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After a catastrophic performance by Bill Barr (Atlantic), the Trump team resists oversight (AP) in a remarkable state of affairs between the executive and legislative branches, unseen in recent times, as Democrats try to break through Trump’s blockade of investigations and exert congressional oversight of the administration. On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee will vote to hold Barr in contempt (NYT). This is the US Politics megathread. [more inside]
My husband and I poured everything we had into nurturing an empathetic child. Then, at age 13, he became infatuated with the alt-right.
Your personhood, your value, does not correlate with how measurable your achievements are or how they benefit the capitalist underpinnings of society. Your life is of purpose because it’s yours. Because you’re here, you exist in this moment, to be here, to be as unapologetic and unwaveringly unproductive as you so desire. Life’s purpose is for you to define; its value is inherent.
Stuart Dahlquist never thought he would become friends with the new family who moved in next door to his Seattle home. Crow Family Thanks Man Who Helped Them With Tiny Gifts
The subreddit r/iwanttoapologize catalogues video clips of gaming world glitches that lead to bizarre, absurd and highly amusing moments. In Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V, for instance, a protagonist invites you for a drink and then immediately rams their car into a gas station and explodes. In Bethesda's Oblivion, a sorcerer wishes you a jovial “Farewell”, before a rising floor crushes him in a spike trap. In Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts, Donald Duck waddles to take cover from a snowstorm. “The snowstorm can’t get us here,” he says – then quack-screams as it promptly blows him away. These clips, which players either engineer or come across by chance, are bizarre, silly and gleefully illogical. [via: Wired]
Before Gamergate, before the 2016 election, they launched a campaign against Twitter trolls masquerading as women of color. If only more people had paid attention. In 2014 Shafiqah Hudson noticed an odd hashtag purporting to be from black feminists arguing against father's day. But the language these accounts were using read to her as a parody of AAVE, and some of the photos were of people she knew didn't use twitter. This led her and I’Nasah Crockett down a racist rabbit hole that led to 4-chan, right before gamergate. [more inside]
Historians have largely discarded the lie that the “frontier” was an empty Eden waiting for American expansion—but not David McCullough. When the title of popular-history stalwart David McCullough’s latest book—The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West—was first announced, history Twitter heaved a collective sigh. American historians who take a critical approach to the past have been struggling to strip the glamour from the myth of the “frontier” for decades now....Unfortunately, the book is exactly as advertised. When it comes to representing “pioneers” as isolated and hardworking idealists fighting off “threats” from residents of the land they are taking, this book...is a true throwback. Its success (it is No. 10 on Amazon’s best-seller list for books, as of Friday) shows how big the gap between critical history and the “popular history” that makes it to best-seller lists, Costco, and Target remains. [more inside]
Sometimes something so entirely foreign at the time influences everything that comes after it. This argument could easily be made about David Byrne and Brian Eno's 1981 collaboration My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts. Based on repetition and vocal samples, it strongly foreshadows an entire branch of the development of pop music. Back then, it might have been used to clear people out at the end of a party. Today, it feels like it belongs. Side A: America Is Waiting, Mea Culpa, Regiment, Help Me Somebody, The Jezebel Spirit [more inside]
Sharp suits, thin ties and the coolest musicians on Earth is an appreciation by the Guardian's Richard Williams of BBC Two's Jazz 625 series of concerts, which were all recorded in 1964 and '65, featuring the giants of the jazz scene, from Dizzy Gillespie to the Modern Jazz Quartet. This is a good sampler of music from the show, but a few whole episodes are available online, and I've put links to the ones I found below the cut. [more inside]
Montreal borough mayor Sue Montgomery has been knitting a colour-coded scarf during city council meetings to show how often and for how long men speak compared to women. While men are speaking, she knits with red yarn; while women are speaking, she knits with green. Currently, the scarf is 75-80% red. There is relative parity on city council--31 women and 34 men--so it is not a case of lack of representation; instead, Montgomery attributes it to "an imbalance in the mental and emotional space those 34 men take up...I’ve said, ‘Just make your point and sit down.’ And they say, ‘Well, that’s democracy and we have to debate.’ What they don’t understand is that they don’t have to put on a show." [more inside]
On Sunday, The Handel And Haydn Society orchestra was performing at the Boston Symphony Hall. Just after the final rest of Mozart’s “Masonic Funeral Music,” an unseen kid yelled out “wow!” in apparently unvarnished appreciation of what he’d just heard. Everyone laughed and applauded the moment. This is nice on its own merits. A child, caught up in the joy of hearing beautiful music, didn’t sit silently like everyone else in attendance, but broke symphony tradition, which allowed the rest of the audience to follow suit. It gets better, though. [more inside]
"“My grandmother made tacos with peas and with potatoes,” Lopez said, and added it was because she couldn’t always afford ground beef. For some Mexican Americans, this gets at the essence of the way we eat. Pretending otherwise means suppressing our lived realities and histories. I can’t think of a better example of the fraud of authenticity, which is more interested in the aesthetics of poverty than in poverty itself, more invested in the feeling of realness than in any kind of truth." John Paul Brammer for the Washington Post: I’m Mexican American. Stop expecting me to eat ‘authentic’ food.
Yasuke (variously rendered as 弥助 or 弥介, 彌助 or 彌介 in different sources) (circa 1555–1590 CE) (Wikipedia) was an enslaved African taken to Japan in 1579 in the service of the Italian Jesuit missionary Alessandro Valignano (Beyond Ricci, Boston College), who had been appointed the Visitor (inspector) of the Jesuit missions in the Indies (East Africa, South and East Asia). "When Yasuke got to Kyoto (with Jesuit missionaries), there was a massive riot. People wanted to see him and be in his presence" (Thomas Lockley, quoted by CNN), as he was one of the first Africans seen by many of the Japanese. But he quickly went from novelty to trusted and valued retainer to, and warrior for, the Japanese hegemon and warlord Oda Nobunaga in 1581 and 1582 (Wikipedia). [more inside]
The metrics of backpacks. A bay area native's account of the outsider's precarious view from the inside of the tech industry.
Library Extension, a free extension for Chrome and Firefox, shows you which books on Amazon, Audible, Goodreads, Google Books, and Librarything are also available at your local library. 3200 catalogs from Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States are supported.