Welcome to Issue 47.2 of Digestable, your thrice-weekly mouthful of things happening in the world, minus alarmist pandemic news.
Today’s news, fermented:
content warning: discussion of state violence
Since the Hampton House fundraiser (which has now surpassed its goal!), I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how it is the mandate of the state—through institutions and individuals—to mask the violence it causes as anything but.
There is the fast violence of murdering organizers and attacking water protectors—and there is also the slow violence of systemic neglect, disinvestment, deprivation, punishment, and misinformation.
Last night I went to an event about the intersection of finance (the campaign to Defund Line 3) and fossil fuel infrastructure (the campaign to Stop Line 3 altogether!). Both financial entities and fossil fuel corporations received bailouts from the government at the beginning (and middle) of the pandemic; this is the slow violence of redirecting people’s money to conglomerates whose interests are mutually exclusive wit those of the people.
Then there is the fast violence of the fight to stop Line 3—water protectors locked down in pipes in sub-zero temperatures, hauled off and drugged by colluding law enforcement, and the slow terror that is fossil fuel infrastructure. As Indigenous organizers have said across the constellation of pipeline fights, it’s not a matter of if the pipeline leaks, but when. Water polluted by oil enabled by permits and credit is slow violence too.
Today, participate in an art storm to pressure Biden to stop Line 3, something he is fully able to do. You can sign this petition to Biden and also email a bunch of CEOs of banks that are funding this toxic project (and move your money out of those banks!).
If you know me at all, you know that terrorizing CEOs is one of my favorite things to do—it’s really rewarding to remind those who own the halls of power that they are still people and they are not immune to us, those who are so often at their mercy.
As with all fights to defund, the exciting part comes next: what do we re-fund? What can we give back? Land, rights, water, the list is long. Health care and education and shelter. You know, all the important stuff.
Or, of course, if you’re Jeff Bezos, you can hire the Koch brothers to union-bust for you while pretending your $10 billion climate fund does anything to address the pollution you’ve left your underpaid warehouse workers to deal with and call it a good day’s work.
Your choice, I guess.
Here’s a quasi-animal (?!) courtesy of the drunk climate.
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
There has been a lot of renewed interest in Britney Spears' life and career lately, thanks to the documentary Framing Britney Spears that is currently streaming on Hulu. The series focuses on Britney's life and career, her breakdown and mental health struggles, and the strict conservatorship she has been under since. I have not watched the series (still reeling from the Amy Winehouse documentary on Netflix that I watched three years ago) but have been following the coverage of it online. I think the documentary has probably exposed a whole new generation of people to the knowledge of the abuse and mistreatment Britney suffered at the hands of so many people in the industry and in her personal life, including her family and partners. People like Justin Timberlake, for example.
For the... young readers, Britney and Justin were in a very high profile relationship for three years in the early 2000s. When the couple split, Justin made the launch of his solo career revolve around his jilted heart, implying through songs and music videos that Britney had cheated on him and had been lying about her virginity to the public, despite her image at the time. All of these things were included in Framing Britney Spears and people have been relentless in Justin's social media comments for weeks now. Which led to Justin finally saying something -- an "apology" to the people he has hurt, specifically Britney Spears and Janet Jackson.
I mean, it's really easy to type this up on your Notes app when the entire world is pressuring you to own up to your mistakes, right? At the time when Britney was being dragged through the mud, Justin wasn't just silent. He was in fact fanning the flames of her being slut-shamed and ridiculed by the media, and profiting off all the rabid speculation. He did the same thing with Janet after the Super Bowl halftime show controversy in which his deliberate act of exposing Janet to the world without her consent left her career in tatters. What happened to Justin? He continued making music and further torture us all with the Trolls movies and soundtrack. I can't tell you how many times I've had to listen to "Can't Stop the Feeling!" while in line at the ice creamery or in the back of an Uber Pool, rueing the day Justin frickin' Timberlake managed to be the breakout star of *NSYNC over JC Chasez despite being a well-known douchebag with a grating falsetto. I can only imagine what fresh hell it must have been for these two women whose lives he nonchalantly and unapologetically ruined!
So this is all coming off a little "too little, too late" to me. In fact, the fact that he is doing this now annoys me even more than had he just stayed quiet as he has been all these years. He had 20-something years to literally correct the situation and chose not to until people were standing in his comments section with pitchforks and pyres of fire ready to ~cancel~ his ass. So cry me a river, Justin because what goes around comes all the way back around. It's not like i love(d) you anyway but hopefully, after reflecting on your actions in some of the mirrors you no doubt enjoy looking into, I hope you truly realize what a terrible person you have been to these women all these years.