Are these phallic earrings great or terrible? They’re actually very expensive so I am probably not going to get them, but I did have a brief moment this morning halfway through filling out my brother’s College Board CSS profile, when I was like… hm, maybe. That made me realize that it’s time for me to acknowledge that we’re in the stretch of the pandemic where at least some of us are feeling mildly untethered from reality.
I enjoyed reading your musings in this piece Ava. I too feel that my life is in some kind of a Covid holding pattern. It is most noticeable for me in dating, or rather in not dating, since I have not gone on a date since the pandemic began. As someone who has dated a lot in my life (maybe too much), I know that you can only determine chemistry face to face, regardless of how many texts, phone calls or Zoom sessions have occurred. I have friends who have taken the approach of Zooming interminably only to build up impossible expectations about someone they have never "really" met, since it needs to be worth it to risk potential exposure to Covid. Invariably these first face to face meetings have failed to live up to their inflated expectations. So I wait instead, for enough people to get vaccinated that the mathematics balance out again: many first dates, fewer repeat dates, fewer still 2-3 month relationships and then, if all goes well an actual long term relationship. So many exposures for me to navigate, once my main risk is once again merely emotional rather than physical.
Please do write about the influencer economy, even in an essay - really interested to read your thoughts on that
I really like these questions and their circuitous way of coming together. I definitely think capitalism limits our imagination (in certain more abstract senses, and in the practical sense that we have to spend so much damn time just trying to survive, doing unpaid domestic labor, etc, that we have little time left to dream) and our visions of what another world might look like. “The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being,” said Toni Morrison. This also makes me think of the conclusion from a recent essay about police abolition that argues for the need to start running, to start striving for deep systemic change, even when we’re not sure of what’s on the other side and haven’t figured out every last detail (since after all, capitalism is obviously falling to pieces and not working for 99% of people as it is): https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/how-i-became-police-abolitionist/613540/. But I’ve been wondering lately if forms of self-publishing like this (substack, patreon (perhaps as stepping stones to something else)), a sort of circular economy between and amongst (marginalized) creators might be a small piece of the puzzle of moving away from the traps of “content” and “consumers” that the current forms of publishing/distribution are fixed in. I think that could go for music (escaping spotify) and maybe films, too— more donations and subscriptions to each other, rather than to corporations. There are some people writing about this that I could point you towards if you’re interested. It’s challenging and exciting to try and imagine smaller, alternative economies that take different forms for different industries/new ways we could support each other making the things we want and need. Mutual aid as a broad umbrella for a variety of practices. I don’t necessarily think the solution is broadly switching out one economic system for another so much as reimagining a multiplicity of economies from the bottom up— but I definitely haven’t read or studied much economics and don’t think I‘d have the patience; good luck with those readings. Thanks for sharing these thoughts, as always.
Hey! I've been a longtime follower of you on Twitter and I love how you tweet. This substack entry is just as awesome as your tweets are. Keep the great work. ►Sergio