It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your regularly scheduled Weekly Reader! Got some hot links, blog posts, or articles from a local paper you’d like to share? Head over to the comments and let us know.
Why is British media so transphobic? (from The Outline): “I’m not particularly interested in engaging with such nonsense, but it is worth asking how transphobic narratives, focused on depicting trans women in particular as a threat, have gained disproportionate traction in the U.K.’s establishment media in the last decade. Especially among women who should be allies.
The answer lies in part to the coalescence of a certain set of ideas in a very specific circle of voices in the early 21st century — voices that later went on to hold high profile positions in much of the U.K.’s print and broadcast media.”
Ways To Stay Motivated In This Shit-Shellacked Era Of Epic Stupid (from Terrible Minds): “Everything is dumb right now.
From nose to tail, we have become the dumbest, saddest pig at the county fair. Historians will not refer to this period as THE DARK AGES, but rather, THE DUMB AGES. The greatest question I get, right now, is how to simply persist creating art and staying motivated and creative in this epoch of syphilitic dipshittery, so I thought I’d bop in here and try my hand at answering that.”
Baby raptor discovered in Alaska may have been a permanent resident of the ancient Arctic (from CNN): “Analysis of the tip of a fossilized jawbone, just 14 millimeters long, found in northern Alaska, showed that the creature was a type of dromaeosaurid, a group of predatory dinosaurs closely related to birds, whose members include the Velociraptor, the dinosaurs that terrorized in “Jurassic Park.”
The jawbone would have been from a young dinosaur chick, and the early developmental stage of the bone suggests it was born nearby.”
Even without a Covid-19 vaccine, there’s reason for hope (from CNN): “But even without a vaccine, there is reason for hope that a medical solution to the crisis will soon be at hand. It will likely take the form of anti-Covid drugs that will be able to treat patients newly infected and prevent others from becoming ill. These drugs can likely help us bridge the gap between where we are today — with only masks, hand hygiene and physical distancing to protect us — to where we hope to be tomorrow — with a vaccine in hand.”
Theophilus Painter, the Geneticist on the Wrong Side of History (from Judge Starling): “[There are two noteworthy sentences in this paragraph. The first refers to the main manifestation of the mental illness, which presumably caused these unfortunate souls to be forcefully interred in the insane asylum in the first place and subsequently subjected to the inhumane experiments of Theophilus Painter and his accessories. It was self abuse, i.e., masturbation, which was regarded originally as a Biblical sin (onanism) and then as a mental disease or as a cause of mental disease (e.g., Hagenbach 1879).
The second noteworthy sentence is the last one. It encapsulates a common racist canard used by slave owners since the 18th century, according to which black people are impervious to pain and can therefore be mistreated, beaten, and mutilated (Villarosa 2019). Many scientists, including Harvard’s rabid anti-Darwinian zoologist, Louis Agassiz, provided scientific support for this claim. Painter’s statement concerning “one of the negroes” falling asleep during the operation can be understood in this context.]”
COVID-19 and blood type: What’s the link? (from the Los Angeles Times): “In this population, having Type A blood was associated with a 45% increased risk of having severe COVID-19. On the other hand, having Type O blood was associated with a 35% reduced risk of the disease. Those relationships held up whether the Italian and Spanish patients were analyzed separately or together.”
Portland Place couple who confronted protesters have a long history of not backing down (from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch): “But public records and interviews reveal a fuller picture than emerged two weeks ago. They show the McCloskeys are almost always in conflict with others, typically over control of private property, what people can do on that property, and whose job it is to make sure they do it.”
If Life Feels Bleak, It’s Because Our Civilization is Beginning to Collapse (from Eudaimonia & Co.–Warning! This is a harsh read! Tread lightly.): “Now the real fireworks begin. I talked about our superficial, or secondary, systems. Now our primary systems — the most fundamental ones — begin to break, go bankrupt, end up depleted, crash, burn. Energy, air, food, water, medicine. The things which keep us clean, nourished, fed, watered, alive in the most basic ways.
Those systems now begin to break down. The soil turns to dust, no harvest, no food. Now you have to compete bitterly just for food. The rivers turn to mud, because the fish are gone. Now clean water becomes a luxury. Raw materials become inaccessible. The basic compounds medicines are made of become scarce. And so forth.”
A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention. (from ProPublica): “The girl, Grace, hadn’t broken the law again. The 15-year-old wasn’t in trouble for fighting with her mother or stealing, the issues that had gotten her placed on probation in the first place.
She was incarcerated in May for violating her probation by not completing her online coursework when her school in Beverly Hills switched to remote learning.
Because of the confidentiality of juvenile court cases, it’s impossible to determine how unusual Grace’s situation is. But attorneys and advocates in Michigan and elsewhere say they are unaware of any other case involving the detention of a child for failing to meet academic requirements after schools closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”
The Ugly, Fascinating History Of The Word ‘Racism’ (from NPR): “We’re still living with the after-effects of what Pratt thought and did. His story serves as a useful parable for why discussions of racism remain so deeply contentious even now.”
Inside the Comic Book Industry’s Sexual Misconduct Crisis—and the Ugly, Exploitative History That Got It Here (from The Daily Beast): “There have been many conversations over the past month about how to change the culture of the comics industry. But June’s storm of allegations is not a sign that the comics industry is broken. It’s a sign that it’s running precisely as designed.”
Santa Monica Burger King employee files complaint after death of co-worker with COVID-19 symptoms (from KTLA): “The complaint alleges that at least one manager of the fast-food restaurant at 1919 Pico Blvd. blamed the death of Angela Martinez on hormone injections. And it states, as another employee has developed coronavirus symptoms, other workers are concerned about what they deem “dangerous” conditions in the restaurant: infrequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces, lack of face masks and lax enforcement of social distancing.”
‘All the hospitals are full’: In Houston, overwhelmed ICUs leave COVID-19 patients waiting in ER (from NBC News): “Officials in Houston are warning that the situation could become a replay of what happened in New York City in March and April, when thousands of people died as hospitals struggled to keep up with the surge of patients, but without the same level of government intervention to stem the tide.”
That’s all for today. But I’ll be back next week with more information that you need to read. So until then, have a great rest of your week, a great weekend, and happy reading!