I have sad news today. Simply-Linked, my linkup provider, has disappeared. It happened the same day major hosting network dreamhost had some kind of attack that sent several sites (including this blog) offline for a couple hours, so at first I thought it was part of that. But then it didn’t return with everything else. And it still hasn’t returned. I’m hoping for the best–that the developers will have an ounce of honesty and reinstate it with at least some kind of warning that will allow users to transfer their content–but I’m not feeling super optimistic. Until that happens, Off-Fridays, THE Mental Illness Blog Share is officially dead. Not just future incarnations, but also all of the amazing resource libraries we created together. I’m truly sorry. If I had been given any kind of warning, I would have at least transferred the past libraries to my own page. But I had no reason to expect this long-standing service to suddenly disappear. I sincerely apologize to everyone who dedicated their time and effort into building those libraries here on Betty’s Battleground.
I hope you’ll accept my apology, and this token of appreciation, which is a list of the best blogs and articles I’ve been reading this week. You can click through and read some interesting, uplifting, and generally well-written content. I’m truly sorry about our libraries. I will update you if they return.
Here’s the best content I’ve been reading, and what I think you should be reading now too.
11 Blogs + Articles You Should Be Reading This Week
Here’s what YOU should be reading the week of August 28th. Leave me your suggestions on what I should be reading in the comments please!
Alright, this one isn’t fabulous reading, but it sure could help me out! I’ve created this survey to gather data about user experiences at the Buy Nothing Project, and if YOU are or have ever been a member of your local Buy Nothing group, I’d really appreciate the 5-10 minutes of your time it takes to complete this survey. I’ve been hired by a high-profile online publication to write a piece about BNP. This is a great opportunity for you to be part of a cool journalistic project, and to rep your brand in a big way if you’re a designer or beautician who uses BNP! It’s a big project for me..anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows how hard I’ve worked to land these recent gigs..and I do appreciate your help getting a well-rounded survey of people who have participated in the Buy Nothing Project.
Here’s the real 11 posts+articles:
Perhaps that’s why the Ivanka Trumps and Marine Le Pens of the world seem more popular than their crotchety, transparent fathers. They speak with a soft voice and look pretty in the spotlight. Their words wield a seductive, dark magic that reaches further into an audience’s hearts and prompts the question: are they really that bad?
Yet this is precisely what makes them so dangerous.
The story of this author, Elisa Hagen, is one of the most interesting and relevant I’ve read in a while. I’ve been following her on Twitter for a month or so, and she was formerly a teenage neo-nazi. In this article, she describes how she was groomed into being the face of the white nationalist group she joined, because, essentially, she was pretty. She made their message seem less threatening. Now, she uses the example of a young woman who is basically the new version of who she used to be (and who apparently sports tin foil hats) to describe how neo-nazis use pretty girls to sexualize their movement.
I loved this article for its advocacy, and for taking a strong stance in favor of people who become addicted to drugs. I’m not sure I 100% agree with the statements she made in this “Fighting Words” segment on Tonic, Vice’s Health channel, but mostly just because I’m still processing it. I’ve recently had the opportunity to speak with some very knowledgeable scientists who’ve done a lot of super impactful work in the field of opiate addiction, and these conversations have truly helped me to understand the biological basis behind addiction, especially opiate and alcohol addiction. This article describes the linguistic side of stigma, and how people and especially journalists have a duty to uphold scientific findings through the language we choose.
This post on the other blog by lovely August B is a beautiful, concise piece of medication advocacy. She describes both her resentment toward needing psychiatric meds, and also her gratitude for being properly diagnosed and having access to these medications. I’ve been on a similar pro-medication mission, though my focus has been on the medications used to treat opiate addiction. Nonetheless, I think chemical dependency and Schizoaffective Disorder have more in common than most people believe–both being highly stigmatized disorders that are based in the brain, usually require medication, and greatly impact the lives of people whom they affect when they are left untreated. But I don’t want to hijack August’s message either. She speaks frankly and from the heart about her own disorders, and the medications that she uses to manage them.
Written in response to the then-impending lifting by President Obama (don’t you miss that honorific) of the Cuban travel laws, this article is a couple years old. But as a Cuban-American, I have to include it now that I’ve stumbled across it (which is actually not accidental, but because the author is my editor for a piece that I’m writing, and I’m a freak who e-stalks my editors). There’s always a sting when I read a piece about “my people,” in whatever capacity, by someone who’s not a member, but I think he did a good job of highlighting the fact that Cuban poverty is abysmal, and Americans who idolize the “trapped-in-time” feeling of the country are not helping. Plus I got to see pictures of Cuba, which I always love.
This isn’t a blog post or an article. This is a Facebook post. But it’s a Facebook post by the exquisite Sarah Schantz, who graced this blog with an interview earlier this year. In this post she uses a quote from Roxanne Gay’s new memoir Hunger to articulate a sentiment about the way we talk about experiences of sexual assault that embodied a feeling I’ve failed to express for years. If you’re not already reading this, please click that link…
Is that some gorgeous clickbait or what? That title alone makes you fall in love with this piece. I don’t have a “tramp stamp,” having fallen victim to the same stigma this article decries, but if anyone’s gonna sell me on getting one, it’s this writer. She blends feminist history with yogic mythology, reported writing and personal narrative, to write what truly does serve as an ode to a highly misunderstood style of body art. Maybe there’s a tramp stamp for all of us.
I’m not a fan of the title. Actually, the title does not sit well with me at all (see above article about the language of addiction), but this is my international piece about methadone and pregnancy. I’m proud to now make the weird claim my father grossly makes on all of his social media accounts–I am an international author! Despite the poorly worded title, which could be a cultural difference who knows, I am really glad that this Australian women’s site cares enough about the stories of addiction to publish this story. They wanted my Vox article, but I couldn’t give them that, so instead I told the pieces that I didn’t have the space or slant to tell in that one.
I’m sorry for all the self-repping today, but I am actually not sharing this because of my 15 minutes of psudeo-fame near the end of the podcast, where I’m a call-in guest. The bulk of this sound-recorded episode of All Sides With Ann Fisher features Julia Keller, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who is on the show in response to her recent novel about heroin overdose. I’m always disturbed by the conversations of people who have never lived through an addiction when they discuss the lives and fates of addicts, so you can imagine how disturbed I was to hear this podcast. But I think it’s valuable and interesting to hear just how much people de-humanize us. Leave a comment and tell me if you also notice the change in Ms. Keller’s tone after I come on the show and speak a little?
Earlier this year (or was it last year? I can’t keep track of time anymore) I sat in a hospital room, cradling my daughter while she moaned in pain, waiting for her post-op pain meds to kick in. She’d had her tonsils and adenoids removed. Why? Because ever since she was very young, she’s woken throughout the night moaning and groaning and we don’t know why. After consulting numerous doctors and a GI specialist, we were finally sent to a sleep study. Where they detected she had sleep apnea and recommended the surgery from which she was now recovering. Well, flash forward to today. I’m chugging coffee and my husband is taking a nap at 10am because Anabelle still moans and groans all night. The surgery didn’t help. It was just expensive and painful, and I believe more could have been done to determine whether or not it was necessary. According to this article, our experience is pretty common. Check it out.
OMG if there’s such a thing as a reading orgasm, this article gave me one. And internet articles usually don’t do that. My reading orgasm providers are usually Neil Gaiman, Ursula K. LeGuin, or some other SF/magical realism author. And yet…this article could have been written by me. It speaks the truths of my heart with such unflinching candor, I feel like this writer just tore out my soul and filtered it into perfect, beautiful prose on the internet. It’s not a pleasant article. They really are dark truths. But it made me feel SO much better and SO much less guilty for some of my thoughts and feelings (we need to stop feeling guilty for our thoughts and feelings) and I am incredibly grateful to Kristen Oganowski for “coming out” publicly with these difficult truths.
I’ll end this list with Love, by Maria from IMommy. This blog post is, as typical of Maria’s writing, honest and true. She describes her fears for her children, growing up in a world that is increasingly violent by the day. It include a lovely open letter to her kids, urging them to look at the love and beauty this world also has to offer, and to choose goodness whenever possible. She touches on fears experienced by I think all parents these days–and probably time immemorial–with candid, accessible language. The title is so befitting the message Love.