. There is some evidence of coordination of smear tactics and commentary amongst allies (looking at you, Senator Hatch’s office). And even as more and more accusations of bad, crass, and increasingly ugly behavior piled up, the Senate seemed hell bent on trying to fast track his confirmation.

In other words…

The hearings have also underscored for me that if there’s anything people who benefit from a powerful structure can do, it’s ignore the corners.

Kavanaugh’s defense of himself was all the things that a woman, a person of color, or frankly any member of the non-patriarchy could never be: tearful, a bit petulant at having to defend himself in the first place (a textbook definition of privilege), indignant, and emotional.

Every male Republican senator who questioned him expressed sympathy for having to deal with the accusations. There were far fewer expressions of sympathy for Dr. Ford for her ordeal. Lindsey Graham seemed to be auditioning for a role on the Cabinet with a shrill explosion that interrupted Ms. Mitchel, the lawyer hired to question Dr. Blasley Ford and the nominee. The reigns were never really handed back, meaning that Dr. Blasley Ford was questioned by a trained lawyer, Judge Kavanaugh was questioned by his allies. The Cable News Watcher In Chief tweeted his support.

This whole story has been an exercise in patriarchy closing ranks in self defense. I have no doubt that there will be a committee vote today, and I expect he will be seated to the Supreme Court. In spite of a desperately partisan biases on display (on both sides, yes, but one has to wonder how his statements may come back to haunt him in his future rulings). In spite of credible questions of bad behaviour and poor judgement. In spite of it all.

At some point, the ruling party (and a whole lot of society) is going to have to make a decision: are women–their bodies and their stories, their truths and their needs–disposable or not? Is the safety and autonomy of girls and women worthy of defense and respect, worthy of holding powerful men to account and denying them advancement and prestige when they violate it?

Or are women’s bodies acceptable collateral damage on your route to power? If yes, fine. Own it. It’s misogyny, and it really is that simple.

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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: 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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