Books, celebrity, Halloween, Politics, pop culture, social media, television

THE CATCH-UP: 9/18-9/25

This is a new little column I’m starting. I read a lot (a lot, a lot) and there are often some great articles and videos that I stumble upon during my week. I thought I would create a space to round them all together.

The Catch-Up

1. Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Donald Trump Is The First White President”

I love Ta-Nehisi Coates. His writing at The Atlantic is always really beautiful and thought-out and timely. The one thing I will say about this piece in particular is it’s a little dense, so I’m linking an interview Coates did with Chris Hayes here.

2. Vox, “Treating hurricanes like war zones hurts survivors”

“The Strike-Through with Carlos Maza” is one of the great explainer series that Vox does. In this one, Maza dissects the way that the media portrays natural diasters as an “us-versus-them warzone.” He also examines the negative effects of doing so, like painting looting as a much more powerful threat than it actually is, which stops people from evacuating dangerous situations.

3. Dahlia Grossman-Heinze, “Who Did the Real Housewives Vote For?” 

This should be dumb, but I read through this entire piece. Nothing is actually confirmed by the writer except for what the Housewives have already confirmed, but it’s still fascinating. We watch these extremely wealthy women live out their lives every week, and it’s a grim fact to realize their politics might not align with yours.

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Books, Essay, Life

THE SORTING HAT MADE ME GO DEEP, YOU GUYS

The other day, I asked my friend, “Did you even read Harry Potter?” We’re best friends, so I know a decent amount about her, but this was something I don’t remember us ever talking about.

Watch, she’s gonna text me after reading this and go, “Actually we did talk about it on xyz.”

I’m a huge Harry Potter fan – I think the world divides pretty cleanly into fans and non-fans, and usually it comes down to your level of physical fitness in middle school. Despite doing essentially every sport imaginable as some sort last-ditch effort to butch me up, I was not a ~jock~. My parents also severely limited my screen time (a wise decision, because I think my eyeballs would’ve been fried out of my head by now).

So I spent my time in one of a few ways: creating dresses for Polly Pockets (this is a real thing, I really did this), practicing piano, and reading. Reading like “reading under my desk after tests” reading and “bringing three books on vacation” reading. It’s the reason why I am so good at writing (I think) and also the reason why I say things like “I AM THE PROTAGONIST” (see above).

Harry Potter was one of my ultimate favorite series. I’ve probably read the entire thing more than twenty times, and own two sets (one weather-beaten and held together by tape and a prayer; one that came in a “trunk” set for Christmas).

Obviously the follow-up question was, “What house are you?” She’s Gryffindor (because she’s basically Hermione Granger), but that’s not actually important because she’s not the protagonist in this story – I am.

I told her that when Pottermore originally came out (after I did…copycat) I took the Sorting Hat quiz and was placed in Ravenclaw. This fits – I’m smart, clever and more than a little socially insensitive. Also I look amazing in blue. I was happy to be in Ravenclaw, even though everyone secretly wants to be in Gryffindor because Harry Potter was in Gryffindor.

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celebrity, Politics, pop culture, social media

BE OUTRAGED ABOUT SEAN SPICER AT THE EMMYS AND ALSO THE GRAHAM-CASSIDY MEASURE, THE NEW ACA REPEAL

If there’s one thing I hate about the media, it’s the voracious rapidity with which one thing becomes a story across every, single outlet and eclipses everything else. So last night, former Press Secretary Sean Spicer made an appearance at the 2017 Emmys, everyone was (rightfully) pissed-off and weirded-out and annoyed at Hollywood. And while it’s important for everyone to express their outrage and disgust, it’s also super-important to keep an eye on everything else going on, like the new ACA repeal – the Graham-Cassidy Measure.

First, the Graham-Cassidy measure. Put together by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), the measure would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. It would be a “last-ditch attempt to repeal Obamacare before the GOP’s power to pass heath care legislation through a party-line vote in the Senate expires on Sept. 30,” according to Politico.

Apparently Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is seriously considering putting the bill to a vote, if he can be assured of the support of 50 Republicans in the Senate (the GOP has a majority of 52). Currently they do not have the support of 50 votes, but Graham has publicly begged Trump to support the cause and private rallying has gone on. If passed by the Senate, it would require being approved by the House with no changes – a steep ask.

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Opinion, Politics

FLIP-FLOPS AREN’T JUST FOR YOUR FEET—Trump’s Ever-Changing Positions on DACA and What That Means

Header Source: Wikimedia Commons


In a move that probably caused the simultaneous bursting of a thousand-thousand Republican aneurysms, President Donald Trump took to Twitter more than a week after his administration announced the end of DACA, the Obama-era program that gave temporary two-year work visas to immigrants who came to the country illegally as minors.

“Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!…..” said Trump in two Tweets. “…They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age. Plus BIG border security.”

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Millennials, Politics, Things Happening RN

ARTICLES AND VIDEOS FOR THIS WEEK

With everything happening from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and today being the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it seems bizarre to write something trite or funny, so I thought I would just include some articles that I felt were impactful and interesting.

1). Refinery29 – 9/11 Survivor Essay:

I grew up in the greater New York City area in the aftermath of 9/11, (I was six in 2001), and a lot of what I know is from friends and family talking about it. We grew up hearing a lot of personal accounts of what everyone was doing that day (friends, peers, adults) so I haven’t read many accounts of what people went through. And it wasn’t until I was much older that I watched a video of the actual day.

I really enjoyed this piece by Margaret Lazaros in Refinery29 because, while it was brief, it was totally beautiful and heartbreaking to hear from someone who worked in the World Trade Center. She writes about walking away from the buildings as they fell (that’s a common thread amongst the retellings – the walking, the sneaker stores opening their doors for women in heels) and trying to get to her daughter. If you have a few minutes, I highly recommend it.

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Humor, Rambles

THINGS I WANT: A Brief But Important List

This is a list of things I want. It does not include any career goals, relationship milestones or monetary hopes. I obviously want all of these things and you know it, Thomas.

1). I want to one day write a book of essays, and I want that book of essays to be adapted into a television show even though I hate when they adapt anything to television because it never works.

2). I want acne cream that dries instantly so that I can sleep without having to do so lying flat on my back like Meryl Streep in Death Becomes Her or Jessica Lange in AHS: Coven.

3). In the television adaption of my book of essays, again, which I will hate, I want the lead character (playing me) to be so attractive that people are annoyed and severely disappointed when they find out what I look like, much like when I saw “Shattered Glass” for the first time. I deserve my Hayden Christiansen moment.

4). I want to be famous enough that I get a rider, and I want that rider to be exclusively about the various kinds of chapsticks I need: I’m talking a Nivea “Olive Oil and Lemon.”

5). I want to have weather told to me exclusively in terms of clothing I need to wear. “This morning will be green flannel with a high of t-shirt underneath.” I have neither the ability or the time to think about what “60 degrees” means for my body.

6). I want Bachelor in Paradise to not be two, two-hour episodes a week. We all know that you can skimp the less attractive people’s dates. We won’t mind.

7). I want someone to finally teach me how to properly shave the weird underneath-my-chin area. I’ve been shaving for seven years, and somehow manage to only increase my razor-burn. My neck hairs grow in odd directions. Guidance, anyone?

8). I want a loofah that doesn’t immediately unravel after one use. I would even stand for two uses, but really I’m burning through loofah cash that I don’t have.

9). I want to be able to block certain hot gays from popping up in my Instagram Discover because no matter how many times I do, they keep coming back. I don’t need to see those abs every two weeks – I already have enough issues to bring to my therapist.

10). I want world peace. Also I want a Herschel backpack. One of these things is more within my grasp.

This was dumb, but it was sitting in my yet-to-be-published cache, so here we are.

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Politics

WHAT IS DACA?

On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced President Trump had formally decided to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The move has a six-month delay, to allow Congress to draft a legislative fix and allow those with permits expiring within the next six months to renew (though no new permits will be issued), and would be implemented over the next two years as those deferrals peter out. It would affect almost 800,000 people.

But what is DACA?

The program was implemented in 2012 under President Obama. It allowed certain illegal immigrants who came to the country as minors to apply for a work visa and a two-year period of deferred action from deportation. The idea was to shift immigration enforcement away from low-priority illegal immigrants with good standing. Most of these illegal immigrants who came here as minors are called DREAMers, from the 2001 DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors). The DREAM Act sought to qualify alien minors for conditional residency that could lead to permanent residency. The DREAM Act was scrapped and stalled multiple times, leading to President Obama introducing DACA.


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