Here’s the latest list of stuff I found interesting on the interwebz, June 11 through August 19:
- 12 things white people can do now because Ferguson
"Michael Brown was a good kid, by accounts of those who knew him during his short life. But that’s not why his death is tragic. His death isn’t tragic because he was a sweet kid on his way to college next week. His death is tragic because he was a human being and his life mattered. The Good Kid narrative might provoke some sympathy but what it really does is support the lie that as a rule black people, black men in particular, have a norm of violence or criminal behavior. The Good Kid narrative says that this kid didn’t deserve to die because his goodness was the exception to the rule. This is wrong. This kid didn’t deserve to die because he was a human being and black lives matter."
- Our Moloch
This is perhaps the most powerful piece on our culture's insatiable desire to keep and bear arms – at any cost – that I've read. It was written a few days after the Newtown elementary school massacre, and could have been written after every one of the 74 school shootings that have happened since that day.
We are, intentionally and knowingly, sacrificing our children to guns – our Moloch – every day. We have let this happen. We sit mutely as it continues to happen. We let our elected officials get away with doing nothing to stop it. We should be ashamed.
- Obama Goes off on Mass Shootings
"Our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no advanced, developed country on Earth that would put up with this. Now, we have a different tradition. We have a Second Amendment. We have historically respected gun rights. I respect gun rights. But the idea that, for example, we couldn’t even get a background check bill in to make sure that if you’re going to buy a weapon you have to actually go through a fairly rigorous process so that we know who you are, so you can't just walk up to a store and buy a semiautomatic weapon — it makes no sense."
I really like that the President says things like this. I just wish he could (would?) do something about it.
- Next Time Someone Says Women Aren’t Victims Of Harassment, Show Them This.
This is really, really awesome. Everyone should read this.
That means you, too.
- Who’s Right and Wrong in the Middle East?
"Both sides have plenty of good people who just want the best for their children and their communities, and also plenty of myopic zealots who preach hatred. A starting point is to put away the good vs. evil narrative and recognize this as the aching story of two peoples — each with legitimate grievances — colliding with each other. "Here we have a conflict between right and right that has been hijacked by hard-liners on each side who feed each other. It’s not that they are the same, and what I see isn’t equivalence. Yet there is, in some ways, a painful symmetry — and one element is that each side vigorously denies that there is any symmetry at all."
- Artists in Conversation: Kathleen Hanna by Melissa Febos
Even though I'm usually fairly confident in my own singing voice, it is still heartwarming to read that a successful singer & recording artist also felt that familiar insecurity about singing in front of bandmates. Sometimes I cringe at what comes out of my mouth, even when I know my bandmates like what they hear.
The self-criticism muscle is maybe the only one I've ever worked on consistently (& unintentionally), every damned day of my life.
- A Free-Range Life: On the Road with Pam Mandel
Pam's travel tips, toward the end of this interview, could have come out of my own mouth. This is, I'm sure, one of the many reasons we are friends. I have a very fond memory of wandering the aisles of the supermarket across from our hotel in Girona, Pam picking up chocolate-covered almonds to bring home to her bandmates.
Supermarkets – always a good idea. Always.
- Which Side Are You On, Girl?
A really excellent piece by Lauren Quinn on class in America… And swimming. Because of course.
- 37 reasons why Andrea Pirlo is the world’s greatest living human man
THIS is the guy who's responsible for getting me into soccer in the first place. Watching him in the 2006 World Cup was like watching a magician. He is still a marvel to watch.