Wtf just happened (#evergreen)

Blues Buzz

A night with the French far-right. There has never been an America without Muslims. Margaret Atwood is not shocked at how well The Handmaid's Tale's sales are currently doing. Adele knows Beyoncé deserved it -- and here's why many prominent Black feminists say she was right to mention her Black friends, even if it made you uncomfortable. Leftist anti-Trumpers are not above very bizarre conspiracy theories.  How Jewish refugee professors found a home at historically Black colleges. A Day Without Latinxs and a day without immigrants, who make up 16.7% of America's workforce. Looking back on gay firsts. The book we need now. Nextness and nearness. 1996: the year alternative rock died. On being Black and pregnant when you know the statistics. The South is rising. A trans woman was detained by ICE after her abuser reportedly tipped them off. A Russian diplomat was killed on election day in the U.S. Morgan Parker is truly an excellent addition to the literary world. Mahershala Ali is a gift we don't deserve. Hyphen-nation. America, because of its relative isolation, has an apocalyptic relationship with the world. Take some time to revisit Audre Lorde, always. What the fuck just happened today? Social justice must be complicated, because oppression is never simple.

Seen at an emergency rally outside the White House.  © E.A. Crunden

Seen at an emergency rally outside the White House. © E.A. Crunden


Around the Globe

Africa. Activists in Cameroon are pleading not guilty to terrorism charges after working to organize against discrimination. A stampede in Angola killed almost 20 people. Violence in DRC has resurfaced with police firing and spraying tear gas at separatists. Hundreds of thousands of trees in Madagascar were cut down, despite being located on protected lands. South Africa is looking at instituting a national minimum wage. Tensions in South Sudan are going from bad to worse. Are crunchy caterpillars the solution to malnutrition in Burkina Faso?

Americas. Immigrants and refugees are risking entering Canada illegally rather than choosing to remain in the U.S. Two journalists in the Dominican Republic were shot dead during a live broadcast. Venezuela is done with CNN. Also, Venezuela's vice president has drawn Trump's wrath. Mexicans are mass-protesting Trump. The Department of Justice has walked back defending protections for transgender persons. California is dealing with extreme flooding, and the consequences have been horrifying. Bye, Flynn (and a timeline to help explain this to us because it is all very confusing.) NATIONAL SECURITY FOUL. Bye, Puzder. Weirdest press conference maybe ever (anti-Semitism! Racism! Russia!) Deportation chaos under Trump is wrecking lives -- one woman has made the difficult decision to barricade herself in a church in order to avoid the risk of being deported.

Asia. India has surpassed China as the world's most polluted country. China is not happy about a chat the U.S. and Japan had over man-made islands. Violence in Kashmir has ramped up again. North Korea is playing with missiles again. Kim Jong Nam, half-brother of Kim Jong Un, was seemingly murdered in an airport in Malaysia. The Syrian government dumped chlorine gas on the people of Aleppo multiple times in efforts to retake the city. For years, Binyamin Netanyahu has waffled around the two-state solution; now, he's not alone -- Trump says either is fine. Pakistan had a terrible week, with eight separate tragedies occurring, seven of which were direct terror attacks. The most horrifying were in Lahore, where 13 people were killed at a protest, and at a shrine in Sehwan, where Sufis were targeted, resulting in the deaths of more than 70 people and one of the worst attacks the country has seen in a decade. Also having a terrible week was Iraq -- a bombing in Baghdad killed more than 50 people. Then there's Filipinx leader Rodrigo Duterte, who is targeting his enemies.

Europe. Some 70,000 people were briefly evacuated in Greece so that a WWII bomb could be detonated. Turkey is rolling back its teaching of evolution. Online abortion pills are becoming more popular in Britain. Romanians are making headway in their uprising against corruption. Russia is definitely not giving up Crimea. Russia is also telling state-run media to slow down on the Trump love, because, well, duh. French centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron drew fire for saying colonialism was a crime against humanity, one of the first accurate things someone has said in this particular French election.


I wrote about how, despite initially expressing admiration for Pakistanis, Trump has been AWOL in a time of crisis. I also wrote about Trump's meeting with Netanyahu, and how the former is walking back decades of U.S. foreign policy when it comes to the two-state solution.



To make: Whether or not I will get around to recreating this tiramisu recipe this weekend is unclear, but you absolutely should give it a go. (Note: neither vegan nor halal, courtesy of eggs and alcohol, though I am sure troubleshooting for these flaws exists.)

To watch: The Oscars are coming, and while most of us rightfully do not care, there are several contenders you should definitely check out, namely Movie of the Year™ Moonlighta queer Black coming-of-age slice of sheer beauty that will warm you and break your heart at the same time. On my to-watch list is Asghar Farhadi's The Salesman, up for Best Foreign Language Film. Farhadi will be among those not attending the Oscars following Trump's Muslim ban, and now's as good a time as any to reflect on the damage the ban is doing to the arts.

Quote of the Week

“What the f**k does [Beyoncé] have to do to win Album of the Year?” -- Adele, as outraged as we are

Fun Fact

Measuring the impact of immigrants across the globe is a challenge, but even when narrowed down to a country it can be difficult. In the U.S., a country composed almost exclusively of immigrants and their descendants (outside of its very tiny and marginalized Native population), that remains a reality, but here's a stand-out fact: if the MacArthur Fellows ('Geniuses') are any indicator, creative people move more. This 2014 Time article observes that "of the 701 individuals born in the United States who have been named Fellows, 79% lived, at the time of the award, outside the state where they were born."

More on that: A talk I attended a year ago touched on immigration and genius more broadly -- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Cecilia Muñoz, and Aleksandar Hemon (all immigrants or children of immigrants in addition to being Genius Grant recipients) discussed creativity and immigration, and how their experiences have shaped their work. It was a fantastic talk, possibly the best I've ever been to, and I've been thinking about it more and more these days. You can watch the full talk here, and then I highly recommend running out and buying the works of both Hemon and Adichie, especially the latter. Lack funds? Hate clutter and capitalism? I recommend the library as well.

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