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News 09.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 09.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@irinahp
News 09.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@paris.with.me
News 09.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@aliciawaid

My newly adopted home state is on fire again: Scorching heat and lightning strikes have sparked dozens of fires across California, burning an area the size of Rhode Island. Iowa is reeling from a deadly derecho. The Mountain West is suffering through a severe drought. Towns and cities all over are experiencing one of the hottest summers on record, if not the hottest. And a hurricane just tore through the Gulf Coast.

With climate change making extreme weather events more intense and more common, and Congress continuing to ignore this existential threat, I have tried to do my part. After moving to California, I went on a no-buy streak. I began refusing short plane trips, using public transit or walking whenever possible, and turning the air-conditioning down. I even started carrying around a water bottle or a mason jar.

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

News 09.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 09.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

How much grain is enough to make it to the next harvest? How much for a lord to appease his subjects? How much is enough to survive, to grow, to flourish? Anthropologists and archaeologists have approached these questions under the banner of surplus. ‘Surplus’ denotes that extra bit that allows some people to be released from the relentless need to cultivate their own foods, and to devote themselves to other endeavours, such as craft production, transport, construction and so on. Surplus is what allegedly propelled the most profound achievements in human history, from the pyramids of the pharaohs to the monumental city of ancient Rome, a pre-industrial metropolis with a population of perhaps more than a million. Accumulation allowed such diversification of human activities – whether the surplus it represented was redistributed via market mechanisms or through a centralised power, whether divided up in a fair or unfair manner. Surplus, as this old story has it, is the basis of civilisation itself.

Yet ‘surplus’ as such doesn’t exist. People don’t gather ‘surplus’. Instead, they collect cars, harvest grain or store canned foods. In reality, accumulation is practised and thought about in relation to the specificity of the material world. Only in the abstract models of scholars does ‘surplus’ mean anything without reference to the real world of things. For that reason, the theory that mere ‘surplus’ somehow launched civilisation is wrong.

By ironing out the complexity of the material world, archaeologists risk flattening the texture of human history and human life. Take the example of my grandparents in Belgium, who lived through the Second World War. In their old age, they kept a big, meticulously organised pantry right in the middle of their house, and stored so much food that I developed a habit of checking the sell-by date of anything I ate there – whatever they consumed was bound to be far beyond its expiry date. Shortage and uncertainty were so acutely grafted on to them that it informed their storage practices even when historical conditions had changed. But the question ‘How much is enough?’ – which had a radically different answer in the 1940s than in the 1980s – does little to elucidate the historical link in their ways of thinking and acting.

Read the rest of this article at: aeon

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

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One year after we first spoke in July 2019, Andrew Hoffman tells me I need a “disclaimer” for this piece. “This article was started pre-pandemic. Back in the Great Before,” jokes Hoffman, co-owner of Berkeley’s Comal and Comal Next Door, who eliminated tipping at his table-service restaurant around six years ago. I like that, I reply, repeating “the Great Before” with sardonic gusto. Hoffman laughs. “Take that playbook from the Great Before and throw it away,” says Hoffman. “You don’t need it anymore.”

Since COVID-19 spread through the United States, millions of food service workers have been laid off or furloughed, and those who are still employed are risking their health each day by returning to work. And despite all the pivoting — to delivery and takeout, to corner stores or bottle shops, to outdoor dining — between a third and half of all independent restaurants will shutter as a result of the pandemic. This economic reckoning comes commensurately with a social one, as calls amplify to address systemic racism and anti-Black violence following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody, and, more recently, the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Depending on who you ask, these crises make right now either the worst time to talk about tipping, or render it a conversation that has never been more urgent.

Read the rest of this article at: Eater

News 09.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 09.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

At 5 P.M. on Monday, June 1st, in Fishtown, a neighborhood in northeast Philadelphia, several dozen men—most of them white—began to cluster outside the Twenty-sixth District’s police station. They were carrying baseball bats, hammers, pipes, and golf clubs. The police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, one week earlier, had sparked Black Lives Matter protests all over Philadelphia; unfounded rumors were circulating among residents of Fishtown, mostly via Facebook, that looters and members of Antifa were coming to the neighborhood to break store windows and wreak havoc. Justin Haskell, a neighborhood football coach and amateur mixed-martial-arts fighter who goes by the nickname Homicidal, had rallied the men outside the station, ostensibly to help the police and defend nearby business owners. The group came to be known as the Bat Boys because of the baseball bats some of them carried.

Late that afternoon, at a large rally downtown, police shot rubber bullets and cannisters of tear gas into a crowd of protesters who were kneeling with their arms above their heads, causing them to scatter. The police forced them onto an embankment, trapping them there, and continued tear-gassing them. Among those trapped were Kara Khan, a photographer, and her boyfriend, Matt Williams, both thirty-one. They eventually escaped and began biking to their home in Fishtown, trying to beat a 6 P.M. curfew, their skin still burning from the tear gas. As they rode down Girard Avenue, they saw a protester arguing with an officer outside the Twenty-sixth District station and raised their fists in support. The Bat Boys threw water bottles at them and jeered. When Khan dismounted to ask officers standing nearby for help, one of the Bat Boys pushed Williams off of his bike. Others beat and kicked him. The mob taunted Khan (whose mother is white and whose father is Burmese and Afghan), repeatedly shouting the N-word and asking her, in graphic terms, if she liked to engage in sexual acts with Black men. “They seem to be framing this story as if they were protecting the neighborhood, and they say it has nothing to do with race, when it has everything to do with race,” she told me. Khan asked the officers why they weren’t intervening. “They said, ‘Well, now you know how we feel.’ Like, ‘We’ve been dealing with protesters all week.’ ” She asked the officers to escort her home. “I live right over fucking there,” she said. But the officers refused, she told me, and said that, since she “cussed,” she needed to learn some manners.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

News 09.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

I wonder how they were dressed when they were put in the ground. Trayvon and Breonna and George. Each was born or mostly reared in the American South, an area defined as much by its powerful aesthetic as by its racial segregation, a place where people of color wear their culture on their backs, like a second skin, and a statement: This is a synthesis of all that is American, of all that we are and that you are, too. This is how we do. Given the importance of self-presentation in that part of the world, the correctness of John Lewis’s suit as he was beaten in Alabama, or the fall of his coat as he and other freedom fighters were gassed in Tennessee, or the sharp brim of Martin Luther King, Jr.,’s hat when he was arrested for loitering in Alabama, created a distinct impression of unbendable self-possession in the midst of chaos, of moral rectitude in a sea of shit. That is what made me wonder how Trayvon and Breonna and George’s families dressed them before they were put in the ground. In stateliness and blood? The same kind of stateliness that I see in Grace Wales Bonner’s clothes?

The twenty-nine-year-old London-based designer—a slight woman with enormous intellectual and artistic ambitions—draws from the creative and thus political minds of the modern African diaspora, not only to inform her art but to reveal how style has grown out of the diaspora itself, linking together our fragmented worlds in ways that others may not have noticed, but that we have. Equally at home with Aimé Césaire and Léopold Sédar Senghor’s theories about Negritude as she is with the history of Christian Dior—last April, she worked with the fabled house to reinterpret its New Look—Wales Bonner has been sui generis from the start, in part because, unlike many other designers, she doesn’t reference the past to service trend; in her work, she aims to make the broken history of the Black artist and intellectual in African, European, and American culture whole. Wales Bonner has always been drawn to Black thinkers and creators whose relationship to the society that made them is a passionate but uneasy one—including the abolitionist Ethiopian leader Haile Selassie I, the Caribbean poet Derek Walcott, the Brooklyn visual artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, the Chicago-based painter Kerry James Marshall, and the Harlem writer Langston Hughes. These cultural forefathers have made explicit and implicit appearances in Wales Bonner’s designs, which are generally tailored to emphasize the dignity and the line of their wearers, through the dash of a jacket pocket, the lay of the lapels, the drape of a pants leg, or the interplay of each element with the others.

Using, almost exclusively, models of color—the collection with which she graduated from Central Saint Martins, in 2014, was called Afrique; her Autumn/Winter 2015 collection was titled Ebonics—Wales Bonner evokes the kind of complicated, fascinating, and rich history of people of color that one finds in James Weldon Johnson’s wonderful 1930 study, “Black Manhattan,” or in the culture of Black leisure resorts that is conjured up in Toni Morrison’s 2003 novel, “Love,” or in the lovesick voice of colonialism-influenced Shabine, in Walcott’s 1979 poem “The Schooner Flight”—lush worlds shaped by the artists’ discipline. And Wales Bonner’s apparel is as disciplined as it is lush, cool out of necessity; she wants her love to be constructive, not explosive.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

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