Nice Things And Good Trouble
Thank Crom for the Weekend Decompression Period, which we need more and more these days. Yr Dok Zoom and noted political pundit Our Girlfriend drove well outside the lights of town the other evening, and got a look at Comet NEOWISE, which is named for the NASA spacecraft that discovered it. (More on NEOWISE and how to see it in last week's Nice Things.)
It has faded since its peak brightness a week or so back, so there was no hope of getting a photo (you could if you had a good telescope!), but it was still an amazing sight, and once the sky was completely dark, it was visible to the naked eye. Much "Holy shit, that's a comet!" Get out and catch it if you can; it should still be visible for a few more nights, an hour or so after sunset, in the north-northwest — you'll need binoculars to see it fairly well. But hurry; it's on its way out of our solar system, and won't be back for 7,000 years. I hope to have been reincarnated as a spoiled housecat several times by then. If you can't see NEOWISE in person, there are loads of cool photos on the interwebs. Cosmic visitors — as long as they aren't on a collision course — are very nice things indeed.
Photo by Giuseppe Donatiello, Public Domain
Susan Orlean Was Drunk And Fed Up With 2020, And It Was Wonderful
Susan Orlean, the New Yorker writer and author of the brilliant book The Orchid Thief (which was adapted into the brilliant movie Adaptation), was drunk on Twitter Friday night, and we have to agree with the judgment of NJ.com's Amy Kuperinsky: "Forget your crummy song of the summer. Susan Orlean just claimed that mantle for herself ... and all of us."
It started out with a blunt declaration: "Drunk." That was followed with a disclaimer: "Thank you for your support duri t this difficult time all misspellings are mine totally" (We'll be embedding the tweets and also copy-pasting the text, on the off chance that Orlean deletes them, which seems unlikely.)
Also, content warning: If you have substance use issues, I recognize that a writer tweeting drunkly may be more ominous and triggering than amusing, and I won't at all be offended if you skip to the next heading, just below the tweet with the (spoiler warning) orange kittycat in it.
Thank you for your support duri t this difficult time all misspellings are mine totally— Susan Orlean (@Susan Orlean)1595033289.0
Seriously we went to my neighbors to see their newborn colt who was born like five mi utes ago and we had some wine
Ok a newborn colt rocks it totally and he thought my hand was his mom. It was not. He has tasted life's infinite tragedy. As I mentioned Earlier I am inebriated
Seriously we went to my neighbors to see their newborn colt who was born like five mi utes ago and we had some wine— Susan Orlean (@Susan Orlean)1595033531.0
Ok a newborn colt rocks it totally and he thought my hand was his mom. It was not. He has tasted life’s infinite tr… https://t.co/8h1YXy5Duv— Susan Orlean (@Susan Orlean)1595033731.0
"Maybe I am drinking too much during THE FUCKING PANDEMIC"
Buehler? Yes I am
I'm falling down drunk. First time in ages. Where is my kitty? He is my drunk comfort animal.
I would like some candy
BTW where exactly Is my fucking cat whe I need him
I would like some candy— Susan Orlean (@Susan Orlean)1595035186.0
BTW where exactly Is my fucking cat whe I need him— Susan Orlean (@Susan Orlean)1595035714.0
Today we are all Susan Orlean.
WHO IS SICK AND TIRED OF EVERYTHING
I mean SERIOUSLY
I mean SERIOUSLY— Susan Orlean (@Susan Orlean)1595035982.0
There was much more. The recycling? Fuck the recycling. Doubts that there was any candy anywhere in the world, or her house. The discovery and consumption of "stupid fennel seed candy because I ha e no options[.]" A reminder: "I have SO NOT BEEN HACKED"
And finally, a successful resolution to one part of the night's dramatic arc:
Finally https://t.co/ZoEI5ulP2S— Susan Orlean (@Susan Orlean)1595043865.0
If you don't do the Twitters, the full unthreaded thread is collected at NJ.com. It's very good.
That Time John Lewis Went To Comic-Con And Cosplayed As A Superhero: Himself
Photo: Top Shelf Productions
Like everyone, I was heartbroken by the news that John Lewis died. Stephen has written a lovely Wonkette remembrance, so I'll just add a couple of my own favorite John Lewis moments here. And can I also just mention this lovely note by Charlie Pierce, who reminded us that, in addition to being a moral beacon and icon of the very best of what being an American is, Lewis was also "Very funny. Sneaky funny." Because as Amber Ruffin said on the Twitter machine last night, "My goodness, he lived the hell outta that life."
In 2015, Lewis went to San Diego's Comic-Con to cohost a panel on his comics memoir March, along with his co-author, former campaign aide Andrew Aydin, and artist Nate Powell. If you haven't read March because it's a comic book (or because you just missed it), that's a gap in your reading you need to correct toot sweet, you.
While he was at the convention, Lewis did what people do at Comic-Con: he dressed up as a character from a comic book. In this case, that would be his 25-year-old self, as the Washington Post reported.
"We went looking for the [type of] trench coat I wore 50 years ago," Rep. Lewis tells me over the weekend. They found, too, an accurate backpack.
"In his backpack were two books, an apple, a toothbrush and toothpaste," Aydin tells The Post's Comic Riffs. "He carried that in Selma 50 years ago in case he got arrested."
Also in John Lewis's backpack on that day in Selma was an orange. "We tried but couldn't find an orange," Rep. Lewis tells me of completing his new weekend costume. "In Southern California, of all places."
And there, as the three "March" collaborators arrived at their Saturday panel, was not just a large, eager audience, but a grouping of schoolchildren down in front ... Now, sitting here, were young fans of "March" — including about two-dozen bright-eyed third-graders from nearby Oak Park Elementary, a Title I school. Their teacher, Mick Rabin, had shown the wisdom to bring them to meet history in the flesh. [...]
And then, after the talk, Lewis needed to get back to the booth of his publisher, Top Shelf Productions, to sign books. Yet how to handle having so many young fans in tow?
The only true answer, of course, was to march.
Rabin says he proposed that his students walk with their living hero. "So we marched through the Convention Center to the showroom floor and the Top Shelf booth," Aydin recounts. And as they did, the procession swelled, as some attendees joined in the parade of purpose.
@repjohnlewis went full-concept yesterday, even packing his backpack with the same contents as Bloody Sunday. #SDCC http://t.co/Fu0MSenhWg— Nate Powell (@Nate Powell)1436714861.0
I had the opportunity to recreate what I wore on March 7, 1965 and march with some amazing young people. http://t.co/0zjGj4jv86— John Lewis (@John Lewis)1436713989.0
It's a beautiful story, and worth a reread if you want to burn one of your WaPo free articles.
As we've mentioned previously, March was itself a nod to Lewis's own history of finding inspiration in comics:
In 2008, when Lewis's co-author and former press aide Andrew Aydin mentioned he was going to a comics convention, Lewis told Aydin that he had originally become interested in the Civil Rights Movement after reading a comic book as a teen in 1958: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Montgomery Story, which told the story of the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and provided a basic primer in the methods of nonviolent resistance. Nerds, please remember this anecdote for whenever people say comics are garbage (then nonviolently whack 'em over the head with a copy of Maus).
Also, from Wonkette founder Ana Marie Cox, this reminder that in addition to being a hero, John Lewis was a cat dude:
Finally, here's John Lewis dancing and giving us all life on the eve of the 2018 election, when we started to take America back from the bullies (and please, do reread Evan's beautiful post that went with it.) May we all try to be as joyous. We'll all dance for you this fall, Rep. Lewis, and then by God we will vote.
WARNING: This video of Congressman John Lewis dancing may make you @Pharrell -level "Happy." 🎵… https://t.co/Ir3eyQvaqF— CBS News (@CBS News)1541110835.0
UPDATE: It works better when the damn tweet loads, lol.
We'll close with your sun-absorbing Thornton on a quiet morning, with completely-ignored new mousie toy. Thorntoncles cares not for mousie.
And now, your open thread!
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.