Check that snazzy new picture of me over there (and snazzy new website here) –>
1. Wait: WHAT? The evil-and-spying-on-us NSA we’ve been hearing about now for a solid week used to hold a beauty pageant wherein the ladies represented random numbers????
Haha. True, but no, that’s not actually my top story — I just wish it were. The top story is about this kid named Edward Snowden who’s now got a higher approval rating than Congress (not hard to do). Ah, yes. As we grappled this week with the implications of the ol’ NSA leak revelations, we couldn’t help but be distracted by the character of this young whippersnapper who blew the whistle on the whole affair — and/or was a treasonous a-hole.
Yep, the vitriol spewed at this guy who’s hiding out somewhere in Hong Kong, and in equal part the hero-crowning, has been loud and probably entirely beside the point (though as someone with a Masters in theater, I can’t help but note that it’s sorta in our unpatentable DNA to swoon over a good story). And then Snowden himself (get it? Snowden? Snowed… in? Anyone anyone?) joined the debate.
And if you want to read one good article about the real debate, I give you this.
2. Oh god, it’s heavy it’s heavy! Sooo, months after the threat was a thing, turns out Syrian prez Assad apparently has in fact crossed Obama’s chemical weaponry “red line” — and O decided late Thursday evening to arm the good guys against their government. A lot of people have a lot of opinions, y’all, but I’m gonna move on ‘cuz you know how I feel about developing stories and speculation. And instead, in honor of Facebook coming to the party six years late, I’m gonna give the hashtag a moment in the sun.
Ok, now WHAT IS ITS POINT ON FACEBOOK?? Like… aren’t we all enjoying using them ironically there, since we’re among friends and care more about personal stuff than cross-referencing big trending ideas? Or is that just me? Seriously — this is a real question. What do you guys think?
And of course, we can’t mention hashtags without acknowledging Hillary Clinton for jumping on the #twitterwagon. As Maureen Dowd over at the NYTimes points out, Hill’s account saw more action on its first day than either her husband’s or Pope Francis’ did. (The Pope is on Twitter. Just take another second.)
Besides the fact that, as Daily Show stand-in John Oliver points out, there’s literally nothing else “TBD” could stand for besides “Hillary 2016,” I’m mostly fascinated by all this because social media IS gonna change politics — hopefully for the better, as our elected officials interact more directly with their constituents and maybe, maybe, even feel more accountable to them. I hope Hillary takes a page from beloved Newark “super-mayor” Cory Booker’s playbook: he’s a tweet fiend (like seriously, we could all learn better practices from checkin’ out his tricks) and he’s the loudest social experiment in this arena. Okay, and also, full disclosure, this happened on Monday!!
Second, saving the bees! If you’ve been hearing that The Big Bee Die-Off is gonna lead to The Apocalypse, here’s some hope, and it has to do with sperm. You’re welcome.
And finally, Fathers’ Day!
I’m off to read these Letters from Dad, care of Time Magazine and Sheryl Sandberg. Happy weeks, all! Thanks for the Smarty love.
Quote of the week (in honor of my own dad, who’s a physicist):
- NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Has a Higher Approval Rating Than Congress (reason.com)
- ANONYMOUS DEMANDS a FULL PARDON FOR NSA WHISTLEBLOWER SNOWDEN #OPSnowdenJustice (secretsofthefed.com)
- Cory Booker Announces He Will Run for Lautenberg’s Seat (politicalsocialworker.org)