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Everyone tells you that your 30s are infinitely better than your 20s, and everyone is right.
But there’s one thing that makes your 30s a little sad. Just like Drake talked up the virtues closing off your inner circle, aka having no new friends, your 30s is a period where you slowly, gradually embrace no new music.
I didn’t used to be this way. I used to fancy myself a cool kid. That is, I used to write about music.
I’d review concerts in order to see free concerts, I wrote regularly about the intersection of hip-hop and politics. My first piece in The Atlantic was a conversation about Nicki Minaj’s unique brand of feminism. I took on weird album reviews in order to write for a cool music mag.
Writing about music and voraciously consuming music went hand in hand.
But somewhere, at some point, I just sorta … stopped. I can’t say when it was or what changed – that would be like if you asked me to pinpoint the exact moment I fell asleep last night.
I’ve listened in about four-minute increments this year to new albums by Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Drake, Harry Styles and Haim. But I give up easily. I tore through my friend Adam’s 3,000-word piece on Jay-Z’s new album this week but … I haven’t actually listened to a word of the thing. When I clean the house this weekend, I’ll almost certainly blast the same Taylor Swift “Red” album I’ve been listening to for four years straight. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
If I invest in new music at all now, it’s more often a single song at a time. Which is all a long and backward way of saying that I’ve actually become obsessed with a new song. After everything that Kesha’s been dragged through, I figured any new music she released would be mediocre at best. But her new single is fantastic, and I’ve been singing one line – “They say in life, you’re gonna get what you give, but some things only God can forgive. I hope you’re somewhere praying” – in my head all week, directing the words at congressional Republicans trying to rob low-income Americans of their health care coverage.
So yeah, that’s your 30s: No new music – but when you do get excited by a pop song, it’s because it reminds you of the health care debate.
What VOSD Learned This Week
This week, we had questions, and lawyerly women had answers.
Geneviéve Jones-Wright would be a much different type of DA than San Diego is used to. In a Q-and-A announcing her candidacy, she talked with Andrew Keatts about her approach to justice and a disturbing encounter she had with SDPD.
And Sen. Kamala Harris, the former California attorney general, talked with Brooke Binkowski about the disconnect between California’s immigration policies verses those favored by President Donald Trump.
Change is hard. Several of our stories this week dealt with powerful people and groups fighting change.
Several cities in San Diego County are pushing for more choices when it comes to buying power for their residents. But other cities have been here before, and SDG&E used a well-worn playbook to maintain its monopoly.
Another powerful group with many of the same letters in its acronym, SANDAG, is also trying to maintain the status quo: Its board is floating a county ballot measure for 2018 meant to counter Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher’s state bill to reform the agency. Gonzalez Fletcher’s bill and an internal SANDAG investigation were both launched following our investigation into SANDAG’s deceptions over Measure A and Transnet.
And two opponents of the Plaza de Panama plan are digging their heels in – but the city says the overhaul is moving forward.
San Diego Unified has said hundreds of teacher layoffs might be rescinded (it still hasn’t released final layoff numbers though). Even if that’s the case, poor schools might still face disruption, because they’re full of the most junior employees who are likely to be shuffled around.
For the Fourth of July, Randy Dotinga revisited a San Diego skirmish involving Southern sympathizers during the Civil War.
What I’m Reading
• This is exactly the kind of story every journalist gets in the business to write: Beautiful, heartbreaking and hopeful: A Muslim doctor in a tiny Midwestern town tries to understand his neighbors. (Washington Post)
• The case for mediocre pop music. (A Side)
• Television and soup are two of my greatest loves in life (I grew up working in my dad’s restaurant, famous for its soup). So this piece detailing “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin’s obsession with soup is my exact jam. (Slate)
• Three lawyers are quietly purging voter rolls across the country. (Mother Jones)
• A pollster reflects on how everyone got 2016 so terribly, utterly wrong. (CNN)
Line of the Week
“I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either.” – From a really lovely commencement speech given by Chief Justice John Roberts to his son’s class; the whole thing is worth a read.