Your Nightmares Only Need a Year or Two to Unfold: This Week’s Best-Of

Life often gives us unlikely symmetries.  We see Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Carolina falling into a diligently designed state of pseudo-democracy, thanks to GOP lawmakers who wish to thwart the will of actual voters by every structural measure available; autocrats within the EU using the machinery of democracy to undermine its spirit and intent; and Angela Merkel, the lonely tribune of centrist liberalism and internationalism in Europe, beginning to exit the stage.

A mom-for-hire generously pinch-hits for gay weddings, and a poached egg helps another woman get out of a marriage.

ToM contributor and Ruler of Cincinnati JT Roane writes on black creativity and dystopian literature, while ToM Superfriend John R. Legg publishes his first op-ed, on the historic trauma of indigenous people in North America, and we learn more about the lives of slaves who risked it all to pursue their freedom.

Workers in Shenzhen feel the vise tighten as Amazon employees in Staten Island fight for their rights.

The world is a big and complicated, colorful yet kaleidoscopically difficult place.  We hope this week’s best-of gives a window into the many contradictory currents cutting across all of us, in this world in transition.  “A new world is as likely as an old one,” as someone once said.

Black Creativity and Imagination at the End of the World (Black Perspectives)

A great roundtable on C. Riley Snorton’s important book Black on Both Sides (Black Perspectives)

Remember the trauma of the Dakota in recalling the 1862 war (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

A Database of Fugitive Slave Ads Reveals Thousands of Untold Resistance Stories (Hyper Allergic)

Grad School as Conversion Therapy (LARB)

The Condition of the Working Class in Shenzhen (Dissent)

Fuck Yeah: Amazon Warehouse Workers in Staten Island Go Public With Unionizing Push (Splinter News)

Minneapolis Just Passed the Most Important Housing Reform in America (Slate)

When I Said NC Wasn’t a Democracy, People Called Me Crazy (Politico)

How the new autocrats of Europe are using democracy to consolidate power (WaPo)

Germany’s Merkel bids emotional farewell to CDU party (BBC)

Films, Flair, And Feminism: Celebrating Smita Patil (Feminism in India)

Meet the Woman Who Volunteers as a ‘Stand-In’ Mom at Same-Sex Weddings: It’s a ‘Complete Joy’ (People)

How to Poach an Egg and Leave a Marriage (Extra Crispy)

Why Fractals Are So Soothing (Atlantic)

An Ant Colony Has Memories that Its Individual Members Don’t Have (Aeon)

Ding, dong, Microsoft Edge is dead… sort of (Windows)