Staunchly, vol. 72: Dirty Cartoons and Medicated Sleep


There are no cute intros in Gilead. 

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The FBI probe was a scam. The Democrats got played. Joe Manchin should be kicked out of the caucus. And I hope Anthony Kennedy lives a very long life wreaked with medieval levels of incurable dysentery.
Oh, and Susan Collins, well, there’s a special place in hell…yada, yada, yada. 


Also, this week is the last week in many states to register to vote in the midterms. Check your registration, do what you need to do, and make sure all the people in your life get their act together. You are only as good as your laziest friend.
(And remember that voting is the bare minimum and far from a panacea because our system is fundamentally broken.) 

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1. Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040 by Coral Davenport (NY Times)
A new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says our dear planet’s atmosphere could warm by up to 2.7 degrees by 2040, spelling mass devastation from wildfires, floods, and famine and a global economic toll the likes of which we’ve never seen before. TL;DR: Earth will become virtually unlivable way sooner than people thought and the worst possible leaders are in charge of preventing that.   
2. If Men Had to Get IUDs, They’d Get Epidurals and a Hospital Stay by Casey Johnston (The Outline)

IUD insertion is at least as likely as not to be the worst pain you’ve ever felt, with virtually no options for recourse or relief. If men were routinely faced with this scenario they would riot in the streets. - Johnston

The different genders’ response to pain is something many of us learn early on. Probably as little kids. Perhaps through observing the divergent ways our parents respond to something like a stomach bug or a headache. I don’t want to call men weak, but……….I’ve seen grown men leveled by a common cold.
This is all to say: it’s a fucking crime that women receive “virtually zero pain management” while getting an IUD. We need to start talking loudly and defiantly about the extraordinary amount of pain we go through to exist in a world where men think they have a right to our bodies
3. White Women, Come Get Your People by Alexis Grenell (NY Times)
This is your weekly reminder that white women “benefit from patriarchy by trading on their whiteness to monopolize resources for mutual gain. In return they’re placed on a pedestal to be ‘cherished and revered,’ as Speaker Paul D. Ryan has said about women, but all the while denied basic rights.”
Let’s be better! Actually, in the words of one of the most problematic white women*, let’s “Be [our] Best!”
*Read Staunchly, vol. 45 if you want to see me wrestle with my feelings about Melania. I wrote this before her lameness during the border crisis (which is ongoing and still shockingly awful, so please keep paying attention).
4. A Young Activist’s Advice: Vote, Shave Your Head and Cry Whenever You Need To by Emma González (NY Times)

People say, “I don’t play the politics game, I don’t pay attention to politics” — well, the environment is getting poisoned, families are getting pulled apart and deported, prisons are privatized, real-life Nazis live happily among us, Native Americans are so disenfranchised our country is basically still colonizing them, Puerto Rico has been abandoned, the American education system has been turned into a business, and every day 96 people get shot and killed. - Gonzalez

Can I just say how grateful I am that we live in a world where the Emma Gonzálezes are rising and the Chuck Grassleys are…expiring.
5. 20 Things Bradley Cooper’s Star Is Born Voice Sounds Like by Nate Jones in Vulture
I just feel like we all need this right now. I’m partial to “an anthropomorphic log cabin”).


I’ve been guilty of this myself, but: please stop talking about Kanye’s perceived mental illness in the context of his horrible political beliefs. I’m mentally ill and I don’t think slavery is a Hallmark atrocity, i.e. a fake thing made up to sell idk, centuries of trauma??? Pete Davidson did a good job summing it up (how often do I get to say that) on SNL this weekend. In short, don’t confuse a genuine struggle that many of us manage every day with an egocentric asshole’s fetish for provocation.
Things that are actually making me happy this week: the second season of Big Mouth—how nice it is in 2018 to watch perverts who are sweet and honest and smole and not 53 and abusive and in charge of all our liberties!—and a fresh new Trazodone script. Dirty cartoons and medicated sleep. Isn’t that what we’re all here for? 

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We’re reading The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton for the next episode of Joint Didion. Read along? I’m also going to start The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, the very seasonally appropriate pick by Girls at Libraryfor their monthly book club. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Jackson is among my favorite books of all time, so my expectations are high. And blessed be the fruit, there’s new Tana French! I’m still making my way through the Dublin Murder Squad series (Faithful Place is my favorite so far for what it says about the ripples of parental abuse through a family and a town), but more Tana French content is good news for all of us. Lastly, you can now read Insta Novels on the New York Public Library’s Instagram, including utopian feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s iconic short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” (Find it on their highlights).
Instagram + libraries + feminism?? This is just like when George Costanza ate that Italian sub during sex. 

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I saw A Star Is Born on Friday and I liked it! I cried a ton (it doesn’t take much these days). Lady Gaga plays Lady Gaga and it’s too earnest at parts and Bradley Cooper just does the most (I’ll never forgive him for starring in this trashI had to sit through at Sundance, which remains the worst movie I’ve ever seen). But, it’s a well-done film that made me feel a lot of grand emotions and think a lot of things about love and creation and addiction and whether any art we bring into this world has any purpose besides making us sad and crazy, wretched little monsters. (Safe to say I had a bit of an existential crisis on the drive home from the theater.)
My friend Jenny wisely pointed that almost all the meaty character development in the film belongs to sweet Bradley, and we only experience Gaga’s growth in the context of her reactions to his substance abuse, which does make the drama feel uneven and self-indulgent on the auteur’s part.

Fact: every time you call Bradley Cooper an auteur a tiny dolphin ejaculates another itty-bitty twinkle into his baby blue eyes. 

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My brows are a metaphor for how I see myself: an unruly woman shellacked by God’s grace into some barely-reasonable form which threatens to sprout back into chaos at any moment.

In terms of upkeep, I do the bare minimum. A lot of my friends get their brows shaped at Striiike, but I’ve been as yet unable to justify the price ($120 to groom these two caterpillars??). I just let mine grow and play freely like unvaccinated children and occasionally tweeze the drifters in the middle or trim the very tops with my craft shears when they veer too far into weed territory.
Because I am so otherwise lazy, I live and die at the mercy of my tinted brow gel. I was happy with Boy Brow, tolerant of its intermittent clumpiness and a brush that was always either too wet or bone-dry, but I was starting to think I deserved more. So, this weekend, on the counsel of Bo and Brookie—two very cute & hip Scorpio roommates whom I trust with all my aesthetic needs—I picked up a tube of Maybelline Brow Drama at the drugstore. And friends: it’s amazing.


It’s half the price of Boy Brow, available basically everywhere, and so much better. The asymmetrical wand gives you fluff on one end and control on the other, allowing you to add shape and volume at the same time. And somehow the tube dispenses only the exact right amount of product, so creating an inky mess actually takes a ton of effort (it’s way too easy with Boy Brow). I’d even dare to say that it’s foolproof. Prove me wrong?