(You’ll need to read the Lizzo profile in The Cut to get that subject pun....Can you tell I’ve never seen Star Wars?)
Let’s jump right into some deep reads.
1. Soak the rich? Americans say go for it by Ben White (Politico)
The majority of Americans want to see much higher taxes on the super-rich. This is comforting, though I care less about poll results here than I do the clear-as-diamond morals of the issue. I’m not sure how one can look at the wild state of income inequality in this country and find it anything but urgent and un-American, whatever that means.
Wow I made this meme and I didn't even go to art school.
2. Maybe the Only Way to Know What’s Wrong With Abortion in America Is to Have One by Nona Willis Aronowitz (The Cut)
…there’s such a thing as showing up too early for an abortion.
It’s hard to understand just how inhumane the laws to restrict abortion are until you’ve tried to get one yourself. Aronowitz breaks down the specific traumas, anxieties, and logistical nightmares that flare up when a woman loses control over her own body.
3. Where’s all This Energy for the Attacks on Black Transgender Women? by Raquel Willis (Out)
When Black trans women are brutalized, I have mostly come to expect silence from nearly every group that we’re apart of. After we are diminished and marginalized in our lives, should we then be murdered, we can expect…an endless justification for our deaths, suggesting we were ‘tricking’ our assailants or that we made bad life choices that placed us in a precarious situation. The hierarchy of whose lives actually matter is clear.
This piece is a critical reminder that “violence is intersectional” as well as a call to action to bring the same level of outrage to the murder of black trans women as we do attacks on other marginalized peoples.
Additional reading: The Attack on Jussie Smollett Is an Attack on All Black Queers.
4. No Heat for Days at a Jail in Brooklyn Where Hundreds of Inmates Are Sick and ‘Frantic’ by Annie Correal (NY Times)
Last year I read Nellie Bly’s seminal nineteenth-century work of undercover investigation, Ten Days in a Mad-house(about an asylum not a jail) and took some comfort (albeit very small) in the distance between how we treated prisoners in 1887 and how we treat them now—at least in terms of the basic human rights we purport to guarantee them. Turns out that distance is slimmer than I thought. Last week, inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn were left without heat during a period of freezing temperatures in New York. They banged on their cell windows and pled for help from passersby. As of now, some of the power has come back on but the heat and hot water are still far from fully functioning. This is completely horrifying.
5. A Black Legacy, Wrapped Up in Fur by Jasmine Sanders (NY Times)
My mother’s furs are her insistence on public elegance in a world frequently inhospitable to her.
This is such a beautiful piece about the history and symbolism of fur coats in the black community and the comfort and status they’ve provided women of color in a country that has tenaciously denied them both. Also a good reminder that descendants of colonizers do not get to morally legislate black women, their style, or their soft, plush armor.
Bonus: Lizzo !!!!
Don’t challenge my motherfucking right to be here, bitch.
Also, “a bee’s dick” is now the only unit of measurement I’ll recognize. Also also, “It’s a Lewk. A Lewk Skywalker.” Also x 3 she comes hard for Geminis and it’s like someone’s pouring warm butterscotch on my cushiony little heart.
Another bonus: I loved learning about what the shells embedded in the Watts Tower (built by Simon Rodia from 1921 to 1954) can show us about the history of Southern California’s oceans.
Double bonus: Damon Young watched Ocean’s 8 and has some macro thoughts about the genre:
“…the entire heist movie genre is a propagandist ploy to convince us to sympathize with and root for white people stealing shit. If Danny Ocean looks so damn cool stealing a half billion dollars, maybe an entire ass stolen election (or country) can be cool too.”
I bought a used copy of Laurie Colwin’s short story collection Another Marvelous Thing on Friday (at the Iliad; I’m so predictable). She’s one of those writers who feels criminally underrated. I’m only a few short stories in, but she already feels like a friend.
As you can see here, she pairs nicely with slices of blood orange and citrus cream cakes from Sweetsalt in Toluca Lake and the new Sally Rooney (which my friend—and Staunchly contributor—Maddie was reading).