Curated Nerd Stuff (February 4 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. ✌️
Progressive Foreign Policy Conference
What: “Progressive Foreign Policy as a Political Force” Conference
When: Tuesday, February 6, 12pm to 6:30pm
Where: National Press Club, 14th Street Northwest, Washington, DC, USA
Deets: Center for International Policy is hosting a big conference on progressive foreign policy. I was supposed to speak at it but living in New Zealand is a helluva logistical constraint.
It’ll include a who’s who of Washington progressives, including a keynote by one Senator Bernie Sanders.
A Labor History Podcast!
A collection of the best labor intellectuals in the game have a new podcast called “Fragile Juggernaut: What Was the CIO?” Tim Barker, Andrew Elrod, Gabe Winant, and Alex Press have made something that’s both entertaining and a serious education.
If you’re labor-curious, or wanted to know more about working-class history but unsure where to start, this is kind of like one-stop shopping. In addition to their podcast episodes, they have reading lists and a newsletter. One of the creators, Elrod, has a piece in N+1 that explains their project and why you should be listening.
Listen to Fragile Juggernaut on Patreon.
Andrew Elrod, “Fragile Juggernaut: What Was the CIO?” N+1
Reading Politics & Policy
Emily Witt, “Barbara Lee’s Anti-War Campaign for Senate,” New Yorker
Jared Abbott, “Why We Need Union Halls in Every Town,” Jacobin
Austin McCoy, “It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop,” The Baffler
Nyki Duda, “Explaining Israel’s ‘Intelligence Failure’ on Hamas,” The Progressive
Chung-in Moon, “A New Korean War is Not Imminent. Accidental Escalation Might Be,” The National Interest
Harlen Coben is of course the master mystery writer, and his shows don’t usually disappoint. The plot of Fool Me Once involves a former British army helicopter pilot who married the son of a wealthy pharmaceutical family and gets forced out of service because of her role in killing a bunch of civilians. But right from the jump, her husband is shot dead in front of her, and a few months earlier her sister had been executed too. WTF!?
Classic Coben, good pacing, half a dozen twists—including a big one at the end—and anchored by really good acting.
Chaka Khan’s “Aint Nobody” is a song that everyone above a certain age seems to know. Classic for sure. It hits me some type of way though when it comes on because it was the song during a key montage in the original Breakin movie, which I watched over and over and over in high school.
Here’s the montage version, which doesn’t look as cool as I once thought but does trigger nostalgia. The thing the movie instilled in me is that b-boy culture might be coded as urban, black, and poor, but it’s actually a site where race and class divides can be bridged, as the montage suggests: