I mean… that about sums it up, right?

  • Wow, though, Mike Pence. When you look at the issues, it doesn’t really get better. And in fact, if you listen to the alternative press in Indiana, he’s been pretty bad there in practice, above and beyond theory.
  • These paired essays are two horrible flavors that go together well. For the Atlantic, Jonathan Rauch investigates the parallels between contagion and the collapse of the American political system. “What is it,” he asks, “that not long ago allowed our government to metabolize the aggression that is inherent in any pluralistic society and still get things done?” Meanwhile, the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik asks us to get really honest about what the rise of Donald Trump among Americans means. See also, from May: “The Day the Republican Party Died.”
  • Also see also: The Los Angeles Times outlining the fundamental ridiculousness of the laws that will govern next week’s Republican National Convention, and why law enforcement in Cleveland is nervous as hell.
  • Something good is happening today, though: the all-female Ghostbusters gets its wide release. Not only does this mean service pieces about cocktails you can make with the recently re-released Hi-C Ecto-Cooler, but you get to see the good parts of fandom on display, to counteract all the ugliness of grown men whining about how their childhoods have somehow been ruined by social justice warriors. (Yeah, about that.) To whit: how the film honors one super-fan who touched a whole community.
  • Other ways in which there’s good in the world, from a wholly unexpected source: The Kitchen Sisters’ podcast Fugitive Waves has been producing incredible stories lately about our relationships with culture and food. Even they were surprised, however, by what they learned about the George Foreman grill — including from Foreman himself. It’s not just the top-selling electrical appliance of all time, but it’s a vector of dignity. You can listen to the episode on that link, but I highly recommend subscribing to this show anyway.

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