It’s the holidays and Masterclass is offering a two-for-one deal. If you’re interested in taking my masterclass on writing for social change, now might be a good time to sign up for Masterclass AND gift a membership.
Keep up with the Joel Gay Creative Fellows, Jet Toomer, Jesus Rodriguez, and Elspeth Michaels.
The December selection for the Audacious Book Club is Daughters of Smoke and Fire by Ava Homa. Our conversation with Ava takes place on December 15th at 8pm EST/5 pm PST and registration is open.
I am reading submissions to The Audacity’s Emerging Writer Series. Read the guidelines and submit your best writing. Submissions will be open until I have 24 essays.
Don’t Forget: Why Design Matters by Debbie Millman.
Debbie also has a new project, The Remarkable Life Deck, if you want to think through what the next decade of your life could look like. The cards are really beautiful and this is such a valuable exercise for looking ahead and taking stock of where you are. I don’t say that lightly. Normally, this isn’t my kind of thing but The Remarkable Life Deck is excellent.
If you’re looking for a nice notebook, check out my new Draft Writing Journal from Baron Fig. It’s pretty swank if I do say so myself AND back in stock.
On December 13th, I am joining Min Jin Lee, Erroll McDonald, Christopher Beha, and Ayad Akhtar to talk about if publishing can be transformed to become more inclusive. It’s kind of shocking that we’re still having these conversations, isn’t it? That we haven’t gotten further than where we presently are is a shame. Anyway, register at the link if you want to join us.
I was quietly stunned when Trevor Noah took time out of his final episode of The Daily Show to thank the Black women he has learned from over the years. I am so moved and can’t stop thinking about it, not for ego reasons though yes, it is nice to be named, but because it is so rare that people acknowledge Black women, both in terms of the cultural burdens we bear, but also in terms of the expertises we offer. When people do talk about Black women, it’s either with derision or insult or it’s infantilizing or a pithy slogan like “Black women will save the world” or “Black girl magic,” without any specificity. It was particularly wonderful, then, that Noah was specific and sincere and anyway, I am grateful to be in such good company as Tressie McMillan Cottom, Tarana Burke and Zoé Samudzi.
Come spend a perfect Sunday with me in Los Angeles.
And in The New York Times, I wrote about The Whale and its inhumane portrayal of fatness. My work always garners reactions, mostly positive, some critical in good faith and then a mountain of bullshit from trolls and the like. It’s kind of… frustrating that to date to have opinions means you have to subject yourself to truly stunning cruelty. I’m also reminded, when I publish something, that so many people do not understand the function of cultural criticism. The work is not designed to censor creators or to suggest that flawed work shouldn’t exist. The work is not designed to tell you what to think or to be uncritical. It is not designed to prevent you from enjoying something I did not enjoy or to hate something I loved. It is an expression of my opinions, usually with an exploration of the cultural context that informed my opinion. Engage with the work however you like. See the movie (or whatever else I’m critiquing) or don’t. Love it or like it or hate it or feel indifferent. It’s ridiculous that this needs to be said, that it is impossible to have nuanced discussions without people going to incoherent extremes, but alas. Here we are.
The most important news of the week is that Brittney Griner has FINALLY been freed and will be able to spend the holidays with her loved ones. I am so happy for her and her wife Cherelle and her family. I hope she has all the support she needs as she rebuilds her life.
The second most important news this week is this amazing essay from a writer who was dating a writer and he was paranoid she would write about him and didn’t even want her to write in her diary and, well, he shoulda just kept his mouth shut instead of manifesting a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Power substations in North Carolina were attacked by domestic terrorists maybe? To stop a drag show maybe? It’s not good.
n+1 wants to know why everything is so ugly.
Kate Middleton wore a green screen to a gala and, well, the Internet did its thing.
Why Andrew Luck walked away from the NFL.
I will read anything about art scams with great interest.
Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah writes a tribute to Greg Tate in his work, in her inimitable fashion.
Looks like Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman 3 isn’t moving forward as DC Films reorganizes.
Soccer journalist Grant Wahl unexpectedly died while covering the World Cup in Qatar. It is a profound loss.
Lady spies and how they live their lives!
On the serial killer industrial complex.
Kyrsten Sinema, who goes out of her way to do the most annoying, selfish and ultimately ill-advised thing possible, has left the Democrats and become an Independent. Bye Bye!
Carol is actually not meme fodder.
Public transit in Calgary is really rough.
A profile of Quinta Brunson. And how good is this season of Abbott Elementary? So good!
TikTok is influencing change in the music industry for better or… worse.
Someone called in a bomb threat to a Patti LaBelle concert which… what? The audacity.
A look at some of the New York Times employees beyond journalists ready to strike for better wages and working conditions.
Prisons in California are emptying out (wonderful) and some are even shutting down.
Eric Garcetti had a lot of failures as mayor. One of them? The sidewalks all over the city that are broken, largely from tree roots.
The owner of Twitter is bringing in a motley crew of people to work for him.
Sara Lippmann on the lessons learned from Dirty Dancing. I, for one, learned that no one puts baby in the corner.
The first three episodes of the Harry & Meghan documentary are out on Netflix. Honestly? It’s all pretty tame. If you’ve seen the EXCELLENT Lifetime movie about their courtship, you’re all set.
The exquisite Michelle Yeoh is joining the cast of the Wicked movie adaptation. And speaking of Yeoh, she is Time’s icon of the year.
Celine Dion has been diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome and it sounds pretty horrible. I hope she gets better and finds some help with a disease I did not even know existed.
Hugh Ryan on the urgency of prison abolition.
Another day, another Zillow sex dungeon.
The former Grey’s Anatomy writer who lied and scammed has admitted she lied about having cancer. SMH!
TJ Holmes and Amy Robach have been pulled off the air after their affair was revealed. I guess ABC hates ratings.
Hertz is going to have to pay a lot of money because they falsely claimed rented vehicles were stolen.
The SVU showrunner is an asshole who behaves badly. Shocking.
Another list of the best books of 2022.
Ryan Ken never misses. Ever.
The odiferous menace of poultry farms.
Did you know prenatal testing is unregulated? Kind of terrifying, when you think about it.
The ills of the chronically online and what that mindset does to the discourse.
Kaitlyn Greenidge on Black punks!
Herschel Walker lost the Georgia Senate runoff, thank goodness. Also he doesn’t really live in Georgia. He has a mansion in Texas.
It’s the end of an era. The last 747 just rolled off the assembly line. Such a lovely plane.
Elliot Page has shared the cover of his memoir Pageboy.
A profile of Elegance Bratton.
Reasons to love New York.
The Audacity. is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Roxane, I can not stress enough how much I appreciate the Audacious Roundup!
I always learn how much I do NOT know and always from a fresh perspective. Thank you so much for sharing!
AAAAH! An article by Sarah Marshall AND a piece about my home town and its appalling transit system?!?!
(I have always driven in Calgary but once looked at what my seven minute commute to work would look like via transit and it would have been 58 minutes give or take because even though I lived *just* outside downtown, I'd have to drive to a park and ride, take a train, and catch TWO buses to get there.)