Friday, May 19, 2017

Weekend Reading: The Stupid Head Cold Edition

It is a beautiful, sunny afternoon here. It would have been a great day for a rollerblade, but I did not go out, because I have a cold. And I will not get to go out for a rollerblade next Friday, either, because our school district takes a four day weekend for Memorial Day, so the kids will be home with me. I suppose at some point I should make plans for what we'll do on that day. Presumably, I can come up with something that will compensate for the lost rollerblade.

Today, my compensation was a nap.

I note with sadness that this was another week in which I didn't manage to write a post. I blame the cold, which has had me feeling not quite well since Tuesday. I am a believer in the power of zinc and so I credit my early use of zinc lozenges with the fact that the cold has stayed mild and while it has slowed me down, it hasn't knocked me out. (There is some evidence to support my zinc belief, and really, even if it is just a placebo effect, I'll take it, so don't bother arguing with me on this point.) But slowed down means that I'm now behind on several things, and it also means that the posts I've had swirling around in my head have stayed there, and not made their way into Blogger. Maybe I'll have better luck next week.

Anyhow, on to the links.

First, a little self promotion: I'm in the final stages of putting together my next Taster Flight. This one is called Hemmed In, and is a collection of classic short stories about women's lives. As usual, I'm looking for advance readers.

I'll assume you can keep up on the ever-accelerated cycle of big news stories about the Trump administration on your own. But here are a couple things that made less of a splash but are still worth some attention:

Internet security at the Trump properties is pretty crappy. This is not surprising, but is a problem given that he likes to spend his weekends at these properties and has already shown that he is happy to conduct sensitive business there.

I have grown increasingly irritated with the comparisons of Trump to a child, and Alexandra Petri perfectly captures why.

Allegra Kirkland has a nice summary of how a single question from Al Franken set up the chain of events that led to a special counsel.

Tom Nichols is hopeful that the special counsel is the end of Putin's winning streak. I suspect we have quite a bit more chaos ahead of us, unfortunately.

Ann Friedman on the five stages of the Trump news cycle.

In other topics:

A legislature that is polarized, but still productive.

I hate that the first word that came to mind to describe this essay by Janice Turner about caring for her elderly mother is "brave," but I am certain she will get a lot of nasty letters for it. It gives me the same feeling I get when I think about how we handle child care: like I can almost see a better way to arrange things, but can't quite get it to come into focus. I would love to read some sci fi or fantasy that imagines a world in which the care of the young and the elderly was less fraught.

It would be natural for me to link here to that Atlantic article by Alex Tizon, but I confess that I have not yet read it, so I will not.

Roger Ailes died. I think this thread captures what a lot of people feel (click through to read the whole thing):

None of my close family members fell into the Fox News information warp, but I know several people who feel like they lost a loved one to Fox News. That is an extraordinary thing to think: that a news channel took a loved one from you, but I have heard it and read it so many places, that I can't really dispute that something was happening there.

Jay Rosen considered the topic from a less personal angle and comes to a similar conclusion:

I don't have the right background to really evaluate all of this critically, but I have long thought that when future historians write about when things started going wrong for our society, they are likely to point to the time when we decided to make news into entertainment. I think the Trump era is a test for Democrats as much as Republicans. Can we resist the lure of conspiracy theories and news media designed more to make us feel good and keep us "hooked" than to inform us about the actual truth of what is happening?

One of the blog posts swirling around in my head touches on this topic, so I'll leave it there for now.

In lighter news:

Here is a project that is attempting to provide a list of companies that make women's clothes with pockets.

And here's a cute bunny!
Happy weekend, everyone.


  1. I bought a cell phone recently and complaining about the large size and that it won't fit in my pants' pockets. My husband says to me, in all seriousness, "Why don't you just put it in your front pocket? That's where I keep mine." As if! There is no way it's fitting in a FRONT pocket!

  2. Have you read "The Giver"? Their futuristic society has several problems, but they do care for their children and elders well.

    1. don't they kill the elders in a gas chamber after a certain age?

    2. Their elders choose when they're ready to die, yes. I've seen some family members die horrible, lingering deaths from diseases. At least one of them would have preferred assisted suicide.

      More problematic in the Giver society is their use of capital punishment for 3 total infractions, minor or not.

  3. Anonymous6:18 PM

    This is unrelated to your post, but I found this comic about mental load and I thought you would appreciate it. It's very similar to what you've written about the division of household work.


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