This is me checking out the new Rivian all-electric pickup truck, and clearly I’ve never been more excited in my life.
Hello dear one,
I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from the weekly schedule here at Recommentunde as I recalibrate the flux capacitors that power my being. There’s so much to catch up on, but the headline is this.
The long-awaited, future award-winning, space-time bending third season of my podcast, How To Citizen, has arrived! This season is entirely focused on technology and how we can use it to craft a future worth living in (spoiler: there’s no role for Zuckerberg or Meta Diversified Holdings, Inc. or whatever). We don’t have to live in Black Mirror or Westworld. We can choose to create something much better, and in this season, we show ways to do that right now with people doing that right now.
The first episode is very special to me because it features a conversation with my big sister Belinda. She’s one of the best storytellers I know, with our mother inspired my own relationship with tech, and brings a level of realness and wholeness to the discussion that’s different from anything you’re used to when it comes to technology-focused media.
I’ll be posting ad-free episodes to paid subscribers of my Substack, so if that matters to you sign on up!
I’ve also been spending time writing for Puck, the new media startup I’m a partner in. I’ve done pieces on taxation and climate change, and am currently writing a series about race in America called After The Tide. Here are the first and second installments, and I’m proud of both. Puck isn’t just me — in fact it’s mostly not me — and I’m starting to turn to it first as a source of great analysis on tech, Hollywood, DC and Wall Street. Give it a whirl!
Next, I want to share some feedback I received after my last newsletter. In the September 9 newsletter, I used my anger over the Texas abortion law and the Mexican Supreme Court’s comparatively progressive move to decriminalize abortion as an opportunity for a joke, writing, “We’ve gotten to a place where a nearly failed, narco-state is showing more respect for women’s bodily autonomy than the Republic of Texas. Perhaps it’s time to return Texas to Mexico.”
In response, one of you shared this with me:
minimizing Mexico to a "nearly failed narco-state" is painful to hear as a Mexican American. Texas should be criticized for its ruling based on its own merits and moral failings rather than comparing it to Mexico City as if it stands as a low bar for morality.
I already wrote this reader privately but want to share publicly that I agree with their feedback. I can certainly play into stereotypes even as I try to undermine others, and I apologize for the hurtful comparison. Extremist Texas Republicans are shitty all on their own!
Finally, in a moment when our faith in Congress sinks ever lower, let’s remember a few things.
“Democrats can’t agree” is a garbage media narrative that lets specific Democrats off the hook (Sinema and Manchin), and an entire political party (Republicans), and the corporate interests who have worked hard to avoid paying their taxes or providing paid family leave.
There’s a lot of good that remains in the Build Back Better plan, including an historic investment in responding to the climate crisis. That’s worth celebrating.
Katie Porter is a hero. Please enjoy this creative visualization. Work-from-home is working out well for this member of Congress.
Bonus ask. I’m writing my next Puck piece about the battles over “critical race theory” and what we teach our children about U.S. history and race. If you’ve had direct experience with this controversy as a parent, student, teacher or some other role, write me back and share what you’re comfortable with. I’m interested in what is actually being taught, how upset parents are approaching the topic, and what kinds of propaganda you’re seeing.
Baratunde aka Metatunde