Hey kittens!

It’s Friday afternoon and I know you’re all still jacked up from last night’s episode of Drag Race, so I’ll make this brief and we can get on to the good stuff:

I’m starting a new (somewhat) weekly series that offers a quick roundup of what I’ve been reading and thinking about. Feel free to engage with this any way you’d like. I love the idea of turning this into a newsletter as well, so you can click here to get me in your inbox.

OK, all done with the intros, let’s jump right in. Here are my hot take-aways from this past week.


In Review:
If you read nothing else this week:

  1. In Conversation: Quincy Jones (Vulture) — make sure to open the links in new tabs
  2. Death in the Village (Hazlitt) — you will cry over this piece, and you will be thankful
  3. This amazing tweet by Scaachi Koul (link) — no explanation required

Good Take

Transnational Solidarity on the Gay and Lesbian Left: An Interview with Emily Hobson by Emily Hobson and Aaron Lecklider for Viewpoint Magazine (link)

This is so good, please read it.

I’m really enjoying Viewpoint Mag (this piece in particular by Shuja Haider on J*rdon P*terson’s shitty new book was incredibly satisfying to read). The new issue is all about imperialism, and it’s worth committing some time to reading in full.

Queer Bait

Timothée Chalamet by Frank Ocean, interview for VMAN (link)

I feel extremely pandered to just reading this, and I won’t pretend that I didn’t find it kind of hot. This interview is weird but very good, and I love the frankness with which it depicts two young and interesting artists talking about their process (both as creators and as people in the industry), and also how clearly excited Chalamet is with the fact that he’s actually talking to Frank Ocean.

Anthony Smith (senior writer and producer at Mic and longtime facebook food prep video critic) tweeted this in response to the piece, which is its own hot take.

Bad Take

Young Queer People Shouldn’t Be Obliged to Care About LGBT History — And That’s the Biggest Sign of Success There Is by Dylan Jones for Attitude (link)

This was just dumb. I don’t even know what else to say about it beyond what every other queer writer has already said, though I will give the writer props for some very good sentences (“Sam Smith shows the world that just because you’re gay, it doesn’t mean you have to be interesting” …. I gagged). The weirdest moment was at the end, where he name-dropped Marsha P Johnson for literally no discernible reason.

What’s New:

New publication! — PROTOCOLS

Launched on Tu B’Shvat 5778 (or January 31, 2018) “PROTOCOLS” is a new platform for radical Jewish creative work! There’s visual art, one-act plays, personal essays, and hot-takes. I haven’t finished looking through Issue #1, but I’m already excited. Despite the stereotypes about us as a community, the world of Jewish community media is relatively small, and comparatively limited in its political sensibilities. Just knowing that there’s a radical option out there is thrilling.

They are also accepting unsolicited submissions for their second issue, on violence, so check that out as well.

I heard about this from my good sis P. E. Moskowitz, who is one of the contributing editors for the magazine. You can follow them on Twitter to see when they put out new work (they also wrote a book about gentrification that I have to read in small bursts because I literally keep gasping at every other paragraph).

New podcast! — Groundings

The Groundings podcast is a new project dedicated to telling stories of revolutionary organizing, theory, and lived experience, hosted by Devyn Springer (@HalfAtlanta on Twitter, in case you’re somehow not already following him). It’s exciting to listen to podcasts where the host is able to offer as extensive a body of knowledge as Devyn does, but with language that’s still accessible to newcomers. Devyn is one of those writers whose work really cannot be articulated in any other way than how he expresses it, and his voice lends itself extremely well to the podcast format.

The first episode is a conversation with pan-African artist and organizer Sobukwe Shakur, who gives a stirring first-hand account of the Black Art Movement, which took place in the late mid-century around the same time as the Black Power Movement. The episode is about an hour and 15 minutes long and it covers a lot of material, so don’t be afraid to get comfortable and get into it.

New opportunity!

The Ethnic Aisle is accepting submissions for their wellness issue! Here’s what they’re looking for:

We’re exploring the relationship between race/ethnicity and health/wellness. What does “wellness” mean to people of different cultures — and is it accessible to everyone? How does race affect our relationship to health care? How do race, disability and wellness intersect? What role does wellness play in challenging social and political times?

We’re seeking stories and images from racialized writers, illustrators and visual artists in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. Our rates for contributors begin at $100 per article or work.


That’s all I’ve got this week! Let me know if you think I missed something important.

Have a great weekend, comrades!

Alex Verman
9/2/18