Friday Reading S10E07

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In 1954, the Supreme Court decided that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional—but it was thousands of children who actually desegregated America’s classrooms. The task that fell to them was a brutal one.

Incredible series from the Atlantic interviewing some of the kids who were at the forefront of desegregating schools in the US.

Some top-notch reporting here from Andre Toran at the Louisville Courier Journal: ‘This could have been prevented’: What Breonna Taylor’s neighbor saw through her peephole

But historians offer another thesis for the purpose QAnon serves. The “nocturnal ritual fantasy”—a term coined by the historian Norman Cohn in his landmark study of European witch trials, Europe’s Inner Demons—is a recurring trope in Western history. And it is often a politically useful one. Deployed by the Romans against early Christians, by Christians against Jews, by Christians against witches, by Catholics against “heretics,” it is a malleable set of accusations that posit that a social out-group is engaged in perverse, ritualistic behaviours that target innocents—and that the out-group and all its enablers must be crushed.

“QAnon, Blood Libel, and the Satanic Panic” – How the ancient, antisemitic nocturnal ritual fantasy expresses itself through the ages—and explains the right’s fascination with fringe conspiracy theories. Lays it out good and proper in the New Republic from Talia Lavin.

This is good – via Kate Bevan – on the pros and cons of the NHS Covid app that launched for England and Wales last week. You’ll notice it doesn’t mention Serco once, because whatever you’ve read on social media, Serco did not make this app.

“Should you use the UK Government’s new Coronavirus Contact Tracing App? Well…” – Paul Bernal

I am not ashamed of having experienced depression throughout my life – to be honest I think that’s pretty normal. What I am embarrassed to admit is the self-disgust of my body that has plagued me since primary school. If ever I lack fluidity in speaking, or concentration fades, it is because – in that moment – the demons are winning.

This a raw and brave howl with a positive message: Alison McGovern – ‘I Have Come To The Conclusion That My Body-Hating Demons Will Never Really Go Away’

I learned to silence the inner critic that persistently told me I wasn’t good enough. Importantly, I had to learn to call myself out when I slipped into destructive thinking patterns, and I had to quell my vicious perfectionist streak that only ever made me feel bad about myself.

Alright, show-off.

It’s a great piece. “Therapy completely changed my life, once I gave it my all” – Patrick Kelleher, Irish Times

I’m utterly exhausted from an evening dealing with a shedload of parent emails and negative social media posts because one child has tested positive. I have accusations that we have kept other confirmed cases a secret, that I am Covid positive myself, and that I am breaking the law by not sending all students home. Some say Teacher X told children that they must not use hand sanitiser because it contains alcohol. Ludicrous. Many parents state they’ll never send their child back. This is ridiculous and I am fed up. I’ve worked every single day since February and I’m not sure how much more I can take. I spend some time flicking through jobs sites – any sector other than education – even though this has been my passion for nearly 30 years.

I’m interrupted by a call from my local authority. Could I make sure children who are off school in “isolation” stay at home instead of congregating at the shopping centre? No. I could not. How would I do that?

‘Our first case of Covid. Parents are hounding me, staff are afraid’: diary of a headteacher’s week – Anonymous headteacher

From the charlatans and hypocrites who are constantly whining about ‘cancel culture’ and how there must be absolute unquestioned freedom of speech on university campus at all costs…

UK schools told not to use anti-capitalist material in teaching – DfE categorises idea as ‘extreme political stance’ equating to endorsing illegal activity.

4 possible explanations for déjà vu – interesting although sadly lacking in either brain worms or time travel as possibilities.

“The Hag, however, bent over and crouched, with her back supporting the floor above, is far less resplendent than the kings and mermaids of most ships. Shackled in a green girdle, with blood-red lips and chalk-white skin, the hooven effigy is shockingly believed to depict Boote’s wife. According to legend, Boote married his future wife out of pity after she was disfigured by a witch’s curse.”

The Felsted Hag

Really excited that it is the first week of October and I’ve already seen a new poppy conspiracy theory which now wraps Covid into not offending “them”.

REMINDER: They are all bullshit and absolute hats off to the British Legion for really pro-actively tacking this on social media year after year.

An incredible fool’s errand but someone has sat down track-by-track to determine for all time which is better, the Peel Session version or the released version of The Fall tracks that they recorded for his show between 1978 and 1983.

“I Prefer The Session Version…” (Part 1) – The Fall in Fives blog

There was a great The da-Dark Outside broadcasting over the weekend, worth keeping an eye on the official website to see if there will be another one.

I strongly empathise with this from Dallon Weeks:

Sparks have been in the ether and orbiting all of the other bands that I listen to. It’s only maybe five or six years ago that I started to actively seek out this band Sparks that everybody’s always referencing. And I fell in love immediately. It’s been really interesting discovering a band with 30-plus years’ worth of career.

He interviews the band here although beware this site is a fucking apocalypse of pop-ups and notifications, but it is a fun interview with the Maels: IDKHOW’S Dallon Weekes feels it’s his duty to tell you about Sparks

Catherine Anne Davies aka The Anchoress in this video interview talking about, as she bills it, “delving into why feminism still matters in music, the death of the album, and why playlisting is a redherring…”

There’s a lot of great chat about Kate Bush and David Bowie in there, and how she feels Spotify has just shoved her in the “Sad piano bangers” box.