TFW you spend a year chasing down evidence of Trump’s collusion with Russia, and then Trump Jr. scoops you on Twitter.
That… sure has been some morning!
- How about a nice history of skateboarding from 99% Invisible?
- Or, from On the Media, a look at how science fiction is tackling climate change? It’s not all doom and gloom — one of the piece’s loveliest features is the words listeners made up to describe the new environmental realities we may face in coming years. See also: Atlas Obscura’s great piece on demonyms, and where you come from if you’re a Leodensian.
- Also related to the future: from Pacific Standard, “The Fallacy of Endless Growth.”
- Via Quartz: It turns out we understand calories a lot less than we think we do.
- Last night, I saw Spider-Man: Homecoming, and it was a complete and utter delight. I wouldn’t call it a terrifically deep film, which is a great strength — emotionally, it’s great, but it doesn’t ask big questions like even other Marvel movies (e.g., my all-time No. 1, Captain America: The Winter Soldier). That’s my awkward segue into a piece of excellent pop culture criticism from Angelica Jade Bastién, writing for Vulture. Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, a Civil War-era story about Southern belles that features no people of color, has drawn lots of criticism for its oblivious whiteness. Bastién, however, offers a different perspective in “How The Beguiled Subtly Tackles Race Even When You Don’t See It.”
Stay brave, friends.
It’s the Friday before Christmas, and… this is where we are, basically:
- Yeah, Trump still hasn’t moved beyond “if we have nuclear weapons, why shouldn’t we use them?” Max Fisher clarifies the tweet (ugh) that set it all off this morning for the New York Times.
- Trump’s inauguration is basically turning into a talent blackout — no one of note is willing to associate with him or celebrate him. Which is what makes it cool that the union representing the Rockettes is forcing them to perform.
- North Carolina just earned a 58/100 score from the Electoral Integrity Project, putting it somewhere in the neighborhood of “authoritarian states and pseudo-democracies like Cuba, Indonesia and Sierra Leone,” according to the report’s creator. Pair with Atlanta artist Cory Thomas’ comic “The weirdness of being black in white spaces after the election.”
- There’s never been a better time (other than the past) for media literacy, and the Establishment breaks down your 2017 guide to overthrowing the media. Complements 99 Ways to Fight Trump and the Indivisible guide, now available in a nice/easy-to-follow PDF.
- Finally, just unrelated and interesting and engrossing and affecting, “Before We Were Good White” by Jennifer Niesslein for Full Grown People, about family history, poverty and class in America. Also, an unsolved murder amid Prohibition-era bootlegging.
Stay brave, friends. And as we go into the weekend (and the holiday, for all you celebrants out there):
I don’t have any links to share about Aleppo, and I feel terrible about that. “Massacre” seems too light a word to describe what’s happening there. Learn more about the White Helmets, the ordinary Syrians who are helping rescue people from bombed-out rubble; donate if you can. When we say never again, we should mean it.
President Obama will give some sort of press conference this afternoon; there’s a lot of speculation about what he could say, but even though he leaves for a trip to Hawaii right after, many expect it’ll be something big.
You should also be paying attention to GOP efforts in North Carolina to straight-up strip Democrats of power after they won the governorship fair and square. As Matthew Chapman says in that Twitter thread, “Frankly, this should be covered in the media as nothing less than Republicans refusing to accept peaceful transition of power.”
- Thank goodness for the Atlantic. This month’s cover story is a piece by the towering Ta-Nehisi Coates; “My President Was Black” is long and it is worth it. Just as worth it is Tressie McMillan Cottom’s response, the first in a series the Atlantic will be posting: “The Problem With Obama’s Faith in White America.” Keep an eye on this conversation.
- Yesterday, Donald Trump lashed out on Twitter at Vanity Fair, which confused me for a bit — I couldn’t find any context for the outburst, until someone finally linked the culprit: Tina Nguyen’s blistering critique of the restaurant in Trump Tower, which is more than that summary makes it out to be.
- Trust women, Part ∞: from Vice’s Sarah Jeong for the Washington Post, “If we took ‘Gamergate’ harassment seriously, ‘Pizzagate’ might never have happened.”
- Every year, NiemanLab publishes its predictions for the year to come in journalism. We’re still deep in the throes of navel-gazing and self-flagellation, as an industry, but non-journalists especially might be interested in what a broad collection of professionals think will change and be important come 2017.
- I am a freelancer who very much would like steady, full-time work. (Hi, potential employers!) That said, you ought to read Rutgers history professor James Livingston on whether work is not a solution, but a problem.
Stay brave, friends. Stay compassionate too (yourself included).