Reading List: May You Stay Safe And Sane And Masked This (American) Holiday Weekend.
Dearests, after work I’m signing off for a few days, so we’ve got ourselves the rare Wednesday reading list! So tab out those long reads in your browser, wrap yourself in a fleece blanket, grab a hot beverage of your choice, and get to reading. And make sure you mask up and socially distance over the next few days, of course, because it’s gonna be a loooooooooong winter.
Also, 56 days until Inauguration Day. Thank god.
TO THE LONGREADS
Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, The Losses We Share (The New York Times) - Content warning: this op-ed deals with so many elements of loss, focusing on the private tragedy of miscarriages but also exploring COVID-19 mortality, police brutality and the anguish of suffering in a siloed, quarantined world. It’s intimate and moving and caused me to burst into tears halfway through my first cup of coffee this morning, but beautiful as well. We don’t talk about the devastation of loss together, we compress it into a tiny ball that we only unfurl while we’re alone and think know no one can see - or judge. Anger and fear and sadness are unpalatable emotions, especially if you normally radiate warmth, so those emotions are to be contained and shielded and kept from public view. But we now must live in those emotions with our emotions beamed out over Zoom camera. It’s not sustainable. And having just listened to the You’re Wrong About series on Princess Diana, the fact that Duchess Meghan is willing to share her story so publicly is, in my estimation, an exemplary indication of character. I’m sure the Daily Mail and other publications will pillory her and accuse her of selfish motives. I don’t care, I’m just glad she’s asking us to “commit to asking others, “Are you OK?””
Anne Helen Petersen, job lock and the debt plot (Culture Study) - Petersen explores how “debt also keeps us in jobs — and situations, like marriages or abusive relationships — that suck” and how those financial dependencies, including the need for health insurance” yoke us to day-to-day existences we probably never wanted. It’s a tough thing to contemplate, and Petersen ends by asking us “… what if the trajectory of our lives didn’t hinge on health insurance? On paying down a debt until we die? What would it take to make radically different sort of lives — and communities — for ourselves? “
Yan Zhuang, Why Were Canadians Warned Not to Let Moose Lick Their Cars? (The New York Times) - On a lighter note, the Gray Lady dives into a very important issue that at once contributes to American stereotypes of their northern neighbor, while also being super helpful because if you’ve ever seen a moose in real life, you know they are not creatures to be trifled with. When I was a youngin at evangelical ranch camp in the Alberta Rockies (yes, that happened. For many years.), I was helping on a trail ride with a bunch of younger kids and we came upon a mama moose and her baby, and let me tell you, I’ve never seen a group of eight-year-olds on horses get turned around so quickly. Bless that wrangler. Remember: moose will mess you up.
Susana Polo, The Horse Girl Canon (Polygon) - I don’t even know what this is, but I love it. I was not a horse girl, despite the above, but I knew horse girls. And this compendium of horse girl lit is strange and glorious.
David Smith, Lame duck pardons turkey: Trump confronts reality at muted Thanksgiving event (The Guardian) - I just had to share that headline. It is, as well say, “chef’s kiss.”
Y’all are delightful. Be kind to each other, and I will see you on Monday.