RIP Edie Windsor, a lioness of a woman and a champion for queer people across the U.S. Rhea Butcher on Edie. Images of Edie and Thea in love, and why it matters. One of Australia's "stolen generation" became a celebrated poet. The socialist experiment in Jackson, Mississippi. Female Viking warriors. What medieval historians have in common with Taylor Swift. Celeste Ng and Nicole Chung in conversation. On prayer and poetry. Where progressives fail on intersectionality and identity politics. Masha Gessen: immigrants shouldn't have to be 'talented' to be accepted. Man Booker list. On the disappearance of fireflies. The enduring lessons of communist Poland. When you're genderqueer but your native language is gendered. The great nutrient collapse. Cleaning the house to stave off grief. More Myles. Hiroshima, the Holocaust, and what it means to be a survivor. Something sweet for the new year.
Around the Globe
Africa. Seventeen people were killed after an al Shabab attack in Somalia. Ghana began a program offering free secondary school education. Anti-government protests are raging in Togo. In Sierra Leone, resistance to rehousing efforts remains an ongoing issue after a landslide displaced tens of thousands.
Americas. Venezuelans are now being encouraged to eat rabbits, something many labeled a "bad joke" by President Nicolas Maduro. A queer art exhibition was canceled in Brazil after opposition from right-wing protesters. The president of Brazil has been charged with obstruction of justice. Members of an uncontacted tribe were reportedly massacred by gold miners in Brazil. Hurricane Irma blasted through the Caribbean before hitting the mainland United States, lashing Florida. Islands are still traumatized after Irma. Health care plans abound with no end in sight.
Asia. In Burma, things have gone from terrible to even worse for the Rohingya. Rohingya in Pakistan are livid as they watch the crisis play out. Pour one out for Yair Netanyahu. North Korea faces its toughest-ever sanctions and also fired another missile over Japan. Twenty-four people were killed in Malaysia when a fire broke out at a school. Tunisian women are now free to marry non-Muslims.
Europe. Europe (+ larger NATO) is beefing up for potential war with Russia. The stateless former president of Georgia arrived in Ukraine. French leader Emmanuel Macron is dodging labor protests and uproar. Norway's right-wing government won re-election. Poland violated an E.U.-imposed logging ban in an ancient forest. An explosion hit the London metro system on Friday, injuring numerous people but causing no fatalities.
Spoken & Written
“I was never her nurse—I’m her lover! I was just doing things to make her comfortable—and that was with loving her and digging her.” -- Edie Windsor, who died this week, on her marriage to Thea Spyer.
Journalism: Amid silence from Trump, Mexico pivots away from international aid to focus on its own crises. One widow's story highlights how much all immigrants, documented or otherwise, are struggling under Trump. On the U.S. Virgin Islands, residents feel abandoned by the mainland after Irma. Buried in the census data is some bad news about income inequality. War games in Russia yay fun! California is one step closer to recognizing non-binary gender. The Trump administration's immigration policies were dealt yet another blow. The new Republican health care effort also seems terrible, water is wet, etc.
To say last week was exhausting would be to understate a thing and so I will not. Instead I will just say this -- I am grateful for all of the language I've gained over the course of the past ten years or so. When I left home (and in the time before it, when things were crumbling) I never had the words for what was happening. In the years that followed, I also lacked vocabulary much of the time, something that did damage -- how do you talk about trauma if you can't even call it that? These days I can and do recognize when things have gone wrong, when they don't feel right, when everything is soaring south at breakneck speed. Being able to talk about that is a blessing; I am lucky.
What else to say apart from that? The dreaded thesis is upon me, work is moving quicker than ever, I am even more tired than I was when this year started and when it started I did not think that was a thing that was possible. But again I have to think about these things in terms of luck -- to be employed at all is a blessing (and doing what I want, at that), and soon school will be over with (so, so soon.) Once the hurricane that ripped through my life this week settled (what a time for hurricanes; they are everywhere now) everything seemed to calm and now we've gone to the farmer's market and there are colorful things in my fridge again and also I've enjoyed a few cups of coffee and the weather is growing cooler. All of which is to say that I think I am reaching the age where I am becoming better at weathering natural disasters and that is a relief.
Last but not least, I have been pondering going to Hungary and Poland for a bit when this heinous thing (the thesis -- all 72 pages of it in draft form) is done, and I think I've decided to just do it, so there is that.