October 30, 2020

Liu Bolin. Iron Fist.

Oh hi, I guess this is going to be a bi-weekly blog for a little bit. I’m hanging in there, but dang, am I burned out! Are you? I love you. We’re gonna get through this.

  1. 10 things you need to know to stop a coup, Waging Nonviolence. Just sharing this article, no particular reason…just kidding. If we need to, we should prepare “for the possibility of a coup while keeping people focused on a strong, robust election process.” Some of these tips are pretty comforting. The importance of the regular citizen in stopping a coup gave me courage: “Coups tend to fail when government institutions (like elections) are trusted, there is an active citizenry and other nations are ready to become involved. […] A failed coup in Germany in 1920 gives an example. The population felt beaten down by defeat in World War I and high unemployment. Right-wing nationalists organized a coup and got the help of a few generals to seize government buildings. The deposed government fled but ordered all citizens to obey them. “No enterprise must work as long as the military dictatorship reigns,” they declared. […] The moments after a coup are moments for heroism amongst the general population. It’s how we make democracy real.” These lines in tip #9 are a good place to end: “Let’s aim for calm and avoid hyperbole. Be a reliable source by double-checking rumors and spreading high-quality facts. Sure, read social media… but spend some time, you know, doing real things that ground you. Breathe deeply. Remember how you handle fear. Play out scenarios, but don’t become captured by them. We’re doing this to prepare, just in case.” 
  2. Sunset on 14th Street, Alex Dimitrov for The Iowa Review. “I’m standing right in front of / Nowhere bar, dehydrated / and quite scared / but absolutely willing / to keep going. It makes sense / you do the same. It’s far / too late for crying and quite / useless too. You can be sad / and still look so good. […] Look at the sky. Kiss everyone / you can for sure.” This was a lovely piece with the vibes of a carpe diem poem.
  3. The feminist history of the cardigan, The Week. Didn’t know the first cardigans were called Sloppy Joes but I like it! “A 1947 article in Life lamented the sweaters and was shocked that these women “sometimes even ventured out of dormitories in rolled-up blue jeans and large men’s shirts with the tails out. … like a girl who does not care whether or not she looks like a girl.” GASP, what kind of girl?! 
  4. Dear Fuck-Up: Why Won’t My Friend Text Me Back?, Jezebel. “The problem, for me, is that it feels like there is simply nothing to catch these people up on anymore. Too many things are happening but also nothing much is happening at all, and I find I have nothing particularly interesting to say about it. Life is dull and that has in turn made me a dullard. Even the things that qualify as events don’t feel like enough to sustain any real contemplation. How have I been? Well, I moved to a new city, and now I’m in a new place doing the same things as before, mainly dishes and fretting.” Aw this advice column was so compassionate for the letter-writer and the girl the LW is writing about. 
  5. How to Make Socially Distanced Holidays Actually Feel Special, S. Bear Bergman for Vice. I loved the ideas here. If you like celebrating the holidays, treat the day like it’s special even if you don’t do all the traditions you usually do. Dress for the day, incorporate some games or conversation starters if you’re doing a Zoom dinner, and my favorite suggestion: Make videos of your relatives cooking their specialties, an intergenerational cooking class as the author calls it. It’s painful to see more traditions postponed or transformed by Covid, but if we miss each other this year, we give ourselves the chances for many years together to come.

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