On the Cusp of Something Else Entirely: resources for the restless and the hopeful

Updated: Apr 20

2020, believe it or not, was for optimism (in the face of uncertainty). For possibility (because no one knew what might happen). For observation (and taking notes to make sure none of it ever happened again).


2021 is for fighting.


2021 is for making sure that every thwarted policy prescription gets enacted.


2021 is for being in the room where it happens. The best way to subvert a democracy is to attend all the meetings. (Note: insurrectionists need not apply.)


2021 is for saying the emperor has no clothes when that guy is stark naked and strutting around like he's something. We're looking (or, in this case, *definitely* not looking) at you Anthony Bouchard.

Britney Wallesch (the aforementioned elected official's general election opponent) is a whole mood. We're here for it.


Essays

  1. Jewel Tones & Bernie Sanders' Mittens: Inauguration Day Fashion 2021 by Rachel Syme | "It was a strong day for coats."

  2. The right-wing Christian movement shouldn't control the abortion narrative by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg | "The religious right may have the loudest voice when it comes to abortion, but there are numerous other religious approaches to the matter. Many Christian communities make space for abortion in their official denominational statements. Jewish law not only permits the termination of pregnancy; it requires it when the life of the pregnant person is at stake. Other religious communities have their own complex and nuanced approaches to the procedure."

  3. Unmasking former Rep. Clem's point by Jen Simon | "It’s the mundane, daily decisions that keep our families and communities safe and healthy. It is putting on a mask and wearing it as though compassion is the greatest strength you have."


Books

  1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas | Anna Diamond's 2017 review in The Atlantic: "Thomas’s debut novel offers an incisive and engrossing perspective of the life of a black teenage girl as Starr’s two worlds converge over questions of police brutality, justice, and activism."

  2. Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All by Martha S. Jones | Elaine Elinson's review in NY Journal of Books: "Jones’ book is a welcome addition to the spate of books on woman suffrage that have been published in honor of the Centennial of the 19th Amendment. Through her rigorous scholarship and out-of-the-box perspective, she sheds new and important light on the crucial role of Black women in winning and ensuring the right to vote."

  3. The Women's Torah Commentary: New Insights from Women Rabbis on the 54 Weekly Torah Portions by Rabbi Elyse Goldstein


Movies

  1. What the Constitution Means to Me | According to critic Elisabeth Vincentelli, "Schreck succeeds in widening her autobiographical play into a paean for basic fairness: The American Constitution, admired as it is, fails to protect all of us from violence and discrimination."

  2. Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint | According to critic Sheri Linden (and, btw, it was surprisingly challenging to find a review not written by a man)"Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint ...is the first doc about this long-forgotten artist. It's an eloquent contribution to af Klint's rediscovery, which began four decades after her 1944 death. It's also a cogent argument for why that rediscovery impels nothing less than a rewriting of art history."

  3. Skate Kitchen | Leah Greenblatt writes, "No matter what era, being a teenager is always about trying to find your tribe; the friends who make you feel like the truest version of yourself, or at least whoever you think you might want to be."


TV Shows

  1. Call My Agent (Dix pour Cent) | *Especially* Season 4 Episode 5 where Sigourney Weaver tells it like it is and makes the world better.

  2. Teenage Bounty Hunters | "People's faith in gossip is stronger than their faith in the Almighty."

  3. Betty | "This HBO dramedy follows a group of young women who find freedom and a mission—to dismantle the patriarchy—while navigating New York City’s male-dominated skateboarding scene."


Twitter Follows

  1. Rachel Syme | writer/woman about town. now: staff writer @newyorker. writing a book for @aaknopf. somehow also running a quarantine penpal service (http://penpalooza.com). she/her.

  2. Abby Phillip | Anchor of Inside Politics Sunday with Abby Phillip on @CNN. Senior Political Correspondent. Speaking requests: http://cnn.com/speakers

  3. Sherrilyn Ifill | President & Director-Counsel of LDF (NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund), the nation's premier civil rights law organization. Tweets are my own.


Recipes

  1. Smitten Kitchen's Unfussy Rugelach | Totally and completely worth any time and trouble it takes. You can sub any jam or dried fruit or nuts or chocolate you have and it makes for a little bit of creative fun. Quick note: We made 1/2 the dough she calls for and then split it into four batches and had rugelach for days.

  2. Samin Nosrat's Buttermilk Chicken | Requires you to think a day ahead to pop the chicken into a bag full of buttermilk overnight. Other than that it's a sure fire way to make a perfectly crispy and perfectly tender roast chicken.

  3. Haven't made this one yet, but we've added it to the docket: Parmesan Oven Risotto


Unsolicited opinions

  1. We have some opinions about the utter failure of Sen. Affie Ellis and members of the Senate Revenue Committee to repeal Wyoming's tampon tax. Here's what Jen told CST's Nick Reynolds about it: "Taxing menstrual products is discriminatory and, unfortunately, that’s not a topic that the committee got around to discussing." Stay tuned for Jen's column in next week's CST on the subject. And WWAN is working with Period Equity to look at the viability of a lawsuit like the one in Michigan. In the meantime and in the absence of policy, it is up to each of us to get involved to end period poverty and stamp out stigma.

  2. Lyz Lenz pretty much nails why you need to be PAYING ATTENTION TO THE STATE LEGISLATURE: "Lindsey Graham doesn’t get a say in your kid’s school choice. But you know who does? Chucklefuck Herbert Fitzhugh III, who thinks COVID was invented by the Chinese to prevent him from going to the Pizza Ranch Buffet, but somehow helps run your entire state." And we are here to tell you, Chucklefuck Herbert Fitzhugh III has asexually reproduced like so many amoebae and now has supermajority control of the Wyoming Legislature. We're also here to tell you: IT IS WORSE THAN YOU THINK. And to say again: SUPERMAJORITIES KILL. (And we do mean kill, quite literally.) Get involved. Do it now. Not sure how? Email info@wyomingwomensnetwork.com and ask for help. Seriously, hit us up. The Legislature is game on again January 27th. Tune in: wyoleg.gov.

  3. Amanda Gorman might just be proof of the existence of God.


"There is always light, if only we are brave enough to see it, if only we are brave enough to be it." -Amanda Gorman

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