Welcome to Issue 19.1 of Digestable, your daily mouthful of real things happening in the world, minus alarmist pandemic news.
I’m all ears for your feedback, or if you’re already a fan, share this email with your friends. If you’re not yet on the list, click below to sign up.
Today’s news, fermented:
Ever since the beginning of work-from-home, I’ve tried really hard to not read the news over the weekend. The erosion of boundaries is already swift: not leaving the house before work, the absence of a commute between sleeping and being on a computer, the undefined end of a workday.
This weekend I did pretty well, but the Monday news whiplash is here and real.
This morning, there’s a lot of new news that crystallizes how much we wouldn’t have recognized this world if our February selves were transported here. I remember at the beginning of the week my office closed, it seemed far off and unlikely that the closure would really happen. We humans are not exactly known for our staggering foresight.
So here’s some of the new news.
The advantages of treating violence as a public health issue, here in the Guardian, using violence-alternative programs in Oakland as a precedent
Sanitation workers are on strike in New Orleans, 50 years after the sanitation strike in Memphis that Dr. King showed up to support, and was assassinated at. Their spokesperson writes in the NY Times that conditions that the Black men on strike are facing illustrate how “Black people are still shackled to a cycle of generational poverty and mistreatment.” (Support them here.)
There is some truly alarming stuff going on in Portland - those mysterious ‘military police’ have come back to snatch people up off of Oregon streets for questioning, which led to the word ‘Gestapo’ trending on Twitter.
Julian Brave NoiseCat, who I trust, wrote “Joe Biden has endorsed the Green New Deal in all but name.” I just. Did not see that coming.
In Bali, former tourist haven, workers once employed by resorts and the adjacent economy, are returning to traditional means of making a living, often fishing or farming.
Conceptually this is not new, but its 2020 iteration is—Black artists being exploited to legitimize corporate diversity programs on tight timelines, like ‘while the George Floyd protests are still relevant’
Also not surprising, but Republican electeds can’t seem to tell Black Civil Rights leaders apart.
That’s the new news for today. Be sure to follow along (or join the strike) with the Strike for Black Lives today, an general strike of essential workers for Black lives.
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
I intentionally did not write about this ~*Hot Goss*~ when it dropped late last week because I wanted time to read through the article thoroughly and make sure I wasn’t missing any details. So you may have wondered if I was going to do a write up on allegations against Ellen DeGeneres for enabling a toxic and abusive work culture on the set of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Well, here it is!
On Friday, Buzzfeed released a lengthy article describing all of the ways in which employees at the hit daytime talk show faced “racism, fear, and intimidation” in their work setting – in stark contrast to the “be kind to others” message that the show and its host consistently preaches to its audience. From being fired for taking medical and bereavement leaves to having to deal with instances of racism and microaggressions, a total of 11 former and current employees spoke of their experiences working on the show, confirming long-standing rumors of the nastiness that swirls on set.
To be clear, most of the former employees blamed executive producers and other senior managers for the day-to-day toxicity. However, one former employee said that Ellen ultimately needed to take more responsibility for what was happening on her team, given that the show carries her name. I think I could agree with that somewhat, especially given that Ellen’s mantra is all about kindness and taking care of one another, which clearly doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to her own people.
I say this a lot, but it really is true: if you’ve been reading celebrity gossip online for a while, you would have heard about Ellen’s true personality a long time ago. As in, yes, the entire wholesome positivity persona is really just a schtick. And obviously I don’t know Ellen in real life, but this Buzzfeed piece also is not the first story this year alone of how terrible it is to work with Ellen DeGeneres. In April, there was news that Ellen was not paying anyone on her crew, despite a pandemic of choking hardship, and in May, the New York Post released an article with interviews from former staffers who claimed that she was “rude” and “cold” (their words not mine). So, you know, I guess where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Anyway, there was also this interview that happened over the weekend. Do I have to write about this? Please don’t make me write about this.
(Royal wedding write up coming tomorrow!)