Curated Nerd-Cool (6 Jan 2024 edition)
Intermittently sharing what I find digging through the crates of life. Here’s the best and most interesting of what I came across the past couple weeks. ✌️
2024 Reading List
Note that in the polls below, the book titled, A Power in the World has a subtitle of the Hawaiian Kingdom in Oceania (it’s a little hard to see). I’m also already planning to cover Liberalism Against Itself and After Black Lives Matter.
The John Quincy Adams Society has opened up applications for its Strategic Leaders Fellowship program. Definitely worth checking out. I was on their Security Dilemma Podcast a while back and it was a great convo with some great folks.
That’s Teamsters general president Sean O’Brien with the orange one. Sean’s no reactionary (see the subtle middle finger), but it’s a visual reminder that labor—the organized working class—is not a constituency to take for granted.
If Democrats won’t represent the interests of the working class, then they’ll get picked off by Republicans (who, let’s be clear, also won’t represent the interests of the working class, but they’re better demagogues).
Convergence Magazine is hiring an Engagement Editor. From the copy:
the Engagement Editor needs to be someone with a deep alignment with the politics of block and build…They will be the first line of contact between Convergence and the broader internet, so they need to be thoughtful and responsive while also being able to hold good boundaries. They’ll also get to work in collaboration with just about every member of the Convergence team, from the Editorial Board to organizational partners to create great experiences for our readers.
I love this mag, so if this piques your interest, share or apply.
Reading Politics & Policy
Ed Pavlic, “James Baldwin’s Day of Mourning,” Boston Review
Robert Borosage, “The Empire Strikes Back,” The Nation
Henry Sanderson, “The Problem with De-Risking,” Foreign Affairs
Alex Press, “In 2023, The US Working Class Fought Back,” Jacobin, “How America’s oligarchy has paved the road to fascism,” Robert Reich Newsletter
If you liked ABC’s Revenge back in the day, you might like Promised Land. It follows a Mexican immigrant who came to the US illegally, worked in Napa Valley, and eventually built his own wine empire.
Lots of rich-people drama, beautiful settings, solid story, and interesting tension across both race and class divides. It has like 5% too much post-BLM “In this house we believe” energy, but a gratifying watch all the same.
Onefour: Against All Odds is a documentary about the drill rap group Onefour, based out of Sydney. Drill rap is not my thing. I grew up on gangster rap, but drill is usually too directly focused on murder. But Onefour is not as gratuitous as, say, Chicago drill; I wouldn’t even call them drill rappers.
The doc stands on its own as a well-made, absolutely enraging story about how Australian police harass and actively oppress Samoan (and Mormon!) kids trying to hustle for a living. If you’re a fan of come-up/redemption stories, you might like it. But what makes me really feel some type of way is how brown folks in Sydney’s poor suburbs are treated EXACTLY LIKE blacks in America. It’s disturbingly uncanny.
I was swimming laps at the pool this week (summer weather is one of the perks of Christmas in New Zealand) and “Mr. Loverman” came on. I hadn’t heard this song in 20 damn years! Brought me back to another time. A whole different vibe, especially of what cool used to mean (which is now just funny).
I found out Shia Labeouf converted to Catholicism and is about to be confirmed a deacon. A few years back, Shia killed it with three straight minutes of bars on Sway’s Universe (a hip-hop radio show). No priest has ever spit bars this well. It’s not perfect, and it’s clearly not all off the dome, but it’s better than I can do, so props.