Pop Goes The Politial Culture, Week of September 24, 2018
Oh, hi there, MPU-universe. Hang on a second. I’m just trying to put out this dumpster fire over here but it just keeps burning.
This week has been truly amazing. We saw a Supreme Court nominee yell at all the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee but no one asked him if he thought he could rule fairly on cases involve Democrats considering his open animosity toward them (Spoiler: I bet he can’t). We saw Trump declare to the world that he and Kim Jong Un are in love. And we saw Kate McKinnon steal the entire SNL cold open with her impression of Senator Lindsay Graham.
Other people will try to say Matt Damon was really the funny one on SNL and he was but let’s be real. For everything else that is wrong with America today, at least we can all know that we live in the same moment in time as Kate McKinnon.
We’ll get to all of this and more when we record later today, but for now, here’s all the news that’s not fit to ‘cast!
We Need Diverse Books: As many of you know, I am a reader. I read the way most people watch tv: for hours a day as my primary source of entertainment. This is not an indication of intellectual prowess; I just prefer book to tv because books are quieter. The books I read often involve a grisly murder and an intrepid investigator who is probably harboring an inappropriate love interest while also solving crime. It’s genre fiction, not great literature.
My resolution for 2018 was to read more books by authors of color. I felt like this should be an easily achievable goal and, to a certain extent, it is. There are a lot of really amazing books by authors of color on the market at any given moment. These are books that deal with untold episodes of history and explore the cultural role of under represented peoples. They are Important Literature.
But as we established, I don’t always want to read Important Literature. I want a murder and an intrepid investigator and all that. And I’m not the only one. Mysteries and thrillers often top the best seller lists. But they’re often by white people! And the intrepid investigators are white! Sometimes you find characters of color making guest appearances in the book but they aren’t the prime focus.
Look, I know damn well there are smart women of color writing mysteries and thrillers and chick lit and other kind of genre lit. But I have to go hunting through the internet begging for recommendations for authors of color. Meanwhile, Goodreads and Amazon send me lists of white authors right to my inbox every day.
It’s time for more diversity in publishing. ALL of publishing, not just literary fiction and cultural criticism. Genre fiction needs more diversity as well.
Get on that, publishers.
P.S. If you want to know exactly what I’m reading, I’m on Goodreads. Let’s talk books!
Book Club: Speaking of books, I had a book club meeting this past Friday. We read Praise Song for the Butterflies by Bernice McFadden, which was excellent, by the way. (And she is an author of color!) But when women gather in 2018, we help each other to cope however we can. This week? I brought cake.
We didn’t even cut slices. We just went at it with forks, Tina Fey style.
You gotta do what you can to survive, these days and what I needed was angry cake.
Check Your Breasts: Finally, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That means you’ll see pink ribbons clashing with Halloween decorations everywhere you go. It’s a cultural happening. But it’s also a serious health issue and one that any human being with breast tissue is at risk of contracting.
The American Cancer Society has guidelines for early detection of breast cancer. Check them out and work with your doctor to figure out what our risk factors are and what types of exams you need. Cancer screenings are covered without co-pay as a matter of law under the ACA so your clinical exam or mammogram won’t have any out of pocket fees if you have insurance. If you don’t, look into the Breast And Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program through the CDC. That can help you get the care you need even without insurance.
That’s all from me this week, folks. Tune in to The More Perfect Union podcast when it drops on Monday!