This newsletter will be on hiatus next week, as your human is going on vacation (!!!). Apologies if this in any way impacts your weekend reading habits, or you're welcome if this spares you any weekend annoyance. Regularly scheduled programming will return the weekend after next.
Faith and family in transition. When sleeping in the car is the price of a doctor's visit. Our obsession with having a "cute" pregnancy is doing serious harm to the people who get pregnant. Masha Gessen on pride and politics. One of Virginia Woolf's most beautiful sentences. Transgender and Jewish. Zadie Smith on Get Out (and a thread from a Black American on Zadie Smith on Get Out.) Chelsea Manning's leaks do not seem to have in fact threatened national security. On queer writing and the Midwest. Every word of this story is something essential. The importance of queer book clubs. Gay v. queer nightlife. When the man who abuses you is also a cop. Accusing a powerful man of rape drove one college student to suicide. On memoirs by parents of the children killed by police. Is Pride for queer people like me? Interracial love won't save America. An openly trans mayor in Texas. Is your Gd dead?
Around the Globe
Africa. A resort in Mali was attacked by gunmen. Rebel groups signed a ceasefire deal with CAR's government, but it doesn't seem to be doing much good. The U.N. is opening an investigation into killings in DRC. South Africa is dealing with a bird flu outbreak. Egypt's president pardoned 502 prisoners. Solar energy is providing opportunities for refugees.
Americas. The government reacted harshly after the Organization of American States accused Venezuela of violating human rights. Brazil's president could be next on the country's political chopping block. Journalists are under surveillance in Mexico. Two Dutch journalists were kidnapped in Colombia. Bill Cosby's sexual assault case ended in a mistrial. Otto Warmbier, the U.S. student held in North Korea, died shortly after being returned home. Uber's CEO is out following an ongoing series of allegations of sexism and harassment that have plagued the company. Video footage of Philando Castile's death has been leaked (massive TW.) The Senate unveiled its also-truly terrible health care bill. The U.S. opioid crisis.
Asia. The Muslims saving Christians in the Philippines. Pakistan upset India in a shocking and well-played game of cricket. The U.S. waded even deeper into the Syrian civil war while U.S.-Russia relations deteriorated further over the issue. Saudi Arabia's line of succession shake-up. Saudi, flanked by allies, issued a list of demands to Qatar in exchange for restoring ties -- one of which directly targeted Al Jazeera. Another beloved Iraqi mosque has been destroyed by ISIS. Thailand passed a bill extending military rule for another 20 years.
Europe. A forest fire killed more than 60 people in Portugal. French President Emmanuel Macron's En Marche party has claimed a large majority in the National Assembly that only weeks ago seemed impossible. Muslims leaving mosque were targeted by a white man in London, who killed one person and injured eight others. Norway faces a climate conundrum. Romania's government withdrew support from the country's prime minister, who later resigned. A 16 year-old was gang-raped and thrown from a train in India. Bombings were botched in both Paris and Brussels. Hate crimes spiked in Manchester following an extremist attack.
Theresa May's hard Brexit plans are being complicated by the DUP. Muslims leaving mosque were targeted in the latest U.K. attack. World Refugee Day came and went, with globally displaced people at a record high. Police brutality is a reproductive justice issue. Trump's visit to the U.K. seems to be off. Non-binary gender could see a wave of recognition if legislation in several states goes through. Activists in wheelchairs were arrested en masse while protesting the AHCA. Afghanistan is still suffering and the U.S. has no plan. With anti-Semitism at home at record highs, the Trump administration is rolling back monitoring abroad.
To listen: It's no secret that I enjoy Lorde, easily one of the weirder people to shoot to fame in recent years. I haven't fully decided how I feel about her new album, Melodrama, which marks a big departure from her debut, but I've been easing into it. There are a few obvious wins ("Green Light" is excellent) but now I'm on a "Sober" kick. Mostly, just really delighted she's back. (And I just spent a small fortune to see her in concert almost a year from now, so any thoughts you can spare for both my bank account and her ability to keep from being problematic on social media between now and then are appreciated.)
To do: Get out! No one has ever accused me of being a homebody and fleeing my immediate surroundings is a cherished hobby. This weekend I've run off to New York; next weekend I'll be off in San Francisco. These are the nice things working long hours for many years have bought me, nice things a lot of people don't have -- I can see and recognize that easily. But regardless, there are more ways to get out than one, so even if you're more of an "in" soul I'd still back taking an extended walk or going some place new.
Written & Spoken
"'I love this script. I love weird girls. I am a weird girl. I've always been a weird girl.' OK, yeah, less so now that I identify as nonbinary, but whatever." -- Jill Soloway
Among the most vocal activists condemning the American Health Care Act (AHCA) are disability rights advocates, due in large part to the cuts the AHCA would make to Medicaid -- something that would be devastating (and deadly) for many in the community. Members of ADAPT, a disability rights organization, were arrested en masse Thursday while protesting the AHCA, drawing attention to the legislation's disproportionate ableism. For more information on just how terrible the bill would be for the disabled (and/or differently abled), I turn things over to ADAPT.