What you’re suppose to do

A rural American who’s frustrated at the current political situation asked what can they do to not be framed as a “Dumbfuck Trump voter from a flyover state.”

I stand the silent majority of right leaning citizens who condemn white nationalism and domestic terrorism. I want there to be respectful discourse. I don’t want there to be discourse when insults are jeered towards me for no fault of my own. I don’t compare the left to the BLM supporters who tortured a disabled man in Chicago in every breath, I’d appreciate the same respect.

I’ve been respectful. Doesn’t work.

Tried to compromise. Doesn’t work

What am I supposed to do?

I found this reply be incredibly empathic while being straight-forward.

Overall I’d say if you really care about your town you should take more responsibility for it. If you aren’t involved in your city council or county government yet, why aren’t you? You can run for office, of course, or you can just research the situation for yourself.

Starlee Kine – XOXO Festival

A belt buckle. Britney Spears’ book. Jake Gyllenhaal’s true height. After years of producing stories for This American Life, Starlee Kine joined Gimlet Media and launched Mystery Show to instant acclaim, chasing every lead to solve everyday mysteries, revealing quiet moments of humanity along the way.

Mystery and intrigue abound in Kine’s podcast Mystery Show. In this talk she pulls back the curtain on what it takes to produce a show. The feelings and experiences of being human, and making stories about humans. The surreal and weird (good weird) way an engaging project can lead to unexpected destinations.

Star Simpson – XOXO

Star Simpson builds hardware with soul, currently working on sky machines at Otherlab. The creator of the PLIBMTTBHGATY series of coding events and the TacoCopter drone delivery concept, Star’s latest project is Circuit Classics, reviving the hand-drawn circuits of Forrest M. Mims III as hardware kits.

If you’ve ever done something creative 1 you’ll know the alternating feelings of “This is crazy”, “This is terrible!”, and “This is great!”. I enjoyed Star Simpson’s talk on how that craziness is what often leads to some of the best things people have ever made.

I’ve languished in sharing more videos from XOXO, but this one is rather timely. Just the other day I learned that the circuit board designs Star talks about are now available over at Adafruit!


  1. You have, even if you don’t recognize it

A Social Construct

I point out that I am a black woman with a political-science degree who writes about race and culture for a living, who has indeed read “those books.” I find her blanket justification of “race is a social construct” overly simplistic. “Race is just a social construct” is a retort I get quite often from white people who don’t want to talk about black issues anymore. A lot of things in our society are social constructs—money, for example—but the impact they have on our lives, and the rules by which they operate, are very real. I cannot undo the evils of capitalism simply by pretending to be a millionaire.

A poignant quote from Ijeoma Oluo interviewing Rachel Dozeal, the White Woman Who Identifies as Back.