A link to last week's newsletter, should per chance you have missed it.
The life-changing genius of Ursula K. Le Guin. Subverting traditional gender roles. The larger world. Newsweek in shambles. Bruce Springsteen and butch lesbians. Should you stick to writing "what you know"? LGBTQ movies fail because no one wants to reach out to LGBTQ communities and media. Sexual harassment defines politics in Washington. Appalachia isn't the reason we're living in Trump country. Voodoo and queer Black womanhood.
Around the Globe
Africa. Troops arrived at the Sudan-Eritrea border over a dam dispute. The ANC is struggling to decide whether long-term President Jacob Zuma should go. Kenya's crackdown on the opposition and the press continues. Gambia is back in the Commonwealth of Nations.
Americas. Bermuda became the first country in the world to legalize and then repeal same-sex marriage. An Amtrak train crashed in South Carolina, killing two people and injuring over a hundred. Down like the Dow Jones. Military parade. The Rob Porter situation. Tiny shutdown.
Asia. China wants to make 90 percent of its polluted farmland safe for farming within two years. Definitely do not mistakenly label Taiwan as China. Taiwan was hit by a devastating earthquake. All hell is breaking out in the Maldives, where two Supreme Court justices and a former president were arrested. Syria's humanitarian crisis continues to spiral. The ICC is eyeing the Philippines.
Europe. Greeks mass-rallied to protest the name Macedonia. No one knows what to do in Brexit, as usual. Germany breaks its political deadlock. Turkey says it has met E.U. criteria for visa-free travel. Like everyone else, the original Brits were brown. Russians think Americans rigged their elections more than they think the opposite. Northern Ireland will likely stay in the single market post-Brexit.
Green Is A Thing
Climate change and choosing not to have children. D-Day for Bears Ears. The "hater" judge, the border wall, and the environment. Flint's problem goes beyond lead poisoning. The Arctic is full of toxic mercury and guess what happens when the permafrost melts? Coal job losses are still hurting Appalachia, but the industry is likely to bottom out soon. The fate of the red wolf. FEMA contract fails. Scott Pruitt thinks climate change is going to help humans. If the world builds every planned coal plant, we are screwed. The U.S. solar industry lost 10,000 jobs in 2017. Malawi's drought is sparking mob violence. Lavender farms in Appalachia. As U.S. ski trails vanish, one Olympian is fighting climate change.
Spoken & Written
"I tell God all the time, 'These sons of bitches make me so mad. I want to cuss 'em out, ooh Jesus.'" -- Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D), Texas' longest-serving female and Black lawmaker, joins the #MeToo discussion.
Journalism: With elections looming, white supremacy and nationalism roar again in Italy. Hondurans and Nicaraguans could face the same confusion over application deadlines that hurt DACA recipients. A Senate budget deal came at the expense of DACA and Pelosi went to war. Officials have said the E.U. will make no new trade deals with countries that fail to ratify the Paris climate agreement. The global gag rule is already set to hurt Planned Parenthood badly. DHS is weighing new rules penalizing immigrants who apply for permanent residency if they choose to take advantage of the public services paid for by federal funds. Here are your queer female athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
After a long week I'm off for an un-relaxing weekend -- racing to Brooklyn for a close friend's birthday. It's no secret I don't love New York and I could write pages about why, more pages probably even than have been written by all those who love New York, consider it the best of cities, will never leave, etc. But I go for friends (+ bagels) and so in Brooklyn I'll be.
The extent to which I'm dragging my feet says more about the person I've turned into than anything else. Rewind even a few years ago and I was different -- eager to meet people and antsy, itching to move and be moved. I'm still antsy -- stationary panic is a true thing, I am the proof. But I've lost the need to physically collide with people at all times, the spurt of extraversion I slammed into as I entered college gracelessly, the state I embraced upon exiting the introversion of 18 years in a large state full of things hostile and unreceptive to me. That means my days spent in a newsroom are more than enough for me when it comes to socializing; I like my weekends solitary and quiet, something that happens less often than I'd like.
It's hard to explain that to people. For all the lauding (and fetishizing) of introversion that abounds, the world is built for extroverts. I'm neither -- if I didn't live with someone, I would have more energy for people, enough to last for more than a few solid hours. I don't gain energy from others but I don't hate company. Ambiversion isn't something anyone really discusses but I wish they did -- the need for a balance, for enough of all things, just enough.
But there will be no balance, least of all from me. When I'm in a state it's hard to break it. I oversocialized for six years in no small part because I had started and could not stop. Now that I've had more time to be alone I'm back there, in the space that made me, that world of silence that rears lonely and isolated children the world over. It's comfortable there and I hate leaving. I spent two years bailing on plans and ignoring text messages thanks to the eternal excuse of "grad school" and now it is over and here they are, the demands and the asks and the requests for time.
That means instead of sitting quietly in a coffee shop in D.C. or reading a book or going for a run (which I do now -- some personal news), I'll be in a busy, overwhelming city, trying to stick to the part I know -- Brooklyn is, to me, separate somehow from New York itself -- and trying to stay awake and engaged, sweet not salty, open not closed. That's not really what I wanted but showing the people in my life I care is something I said I would do this year and so I am. So come this afternoon, Brooklyn-bound I'll be.