Staunchly, vol. 109: Cold Coffee


I loathe Virgo season. 


The Amazon rainforest, source of 20% of the world’s oxygen, is on fire—biblical, catastrophic, planet-altering fire—in thousands and thousands of places. Cities as far as 2000 miles away have seen their skies go black with smoke. The hard right-wing president, who calls himself “Captain Chainsaw” and asks people do the same, has fervently embraced the timber, cattle, and mining industries, encouraged loggers to hasten deforestation, cut Brazil’s environmental agency budget by 25%, weakened protections for indigenous land rights, and in every way promoted a racist, anti-environment, ignorance-forward agenda against the natural and humane needs of his country. 

Amanda Arnold at the Cut has a useful list of things you can do to help fight against the fires, or at least against the suffocating, existential sense of a poison shadow closing in on you. 

In short:

1. Donate to organizations that defend indigenous claims to the land.
2. Shop sustainably.
3. Protest fascism at every corner.
4. Eat less beef.


A new Trump administration rule allows children to be detained indefinitely. Here’s what you need to know. by Jaclyn Kelley-Widmer (Washington Post)

This week in terror at the border: a critical explainer on the Trump administration’s plan to hold, detain, imprison, cage, whatever you want to call it, migrant children indefinitely. 

Additionally cruel: these children will not receive flu vaccinations, despite the virus killing three detained children in the past year.

Also: more than 2,000 children separated from their parents—traumatized; some as young as three—will likely have to proceed through deportation hearings alone

There are so many contours of evil to this zero tolerance policy I will forever keep getting lost in the darkness. My advice is: pay attention, but cling like hell to the things that bring you light. 

Don’t Let Sean Spicer Tap-Dance Out of Infamy on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ by James Poniewozik (NY Times)

Something about watching meathead Goebbels dance the Bossa Nova isn’t sitting right with me idk!!


On the 400th anniversary of the first slave ship arriving in Virginia, spend some time with the New York Times’ incredible 1619 Project, which investigates the role of chattel slavery in shaping every American institution from birth and implanting a strain of obstinate, nearly indestructible racial injustice at our nation’s core.

Tomi Lahren has an America First athleisure line, because xenophobes gotta stay flex. The history of an anti-Semitic slur gleefully employed by the president. How tf is this white supremacist law professor still employed (@ Penn)? We have probably at least a year left of listening to Joe Biden say just the most idiotic shit. I do kind of love his new line about the ERA tho, which basically distills to: I respect women so much people thought I was gay! I stan Zitomer’s. Lizzie McGuire is returning. The reboot era has been trash but I want to believe…..Xtina’s 1999 style was legendary, very “elevated Wet Seal” (or, honestly “sea-level Wet Seal.” It’s just very Wet Seal, I say reverentially). The Weight Watchers for Kids app is morally repulsive. Has Taylor Swift even been to London? Shit: am I an unfluencer

Finally, I humbly offer my body as time capsule: Tattoo this entire story about gay penguin adoptions across my clavicle and bury me at sea for the bots to find. Let them see things were nice once.


(wait these sunglasses actually look a lot like my new Alaïas) 



Nothing clears my mind like a long drive. There’s something that relaxes me so much more than a flight, makes me feel connected to some broader human experience. It’s like when you’re trying to be a better reader and you trace the lines on the page with your fingers. The contact is important. I’d like to trace the world with my fingers. 

Last weekend I drove up to Tahoe with two of my best friends. The trip was fun, weird, enchanting, challenging, healing, energizing, and soulful. I’ll be writing about the trip (including the truly insane itinerary I made—which we mostly kept to!) for this coming week’s Saturday Staunch


(Saturday Staunchlettes: thank you for your patience this month as I’ve figured my shit out.)


We read The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector in my book club this month. It is the second Lispector I’ve read and I see a pattern emerging—of tiny poetic works that destroy me. 

From Hour, here are some little coins of pretty writing to slip into your pocket when, for whatever reason, you need to make change. 

“All the world began with a yes.” 

“I limit myself to telling of the lame adventures of a girl in a city that’s entirely against her. 

“Things were somehow so good that they could go very bad because fully mature things rot.”

“No, it’s not easy to write. It’s as hard as breaking rocks. But sparks and splinters fly like flashing steel.” 

“Nobody looked at her on the street, she was cold coffee.”

“She was subterranean and had never flowered. I’m lying: she was grass.”

“Actually even the worst childhood is always enchanted, how awful.”

“What can you do with the truth that everyone’s a little sad and a little alone.” 

“She’d heard on Clock Radio that there were seven billion people in the world. She felt lost. But with the tendency she had to be happy she immediately consoled herself: there were seven billion people to help her.” 

“If I still write it’s because I have nothing better to do in the world while I wait for death.” 

“Is this how you write? No, it’s not by accumulation but by stripping naked.” 

“Life eats life.”

“In the end she was no more than a music box that was slightly out of tune.”


Two important things this week: 

Campy, feminist, perfect, Australian period mystery drama Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is leaving Netflix on September 15th. This is not a drill. Binge it now if you haven’t. If you love it already, stock up sweet memories for winter. 

The other thing: Mindhunter isn’t good. It’s poorly-paced and -plotted tension porn and gets by on the strength of its serial killer vignettes and guest actors (and Zaddy Tench. Oh Zaddy Tench, how I love thee). Still, I’ll watch every episode because my silly lady lizard brain (*coughs* “lizHERd brain”) derives some sick comfort and voyeuristic fulfillment from the artifice and distance of prestige true crime. 

Listen to me or not, I am but a lizHERd. Thank you for coming to my SHEd Talk.


(you tell me Tenchie bb ;) I'll give ya a heads start)