Things I’m Verbing: Moral politics, strange medicine and the perks of being fantastic

I don’t consider myself a politics writer, even though I’m immensely concerned with politics (I tend to find them in everything else I write and think about). Sometimes lately I ask myself whether I really need to focus so hard on sharing links about Trump; Things I’m Verbing was always supposed to be more wide-ranging than that, or if it did narrow focus, it would be because I had a better idea of how to define my professional interests. (Spoiler alert: still a copy editor at heart, still interested in absolutely everything.) So, do I need to share that spreadsheet of signs of fascism? That write-up of narcissistic personality disorder and what it means for covering this impending White House? That (I believe) misguided, if well-meaning, announcement that a Hillary-voting journalist is now voluntarily writing for Breitbart?

Ultimately, for now, I can’t do anything else. It’s all I can think about, and it’s all I seek out. So, for now:

  • Thank goodness for Masha Gessen. Her newest essay for the New York Review of Books, on Trump and moral realism, is essential.
  • The Guardian has two great, interlinked pieces on the systems that elevated Trump. Shot: “Political correctness: how the right invented a phantom enemy“; chaser: “What Gamergate should have taught us about the ‘alt-right.’
  • The Atlantic, which has a wonderful science section, put out an interesting article yesterday, about how we should actually consider Trump’s relationship to science. I’m generally skeptical of “no really, it won’t be that bad!” articles, but this is a nuanced analysis of something a lot of people are very frightened about.
  • Here’s a headline I never thought I’d click on, much less truly enjoy: from the Los Angeles Review of Books, “Doctor Strange and the Trump Presidency.” I’ve given this Marvel film a miss thus far, but you don’t need to know much of anything about it; the essay explains the national mood among a certain set very well.
  • Sidling over to some further film criticism, I actually agree with Slate on this one: “J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts Flirts With Gay Allegory. Its Sequels Should Go All the Way.” Contains spoilers, but hey, I think you should see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them — I went in with no expectations and knowing it would have problems (oh boy, it did), and yet I came out absolutely loving it.
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