It occurs to me that the last couple editions of Home with the Armadillo have been big downers (righteous downers, but) and perhaps we are entitled to some nice things for a change. Here are some new (or at least new to me) things that I have recently enjoyed, and I hope you enjoy them too.
Here is my approach to music I have never heard before: It’s all terrible noise rock. Unless it’s definitely country music, it’s definitely noise rock. Every band I have never listened to is, until proven otherwise, 100% without question a 24-year-old white dude in small pants screaming over some feedback while his stepbrother/weed dealer destroys a drum kit that Ronnie from upstairs found in the alley.
What I am saying is, I mostly listen to the same five songs over and over again until I accidentally stumble upon some new music that is not noise rock, at which point I listen exclusively to the new thing. This week, I found a new thing! She is Azniv Korkejian, known as Bedouine, and if you have been looking for a Carly Simon / Yola / Joan Baez / Bebel Gilberto combo to listen to while you sip your autumnal hot drinks and get cozy with your lover(s) by the fire, she is precisely what you have been looking for. Here’s her Tiny Desk Concert from last year, when it was probably actually cool to know about her. I’m late, and I don’t care! She’s fabulous.
California will soon become the first state to require that all public colleges offer medication abortion on campus! This is a really beautiful example of the dedication and perseverance of young people, students, and repro rights, health, and justice coalition members in the Golden State refusing to be cowed by cowardly lawmakers and politicians. Former Gov. Jerry Brown originally vetoed a version of the bill, but Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the latest iteration on Friday. It’s a strong reminder that just because somebody’s got a (D) next to their name, it doesn’t mean they believe in reproductive freedom, or that they will stand up for abortion rights and access when it matters. It’s also about accountability, and making sure that, while we’ll never elect representatives who align with everything we believe, we can choose who we want to sit across the table from when we’re advocating for ourselves and our communities. Don’t back down! Perseverance works!
A federal judge in New York has blocked the Trump Administration’s racist, xenophobic “public charge” rule, which would have created barriers to immigration for people who might avail themselves of public safety net services. The rule relies on the (racist, xenophobic) idea that people who immigrate to the U.S. are doing so to milk or game the system, and that immigrant families don’t deserve access to health care and support services. This, of course, contributes to the racist, xenophobic feedback loop — if you keep basic services away from people who need those services most, you can pretend that the people who need those services most are unhealthy and dirty and desperate, and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to live here (or, really, anywhere — to live, period). This is peak “pro-life”/“all lives matter” hypocrisy, with a heaping garnish of respectability bullshit that denigrates the scope and value of what immigrants bring to this country — because people’s worth as people must not be tied to white supremacist ideas of what kind of work they do or don’t do. If you want to really get in the weeds with it, you can check out the webinar that the org I work for, If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, has provided on the subject (second video at the link).
IT’S TIME FOR THE JEZEBEL SCARY STORIES CONTEST!!!! This is the annual comment-frenzy wherein folks write in with their scariest true stories, and I cannot recommend this highly enough if you, like me, honor Halloween in your heart, and try to keep it all the year. I’ll add a content note to say that some of the stories are crime-scary and not ghost-scary, so you may want to approach with caution or create a diverse team of story readers with various tolerances together with your friends to pick out the best highlights and figure out what might be best to skip. I usually do a Twitter thread closer to Halloween highlighting the best stories with specific TW’s and CN’s, so keep an eye there for more.
GOOD WORDS (MOSTLY SPOOPY)
My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. You’ll speed through this short, riveting novel set in Lagos in an afternoon.
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (Catherine Webb). Britain! Time travel (sort of)! Huge global implications!
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. A classic-ish manor murder mystery with a twist. Strongly rewards two or more readings.
Season five of “Schitt’s Creek” is on Netflix this month! I have never cried-in-a-good-way so much at a sitcom. If you, like me, were late to the Schitt’s train, IT’S TIME TO CLIMB ABOARD, BEBES.
IT’S ALL TOO SHOCKING! Clue, the best murder mystery comedy of all time, is free (with ads) on Amazon.
Lin-Manuel Miranda played Julián Castro on “Saturday Night Live” and it is very funny but please stick around for Woody Harrelson as Creeper Joe Biden.
And finally! My best Texas girlfriends are friends!!!!! Lizzo and Kacey Musgraves have been hanging out lately and my heart is so full and fucking fabulous.
See y’all again soon with probably a lot of yelling. <3