Dearests! Congratulations, you’ve made it through another week in 2020, which is in itself an absolutely huge accomplishment. I’m proud of you! I hope you have a restful and restorative weekend. And thank you to Friend of the Missive Haley for this delightful video of someone explaining Gritty to French people. I lost it at “Gritty is popular because of nihilism”.
Today’s reading list vacillates wildly between sweet and funny distractions and existential-anxiety inducing longreads — so pretty on brand for me, if you think about it. Also, quick plea to some of my hyper-political friends: pretty please can we yell at each other after Biden's inauguration, we still have a long way to go? KTHXBAI.
TO THE LONGREADS (and a video)
Ed Yong, ‘No One Is Listening to Us’ (The Atlantic) - I haven’t finished this piece yet, but my God, reading about how health care workers are buckling under the pressure of the third wave of coronavirus and a seemingly uncaring public that disregards health care precautions and keeps sending people to the ICU is devastating. This hurts: “The most precious resource the U.S. health-care system has in the struggle against COVID-19 isn’t some miracle drug. It’s the expertise of its health-care workers—and they are exhausted.” For the love of God, wear your masks (which the CDC is now confirming also protect YOU in addition to people around you… what a win win!)
William Kristol, Be Alarmed (The Bulwark) - There’s a lot of very, very scary stuff happening in relation to the presidential transition. And when Bill Kristol tells us to be alarmed about demagoguery and encroaching fascism … yikes.
Susan B. Glasser, Is This a Coup, or Just Another Trump Con? (The New Yorker) - I could have included a million different nightmare-inducing thought pieces, but also on my list for bath time reading this evening is this examination of whether or not 45 is actually going to burn it all down as he’s dragged out of office, or if this is all just another branding exercise.
Sheera Frankel, The Election’s Over, But Not The Stress. Any Edibles Left? (The New York Times) - All I can say is… I AM ATTACKED / I have to get my weekend delivery order in stat.
Margaret Fuhrer, The Rainbow Man Brings His Mishmash Appeal to TikTok (The New York Times) - When I attended Carly Rae Jepsen’s 2019 concert in SF at the top of pride, one of the coolest moments was “The Rainbow Man” coming out to what was essentially a 21 glitter canon salute. I love the pure joy of this piece.
Mark Roper, Building the Perfect Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder (YouTube) - Had an outdoor socially-distanced dinner with Friend of the Missive Nataly, and she brought up this video, and friends, you know I don’t normally push YouTube videos here, but watching a grown-ass man come up with an American Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course to prevent squirrels from eating from his bird feeder filled my heart with a kind of joy I didn’t think was possible in 2020. And then I stayed up late bingeing his other stuff. Sigh.
Love y’all, mean it. Be kind to each other and WEAR YOUR MASKS PLEASE.