Weekly letter

 

Welcome to your Wednesday. I'm so excited to see you squinting into your phone at me. It feels like it's been ages, and we have some things to catch up on! But first, we should stop treating ourselves like floating brains. I'll explain...

One of my favorite talks is by Ken Robinson on education. This bit stuck with me:

‘There’s something curious about professors, they live in their heads. They’re disembodied. They look upon their body as a sort of transport for their heads. It’s a way of getting their head to meetings.’

It’s not just professors. I used to live in my head. Sometimes I relapse to it. My body functioned as transport, it got me to work and to meetings and to networking events and home. If it was sore it was an annoyance, “Hey, body, shut up, my head has work to do.” I fed it whatever was closest and fastest, so my head could get back to work. I’d exercise it infrequently, and only to try to control its size, not to celebrate what it could do. 

Hustle culture is a lot about living in our heads. Working around the clock to meet some artificial deadline. Productivity hacking our way to misery. It’s unsustainable, and it does real damage to our whole selves.

We need to make time for our bodies. To feed them well, to celebrate how they can move, to breathe in fresh air, to sleep enough, and to rest. 

If you’re carrying your head to meetings, I get it, I’ve been there. A small way to start is by stretching every morning. Then try to block some time for your body each day, walk to work, take a yoga class, eat something with god-awful kale. 

Take care of your whole self. The emails can wait.


“Why the f*ck not me?” Should be your motto.
- Mindy Kailing


We need to tell 'em boy, bye

Last Wednesday we woke up bleary eyed and un-caffeinated to find out that the Democrats took the House in the US Midterm elections. Remember how that felt? Let’s bask there for a moment. Like, 10 minutes later Donald Trump asked for the resignation of Attorney General and sentient confederate flag, Jeff Sessions. Now, I know what you’re thinking, this is awesome— Sessions is a racist naked mole rat hell-bent on ending immigration, legal and illegal. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III sucks, so we should be happy he’s gone?

Somehow, the answer to that question is, no? Remember, Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, and Mueller was appointed as a special investigator. Now that the Democrats control the House, Trump is worried about their power to investigate— so he’s installing an Attorney General who will defend his indefensible ass. Because Trump has “the best people”, he’s chosen some bro named Matt? 

Who the fuck is Matt Whitaker?

He's the new acting Attorney General of the United States— because straight white dudes can just fail their way up to the White House, apparently. It's like Sideshow Bob stepping on rakes if at the end someone handed him a job at the White House.

Matt Whitaker is what it would look like if Mr. Clean joined the mafia. Like his new boss, he's wildly unqualified, and a former scam artist. Before becoming the head of the US Justice Department, Whitaker advised a Miami company called World Patent Marketing. Sounds real. Anyway, this company scammed companies out of money by promising to file patents and then just didn't do that at all. A federal court ordered them to pay $26 million and close down shop

When he's not scamming folks out of their money, Whitaker is on CNN railing against the Russia investigation as a Republican pundit— the easiest way to audition for Trump's cast of ghouls. In all seriousness, this appointment is a direct attack on the Judiciary; more of a school-yard shove than a chess move. Trump is vying to stop the investigation before Congress changes over on January 3rd. Jeff Flake has a bipartisan bill on the move to protect the investigation. American friends, urge your Senator to sign it.


We need to talk about some good news updates

Last week we woke up to news of the US Midterm Elections, the most important US election in years. A couple important things have changed, and we should be really excited about it.

Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia is still in the game. Last week her midterm election was called for Brian Kemp, but as more votes rolled in, the race got closer and closer. Remember, Kemp was serving as Secretary of State in Georgia, so he oversaw his own election. How is that a thing? Dude was suppressing votes like it was his job. Now, a Federal Judge has ordered that all provisional ballots be counted, extending the deadline to Friday. Yes yes yes yes yes.

Andrew Gillum the inspiring Democratic candidate for Governor of Florida is ALSO still in the game. Gillum conceded last week when he was down by 84,000 votes to awful racist Ron DeSantis. Llike Abrams, as more votes got counted he saw the race get closer and closer. Now, Florida is in a recount

Two of the most exciting progressive Democratic candidates could still win in the South. This really is the upside down.


Something to make you laugh
According to DeAnne Smith, straight women are just one unsolicited dick pic away from switching it up. She wants straight men to step up their game.

Something to make you think
Red Table Talk had the anti-racism activist Jane Elliott on for a chat, and it was so good.

Something for a listen
So, sex cults are a thing? Uncover: Escaping NXIVM is a CBC podcast about Sarah Edmonson’s escape from the Albany self help cult. 

Something to sing too loudly in the car
Muse has an acoustic gospel version of Dig Down. It's what your Wednesday deserves.

Someone to admire
Stan Lee, the creator of Marvel Comics died at 95. He helped open our imaginations, challenged stereotypes, wrote diverse characters before it was hip, and was the king of cameos. I’ll miss him.

"Marvel is a cornucopia of fantasy, a wild idea, a swashbuckling attitude, an escape from the humdrum and prosaic. It’s a serendipitous feast for the mind, the eye, and the imagination, a literate celebration of unbridled creativity, coupled with a touch of rebellion and an insolent desire to spit in the eye of the dragon."

Spitting in the eye of the dragon, cool.

Something to get you through
You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.
- Shonda Rhimes


Thank you for joining today, friend. I'm so grateful you came by. Next week, bring some friends. I'll keep writing as long as this incredible community keeps showing up.

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Stay excellent,
Sarah