Gobble Gobble, Dames Nation!
The single greatest Thanksgiving song of all time
Surprise! We aren’t doing a full issue this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, but we thought we’d sling some good, worthwhile, fun, and/or thought-provoking links your way. We hope they will be welcome company as you travel, or prep for dinner-table conversation, or hide away in some nook of the house to recharge your batteries.
Some Long-haul Listens For You Weary Travelers
Charles Manson died this week, making it an extra-relevant time for you to refresh your knowledge of his weird, awful, abusive murder cult and how the Hollywood scene of the late 1960s & early 1970s was the perfect breeding ground for The Manson Family. Karina Longworth’s excellent series on Charles Manson’s Hollywood. It’s now available in a specialized feed, called You Must Remember Manson, which will save you scrolling backwards nearly two years in your podcast app.
Ashley Milne-Tyte’s Broad Experience podcast is a longstanding must-listen for Dame Sophie, and the latest episode, My Answer is No (If That's OK with You) is all about negotiating & deciding when and how to say no in the workplace. This episode gets a little too into gender essentializing BUT there's also a lot of valuable advice & insights here, and I look forward to reading at least a few chapters of her guest Nanette Gartrell's book of the same title.
Stacy-Marie Ishmael was on Another Round again last week, which is cause for celebration in itself. Well-meaning friends & relatives are bound to ask you what’s new in your career this weekend. If that’s a difficult conversation for you for whatever reason, you can prepare some excellent conversational pivots (“oh, you know, same old, same old!” or “I have a GREAT story: remember my coworker Schmendrick? You won’t BELIEVE what he did last month! [insert anecdote here] Say, would you pass the stuffing?”) and also plot your future by following some of Stacy-Marie’s sterling advice.
Uncivil, Gimlet Media’s phenomenal new podcast that provides an in-depth reconsideration of the American Civil War, is a vibrant, broadly appealing podcast that could not be more pertinent to our current political moment. All six presently available episodes are terrific, but “The Spin”-- which explains just WHY so many people think that the Civil War was about “state’s rights”-- is essential.
We have recommended it before, but allow us to again sing the praises of WBEZ’s podcast miniseries Making Oprah. It is absolutely fascinating _and_ it will give you something new to talk about with nearly all of your female relatives-- even the ones who may only know her as that lady from the Weight Watchers ads.
Finally, we’d like to remind you that our pals who host podcasts are doing such great work lately. Obviously, think they do great work all the time, but they’re hitting some peaks of particular excellence lately. Christina & Kamille’s segments on facts, using astrology as a lens to understand our enemies in the current presidential administration, and most recently, their advice on Thanksgiving-themed TV episodes, are must-listens for all current & future fans of the Unfriendly Black Hotties. In a similar vein, Kathryn crushed her first TV Advisory segment on this episode of Appointment Television,helping a listener & Patreon donor select some solid shows with parental appeal for the holiday weekend. Meanwhile, Craig & Andrew have been revisiting some classics they’ve previously read on Overdue, with all the trenchant commentary and infectiously giddy puns you know & love. This week: Ender’s Game! Last week: The Great Gatsby! Next week: Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone, ahhhhhhhhhh! And please don’t sleep on A Wrinkle In Time, aka the early 2018 release Your Dames are freaking out about the most!
Be Ready for Conversation (Sparkling & Decidedly Otherwise) at the Thanksgiving Table
In this time of #metoo and #churchtoo and US Olympic Athletes, too, let’s remember to not force kids to hug anyone if they don’t want to. This isn’t about manners, it’s about instilling in children the understanding that they have the right to define and defend physical boundaries that feel safe to them. (The piece linked here refers specifically to girls, but it’s valuable for kids of all genders.)
Dame Sophie finds this Forget It, Jake, It’s Regional Identity At Workanalysis here wanting because Colin Woodard’s regional cultures frame doesn’t address race sufficiently. It’s still worthy of consideration, but it also means it can only be an incomplete part of our understanding of US electoral politics. An analysis that offers more much substance on the underlying race animus front is Adam Serwer’s piece in the Atlantic. It’s more depressing than sparkling, but you will be extremely well-informed should you need to rebut some uncle’s “but economic anxiety!!!” argument.
So many of us US-ian Dames learned straight-up wrong facts about Thanksgiving and the history and contemporary lives of Indigenous people on this continent in school. It’s so important & enriching to un-learn that pediatric history and replace it with correct information written by Indigenous folks themselves. A great place to start if you have small children in your life is this list of mostly picture books, #IndigenousReads by Indigenous Writers. This round-up of resources on teaching Thanksgiving in a responsible way is not just for teachers, it’s for everyone! And of course, you can follow it all up by further supporting Indigenous artists with a rental of Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World.
Do you need something on the lighter side? How about some fun stuff about music? PBS Idea Studios (of blessed memory) took a dive into what makes you beautiful what makes hit songs so addictive that should fit the bill. PLUS here’s some fun-to-discuss music theory about why Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” is a heartbreaking work of staggering, catchy AF genius.
Yes, even better than Alice's Restaurant, don't @ us
(Also don't send us to the Group W Bench
we would accuse you having a lotta damn gall,
even though that song is also great)