“Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions.”
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.
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.