Perhaps it’s just affecting me more these days, making me more inclined to notice, or perhaps I’m perceiving things pretty close to how they are, but it seems that the last month or so has been particularly violent, even by modern standards. It’s something I’ve written about here before, and I hate to think that I sound like I have nothing else to say; but lately, each time there’s an attack or a shooting, I feel it more than I used to. And along with that, I feel the urge to say something, to bear witness.
protests late last year, from the Minneapolis Star Tribune
Along with the violence, the past year seems to have been a period of great unrest. This fall, like much of the past 16 months since the death of Michael Brown, has brought about a lot of meaningful discussion about how this country functions, where it’s headed, and the wide gap in how people with different skin colors experience life here. Protestors have marched and chanted in cities, on freeways, at colleges, and around police departments and city halls that seemed to be failing their people. For a lot of Americans, it’s been eye-opening, although not always to what they would like to see.
Some would call this progress; some would call it a nuisance.
Those who would use the latter term have responded to these public dialogues in myriad ways, from Facebook rants to counter-protests. In a few sad cases, they’ve resorted to violence, like those cowardly few in Minnesota who took direct aim at peaceful protestors for daring to raise their voices against the ideology of white supremacy.
A little over 150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln declared that from then on, the last Thursday in November would be set aside as a national day of thanksgiving. He hoped it would help to heal a broken nation, one that was writhing and clawing and killing its sons over the question of slavery, which was really a question about the value of black lives. It’s tragic that so many years later, we’re still trying to figure it out.
news & updates.
I’m almost done with applications, which means I almost have my life back! actual news to follow.
On Pandering. So the downside to letting this newsletter go until this week is that this essay came out a week ago and you may have already seen it. But it deserves the top slot anyway. A brilliant reflection from one of my favorite writers on what it’s like being a woman and a writer, becoming a mother, being pandered to by Stephen Elliott/old white male professors/the world, and “burn[ing] this motherfucking system to the ground and build[ing] something better.”
On going and coming. It’s rare that I link to anything on Buzzfeed, but this was really, really good.
The person next to you on the plane. Brilliant essay on the choices we make, the different lives people live, and the secret lives of strangers.
Confessions of a housekeeper: coming clean about the secrets she discovered wiping up the messes of the rich, and what she learned from them about what it really means to live well.
Donald Trump is possibly the only presidential candidate who could retweet racist graphics made by actual neo-Nazis and get away with it.
But actually, how the hell does Trump get away with all this? Jay Rosen attempts an explanation.
The World According to ISIS; A Satire.
Mirror. A collaboration between The New Yorker and This American Life (I will freely admit that I eat this shit up, but it’s a pretty good story, and how many creative nonfiction animated shorts do you see?).
listen to this.
“November.” Ok so technically it’s December now, but whatever, you’ll be fine.