One of the worst things about Trump’s Garbage Fire Government™ is that it becomes a black hole of outrage and focus. Reporters and cable news networks can’t get enough of his antics and blatant disregard for decorum, and the general chaos surrounding him; producers know featuring the next iteration of “he said WHAT now?” will provide a ratings boost or ad revenue, and a lot of important stories get buried under the noise. It took close to TWO weeks for reports of terrorist attacks in Austin, Texas to get national coverage – and that’s even while the city was hosting SXSW. Part of it is because the majority of the victims were people of color, part of it is because it wasn’t clear (until recently) that the bomber was a white man, but it’s still really sad, and really scary. I extend my deepest condolences to the victims’ families and the communities that were terrorized, and hope we can begin taking action to curb this country’s production of so many angry, violent white men.
So uh, what did I read this week?
I really enjoyed Anna Kathryn Stevens’ interview with National Cannabis Festival founder Caroline Phillips. The District’s lack of statehood means even though marijuana is legal here, we aren’t able to reap the same benefits as states like Colorado, Washington, and Oregon. Phillips comes across as a person thinking about the impact (and inequalities) that have emerged with legalization, and is doing her damn best to ensure that it is equitable, intersectional, and inclusive. Plus, the National Cannabis Festival looks educational and fun as hell.
Rose Jaffe’s art is really cool, and from what I read in Kaylee’s profile, Rose seems like a wonderful person with a good perspective. She is committed to keeping artists in DC, which I am all about. Check out Rose’s awesome feminist artwork here.
Phil Runco is a dear friend and a mentor and I hope that some day I’ll write about anything with as much love and dedication as he does about beer. His latest, on Old Ox Brewery’s FestivALE, is as funny and meticulous as always, with enough “inside baseball” about the local craft beer scene to make you seem super knowledgeable whenever you quote it. Amazing photos by Clarissa Villondo make me very happy it’s happy hour right now.
Not on BYT
Circling back to what I was talking about earlier, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the great work that Damon Young and Panama Jackson are doing over at Very Smart Brothas – one of the best websites on Black culture and life out there. I’ve been reading the site for a few years, and although they were acquired by Gizmodo Media Group somewhat recently, I’d argue that quality of writing has improved. Damon’s always asking the burning questions, and his ability to navigate difficult subjects with just the right blend of wit and gravitas is second to none – read this piece, titled “Why Are White Men So Angry?” for a perfect example of his work. The comments section is (for once) actually worth reading on a site.
I go to Portland, Oregon a fair amount for work. It’s a cool place, but it’s a little spooky to think about how it seems to embody the natural end point to all things twee and quirky…and how even those artists are being displaced by tech bros and consultants (I recognize I am part of the problem). This story over on Vulture takes a look at how Portlandia the TV show played a part in the gentrification of Portland and the displacement of the very creative class that the show satirizes and skewers so lovingly.
I subscribed to Bon Appétit a few months ago during one of their promotions, in an effort to diversify the dishes I make at home. I’m pretty confident in the kitchen but generally stick to making familiar things when cooking for myself, so this has really helped me broaden horizons. I made a vegan coconut lentil soup last week (and added merguez sausage, like a savage) and it was DELICIOUS. Now I’m considering making my own ramen, with broth from scratch made from the bones of real animals, because my confidence knows no bounds once I’ve had even the smallest taste of success. I must have been white in a past life.