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Cruel compendium #29 💡
Work is not your family, the internet never forgets, and how to decide what to do with your life
I’m Jillian Anthony, and this is Cruel Summer Book Club, a newsletter about change, heartbreak and healing. In the Cruel Compendium I send out links to everything I’m reading, listening to and thinking about. ICYMI, last week I wrote about the young mothers who’ve taught me what it means to be a modern woman.
If you value Cruel Summer Book Club, please consider showing your support on Venmo @jillathrilla, or through PayPal. Thank you so much to readers Alla, Amelia, Andi, Ann-Kathrin, Brenna, Brittany, Catherine, Christine, Danielle, Edith, Esme, Grace, Hannah, Julia, Kate, Katie, Katie, Mallory, Maria, Rachel, Rahul, Riddhi, and Rocky, Samantha, Sasha and Scarlett for your support!
It’s been another hellish month for gun and police violence in the United States. (Here is my piece on guns in America, which I wrote after I was home during a fatal shooting on my Brooklyn corner in August.) I’m remembering Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, and the eight victims of the Indianapolis FedEx mass shooting, including four members of the Sikh community. Right now, I’m sharing less on social media and focusing more on inner accountability and dismantling internalized white supremacy. And I’m listening to others.
True Colors, a newsletter sharing work by women of color, has an important reminder to carefully consider sharing graphic content online, and a list of resources. And these self-reflective antiracist questions from police and prison abolitionist Mariame Kaba are from Ann Friedman’s newsletter:
Returning to this list of questions by Mariame Kaba, a touchstone for me when I am outraged by injustice:
1. What resources exist so I can better educate myself?
2. Who's already doing work around this injustice?
3. Do I have the capacity to offer concrete support & help to them?
4. How can I be constructive?
I've been making my way through We Do This Til We Free Us, an excellent collection of Kaba's writing, speeches, and interviews about social transformation and abolition. She also put together this site full of resources for learning about and creating lasting alternatives to policing.
I called off my wedding. The internet will never forget. By Lauren Goode
A Chinese “Auntie” went on a solo road trip. Now, she’s a feminist icon. By Joy Dong and Vivian Wang
The newsletter Modern Loss shares stories from those who’ve lost siblings on #NationalSiblingsDay. A reminder to hold my siblings very close.
Maybe America is just racist by Michael Harriot. Usually the simplest explanation is the correct one.
Nisha Chittal on the capitalist lie of “work hard, play hard.” She goes hard on the number one way I’ve been thinking about corporate life lately: Work is NOT your family.
“We’re like family” is such a common corporatism that often the absurdity of it doesn’t strike people until you really think about it. Companies are not families. Work is a transactional relationship; you agree to perform certain duties in exchange for payment. And yet we’ve given many of our workplaces this gloss of “family” to make it seem less transactional and more special — and to give companies a pass if they treat employees poorly, or if someone misbehaves. You’re only “family” as long as you still provide financial value to the company; once you’re seen as no longer providing value to their bottom line, you can be easily discarded…
Poet Ross Gay articulates perfectly my own pursuit to approach work and passions as play:
Playing, exploring, attempting, and wondering is so important. It’s so important and it feels like a practice a sort of vocation—in all kinds of things, it just feels important not to necessarily make it beautiful or not to necessarily make it the best or not to have aspirations to be the best. But to have it be like what you said, a sort of play.
I’m listening to
Dr. Death, a podcast about a Texas neurosurgeon who seriously injured, paralyzed or killed 33 out of the 39 patients he operated on. I had phantom pains in my neck for weeks after listening to this. Beware.
La Brea Dave on the Criminal podcast. The story of an LAPD diver who dove into the La Brea tar pits to discover evidence in a murder case.
Creative Mornings’ roundup of readers’ favorite podcast episodes
Questionable self-care advice
This Chromatica-themed birthday party is my only dream.
✍️ Catapult’s new vertical for writers, Don’t Write Alone
💉 A list of West Coast vaccine appointment availability bots
“Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield. This is the only song I want to come on when I’m out in the post-vax club.
Check out the full CSBC playlist
Thanks to Tiffany Phillippou for shouting out CSBC (and my big dreams) in her newsletter, The Tiff Weekly:
Yes, yes yes to the brilliant Jillian Anthony when she articulates her wants. ‘I want to be a published author, a woman whose books are found on the shelves of smart, sincere and creative women around the country. I want to appear on television and podcasts and give talks to crowds with open hearts around the world.’
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