Thank you to everyone who said lovely things about the Staunchly 100. My plexiglass heart casket has been punctured. She has risen anew!
Truthfully, I’m so proud of how it turned out. If you haven’t read it yet, check your inbox (Gmail keeps tossing Staunchly in the scam folder which is hurting my self-esteem, but is also kind of flattering and zeitgeisty because Scams R In haven’t you heard), or read it here on Issuu.
Thank you all for supporting Staunchly. If you’re interested in supporting Staunchly in a more, comment dit-on, tangible way, you might consider becoming a patron of my life’s work here. ;)
A grid of some of my favorite quotes that I made for the Staunchly 100:
From Buttigieg to Biden: two white male politicians, generations apart, seriously failed black people this week. Biden’s nostalgia for the good ol’ days of a civil Senate with convivial, segregationist Dixiecrats like Jimbo Eastland is so idiotic and reprehensible—not the least because he is bragging about putting differences aside to collaborate withfellow Democrats. That’s a weird flex!
Senator James Eastland was a virulent Mississippi bigot who stood in the way of racial equality at every juncture and called the disappearance of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County* a “publicity stunt” (they were later found shot to death and buried in an earthen dam on Klansman land; the single black worker, James Chaney, had been tortured). Drawing attention to his working relationship with this rancid hunk of pork loin only reminds us that for decades, Joe Biden too readily found common ground with the most hateful racists around him. Weird. Fucking. Flex.
And Buttigieg. Yikes. A police shooting in South Bend brought into focus how ill-equipped he is to handle issues of police brutality and racial tensions. More than reading about the incident, watching the video of his interaction with BLM protestors clarified for me what was so unsettling about his response: his tone. What I think he intended as serious and contemplative comes across as awkward and detached. Watch the video. The evident discrepancy in urgency between the protestors and the mayor isn’t just jarring. It feels, in 2019, unconscionable.
*Reagan gave a horrible dog-whistle speech in defense of states’ rights here during his 1980 presidential campaign, in case you know any dopey Never Trumper Reaganites who need to be read to filth.
I have a one-track mind today. Here’s a collection of things to read about the border crisis:
“In my 22 years of doing visits with children in detention I have never heard of this level of inhumanity. ” (AP)
“When we talked to children, one of the children described as many as three hundred children being in that room, in that warehouse, basically, at one point when he first arrived. There were no windows.” (New Yorker)
“One 2-year-old’s eyes were rolled back in her head” (HuffPost)
“Children as young as 7 and 8, many of them wearing clothes caked with snot and tears, are caring for infants they’ve just met.” (New York Times)
“So, on Wednesday, we received reports from children of a lice outbreak in one of the cells where there were about twenty-five children, and what they told us is that six of the children were found to have lice. And so they were given a lice shampoo, and the other children were given two combs and told to share those two combs, two lice combs, and brush their hair with the same combs, which is something you never do with a lice outbreak. And then what happened was one of the combs was lost, and Border Patrol agents got so mad that they took away the children’s blankets and mats. They weren’t allowed to sleep on the beds, and they had to sleep on the floor on Wednesday night as punishment for losing the comb.” (New Yorker)
“The reports of unsafe and unsanitary conditions at Clint and elsewhere came days after government lawyers in court argued that they should not have to provide soap or toothbrushes to children” (New York Times)
“The Holocaust, or the Gulag, are such monstrous events that the very idea of rendering them in any sort of gray scale seems monstrous, too. This has the effect of making them, essentially, unimaginable. In crafting the story of something that should never have been allowed to happen, we forge the story of something that couldn’t possibly have happened. Or, to use a phrase only slightly out of context, something that can’t happen here.” (New Yorker)
“Before Americans likened the violence at our borders to the Nazis, the Nazis likened their conquest of Eastern Europe to the violence at our frontiers...The most illuminating precedents for our present crisis were born in the U.S.A.” (NY Mag)
“As I was walking out, I said to Moncivias and Villarreal, ‘It’s funny, of all the countries I’ve been to, the border guards have never treated me worse than here, in the one country I’m a citizen of, in the town where I was born.’
‘Welcome back to the USA,’ Moncivias said.” (The Intercept)
“A camp in a country in which the leader openly expresses animosity toward those interned, in which a government detains people and harms them by separating children from their parents or deliberately putting them in danger, is much closer to a concentration camp than a refugee camp. Nothing we are doing is likely to repeat Auschwitz, or to come anywhere close to it. But the history of concentration camps shows us that when it comes to this kind of detention, even when a government isn’t plotting a genocide, shocking numbers of people can still end up hurt—or dead.” (GQ)
“Auschwitz wasn’t built in a day.” (NY Mag)
Every woman, whether consciously or not, has a catalogue of the hideous men she’s known. E. Jean Carroll on the hideous men she’s encountered—a list which includes the current president of the US, who raped her in a Bergdorf’s fitting room. Read every word.
Lizzo talks frankly about mental health. I try to minimize how often I use the word wack, but this branded engagement was *truly* wack. (Full disclosure: I only had to skim all the articles related to this love stunt because my best friend Lauren just happens to relish delivering play-by-plays of any and all viral scams/online phenomena. Ask her about the poop flip. I’m a lucky girl.) Jazmine Hughes x Judge Judy. Taylor Swift on allyship. How the Disney Channel Original Movie Smart House, a cautionary parable of domestic automation, predicted the direction of smart home technologies. Rest in Power the Lindsay Lohan Beach House. Please sign my Change.org petition to rename measles, Bielsles.
After a tough month or so, I finally felt like I restabilized this week. Here are ten things I did that helped:
1. Ate fried fish by the beach.
2. Read Clarice Lispector on the sand.
3. Took my Prozac every day. There is a big difference between 80mg four days a week and 80mg seven days a week. Turns out.
4. Went to a museum. Took in some Frank Stella and this sublime Central Asian ikat exhibit, which closes August 11th. LACMA is free after 3 for locals on weekdays. That only gives you two hours on most days, but I’m reminded of this quote from Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge: “I never spend more than one hour in a gallery. That is as long as one's power of appreciation persists.”
5. Sat in a park with friends on a beautiful day talking about books and gossip.
6. Wore impractical yellow satin.
7. Made $98 at my first yard sale.
8. Got really high and watched Anastasia (1997)
9. Wrote semi-consistently.
10. Chased my puppy around the lavender and rosemary bushes at my parents’ house. He always has something mischievous in his mouth.
What do you do to restabilize?