100 days

Blues Buzz

The first 100 days: call a lie a lie. Neutral outfit pairing guide. The hotbed of antisemitism isn't the non-Western world -- it's college campuses. Three new poems. If you did not think cis men were garbage it is entirely possible you might after reading this. Crime fiction in Duterte's Manila. "Have you told your parents?" Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf's love affair ended in part because the latter hated the former's book. Familiarize yourself with the Southern Center for Human Rights. What bullets do to bodies. Sebastian Gorka: failing up. Reclaiming the golem as a symbol of Jewish resistance in the time of Trump. An incredible piece on the refugees trying to integrate into Weimar, Germany. Anatomy of a fake news story: how a Muslim politician became a villain. Pakistan v. India: mango season edition. Obese and pregnant. You are doing yourself a disservice if you have not followed Fyre Festival. This story will break you.

Boulder, Colorado. © E.A. Crunden

Boulder, Colorado. © E.A. Crunden


Around the Globe

Africa. A famous conservationist was ambushed and shot on her ranch in Kenya. A bus crash in the country killed 27 people. Libya asked the U.N. for help patrolling its coast. South Sudan's banks have run out of cash. Pope Francis paid a visit to Egypt, where Coptic Christians have been under attack and faced extreme violence. Charges that Chad's former dictator committed crimes against humanity have been upheld by a Senegalese court.

Americas. Canada is going head-to-head with the US over tariffs. Venezuelans are crossing the border to Brazil to seek medicine. Police clashed with indigenous protesters in Brazil. Millions of Brazilians also went on strike. Drug violence is on the rise in Mexico again. New Orleans' Confederate statues are being removed -- at night, while workers wear bulletproof vests, because their lives have been threatened by white supremacists. Arkansas carried out the first double execution since 2000, and ended the week having killed four people on death row. This week in Trump: efforts to block funding for sanctuary cities were stopped momentarily; former Trump advisor Michael Flynn may have broken the law in his dealings with Russian figures; Trump unveiled a major "tax plan" (if it can be called that) to overhaul the tax code; space aliensmaybe goodbye NAFTA (or maybe not)? Over 100 ESPN employees got the axe this week.

Asia. Afghanistan experienced the deadliest attack on a military base thus far in its 16 year war. North Korea detained a U.S. citizen as he was trying to leave the country.  South Korean presidential frontrunner Moon Jae-in has said he opposes homosexuality. A liberal blogger was stabbed to death in the Maldivian capital. Maoist rebels killed 25 police officers in eastern India. Russia has denied it is supplying arms to the Taliban in Afghanistan. A Thai man killed his baby daughter on Facebook Live, then himself.

Europe. Thousands of angry truckers are protesting in Moscow. After Ukraine cut off power to its rebel-held east, Russia stepped in. Former investment banker Emmanuel Macron and far-right creature of notoriety Marine Le Pen made the run-off for France's presidential election. Le Pen stepped aside as the leader of the National Front; her would-be replacement then stepped aside after making comments questioning the existence of gas chambers during the Holocaust. The IMF can't decide if it wants to bail Greece out again. An American member of the European monitoring team in Ukraine was killed after driving over a landmine. The partner of a queer murdered French police officer delivered a powerful eulogy at his funeral. Hungary's CEU drama continues. Macedonia's political crisis erupted when protesters attacked an ethnically Albanian lawmaker.



I wrote about how the U.S. has done damage in Afghanistan and Trump isn't making it any better. I also noted that progressive Jewish groups weren't happy with Trump's Holocaust day speech, and that the Tillerson-Haley divide is a wider indicator of the Trump administration's lack of any coherent foreign policy.



To do: Learn a language! With grad school winding down, I'm eyeing a return to one of my favorite pasttimes: attempting, and failing, to learn another language. Right now, it's between Russian and Urdu, the latter of which I started three years ago and is now appallingly unacquainted with my tongue. Flip a coin.

To listen: Most people in my life love podcasts, and I keep going through flirtations with their sounds before abandoning them. Some are lovable but have too many blind spots to really hold me (I'm thinking here of the wildly popular Call Your Girlfriend), and others are promising but take awhile to get into, which is a lot to ask of someone with minimal commitment to the endeavor to begin with. That aside, I'm really enjoying Nancy, an LGBTQ-centric podcast that is heartwarming, heartwrenching, and appealing in a strange, indescribable sort of way. I'd encourage all listeners, queer and cis and straight alike, to give it a try.


Spoken & Written

"I don’t really believe in the “Western” audience. You’re in America right now—you’re part of the Western audience. And I’ve lived in America for several years which makes me as much part of the “Western” audience, although I happen to be in Pakistan. I think the same way about a Pakistani audience—it’s way too diverse and different. When you look closely at the idea of any monolithic audience, you see that it immediately starts to collapse." -- Mohsin Hamid to Guernica 



Everyone loves to talk about the U.S. president's first 100 days. But what does 100 days mean? Mostly, it's the 3-month window period during which presidents are enjoying a honeymoon phase of sorts -- those who voted for them are happy, those who did not have yet to fully mobilize, and they've had time to establish their agenda, or at least put down a framework of sorts.

Trump once emphasized his first 100 days, and he now thinks it's an irrelevant metric. There's an argument to be made that the measurement isn't without flaws, but there's no question it's important. FiveThirtyEight breaks down why the time period is noteworthy here.