Welcome to Issue 1.4 of Digestable, your daily mouthful of real things happening in the world, minus alarmist pandemic news.
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Today’s news, fermented:
Ok, we made it.
Not to the end of the you-know-what, but today is the first day of Spring.
This equinox is the earliest in 124 years, which I’m telling myself is some kind of auspicious. Not a too-deep kind of auspicious though, because the equinox comes so early as a result of leap days and daylight savings time, aka two ways that humans (specifically Americans) deceive ourselves to think we can manipulate the turning of the earth to be more to our liking. At least we can stop saying it’s ‘so weird’ that things are blooming here on the East coast, and that it’s been summery and warm for the last two months on the West coast, right?
Not quite. I promised pandemic panic-free news, but not panic free news. Lest we forget there is another crisis going on that has long deserved sustained attention and action. Turns out that while most of us are hunkering down and spending quality time with our cohabitants, some of the biggest global banks are continuing to funnel trillions of dollars into the fossil fuel industry. While you’re trying out all the different places to sit in your apartment (don’t mean to project, but that’s what I’m doing), and if it’s financially available to you, you can move your money to a financial institution that isn’t committed to accelerating the extinction of humanity.
Or maybe you’re feeling more like you have no money to move, considering that when the US economy grinds to a halt, most Americans are left standing in the toxic dust cloud that is fossil capitalism and a neoliberal corporation-driven regime. What’s the cure for an illness so widespread and contagious as this? Public ownership, or “assets, services, and enterprises that are held collectively by all people in a specific geographic area, either directly or through representative structures.”
Sounds pretty good, yes? I wake up every morning and tell myself that one, or both, of these crises, is the opportunity to drastically shift the systems that define our world.
One spot of light amidst the cloudy existing system of non-representative non-democracy we have here in the US is that on Tuesday, Marie Newman unseated an incumbent conservative ‘Democrat’ (anti-abortion, anti-Green New Deal, etc) in a race for a House of Representatives seat in Illinois. She’s been referred to as a new member of ‘The Squad,” but I think we should let the Squadians decide that for themselves.
Okay. It’s been a heavy one this morning, and my apologies for that. I’m gonna leave it to Latifah to lift the mood with the *Hot Goss* and Mare to soothe the self with today’s song. Here’s my parting gift, aka the video I watch every day at 4:30pm when I cannot imagine continuing to work. It makes me feel humble and silly, two of my most sought-out emotions!
It’s Day 4 of self-isolation and the celebrities are already going bananas.
If you were looking to improve your skincare and beauty routine this quarantine season, look no further than January Jones. Last night, the model and actress posted an Instagram story of her bath routine – which includes a carton of baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and “a whole pound of salt if you have it.” If this sounds psychopathic (especially with January referring to her bath as a “human stew”) and like it will burn the crap out of your skin, you are right. But beauty comes at a cost babes, and I know we’ve all got more pressing items to spend our paycheck on than the nearly-$400 Crème de la Mer moisturizer that so many of the rich and famous call a holy grail, so your pantry staples will have to do.
If you missed out on stockpiling food for your social distancing needs, Chrissy Teigen has the perfect solution. The model came under fire on Monday after recommending a food delivery service known as Goldbelly, which delivers eats from around the country including $94 barbecue from Kansas City and $65 deep dish pizza from Chicago. In a since-deleted Tweet, Chrissy – who insists that her post was not an ad – said that she was “currently shipping clam chowder from Boston to myself.” As you can imagine, this created a firestorm of interactions online, but Chrissy and Goldbelly defended themselves by saying that the service was providing much-needed support to mom-and-pop businesses at a time of dire need so it’s, like, totally okay you guys. So go ahead and order that $109 Philly cheesesteak (on flash sale!) right now. You’ll be supporting a local business and providing a model with her Adsense check all before lunch.
And now, for a moment of silence. It is with a heavy heart that I announce the first celebrity life claimed by Covid-19: Vanessa Hudgens’ career. In an Instagram Story posted on Monday, the actress and professional Coachella attendee waxed philosophical about the pandemic, concluding that “…people are going to die, which is terrible but like, inevitable?” – to which I say, dear reader in disbelief, OH YES she did. The walkback and half-assed apology predictably ensued but the damage was done. So consider this an obituary for Vanessa’s long-stalled career. Coachella won’t be the same without you this year, V.
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
And now, a song!
Today’s news, raw:
Ownership Futures: Towards Democratic Public Ownership in the 21st Century, 2/11/20, Commonwealth