The Worst Day of the Year (in the U.S.), and now that our pets are calm and fire risk has someone abated, it’s time to relax and recharge with a sweet and salty Afternoon Snack!
Creators hoping for that email from an editor: it’s not you, it’s the pandemic depression! Jennifer Laughran offered a little inside peek at what the publishing world has looked like from the inside, and spoilers: everyone is burnt out as hell.
Molly Ostertag wrote beautifully for Polygon this week on why queer Readings of the Lord of the Rings are not accidents, chock full of Tolkein quotes that and close readings that reveal a very well-supported foundation for the same-sex romance at the heart of the epic novels.
Okay, this is far from our first time sharing “Plastic Love” content, but is there even such a thing as too much “Plastic Love”? Both we and the YouTube algorithm say, heartily, NO!
Speaking of the algorithm: in her recent newsletter Do You Want Celebs to Have Good Takes?, cartoonist Shelby makes a compelling argument for ignoring rich people’s opinions, and ponders whether the algorithm’s demands that regular people must have the correct thing to say at all times actually flattens and prevents action on the world’s most urgent issues.
It’s curious how public facing entertainers of all sorts are encouraged—or trapped, maybe—into speaking on every issue, their “stances” coalescing into support for their existing work, while at the same time politicians post more and more like public facing entertainers, extricating themselves from blame altogether and obscuring their real world power by posting like newly awakened left-leaning tweens. Even bigger: you don’t have to scroll far to see the CIA or IDF chiming in with a sugary-sweet-tumblr-vibe-tweet to convince you war crimes are okay as long as they’re led by queer girl bosses, or something.
Elsewhere in the online culture new cycle, Emily VanDerWerff’s essay for Vox on transmisogyny in the hate campaign against Isabel Fall is a nuanced, compassionate, must-read for anyone concerned about marginalized artists becoming the target of intra- and inter-community internet ire.
Thanks to our faves at Litebox for tipping us off to this wonderful comic on artist exercises! Take a gander and take care of yourselves, POMEs!