This Cheerful Subject Line Attempts To Balance The Rest Of This Email. And I Also Included Otter Gifs In The Body For Sanity's Sake.
Sweethearts, we approach the end of December in Year Of Our Banshee Scream 2020, with the sun dipping below the horizon before we’re even close to finishing Zoom calls, watching COVID numbers spike in overwhelmed hospitals around the U.S. while a bunch of Americans still scream HOAX and willfully choose to place their vanity and ego over the lives of others, with a functionally empty Oval Office as adversaries continue to attack critical cybersecurity infrastructure at terrifying scale, while some of us normals spend our days attempting to remain positive and productive on camera (if we have the privilege of working from home) while contending with our own personal slice of the mental health crisis pie…
Welp. I have nothing witty or funny or charming to say, nothing to attempt to distract us from the dirty weighted blanket of dread that becomes increasingly difficult to peek out from under. This uncertainty, this grappling with an unknown, this fear after nearly a year of sacrifice and hunkering down… it can be overwhelming.
But I see you, and I hear you. And I hope you know you’re not alone in that fear and discomfort. We’re all here, and it all sucks, and everyday, we do our best to get through this. And once we’re through, we’ll remember the helpers, and we’ll remember everyone else.
TO THE LONGREADS
Erik Larson, The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz - Just started Erik Larson’s newest book on the early days of WWII in Britain, and unsurprisingly it is so very good so far. And reading about Britons wandering the streets of London in the dark, and the sacrifices that were made across the country, and how a quintessentially imperfect man like Churchill could rise to the occasion to lead a country… gives me hope.
Nicholas Agar, On the moral obligation to stop shit-stirring (Psyche) - (Content warning: contains philosophical reference to reprehensible things) This mini-treatise on the ethical implications of a culture built on performative provocateuring (“I’m just asking questions!”) is so so so interesting. And I agree wholeheartedly with this take: “Provocation can lead to reflection, which is typically a good thing. But, right now, we have a great need for utilitarianism’s rigorous focus on all the consequences of our actions – and inactions.”
Dan Diamond, ‘We want them infected’: Trump appointee demanded ‘herd immunity’ strategy, emails reveal (POLITICO) - This made me sick, but you must read it. And we must remember those government appointees who actively chose to harm Americans in the name of politics and political loyalty.
McKay Coppins, The Most American Religion (The Atlantic) - You know I love anything McKay Coppins writes, you know I’m fascinated by modern religious movements, so obviously I am super excited to read this piece this evening.
Be kind to yourselves, and to the collective good. And wear those darned masks.