Welcome to Issue 39.4 of Digestable, your daily mouthful of real things happening in the world, minus alarmist pandemic news.
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Today’s news, fermented:
After a bit of a late start this morning—we had two feet of snow piled up on our sidewalk!—here are a few things for this wintry day.
Dean Spade’s Mutual Aid, reviewed here, is a response to the moment we’re living in, and situates mutual aid as a force to counteract a lot of the crisis and weird post-modernism I’ve been writing about this week.
For a longer read, here’s Big Tobacco: Trust Us To Solve The Smoking Epidemic, which traces Philip Morris International and other tobacco corporations’ attempts to rebrand themselves, shrug off the worst reputation of maybe any industry, and act like they have solutions to a problem they caused.
On my favorite subject, Jeff Bezos is a Piece of Shit—his ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott is ‘disrupting the billionaire class’ even though….just, what does that even mean?—by donating 4.2 billion dollars. Although I wish MacKenzie had done Jeff a Judith (thanks Gavi) and then gone on her philanthropy spree, so it goes.
Here’s a mood:
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
Okay so I talk a lot about the British Royal Family (BRF) in ~*Hot Goss*~ that when I saw royal watchers aflutter this morning, I thought it was something to do with them. Some of the families have released their Christmas cards I believe but that's not the biggest reason for all the hubbub (at least, not until the Sussexes release theirs, obvi). All this commotion is actually because royal watchers are excited? confused? surprised? by Princess Charlene of Monaco's new hairstyle—a Mad Max-esque, half-shaved, asymmetrical short bob that is quite possibly the most daring any royal has been with their style, maybe?
People are extremely divided over how they feel about this look. For every person who has responded positively to it, there is someone else who has called it "un-royal" and ugly. I think I fall into the first category but I also wonder if this is a cry for help from Charlene, who married Prince Albert of Monaco in 2011 under somewhat distressing circumstances. It was widely reported in the press that Charlene had tried to escape from Monaco mere days before her wedding but her attempt was foiled and her passport was allegedly confiscated by royal authorities or... I don't know what department or people they have to do that sort of a job, but they did it ///allegedly///. There was a lot of coverage following the wedding of how sad and depressed and friendless the Princess was too... who knows what the truth is really, but this has been the theme when it comes to stories of Princess Charlene.
Which is why again, I wonder if this daring cut is a cry for help or a reclamation of something or some part of her that she felt she has lost in the last few years? Looking at these photos, she seems to be the happiest I've seen her in photos, despite the fact that half of her face is obscured by her mask. Maybe seeing Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry break away from their oppressive families inspired her to take a stand in the few ways she is able to. All pure speculation of course! Or it could be that it was a just as simple as wanting a new different sort of hair style, she went for it, and that happiness radiating through in these photos is because she's absolutely feeling herself with this shaved look. Regardless, I think she looks super cool. The BRF and their royal handlers would probably have a stroke thinking of how many protocols this hairstyle would break but they're stuffy, old-fashioned, and behind the times anyway so who cares. Looking good, Princess Charlene!