This Game of Thrones recap is killing me:
Down in Dothrakiville, everyone is playing drums and having sex in public, because this is the extremely nuanced way in which Game of Thrones deals with race. “I wish I’d been born a Dothraki!” announces Daario, which is the Game of Thrones version of “Oh my god, I love your hair, can I touch it?”
This is impossibly sad and infuriating and HORRIBLY UPSETTING and about the experience of being a person whose spouse is being very publicly brutalized and then having to tell your kids about it before some asshole on the playground does:
“Raif,” I said, “the whole world is talking about your fate.” I took a deep breath. “The children know about it, too.” Again the tears came. “There was nothing I could do about it. Believe me, I would rather have spared them all that too.”
This time Raif’s reaction was very understanding. He didn’t level any accusations at me. “You’re doing what you can. It’s all my fault,” he said. “How are they?” “They’re strong,” I lied, “and full of fight.” “Did you expect anything else? They’re your children after all.”
Okay, I’m going to put the other gut wrench piece today right next to the first one so you can figure out how to proceed:
The term syndemics was coined by Merrill Singer, a medical anthropologist at the University of Connecticut. Singer was working with injecting drug users in Hartford in the 1990s in an effort to find a public health model for preventing HIV among these individuals. As he chronicled the presence of not only HIV but also tuberculosis and hepatitis C among the hundreds of drug users he interviewed, Singer began wondering how those diseases interacted to the detriment of the person. He called this clustering of conditions a ‘syndemic’, a word intended to encapsulate the synergistic intertwining of certain problems. Describing HIV and hepatitis C as concurrent implies they are separable and independent. But Singer’s work with the Hartford drug users suggested that such separation was impossible. The diseases couldn’t be properly understood in isolation. They were not individual problems, but connected.
Singer quickly realised that syndemics was not just about the clustering of physical illnesses; it also encompassed nonbiological conditions like poverty, drug abuse, and other social, economic and political factors known to accompany poor health. “Syndemics is embedded in a larger understanding about what’s going on in societies,” he said when I spoke to him. Singer dubbed the syndemic he’d observed in Hartford ‘SAVA’, short for substance abuse, violence and HIV/AIDS. In the past ten years, several medical anthropologists have pursued syndemics theory in other contexts. Emily Mendenhall, who studies global health at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, has described a syndemic of type 2 diabetes and depression among first- and second-generation Mexican immigrant women in Chicago. She named that syndemic ‘VIDDA’, short for violence, immigration, depression, diabetes and abuse, the constellation of epidemics the women were experiencing. “The people who get affected by any given disease, it’s not random,” said Bobby Milstein, a public health scientist, today at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who founded the now-defunct Syndemics Prevention Network at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “It happens systematically with certain people who are placed in conditions of vulnerability that are not entirely under their own control.” As Andrea Gielen, who directs the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Johns Hopkins University, explained to me: “Everything works together. To be in silos delivering one thing for one problem, another thing for another problem, is not as effective as stepping back, looking at the whole person, and addressing the complexity of needs in an integrated way.”
We’re in West Oakland driving past the old Wonder Bread factory where Marcus Peters, who is riding shotgun, recalls hearing stories of how badly black employees were treated. Peters, who’s been mentored by Lynch and calls him a cousin, is a cornerback for the Kansas City Chiefs and was the NFL defensive rookie of the year last season.
We pass DeFremery Park where guys play basketball. Everywhere we go, heads turn because the music is bumping. And because we’re in Johnson’s black Tesla Model P85D. Little Josh is asleep in the back.
Johnson stops to talk to a group of women sitting on lawn chairs near 24th and Chestnut. Rilisha Jones offers to do my hair for me and gives me her card. She had a feeling Lynch was going to make it big in high school, she says, and wanted to snuggle up to him, “but we turned out to be family,” she said, laughing.
open this marriage over mount. fuckin. doom. and shake it until he falls out:
My husband is active duty, deployed military, and we have not lived together for some time. We’ve had issues in our marriage that we committed to working on together when he returns this fall. While apart, we have stayed in constant daily contact until recently. I sensed my husband was forming an attachment to someone else, which he admitted when I asked him about it. I told him that as long as this new thing did not interfere with our relationship, I was OK opening our marriage. He responded that I didn’t have anything to worry about. Only one week later, he blew me off during our regular time to talk. I asked—he did not offer—and he confirmed that he was not there because he had started a physical relationship with this other person. Not only that, but they had made plans for the remainder of her time there and travel plans to meet for a week in June.
I was devastated, and it felt like he cheated on me. When I brought up my feelings of discomfort, he insisted he had nothing to apologize for and accused me of trying to renegotiate our open relationship—trying to put him back in a cage. He assured me that I am still the primary relationship and that he will be coming home to work on “us,” but he’s also indicated that he wants to keep this other person in his life. He’s assured me she is not a threat, but all of his actions are telling me otherwise. While I’m not opposed to an open marriage in principle, I don’t feel like I can trust him when it comes to her because he has not been honest with me. He hasn’t lied when I asked, but I feel like he has lied by omission, and in some ways this is worse because of the trust I showed him. Is it possible to cheat in an open relationship? Am I lying to myself that we still have a marriage to salvage?
This is a fragment of one of the many, many comments left by a particularly enraged Sebastian Stan Stan on Mallory’s Bucky piece, using several different emails and burner accounts, addressing the fact that Bucky was not wearing a wig:
Nicole is an Editor of The Toast.