Welcome to Issue 21.4 of Digestable, your daily mouthful of real things happening in the world, minus alarmist pandemic news.
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Today’s news, fermented:
Ah yes, Thursday. A perfect day to talk about the dysfunction of the state.
The US Census, of which our very own DJ M0RO was once a proud employee, has announced that it is going to expedite the process of counting every American in a constitutionally obligated process because “others really want us to proceed as rapidly as possible.”
As you might imagine, this is actually utter nonsense. The Census folks estimate that there are 4 out of every 10 households that have not yet been counted. Who do you think gets counted last? Might it be undocumented folks scared away by fear-mongering about a citizenship question? Possibly those without a house to hold? I mean, please, this is nothing but a deliberate effort by the State to continue to erode the political power (redistricting, Representative seats) of those who already need and deserve it most and have it least.
Esmeralda Bermudez, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, wrote a piece entitled “On the shoulders of our parents — the cooks, nannies and gardeners — we’ve traveled far.” For this story, inspired by her mother, who cleaned houses to make a living, Bermudez posed a question: What jobs did your parents work to get you where you are today?
So many of those parents do/did jobs that are not seen or recognized: cleaning houses, fixing things, producing things, caring for people. The jobs that we now call essential. Often, it is the people who hold these jobs who don’t get counted even in a Census done right, and there’s no telling who will get left out this time. If you need a little morning cry, go read Bermudez’s piece, a perfect reminder of why we need to count everyone.
Make sure you’ve filled out the census; tell all the people you know. I mean it!
If you’re ready and excited about divesting from the failed and oppressive American State, go read about what this nation would look like if we actually honored the treaties written to justify the displacement of indigenous people on this land. It would mean that so much that’s bad about this country would be better, or not a problem at all.
It would mean running water in the southwest; fewer oil and gas pipelines that leak and make people sick; fewer Native deaths from coronavirus; less taxpayer money flowing to the US government, which, I’m all for paying taxes, but they haven’t used it well (just to bail out corporations). Read the thing, imagine the reality, decide that it is your, and our, obligation to meaningfully return as much land as we can in our lifetimes. Indigenous people are better at running governments, providing services, and caring for people and planet than the white settler state. (Go listen to This Land if you need more affirmation.)
The one population we have been successful in counting is Emperor Penguins, whose numbers have swelled to just over half a million across Antarctica. The new count was assisted by new satellite imaging of the dark spots left by their guano across the remote continent. This is good news, for now—but rapidly decreasing icy landmass could mean bad stuff for penguin populations as we continue to prioritize the combustion of dinosaur fuel over the livability of our planet for countless species.
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
Writing this column is not as easy as it seems.
First, I try to keep the gossip light, fluffy, and enjoyable. This is why you haven’t seen any coverage of Ghislaine Maxwell’s arrest and the subsequent related stories that have come out since – because it’s not fun to snark and joke about an internationally run human trafficking and sex abuse ring that potentially involves many highly powerful and influential people. It’s just sad and enraging and depressing – and I don’t really care to wade into this discourse because of that.
Second, I try to keep the gossip as relatable as possible. And by that I mean I try to write about gossip that a majority of my readers can easily follow without having to peel back several layers of context and backstories. This is why I haven’t really written about the royal snipes that’s been going on in the press for a few weeks now. But if you really must know, the pro- and anti-Sussex camps are still feuding or trying to throw Duchess Meghan Markle under the bus for daring to exist and fall in love with Prince Harry. Also the Spanish monarchy is in crisis.
Third, I try to keep the gossip as relevant as possible by writing about people that most of us will have some familiarity with. I could have spent TWO columns writing about the Alexis Mateo and India Ferrah feud from RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 5 because that was an absolute SCANDAL to me and perhaps a few other people who read this column. But I like it more when I get texts or emails from people in the middle of the day reacting to a story I wrote. So many of you had so many thoughts and feelings on the Lady A(ntebellum) saga, and the JK Rowling controversy, and Kristin Cavallari’s divorce from Jay Cutler! Celebrity gossip is most fun when you have people you can kiki with, and that’s why I’m not here writing about a cheating scandal between Tik Tokers Charli D’Amelio and Lil Huddy.
As you can imagine, in a pandemic with nothing to do and nowhere to go, things haven’t really been that spicy. I contemplated writing about the FBI’s raid on Youtube star and infamous prick Jake Paul’s Calabasas home but honestly who cares? Jake Paul is going to Jake Paul and probably about four of you will understand what that means. So here is My Favorite Tweet instead – and boy, have I never felt more seen by a piece of digital content in my entire life.