Things I’m Verbing: Innovations in linguistics, the history of fear and TSA-proofing your phone

Yet again, where do we even start? Before we dive in, let me share a good hour of nature sounds you can play in the background as you absorb the news. This one’s only an hour, as opposed to 10, but it’s lovely:

My very favorite is the crackling fireplace, but I’m always on the lookout for a good forest sounds ambient mix. Let me know in the comments if you have any recs.

  • Sure has been a week for talking about antisemitism, hasn’t it? Trump, for instance, shouted down an Orthodox Jewish reporter for asking an “unfair question” about how Trump planned to push back on rising antisemitism. Tablet’s Yair Rosenberg wrote up the handy “Five myths about antisemitism” for the Washington Post. For those still confused and angry about it, Chaim at Return of the Judai discusses the fine (or really, not-so-fine) line between antisemitism and anti-Zionism.
  • Earlier this week, I shared an essay from a psychiatrist who felt comfortable armchair-diagnosing Trump with a mental disorder, even though both journalism and psychology/psychiatry strongly discourage this as unethical. I shared the essay because the writer goes into the discourse surrounding the topic, even though I couldn’t agree with her conclusion. As it turns out, however, the doctor who codified Narcissistic Personality Disorder has a few strong words about why Trump doesn’t fit the profile.
  • Quincy Larson, a teacher at FreeCodeCamp, shared advice about maintaining your digital privacy on international flights — namely, don’t give security the option of the simplest workaround: physically forcing you to access your data.
  • This is a big, ambitious link, but worthwhile. From the New Republic, check out “Fear: The History of a Political Idea,” a series of five essays about short-circuiting all your best intentions.
  • Bless the Scots. Not only has #PresidentBawbag become a worldwide phenomenon in part thanks to Richard “Toby Ziegler” Schiff, but Scotland may also have given us the latest addictive epithet to get us through the chaos: “shitgibbon.” Turns out there’s a whole grammar behind constructing these kinds of insults, and it’s all pretty brilliant.

Stay brave, friends.

Things I’m Verbing: Distractions, messages from abroad and the Mother of Exiles

I… look, I’m just as overwhelmed and wild-eyed as anyone, gang. Thank goodness for What the Fuck Just Happened Today?, at least, because as one might expect from a DDoS on American democracy, there is just A Lot.

Stay brave, friends.

Statue of Liberty cartoon originally found at Desert Island Comics; I had no luck with reverse image searches, but if anyone can identify the original artist (Mary?), please let me know so I can properly credit. Read “The New Colossus” and the story behind the Emma Lazarus poem here.

Things I’m Verbing: Lilohan, Macedon and Diana of Themyscira

It’s the Friday before Election Day! We’re almost there, if we don’t all expire of wrath and exhaustion first. Things are getting weirder and weirder by the minute, apparently. In addition the FBI seemingly openly working to elect one candidate, we’ve also got a starring role for Macedonian teenagers making money off Facebook ads by generating wildly false Trump-supporting content-mill articles. However, it’s not all terrible. Even as someone who lived in and adored Chicago for 12 years and thus is reluctant to give New York credit for much of anything, the New York Times wrote a simply beautiful lede commemorating the Cubs’ World Series win.

In other news, I have a new piece out in Refinery29! Lindsay Lohan baffled the world this week with a meandering new accent; fulfilling my duty as a nerd (and the daughter of an English and linguistics professor), I wrote about sociolinguistics and why we all pick up and drop accents. Hope you enjoy it! For those at home, my source wrote in after listening to the clip and thought LiLo sounded vaguely French, in a very Canadian way.

  • Hillary Clinton answered reader questions at Rookie and it’s great. However, pair with Sudanese-American comics artist Moaz Elemam’s “Distant Fires,” lest we think politics are easy and comfortable at heart.
  • The Hollywood Reporter has a fascinating profile up of “the Oprah of China” — a trans woman who was once a high-profile ballet star. There’s so much left unsaid or elided, which is just as intriguing.
  • Twitter ditching @replies isn’t just an aesthetic misstep. It also makes users even more unsafe, writes sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom.
  • Peace Now, the Israeli peace activist organization, has a new leader, a gay Mizrahi man named Avi Buskila. Outside of Israel, domestic politics tend to get flattened. Buskila’s interview with Ynetnews is a good window into why that’s a mistake.
  • There have been many eulogies written for Vine, the six-second video network. Many of them have noted that shutting down the service means shutting down one of the richest cultural outlets for black youth in America.

To reclaim some joy in your lives (or at least my life), holy cats, you’ve got to watch the new Wonder Woman trailer. It looks amazing, on a bunch of levels. I have a lot of feelings about why we’re long overdue for action and fantasy movies focusing on WWI, as well as Gal Gadot’s Jewishness, but for now, ugh, this just looks great. Happy Friday!

Image Credit: 1derwoman/Flickr