Things I’m Verbing: Fake people, entitled men and literal Danish blanket forts

I started journalism school four years ago today — holy cats. That whole first quarter, all anyone could talk about was Snow Fall, the multimedia longform investigation that was supposed to change everything, and Manti Te’o, the Notre Dame football player whose inspirational long-distance girlfriend turned out to be a hoax. In light of the latter, I’m a little pleased that the viral story of the week is about another personality who seems to be leading the entire media establishment astray; for more, see the Daily Beast,The Media’s Favorite ‘Millennial’ Is 55 Years Old.”

Right now, of course, four years is sort of a touchy increment. A lot can happen in four years, good and bad. Many on Twitter have noted that Trump and the GOP are basically DDoS-ing the American people right now (and presumably going forward indefinitely) so we can’t keep up with all their destructive, self-serving bullshit (for example, six confirmation hearings are set for the day Trump will supposedly hold a news conference revealing… what, exactly? another hotel?). Many have been writing about how to keep your spirits up and effect action; Charles Blow’s “The Anti-Inauguration” is as good a summation as any.

  • I know we’re supposed to be beyond analyzing why Trump won and Hillary… won, but not in the right way. I found the Atlantics “The Growing Urban-Rural Divide Around the World” interesting. There’s something not-comforting-but-kind-of-comforting in the notion that a trend isn’t just some uniquely complicated outgrowth of your own country’s nonsense.
  • On that note, see also, from the Guardian, “Welcome to the Age of Anger.”
  • Art critic John Berger passed away earlier this week. Dazed wrote up a good piece on why his work is still so important — on how being female means being constantly for consumption in Western civilization and media.
  • A not-at-all pleasant follower, also in the same vein: from the Huffington Post, most mass shootings simply don’t get all that much attention. Why? Because they’re about controlling men slaughtering their wives and children.
  • Grim, grim, grim. It’s hard not to feel that way as a journalist. I remember worrying if entering this profession would make me hate humanity. (Answer to my past self: It has and it hasn’t, mostly not in the ways I expected.) However, for all the hard things we cover and witness, we can also talk about the entirely frivolous (and find ways in which they’re much more substantive). For instance, I can’t stop giggling about the New York Times’ investigation into hygge, the Danish ethos of coziness. It’s a good piece! It’s very good lifestyle writing and reporting. It comes to some interesting conclusions about cost and insularity. It’s the best thing to read after all of the above.

Stay brave, friends.

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the HuffPo article on domestic violence and shootings. I’ve been doing some work in this arena, and one of the most compelling arguments for a very strict reading of the Second Amendment is exactly that link between estranged domestic abusers and their victims and guns. There is some movement on state- or even city-based laws that would put anyone with a restraining order because of domestic violence on a do-not-sell list (kind of the no-fly, no-buy initiatives).

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  2. Also, while I like concept of the anti-Inauguration, the whole rhetoric of “never Trump” bothers me. Look, he’s going to be president — even if I didn’t vote for him. It’s a fact that we can’t change, unfortunately. What we can try to impact are the people going through confirmation hearings; the policies that are proposed; and the way those policies might be carried out. It’s unproductive to focus on a person as a symbol because the person is an unreliable barometer for policy.

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    1. I agree with you, and I also think these are two different arguments. I don’t think Blow is advocating “never Trump” or “ignore/shut him out.” Given how much this particular human thrives on attention, giving your energy to something productive — the things you outline — rather than losing our heads every time he tweets or getting overwhelmed is more useful resistance.

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