Running on pure rage

I’m back after an endless travel cycle and an unending horrorshow of a time for my country. Hope everyone’s hydrated and sleeping, etc, etc. This week’s newsletter is missing some sections and others are overflowing, apologies, it has been a long coupla weeks.

Blues Buzz

This Maya Rudolph profile is exquisite. The fall of men has been greatly exaggerated. Sarah Smarsh is so good. The God Who Loves You. Reading the New South. The body in poverty. Go off, Anita Hill. On the mainstreaming of queer identity. Alone with Elizabeth Bishop. White masculinity and Southern bourbon. Returning to Tehran. The incredible Margo Jefferson. The queer, feminist future of bookstores. Not This. Leonard Cohen’s son on his father’s final poems.

Tomatoes from Mark Baldwin’s greenhouse in Flint, Michigan. © E.A. Crunden

Tomatoes from Mark Baldwin’s greenhouse in Flint, Michigan. © E.A. Crunden


Some old: Two record-shattering storms, two wildly different attitudes on climate change. Don’t forget about the toxic sites in Florence’s path. North Carolina’s governor calls for a sweeping, inclusive rebuilding process. Democrats are probing a decision to transfer funds from FEMA to ICE in the midst of hurricane season. Trump stands by his administration’s response to Maria. The CDC is getting $1 million to fight Florida’s toxic algae crisis. Delaware says no to offshore drilling. D.C. climate bill is the most sweeping in the country.

Some newer: Latest rollback: mercury standards. A former Koch Industries staffer has scored a key EPA appointment. Construction momentarily halts again on construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

From Texas: Climate issues flew under the radar at the first O’Rourke-Cruz debate. Joseph Kopser, a scientist running to fill the seat currently held by Lamar Smith, fleshed out his commitment to renewable energy (and more) for me. Students also talked to me about their involvement in his campaign and why TX-21 is a really weird, gerrymandered district. Annnnd I wrote about CodeNEXT and Proposition J, which lie at the heart of a bitter divide between Austin’s green groups.

From Michigan: Tired of being defined by a water crisis, Flint’s residents are eyeing innovative solutions and ways to jump-start their city. Environmentalists are running for Michigan’s state legislature, which could translate to a “green wave” in November.

Green Scene

Mangkhut laid waste to the Philippines while Florence bogged down North Carolina. Farmworkers and people who are homeless are taking a severe hit. In Pakistan, a high mountain water pipe brings more than just water. Absolute tragedy in Indonesia following tsunami. When big polluters arrive, Black residents lose out.

Spoken & Written

“Finally, refer to Christine Blasey Ford by her name. She was once anonymous, but no longer is. Dr. Blasey is not simply “Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser.” Dr. Blasey is a human being with a life of her own. She deserves the respect of being addressed and treated as a whole person.” — Anita Hill


Every year on Erev Yom Kippur I re-read this Adrienne Rich poem. | Here’s another poem for good measure. | And another.

(The above are older recs from around Yom Kippur, which feels like a thousand years ago. I’ve honestly had a terrible week and I’m sure many other people have too. I hope everyone who is devastated is coping in whatever way works best for them; I personally am going to book a trip somewhere hopefully and am also maximizing on spending time with my favorite person, reading, cooking, and being outdoors. But if what you need is 25 cookies or an aggressive kickboxing class or a new tattoo or whatever I hope you get that as well.)