#5SmartReads - September 29, 2022
Hitha on the women of Iran, some election things, and (economic) history repeating itself
Here’s the thing about history that has been proven time and time again - it repeats itself.
Empires rise and fall (and always on the free labor of people who are forced out of their own sovereignty). The power of the few trumps the needs of the many. And the economy is a pendulum, swinging from growth to recession and back again.
And in this case, the global economy is drawing some eerie parallels to its 2007 self. But it also bears significant differences:
“To be clear, we're not predicting a new crisis as severe as the one that rocked the world in 2008. Rather, we're arguing that major (and accelerating) underlying shifts are underway and likely to reverberate for years.
How significant the pain will be is hard to predict. It could vary significantly across countries and industries. It's plausible that the economic damage in most sectors of the U.S. economy will be mild.”
Chicago is a Broadway institution, and the women who have stepped into Roxy’s costume have rehabilitated their careers, become as notorious as their character, or made history.
Let’s focus on the history-making Roxys, and Angelica Ross in particular. She’s the first trans woman to play Roxy on Broadway, a moment she describes as affirming and with such respect to Roxy and the other women who have played her.
“Erika Jayne called me and we got to talk. She was so funny and gave me the best advice, to enjoy the experience, and told me that the crew and cast are amazing people to work with. But she also gave me a heads up that there’s a sign on the ladder that says, "Stop here, b*tch." [Laughs.] So I know where to actually stop on the ladder. I reached out to Brandy, who’s been so warm and welcoming. I asked her about the wigs. I'm like, “Do they see the lace on the wigs? Because I didn’t see your lace on your wig.” She was like, “Nobody’s even going to care about that.””
With the midterm elections rapidly approaching in the United States, I urge you to do the following:
If you have time to spare, volunteer as a poll worker
Read this article so you know what to do you if you make a mistake on your ballot (which I absolutely have done)
While every state has its own procedure for this, it is the first step taken in counting mail-in ballots and the stage when many of them are thrown out without recourse or being counted.
This article goes into good general details on ballot curing as a whole, but check your own state’s policies if you’re planning on voting by mail - and take your time while voting to help minimize any errors.
“I often think about what it would have been like to have been born and raised in Iran, rather than having been born in London and visiting the country during school holidays. Living in the diaspora, I live between the two worlds; deeply and proudly connected to the culture, but disconnected from the innate struggle of Iranian women in the country. Empathy doesn’t mean full understanding—how can it?
Any admonishments I experienced during childhood visits to Tehran, like public shamings in bazaars for bare hair, were localized and typically brief. As soon as we flew out of the country, and our airplane left Iranian air space, hair coverings around the economy class cabin were swiftly tossed aside, physical signs of relief at the freedoms we were able to experience simply because of geography.
But I am inextricably linked to the women of the country. I look like them. My daughter looks like them. We are them, if not for a quirk of birthplace. May they flourish and may their hair fly free.”
Every word of Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani’s piece struck my soul. Take your time to read this with care and time, and to linger over her words when you finish.
Bills would curtail objections at future Jan. 6 vote counts (Associated Press)
I’m not alone in being frustrated at the snail’s pace that Congress typically moves with (the past few years being quite an exception, due to the pandemic and Biden’s deft hand in legislative leadership).
And I’m extremely heartened that Congress is meeting the moment to safeguard election results and the certification process, which has become disruptive in its best years and added fuel to the insurrection fire just last year.
While most of the attention is focused on reforming the Electoral Count Act, this bill raises the bar to challenge a state’s results during certification. Currently, it only requires 1 member of the House and 1 member of the Senate to challenge and trigger a vote on that state’s electors (essentially to throw out the electoral college votes from the overall count).
This bill? It raises the bar to 1/3 of the House to object, and 1/5 of the Senate, along with grounds for objection.
It’s an immediate step that is being taken, but also one brings us closer to common-sense election reforms like the Interstate Voting Compact, Ranked Choice Voting, and other very practical reforms. Emily has highlights about each of these, if you’d like to learn more.