Long week for D.C. residents -- Trump cabinet confirmation appointments, fluctuating weather patterns probably courtesy of a warming planet, and our public transportation system is still floundering. One week to go til the Trump presidency kicks off. Woo-hoo.
Stop calling it 'creative writing.' The myth of the antisocial writer. Straight people are so fragile. The white masculinity of Casey Affleck. Meryl Streep went straight at Donald Trump because she doesn't give a fuck. So did Viola Davis, another hero. (But also, here's the comeback to one of Streep's main points.) Golden Globe winners here, notably robbed were Riz Ahmed, Mahershala Ali, Dev Patel, and basically everything that isn't La La Land, a movie about white heterosexuals. (But yay Moonlight! And Tracee Ellis Ross! And Evan Rachel Wood!) A message to our doomed American colleagues from Russian media. Orcas continue to die at SeaWorld. The Handmaid's Tale is coming. The problems with erotica. Texan misery is a vegan taco cleanse. We're going to lose the polar bears. Creators of color: podcast edition. Writers resist. Did you think urine was sterile? Some people thought urine was sterile. The NYT does not fully understand intersectionality. More books to read! Joe Biden receiving a presidential medal of honor is a good time for us to remind ourselves why Joe Biden is a problem. On going through an eating disorder, a highly gendered struggle, when you are neither a man nor a woman. White women: come get your friends. Also, more generally, don't police your friend's decision to have an abortion, ever.
Around the Globe
Asia: Four people were killed in a truck attack in Jerusalem. Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died, leaving behind a complex legacy and a void for reformers. North Korea, still at it with those missiles. Suicide attacks in Baghdad killed more than 20 people last week. Iraqi troops are moving to reclaim Mosul. Saudi is pro-Uber, very not pro-women driving for Uber. China continues to flex its muscles in the South China Sea, which is going to be fun because one of China's main adversaries in this issue is the U.S. and the potentially-incoming secretary of state has some thoughts on this.
Europe: Cyprus entered the final stage of reunification talks. Austria's proposal to create centers outside of the EU to house refugees has been slammed by progressives. London tube strike. Pope Francis v. the Knights of Malta: Condom Edition. The U.S. is deploying 3000 troops to Poland, and Russia isn't happy.
Africa: South Africa's beaches remain racially politicized. The South African ANC party, which controls the country, may finally be ready for a female leader (albeit the ex-wife of its current leader, the controversial Jacob Zuma.) The Ivory Coast's prime minister resigned and dissolved the government. Ghana's new president plagiarized parts of his inauguration speech. Amnesty International says war criminals are not being held accountable in CAR. Nigeria ditched Taiwan for mainland China.
Americas: Venezuela, which is suffering from horrifying inflation levels, raised its minimum wage by 50%. Mexico is not paying for the wall. The U.S.'s 'wet foot, dry foot' policy re Cuba has come to an end. In the middle of the night, Senate Republicans laid the groundwork for repealing the Affordable Care Act -- a move that could leave millions of Americans without health insurance. Barely in to 2017 and trans* women of color in the U.S. are already being murdered. A National Guard veteran killed five people and injured six at the Fort Lauderdale airport in Florida. So much for nepotism laws, Jared Kushner will be Trump's special advisor. Something about Russia, Trump, Buzzfeed, British intelligence, blackmail, and maybe prostitutes? Also Trump's cabinet crashing and burning and just generally ick. White supremacist Dylann Roof will face the death penalty. Oof Volkswagon.
Listen to: A podcast! Enjoying Call Your Girlfriend in these times; it doesn't always speak to me but Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman are both a delight, as is their long-distance friendship, and taste for everything ranging from things I enjoy deeply (feminism, wine, lengthy conversations about menstruation) to things I know nothing about (reality television and really all hip pop culture more generally.) All genders should investigate!
Watch: Sense8, a television hour I'm royally late to. Queer-positive (with trans* representation that is not awful), in addition to being international and 'diverse', our favorite eyebrow-raising word. Caveats for violence later on in the first season (some of which may be deeply triggering), in addition to the strange phenomenon that is citizens from every country on earth appearing to speak English even when clearly not a native English speaker (subtitles, they exist for a reason.) Still recommended, and on Netflix, for your viewing pleasure.
Make: Apple tart. I have a very long history of excelling when cooking and failing when baking, something I'm hoping 2017 will remedy. I also have an obscene number of apples in my fridge. Pray for me.
Quote of the Week
"I’m not trying to protest dresses! But I wanted to make sure that young girls and women knew they aren’t a requirement. And that you don’t have to wear one if you don’t want to, and to just be yourself because your worth is more than that.”" -- Evan Rachel Wood, on her choice to wear a tuxedo to the Golden Globes
Oymyakon, Russia is either the or one of the (depending on source) coldest inhabited place(s) on the planet. Located in Siberia, the village has seen record lows of -96.16 degrees Fahrenheit. According to Atlas Obscura, days in Oymyakon are around three hours long in the winter, 21 hours in the summer, and the ground is permanently frozen. Students are typically kept in class unless the temperature plummets to -52 degrees Fahrenheit, and it takes approximately one minute on the average day to freeze to death if hypothetically outside and naked. Making vacation plans now.