Watching Raising Arizona with Mom, Dad, Casey, Sammy, and Basil — a movie with a police chase in it — when a real-life police chase passed our neighborhood. We paused the movie and watched the rest of the chase on TV, scared for everyone.
The metal scavenger’s truck with an owl figurine crammed into one of the pickup bed’s tie ports and a kitchen knife crammed into another.
Twitter user @KT_So_It_Goes reminding everybody that protest is patriotic, that working to make the country safer and fairer for everybody isn’t counter to the Constitution; it’s one of the best expressions of its ideals:
“[the Founding Fathers] weren’t perfect … but the fact that we get to have this conversation at all is owed to those who tried to protect the people from the oppressive systems they knew too well. … the american idea is not a fixed condition and to treat it as such is anathema to the people who incepted it. … there is nothing more patriotic than demanding redress for a systemic injustice; there is nothing less patriotic than demanding the injustice stand because that’s the way it’s always been.”
At the instruction of a TikTok user, reading the 13th Amendment for the first time and learning that slavery is currently, in 2020, legal — as punishment for incarcerated people. The “as punishment” clause is no comfort, and especially not when you consider that so many people are unjustly incarcerated. To say “slavery was never abolished in the United States” is not a euphemism; it’s a fact.
Zen Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh in his book How to Love (via Brain Pickings): “A flower is made only of non-flower elements, such as chlorophyll, sunlight, and water.… Humans are like this too. We can’t exist by ourselves alone. We can only inter-be. I am made only of non-me elements, such as the Earth, the sun, parents, and ancestors.”
Eating watermelon that Mom had sliced with a knife coated in garlic, making it garlicky watermelon.
Cornel West on one of the major news network shows, talking about the broader Black community “dishing out love warriors” in the face of injustice, how beautiful and generous — to themselves, to everyone — that is.
Jonathan Poneman, cofounder of Sub Pop, on an episode of the How I Built This podcast: “[The ’90s indie music industry] didn’t calculate with spreadsheets. They calculated with their hearts and their senses.”
The 60 Minutes segment about Italian composer Francesco Lotoro, who’s spent decades recovering and performing musical compositions that Jews had written while imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps. He visits survivors and survivors’ children and it is so beautiful to see the light in their eyes, the gratitude they feel that someone cares about their ancestor or their parent’s work, that someone is keeping it alive.
How hard it is to tell between incremental actions that work toward a radical vision (e.g. police use-of-force amendments) and incremental actions that distract us from our vision. It seems like, sometimes, proposals that seem too small or too weak are genuinely the best first rung on a ladder toward our goal. (And that it’s smart to build ladders.) But I think people are right to be wary of false first rungs.
The community garden overseer beckoning Sammy and me toward him on our way to a protest, asking us if we knew what’s “really going on” in our country (“cops killing white people”); explaining that he works with, and so he knows, “them” (Black people); pointing to the Pride flag in the garden as evidence that he is not and could not be a bigot.
The ABC News video of park rangers delivering nearly 100-year-old tortoises back into their native Galapagos environment, a hike that required the rangers, at one point, to wear the tortoises like backpacks.
The plastic toy police badge shining in the grass outside the elementary school playground.
Chris Newman of Sylvanaqua Farms, a Black-indigenous-American farmer, talking about his vision for a co-owned farming collective that can compete at scale with today’s industrial farms, reminding me of what Bookshop.org is doing for bookshops (against Amazon), and what Basecamp is doing for email (against Google). We can only take power away from monolithic power hoarders when we’re able to provide something as convenient, as useful, as reliable as the service those monoliths provide.
The photos of rosaries, wallets, and shoes taken from people detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, saved by a photographer working as janitor at a “processing center” in Ajo, Arizona, horrifyingly similar to the piles of shoes and shaving brushes at Holocaust memorial museums. (The photos are worth seeing.)