This is Friday Letters, an AGAINST THE LAW edition b/w (All Aboard the post-twitter) Night Train
I don’t even know where to begin except to say something about the website1 that you probably signed up for this newsletter from, and is going through it right now.
I’m not leaving Twitter yet, but I share the general doomsday prepper vibes we’ve been riding out over there for a few weeks. It did really occur to me today though that writing a newsletter should be as easy as typing together the dozens of posts (I have no idea, I am not going to check) here.
I’m going with that, until, well—who knows. Isn’t it great that there’s still an internet, even if this corner is owned by (as shortform queen Barbara Kruger might have called them, too) “a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers.”
The midterms were this week, and I hope I never have to write about Kari Lake ever again. But if you are just getting into her whole deal, here’s what I’ve been able to assemble2 over the last few months, going back to her primary:
Kari Lake and the Mama Bears of Massive Resistance // Lake’s run for governor in Arizona was only on my radar at all because she was one of the candidates who seemed to have most closely allied herself with the cadre of “just moms” who were taking over school board meetings since summer 2020, spreading weird stuff about queer and trans teachers, amongst much more…
Kari Lake Still Wins If She Loses // Lake started unfurling the Stop the Steal narrative even before election day, and she refused to commit to honoring the results. Which—as the reader mail I got after this piece suggests—was at least for some people not immediately disqualifying.
Stop the Steal’s Last Stand // And this is where we are now, still waiting for Maricopa County and the rest of Arizona to do the normal election shit they do and count votes, despite the conspiracy theories. (And even though Kari Lake did all the groundwork to cast doubt on the election before if was underway, I don’t think the winds of “Stop the Steal” are really with her. Or anyone.)
In A WOMAN IS AGAINST THE LAW updates this week, I’m getting drawn deeper than I probably need to be (always) into what was just a few sentences in an Ida B. Wells essay, and is now the obvious throughline in a chapter that’s been stop-and-start, not for lack of a map but because adjusting to writing with a chronic illness is not great. Still, something satisfying started coming together, on the question of penitence.
FROM THE PLAYLIST //
As of this writing, the book’s playlist is five years old and clocks in at 7 hr 35 min. This is “Night Train” by James Brown (the version from Live at the Apollo).
STATION IDENTIFICATION //
This is Friday Letters, by Melissa Gira Grant (me), back on Fridays again.
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For people reading this in 1000 years: there was this thing called money, and then this thing called debt, and a man who thought he was going to build a rocket to Mars but first he bought a website loved/hated by hundreds of thousands of people (n.b. I was one of the first 75,000) and then when he could have just left well-enough alone he chose to do the equivalent of burning up on re-entry, and the re-entry was to… whatever quasi-democratic hollowed out world his pals have tried to bring about. Hope they lost! ↩
Using the titles I gave them, originally, before SEO etc. ↩