Hey, it’s been 27 Weeks, over half a year and … it feels like it’s been twice that long. Week 27 was out of control. I told a few people that it used to be thing a day, but now it feels like 500. A few minutes later I joked about remembering what it was like when there was only one thing a week that was destroying our democracy. My, how things have changed and not for the better.
Week 26 and you thought things couldn’t get worse. This time Amy tells us all the things we missed while, you know, 45 was reenacting scenes form his former job as TV show host. And yet again I say, this week has been crazier than the last. What the hell?
The links! The first three are recent articles (I know, right?) and the last one is older, but still interesting and useful.
So sorry! I forgot to post yesterday and so much has already happened this week that week 25 feels oddly irrelevant already. Anyway, onto the links.
This week I have two ProPublica links:
And two from Tor:
Wasteland: The tough economic times on Tatooine hit everyone hard, including the Jawas.
(c) JD Hancock
Sorry this is late! Doctor’s appointments and leaking upstairs neighbor bathrooms always get in the way (not on the same day, though, and luckily no lasting damage to my bathroom).
Week 24 marked the first 100 days of 45’s regime. I’m currently rereading The Handmaid’s Tale and when I got to the section of the novel where Offred talks about how her world went from normal to an authoritarian regime, what struck me was how insidious it was. One day things seemed normal, and the next day too, but when you look back you see how dramatically things changed, but at the time you barely even noticed until something dramatic (in her case it was a bankcard not working and then losing her job) happens to you. I struggle, sometimes, to keep myself cynical enough to be aware that what’s happening in this country, in the United States, is not normal. In the novel Atwood talks about how humans adapt, how people normalize what’s going on around them because it’s how we survive and much of Offred’s story is about exactly that. And I worry that we, as a country and as individuals, are doing the same thing. That’s why I will continue to share Amy Siskind’s links/commentary as long as she posts them. We need these reminders.
Now, onto my links.
- Texas Voter ID Law Led to Fears and Failures in 2016 Election Efforts to implement the nation’s strictest voter ID requirements — a solution in search of a problem, according to one critic — foundered amid court defeats, confusion and at least one giant oversight. (ProPublica) Note: I donate to ProPublica every month. Also, if you only read one article from this list, read this one. It’s long, but worth every second you spend on it. Why? Because, among other things, it exposes why the voter fraud lies are so widespread and why the damage they do is so dangerous,
- How America’s Leading Science Fiction Authors Are Shaping Your Future The literary genre isn’t meant to predict the future, but implausible ideas that fire inventors’ imaginations often, amazingly, come true (Smithsonian Magazine) Note: My only complaint is that they didn’t interview any women SF authors.
- In Music, DRM Is Back While Ownership Is Going Away (Copyright and Technology)
- What Goes Through Your Mind: On Nice Parties and Casual Racism (The Toast)
Taken by me on a walk.
If you skip these weekly posts I link to, you shouldn’t. I have been skimming them, but for week 21, I read it all the way through. I realized several things while reading it, the most important was how much I have already normalized, as Amy describes it, the Trump regime. While I try never to refer to him by his full title and I shudder when I hear others do it, sometimes I do forget or ignore how bad things are. Reading week 21 made me realize that, well, things are bad and they’re getting worse. Please remember that this is not the world we want and yet, here we are.
Anyway, your links this week:
- Redux: You’ve got mail, you idiot! This post originally ran on October 26, 2011, back when Donald Trump was relentlessly propagating an easily debunked conspiracy theory about President Obama. As we ponder the triumph of “alternative facts,” it’s worth considering what makes bullshit so appealing and why it’s so hard to debunk. (The Last Word On Nothing)
- Letter to My Younger Self by Pete Sampras (The Players Tribune) Note: For most of the time he was active, Pete was one of my favorite tennis players. The others are current player Gilles Simon and legend Bjorn Borg.
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it. Here are three politic-related (in a way) links and one that is not.
A couple of these stories are from NPR and I would recommend listening to them (I tried to embed, but it didn’t work). If you can’t reading should be okay, but the actual audio versions of the stories are pretty good.
The first article, about anxiety, is especially good (in spite of being on Vice). As someone who suffers from anxiety (not as severe as the author of that column), I always find these articles equally useful and interesting — and I share them, both with my friends who have anxiety (aka most of them) and especially with people who don’t. Anxiety, if you don’t have, is very hard to understand. There are plenty of articles, cartoons/comics, and books that help. The author of that article actually mentions my favorite book about anxiety: My Age of Anxiety by Scott Stossel. I highly recommend it — I listened to the audio book version, but I’m pretty sure the print version would be good, too. You can get it wherever books are sold, but I’m pretty certain your local library has it.
Bonus link: Fear Of Fainting, Flight And Cheese: One Man’s ‘Age Of Anxiety’ (NPR) An interview with Scott Stossel.