August 16, 2019

I’m prepping this post early because I’m taking off Thursday and Friday to can tomatoes with my mom! I’m so excited. It’s gonna be so messy!

(Also please note: A couple of my reads this week are about the recent incidents of domestic terrorism, just a heads-up.)

  1. Family Meal Planning for Real Life, NYT. Meal planning during the week is something I struggle with. It’s very easy for me to fall into a rut of essentially the same food, or to fall back onto my fainting couch and insist we must get takeout because my nerves couldn’t possibly take it. David does most of our cooking, really. But it’s the thinking about what to eat, what groceries we need on hand, that gives me the vapors, I guess. Anyway, there’s good advice and a tasty looking meatball recipe in here.
  2. Ask Polly: My In-Laws Are Careless About My Food Allergy! “Every now and then, a group of people assumes the traits and behaviors of sociopaths. Maybe one person in the group completely and permanently lost their doughnuts several decades prior, and slowly, each member of the group learns that playing along with this singular menace is the only way to survive. Eventually, the members of the group are so utterly confused and gaslit by each other that they enforce the will of the group and nod along with bizarre opinions until they can’t even remember what it means to think logically or have free will or behave like other regular human beings on the face of the planet.” This letter to an advice columnist (Ask Polly) is WILD, and makes me glad I have great in-laws.
  3. More Than Friends, Gay Mag. Ah, this is a gorgeous essay about more-than-friends and almost-lovers. I’ve felt what she writes about, and I love this piece. “Can you have a break-up if you never have a real date? When the engineer started to pull away, he stopped inviting me over and asked me, instead, to meet him in public places. He declined invitations for movie night at my house. It was easy to understand what was happening, even if the vocabulary didn’t exist for us to talk openly about it.”
  4. A Lynch Mob of One, The Atlantic. “Today, no white-supremacist organization is needed for a ready-made lynch mob. No false rumor is needed. There is no need to assemble a large group of coordinated white supremacists. Any young white male can become enraged listening to Trump’s racist ideas, or reading the racist messages on 8chan. Any young white male can become the raging lynch mob, the next Crusius. All that’s needed is an assault rifle, and the assault rifle of racist ideas—two weapons of war manufactured, offered for sale, and bought legally and easily in the United States of America …Being racist suspended him from reality, and he ended up targeting his own livelihood in targeting Latino immigrants. Being antiracist brings Americans back to reality.” This is a letter to the editor and I found it a compelling way to contextualize these incidents of terror within our history. It’s a careful compare and contrast, with plenty of sources to point out how much easier it is for racists to become radicalized online, access deadly weapons legally, and devastate a community. Also, I did not know that Woodrow Wilson was a vocal supporter of the Ku Klux Klan (that’s on me and my memory of history, because it is a defining part of him as a person). I recommend this read even though it’s hard, because it connected some dots for me.
  5. What an American Terrorist Looks Like, Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz for Yes Magazine. The data here really put things into perspective for me. Did you know that in 2018, 98% of extremist-related killings in the US came from the radical right? The numbers and trends in this infographic article are chilling but also clarifying. The connection between mass shooters and domestic violence, for example, is stronger (54%) than the connection between the shooters and mental illness (25%). This isn’t the fun stuff that I like to share, but I think it’s important that we focus on facts in a conversation that is incredibly emotional and divided.

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