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Hey my darlings. For those of you who watched yesterday’s SCOTUS confirmation hearings, I send you love and hugs, and hope that you are taking care of yourself. Yesterday was hard for me, as it was for many of you who texted your thoughts, anger and sadness. And since it won't get any easier today, remember, as a couple of wise friends reminded me yesterday, it’s OK to shut down Twitter and stay off the news, if you can. Constantly refreshing your browser won't change the outcome, a fact I've yet to grok but oh well.
Anyhoo, TO THE LONGREADS, punctuated by gifs of everyone’s favorite terror mascot GRITTY, because I need literally anything to distract me from our crushing “himpathetic” reality. Also, Tenor has a helpful Gritty GIF collection and now I regret to inform you that this Missive is now 90% gritty-related #content.
Amanda Hess, The Existential Void of the Pop-Up ‘Experience’ (New York Times) - Sometimes y’all know the stories I’ll love before I do! When friend Greg sent this my way, I literally laughed out loud, because I was standing in an elevator four blocks from SF’s Museum of Ice Cream, and I was looking at the plastic sprinkles, spread far and wide like faux-dessert foxtails. And this piece does not disappoint, as “What began as a kicky story idea became a masochistic march through voids of meaning.” So as you read this, ask yourself “what is art?” and then feel really bad if you ever made fun of anyone posting photos from Medieval Times, to which the author of this piece rightfully compares our recent outbreak of $45 candy-colored “Instagram museums.” My favorite quote from the entire piece: “The central disappointment of these spaces is not that they are so narcissistic, but rather that they seem to have such a low view of the people who visit them.” MEEE-OOWW / absolutely accurate.
Amir Khadem, Barbarism As Civilization: White Afghanistan And The Alt-Right (The Puritan) - Speaking of submissions! Recommended to us by Missive reader Dr. Kassi, this piece delves into the reactionary and revisionist leanings of the extreme right, stating “The initial epiphany gives way to realization of the obvious, a Sherlock moment: it was right in front of us all along, the brewing anti-Semitism, misogyny, Islamophobia, homophobia.” It’s got everything you need in a high-minded look at the cesspools of the internet: history, linguistics, comparative politics, etc.
Michael Lewis, ‘This guy doesn’t know anything’: the inside story of Trump’s shambolic transition team (The Guardian) - Excerpted from the upcoming book from the guy who brought us Moneyball and The Big Short (so we have the movie to look forward to? I guess?) this piece won’t help you sleep AT ALL, but at least it’s entertaining? Kind of? Too soon? Because we’re still in it? Sigh.
Be kind to each other, and be kind to yourself.