The Sunday Post for May 20, 2018

Each week, the Sunday Post highlights a few articles we enjoyed this week, good for consumption over a cup of coffee (or tea, if that's your pleasure). Settle in for a while; we saved you a seat. You can also look through the archives.

Slow Pan

This essay by Bryan Washington is remarkable. It’s a poignant personal essay about growing up gay and black and how movies showed him a possible self, even in times and places where that self was terrifying and dangerous. It’s a record of how cinematic representation of being queer and black has evolved, and how the way we see such films is evolving too. And it’s an unrefusable demand to keep telling and filming and printing and promoting stories that aren’t the dominant narrative. Those stories are lifelines. They’re weapons. They’re the signals that can, eventually, overcome the noise.

The audacity required to ask if we need another gay movie, if we need any more gay movies, transcends thinking altogether. It is a thoughtless question. You only ask it if you’ve seen yourself so ingrained into the culture, into the fabric of the world, that your absence from those seams is unthinkable. You only ask that question if you’ve never been repulsed by yourself, or the idea that anyone like you, anywhere, could be happy. You only ask that question if you don’t know what it means to feel like the only person on the planet.
The Poetics of Petfinder: A Tale of Accidental Adoption

If you’re a dog or cat up for adoption online, something’s gone badly awry. You used to be cared for; now you aren’t. And everybody knows you’ve been dismissed from your position, maybe with cause.

So the people who write descriptions for Petfinder have a tough job: to show us how we could love something that seems unlovable, and convince us that all dogs are good dogs one way or another. Here’s Andrea DenHoed with the story of how Petfinder hooked her, hard, on a tiny chihuahua with a bad attitude and a big heart.

Behold the lopsided ears! Behold the scraggly coat! Behold the lolling tongue, the malformed limb, the crooked tail! Each creature is held up for careful consideration, and each is declared worthy. This is the look of love in the Corinthian sense, patient and kind and keeping no record of any pup’s wrongs.
An Open Letter About Female Coaches

The assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs is Becky Hammon, the first woman to be hired as a full-time assistant coach for the NBA, the NFL, the MLB, or the NHL. When a rumor surfaced that Hammon was being interviewed for a head coach position — just interviewed, not hired, not even a frontrunnersports exploded. Pau Gasol plays for the Spurs; he’s a six-time NBA All-Star and a four-time All-NBA selection, which I assume is very good. His insider takedown of the arguments against Hammond is so lovely: straightforward, perfectly pitched, and totally unambivalent about giving women the roles they deserve, no exceptions.

Let’s be real: There are pushes now for increased gender diversity in the workplace of pretty much every industry in the world. It’s what’s expected. More importantly — it’s what’s right. And yet the NBA should get a pass because some fans are willing to take it easy on us … because we’re “sports”?

I really hope not.

The coup has already happened

If you are dizzied by the pace, insanity, and sheer volume of the news cycle these days (ha ha ha! I’m kidding! of course you are!), turn to this, by Rebecca Solnit. Block by excruciating block, she stacks together all of the stories scattered by Hurricane Trump’s tweet-driven wind. There’s already been a coup in America. And while we’re waiting for something that’s already here to arrive, we’re letting our country be gutted from the inside out.

After the coup, everything seems crazy, the news is overwhelming, and some try to cope by withdrawing or pretending that things are normal. Others are overwhelmed and distraught. I’m afflicted by a kind of hypervigilance of the news, a daily obsession to watch what’s going on that is partly a quest for sense in what seems so senseless. At least I’ve been able to find the patterns and understand who the key players are, but to see the logic behind the chaos brings you face to face with how deep the trouble is.