Not A Rose

June 1, 2018


Hi Mom,

Before I jump into the headlines, I wanted to start with some thoughts about Roseanne. Her racist comments on Twitter led to her show being cancelled by ABC this week. I thought it might be useful to add my two cents here, because I evoked the original show on the homepage for this project.

My opinion is pretty simple: good riddance.

A more nuanced version would go something like this: The show "Roseanne" came out when I was eight years old. At that point, and into the early 90's, it showed a struggling working class family that felt more like my reality than anything else on TV. It was often funny and raw, but it was rarely aspirational or inspiring.

Publicly, Roseanne, is crass and confrontational. Her rendition of the national anthem was embarrassing. Her political views have been riddled with conspiracy theories and misinformation. At the end of the day, she is a poor candidate to represent working class people. We can do better. Her values aren't our values. We don't need terrible people driving our culture in the wrong direction.

Now, here's some news that's not Rosanne:

  1. Grow a Garden In a new book, The Gardener and the Carpenter, a psychology and philosophy professor from Berkeley outlines two models of parenting. One is the carpenter, where parents try to shape their child into a specific type of adult. The other, the gardener, creates spaces for play and discovery, allowing for individual personalities to emerge. I think it's a really nice metaphor that could be used beyond the realm of parenting.
  2. Idle with Purpose This visual story touches on the history of loitering laws and asks, "How can those being policed as 'others' reclaim their right to exist in public space just like everyone else?" Some of the projects that they cite are doing just that.
  3. Cost of News Research looking at disruptions in local news coverage has found that cities that have lost their daily paper tend to suffer financially. Without reporters around to scrutinize deals, the cost of government tends to go up.
  4. Better Pipes Small towns in Appalachia often suffer from poor infrastructure. Examples in your backyard, like Pine Grove, illustrate the challenges that communities face: lack of funding, health and environmental conerns.
  5. Undesirables Recent violence in America has on multiple occasions stemmed from a men who identify as inoluntarily celibate, or 'incels.' Though the term was coined by a queer woman in the 90's, these groups are now among the most toxic and dangerous on the Internet.
  6. Attention Hacking It's so common to hear that technology is distracting that it borders on cliché. Nonetheless, this essay argues that the issue is bigger than a loss of productivity, it is a loss of freedom. And suggests that "the liberation of human attention may be the defining moral and political struggle of our time."
  7. Spirit of '68 Fifty years ago the streets of Paris were filled with protests and strikes, bringing together students and workers demanding social change. Photos capture the energy of those events a half century ago.

Sorry if I'm a little salty this week. Trying to cram everything in before leaving for vacation.

I love you,

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