5 Things To Read Today

Nancy Pelosi, the Trump administration, immigration, civil rights, more.

Here’s a few thoughts on some of the more eye-catching stuff I spotted over the long holiday weekend.

First, four things that make me livid.

Politico: HUD moves to allow discrimination against homeless transgender people – This is just one of the ways the Trump administration is attacking the transgender community right now. They’re also working to roll back Obama-era medical protections, among other things. The Trump administration, and the GOP in general, are daily attacking women, children, LGBT+ people, and non-white people. The GOP and the Trump administration are a pack of power-hungry sociopaths intent on driving the world back into the dark ages in a mad attempt to hold on to their weakening grip on power.

AP: Overturning Roe v. Wade wouldn’t turn back the clock to 1973 – What idiot wrote this ridiculous bullshit. Holy hell. The GOP’s war on women has never been about saving babies, you can tell by how they treat children after they’re born. It’s always been about controlling women. And it’s not just about abortion – these assholes are trying to ban contraception, too. Also see above, re: transgender rights. The GOP seeks to drive the country back to a mythical age where they held all the power and money, brown and black people were second class citizens if not outright slaves, gay and trans people didn’t exist, and women kept their mouths shut and stayed in the kitchen. That is the actual goal. And then some moron at the AP staggers into the toilet and shits out this ignorant, gawdawful tripe. This garbage really makes my slappin’ hand itch.

Snopes: Does This Video Show Nancy Pelosi Drunk and Slurring Her Speech? – It does not. This is one among several faked videos that attempt to portray Nancy Pelosi as sick, drunk, and/or incompetent, just like the GOP and Trump’s stooges did to Hillary Clinton, and just like they do to every woman in power who kicks their ass. Because women in power terrify these assholes to the very marrow of their rotting bones.

The Intercept: Thousands of Immigrants Suffer in Solitary Confinement – Okay, so, to be upfront, I don’t actually trust The Intercept that much because of its affiliation with co-founder Glenn Greenwald. Glenn Greenwald is a hack. However, this article was written in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and they do damn good work, so give it a read. It details some of the horrifying shit ICE is doing in our name.

Second, six things that are funny and/or good.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: Runaway Train 25 – So, 25 years ago this year Soul Asylum released “Runaway Train.” The video for the song was made in collaboration with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and featured photos of 36 missing kids. Thanks to that video, 21 of the 36 kids were found. This year, the NCMEC remade the song. If you click through and watch the new video on their website, it’ll be dynamically generated as you watch, using your location to show you photos of missing kids from your area. That’s amazing. Click through, watch, and share.

Fox KTVU: Man allegedly hiding drugs in butt accidentally shoots himself in testicles, report says – This dumb-ass stuck a loaded gun in his front pocket and, unsurprisingly, shot himself in the balls. While being operated on, a bag of weed fell out of ass. When he was taken to jail and searched, a second bag of weed fell out of his ass. This happened in Washington. “Why in the hell does this guy have two bags of weed up his ass in Washington, where it’s legal?” I demanded upon reading the story. “Hey now, don’t be kinkshaming people,” my boyfriend responded, and I can’t think of a better explanation.

io9: It’s Official: The Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Is Being Pushed to 2020 – The Sonic movie has been pushed back to February next year. I fully expect it to quietly disappear and never be heard from again.

Garbage Day: A Tale Of Two Weird Al Tumblr Accounts – Garbage Day is one of my new favorite email newsletters. It comes out once a week on Friday and it’s full of fun Internet detritus. 10/10, highly recommend.

The Onion: Nancy Pelosi Slams Edited Footage With Claim That When She’s Drunk You’ll Fucking Know It – “Pelosi reportedly went on to do a keg stand on the Capitol lawn to demonstrate exactly what ‘you fucking geniuses’ should be on the lookout for.” 🤣😂

AV Club: #Resistance grifters Ed and Brian Krassenstein booted from Twitter, and good riddance – There are a variety of jackoffs making bank off fear and conspiracy theories, and – Surprise! – they ain’t all Republican. There are a whole bunch of ’em conning liberals with 100+ tweet threads on Twitter, pausing only to hawk their t-shirts and latest terrible book. The Krassensteins were a couple of the more prolific grifters working the “Twitter Resistance” and they just got kicked off Twitter.

Third, one thing that is interesting.

AV Club: The Middle Ages weren’t as sexist as Game Of Thrones would have you believe – As it turns out, the Middle Ages weren’t as sexist as you might think. I mean, they weren’t great, they just weren’t as bad as your high school history classes might have led you to believe. This article is contrasted against Game of Thrones because that’s how you get people to click through on stuff, but it’s still an interesting read.

And last, a tiny kitten.

Click for: Tiny, tiny gray kitten. – Mew!

Re: 'Game of Thrones' Series Finale

Re: ‘Game of Thrones’ Series Finale

Well, that happened.

That’s it, basically. The finale wasn’t wretched, it wasn’t good, it just was. Show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss did six good seasons based off the work George R.R. Martin did, and then, probably predictably, failed to stick the landing.

Benioff and Weiss got the lowdown from GRRM about how the books were supposed to end. He gave them some highlights and a few major plot points, and told them where the major characters were supposed to end up. Season seven and eight of Game of Thrones play like Benioff and Weiss made a bullet list of the things GRRM told them, and then plodded down the list checking items off without bothering to make them mean anything.

I think that’s the most damning thing I can offer about this finale. It was boring and meaningless. I can’t even bother with being mad about it or disappointed with it because it was so telegraphed and banal. After the long, dry fart of a thing that was episode four, we could all see how things were going to go.

Further Reading:

Game Of Thrones - Season 8 - Episode 5 - The Bells

Game of Thrones, Season 8, Episode 5, ‘The Bells’

I was going to save my GoT season 8 thoughts for the end of the season, but five episodes in I just have to say migawd this season needed at least four more episodes.

Like, I’m pretty sure we were always headed for Mad Queen Daenerys, but her character arc needed a whole ‘nother season to mature. The way it’s been presented for the final season has been a mess, and it looks arbitrary as hell. Seasons seven and eight needed their full 10-episode runs in the worst way, and it’s showing now.

I imagine some of this is due to the actors needing to be done with this show. They have other jobs they probably want to get to and all that. But this breakneck pace and wild scramble to finish up has really hurt the show.

Also, there’s a rumor going around that George R.R. Martin has one or both of the next two books done and that one (or maybe both) of them will be released when the show ends.

  1. This is purest fantasy and will not happen.
  2. If it does happen, at least we have that to look forward to, I guess?

One last quick thought – this mess of a season has accomplished one thing: putting me right off any of those sequel shows HBO has been talking about.

5 Things To Read Today

5TtRT: SCotUS, Kellyanne Conway, Facebook, & New Zealand

We spent most of our weekend watching Queer Eye, which, if you haven’t heard, got rebooted with a new Fab Five on Netflix a year or so ago. If you need something to watch, I definitely recommend it. It’s relentlessly positive and uplifting. Also, it’ll make you want to take care of your skin, clean out your closets, and go shopping.

5 Things to Read Today

  1. Politico: 2020 Dems warm to expanding Supreme Court – This needs to happen. We need to take the SCotUS card out of the “politics wars” deck. And not just in the Supreme Court, either, but in all courts. Courts should always be as unbiased and non-partisan as possible.
  2. CNN: Kellyanne Conway’s husband is trying to tell the public Trump is mentally ill. She doesn’t agree – This thing with Kellyanne Conway and her husband has to be some kind of performance art or schtick or something, right?
  3. AP: Facebook says service hindered by lack of local news – Facebook destroys the news ecosystem, then complains that it can’t find enough news to put on its platform. 🙄
  4. NPR: New Zealand Prime Minister Promises Tighter Gun Laws – New Zealand has its first mass shooting in like 30 years and the next its all, “These guns gotta go.” Wish we could manage the same thing.
  5. Vox: The New Zealand shooter wrote a manifesto. An extremism expert explains what it means. – “It’s definitely clearly signaling that the author is a white supremacist, and anti-immigration and anti-Muslim. We can take that away and draw some insight from it. But when you get down to the particulars, there are a lot of statements in there mainly to try get news coverage, to get people to say dumb things on TV, or to repeat memes or jokes that white supremacists and white nationalists use online to get people to search for them and try to bring attention to that cause.”
AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER. Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night. The End.

Terry Pratchett: April 28, 1948-March 12, 2015

I’m pretty sure that the first Terry Pratchett book I read was Jingo. It was… formative, to say the least. It’s a book about warring nations and crazy geniuses and police. It’s also a book about Justice and Politics and Cultures, in the extremely capitalized forms of those ideas.

That’s the thing about Terry Pratchett. He wrote funny little books that were sort of parodies and sort of satires, and they were about goofy characters stumbling into getting the job done at least half by accident, and they were set in a silly fantasy world, and it was all a good, amusing time.

But his books were also about great big Ideas, and uncovered little bits of Truth, and driven by stubborn old women and anti-heroes and cowards and sometimes outright con artists.

And I get that Terry Pratchett might not appeal to everyone. He was an old white British guy, and his books are written from a very old white British guy perspective, but there’s a lot in those books that are universal. Things about hope, justice, truth, and love. Things about accepting people for who they are, and understanding what people are and why they do the things they do. There’s things about democracy and freedom and equality, and power and duty and honor.

I loved his books, and I loved his characters. All of them, even the irritating ones like Rincewind.

Terry Pratchett passed away in 2015, and the world has been a poorer place for not having him in it. But at least we still have his books.

You can pick up any one of his books, written at any point in his career, and get started. You don’t have to read them in order, really, and you don’t have to read them all. Here’s a few of my favorites.

5 Discworld Novels You Should Definitely Read