Last week I recorded my second skype chat with Jonalyn Fincher, the Christian blogger I talked with that other time about what sex counts as real sex. Remember that? Wasn’t it fun? We sure thought so, so we did it again and it’ll be posted soon!
After our conversation, we were musing about how fun and rare it was to have these kinds of curious, respectful conversations about touchy topics (this time we talked about the Bible in politics, marriage incentives, and divorce, among other things) with people on the “other side” of the issue.
I don’t know about you, but I feel very isolated among the likeminded. It’s a product of growing up in Boston, where I went to college, where I work now, and the internet communities in which I participate. The “other side” that manages to make it to my newsfeed is always the most extreme, most egregious, most politicized distortion of the views of ordinary people. Talking with Jonalyn is an opportunity to remember that crossing the aisle for these convos doesn’t have to be done gloves-up, full of scorn.
So this week for Role/Reboot I wrote about how rare and delightful (and important!) these conversations are:
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1. MUSIC: The sign-language interpreter steals the show at this Wu-Tang performance (Gawker).
2. DATING: If you’re familiar with the sniveling “Nice Guys” who are very upset that their “niceness” doesn’t make girls want to sleep with them, you might enjoy this bit of satire from Insert Literary Reference.
3. HEALTH: Why is a colonoscopy 26x more expensive in the U.S. than in Canada? It’s complicated, says Mother Jones.
4. BRO: What exactly is a bro? Venn diagrams to the rescue! And who is at the middle of it all? Lochte, of course.
5. VOWS: I thought nothing would top the wolf wedding announcement, but I was wrong.
6. BOOKS: Publisher’s Weekly explains some big name books in pie-chart form.
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Wouldn’t it be cool to be the person who made up the phrase “The personal is political?” No one knows who came up with it, though it was popularized in 1970 by a Carol Hanisch essay. Gloria Steinem once said that trying to find the originator of the phrase would be like trying to figure out who first called it “World War II.” Oh Gloria, so witty!
This week for Role/Reboot I wrote about the relationship I see between personal decisions and political ramifications. Or, sometimes, between political action and the resulting personal choices. It goes both ways.
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1. GAYS: In the 2010 census, one county in the US reported 0 gay people. None. Zilch. Nada. Explore Franklin County with CNN and find out if the census is true. Hint: Doubtful.
2. SCOTUS: A little late to the game on this one, but Courtney Milan’s concise play-by-play of the Prop 8 Supreme Court case is the first time I actually think I know what’s going on. Sample truncated piece of dialogue: COOPER: But these people were injured. They didn’t want gay people to marry, and now look! Gays. Lesbians. Able to marry at will. It’s very injurious. They’re injured just thinking about it.
3. FEMINISM: I dare you not to cry at this amazing obituary of feminist revolutionary Shulasmith Firestone. Written by the incomparable Susan Faludi, it’s just… a lot. Sniff.
4. POLITICS: To my surprise, I came out of Jonathan Van Meter’s NYT profile of Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin feeling pretty sympathetic for Weiner. Maybe sympathetic’s not the word…
5. FOOTBALL: From Grantland, what would happen if an NFL player died on the field? 8 years ago, Al Lucas died during an Arena football game. Is that where we’re headed?
6. LOOKS: Why does it matter that the President called Kamala Harris good-looking? Amanda Hess at Slate knows why, and I couldn’t agree with her more.
Related Post: Sunday 99: Megan Mullally and Ron Swanson, Tavi Gevinson, Rolling Rock history and more
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On Monday, I wrote about Senator Rob Portman’s change of heart on marriage equality. I was (am) very frustrated that it took having a gay son to get him to see the light. That said, a lot of people on the internet and in real life have been making some excellent points about parenting, political motivation, and basic human psychology. I think we have too low expectations of our political representatives. Anyway, I stand by what I wrote, with some asterisks.
I expanded on those asterisks in a more formal (hopefully more nuanced) piece for Role/Reboot.
Related Post: That time I met a Republican
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1. DATING: Where do “missed connections” happen? In Illinois, on the train (duh), in Indiana, at home. Wait, what?
2. AUTHORS: Ugh. Ender’s Game was kind of my favorite thing for so so long. It still is, but I hate when the authors you love turn out to be raging homophobes. Dammit.
3. EDUCATION: This amazing investigative piece by WBEZ on the South Side’s Harper High School is incredible in basically every way journalism can be incredible.
4. KNOPE: NYMag has the inside scoop behind Amy Poehler/Leslie Knope’s amazing wedding dress.
5. SPORTS: For the very first time, a woman is participating in the NFL regional tryouts. Kicker Lauren Silberman will probably not play in the NFL, but that’s still pretty f’ing cool.
6. OSCARS: I would write about Seth McFarlane’s horribly sexist jokes, but Margaret Lyons at NYMag nailed it so hard I’d just be paraphrasing.
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1. GENDER: Watch this Time interview with Casey Legler, a woman who works as a male model, and try not to drool.
2. BOOKS: A new anthology, My Ideal Bookshelf, creates colorful portraits of authors’ and celebrities’ book collections, includes David Sedaris and James Franco.
3. SUFFRAGE: Great collection from Sociological Images of vintage anti-suffrage ads.
4. WRITING: Chicago author Megan Stielstra on the stresses of new motherhood and the surprising support from a stranger.
5. ASTRONAUTS: Super sweet letters from astronaut Jerry Linenger to his 1-year-old son while he spent three months at a space station.
6. CHILDHOOD: What does a child’s bedroom look like? Depends on where they live, and damn, the range is pretty intense. Mother Jones has some examples.
Related Post: Sunday 83: Stewart, language in the NYT, Mormons on the campaign trail
Related Post: Sunday 82: Kevin Durant, Maddow nails it, NYMag cover photos
1. GIFTS: After Romney’s post-election definition-of-a-sore-loser quotes about the “gifts” the President gave young people and minorities (Did you know you can buy a 24-year-old’s vote for a couple of months of contraception. TRUE FACT), Jon Stewart shared a few other “gifts.”
2. MORMON: Super excellent piece by McKay Coppins for BuzzFeed on being the sole Mormon reporter on the Romney press bus.
3. MEXICO: What happens to journalism when bribery, threats, and frequent spates of violence directed specifically at the press plague your country? Just ask reporters covering Mexico’s drug wars (NYT Book Review).
4. LANGUAGE: Which words does the NYT use too often? A new internal tool lets the paper (and curious spectators) explore the patterns of language perpetuated and created.
5. HILLARY: Gail Collins + Hillary Clinton = excellent reading. What will Hillary do next? Sleep, aparently, and exercise.
6. DENVER: This is from 2007, but I’m kind of obsessed with Katherine Boo this week, so I’m sharing it anyway. For the New Yorker, she covers the story of Denver’s superintendent and the journey of one turnaround school that couldn’t quite turnaround.
Related Post: Sunday 82: Kevin Durant and the OKC, Rachel Maddow nails it, cute MD photos
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