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anyone else really, really tired 😞
...or is it just me? A look at political and personal fatigues.
Indiana, Idaho sign bans on gender-affirming care
veto-proof North Carolina GOP files transgender bans
Kansas passes trans bathroom bill; Arkansas OKs own
transgender policy trumped teacher's religious rights
Bad news round up. Please hug the queer people you know!!
Italy's crackdown on same-sex parenting
Surrogacy Emerges as the Wedge Issue
"Mayors in Italy are fighting back against the far-right"
Meanwhile, in Europe, queer parenting is under fire. When did queerness become “uncool” again?
Everything You Need to Know About Dylan Mulvaney
"imagine being so powerful"
"60 Minutes give a platform to insurrectionist"
"kids' clothing only became gendered"
Related: right wing antics of the week, particularly the Dylan Mulvaney item. She – like Jeffrey Marsh, like Sam Brinton – is this specific moment’s queer bullseye. Someone is going to get hurt because of this!
Americans think Trump's indictment was political
…but they support it anyway! Very interesting, although obviously for different reasons.
Manhattan DA's Unsealed Indictment Against Trump
Snopes with the scoop here.
Clarence Thomas and the Billionaire
"Thomas has secretly accepted luxury trips"
Thomas’s Billionaire Benefactor Collects Hitler Artifacts
Thomas reported receiving only two gifts since 2004
This story is fucking wild and, as these other stories show, is not new. Clarence needs to start looking for a new job!!
Elon Musk Has Inexplicably Changed Twitter’s Logo
Doge's Twitter Reign Ends, Triggering Slump
New York Times says it won't pay for Twitter
users who canceled paid verification still have check
Twitter Takes Aim at Posts That Link to Substack
Twitter slaps NPR with a dubious new tag
"This is just silly."
Twitter (unhinged) news round up. (Also, if you’re looking to lose your blue check: just change your handle.)
"people dying at rates far higher than before COVID"
Oof. We are not learning our lesson.
There is a trend in politics where, after a conservative or liberal leader is in power, the opposite ideology assumes office. This is often and obviously called the political pendulum, where opposing-party officials are elected in reaction to the too liberal or too conservative tenure that just passed. Some say this pendulum is swinging harder than ever, complicated by democrat voters more progressively leaning left (while the right stays the same) and a republican party that is increasingly extremist yet unable to govern.
If we zoom out, to look beyond America, we see similar things happening in softer and louder ways worldwide: for Germany, Angela Merkel was followed by Olaf Scholz; in Italy, a neo-fascist is prime minister came into power after a near decade of center-left leadership; South Korea’s left-wing Moon Jae-In was succeeded by the “politically inexperienced conservative” Yoon Suk Yeol; both Poland and Hungary are struggling to keep liberalism going; and Chile went from an old conservative billionaire president to a young left-wing Millennial.
This isn’t anything new, nor is it particularly interesting given the ebb-and-flow of belief systems being a foundational part of humanity. What is interesting is that we’re approaching a sort of break in the change, largely in that cultures are forcing out some of its strongest leaders in ways that see trickle-down hate trickling up. Some obvious examples are New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, the country’s progressive – and youngest woman – leader resigning this week to join Prince William’s environmental efforts. Sanna Marin of Finland also stepped down this week, after a conservative party won the election. There’s also (the now beleaguered) Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland, Natalia Gavrilita of Moldova, (the decidedly bad) Liz Truss of the U.K., and Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan (at least until 2024): they’re all stepping down or stepped down.
With the exception of Truss, this group is largely progressive, center-left, and or liberal – and they are mostly young women who ostensibly are not being replaced by persons of the same identity. A surface level search (“resigned, minister” and “resigned, minister, progressive,” but not the Truss-bombed “conservative”) reveals a series of different worldwide women stepping down from their posts. As political scientist Kari Odermann observed on TikTok, this is a different sort of long-lead pendulum swinging after decades of increased diversity and progress. “Women stepping down and being replaced with men shows a trend towards conservative leadership,” Odermann explained, noting how the post-Covid world and Ukraine war brought a focus on conservative items like national security and economics. All these women leaders had international appeal too, speaking to an international hunger for change. But when we want to dig in, going with the known, indulging a lack-of-change? Old white men are who we pick.
Zooming out and in, looking at what’s happening in America, the occurrences in Tennessee seem to be a spark of Gen Z protesting and very obvious hate, but also a sign of something else: these leaders are ostensibly wandering into the trap we’re seeing worldwide. While young adult representatives Justin J. Pearson and Justin Jones (along with Kamala Harris) are going viral, making space and speaking out, they are very likely to see their stars rise and fall similarly: they are likely to burn out. As we see in study after study after study after study, burnout is very real for women, BIPOC, and queer workers. Exacerbate that by constituencies, working in public, and with international audiences? You can see how the pressure can dissolve one’s resolve.
I am likely wrong on the case of Pearson and Jones given the American spirit is unrivaled, but it wouldn’t be surprising if all the exciting newly elected women and Black and queer leaders are eventually worn down by centuries of unchanging gerrymandering and disenfranchisement, yielding to the opposite forces, pushing the pendulum to swing further. The effect is that of a constant bouncing, of ceilings remaining unbroken, of those we tossed upwards returning to us shattered.
Frieze parent company acquires WWE
um okay lol
Philippines tattoo artist a Vogue cover star at 106
I don’t think this got enough attention!!
How a hand gesture dominated a NCAA title game
"Angel Reese rejects First Lady Jill Biden’s apology"
“knowing your worth is defiance”
I missed most of the Angel Reese saga as I was offline for most of the week. Here’s your recap though!
On TikTok, I’m the new face of taco salad
This story about how a white woman (who happens to be a journalist) found herself to be the butt of a repeated TikTok joke is so fascinating.
Why the 2000s seem like ancient history
"Gen-Z post about how quaint the post 9/11 Bush years"
"the all consuming shadow of September 11th"
Something glitched this week and young people were lusting for the early 2000s. Weirdo behavior, which
15-minute city hysteria sweeps the UK
"My hot take on “15 minute cities"
"this overlay makes the exact opposite point"
No, Cities Aren’t Doomed Because of Remote Work
Everyone is drinking stupid Kool-Aid regarding places and effective travel and living!
"Nationwide, men are going missing"
Death of Austin man, new rumors about serial killer
Could there be a serial killer dumping bodies in Chicago?
A theory that serial killers are taking over cities is taking over TikTok
Are Kylie Jenner and Timothée Chalamet Dating?
Meme PR about to go into overdrive, into one of the most foul dating rumors to ever be written.
Barbie | Teaser Trailer 2
Barbie Movie Posters Reveal Cast
‘Barbie’ Memes May Be Twitter’s Last Great Moment
"we NEED a Barb in the White House"
"The crazy bastards did it"
"reminder that they almost chose"
All your Barbie things! But, most importantly with the trailer: I need to do a deep dive on the lasting impact of both The Truman Show and Synecdoche, New York as that certainly seems like a clear influence (or the “plot”) of the movie, via Big and doll-comes-to-life narratives. See also: Beau Is Afraid.
"probably going to start a future precedent"
Queen Maggie Rogers made waves by skipping Ticketmaster and selling tickets directly through a venue’s box office. Not a flawless solution but a good idea!!
Plush III | Plush Managements Inc.
househouse bag | Olive T
Speaking of Barbie!! If you’re looking to move your ass, Plush Management (D. Tiffany and Regularfantasy) are back with a groovy EP that features the Aqua sampling “Life In Plastic.” Keep the party going with Olive T’s new EP of fun lil house experiments too.
1977 | µ-Ziq
No Highs | Tim Hecker
Wanna go deeper? Masters µ-Ziq and Tim Hecker have new music, the first sublime pre/post-rave ambient while the latter is a near-perfect push against “false positive corporate ambient.”
A status update, of sorts. Is anyone else also exhausted, or dealing with “all this”?
For the past two weeks, my mind has been weighed by wanting and trying and failing to start a TikTok because it feels like the best thing to do given how Twitter is officially ending and that the nature of this newsletter is to capture the storylines of the moment and share them in essayistic forms, but I am nagged by a tiny anxiety married with a deep fatigue, that I already do enough and that I do not have time, that my already full plate now must be piled with more food – Another social platform! Which I love deeply! Where I must show my face! On camera! – because I, like so many, am trying to break through to be my own person, to escape capitalism and work “for myself,” to add more freedom into my life, so that the twenty (Plus!) years of being a working person who pays taxes can be a little more amenable to me, shaped by my will, built on my own hard work instead of someone profiting off of it, which I have been doing and doing and doing with this platform by running this two-and-a-half year old Report™ on my weekends and mornings, in between the songs of my life and the work-work of my day job, in the increasingly scant free times I have (Is there free time for director-level and above jobs?), as my side-hustle (Blogging.) – which I have been doing in some capacity for over a decade now – continues to have the possibility of bearing fruit, which is something I do atop of also writing short fiction in the hopes of making it into esteemed literary journals like Paris Review or One Story or The Common or Baffler or The Drift so that my writing may evolve and create a path for the novel I am revising to finally make it out into the world, after the first novel I wrote didn’t mesmerize publishers (even if it did get me an agent), all to share joy and entertain and inspire contemplation in people via a form that goes beyond the online, social media momentary, in a way that resembles the micro-dosing of publishing that I’ve been lucky enough to have (a la: a story about kissing trees now in an anothology, a silly lawyer billboard story), all of which has to be built upon pitching articles to journalistic publications, which may make more sense than fiction given my journalistic experience and how easy it is to hitch your name to a publication’s wagon, which I have tried and tried to do as a means of connecting the interior and exterior world of writing that more people read (Who really reads short fiction anyway?), which I don’t have time to write or research but I try even if I know I just have to write it which is what I did last year, which I do not have any time for as my head continues to hit the ceiling between normal personhood and “being a creator,” even though I am nowhere near either anymore, instead working to exist on this dying planet, in parallel to creators hoping to unionize or admit that they’re using a filter or sharing however they make money, which is all to say that at a certain point of life online your work-life and life-life become a mess of personal corporatization, the embodiment of what the New York Times muses over (When Did Our Personal Lives Get So Professional?) making me sometimes wish to log my off-hours, my personal time, onto a timesheet to make myself even more of a boss by tapping a service like Harvest so I can invoice all the hours of life that I am losing (Or gaining?) for the purposes of feeling better or worse about myself, that I am working that other job atop of my other job atop my other job all because I have to survive and make money because all this is both the plan and the backup plan as I would truly have nothing if it all stopped which is why I (We?) aspire, write, reach, do because I’m not a businessman I’m a business man which is to say I had a goal this year of making quarterly literal trend reports that push beyond the momentary moments of a weekly newsletter, to create a Q2 forecast (Ew: “Q2 forecast”) that would have launched around now, to talk about the rise of [REDACTED] and how our future will be shaped by (or continue to be shaped by) [REDACTED] (Also: redacted is not AI.) as a means to bridge the personal and the professional further, which was a goal placed in tandem to another goal that has been eating and eating my brain: starting a TikTok, which I have not done yet, which I am going to do, which I need to get over myself and start, even though the pressure and weight of “all this” seems to be catching up, as I continue to wait in line to checkout at the counter of personal freedoms, which may never come, but I continue to queue toward, holding more and more goods that I made, all in the hopes that I can show them to the cashier who will grant me autonomy, emancipation, the power to just be.
“you girly teengirl stans”
"His ass always has a wig and dress on"
"How Mrs puff MURDERED girly teengirl"
"girly teengirl: hey-"
Spongebob “Girly Teengirl” had a meme breakout moment this week (which leaned into both true crime and softly anti-drag rhetoric).
"Ben Affleck speaks better spanish than I could"
Call me disgusting but I love this dirty Spanish-speaking man.
"Dana Carvey addresses the Master of Disguise/9 11 story"
The first Tweet sets up the perfect image in the second Tweet.
“Every video about Taylor Swift”
So true, Megan Stalter.
"they were separated at birth"
A good recap of the viral “forbidden pairs.”
"Why are you wearing PANTS"
The best video-in-reverse you will see this week.
"Male Greater Sage-Grouse"
This is your reminder to call them 😏
"John Wick 4 be like"
Okay you sold me. I guess I need to watch it!!
“i kept track of all my poops”
Concerned for this non-pooping man.
"I think my dog died"
The best, most concerning dog post.
"Perfectly low stakes, but bonkers, AITA just dropped y'all."
Ranch is always a bad idea.
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