Staunchly, vol. 60: Sixty and Frisky


On Tuesday night, my therapist, upon hearing that I was watching exclusively murder docs and reading exclusively poetry by Sylvia Plath (I maintain I was in perfectly high spirits with both!), advised me to consume less explicitly morbid culture: “perhaps, maybe - you can find a Netflix show that you know, is a bit lighter”?
So naturally on Wednesday I took myself to see Hereditary, a horror film about a broken family in a big house, in which mental illness and inherited trauma are divvied up and slid under our faces like lasagna.
I sure do have a sense of humor, don’t I?
While I was debating seeing it, I talked to some friends who all warned me that I shouldn’t see it and that I definitely shouldn’t see it alone and I read this article. “If you can eat popcorn while watching, you might be a sociopath”—I thought of that line an hour in, crunching my way through a bag of peanut M&Ms, completely unfazed, wondering: am I?*
Anyways, please see the movie and tell me what you think. Whether it terrifies you or not, I think you’ll agree that the scariest horror film you’ll ever see is the one we’re living in right now.

*I’m almost certain I am not.

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Humans are forced into kennels. Children are torn from their parents. A baby, breastfeeding, is pulled off her mother’s chest.
The Trump administration is splitting up families, caging and kidnapping children, turning away women fleeing men that beat and rape them. And shrugging its shoulders. You came here, it says to migrants. You made me do this. The abuser justifying his abuse.
This is how fascism starts. Not even. This is what fascism looks like when it’s gaining its sea legs.
We can’t afford to ignore it. We can’t afford to be numb, as f*cking cozy as that sounds.
The Cut has a good list of things you can do. Protest. Donate. Call your representatives. Write to your paper. Speak Spanish? Volunteer. The only thing we should have zero tolerance for is complacency in the face of a grand, murderous crisis.
We all had our hearts broken last week over the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, but our hearts must also break for Marco Antonio Muñoz of Honduras, who was found in a padded cell, in a pool of his own blood, after his 3-year-old child was wrenched from his hands.
I look at that photo of Muñoz in the sheriff’s office and I wonder if it was taken before or after he was separated from his wife and son, before or after his last hope crumbled in an agent's fist, and I can’t breathe but there’s no time. 

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Padma Lakshmi’s essay about her experience as a migrant child is heartbreaking and critical. It will make your chest thick with sadness which, I hope, will spur your body to action.

Today, I am far removed from that lost little girl who desperately missed her mother. But as I watch the Trump administration forcibly separating children from parents as they make their way to the United States looking for refuge, my heart breaks.

Meet Katie Hill, the millennial Democrat who’s going to unseat Steve Knight (CA-25) in November.
Bill Clinton needs to shut the f*ck up.  

The Economist analyzed the G7 photo against the canon of Western political art. I did the same thing on Instagram.
If you care about democracy and voting rights you should be terrified—I mean, always, but especially after this week, when the Supreme Court upheld Ohio’s right to kick infrequent voters off its rolls. This decision will disproportionately affect low-income voters and voters of color because of course it will!
Jeff Flake, and all those oh-so-brave Republican senators, needs to stop talking and do something.
Pregnancy discrimination is rampant across all levels of employment. It’s worth remembering that, as with sexual harassment and gender discrimination, lower-income women often pay a much higher price and have a harder time getting justice. 
Here’s a new-to-me fact that I came across this week: Asian-Americans have the highest rate of poverty in New York City.
Nas allegedly abused Kelis for years and we are not talking about it enough. “Geniuses” do not get a pass.
I love this piece by Bim Adewunmi for Buzzfeed on the false democratic promise at the heart of the makeunder movement. “Effortless” takes real labor, and a no-makeup makeup/lit-from-within/“your skin but better” aesthetic sharply favors those among us with good genes and access to nutritious foods and the fanciest doctors and specialists—i.e. people who can afford to make it look easy.
Remember: Any brand that is telling you to love yourself is also trying to sell you something it has convinced you you need to be lovable.
Amy Poehler gave the only respectable answers to Hollywood fluff questions in 2018.
Jon Bon Jovi and his son are making rosé. They’re callin it “Hampton Water.” The New York Times interviewed them. It makes for a good chuckle. You deserve it.
How dreamy: a literary history of anti-aging skin care, from Margarita Nikolaevna’s magic cream to Medea’s herby, youth-restoring milk. 
I love Rachel Bloom and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is one of my favorite shows of all time (even if the last season was raw and triggering and I strongly disliked the finale). This whole article is great, and I literally snapped my fingers (alone; in my apartment) when she pulled no punches with NPH. “But look, he’s not a writer” is what I say about someone when I am trying to be devastating.
Wow I care about soccer all of a sudden. I was already rooting for Germany. But now I’m really rooting for Germany.
The heavenly Wallace Neff-designed house where Cameron Diaz pouted and Kate Winslet learned about the magic of the Santa Anas is for sale in San Marino for $11.8 million. I really think I was put on earth to own this house. Quick: how do I start a Ponzi scheme?
I devoured Killing Eve. I need to write a longer piece about why it’s so addictive and fabulous, but for now here are some tips from The Cut on how to dress like Villanelle—the world’s chicest psychopathic assassin.
“You can pry it out of my cold, dead hands” said the victim of an attempted mugging in Michigan last month, about his Louis Vuitton satchel. He is Staunchly’s Hero of the Week (which is not a thing we do here cause that is derivative).

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Kacie Carter and Caitlin Sullivan, the iconic beachy-waved duo behind Honey Hi—one of my favorite places to eat and loiter at in Los Angeles—were recently on the podcast Glowing Up talking about their approach to food and wellness and they are so smart and funny and kind and cool, you’d be an fool not to listen!
Also if you haven’t been to their restaurant in Echo Park yet, what are you waiting for? Even my best friend Lauren, who doesn’t go west of the 405 or east of La Brea without a good goddamn reason, has made the journey. It’s more than worth it.
I love everything on the menu but my perfect meal is probably a pink drink (add collagen) and either a miso bowl or their shakshuka (add halloumi), which comes in a perfect little cast iron skillet.
Here’s a shaggy polyptych I just made of some of the delightful meals and books I’ve consumed there. 

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I know I’m kind of obsessed with Germany right now (blame Netflix, 23andMe, and my evergreen desire to live in Berlin), but here’s an international story with valuable lessons for Democrats in the US: how liberal feminists in Germany are struggling to defend women’s rights and refugee rights in the wake of several recent, high-profile acts of violence committed by asylum seekers against local women.
Four takeaways:
1. Violence against women is rising in Germany (Bavaria saw a 50% increase in the reporting—key word—of sexual crimes against women in the first six months of 2017), but it’s important to remember that immigrants are twice as likely to be reported for committing a crime as German nationals are.
2. We can’t let conservatives and xenophobes win the narrative with this false choice between women’s rights and immigrants’ rights. It’s important to acknowledge that while these crimes are real, equally real is a fierce, terrifying far-right conspiracy to paint immigration as a menace to society. Rapists are always rapists first, regardless of country of origin.
3. Stronger integration efforts are needed. As is greater respect for women on a massive scale. There is no conflict between the two. Intersectionality is always non-negotiable.
4. Lastly, it’s worth remembering that western nations have never had to import patriarchal values—misogyny is and has always been an abundant, domestic resource. It’s rich to see conservatives lambast Arab cultures for “bringing” sexism to Western Europe, as if these salty Saxons ever had any trouble doing bad all by themselves. RICH

Staunchly yours,