Welcome to Issue 43.4 of Digestable, your daily mouthful of real things happening in the world, minus alarmist pandemic news.
Today’s news, fermented:
It’s a relief to see the Great Inciter of Violence gone from the national stage. Biden has gotten to work already—amid calls to do even more from the movements that put him in office. (Also, ohmygod Bernie Sanders, the person who kept me on twitter all day yesterday—but Latifah’s got that covered.)
There’s the flurry of executive orders, including reversing the ‘Muslim ban,’ as it was referred to at the massive spontaneous protests of 2017; rejoining the Paris agreement; ensuring undocumented people are counted in the Census; and beginning the work of curbing COVID’s immeasurable impact.
In addition to Day 1’s session of signings, Biden is also facing calls to cancel student debt (in spite of Antonin Scalia’s ghost); acknowledge that Israel is an an apartheid regime; and go further than revoking Keystone XL pipeline permits by doing the same for the Dakota Access Pipeline and Line 3—to end a nation-length era of disrespecting treaties with tribal nations.
But not all good news comes from Washington, obviously. There are so many people fighting for the world we deserve because of and in spite of the outgoing administration’s endless obstacles. I stopped in my scrolling tracks this morning at the news that Illinois is poised to become the first state to end cash bail and wealth-based pre-trial detention. This is huge news—and a step towards broader decarceration and defunding of the prison industrial complex, which has continued to destroy lives in additionally horrible ways during the pandemic.
Tr*mp people aren’t over yet though—some of them are already quietly finding homes in the nooks and crannies of corporate America, which are in no short supply. A sigh of relief is in order, but we oughtn’t let down our guard.
Here’s some animal drama emblematic of what our movements have been up to the last four years.
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
I must admit that I came into this week dreading what was to come. I mainly felt this way about the US' presidential inauguration, which I found a little unnecessary to celebrate because... well, the rest of us peasants have had to do everything by Zoom for the past year so why should this occasion be marked with such pomp and circumstance?! Seemed a little ostentatious to me, especially in a country where more than 400,000 people have died from a combination of the coronavirus and government negligence. So I decided not to watch it yesterday, instead trying my best to focus on work. I had Twitter up to periodically check what was going on, of course. But then... the coats came. And if there's anything you should know about me it's that I am so weak-willed that all it takes to bend my principles are photos of rich people wearing beautiful clothes. So here I am, covering the inauguration for ~*Hot Goss*~ -- and all the best looks from the day.
First up: MICHELLE. OBAMA. This was the outfit that broke my will. I was doing fine ignoring much of the inauguration ceremony up until I saw Michelle walk out in this monochromatic bordeaux/burgundy suit by Sergio Hudson, at which moment I just expired on my office chair. It was the outfit that reminded me how thoroughly deprived of FASHION we've been this past year, with red carpets events and galas of all sorts having been cancelled due to disease, that I actually shed a tear at how deeply sartorially satiated I felt upon laying eyes on it. The coat is truly the star of the show here, followed closely by those beautifully tailored pants, and the flip of Michelle's feathered bangs. If I was any taller than 5'1 and had legs the length of I-90, this is how I'd like to think I'd be dressed everyday.
STUNNACIA. STEPPED ON ALL OUR NECKS. 103/10.
Amanda Gorman is a 22-year-old woman who is the youngest person to ever serve as an inaugural poet. She also wore one of my favorite outfits of yesterday -- a gorgeous, bright yellow coat from Prada with accents of red and black leather. My heart! Combining red and yellow can easily veer into ketchup-and-mustard territory but Amanda managed to avoid that and instead stood out amongst a sea of blues and purples. She also wore a ring gifted to her by Oprah Winfrey that was shaped as a caged bird, a tribute to Maya Angelou, one of the most celebrated poets in American history as well as another previous inaugural poet.
BEAUTIFUL. UNIQUE. MEMORABLE. 250/10
Ella Emhoff, the 22-year-old daughter of Doug Emhoff and step-daughter of Vice-President Kamala Harris, also decided to skip the monochromatic look and instead opted for this coat with sparkly shoulder details from MiuMiu. This, to me, is an elevated version of the cottagecore style that's been super in trend of late. The peekaboo pilgrim collar, the softly tousled curls, the TWEED -- I am ready to churn butter on an upscale, artisanal farm in the south of France with Ella Emhoff, and look gewwwwwwwwdddddd doing so.
UNEXPECTED. ICONIC. 99/10
Only three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and Lady Gaga bringing the drama anywhere her feet land. And so it was at yesterday's inauguration, when Gaga showed up in this billowing red skirt and a fitted navy cashmere jacket by Schiaparelli (one of my favorites) that was custom-made for the occasion, along with her massive golden brooch of a dove. Mother Monster was there to sing the National Anthem, something that would typically take maybe less than 10 minutes to complete but naturally became a whole production in and of itself thanks to Gaga. I am not complaining, especially when it started with some aide handing her a golden microphone to sing with. I thought the outfit was a perfect balance of pomp and circumstance that an event like the inauguration needed -- Gaga's an entertainer who was there to perform and it would have been boring for her to show up in the same sort of outfit as the politicians would wear, you know? But personally, I did think that the giant brooch was overkill though, especially with those milkmaid braids. A little too twee, especially considering the fact that the threat of domestic terrorism by white supremacists and right-wing militias are like, at an all-time high right now.
DRAMATIC. HAUTE COUTURE. 78/10 (points docked for the brooch)
And finally, the man who stole the show: Bernie m-fin Sanders. Pure power is showing up to one of the most decorated events in American tradition in a run-of-the-mill brown parka, upcycled wool mittens, a disposable fabric mask, and a manila folder. This is the outfit of a man who shows up to parties out of respect for the hosts, always arriving 10 minutes early and never staying past the time indicated on the card; of a man who moves through his days with purpose, checking off things on his to-do list with his Bic Round Stic ballpoint pen that he keeps safely in the top left pocket of his parka; of a man who knows that it's all bullshit anyways. Bernie quickly went viral, of course, and the memes are EVERYWHERE now.
ELITE. CULTURE-SHIFTING. 612/10