Welcome to Issue 20.1 of Digestable, your daily mouthful of real things happening in the world, minus alarmist pandemic news.
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Today’s news, fermented:
Morning, y’all. Here’s some breaking news.
This is the landing page for the Guardian US, one of my first stops for news on any given day. All six of these articles are about climate change (also it is HOT!).
I’m not very old. But it’s easy for me to remember the tropical storms that anchors said were ‘mysteriously powerful,’ the global climate negotiations that never made the front page, the wildfires that now rage more powerfully than ever, just a few years ago, being called…just fires.
My first thought this morning was, what, did they not have anything else to run? Bleak, I know, but feels like a fair assumption in the grand scheme of climate-focused news coverage in a mainstream outlet. To their credit, the Guardian stopped taking fossil fuel money for advertising. But this quantity of and emphasis on climate coverage is really good, if surprising, to see.
The headline article, How the global climate fight could be lost if Trump is re-elected, talks about just that. I’m sure the Guardian editors wouldn’t have run a story with the headline: “Update: we’re all completely fucked,” but that might have been even more self-explanatory. Basically, the US is responsible for a huge amount of emissions per capita and has enormous sway over global energy markets. And the issue isn’t really even about the Paris agreement, which is, despite headlines like this, not all that impressive—it still leaves countries to determine how much work (read: money) they are actually going to put in to curb the catastrophe, which means that individualistic pigheaded nations like ours think we can just place our priorities elsewhere and go have a Big Mac in the Rose Garden.
But I digress. As readers who have been around for the last 20 weeks (! more on that later) know, I truly loathe Joe Biden, and I’m gonna vote for him, because he can/has already been pushed super far left on climate, and at this point, I’d rather have an impressionable sack of bones running this country than a tinted fascist. It’s time for the US to get its priorities in order (and please, we’ve had them mixed up for the last 3-400 years anyway).
The only country that’s meeting its climate targets stated in the Paris agreement is Morocco, which:
Was the site of ongoing climate talks when DT was elected and
Is home to a large swath of disputed desert.
Which raises two questions:
Is their success for spite? (Joking.)
I suppose our cities have become a kind of disputed territory, but still, we technically have one government…hm, this argument isn’t holding up well.
But that still doesn’t mean we’re off the hook for so miserably failing to meet our climate targets.
An op-ed published in the NY Times today suggests that demands to ‘decolonize’ that have long been present in protests around the world are hinting at a much larger transformation that we’ve previously seen in response. Adom Getachew, in Colonialism Made the Modern World. Let’s Remake It., gets at the need for a “postcolonial condition,” which I would imagine, would probably do a lot more for global climate targets than signing a non-binding policy agreement. Most (all?) extractive industries, from fossil fuels to deforestation to the theft of human lives, are enabled by the allowance of settler colonialism and capitalism, which themselves are inextricably linked. Perhaps we need…systems change?!
I’ll leave it there, and want to briefly (again, more later), introduce a new column. Gabriel (they/them), longtime sometimes contributor, will be writing A Second Look, in which they revisit cultural content with new eyes after some time has passed.
Here’s an Oystercatcher and its chick for your Monday.
The Second Look
I recently discovered that an album I have loved and listened to for years is infamous for being universally hated by critics. The album is Partie Traumatic, by the Jacksonville band Black Kids. The story that’s told about it is that their single, I’m Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance, was a super hit on MySpace (this was 2008), and when the highly anticipated album came out, it underwhelmed critics, Pitchfork gave it a 3.3/10, and the rest was history.
I came to know Black Kids almost a decade after this whole saga when I’m Not Going To Teach... somehow worked its way into my head and I decided to figure out what Black Kids was all about. My investigation yielded absolute glittering delight and to this day the album (with the exception of the terribly dated bonus track remix of the lead single) never fails to make my insides sparkle. The lyrics are clever and funny, the surprising and compelling narrative of Love Me Already is a high point. The B52s-y backing vocals make me wish that every band was doing shit like that, and Reggie’s voice (the lead singer and guitarist) makes me absolutely MELT. So maybe the production doesn’t peak in all the right places or whatever, the band is tight and fun and it’s worth a dive.
Top Tracks: Love Me Already, Hit The Heartbrakes, Listen to Your Body
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
We’ve covered a lot of divorces and breakups over the course of this quarantine, but aside from last week’s royal wedding and the occasional coverage of BenAna, I haven’t wrote much about happy celebrity get togethers and couplings. So here is one from almost three weeks ago, which I forgot about until recently.
Brooklyn Beckham, 21-year-old son of football (soccer) legend David Beckham and designer and reluctant Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, is engaged to his girlfriend of seven months, Nicola Peltz. This engagement broke around two weekends ago, and it made a ~*Hot Goss*~ splash due to Brooklyn’s very young age as well as the fact that we all have a strange attachment to seeing celebrity children grow up as though they are ours. Brooklyn and Nicola had reportedly been quarantining together, so I suppose it was already somewhat of a marriage. The pair also each separately posted a photo of their engagement on their Instagram pages, and fine, it was kind of sweet.
The world didn’t really think too much over this engagement over the last few weeks until one of Brooklyn’s exes recently spoke on the topic. Speaking to The Sun, Lexy Panterra opined that Brooklyn is “way too immature” to be getting married and said that he “usually has a new chick every month.” According to this article, Lexy is a US-based hip hop artist. She is also 30-years-old and met Brooklyn at the 2017 Coachella festival when she was 27 and he was… *check’s notes* 18. You know that grimacing emoji? That is my face as type this out right now.
I personally don’t disagree that 21 probably isn’t the best age to seriously consider marriage but to be fair to Brooklyn, his parents also married extremely young and aside from two or three very highly publicized cheating scandals, have had one of the most solid marriages in celebrity land. And the truth is, I’m not shocked that an 18-year-old boy was not the pinnacle of maturity that this then-nearly 30-year-old woman sought in a relationship. It also just makes me cast doubt on Lexy’s judgment at all. How and why are you dating a teenager barely out of high school in the first place? Shady, shady.
Neither Brooklyn nor Nicola has responded to these comments, and they probably won’t. I mean in all honesty, Lexy sounds a little bitter and petty. In the same article, she also comments on Brooklyn’s clothes and style, and his friends as more evidence of his immaturity. Lexy babe, if it makes you feel better, my ex exclusively wore t-shirts that were either of his alma mater or from restaurants he and his family would stop at during vacations together. Also, GQ once wrote an article titled “5 Style Lessons Brooklyn Beckham Can Teach Every Guy Right Now” and if this was your definition of embarrassing and immature sartorial choices then baby, you have really lucked out. Like I would kill to be with a man who knew how to layer and accessorize and cuff and tuck the way Brooklyn does. But you know, I get it. I get feeling, like, embarrassed almost about our past choices in life. And I know it hurts to see an ex get engaged and move on with their life, but truly, we have to let it go. It’s just not a cute look to be running to tabloids like this, you know? You’ll be alright, Lexy. I promise.