Reading List: Sharp Satire, and Other Personal Defense Mechanisms.
Good morning, doves! I hope you’re awake and accompanied by a cup of coffee as hot as these takes BOOM, goodness I’m good at this newsletter thing, aren’t I? And yes, it is international women’s day. But before you expect me to girl power-out this Missive, please read Jessica Powell’s sharp satire and just send me a damned sticker already because it is about as effective in alerting structural sexism as some IWD platitudes I've seen. (See! Hot takes! I have them!)
Get yer Send-To-Kindle ready, I’ve got some long(er) reads for ya!
Kate Knibbs, “This Is All So Familiar”: Talking to Maureen Orth About Michael Jackson, Woody Allen, and Celebrity in 2019 (The Ringer) - I DEVOURED every new issue of Vanity Fair that my Mum received in the 90s, so I am well-versed in Maureen Orth’s coverage of bad men in entertainment. And while I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle the new Michael Jackson documentary, I was pleased to see this portrait of Orth’s impact on coverage of these stories.
Margaret Sullivan, It’s time — high time — to take Fox News’s destructive role in America seriously (The Washington Post) - Sullivan has NO TIME for Fox News apologists, as she meticulously broke down how the employment of a few good journalists cannot justify supporting the news organization. She ends her piece with the simple statement that “Fox News has become an American plague.”
EJ Dickson, Meet the Real Estate Appraiser of the World’s Most Gruesome Murder Sites (Rolling Stone) - Interested in true crime, real estate appraisal, savvy/buzzard-like business optimism and unnaturally strong personal constitutions? You know, like me? Then this piece is for you!
Kara Swisher, Luke Perry Had a Stroke and Died. I Had One and Lived. (The New York Times) - Kara is the Silicon Valley Sage known to hold the feet of even the most wealthy of tech Peter Pans to the fire. Here, she reflects on her own mortality, how her brother saved her life, and how she started to notice something was wrong when she couldn’t say that one of the many management crises at Yahoo was a “goat rodeo,” —a SFM (safe for Missive!) expletive I cannot wait to use in every day conversation—all in her gritty direct prose. Prose like her description of when she viewed her MRI: “"...the angry yellow clot to the stream of red blood worming its way around it to the multicolored brain of mine full of so many ideas but also just a hunk of misfiring flesh."
Jeneé Osterheldt, ‘Text me when you get home.’ We shouldn’t have to say it. But we do (The Boston Globe) - As a 34-year-old woman dipping her toes into dating (I'll take a book deal SVP), I always default to sending a text to a group of close girlfriends ('sup Coven!) whenever I head to a first coffee date, with a location and time and a “lol, just in case he murders me.” It’s not funny, but I do it, because I genuinely want them to know where I am. And it sucks that I feel I have to, and it sucks that I don't even think about why I feel I have to. And this story of a Boston woman who was murdered after leaving a night out reminds me that on this International Women’s Day, there are daily habits and personal protocols that more starkly illustrate our actual female reality than faux-feminist war cries perched on merch. Another good exploration of this is that most recent episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine I mentioned.
You’re swell. Be kind to each other, and yourself.