Things I’m Verbing: Lunch ladies, wonder pigs and existential bread

I’m a magazine gal at heart — daily news is not my preferred speed, addicted as I am to news Twitter. Almost as if proving my point, the links I had been saving since last week have become, well, not irrelevant but deep backstory by now, particularly in the thread starting from Michael Flynn discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador pre-inauguration, turmoil within the national security community and the so-called “spy revolt” that’s leading the intelligence community not to brief Donald Trump on certain issues because of their certainty he’s been compromised (which he does easily enough on his own anyway). That turned into the explosive revelation that former acting AG Sally Yates warned the administration that Flynn was vulnerable to Russian exploitation, and then seven hours after Kellyanne Conway said Flynn had the full confidence of the president, Flynn resigned.

That was yesterday. And today?

Oy. So that all happened. I’m going to share some more evergreen stories today, because honestly, if you want to keep up with current events, Twitter will have already moved on by the time you read it here.

  • The GOP is right on one thing — it is Valentine’s Day! Please read Laurie Penny’s “Maybe You Should Just Be Single” (“Happy Marxist Valentine’s Day!” she tweets), an actually quite good essay about women who drain themselves trying to find and please “lacklustre, unappreciative, boring child-men who were only ever looking for a magic girl to show off to their friends, a girl who would in private be both surrogate mother and sex partner.” Look, we know she’s not wrong. And to characterize this piece as one more bitter harpy with sharp words about the patriarchy does a profound disservice to Penny and you the reader.
  • You also need to read the Huffington Post Highline’s “Revenge of the Lunch Lady” by Jane Black. Several years ago, British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver brought his reality show to the Charleston, West Virginia, school system to overhaul their appalling school food program. Meet the woman who succeeded where he totally failed.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education shares a speech from English professor Kevin Birmingham which lays out the immorality of how adjuncts are treated, consumed and paid by universities. “The Great Shame of Our Profession” is essential reading; follow up with Longreads’A Shot in the Arm,” which also appeared this week, about a tenure-track professor forced by debt to donate plasma twice a week.
  • You can always rely on Aeon for interesting and well-written topical essays. Jay Griffiths argues that we’re looking to the wrong fascists in finding precedent for the alt-right. It’s Italy we need to study, not Germany. Meanwhile, as we try to diagnose the national ills that ail us, psychologists and psychiatrists are debating fiercely among themselves on the ethics of speculating on Trump’s mental health.
  • Want a feel-good story? I promise it doesn’t get much better than the Guardian’s “I accidentally bought a giant pig” (whose name, it turns out, is also Esther!). If you really want to just laugh at stupid things until you start wheezing at your desk, for whatever reason, “15 Hilarious Kitchen Fails That’ll Make Even the Worst Cook Feel Better” honestly made my day so much lighter.

It’s almost paczki season, friends. Stay brave.

Image Credit: Thomas Leuthard, 2011 (Flickr)

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6 Comments

  1. I try not to give the HuffPost clicks but that lunch lady article is too tempting not to read it. Added it to my longer reads bookmark folder – thank you for sharing.

    Like

  2. Great links as always. The lunch lady Huffpost article was a happy surprise.

    The Higher Education pundits have been pontificating for 30 plus years about how unfairly the universities treat their adjuncts. No argument there. If tenure-track faculty wanted to put a stop to it, they would have done so. They do not care. Instead, they keep admitting people into their graduate departments, knowing full well that there won’t be decent jobs for them when they’re done. It makes me sick. Meanwhile, the university administrators keep raising tuition and giving themselves bonuses.

    It still makes me feel sad and angry.

    Like

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