A lot of nothing to say
Honestly, there’s so much going on right now in my life, so little of it great or even remotely good, that I keep kicking this newsletter down the road! I’m sorry, trash year, etc! But the longer you sit on something the more it festers and swells until doing it just becomes an impossible, unfathomable task, and so I am sending this now anyways, for the sake of checking something off a list, anything.
There have been some good things, recently. We went to Madison, Wisconsin two weeks ago, very briefly, and it was nice in a strange way and not the way I expected. Increasingly we’re planning our travel more intentionally: would we live here? is this a place that is livable for us as we are now, people in our late 20s, with slightly more financial flexibility and higher standards, but also crushing debt and constrained means? what is the weather like and do people look like us? what do they eat here? really, most of all, is this better than D.C., or would we be gaining some things only to sacrifice others?
Madison is relatively small by my standards (Austinite born into a medium-sized Austin that grew into a roaring Austin) and very small by my partner’s standards (from a city of 11 million people). The cons are that it is incredibly white, the food scene is a bit different than what either of us have grown into or grown from (dairy! everywhere!), and the jobs are not necessarily abundant. The perks are that it is green and full of water, there are many bike trails, the people are kind and friendly and many are queer, and the weather is much cooler. Would we live there? We weren’t sure and we still aren’t. We flew back to D.C. and there was the cat, our friends, our life. For now, nothing is really decided at all, there are so many more places to see and assess, that it already feels like a far-off thing, a brief time when we were surrounded by lakes on both sides and newly experiencing cheese curds and frozen custard, full of new awe.
Other things are good. The (women’s) World Cup has taken over my life. Did I play sports as a child? No. Did I ever follow them? No. I’ve grown into soccer (football, etc, mea culpa) and into how special women’s sports are, especially women’s sports dominated by queer people and people who speak up and fight for things I too cherish and hold dear. I feel so fortunate to have evolved into that and the things that it has brought me. In the middle of an absolutely miserable Friday I threw in the towel and went to sit with a close friend and watch the U.S.-France match and I just remembered what it was like to feel EXTREME ANXIETY about something not serious for a change. They won and I’m still celebrating, run me over with a truck Megan Rapinoe.
+ my cat is getting better, slowly, I have some very generous people in my life, etc, etc. And in a few days I’m heading back to one of my forever homes to watch one of my favorite people from undergrad get married and that is such a good thing and I am so genuinely happy about it and it feels really nice to be excited about something, truly.
Me: Former EPA heads offered a bipartisan pushback against the Trump administration. With hurricane season underway, FEMA is still short thousands of staff. Experts increasingly agree that climate change will harm global stability and national security — but the U.S. military itself is a major emitter.
Pretty much everyone agrees that Trump’s big effort to save coal is not going to save coal. On emissions, it’s California vs. Trump. Oregon’s path to climate action has devolved into an incredible saga involving runaway Republicans, the state police, and threats of armed retaliation — which may not have been necessary, as Democrats say they never had the votes.
Jay Inslee’s latest climate plan adds momentum to the movement to hold fossil fuel giants accountable for global warming. The first Democratic debates played out in Miami, a city dubbed “ground zero” for climate impacts. Debate post-mortems: four of the Democratic contenders say climate change is the leading geopolitical threat to the U.S.; climate got more time than ever (less than 6% of questions) and advocates say it still wasn’t enough.
Elsewhere: After Hurricane Michael, Florida schools are still “begging for help.'“ How enough floating plastic could change the sea. Can historic preservation cool down a hot neighborhood? At USDA, a growing rift over climate science. The Bay Area butterflies fighting for survival. Miners are dying while their bosses deny them safety equipment. Obama’s USDA helped distort data at the expense of black farmers.
Why does liking your body still seem so radical? Two Texans are running for president — this is a good breakdown of how the national press has failed at covering them. I hate swimming pools and this nicely elaborated on why. Life, death, and getting lost in Houston’s queerest neighborhood. Walkin’ away from Oklahoma. If you were a kid who read a lot, you may remember the book Catherine, Called Birdy, and if so it is really a requirement that you read this beautiful tribute to how queer and feminist it is.
I’ve always had many feelings about the cis, feminine, white, middle class women hailed as icons of representation in TV and literature and here, finally, is the article burning it all down. Two queer women on a date were violently attacked in the U.K. and this op-ed from one is worth your time. Abortion access in Mississippi: one person at a time. This long read on the mystery of a Malaysian plane (now MIA for five years) was gripping. Elizabeth Warren is completely serious. Your read of the summer just might be this lesbian cruise piece that is ABSOLUTELY NUTS AND HIGH-DRAMA!
Spoken & Written
Rebecca Lieu, on the type of women in the art we consume: ”This art revolves around an archetypical Young Millennial Woman – pretty, white, cisgender, and tortured enough to be interesting but not enough to be repulsive. Often described as ‘relatable,’ she is, in actuality, not.”
Laurie Bertram Roberts, on her approach to abortion in Mississippi: “When we say we trust black women, we mean that. We give them cash to do what they need to do, because they know their lives better than anybody else.”
Stay cool, y’all. It’s hot out there.