Surprise me View in browser
Dumpster with a sticker on it that says "no trash please"
An anti-Trump campaign sign   

This week
I turned off the chaotic first presidential debate after about 20 minutes, so I did not witness Trump's chilling "stand back and stand by" nod to white supremacists in real time. Two days later, I read the news that Melania had said, of the asylum-seekers locked up in cages at the U.S.-Mexico border, "They deserve it."

I hate that this bald-faced cruelty has become so expected and familiar. Every day I open the New York Times and brace myself for information that will turn my stomach to ice. When news of the Trumps' covid tests reached me last night, I let out a reflexive giggle that came from some deep part of me that has only felt sorrow and fear lately. And when the shock wore off a few seconds later, that line of Melania's was echoing in my mind. They deserve it.

On a more productive note, we're one month out from this election. And so, on the podcast, we've got a pep talk for getting out the vote. Phonebanking is one thing that's made me feel better lately. It's not about arguing with people who support this president. It's about making sure people like me, who hate that they've come to expect his cruelty, have a plan to cast their vote next month. 

I'm reading
Poet Claudia Rankine on surviving the discomfort of everyday interactions. How Trump's bigotry releases both his white supporters and his white detractors from their own racial guilt.  Big cities have boosted police budgets, not cut them. On being a sexual assault survivor and a prison abolitionist at the same time. The murky e-commerce ecosystem of Black Lives Matter merch. How work became in inescapable hellhole, and why employers don't know how to handle grief. What housekeeping has in common with survivalist prepping. One writer's selfie project to counteract trolls and ableism. A guide to 21st-century Blackface. Against Dishoom. "The doctors in the ER viewed me as a man, but to the point of neglecting the kind of man I am: one with a vagina." Dispatches from historically Black beachfront community in New York; small towns in Appalachia untouched by the pandemic; an autonomous protest zone in Philadelphia; Tijuana, where parents are searching for the remains of their missing children; Austin's war on unhoused people; a boom town turned ghost town in southern Arizona; and the palm-lined highways of central Florida. Interviews with Jeremy O. Harris, Rihanna, and Stevie Nicks. What is lifestyle, anyway? Are you aging correctly? On rational, all-consuming fear. Advice for making big decisions right now.

Pie chart
What have the Trumps tested positive for? 14% mean-sles, 13% dipshitteria, 3% covid-19, 18% herpes simpleton, 26% griftfluenza, 26% hate-patitus A, B, and C
The Infectious President Pie

Become a paying member for just $5/year. A year! I'd love your support. 

I’m looking & listening
Children of meatpacking workers are protesting on behalf of their parents, who are forced to risk covid exposure. The origins of policing in America. Portraits of queer rodeo stars. Photos of Lake Tahoe from below. The hell that is remote learning. A comic about kudzu and migration.


I endorse
Artists-in-Presidents. This project by Constance Hockaday "is bringing together fifty artists to assume authority over our collective future. Alongside the 2020 presidential campaign, artists will address the nation over radio, podcast, social media, and in our virtual gallery."

The artists are paired with speechwriting collaborators to craft "fireside chats" about the country and its future. Check out the gallery here. There are a few new ones released each week, and I've been gobbling them up. I love hearing about the future (and present) as imagined by artists.

The Classifieds

Seeking diverse ideas and interesting commentary? Culture writer Jess Thoms' free weekly newsletter curates the best hot takes of the week.
Watch Sincerely, Erik — a love letter to NYC, books & all the lonely hearts. A short film by Naz Riahi.
70 Million is a Peabody-nominated podcast chronicling how communities are taking action to address criminal justice reform in their neighborhoods, from the school-to-prison pipeline to racialized policing to the spread of COVID-19 in jails. Listen now at or any podcast app.

The Freelance Parent is a weekly newsletter by Cat Hufton. Sign up for advice, anecdotes & support to help you thrive professionally & personally after pro-creating.

Do you love holidays? Sign-up for Forever Holidays - a free newsletter celebrating fun holidays with headlines, photos & giveaways.

Counsel for Creators helps ambitious creators build, grow, and protect their businesses with killer legal support. Schedule a free business evaluation with us to alleviate confusion and learn how your creative business can use the law to grow.

Do you have a newsletter? Help make email better for everyone by filling out the newsletter workflow survey. Results will be discussed at the Online News Association conference as well as on

Support this newsletter by supporting these advertisers!
Or advertise yourself: Click for ad rates and info.

"If you're not subscribed to @annfriedman's newsletter yet, click this link right now & get on the list. She is one of the smartest people I follow & one of the voices I trust to weather us through this storm. You can also pitch in $5/year to support her." -Brittany. I'm not sure I am going to get us through this storm, but I am certainly here to help process the weather conditions.

This newsletter is owning its petty puns.
Forward it to someone who refuses to condemn schadenfreude.

Ann Friedman

Manage Preferences | Unsubscribe | Ladyswagger, Inc.
PO Box 26932 | Los Angeles, CA 90026
© 2020