The hijacking of the Brillante Virtuoso. Patagonia's Trump resistance. Mikhail Lesin's super ridic death and maybe murder. Those who work and those who don't. The dangerous myth of a singular, unified white South. Charlize Theron is not here to make friends. The podcast boom is forcing podcasts to become more diverse. RIP the wonderful Sam Shepard. Related: My buddy. Human editinggggg. The real legacy of Crazy Horse. Finding solace in the words of furious women. Meat is destroying everything. Alberta's oil workers are in a mental health crisis. Putin isn't a bond villain. I Long to Hold the Poetry Editor’s Penis in My Hand. On the Palestinian Occupation. Queering the rural. In the South, climate change is a workplace hazard. BEES. How Ramzan Kadyrov uses homophobia to stay in power.
Around the Globe
Africa. A Kenyan election official was found dead ahead of the country's vote. More than 40 men have been arrested in Nigeria for homosexual behavior. Tanzania has a mob problem. Chinese development in Africa continues to vamp up, with Gambia now opening up discussions after the country severed ties with Taiwan. Paul Kegame won a third term in Rwanda.
Americas. Refugees fleeing the U.S. and heading to Canada are overwhelming the country. Civil war might be over for Colombia, but here comes deforestation. Brazil's president survived an attempted ouster. Venezuela's tragedy through the eyes of an outgoing reporter. Related: the country targeted opposition activists following a controversial vote. Trump fired his chief of staff last Friday and his new communications director on Monday. The DOJ wants to go after affirmative action. Mueller has impaneled a grand jury, the latest big update in the Trump-Russia investigation. Trump's truly amazing phone calls (read: horrifying) with the leaders of Mexico and Australia, respectively.
Asia & Australia. The Iraqi embassy in Kabul was stormed following a car bombing outside. Australia says it foiled a terror plot. Over half of all Australian university students have been sexually harassed. Pakistan has a new (temporary) prime minister. Basically, North Korea is freaking everyone out. China's border dispute with India is just heating up. Israel and Jordan are experiencing increasingly poor relations. The Iran Deal could be in jeopardy, due in large part to the U.S. president.
Europe. Ireland's parliament laid out a plan for peaceful reunification between Ireland and Northern Ireland. U.S. arms could be sent to Ukraine as relations with Russia continue to worsen. Poland may demand WWII reparations from Germany. Britain seems so unprepared for Brexit that EU officials worry it's a trick.
Written & Spoken
“I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den.” -- U.S. President Donald Trump to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. (Trump did not win New Hampshire in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.)
Journalism: Spotlight on this feature I spent several months crafting with a co-worker, honing in on the ramifications terrible H-1B visa policies (and the Trump administration's ignorance of the entire process) will have not just for the many talented and hard-working people affected but also the U.S. economy and national innovation.
In other news: Russia responded to sanctions from the U.S. with a mass expulsion of diplomats. Trump's transgender military ban isn't going over very well with Americans (or with Texas oil executives.) Venezuela's democracy has deteriorated even further. Climate change is being cited as a leading national security threat around the world. The NAACP slapped Missouri with a travel advisory. Military figures are taking over the Trump administration. Activists rallied in Texas for transgender and immigrant rights.
My thesis is looming and it occurs to me that I hate everything I've written thus far in grad school. A few months off haven't improved that relationship, but I only have a matter of weeks before a draft needs to be finished. Obvious solution: new pieces. But I've always found it impossible to write creatively without either an immediate deadline (think 24 hours, not three weeks) or a pressing topic.
I do have a few pressing topics, actually. Spurred by recent life events I furious poured out 2,643 words on families. How they are not sacred, how they commit acts of violence, how they are forgiven nonetheless. But how to put that out into the world? Not my family, someone else's will be the response. No, your family too. But how to tell people that? If your mother called you fat, that was violence. If your father said your dreams weren't enough, that was violence. Violence can be physical acts, unthinkable words, but it can also be in the day to day, the creeping criticisms. My mother slapped me across the face and beat my ass with a belt back in the day and that was violence, but it was also violent when she told me to suck my stomach in, and that I would thank her one day. (I was six.) Every time she needed to be right (leaving me in the wrong by default), that was violence. Every time she took out her moods on me, that was violence. It's taken me years and states and space to see that. Around me, friends are hurt constantly by their families. But one word observing that and they turn away (the thought being that someone who does not routinely call their parents has no way of understanding; but that is false, far falser than they know, though of course they'll never know. This is the way of things.)
Most of the people in my life will never recognize the violence in their own lives, or how the people they love have hurt them, and how unacceptable that hurt is. But I can't write that, because that is not something people want to read.
You know what people also don't want to read? A long rambling piece about how the planet is warming, and eating meat and tossing plastic and creating waste and failing to reduce or conserve are all tendencies that are furthering that warming and burning and ending along. People don't want to know they can fix things. That's a lot of responsibility. No one likes responsibility.