Last week in this space, I wrote about Hurricane Harvey.
In the seven days since, an even bigger hurricane has devastated the Caribbean islands and Florida, a massive earthquake hit Mexico, we got a sense at what a megaflood in San Diego would look like (spoiler: not good!) and my parents and friends at home are among those mourning Oregon’s most beloved scenic treasure, burned to dust.
And we haven’t even gotten to politics!
This would be, then, the perfect time to retreat into what many people call guilty pleasure. (I don’t feel guilty about, so I just call it, I dunno, good things? Fun stuff?)
Except … that’s not going well either.
Between the Chargers’ long, gross departure, the onslaught of scary info about CTE and the NFL’s appalling treatment of Colin Kaepernick, my husband and I have decided we’re done with the league. (We’re still all in on college football, which has its own problems. Baby steps.)
I’ve recently gotten into (laughably late, I know) “The Bachelor” – apparently at just the wrong time. Here’s what the New York Times just wrote about the upcoming season:
It has become increasingly clear over the show’s epic run that watching “The Bachelor” isn’t just about giving one’s self over to a blandly heteronormative spectacle. It’s to behold a particular kind of romantic coupling — one where vastly overqualified women compete for the attentions of a mediocre dude.
Then there’s Taylor Swift’s new music. Make Taylor Swift great again!
Between the serious business of politics, the unserious business of pop culture and nature itself, something has got to give.
What VOSD Learned This Week
It’s getting down to the wire and we still don’t have answers to two of the biggest questions about a massive, multibillion-dollar project to bring water from Northern California to Southern California.
Meanwhile, researchers do have an idea of what a catastrophic megaflood might look like in San Diego and it’s not good.
The response to the Hepatitis A crisis has driven home a central tenant of the city’s approach to homelessness: It doesn’t want homeless people getting too comfortable on city streets, even as it offers no permanent solutions for where they can and should go.
I joined Scott Lewis and Andy Keatts on the VOSD podcast this week, where we discussed the gross reality of the Hep A outbreak.
San Diego Unified really out-San Diego Unified itself this week.
It sent out a celebratory press release announcing that a new report proved “allegations” from “a local news outlet” to be “false.”
And over in City Heights, Maya Srikrishnan has an inside look at chaos within a charter school that caters to Somali refugees.
There’s a low-cost way to ensure the massively expensive Mid-Coast Trolley project is worth San Diego’s while: Improve the bus service that feeds into the new line.
What I’m Reading
A good rule to live by: Whenever Ta-Nehisi Coates or Nikole Hannah-Jones drops a new epic, you should stop what you’re doing and read it. This week, we got one from each:
• Coates’ piece burns to the ground the idea that Democrats’ focus on “identity politics” is what lost them the presidency. (The Atlantic)
• Jones, meanwhile, explores the resegregation of Jefferson County, Ala., and what it tells us about America’s fragile progress toward true integration. (New York Times Magazine)
• Sorry, Sen. McCain, there’s a new maverick in town. (Huffington Post)
• Fashion is political, period. (Teen Vogue)
• I’d already put this fantastic profile of Michael Bennett on my reading list this week – that was before his scary encounter with Las Vegas police was revealed, making his advocacy all the more relevant. (The Undefeated)
• ICE wrongly imprisoned a U.S. citizen for more than three years. (Daily Beast)
Line of the Week
“She hates the gender wage gap so much, she can’t even stand to know anything about it.” – From a blistering takedown of Ivanka Trump’s commitment to women’s issues that had me like: