Things I’m Verbing: Chuck Tingle is real, Wendy Davis is happy and Constance Wu isn’t selling out

Okay, so, it’s been — what? Brexit, SCOTUS, Regrexit, No Bill No Break, world economies panicking and tanking, governments in disarray, racists charging out into the open, V for Vendetta yet again becoming a users’ manual, the next issue of Nazi Captain America comes out tomorrow…

Hang tight.

There’s still good news out there. Look how staggeringly beautiful the Blue Mosque is.

Also, the featured image at the top of this post is a shoe selfie I took with reproductive justice heroine Wendy Davis last year. You know, the filibuster lady who had a great reason to smile this week.

Also also, thank goodness for Chuck Tingle.

Okay — feeling better? Okay.

  • You really do have to read the New Statesman’s Laurie Penny on Brexit, the morning after: “I Want My Country Back.” If your heart needs something, well, a bit more caustic, John Oliver is your guy. For something in between, look to CityLab’s Feargus O’Sullivan and his appraisal of Boris Johnson.
  • Fresh Off the Boat’s Constance Wu may not want to be your new It Actress, but she gave a phenomenal, emotional, hard-hitting interview to New York magazine about being an Asian-American actor, how far we really have to go in this country and how she’s not going to let racist cultural norms stop her.
  • How about that Donald Trump? Really, though, what if he quit? Not that that will solve all our problems, but it would be a nice start.
  • The first time I heard the term “moral injury” was while reporting a story on military suicide during grad school. Ben Sledge lays out the aftereffects of moral injury and how American society is nowhere close to coping with it in a long, important essay on Medium. Worthwhile reading in advance of the upcoming July 4th weekend.
  • The Boston Globe has published one of those long, well-reported stories that seem to be so emblematic of the best of daily newspapers. “Strict opioids laws hit chronic pain sufferers hard” looks at how the war on drugs isn’t prepared to handle the nuance health care in the United States so desperately requires.

Things I’m Verbing: State fossils, high stakes and pedepodcasting

My horoscope says “The world is full of more goodness than you know yet.” Ted Cruz and the CDC say otherwise, but Neko Case, Will Bailey and one lady in Sardinia may prove it right.

The horoscopes were close to the comics in the Athens Messenger, so I read them growing up, as one of those kids who always had to be reading. Ours were silly and self-conscious, but I’m still fond of horoscopes as a concept, in a “You have to cultivate a few nonsensical beliefs to keep things interesting” kind of way. Madame Clairvoyant at the Toast writes horoscopes I like. “This month is for watching your future open up, strange and golden in front of you,” she writes of March. “The world is full of more goodness than you know yet.”

I really hope so. If all else fails, I can just remember that Neko Case exists, but it’s an uphill battle sometimes.

  • This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it would start limiting access to pain medications, in an effort to combat opiate abuse — not an imaginary epidemic. However, this bodes ill for chronic pain patients and doctors alike. Author, activist and academic India Valentin took to Twitter shortly after the news broke to lay out the stakes.
  • Much as we would like to try, we must not forget Ted Cruz. The New Republic‘s Clancy Martin shared “A Most Hated Man,” which is unnerving not just for its insights into why we like or dislike Cruz, but also for how it complements the “Trump is bad, but Cruz is dangerous” meme.
  • Guess I didn’t leave this behind in the Bush years — I’m once again turning to The West Wing for solace. For everyone else in that boat, Joshua Malina (speechwriter &c Will Bailey) is finally dropping his episode-by-episode podcast… soon. I’m optimistic about this one, not only because Malina is consistently entertaining on Twitter, but I love Song Exploder, and his partnering with producer Hrishikesh Hirway spells great things for us all.
  • The state fossil of my home state, Ohio, is the trilobite. The state fossil of my second home, Illinois, is having its day in the sun. One, it’s called the Tully Monster, and two, scientists just figured out what it looked like and what it’s related to. Click that link, you need the laugh.
  • This is me trying to remember the goodness of the world. In September, BBC Magazine* profiled the last woman who makes sea silk — an ancient art kept alive by one Jewish Sardinian. It’s so poetic; perhaps Madame Clairvoyant isn’t just making it all up.*(Help me, fellow copy editors, the formatting is getting me on this one.)