This interview between abolitionists Josie Duffy Rice and Mariame Kaba has given me a lot to think about. They’ve both been instrumental in imagining what accountability—not punishment—would look like if we resisted categorizing humans into the “good” or “evil” binary. I was especially moved by Mariame’s point about "walking part of the way" with someone. You don't have to agree with someone on every single thing to love them and provide them with care. We build solidarity through taking accountability with each other.
"What happened to Daisy Coleman was appalling but not unfamiliar." Daisy Coleman helped catalyze a movement that came too late for her. This story is a gut wrenching example of what happens when there is a lack of accountability and the system fails survivors.
Shia LaBeouf’s response to FKA Twigs’ sexual battery lawsuit against him is another failure of accountability: “I have no excuses. I have been abusive to myself and everyone around me for years. I have a history of hurting the people closest to me.” Being aware of how abusive you are doesn’t absolve you of the ordeal you put others through. Almost every woman I know knows of an abusive man but most of the men in my life are still surprised when allegations like these pop up. Until we take account of the reasons for that gap in knowledge (and empathy) women will continue to be the casualties in men’s wars against themselves.
“It is a bitter pill to swallow: that a global pandemic may have cost these women their dreams of motherhood.” As someone who had an unplanned hysterectomy, I really understand the desire to be a biological parent. But I don’t understand how an article as important as this cannot mention adoption. It’s also an option.
Another depressing thing: rich countries that have failed to control the spread of COVID-19 are hoarding vaccines from poorer countries that have actually done a better job of controlling the spread. Also worth reading is Arundhati Roy on the pandemic as a portal. The last two paragraphs are stuck in my mind.
Caity Weaver talking to Cher about Moonstruck is the serotonin boost you need this weekend. Trust me.
Rupaul interviewing Dolly Parton is also a delight. Especially the part where she comes for his wig and reads him to filth by saying"I’m not running out in the street looking like you look now.” Queen of vaccines and queen of shade.
"I didn’t realize how much I used my own feed to reinforce ideas I have about myself to myself." I’m definitely posting less. Are you posting less? Related: the overall online mood was very weird this year.
"You begin with the fear of humiliating yourself..." Alexander Chee really unlocked the realization that I use "writers' block” as a fancy phrase for fear and that it is a self protection mechanism. Good read even if you’re not a writer.
95% of fiction published since 1950 is written by white people. Black people famously don’t write so that sounds about….white. ::eyerolls to space::
“Pauline Kael knew a lot about watching movies. What Pauline Kael didn’t know about making movies could fill volumes.” I don’t know if I’m going to watch Mank but I really enjoyed this David Fincher interview.
ATTN New Yorkers: did you know that the design for the old radiators in many of our buildings came about during the 1918 pandemic AND THAT THEY ARE MEANT TO BE KEPT ON WITH THE WINDOWS FULLY OPEN?!
Racial violence comes in many forms and this Ellen Degeneres (lol what?!) mac and cheese recipe registers at 4.7 on the racism magnitude scale. White people spent hundreds of years pillaging and colonizing the world in search of “spices” that mysteriously never make it into any of their food. Wild.
Anyway I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this young man’s reaction to the mess but I too am asking “Where’s the cheddar? The gruyère? The Montuary (sic) Jack?”
Hang in there
I am slowly beginning to wrap my mind around the staggering number of artists we’ve lost to COVID-19. Legendary singer-songwriter John Prine died in April and I’ve been listening to a lot of him lately. Kurt Vile covered his “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness” live on Late Night With Seth Meyers last week and it channels so perfectly the feelings of solitude and isolation so many of us are experiencing this holiday season.
I’ve been making and freezing soups all week because I have a little bit of oral surgery coming up. I asked my dental hygienist friend how productive I could expect to be afterwards and she reminded me that Kanye recorded Through the Wire with his entire jaw wired. Ma’am. Nobody will humble you like a dental hygienist from the Bronx. If you have good soup/not boring liquid food recipes please drop them in the comments. Merci!
See you Wednesday.