Reading List: Send Organization Tips And Prayers, This Is The Weekend I Tackle My Closet
Darlings! Happiest of Fridays, may today be productive but not too productive, ok? In terms of things to watch, I was going to save the first two episodes of Under The Banner Of Heaven (the true crime series intertwined with the bloody history of the American-grown religion, “inspired” by the amazing Jon Krakauer book of the same name that I’ve probably read twenty times) for tonight, but I got too excited when I saw they were released yesterday and I already watched them (whoops).
TO THE LONGREADS!
Patrick Blanchfield, The Town That Went Feral (TNR) - This. Piece. From. 2020. Has. EVERYTHING: factional politics, ways to avoid becoming a bear’s dinner, political theory blown up in the face of REALITY, Libertarians who believe that “left alone, they believed, free individuals would thrive and self-regulate, thanks to the sheer force of “logic,” “reason,” and efficiency” being sorely disappointed, grown adults realizing that part of why we create governing bodies is to help humans survive in groups larger than immediate family. Chef’s kiss, can’t wait to read the book it is referencing, A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear: The Utopian Plot to Liberate an American Town (and Some Bears).
Tim Miller, In San Francisco, Revenge of the Obama Democrats (The Bulwark) - This take may piss off a few of my more-liberal compatriots, but bear with me. In the most recent state assembly special election in SF, did I vote for the “mainstream YIMBY Democrat over a “progressive icon”” to represent my area in Sacramento? I sure freaking did, and I’d do it again, because as the inimitable Tim Miller states in this piece, I crave “practical, liberal reform—the sort that prioritizes competence, public safety, quality education, and affordable housing over appealing to socialist Twitch streamers.” Alright, now’s about the time I duck and cover.
Jonathan Haidt, Why The Past 10 Years Of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid (The Atlantic) - I started reading this the day it was published, as its take on how the past 10 years of online social networks have fundamentally destroyed how we relate to one another but found it so dire that I resisted sharing it. But when I got a text from Friend of the Missive Tre last night insisting I read it, I knew I had to share you all of you. You see, it’s beautifully written, super nerdy, exhaustively researched, and places an intellectual structure on my creeping existential dread I so often describe to you, dear readers. So yea, check it out, but then go and watch something fun, mmmkay?
Amanda Mull, What the Fitness Industry Doesn’t Understand (The Atlantic) - Second one from this pub, but it’s an important reminder in the importance of starting from somewhere and to unsubscribe from fitness influencers who make you feel bad about where your body is at.
Doug Bock Clark, Alexandra Berzon and Kirsten Berg, Building the “Big Lie”: Inside the Creation of Trump’s Stolen Election Myth (ProPublica) - Slipping this one in the middle of the list because I don’t want you to go completely comatose with anxiety before you start your workday. But seriously folks, this plus the decade of stupidity post shouldn’t be read within the same hour, lest your faith in humanity melt into the sea.
Sabrina Imbler, Now That’s What I Call Frog Mating Music! (The New York Times) - For the love of all things holy, can we please send good vibes to whatever headline editor got away with how this piece is titled (with the secondary headline revealed to be ‘It’s like Shazam, But for Frog Mating Calls’ if you look at the page source). Thank you FotM Daniel for sharing this absolute joy of nature nerd ballad to “frogs, as big as stroopwafels”.
That’s it, that’s all. Get hydrated, buy yourself a yummy Friday pastry, take a pause to enjoy your morning hot beverage of choice, take a deep breath, get outside, text someone you love, and be kind to yourself, won’t you?