it's the latest edition of
The Recommentunde Newsletter
Sent on 12 May 2020 Edition
For a long while many of us who seek justice joked that what it would take to truly bring the world together or even the different peoples of the United States, was an alien invasion. We just needed an Other big enough to make our current other part of us. A slime-dripping, destructive, hybrid mechanical-biological life form, maybe with tentacles, would do just the trick.
Instead we got COVID-19. As Others go, it’s pretty alien and very much not Us. The virus doesn’t even have opposable thumbs, so there was a chance that this global threat of an Other could unify our various others into a bigger Us. There are of course examples of this happening all around the world.
But here in the United States the bigger story feels like the weaponization of our differences to further the divides between Us and Them. Last week, I felt that divide more than usual. The combination of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder, the impact borne by heavily immigrant meat industry workers, William Barr undoing General Flynn’s confession, NYPD stomping black people while handing out masks to white people, the clear sign that COVID-19 is killing more black people and many of our leaders so flagrantly not giving a damn. Plus the president.
Well, that all struck me as a lot and a missed opportunity to unify in the face of the alien invasion the universe has gifted us. Instead, we spent our energies over generations making sure the aliens would disproportionately hurt certain people, then we used those people as human shields when the aliens arrived, then we blamed those people for being so exposed to the alien threat, then as the aliens are ravaging parts of our world, we said, “Phew, So glad we dodged that alien invasion bullet! Go Us!”
During this past Sunday’s Live On Lockdown taping, I went on an unplanned riff about this topic. It’s 13 minutes of fire in which I talk my way into a devastating conclusion. One I knew before I began. They. Don’t. Care.
And now for your regularly-scheduled content in these irregular times.
I'm #MaskingForAFriend. The new normal will feel weird, but at least we can wear billboards on our face now.
Investigative piece by ProPublica
How and why has the virus has hit the black community so hard? A mix of pre-existing conditions (aka structural racism) and cultural factors (high connectivity) have caused outsized pain. ProPublica does an excellent job telling human stories, not just listing numbers for the dead.
Music Video on YouTube
Chicago isn’t just home to crippling, multigenerational violent social policies that hurt black people. It’s also home to Chicago house music, and I got this track from Chitown’s Ric Wilson. It’s music for the block parties that probably will happen on Zoom this summer. Stream Ric on all the services!
Join my Patreon by end of May for a special offer
An offer from me for you
With the inability to move about the country and move crowds severely cramping my business model, I’m inviting you to join my updated Patreon. Through May, anyone who joins or upgrades to at least $10 per month will get a personalized, weird, fun video message from me. These funds help make Live On Lockdown which has forced me to learn more about Adobe products than I ever thought possible. Also cables. So many cables to buy.
Article in Blavity
This is some solid ally behavior right here!
Video on Instagram
Weeks ago I interviewed JR about his Paris meal program. Then they were at about 3,000 meals per day with a goal of 5,000. They just reached their goal, and are continuing on to surpass it. I used the word SURPASS!
Listen to me in Art Of The Hustle podcast
A podcast episode with me!
My friend Jeff Rosenthal has a podcast with iHeart, and we talked for about an hour about many things. I tried to keep it all the way real with him so you may hear previously undisclosed epiphanies. Yes, I just gave you an epiphany warning! Listen in your browser, on Apple Podcasts, or Spotify.
Article in Buzzfeed
Double Rainbow was one of the first really popular videos online. Seeing it takes me back to a simpler, less Nazi internet. I’m sad to share that the joyous voice behind that love-bomb of a video, Paul Vasquez, has died.
Article from KIMT (Southern Minn. news station)
Dr. Michael Osterholm is the virus hunter that shifted my consciousness on this entire pandemic. We listened to him on March 11, likely our last flight of 2020. So I always listen when he speaks, and this article captures his honesty, steadiness, and a wee bit of hope.
Video on Twitter
She’s back. Sarah Cooper is here to help our mental health with this short, effective, funny video.
Urgent read from Forbes
A friend told me about “Plandemic” last week. It’s a pseudoscience film masquerading as a factual documentary exposing the alleged lies of Anthony Fauci and the entire scientific community’s response to COVID-19. It is convincing nonsense and lots of savvy people are moved by it. If you have someone in your life, including you, who finds Plandemic convincing, read the link above. If your time is so very limited, read this one and lovingly share it with others who bring up this misinformed and dangerous piece of media as a credible source of information.
Yes, I’m on another podcast
My voice in your ears
This time it’s an Inc. magazine show called Book Smart. They ask entrepreneurs about the books that helped shape them, and I chose Illusions: The Adventures Of A Reluctant Messiah, by Richard Bach. Listen in your browser or on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
Infuriating article in ProPublica
ProPublica should change its name to “You Gone Be Mad After This.” Here’s the short version: the federal government has been behind the ball, inconsistent, inadequate to the task of protecting the American people, but it’s firing on all cylinders when it comes to protecting capital and the riskiest, wealthiest investors. We keep not learning this lesson, people.
Opinion piece in the New York Times
“The American economy just doesn’t function very well when tax rates on the rich are low and inequality is sky high. It was true in the lead-up to the Great Depression, and it’s been true recently.” Thanks for the link Stuart.
Actual news from parallel universe
Some governments actually try to protect their people. I wonder what that would be like.
Article in NPR
Turns out that parallel universe is us. Here’s some historical perspective from the Polio days, and the article features the voice of Ina Pinkney who is basically an unofficial co-editor of this newsletter for all the dope links she sends me!
Short video. Exactly what the title says.
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Peace and Love.