A war is raging in the heart of the History Department — a contest over meaning, power, and public space. I’m speaking, of course, about the light-box sign in the breakroom on the 20th floor. When it mysteriously appeared at the start of the semester, it featured the sage expression: “BE YOUNG, B£ DOPE, BE PROUD.” Soon, though, a shadowy resistance group took control of the sign and rearranged the letters: “OBEY 6NU BE£ POD BURP ODE.” University authorities have found it impossible to decode the message the organization was trying to send.
Soon, authorities changed the sign to convey the valuable advice, “AVOID THE NOID BEPBEPU ★.” But rebels again managed to tamper with the sign, with the message it now displays: “DO ★ BEAR THE VOID BUN B1.” What does it mean? Is Bun B1 some kind of tag, or the name of an activist? Perhaps a disgruntled grad student.
In all seriousness, folks, we bring you the usual platter of various and sundry stories from this week’s news. We don’t know if it’s the movement of the planets in our astrological chart or just an emission from the depths of a deep, random universe, but the stories this week are almost… positive? Palestinian kids get to go to the aquarium; drag queens comfort seniors in a home in Australia; Disney workers win; Lindsey Graham told a salacious story about his days touring in an old-timey jug band with John McCain and Blind Lemon Jefferson.
It’s no secret to our readers (and other sentient beings) that the news lately has been almost unrelentingly bleak. So take a peek at these interesting bits from the Internet.
Also, don’t miss ToM boss Carri Fragoza at the Latina Writers Conference on September 8, 2018 in LA! Details below.
Palestine’s first aquarium brings marine life to landlocked West Bank (Middle East Eye)
A California university ran out of on-campus housing and is pleading with staff to open their homes to hundreds of students (Business Insider)
Disney World Workers Win Their Fight For $15 (Huffpo)
Francis Fukuyama Postpones the End of History (New Yorker)
A heartfelt tribute to the late Sen. McCain: The Shittalk Express (Chapo Trap House)
Normal brain vs. Galaxy Brain: Paul Krugman and Corey Robin on the red tide: Capitalism, Socialism, and Unfreedom and What Socialism Looks Like in 2018 (NYT)
In A Reversal, Wisconsin To Cover State Workers Seeking Transgender Treatment (NPR)
Friend of the blog Ryan Prechter on the 1973 arsonist fire at the Upstairs Lounge, a gay bar in New Orleans (About South)
Rebecca Altman on the story of the plastic bag: American Beauties (Topic)
Two ToM faves — James Gleick and Elizabeth Bishop: What We Imagine Knowledge to Be: James Gleick Reads Elizabeth Bishop (Brain Pickings)
Red-state politics in and out of the college classroom (The Conversation)
300-year-old coin that men needed to avoid Russian ‘Beard Tax’ found (Daily Mail)
High tea and manicures: Drag queens take up residence at aged care home (ABC)