Friday Roundup

Because Goya seems appropriate these days.

How’s everybody holding up? Are you all getting enough sleep, eating the right foods, drinking in moderation, not letting anger and/or despair interfere with productivity, taking time to appreciate all the good things in life? If so, you have my respect and admiration; on any given day since the election, I’ve managed maybe half of those things.

One of the (many) consequences of having a catastrophic election outcome is that it robs us all of the luxury of remaining outwardly apolitical. I’ve spent too much time over the past week and a half poring over analyses and election postmortems and rants and calls to actions. I imagine many of you have done the same, but in case it’s of any help to anyone, I’ve put together a very fast and not-at-all comprehensive resource guide and reading list to start to shape a course of action for the rough days (weeks, months, years) ahead:

The president-elect made numerous unconstitutional campaign promises; the ACLU outlines them here.  Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, as an American, this should alarm you. It’s probably a good idea to re-familiarize (or familiarize, if this is new ground) ourselves with the U.S. Constitution, because our knowledge of it and willingness to defend it will be tested soon. Cornell’s law school has a great annotated version here. Bookmarking it for quick reference might not be a bad idea.

A big and still-evolving story over the past week has been the extent to which fake news sites may have influenced the election. Mind you, this doesn’t mean humor or satire sites (nobody thinks anyone was misled by The Onion, in other words); these are sites created to spread viral hoaxes. The Washington Post has a good piece on a fake-news impresario who, somewhat credibly, now believes he was largely responsible for the election outcome. Here’s a New York Magazine piece with some advice on avoiding fake news sites, and, if you doubt your own ability to tell real news from hoaxes, here’s a Chrome browser extension that will flag fake news sites for you.

While we’re on the subject of news… The traditional media might find itself in a precarious position soon. Protect reliable, necessary news sources by subscribing or donating to newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, the Washington Post, Mother Jones, and the New Yorker. If subscriptions aren’t in your budget, make it a point to visit these sites regularly and sit through their revenue-generating ads.

Slate has a good call-to-action list of places where you can donate time or money to whatever causes concern you the most right now—protecting immigrants and refugees, mitigating poverty, fighting Islamophobia, maintaining reproductive rights, etcetera. In addition, you can donate to Planned Parenthood here, or the ACLU here.

Here are tips from former Congressional staffer Emily Ellsworth on how to effectively contact your Congressional representative to air your complaints or concerns about anything that happens in Washington (in brief: call the local office, not Capitol Hill, and always be polite). Find your representative here.

If you’re interested in participating in a protest march or rally, but have no idea where to find one in your area, Facebook can be a good resource. Do a general search from the homepage, narrow it down by your location, and then narrow it down still further by clicking on the Events tab. Your results should look something like this:

Above all, show kindness to those who need it and stand up for each other.

On to other subjects: The always-entertaining Sarah Kurchak wrote a beautiful, lengthy piece on the late, great Robert Vaughn for The Establishment, with a focus on his political activism. I owe Sarah a debt of gratitude—I first discovered The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in 2015 after reading an excellent piece she wrote about David McCallum’s Illya for the AV Club, whereupon she promptly became one of my favorite people in the world. Anything she writes is worth a read. 

The Duranalysis Facebook page continues to grow. Check it out for a daily dose of Duranalysis-related content that you won’t find on this site, like more Duran Duran comics. 

Video of the week: Somehow, Men At Work’s “It’s a Mistake” seems like the right choice:

Have a good weekend, everybody.


Thanks for the link to the Illya article - it really was a wonderful read.

As for the rest... Well, I'm glad I'm not American but I'm also glad there are sane people like you listing what can be done.
Morgan Richter said…
Isn't that a great Illya article? It really was what inspired me to start watching the show for the first time, because Sarah made it sound exactly like something that would fit my various interests. And indeed it was.

It's a weird, sad time to be an American. Almost three weeks after the election, it's still really hard to get a handle on this bizarre new world we're living in.
montereysnow said…
I had a similar experience to yours with the Illya article. I also came across it last summer while looking for Man from UNCLE movie reviews.
It helped remind me of why I first loved the show all those years ago, and I decided to finally watch again the entire series.

I think I had always been a little afraid that reality would not live up to memory, but after reading that article I thought if a younger person could be pulled into Napoleon and Illya there must have something to it.

Thank you also for all those links. It is great to have them all in one place. As a fellow American, I will be using them.
Morgan Richter said…
montereysnow -- it's actually really impressive how well the show holds up. Yeah, there are some moments that wouldn't go over too well if the show were made today, but Illya and Napoleon still seem like very original, fresh, interesting, wonderful characters.

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