Enjoy your reproductive rights while you can:
Senate Republicans are expected to achieve two goals on Thursday that have long eluded them — they’ll pass a bill that defunds Planned Parenthood and repeals the Affordable Care Act. The House has managed to vote more than 50 times to repeal all or part of the health care law, but it’s always been tougher in the Senate, where Republicans don’t have the 60 votes needed to pass bills Democrats oppose. This year, they’ll have a special procedure at their disposal to get around that.
But first, let’s make it very clear — nothing that happens on the Senate floor this week will ever actually become law, because any bill that repeals the Affordable Care Act and defunds Planned Parenthood is going to get vetoed by the president.
Emphasis mine: it’ll get vetoed by THIS president. He ain’t the president for much longer.
‘‘The Condition of Black Life is One of Mourning’’ is the title of an essay Claudia Rankine wrote for The New York Times Magazine after the Charleston church massacre. Sitting with her essay in front of me, I asked myself what the condition of white life might be. I wrote ‘‘complacence’’ on a blank page. Hearing the term ‘‘white supremacist’’ in the wake of that shooting had given me another occasion to wonder whether white supremacists are any more dangerous than regular white people, who tend to enjoy supremacy without believing in it. After staring at ‘‘complacence’’ for quite a long time, I looked it up and discovered that it didn’t mean exactly what I thought it meant. ‘‘A feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements’’ might be an apt description of the dominant white attitude, but that’s more active than what I had in mind. I thought ‘‘complacence’’ meant sitting there in your house, neither smug nor satisfied, just lost in the illusion of ownership. This is an illusion that depends on forgetting the redlining, block busting, racial covenants, contract buying, loan discrimination, housing projects, mass incarceration, predatory lending and deed thefts that have prevented so many black Americans from building wealth the way so many white Americans have, through homeownership. I erased ‘‘complacence’’ and wrote ‘‘complicity.’’ I erased it. ‘‘Debt,’’ I wrote. Then, ‘‘forgotten debt.’’
She lost her six year-old brother at Sandy Hook, and not much has changed:
Whenever I feel discouraged, much like I do today, I think of Noah. I am reminded of how full of life he was, how funny and mischievous, and how he deserved to go to school and come home safely. I think about his twin sister, who was in a classroom across the hall during the shooting. I think about how she has to live the rest of her life without him.
I did not watch The Wiz: Live! bc there’s no point to doing anything you can’t tweet about (I just drank some scotch and watched Trainwreck instead, bc my mom had just seen it and, despite having not dated since the late 1970s, informed me it was “very realistic,” and now I have so many questions about my mom in the late 1970s.) Tell me about your thoughts on The Wiz: Live! at the current time.
(Trainwreck is good so far, but I had more scotch than usual! I just started trying scotch, it’s pretty gross. Ron Swanson lied to me.)
More than a hundred years ago, the hapless traveler might have encountered a supernatural hound on the grounds of England’s Dartmoor National Park. This moody, quiet moorland inspired one famous mystery writer to pen a tale about the family Baskerville. Today, however, joyriders around Dartmoor more likely to encounter another frightening sight: a glow-in-the-dark pony.
A new pilot project in the southwestern English town involves a fluorescent strip of paint used to protect the native ponies from dangerous drivers.
Public Enemy hitches a ride to their own concert with a fan:
“They were such nice guys, we had a right laugh,” Wells told The Telegraph of the ride. “We were chatting away, but the phone was constantly going as their management were clearly worried.”
At one point during the drive, they were all belting “Bohemian Rhapsody”. “Then as we were coming through Attercliffe, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, by Queen, came on the radio,” Wells said. “Everyone was singing the words and rocking out in the back of my car, it was like a Wayne’s World moment. I was looking in the rear view mirror thinking, ‘Is this actually happening?’”
The Mary Sue takes on the Kilgrave fandom with gentle probing instead of INSTANT HORROR AND JUDGMENT like I do, which is prob for the best (also, I was very pleased with the final episode, if someone wants to start a thread for spoilers):
The problem is actually much, much bigger than the tiny Kilgrave fandom, although some of the attitudes within that fandom seem to be symptoms of this larger systemic issue. And that issue is, these are the only types of relationships that we see. It’s not that individual women and young girls are “problematic” or “fucked up” because they want to believe in these “reformed abuser” narratives – it’s that these narratives are everywhere, so how can we possibly blame anyone for believing in them? Fandoms exist for real-life serial killers, sure – but also, real-life abusive relationships and gaslighting happen every day.
My girl Lisa Hix (we have never spoken, I just love her stuff at Collectors Weekly) Skyped with the Victorian couple you know and don’t love from a few months back:
Collectors Weekly: I’m curious about your grooming routines. Do you wear deodorant?
Sarah: I wear a salt-base deodorant. In terms of washing, I wash with a bowl and pitcher every morning. When I wash my hair, I get into the clawfoot bathtub, and I use castile soap from a company that’s been around since 1837, a bar of soap that I have to lather up. The castile-soap trick is one I got from a ladies’ magazine from 1889. I’ve found that because it gets my hair so much cleaner than modern shampoos, the hair is not as slippery, and it’ll stay in the Victorian updos is a lot better.
Gabriel: I don’t wear deodorant, and I never have. It’s no particular change for me. When we wash our clothes, our outer garments, we wash them a lot less frequently than modern people wash their clothes. It just isn’t required. It wears the clothes out.
Sarah: I have quite a few undergarments. I don’t think most modern people wash their winter coat every single day because it’s not contacting the skin very much. Because all our clothes are made out of natural fibers, the fabrics breathe very well. It’s not like a synthetic fiber. Polyester doesn’t breathe and builds up sweat. That’s why synthetic clothes get very stinky.
Gabriel: Wool, especially, is amazing. You can wear wool week after week and never wash it; it’s fine.
O REALLY, GABRIEL? Also, they don’t approve of women’s suffrage, I could read this all daaaaaay. THEY ARE MY OBSESSSSSSSSSION.
I love Ask a Manager updates more than life:
Remember the reader whose coworker kept calling her “baby mama” after she returned from maternity leave, even going so far as to refer to her as another coworker’s “baby mama”? (And that other coworker was simply another person he disliked, not the father of the letter-writer’s child.) Here’s the update — and it doesn’t end up where you think it will!
No one would be more delighted at the coconut’s rising star than August Engelhardt, a sun-worshipping German nudist and history’s most radical cocovore.
From 1902 to 1919, Engelhardt lived on a beautiful South Pacific island, eating nothing but the fruit of Cocos nucifera, which he believed was the panacea for all mankind’s woes. Except that a coconut mono-diet proved to be a terrible idea. At the end of his life, der Kokovore was reduced to a mentally ill, rheumatic, severely malnourished sack of bones with ulcers on his legs. He was only 44.
this story is great, but also my Chrome plugin helps make it PARTICULARLY good for me:
In 1902, Engelhardt boarded a ship with his library of books and sailed to the Bismarck Archipelago (now Papua New Guinea), where he bought a plantation on the island of Kabakon. He built himself a thatched hut, began to trade in Klingon bloodwine, and prepared to establish his cult, called Sonnenorden (Order of the Sun).
On WH Auden’s poem about blowin’ dudes (it is not euphemistic in nature, it is straight-up about blowin’ dudes, bless him):
I admired the texture, the delicate wrinkles and the neat
Sutures of the capacious bag. I adored the grace
Of the male genitalia. I raised the delicious meat
Up to my mouth, brought the face of its hard-on to my face.
The ban on gun violence research is so laughable and ridiculous and bad, it seems difficult to fathom it’s actually a discussion.
Autostraddle’s top twenty queer and/or feminist books of 2015!
American women can now (officially) serve in all combat roles previously closed to them, which is great, and I also hope this helps motivate the various branches of the military to work on their MASSIVE sexual assault problem, which impacts male and female victims alike:
The decision opens the military’s most elite units to women who can meet the rigorous requirements for the positions for the first time, including in the Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces and other Special Operations Units. It also opens the Marine Corps infantry, a battle-hardened force that many service officials had openly advocated keeping closed to female service members.
“There will be no exceptions,” Carter said. “This means that, as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before.”
Matt “Ofjaya” Lubchansky did this great short story for Vice, I love it. I love Matt, obviously, so I am biased, but it’s also really good.
Ruth Graham gives a helpful dose of reality to that weird Atlantic piece about “prayer-shaming” (in related news, “…-shaming” is my least favourite formulation):
And let’s be clear: This week’s prominent “prayer shamers” aren’t really against prayer. They’re against platitudes. The problem is when “thoughts and prayers” are the only response to a public event that calls for political action. It’s hard to imagine that even the most dedicated atheist objects to Ted Cruz kneeling by his bed at night to pray for the victims of yesterday’s shooting. What Cruz chooses to do in his bedroom is his own business. The issue is that politicians like him continue to offer thoughts and prayers and nothing else: no assault weapons ban, no universal background checks, no federal gun registry.
Choire on the future of men’s locker rooms (I am SUCH a proponent of individual shower stalls, which more women-centric gyms are going for these days, while men’s locker rooms still so frequently look like the shower scene in Carrie, minus the blood, so I am definitely Team Millennial here in many respects):
But gyms are still unable to provide the one thing younger men in particular seem to really want: a way for them to shower and change without actually being nude.
Each day, thousands upon thousands of men in locker rooms nationwide struggle to put on their underwear while still covered chastely in shower towels, like horrible breathless arthropods molting into something tender-skinned. They writhe, still moist, into fresh clothes.
no but thank you:
Nicole is an Editor of The Toast.