Things I’m Verbing: Inside baseball, zero sums and global workarounds

This is still about where I am: angry, cynical, unable to square the idea that Trump was either an actively good choice or not a dealbreaker for millions of Americans. I’m told that cultural issues are just a big distraction from “the real story,” the economic devastation that “we all ignored” in “the real America.” I’m still not sure why the Twitterati can’t seem to hold it in their heads that we can be usefully angry about many, many issues all at once. There’s no zero-sum game here if enough people get involved.

  • If you only read one of these links today, make it this one: Laurie Penny’s “Against Bargaining.” Penny is one of those cultural critics who profoundly irritates me about 85% of the time; however, when she’s right, she’s right on the ball, and this piece illustrates with lightning clarity how so many of us, journalists and voters and everyone with a stake in the Clinton candidacy, are stuck in the bargaining phase of grief — a phase that looks remarkably like the self-protections victims of abuse build.
  • I do wish the New York Times had done this work before the election, but its six-byline piece on Trump’s worldwide conflicts of interest is amazing to see even now. It never occurred to me that this also means he has worldwide vulnerabilities to terror. This is going to be fun.
  • Ian Millheiser, the justice editor at ThinkProgress, has posted the only useful journalistic mea culpa of the many that I’ve seen. Still compare with The New York Review of Books,What James Comey Did.”
  • This week, we had a bit of a moment of journalism-in-pop culture pieces, with quite a kerfluffle about what a bad journalist Gilmore Girls’ Rory Gilmore is. Jen Chaney at Vulture argues for better depictions of good journalism in the fiction we enjoy; Jess Plummer at BookRiot points to an already teeming source of inspiration and representation — comics.
  • Thanksgiving is over (as is the regrettable spate of “ugh, how am I going to deal with politics at the dinner table this year?” thinkpieces), but noted nerdy advice columnist Captain Awkward has something the others don’t: a plan for going forward and connecting with people who don’t agree with you. Valerie Aurora of the Ally Skills Workshop provides a guest post with scripts for in-person conversations about bridging the aisle. An important point: You’re not trying to change the obnoxious live troll, you’re trying to reach the quieter, uncertain person who can still be reached.

Good luck out there, friends. Let me leave you with a picture of my dog being cute:

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