This Monday is particularly hard to get this started. Another mass shooting, another round of “if it wasn’t a white man” and “now isn’t the time to debate policy.” Without knowing what motivated this man, this white middle aged man, we won’t know if it was religiously or politically motivated. I hope they find some reason, the senselessness feels overwhelming.
My week in reading
Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner
Reading suggested for the podcast by Lisa Schweitzer. A damn find book. Timeless in many ways, I can’t place why this language over other works from the 1920s seems more modern, but it does. Lolly, or Laura, is a spinster. As such, her family makes decisions about her money, her residence, and what fills the hours of each day. Until she finally tires of worrying over everyone else. She moves to a village far away from her maddening family. But the village might hide more than she knows.
Witches. Warlocks. Familiars. The devil. Strength.
Highly recommended. Enjoyed this immensely.
Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy
I haven’t finished this, it’s really good though. Exploring some of the same themes as Lolly Willowes (and the play I read this week as well … Yerma in the Desert by Oliver Mayer). Women in uneasy roles, fenced in like animals by societal norms. Woman on the Edge of Time is also a fantasy novel, allowing our protagonist to see glimpses of a future with differently defined gender roles. I’m loving this so far.
Loving it so far.
Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
Again, haven’t finished this. Taking my time reading this one, and reading along to the audio book (narrated by Christopher Dontrell Piper) to get it further into my brain. This should be mandatory reading all across the U.S. The research is meticulous. The history, bloody. Themes here mirror themes from White Trash, from Reproducing Racism, from The New Jim Crow. We have need of a reckoning. American refusal to look at its history of violence, greed, and oppression has yielded this Trumpian/Orwellian nightmare. So red or blue pill? Wake up or continue being a battery to feed the machine of white supremacy coupled with capitalism.
I know this will be a highly recommended. Amazing so far. The writing is just impeccable, the research deep and meticulous.
Posts from around the digital realm
Badassery is the best word. From Melissa Bird, Bird Girl Industries, on the five words she offers women.
How to frakin’ help Puerto Rico since the Fed Gov’t has it’s head up it’s badasslessness.
Reminder: the WNBA is always full of badassery and the mens could learn a thing or twenty million.
Trevor Noah gets his groove on. He’s learning what it really means to be black in America.
The New York Times‘ Daily podcast on the frenzy of fake news this summer in Twin Falls, Idaho.
OMG, OMG, OMFG, the trailer dropped for Annihilation! Fucking great book.
One of my favorite political writers on another favorite writer. Jamelle Bouie on Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Sleep Well Beast
Another week. Here is just some of the content we produced … a conversation on some meta pieces the USC School of Dramatic Arts is performing in repertory this Fall. (In LA? come to USC to see these, it’s worth the trip!) And an interview with Thor Steingraber on the public service of arts programs in the City.