Reading list: Jan. 23-30

Julian Borger — Trump’s state department purge sparks worries of ‘know-nothing approach’ to foreign policy

“The motives behind the sudden wave of sackings are unclear. Some of the outgoing diplomats saw it as one more sign of chaos from a new administration that is desperately short of experience. Others saw it as a wrecking operation, aimed at debilitating the state department at a time of upheaval: while the White House planned its ban on entry for people from a list of Muslim countries, and while Drumpf frames a new foreign policy before Tillerson arrives in his post.”

Megan Carpentier — A People’s History of the Third Reich

“In America, we learn that Hitler and the Nazis committed the Holocaust; in Germany, German children learn that they all participated in it, because the Germans came to believe that acknowledging their collective culpability as individuals was the only way to prevent it from ever happening again.”

Carrie Cutforth — How to Help the Cause When You Need to Help Yourself (suicide cw)

“Sometimes it is easier to learn not to compare ourselves to others than to learn not to compare our most unwell self with our most well self. Map out a staggered checklist of things you can and can’t do based on the spectrum of your mental health. Celebrate even the tiniest of victories, like remembering to take your meds on bad days, assuring yourself that when you are well enough you can and will do more, no matter how insignificant that contribution might feel at the time.”

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Less fantastic beasts

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I didn’t recognize Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I’d been aware that he’d been cast in the franchise, and was troubled by it, but in the great, swirling sea of shit that’s been 2016 news, I hadn’t read up on who he’d been cast as. I’d thought that, whatever the case, I wouldn’t have to worry about him making money off my ticket until the next movie. I enjoyed about twenty minutes of relative peace before my friend brought him up, jolting me into nauseating awareness.

One of the things Harry Potter fans pride themselves on most is the abundance of worthy messages that can be taken away from the series. True, J.K. Rowling made her fortune off a tale of tolerance and friendship that is overwhelmingly white and heterosexual, but the fandom has become expert at reinterpreting the Canon more inclusively; an abundance of fanart featuring a black Hermione existed long before casting for The Cursed Child was announced. And, as many Potter fans will be quick to cite, growing up a Harry Potter fan has been shown to make children more tolerant.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them already had problems before the casting of Depp. Continue reading