Only the World Cup is good

I was on a brief vacation in Maine last week! Shorter, sparser newsletter as a result, mea culpa. 

Blues Buzz

NEW MAGGIE NELSON. The love for Native literature makes sense. The rise of cli-fi. 'A White Man's World.' My favorite Southern environmental newsletter is now a website and an independent newsroom -- subscribe to Southerly! Seeing women in power. Sharp objects. What even is a Southern writer? What even is queer foodFear of a Black France. The personal politics of being laid off. Hoejabi.

Bar Harbor, Maine. © E.A. Crunden

Bar Harbor, Maine. © E.A. Crunden


Last week: U.S. cuts to global climate funding are taking a steep toll. In Michigan, polluting industries will now have oversight over the very watchdog meant to hold them accountable. People tried hard to teach Pruitt and aides about climate science -- I verified two such attempts. Drillers in Utah won big with Pruitt.

This week: Undocumented immigrants are afraid to seek shelter amid raging Colorado wildfires. Historic flooding devastates Japan. In Puerto Rico, even the smallest storm can be a threat. Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, does not like it when the media talks about his coal lobbying. Immigrant detainees are being housed within an EPA Superfund site. FEMA finally admits it made mistakes during the 2017 hurricane season that devastated Puerto Rico. 

And a special report from Austin and D.C. highlighting immigration rallies in Texas, with some reporting help from an old friend from home.


Around the Globe

Africa. South Sudan almost immediately contradicted a ceasefire. Eritrea and Ethiopia are not at war and people are overjoyed. Social media riots in Uganda. An explosion rocked the Cairo airport mid-week. 

Americas. Andrés Manuel López Obrador will be the next president of Mexico, breaking with years of two-party, more conservative rule. Trade wars, still hot. In Idaho, a man stabbed nine people, many of them refugees, during a birthday party for a toddler, who later died.

Asia. A Sikh leader running for office and a number of other religious minorities were killed in Afghanistan. Istanbul's Pride ended in tear gas. Twelve young Thai footballers were rescued from a cave in a daring, gripping mission. Trade war between U.S. and China going about as expected. India is hearing challenges to the country's homophobic 377 laws, a hangover from British colonialism. India eyes guaranteeing net neutrality. Syria's enduring tragedy. An explosion in China killed 19 people. Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan as 132 people were killed in a devastating bomb blast. 

Europe. The U.S. is just so popular with NATO and also with Britain. The best French prison escape story ever. In Germany, Merkel is forced to make concessions on migration. Boris Johnson dramatically departed U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet, along with other prominent names, in a response to Brexit. 


Green Scene

A decrease in soil diversity. The Congo will allow oil drilling in protected wildlife areas. Rhode Island sues Big Oil. Who milks America's cows? Cocoa's poverty problem. A technical difficulty is set to keep nearly 2,000 farmers' markets from accepting SNAP benefits. Ireland divests from fossil fuels. Incredibly stressful time to be in Greenland. Black churches set their eyes on food security


Spoken & Written

"I'm here in the crowd for my 'Golden Boy' and my partner in Barcelona. I hope you have a lot of fun on Sunday, without forgetting that it is a competition and that regardless of the result you are already champions." -- Brazilian footballer Neymar to his current and former teammates Kylian Mbappé and Ivan Rakitic, who play for France and Croatia respectively


Less by Andrew Sean Greer, which I had not read when Greer won the Pulitzer and yet I was overjoyed -- that feeling you get in any marginalized community when One Of Your Own wins big. Finally marathoned the book on a very, very long train ride. Absolutely incredible, made somehow all the more incredible by the ability of a gay writer to write gay joy, complete with an upbeat conclusion. Perfect.


The new Florence & the Machine album was worth the wait. Lots of highlights, but I just keep playing The End of Love on loop. We were reaching in the dark/that summer in New York is somehow the perfect chorus for this summer, which I am not spending in New York at all.