Many Things Make a Newsletter
When I started this newsletter yesterday, Roe v. Wade still seemed like settled law. Today? Well.
My thoughts are this: It’s not great but it’s also not over. Here’s a list of places who could use your money and time. And know this isn’t just about women controlling their own bodies. If the court overturns Roe, it opens the door to take away rights that lots of men enjoy as well, which might be what FINALLY GETS THEM TO GIVE A DAMN ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS TO WOMEN.1
All of that being said, and even before last night’s leak blew up, my mental bandwidth has been super-duper low. Complex thoughts are hard to piece together, like all of my Lego are the wrong shape and/or in the wrong room. So some quick bits:
One of the aspects of dogsled racing that draws me in is that it doesn’t matter at all what your gender is. Men win. Women win.2 It’s all about your dogs, your planning, and luck. This year’s Iditarod saw its first out trans woman in the race and I was more glued than usual to the race coverage. In my brain, Apayauq Reitan’s success at finishing in Nome entwined with all of the worries I have about my own trans teen’s success in life in general, which is a lot to place on the shoulders of a musher I don’t even know. Brains are weird.
I will listen to nearly anything Andrea Bernstein3 and Ilya Marritz put together. Their Trump, Inc., is a great primer on just how grifty4 our last president is. Their new project Will Be Wild5 is about the January 6 insurrection. It’s not a comfortable listen, mind, but it is a well-reported series about a riot many saw coming but, for various reasons, could do nothing to stop.
Related to the above — from a New Yorker profile of Dan Bongino: "When possible, Trump turned to the power of “reification,” applying nonhuman sobriquets to his opponents (“disgusting animals,” “anchor babies,” “pigs”). Aldous Huxley recognized that tactic as long ago as 1936, writing “The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that other sets of people are humans.”
Mini book review related to the above: A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear by Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling is … fine. It’s about the “Free Town” of Grafton, NH, where a bunch of libertarians took over all the levels of local government and systematically did their best to dismantle the government. It does not go well, as you might expect, if you have any sense of what local government does.6 Hongoltz-Hetling is a solid writer but the threads never quite come together. It’s more a collection of anecdotes than a story that has a through-line.
This quote is gold, however: “… the Free State Project was markedly different in tone from the Free Town Project. Where the Free Towners were brash and extreme, the Free Staters were polished and sophisticated — and infinitely difficult demeanor to pull off given that libertarians are by definition on the political fringe and hold positions that have rarely been tempered by the burden of leadership.”
Apropos of this story about the fitness industry in The Atlantic, the first personal trainer I ever worked with started at the basic-basics of strength training. All the exercises were modified because I knew nearly nothing about gyms, weights, and the use of same. The world needs more trainers like Courtney, is what I’m saying.
This story about the shop Six Bells makes it clear that I don’t understand how marketing works anymore. Although, the more that I think about it, this feels like a throwback to the great J. Peterman,7 maybe?
I think part of the reason I haven’t had any deep thoughts as of late is because I am not handling this stage of the pandemic at all well right now, as I explained in this Another Mother Runner column. It’s not so much that this is unbearable, it’s just that the last two years caught up with me in a rush. It’s .. a lot. But I’m processing *waves hands around* with professional help and already feel much more like myself. So, if you’re also in a funk, maybe think about doing the same?
Onward into the fray, I guess. Who else is having some problems with focus lately?
Can we take it as read that there’s a “not all men” in here?
I’m certain non-binary people have won but none has been open about it so …
Some of her best work is her book American Oligarchs, which dissects Jared Kushner with knife-edged facts.
Short answer: very.
which is produced by Pineapple Street Media, whose podcasts are always polished and professional and deep
Those catalogs brought me joy when I was a broke college student.
He also writes about lots of other stuff, mind.