Weekend Things, Y17-W04
We attended the Women’s March Against Trump last weekend, along with several thousand others in Melbourne, and several million around the world (the size of the San Francisco march made me feel weirdly homesick). A number of people I was with expressed frustration that there was no single, unifying message, but I think we’re going to have to get used to that; we’re going to be fighting on all fronts for years to come.
Beneath the thrill of the broad-minded demonstration, there was a nagging thought that I couldn’t shake, and that some protesters made a point of noting: if a majority of white women had not voted for Trump in November, he would not currently be President — and millions of people would not be protesting. There’s a corollary to this that also tugged at me: if Trump weren’t President — if we had, on Friday, inaugurated President Hillary Clinton — how many of the white women who protested on Saturday would feel as if there weren’t much about America that needed protesting at all?
If you’re feeling sad about the future of humanity, spend a couple of minutes watching this Chinese man blow molten sugar into the shape of a bunny (via the Atlas Obscura newsletter, which comes way more frequently than I can read it but guarantees at least one moment of pure delight every time I do make time).
The Saturday Paper, which has been very involved in the #changethedate campaign, gave its editorial to Torres Strait Islander / Gamillaroi woman Nakkiah Lui this week, and she reflects on how it feels to be an Aboriginal person on the 26th of January each year. The hysterical opposition some people maintain to even discussing the idea of a change is a sign that most humans should be sent to the bottom of the sea. First Dog was good on this subject.
This always was, always will be Aboriginal land.
A list of moments that have particularly struck me in this first horrible week: Sean Spicer’s bananas first press conference as press secretary, during which he accused the press of lying about the size of attendance at the inauguration; Kellyanne Conway’s now infamous “alternative facts”; the unhinged (bullshit) story about Bernhard Langer Trump told to illustrate the idea that there was massive voter fraud in the 2016 election (and his subsequent comments, which, wow); the immediate crackdown on reproductive rights (that photo) and immigration (cf. #fuckingwall); Trump’s threat to “send in the Feds” to fix the “carnage” in Chicago (apparently inspired by something Bill O’Reilly said on Fox News); bans on federal agencies from providing social media updates… and there were more, too. I spent many tens of minutes tracking back from aghast tweets and Facebook posts (“omg I can’t believe this Langer thing”) to find fresh horrors. I can tell you what’s super low on my list of things to worry about right now, and that’s freeing Melania. But I managed a smirk at this, despite everything.
But one link led to another and he ended up reading page after page of Stormfront discussions on the reliability of 23andMe ancestry results and whether Neanderthal interbreeding is the reason for the genetic superiority of whites.
TIL that Nazis love genetics, because they reinforce their belief in the existence of essential differences between races, even though there is much evidence to contradict that notion.
Companies from Medium to The Washington Post to Mashable to Buzzfeed all eventually run into the same unthinkable truth: The methods used to fund modern journalism simultaneously undermine trust in the news outlets.
Via Aaron, this is a good primer on the way web advertising distorts journalism, with many, many useful links out to other articles, and lots of visual examples. Learning to recognise the signs of native advertising is a skill that should be taught in schools.
If you’re into bread (this is, after all, the Bread Weekly), may I commend to you The Perfect Loaf.
Since March 2016, Aziz has been reporting from Manus in short 30 second bursts, via WhatsApp messages sent from a smuggled phone. On the day his correspondence kicks off with Michael, he’s already been in detention for 864 days.
The Messenger is a new podcast collaboration between The Wheeler Centre and Behind the Wire, and it is thoroughly worth your time.
Without formalized process everyone does things their own way, and there is no documentation for how problems are solved. This informal, undocumented process is the “null process,” and, if used incorrectly, the null process can have major implications for a company.
Pat Allen linked to this article, and I found it useful in the light of a conversation I’d been having with the excellent Ally Long. My problem with formal work process is that it accretes rapidly and then becomes stale as people, projects and goals change, but as Ally described (and I agree), a determined ‘no process’ environment can be chaotic and difficult for good people to thrive in.
Go and see Moonlight. See it now. It is deeply romantic and hopeful, and will give you a couple of hours’ respite from the awfulness of the news.