Monday Memo #12: We the People
Monday, August 24, 2020
Over the weekend I realized I still have friends & family who are voting to keep the incumbent president in office — or, worse, not voting at all (in critical swing states!) because they dislike both candidates and fail to see how their vote matters.
It’s massively frustrating knowing I’ll never change their minds (and exhausted by hours of heated debates in which no one budges or compromises).
It’s a punch to the gut knowing they don’t care about voting out policies and legislation which adversely affect them and their loved ones. They feel like they’re not affected by the administration’s policies, so why should they care enough to vote.
It’s like that horrid Melania jacket — “I really don’t care, do u?”
So I’m digging my heels into a new campaign I’m working on with The Creative Resistance, from now until the election, centered around 1,000 Hours of Outrage. There’s a time and place for hope, optimism, and the high road — and a time to lean into 4 years of rage and getting people fired up to exercise that privilege of democracy we all take for granted.
Where You’ll Find Me
🖋 Eileen Myles on Writing in a Pandemic by Mason Currey for Subtle Maneuvers. Always fascinated by a poet’s process.
I mean, a poem is just a list. It’s a kind of sharing. It’s just an exploration of the filing system of your brain as it moves through space and time. There’s plenty of holes to think about other things. Write a line or two and stop. Just to really be trusting the mechanism of desire, in a way—desire for certain language to sit over some curve of a moment.
🐍 The Glory (and the Taboo) of WAP by Jen Gunter for NYT. Watched this Cardi B / Megan Thee Stallion video on a big screen HD TV on repeat over the weekend and can’t stop thinking about snake rooms, leopard rooms, and macaroni in a pot.
✊🏽 How Social Justice Slideshows Took Over Instagram by Terry Nguyen for Vox. Coopting brand aesthetics for the cause.
👶🏻 The Hidden Lives of Teen Moms in the Philippines by Aurora Almendral for NPR. Almendral’s reporting and Hannah Reyes Morales’ photographs are haunting, heartbreaking, and illuminating.
A Filipino abortionist holds up the flowers of the bitter gourd. Abortions are against the law in the Philippines, but some midwives and others will use bitter gourd — believed to cause a miscarriage when ingested — and other methods to terminate a pregnancy.
🇺🇸 We the People: DNC Roll Call Across America. I watched all 4 nights of the Democratic National Convention this year (first time ever doing that) and was particularly struck by the moments that would have been impossible in the crowded stadiums of conventional halls — Kamala Harris’ video montage of her blended family, for example, and Michelle Obama’s straight to camera speech that landed so powerfully between quiet pauses and eyes that turned glassy with emotion.
But the centerpiece of the entire convention was this epic coast-to-coast roll call across America, showcasing the stunning natural beauty, indigenous cultures, and diversity of our people and our land. It was absolutely nothing like any roll calls that came before, and there was calamari too.
Mad props to the DNC for pulling off this insanely complex production live in real time across time zones and giving the at-home viewer a near seamless experience of hope, optimism, and unity — We the People ✊🏽
🚘 Drive & Listen 🎧 Jump in the car and drive around the world’s greatest cities, all while tuning in to the local radio stations. Going on the Berlin joyride gave me flashbacks to growing up in Germany and listening to smooth-talking radio announcers auf Deutsch. What a cool site experience, I could ride around for hours.
Joyriding around Nice, France.
😆 Giphy Backdrops, for those meetings that require comically absurd moving meme backgrounds.
Dope Stuff for Your Desk
⏰ Pomodoro Time Cubes in assorted colors for time-boxing that to-do list. Set the cube down with the time limit facing up and it automatically counts down the time. Another in a series of physical/analogue productivity tools.
From the Mixtape
Verzuz: Babyface vs Teddy Riley, a playlist from their epic Instagram battle last April that drew half a million viewers. Press play for a 90’s nostalgia trip back in time to R&B slow jams and New Jack Swing beats that defined the sound of a generation.
Speech of the Week
🗳 The ultimate election accessory: a gold necklace with built-in communications strategy.
For my strategist peeps, Cohort One applications are due by midnight this Friday, August 28. We are seeking 12 emerging Strategy Fellows (2-3 years of experience) representing BIPOC and LGTBQIA+ talent for a paid fellowship this fall.
Link to apply here, and please share with anyone eligible.
Take care til next week-