26. Glow up

July 2, 2017

Hello, holiday weekenders! It’s July, which means my book is coming out in a few short weeks! I just finished watching the Netflix series GLOW (it took several episodes to grow on me, and ultimately I liked — but didn’t love — it) and am now seriously contemplating living the workout leotard life. Anyway, please enjoy the above photo of my grandma (in the midst of some kind of summer romance she refused to tell me much about except that the man who took the photo picked her up at the grocery store where she worked, and that she didn’t tell her mother because “he wasn’t Catholic”) and these links!

Writing

25 Things Men Can Finally Do

I also worked on this video.

Reading

Report: Black girls thought to need less protection, AP. “These findings show that pervasive stereotypes of black women as hypersexualized and combative are reaching into our schools and playgrounds and helping rob black girls of the protections other children enjoy.”

I Don’t Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People, The Huffington Post. “Personally, I’m happy to pay an extra 4.3 percent for my fast food burger if it means the person making it for me can afford to feed their own family. If you aren’t willing to fork over an extra 17 cents for a Big Mac, you’re a fundamentally different person than I am.”

How a Joke Becomes a Meme: The Birth of ‘Milkshake Duck’, The New York Times.

A Circular History of Circle Jerks and A Cultural History of Men Sucking Their Own Dicks, MEL Magazine.

How Wrestling Explains Alex Jones and Donald Trump, The New York Times.

Hi, Please Don’t Call Something a ‘Pant’ If You Mean ‘Pants’, Racked.

MTV News: The Good, the Bad, and the Contradictions of an Ill-Fated Experiment, Spin.

Being Pretty Is a Privilege, But We Refuse to Acknowledge It, Allure.

David Bouhadana Has a Problem, and We Need to Talk About It, Eater.

The $2 Meal That Changed My Budget, A Cup of Jo. This is the second time I’ve heard about this salad in the past couple of weeks.

After the president’s tweet, I must withdraw my support for everything but his agenda, The Washington Post. “His remark about Mika Brzezinski is absolutely shameful and I do not stand with him, except insofar as it is necessary to stand with him so that we can make sure infants get access to pesticides, as the Founders would have wished.”

Just A Bunch Of “Bachelorette” Moments That Will Make You Laugh, Even If You Don’t Watch The Show, BuzzFeed.

Don’t Light My Expensive Candles. Ever., ELLE.com. “‘But Sally, aren’t candles supposed to be lit?’ You might ask, head tilted. No, not SIXTY-FIVE DOLLAR CANDLES, FRIEND. Sixty-five dollar candles are meant to be admired, sniffed, dreamt about, saved for special occasions that would never actually come because what occasion could possibly be special enough for a $65 candle?” It me.

How to Be a Contemporary Writer, Roxane Gay. An oldie but a goodie.

And this poem.

Loving

This Alex Jones remix, these sweaters, this music video, and Piers Morgan’s lack of self-awareness.

The week ahead…

God bless America.

25. The end is nigh

June 25, 2017

Photo: Encyclopedia of Rainbows: Our World Organized by Color by Julie Seabrook Ream, published by Chronicle Books 2017

Running Disaster Week at BuzzFeed kept me very busy this week! Then on Thursday, we had an actual disaster when the NYC office had a bed bugs scare, and everyone lost their damn minds. Every Slack was in rare form. Meanwhile, that afternoon (while working from home), I edited a post about the Babadildo, a post about body decomposition (“Your body’s orifices provide a moist home for maggots to hatch — basically becoming a lil’ fly motel”), and a post about something called a meatus (spoiler: it’s part of the peen! don’t Google it!), one right after another. It was quite a day (it felt like a very strange dream), and just…quite a week! 

Here’s more of what I was up to…

Writing

Welcome To The Worst Week Ever!

25 Simple Meals You Can Make When Your Life Is In Shambles

25 Creative Hobbies To Try When Everything Is Awful And You’re Not Okay

Why Venmo Is My Favorite Sympathy Card

Editing*

*A partial list

The World Is Ending, Just As It’s Always Been (You should read all of these, but definitely read this one.)

I’m Terrible, Thanks For Asking 

I Style Dead People

This Is What It’s Like To Work With The World’s Deadliest Pathogens Every Day

If You Get 9/9 On This Quiz, You Should Travel Back In Time And Be A Doctor

Here’s Exactly What You Should Keep Around In Case Disaster Strikes

This Is What It’s Like To Be On Call For Disaster

If You Can Make It Through This Quiz, You Might Just Survive The Apocalypse

Reading

How to Talk About Suicide on Father’s Day, Gawker. “Usually, casual background questions come from people I barely know. Often in group settings. And because I’ve found the topic of suicide to be a poor icebreaker, generally speaking, I panic. I sidestep. The longer I put off talking about it, the harder and weirder it feels when I finally (if I ever) bring it up. So it best goes unsaid.”

I Feel Like I Live in Somebody Else’s Body, Racked. “People also tell me to savor this time. ‘I hope you’re enjoying it!’ they say as my son goes all passive-resistance on me, collapsing into a boneless puddle on the floor while I’m trying to put on his coat. ‘They will only be this young once.’ I know. But I want to say, ‘So will I.'” This is beautiful.

Facebook Banned Me For Writing “N*gger” In A Piece About Racism, While Emails Calling Me “N*gger” Still Sit In My Inbox, VSB.

#969 Moderation Mop-Up, continued, because people are still emailing me their thoughts about how a fellow human being should manage her own body., Captain Awkward.

Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Beguiled’ Controversy and What We Expect From White Directors, The Daily Beast.

The Speculative Dread of Black Mirror, The New Yorker.

Lenny Pozner Used to Believe in Conspiracy Theories. Until His Son’s Death Became One., New York Magazine.

Jon Ossoff Was Always Going To Lose, MTV.com.

Amanda Weaver on the costumes in Wonder Woman.

My application to replace Sean Spicer, The Washington Post.

And this, from Lainey Gossip.

The week ahead…

TBH, I am just very tired.

24. They do not deserve you

June 18, 2017

Art: Mary Purdie

Hi, pals! Last week was a busy one for me so it’s a short list today…

Writing

What Creative Hobbies Got You Through A Difficult Time?

Editing

26 Stories That Prove Dads Must Be Protected At All Costs

Reading

‘God Help America’: Philando Castile’s Girlfriend Speaks Out After Cop’s Acquittal, Huffington Post. Make sure you watch the video of his mother speaking.

Stop Pretending You’re Not Rich, The New York Times. “On the one hand, upper-middle-class Americans believe they are operating in a meritocracy (a belief that allows them to feel entitled to their winnings); on the other hand, they constantly engage in antimeritocratic behavior in order to give their own children a leg up. To the extent that there is any ethical deliberation, it usually results in a justification along the lines of ‘Well, maybe it’s wrong, but everyone’s doing it.'”

To understand white liberal racism, read these private emails, KUOW.

How Kim Kardashian Pushed The Boundaries Of Celebrity Pregnancy, BuzzFeed. This is excellent. It’s an excerpt from my coworker/friend’s new book, which I pre-ordered immediately after reading this.

‘Gwyneth glows like a radioactive swan’ – my day at the Goop festival, Lindy West for The Guardian.

In Her Shoes: Finding Feminism, Cynicism, And Geena Davis At A Walmart Soda Counter In Arkansas, MTV.com.

Paradise Lost: The Other Side of Reality TV, Jezebel.

‘Black Panther’ Costume Designer Talks Inspiration, Activism, and Black Lives Matter, ELLE.

17 Little Things I Did To Have An Easier Pregnancy, BuzzFeed. This is just a great post.

17 Tiny Changes That Would Actually Make The US The Best Country In The World, BuzzFeed.

Some Earnest Questions About the Butthole, Answered, Jezebel.

Buying

Perfume samples! So, like year ago I read this post about Le Labo Santal 33 and have been meaning to check it out ever since, but I just never got around to it because the store isn’t in an area I go to regularly. Fast-forward to two weeks ago, when I was in LA. As soon as David got in the car for our outing, I was like, “Uhhhhh you smell fucking amazing.” He told me he was wearing Le Labo Bergamote 22, so I decided to order samples of both Le Labo fragrances on this (ridiculously named and, uh, sparsely designed) website. I really like them both; 22 is a little more flowery than 33 (and is a bit stronger) and is something I’ll probably save for dressier occasions. Meanwhile, 33 is as good as that original post I read makes it sound. Here’s how Le Labo describes it:

“Do you remember the old Marlboro ads? A man and his horse in front of the fire on a great plain under tall, blue evening skies…

A defining image of the spirit of the American West with all it implied about masculinity and personal freedom. 
This man, firelight in his face, leaning on the worn leather saddle, alone with the desert wind, an icon so powerful that every man wanted to be him and every woman wanted to have him… 
From this memory is born SANTAL 33: the ambition to create an olfactive form inspired by the great American myth still a source of fantasy for the rest of the world…
 A perfume that touches the sensual universality of this icon… that would intoxicate a man as much as a woman… that introduces our use of cardamom, iris, violet, ambrox which crackle in the formula and bring to this smoking wood alloy (Australian sandalwood, papyrus, cedarwood) some spicy, leathery, musky notes, and gives this perfume its unisex signature and addictive comfort. 
Here is, in a few words, what SANTAL 33 is… An open fire… The soft drift of smoke… Where sensuality rises after the light has gone.”

That is…not *exactly* how I’d describe it, or how I feel when I’m wearing it, but I do really like it! It’s very woodsy/grassy/earthy and has a decidedly more masculine vibe than 22 (and most fragrances for women, for that matter) but it’s also really clean and just smells good. I’m way into it.

The week ahead…

Running a theme week on BuzzFeed!

23. City of angels

June 11, 2017

I spent this week in L.A. and I can’t say I was a huge fan!!! Like, it was fine, but my hotel legit made me feel like I was in between training sessions for the Hunger Games, and the time difference straight fucked me up. Not like I was jet lagged…but because my brain could not process the idea that everyone I know was experiencing the world three hours ahead of me. It just did not compute. The highlight of my trip was seeing my (sort of) long-lost BFF David. I haven’t seen him in 5-8 years (which is WILD), but it was sort of stunning to me how little it felt like had changed (even though so many things have changed). Like, I am still me, and he is still him, we are still us, and our night out was short but also kind of magical.

Here’s what else I had going on this week…

Writing

Why you shouldn’t raise children to be racially “colorblind”

Tell Us The Simple Meals You Relied On During A Rough Time In Your Life

Also, you can read my review of the Done app here.

Editing

Here’s How To Raise Race-Conscious Children

The Internet Has Made The Babadook Our New Queer Icon And Just, Yes

Reading

This Is Not About Laci Green, Patheos. This is a really, really good post about being a good ally and also just apologies in general.

The NYT Crossword Is Old and Kind of Racist, The Outline. I was cringing so hard reading this.

The Gospel According to Glennon, ELLE.

The Long, Winding Tale of Sperm Science, Smithsonian Magazine.

The Story Behind the Woman Who Made WWI Masks Just Like Doctor Poison Wears, Jezebel.

‘Friends’ Costume Designer Looks Back on 10 Seasons of Weddings, Racked. I didn’t really even watch Friends but this was fascinating.

The Struggles of Being a Fat Bridesmaid, Racked.

Weddings of the 0.01 Percent, Racked.

What’s the Difference Between a Coffin and a Casket?, Mental Floss. I’m so glad this post exists — seeing people mix these up is one of my biggest language pet peeves!

Block people and pretend they died., bitches gotta eat.

I also read The Residence on my flight to LA and I really enjoyed it! It’s a (mostly) light and totally fascinating read. Very good non-fiction beach read.

Watching

The new season of Kimmy Schmidt (not great so far tbh), two documentaries (The Unknowns and Mommy Dead and Dearest), and part of the live-action Beauty and the Beast (on the plane and it was SO BAD OMG).

Loving

These behind the scenes photos of Wonder Woman‘s Amazons, this video, and this baby.

The week ahead…

Just happy to be back on my own turf!

22. No Man’s Land

June 4, 2017

This week, we were treated to the glory that is Wonder Woman! If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s definitely worth seeing it in the theater. It’s such a fantastic summer blockbuster, and was utterly thrilling to watch. It’s also fascinating to see what superhero story told via the female gaze looks like. (Hint: it looks damn good. And just…right.) Honestly, watching Diana in action — especially in the instantly-iconic No Man’s Land scene — made me wonder why we ever let men be superheroes in the first place. Like, it doesn’t even make sense. Not when this is basically every woman I know:

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman No Man's Land

And this is most of the men I know:

Anyway, here’s what else I got up to this week!

Writing

This Weekly To-Do List Setup Is Low-Key Genius

Reading

How to Raise a Feminist Son, The New York Times. “So roughhouse, crack jokes, watch sports, climb trees, build campfires. Teach boys to show strength — the strength to acknowledge their emotions. Teach them to provide for their families — by caring for them. Show them how to be tough — tough enough to stand up to intolerance. Give them confidence — to pursue whatever they’re passionate about.”

The Language of Gender Violence, Middlebury Magazine. “We talk about how many women were raped last year, not about how many men raped women. We talk about how many girls in a school district were harassed last year, not about how many boys harassed girls. We talk about how many teenage girls in the state of Vermont got pregnant last year, rather than how many men and boys impregnated teenage girls. So you can see how the use of the passive voice has a political effect. [It] shifts the focus off of men and boys and onto girls and women. Even the term ‘violence against women’ is problematic. It’s a passive construction; there’s no active agent in the sentence. It’s a bad thing that happens to women, but when you look at that term ‘violence against women,’ nobody is doing it to them. It just happens to them…Men aren’t even a part of it!”

The Addicts Next Door, The New Yorker.

How Many More Women Will Suffer at the Hands of New York’s Outdated Abortion Law?, Jezebel.

The Instagram Obituaries of the Young Manchester Victims, New York Times. “Teenage girls rarely get control, not in life and certainly not in death. Teenagers document their lives — and, frankly, so do adults — because it gives them a kind of agency over their own narratives. No one gets to tell you what your story is if you tell it yourself. The very things we throw back at teenage girls as noxious self-indulgences, from selfies to the recording of daily minutiae, are the things we look for when unexplainable tragedy hits.” (h/t Awesome Women newsletter)

The Place Where Letters To Hillary Clinton Go, BuzzFeed.

What Happens When Work Becomes a Nonstop Chat Room, NY Mag. I love Slack and love this article.

This thread on Pittsburgh, Paris, and what it means to be a “real man.”

A Gift to the Future: In Defense of Keeping a Journal, The Millions.

13 Of The Worst “Trading Spaces” Reveals In The History Of The Show, Delish.

23 Hilariously Savage Responses From Feminists, BuzzFeed. “BACK TO HELL.”

Why Do People Buy Pricey Fakes?, Racked. Fascinating.

I’m Already Old, And It’s Glorious, Deadspin. “You can grow old, too. Just gotta find your jam. Maybe you yearn to collect newsboy caps, or maybe you’d like to clip coupons. Perhaps you’ll build model trains, or take lazy Sunday drives to view butterfly migrations. Whatever your secret, embarrassing, mild-mannered desire happens to be, go out and do it. Just stay hydrated. Wear orthotics. … We’ll all get where we’re going eventually. Why risk pulling a hammy?”

The Bachelorette: Episode 2 Recap, Caroline Does Recaps. This had me laughing so hard I was crying. More of her recaps here.

Alamo Drafthouse Apologizes for Starting Manpocalypse With Women-Only Screening, Bethy Squires on Medium. “The Alamo Drafthouse did not arm the first Amazon Death Squad. We want to make that perfectly clear.”

The Wonder Woman Movie Is Even Better Than You Hoped It Would Be, io9. I agree strongly with this review, including the part about the final battle not being the greatest.

Wonder Woman Is the Superhero You’ve Been Waiting For, Jezebel.

The Ultimate Wonder Woman Analysis, by the Women of io9, io9.

‘Wonder Woman’ Director Patty Jenkins on How The Film’s Most Memorable Scene Almost Didn’t Happen, Fandango.

The Untold Tale of the Comics Story That Redefined Wonder Woman, Vulture. I loved reading this!

21 Honest Facebook Comments Grandma And Grandpa Left For Popular Chain Restaurants, BuzzFeed. My entire team lost their shit laughing over this for a good 15 minutes last week.

The week ahead…

Traveling for work!

21. WHABOOM

May 28, 2017

Cotton Candy dock by Matt Crump

Photo: Matt Crump; buy the print here

ICYMI, I wrote a book! Here’s what else I had going on this week…

Writing

Wow, So, Whaboom Guy From ‘The Bachelorette’ Is The Worst

Reading

Transcript of New Orleans Mayor Landrieu’s Address on Confederate Monuments, The Pulse. This is one of the best things I have ever read on this topic. A preview:

“But there are also other truths about our city that we must confront. New Orleans was America’s largest slave market: a port where hundreds of thousands of souls were brought, sold and shipped up the Mississippi River to lives of forced labor of misery of rape, of torture. America was the place where nearly 4,000 of our fellow citizens were lynched, 540 alone in Louisiana; where the courts enshrined ‘separate but equal’; where Freedom riders coming to New Orleans were beaten to a bloody pulp. So when people say to me that the monuments in question are history, well what I just described is real history as well, and it is the searing truth. And it immediately begs the questions: why there are no slave ship monuments, no prominent markers on public land to remember the lynchings or the slave blocks; nothing to remember this long chapter of our lives; the pain, the sacrifice, the shame…all of it happening on the soil of New Orleans. So for those self-appointed defenders of history and the monuments, they are eerily silent on what amounts to this historical malfeasance, a lie by omission. … Let’s start with the facts. The historic record is clear: the Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were not erected just to honor these men, but as part of the movement which became known as The Cult of the Lost Cause. This ‘cult’ had one goal — through monuments and through other means — to rewrite history to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity.”

How Amanda Chantal Bacon Perfected the Celebrity Wellness Business, New York Times Magazine. “I understand that Bacon’s success is a product of ambition, luck, privilege and stamina. So why did I covertly order a 16-ounce sack of bee pollen from Amazon on my phone during a three-minute break in our conversation? The answer is obvious: Bacon is a lifestyle guru, and this is what lifestyle gurus do. They insist on a connection between what you buy and who you are. And then they sell you stuff. If they are Bacon, they also pronounce the word guru ‘goo-doo,’ in what I can only assume is the authentic manner.” I enjoyed every word of this.

The Bachelorette Season-Premiere Recap: This Feels Different, Vulture. Even if you don’t watch the show, these recaps are great.

Fraught Racial Dynamics in the ‘Bachelorette’ Premiere, New York Times. Love the point about O.J. and the Hertz commercial.

Inside Hillary Clinton’s Surreal Post-Election Life, New York Magazine. “Postmortems offering rational explanations for how a pussy-grabbing goblin managed to gain the White House over an experienced woman have mostly glossed over one of the well-worn dynamics in play: A competent woman losing a job to an incompetent man is not an anomalous Election Day surprise; it is Tuesday in America.”

Related: Melissa McEwan on the whole “Hillary is uninspiring” thing. “If you *needed* Hillary to personally INSPIRE you to earn your vote, blaming her for failing to do so is just a deflection of selfishness.” This whole thing is so good.

Joy Reid on the idea that the GOP’s problems started with Trump. “Trump isn’t some interloper. He just figured out how to take your existing product and get it on the Walmart shelf.”

Mike Riggs on the idea that “real men” hit back. “If you are poor, and you solve problems with violence, you end up incarcerated. People carry that label for the rest of their lives. Our prisons are full of ‘real men.’ Battered women’s shelters are full of women fleeing ‘real men.’ The sons of ‘real men’ grow up to be emotionally stunted, confused, and poor.”

11 Years Old, a Mom, and Pushed to Marry Her Rapist in Florida, New York Times. Horrifying.

When spouses don’t agree about birth control, Captain Awkward. Captain’s advice is great, and the letter is a good one to send to anyone who thinks that making it harder for women to access birth control is morally defensible, or done with women’s best interests at heart.

In Wreckage of the Fyre Festival, Fury, Lawsuits and an Inquiry, The New York Times. I know it shouldn’t surprise me at this point, but I find the white male arrogance and incompetence at the heart of this story truly breathtaking. This guy is ONLY TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OLD, doen’t know how to do basic regular business paperwork, and has a long history of failed businesses/defrauding people. Like…WHO KEPT INVESTING MONEY IN THIS MAN? WHO????

Manchester was an attack on girls, Salon. This is a little slow to start, but the ending really got me.

What If We Cultivated Our Ugliness? or: The Monstrous Beauty of Medusa, Catapult. “Picture a car radio on a long highway in the middle of nowhere, static deforming and shifting as you twiddle the knob, sounding more like a human voice as you approach a signal and then breaking into cacophony again as you overshoot. That’s what beauty is like: trying to tune yourself, with minute precision, in a way that makes you legible to the world. The culturally determined wavelength that lets people see you clearly is so narrow, and the further away you are, the more you dissolve into noise.” This is fantastic.

Astrology Is Fake, But Brad Pitt Got Owned By A Gemini, The Hairpin. Fave hed from this week. “Brad Pitt is a Sagittarius. A mere child! What was he thinking? He had absolutely no business messing with a Gemini. Geminis are for experts, only. They fuck you up. They may not mean to, but they do. A Gemini will escort you off the premises of your own life and you won’t even realize it until you are cuffed and in the back of the van. ”

Eulogy for America, The New Yorker. “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to say our goodbyes to our dear friend America, who died recently after a brief, intense battle with fascism and a long, slow battle with carbs. Thank you all for coming out to help say farewell. It’s not easy. But at least America died doing what it loved most: deep-frying Halloween candy while white men tried to explain to women what jazz is.”

Loving

The Keepers (well, “love” isn’t quite the right word), Master of None Season 2 (I’m about halfway done), a new puzzle (and a puzzle mat), this cat, and this little girl.

The week ahead…

Four-day week + getting Invisalign!

Coming this summer…

May 25, 2017

Last fall, an editor reached out to me on LinkedIn and asked me if I’d be interested in writing a book about journaling, an idea that…had never really crossed my mind! My initial reaction was “Oh, that’s very nice! But…nah” (my reaction to all of the messages I get on LinkedIn, tbh)…but she convinced me to come in for a meeting, and after we talked more about it, I actually got really excited because I realized that I could write the shit out of a journaling book. So a couple of weeks after the election, I signed the contract! They wanted to move really quickly, so I started working on the outline and doing research pretty much immediately, while also working at BuzzFeed basically every day from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day so I could bank a ton of comp time. I took a two-week book leave from BuzzFeed in February, turned in the first draft of the manuscript on February 20th, and then got to work creating all of the original journal layout pages that needed to be photographed (while also working on edits to the manuscript). It was a process, but everything went to print at the end of April, and now we’re gearing up for the July 2017 release!

(To be clear, that is…a pretty uncommon timeline for publishing a book.)

Dot Journaling—A Practical Guide

The book is called Dot Journaling—A Practical Guide: How to Start and Keep the Planner, To-Do List, and Diary That’ll Actually Help You Get Your Life Together, and it’s written for people who are new to journaling and people who are already doing it. It includes ~60 original layouts, answers to common questions, my impassioned manifesto on why keeping a journal/diary is worthwhile, my thoughts on accessories like washi tape and pens (which you know I have very strong feelings about), and a bunch of fascinating tidbits about the history of journals and diaries that help put the current journaling “trend” (it’s not really a trend!!!) in context.

Pre-ordering is very good/helpful, so if you’re so inclined, here are all of the places where you can currently do that:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound
Books-a-Million
Workman
Powell’s

Exactly zero percent of this feels real. I wrote a BOOK! A book that (I am told!) will soon be on STORES (?!) and LIBRARIES (!!!) on SHELVES and ACTUAL HUMAN PEOPLE will be able to pick it up and then read it. Like…what a thing!!!

20. Witch hunt

May 21, 2017

Art: Drawn by Mary

THIS WEEK WAS WILD. Here’s what I was up to when I wasn’t mashing “refresh” on Twitter at news o’clock every day…

Writing

Gird Your Loins: A LuLaRoe x Disney Collaboration Is Happening

Editing

Rompers For Dudes Are Here And TBH I Don’t Hate Them

This Gecko Smiling With His Toy Gecko Is The Purest Thing You’ll See Today

Reading

My Family’s Slave, The Atlantic.

The Enslaved Woman They Called Lola, The Atlantic. “The sad truth is that he could never fully release her, try as he might. Although my ability to understand the Filipino katulong structure that Tizon describes is clouded by my own cultural and familial context of American slavery, one thing is clear to me about all systems of bondage: emancipation is a process. Enslaved people are not so much set free as they are made free, a long and hard process of reconciliation and reparation that can span years, if not generations, if not centuries. Power, wealth, and labor transferred from one person to another are not so easily reconciled, and most often simply aren’t.”

Why the obituary for Eudocia Tomas Pulido didn’t tell the story of her life in slavery, The Seattle Times. “Obituaries depend on the fundamental honesty of the people who survive to tell the story. Tizon lied to me”

+ this thread and this tweet

Has ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Given Us the Scariest Anti-Feminist Villain Yet?, ELLE.com. “This co-option is so pervasive that modern Serena Joys can approach, disconcertingly, from the left as well as the right: She might be a ‘pro-life socialist’ who cautions you not to prioritize ‘social issues’ over ‘economics.’ (They’re the same thing.) She might be Janet Robert of Democrats for Life, claiming that her anti-choice views have caused her to be victimized by the Democratic Party, and trying to rile up your feminist outrage by telling you that ‘abortion activists claim… that women are too weak to succeed without abortion.’ Or, she might just be your female friend who accuses other women of playing ‘identity politics’ when they complain about any of the above. Whenever a woman’s chief political praxis is destroying other women, or elevating herself by aligning with those who aim to roll back women’s progress, Serena Joy is in the room.”

Samuel Sinyangwe’s thread on mass incarceration.

Any Half-Decent Hacker Could Break Into Mar-a-Lago. We Tested It., Gizmodo.

My Mother Wasn’t Trash, This Appalachia Life. “She made choices, some good, and plenty bad, but poor people have fewer options when faced with impending and potentially life-changing decisions. Poor people like Mom are often forced to choose from a small number of shitty options, and most of them try to find the one that is slightly less shitty than the others. When people are eaten up mentally and physically by a lifetime of compounded shitty choices, they reach a point where they can’t even decide what is best anymore, because they realize that no matter what they do – no matter how hard they try – they are cogs in a broken machine and nobody cares about them anyway. Poor Appalachian people are broken, but not nearly as broken as the systems that keep them poor.”

You Must Understand Why You Believe What You Believe — And How You Got There, The Establishment.

Duck Sex and the Patriarchy, The New Yorker.

The 17 Biggest Red Flags From This Season’s Bachelorette Bios, Vulture. WELP.

I’m Sorry To Report That Roger Ailes Ever Lived, Deadspin. “An asshole is not a brilliant visionary just because a toilet has a bottomless appetite for what comes out of it.”

The Personal-Essay Boom Is Over, The New Yorker.

The Dark Decline of ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’, The Ringer. I’ve never even seen KUWTK, but I really enjoyed this.

Women Are Sharing Their Worst Mansplaining Experiences And It’ll Make You So Annoyed, BuzzFeed.

We Cannot Stand Idly By and Let the RompHim Happen, ELLE.com. “The zipper fly, by the way, is the big difference between a romper and a RompHim. That’s what they’re selling here: improved accommodations for a penis. If that isn’t a metaphor for society, I don’t know what is. Bottom line: I am here for male-identified people in rompers. But if you need to change the name to make it not feel weird, I’m going to need you to first hire Tim Robbins to Shawshank you out of that prison of masculinity.”
Unpleasant Thoughts You Had, and the Items You Purchased in Order to Stop Having Them, McSweeney’s. Wowwwww, me.

Your coworkers are very dramatic, Ask a Manager.

21 Tweets For Millennials Who Are Just Tired Of Bullshit, BuzzFeed.

I also read In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect and am now reading Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself—While the Rest of Us Die.

Loving

This summer dress, this video, and this COMPLETELY PERFECT Trump/Russia version of “The Room Where it happens.”

The week ahead…

Honestly, just trying to hold on. Also, WATCH THIS SPACE! I intend to have another blog post this week.

19. Hey mama

May 14, 2017

Jim Golden barrettes

Photo: Jim Golden; you can get the puzzle version — and it is a *very* good puzzle — here

This week, everything was kinda bad, but the reading material was pretty great, so let’s get right to it!

Writing

10 Intensely Satisfying Photos Of Things Organized By Color

Editing

A Definitive Ranking Of The Planets By How Fucking Dramatic They Are

24 Mother-Child Lookalikes That’ll Make Your Jaw Drop

21 Pure Tumblr Posts About How Beautiful Women Are

21 Wedding Readings That’ll Make You Want To Marry The Next Person You Lay Eyes On

Reading

The Last Person You’d Expect to Die in Childbirth, ProPublica.

The Painful Truth About Teeth, The Washington Post. “As the distance between rich and poor grows in the United States, few consequences are so overlooked as the humiliating divide in dental care. High-end cosmetic dentistry is soaring, and better-off Americans spend well over $1 billion each year just to make their teeth a few shades whiter. Millions of others rely on charity clinics and hospital emergency rooms to treat painful and neglected teeth. Unable to afford expensive root canals and crowns, many simply have them pulled. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans older than 65 do not have a single real tooth left.”

The Autocrat’s Language, NY Review of Books. “Trump’s word-piles fill public space with static. This is like having the air we breathe replaced with carbon monoxide. It is deadly. This space that he is polluting is the space of our shared reality.” Another must-read from Masha Gessen.

Authoritarianism 101: First, fire the FBI director, The Globe and Mail.

Our Lady of Complicity, The Baffler. “It’s true that anyone can be a dead-eyed Instagram husk of a human being frantically photoshopping themselves in the down-hours between soul-crushing corporate drudgery and unpaid emotional labour for some ungrateful lantern-jawed jock if they really want to, but it takes a special type of person to do all that whilst also being a decoy for a global backlash against women’s rights. … The sheer tedium of her prose is part of the horror here: At times, the book reads like the panicked screams of a machine attaining sentience.”

Dwayne Johnson for President!, Caity Weaver for GQ.

How Homeownership Became the Engine of American Inequality, The New York Times Magazine. “And yet we continue to give the most help to those who least need it — affluent homeowners — while providing nothing to most rent-burdened tenants. If this is our design, our social contract, then we should at least own up to it; we should at least stand up and profess, ‘Yes, this is the kind of nation we want.’ Before us, there are two honest choices: We can endorse this inequality-maximizing arrangement, or we can reject it. What we cannot do is look a mother like Diaz in the face and say, ‘We’d love to help you, but we just can’t afford to.’ Because that is, quite simply, a lie.”

Our Friend Hits Women, Captain Awkward. “You say: ‘I have no desire to ostracize Paul.’ How many women would he have to beat up before you & your husband would want to ostracize him?”

From the Handmaids to the Marthas, How Each Handmaid’s Tale Costume Came Together, Vulture.

Feminism Doesn’t Mean Liking Every Stupid Woman You Meet, Harper’s Bazaar.

Pearl Parties Are Taking Over Facebook Live, But Buyer Beware, BuzzFeed.

This is not a crisis, Republicans say as a large spider slowly devours them, The Washington Post. “Okay, the firing of FBI Director James Comey looked bad. And when the president stunned him, pierced him with his fangs, wrapped him in a thick cocoon of impenetrable webbing and left him to hang there for days, that timing was also poor.”

The Republican’s Guide to Presidential Behavior, The New York Times.

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Voter Suppression, Slate.

My husband died of brain cancer in his 30s. Thanks to Obamacare, it didn’t bankrupt us., Nora McInerny (host of my new favorite podcast) on Vox.

What Happened The Night Of Beta Theta Pi’s Bid Acceptance Night, Onward State. This is sick.

Red Pill Boss: All Feminists Want to Be Raped, The Daily Beast. And this man is, in all likelihood, a New Hampshire State Representative.

How African-Americans Disappeared From the Kentucky Derby, Smithsonian Magazine.

The Narrator Of HGTV’s “House Hunters” Is Ready To Step Out From The Shadows, BuzzFeed.

Meeting Mr. Irrelevant: True Stories of Being the NFL Draft’s Last Pick, GQ. This is a fucking delight.

The week ahead…

I have a new hire starting tomorrow and new a new pair of glasses on the way!

18. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum

May 7, 2017

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Hello, friends! Here’s what I was up to when I wasn’t pacing with rage over the GOP and the AHCA this week…

Writing

So, Teachers Realllllly Hate Those Spinner Fidget Toys

17 Fascinating Facts You Probably Never Knew About Yankee Candles

Editing

The Forgotten Story Of The Radium Girls, Whose Deaths Saved Thousands Of Workers’ Lives. This is such an incredible story and I am so proud of how it turned out.

Reading

Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria, The Atlantic.

How West Virginia Lost the Workers’ Revolution, Fusion.

The Impossible Question of Public School Uniforms, Racked.

Sold for Parts, ProPublica.

Agent of Fear, BuzzFeed.

To Make Better Decisions, Ask Yourself ‘What,’ Not ‘Why’, Science of Us.

We spent months bracing and preparing for the death of our daughter. But guess what? We weren’t ready., Royce Young on Medium.

Ivanka Trump Wrote a Painfully Oblivious Book for Basically No One, The New Yorker.

Other Books Ivanka Trump Should Consider Writing, McSweeney’s.

I Am a Tinder Guy Holding a Fish and I Will Provide for You, The New Yorker.

18 People Who Were Awkward As Heck But Lived To Tell The Tale, BuzzFeed.

The Awful Pinkness of Period Apps, The Atlantic.

A Visit to the Synthetic Cadaver Factory, Atlas Obscura.

A message to runners everywhere: shutttttt uppppppp, CSN Philly.

Loving

This toothpaste, this puzzle (so pretty, and the perfect level of difficult), the “Terrible, Thanks for Asking” podcast (and the Overcast podcast app), and this good dog.

The week ahead…

Just openly weeping over all of the cute prom/graduation/college acceptance stories, as is my wont this time of year. 

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