Things I’m Verbing: Bitter pills, thundersnow and big questions for feminism

How you holding up, East Coast? Or the entire northern Midwest, for that matter? For my part, I discovered this morning that thundersnow exists outside of Chicago. Living on an island, for someone who grew up in a river valley and lived for 12 years next to a lake, is a real trip.

I want my news today to be virtually all un-Trump, because screw that guy and his tweets, but I can’t resist sharing these entirely too-apt tweets from earlier this month:

  • Masha Gessen warns us about making Russia a conspiracy theory in itself, more rhetorical weapon and distraction from immediate domestic issues.
  • So, about that new Muslim travel ban: Vox reports on how it’s going to harm health care in the reddest parts of the country. See also the latest empathic-but-scolding “rural voters who supported Trump have the most to lose from losing Obamacare” piece making the rounds.
    • A blast from the past, well worth reading if you never have: Steven Brill’s massive Time story “Bitter Pill,” on why patients pay thousands of dollars for a cotton swab when they go to the hospital.
  • You’ve got to lose yourself in the New York Times Magazine’s interactive feature on the 25 songs that show us where music is going. Pair it with All Songs Considered’s audio piece on Resistance Radio, how musicians and producers reimagined the music of the ’60s for the Nazis-won-WWII show The Man in the High Castle.
  • If you have strong pre-existing opinions on either Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour or Zionism, don’t get mad at this link; read it. In response to a piece from the Nation, Berkeley law professor David Schraub addresses the intersectional movement’s argument du jour: “Can You Be a Zionist Feminist? Who Knows!
  • I’m looking for a full-time journalism job (hello!), and naturally I’m concerned, to a major extent, with my online presentation. Writing for Quartz, Noah Berlatsky has some thoughts about what the obsession with personal branding implies for the future of work. In that same vein, I recommend “cyborg rights activist” Aral Balkan’s “Encouraging individual sovereignty and a healthy commons,” not least for its distrust of Facebook’s stated goal of “bringing people together.”

On one final lighter note:

Stay brave, friends.

Things I’m Verbing: Giant Meteor 2016

Growing up, I always wanted political lawn signs at our house, and I was always disappointed we didn’t have any. It’s not like it would have been a drastic statement of any kind. We lived in a college town surrounded by some of the last New Deal Democrats of an increasingly red Ohio. Was anyone going to be surprised if we had a Clinton/Gore or a Ted Strickland placard out front?

I mentioned this to my dad the other day. “Well,” he said, “we wanted to, but your mom didn’t think her patients should have to worry about how their therapist was voting.” I don’t know why that never occurred to me, and it makes all the sense in the world. Now, as a journalist, I’m also in a profession that asks me not to declare allegiances when it could create a conflict of interest in my reporting. I understand the instances in which I’d want to be a blank slate for my sources, to be as neutral a palette as possible for them to speak their truths to, and I admire those who can.

This year, however, I do think a vote for Donald Trump is a vote against everything I stand for, as a journalist, as a Jew, as a woman, as an American, as a human being who lives in a wider world. I’m not just saying that as a lifelong Democrat; this year, we’ve been given plenty of evidence by both major candidates about fitness for office. Today’s link roundup is already a bit backward-facing. Poynter, for instance, has already listed its choices for top political journalism of the year. But like a lot of my friends, I think Roxane Gay speaks for me: “This anxiety is exhausting to watch,” she writes for the New York Times. “But regardless of this election’s outcome, Tuesday will not and cannot be the end of the world. We don’t have that luxury.”

Here are some big-picture pieces to tie up the discovery phase of this election, plus some other things — because we have to remember that, in fact, there’s still more in heaven and earth, &c.

Go vote.