Welcome to Issue 35.4 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:
What’s the mood been in your circles this week? There are a lot of people I’m not close with, but around pretty regularly, who seem *very stoked* about the Biden-Harris win. I think we all agree that this win was crucial—and will save lives from COVID, (maybe) take meaningful action on climate, and (very maybe) advance modern civil rights legislation.
But the dancing in the streets energy no longer feels like the right thing to me. I talked to one of the people I talk to most last Saturday, and we agreed it was strange to feel excitement about the least exciting and most moderate candidates for the Democratic nomination winning the presidency—two people who have legacies of expanding mass incarceration and prioritizing peace with the right over justice for the people.
In Black Lives Matter Won the Election, But They Don't See Biden as a Savior, it’s clear that some of the Black women behind the Biden/Harris win have no illusions. This newly-elected pair is a much better organizing target than the not-so-dynamic duo they’re replacing, but that’s kind of it.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been seeing a lot of posting on the various social medias about how the Democrats are the same as Republicans, they just make it look less bad—drones vs drones with a pride and BLM flag, so on. I saw a tweet the other day that was like ‘ah yes back to our usual bombing schedule,’ which made me cringe pretty hard.
Amid all this America First hootenanny, the US has pulled out of international policy-making and diplomatic arenas (the Paris Agreement, the World Health Organization), and has even talked about (continuing) to bring US troops home.
But as we’ve seen in past budgeting efforts, the GOP has continued to increase US military spending. In this next round of budget planning, the Senate committee has proposed we spend $696,000,000,000 (yes, that’s six hundred and ninety-six billion dollars) on ‘the Pentagon.’ As I understand it, ‘the Pentagon’ is just a proxy for ‘bombing people in places where there is oil and internal conflict because of a coup we staged at some point in the past.’
Anyway. It seems that Biden’s transition team re: Pentagon matters is chock full of people who are funded by the weapons industry, aka not equipped to make decisions that prioritize anything other than the weapons industry. So, that graphic of Democrat drones with pride flags is seeming…just about right.
So, back to the beginning. Any president of this nation-state will be someone operating within (and generally created by) a system that affirms the US’s role as both a force of extraction/exploitation colonialism and a settler colonial state. Being a military power—and one that allows ‘outdated’ equipment to trickle down to police departments in places where Black and brown people live—is an integral part of the United States as we know it.
Earlier this week, abolishing the Senate was on my mind. How about abolishing the state wholeheartedly? Bioregional governments, anyone?
In case you’re still missing the point about extractive settler entities—research is ongoing about how to extract rare minerals on other planets.
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
I think a few weeks ago, I wrote about Dominic West's affair with Lily James, which became quite the scandal in British tabloids considering Dominic has been married to Catherine Fitzgerald for many years now and the pair have four children together. There's been a lot of updates since then and I'm sure you're just absolutely dying to know more so let's get into it.
When news of the affair first broke, Dominic immediately left Rome and returned to the UK to make amends with his wife and schedule some photo ops of the two looking happy together. It was really odd, to be honest. As you can see in the tweet above, the photo op included this handwritten note that Catherine passed on to the paparazzi stationed outside their house, declaring that their marriage is "strong" and denying rumors of a separation. A very convincing touch to the performance, of course.
Anyway, a few days later, Catherine -- who is an Irish aristocrat -- decamped with her children to her family castle, where she's remained ever since. The tabloids described it as a "trial separation" and was mulling over a divorce. It seemed pretty much decided upon, given the fact that Catherine remained holed up in her fortress and amid reports that Dominic's been going around telling people that he has feelings for Lily James. And then Catherine returned to England this week and someone, somehow, for some reason decided to arrange yet another photo op with paparazzi of the married couple taking a jog together and looking very much friendly with each other. So who knows what's going on?
I'm not like, actively rooting for people to break up with each other but the constant photocalls to prove that everything's well and great is a little much. I think the rules of these upper crust marriages are typically all about keeping indiscretions as discreet as possible. Think back to the Turnip Toff Society, their ostracization of Kate Middleton, and that entire drama from 2019 surrounding Prince William's alleged infidelity. Being of an aristocratic descent herself, I wouldn't be surprised if Catherine abides by these same conventions and norms. Four children aside, Catherine's got her own sources of wealth and I don't see why she'd need a dried Iberico ham-looking man like Dominic West to stick around, especially after such a public humiliation. But I'm also nearing spinsterly status and have no car, let alone a castle to my name so what do I know?
Also for real, Catherine darling, no more photocalls please. PLEASE!!! The man has humiliated you enough and now you're doing these chummy pap strolls? Draw THAT line in the sand please. Again, of all the useless men that roam this planet, Dominic West is not the one to spend all this energy on.