"Life Is A Preexisting Condition" -- Baron Today Thursday
Email From Baratunde
Welcome back. I've taken 25 flights this year already and need to stop. The Republicans in Congress are determined to throw people off of health care and need to stop. But American Crime season 3 is amazing and should never stop.
Enjoy this month's links and letters.
I love some of you,
Things Others Have Done
Many words have been spilt trying to explain the election of America’s 45th president. I found this analysis compelling. Spoiler alert 🚨: it was fear of racial diversity!
Reading that article reminded you there’s so much work to do. Luckily a team has put together a literal manual for The Resistance.
Reviewing all those wiki pages, you see that democracy as a whole is being tested. One great way to prepare for the test: attend the Personal Democracy Forum conference in NYC this June. It’s like an SAT prep class for building a better society.
Realistically, most of you will not travel to NYC this June, but you can help Jon Ossoff win a Georgia congressional seat. He made a great ad, and with your help he can help the democrats take Congress back in 2018 and throw a wrench in the doomsday device that is full Republican control of the US government.
Electing specific leaders is good, but changing entire systems of oppression is better. That’s one reason I’ve been proud to support the effort to close the Rikers Island penal colony in NYC. Our mayor has finally jumped on the bandwagon, but the wagon needs to pick up speed. Tune in to this event Monday May 8 featuring activists (including John Legend) discussing the campaign and what more we can do to end mass incarceration.
Now you’re motivated to go deeper because you realize our politics grow from a system of cultural values. One set of values we haven’t investigated enough is how and if we value women. Jill Fillipovic addresses this in her most excellent book, The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness. Essentially Jill asks, “what would happen if we prioritized women’s happiness?”
While you’re in a future state of mind, apply to attend the Future Perfect conference hosted by the Data & Society Research Institute. There you’ll look at the role of science fiction in determining real world futures.
Remember when the idea of anonymously buying and selling drugs and guns online was actual science fiction? Then it came true at a site called The Silk Road. Nick Bilton has written the incredible, true story in a book called American Kingpin.
Now you need a break because I’ve laid a lot on you. This gif will lift your mind out of The Sunken Place.
With that pause, you're ready to read that one of my favorite stories of all time is Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. My mother and sister and I bonded over the tale, and finally, it is being made into a movie. The official trailer makes me happy and features Idris Elba in the lead role, which will make you happy.
Strong black men saving the world is kind of a thing, which brings us to the other Baratunde. Let’s celebrate Baratunde Cola who won a prestigious National Science Foundation award for his work with carbon nanotubes and energy transformation and other Marvel comics-sounding activities. I’m Baratunde Thurston. I talk about science. He’s Baratunde Cola. He makes science. Oh yeah, we met up once and made a video.
You're inspired. You want to make something. But maybe you're not totally motivated or disciplined enough to follow through on your projects. I know this feeling which is why I enrolled in the Art of Freelance course. It helped keep me accountable to my own goals, and I fully recommend it.
In conclusion, you now realize that increasing racial diversity doesn’t have to lead to fear and hate and voting for barely-literate serial sex offenders who fear stairs. It could in fact lead to wonderful books and conferences and entertainment and carbon nanotubes that power a new, accountable economy for all. QED.
Things I Have Done
Bravo For The Brava!
I did a pretty big, sold out show at the Brava Theatre in the Mission District in San Francisco. It made me dream of a standup / conversation tour. You can listen to the show on Soundcloud or as an iTunes podcast.
Also in the Bay Area, I joined the March for Science and said a few words. The Facebook video is best because according to the captions, I am "Baron today Thursday."
Emmytunde! (Not Quite)
I attended to the Daytime Emmy awards for my Spotify/Mic series Clarify. We lost to a cow named Maggie on Oprah’s network, but I got to get dolled up with my lady for the red carpet which made it all worthwhile.
Things I Have Yet To Do
May 8, guest on #BlerdDating Twitter chat.
May 18, speaking at New America’s Annual Conference, Washington DC.
May 23, hosting BUILD DC’s annual celebration, Washington DC.
To be added, more standup. Constantly refresh my website for updates.
Here's another link to my website.
This is the End of the Email