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Hi. I am trying not to center myself in the recent tragedy in Santa Barbara.

There was a mudslide on Tuesday. 17 people are dead; 12 more are still missing.

My brother, his wife, and my nephew are not among the dead, but they are among those who barely escaped. Their house was destroyed in a flood of river and boulders.

In piecing together what happened — I’ve still yet to talk to him on the phone, we’ve just exchanged loving, but cryptic emails — I’ve realized how deeply inured I’d become to images of devastation.

In my manic pouring through news coverage, I realized that my brother and the day that will define his very life — that was before the mudslide, this was after — were just another stream of miserable people fighting for their lives. Another blur of fluorescent fire-fighters, more bleary-eyed people staring, stunned at the carnage that once was their life.

How many fires, tsunamis, beatings, murders, floods and famines can we truly process? We can’t. So in lieu of true empathy we cocoon and callous ourselves, again and again, until we are almost impervious to the plight of others that aren’t Our Own.

What on earth can we do, we think. So, we simply don’t.

In truth, I’m not entirely sure what to do with this. 
I can’t ask myself — or anyone else — to offer true empathy to every human currently suffering, we’d all go mad with rage and grief, but perhaps we can pause when confronted with suffering. Maybe that pause is a thank you, maybe it’s a psychic beam of hope, maybe it’s anger. It’s but a moment — it’s tiny — but offer it. See your fellow human in pain.

When I think of my brother’s face, and his wife’s, and his son’s I am flooded with relief. I am flooded with joy. It will be impossible to ever take any one of them for granted ever again.

And that is a strange and beautiful gift.

Life is so goddamn fragile. Be as present and kind and chock full of joy as you can possibly manage for everything and everyone you love is ever-poised on a precipice, an edge they can tumble over at any moment.

With love + rage,
Katie Tandy
Co-founder | Creative Director

Bedtime Stories, As Told By Donald Trump

By Lea Grover

The first pig, he builds apartments. He hired the best contractors, and put it in the best part of the swamp. And we’re going to drain the swamp, people. We’re draining the swamp now. We’re doing a phenomenal job.

So the first pig, he gets sued because the haters and losers say he was doing housing discrimination, but he’s the least racist pig you ever met, believe me. And he paid a settlement because he had so much money it didn’t even matter. He had billions and billions of dollars, and he was very rich and made all his money himself.

Yes, You Need To Talk To Kids About Porn

By Madhvi Ramani

Porn is part of the reality we live in. It has grown enormously in the last 10 years, because of the internet and the proliferation of porn tubes [free porn sites that do not require registration], which are the biggest part of pornography today. The kind of content available on these porn tubes is highly racist, misogynistic, and chauvinistic.

It is something that parents can’t ignore because children, at a very early age, are coming across this content online. They are going to find it, and look at it, and it’s going to influence their perceptions about sexuality and gender roles.

So, if parents talk to their children before or during this time of discovery, they can help them think more analytically and critically about the images they are seeing.

Asexual Authors Speak Out About Representation (And Ostracization) In Fiction

By Dianna Gunn

A lot of the media offered to us presents really narrow definitions of what constitutes a strong, deep bond.

Too often, sexual and romantic relationships take the center stage and are presented as the most meaningful relationship you can have — the one that must take precedence.

I wanted something else. I wanted to explore other connections and the life-saving ways friends and families can support and care for each other, and I wanted those stories to center people like me.

Why Will People Be Into Sex Robots?

By Tina Horn

Imagine a toy with the hydraulic power to pick you up and give you that real passionate sweaty fuck-fest feeling. Or a toy that you can mount and hump until you’re exhausted, perhaps with a self-lubricating orifice and entertaining moans of pleasure.

Your toy could have any body type or any gender, any personality or pheromone smell; it might even look otherworldly. Meanwhile, we will still seek connection with non-artificially intelligent, flawed flesh and blood, just as your favorite

Fleshlight isn’t a substitute for sentient love.

Stop Saying Trump Is Unpredictable

By Katherine Cross

Time and again, pundits and scholars alike have tried to discern the Trump Code, the method to his rantings and seemingly senseless pugilism. Most recently, no less than a Berkeley scholar advanced a theory that Trump’s tweets were part of a four-pronged strategic “weapon to control the news cycle.”

Esoteric Star Trek lore has gotten a boost from all the commentators arguing that Trump is playing 3D (or 4D or 13D or multi-dimensional) chess.

But the truth is far more simple than that. His tweets are what they appear to be. Spasmodic impulse restrained only by the running schedule of cable news — if anything.

As Media Matters for America’s Matthew Gertz put it in Politico recently:

“There is no strategy to Trump’s Twitter feed; he is not trying to distract the media. He is being distracted.”

Now that a white guy’s said it, perhaps people will believe me.

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