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Based on a true story. Author, journalist, screenwriter, social justice bard.
BBC/Neal Street: on the Covid-safe set of Call The Midwife

Another summer, another lockdown. Last night, we watched a small, rowdy right-wing rally against our city’s latest, necessary quarantine order lollop along under our window, all of them hollering their ambient refusal to be inconveninced so that their neighbors don’t die.

There’s no neat slogan for how much hurts to…


Normal is never coming back. We’ve got to be gentle with each other.

Photo by David Boarder Giles.

This is a dispatch from another planet.

For millions of people, for the rest of this mad, sad year, the world will return in pieces. Instead of remembering lasts we will start counting firsts. The first day…


AOC tells it like it is.

Pain has no place in politics. That’s the rule. And it’s definitely the rule if people with political power have caused you pain. You don’t talk about your trauma. You don’t show the damage. You smile at your abusers. You make things comfortable. …


Conservatives have declared war on abortion. That’s not about ‘protecting the family’ - it’s about controlling women.

Whose families matter? As the clock ticks down on the first Trump era, conservative concern-trolling has given up on original thought and is just playing the hits. This week in America, haunted Stepfordian…


What happened to sisterhood?

image by Charles Hutchins via Creative Commons

Last week, beloved children’s author J.K. Rowling briefly became the world’s most famous transphobe. …


National Guard soldiers in Downtown Los Angeles, May 2020. Photography by Samuel Braslow

The human heart is shoddy at sustaining outrage. In any ongoing crisis — a pandemic, a police crackdown, several centuries of brutal racial segregation or all of the above- people have a funny way of getting used to it. Normalising obscenity is a human instinct, unless we are in mortal…


Edvard Munch, Ashes, 1925; photo: courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo.

Produced in Partnership with SFMOMA, where Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed is on view until October 9th, 2017.


Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

“America is great because America is good.”- Hillary Clinton.

“We dream of a brand new start-
But we dream in the dark, for the most part.”
— Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton.

When I was a child, I always half-suspected that America wasn’t real. It had to be made up. It was…


Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Banquo: It will be rain tonight.

First murderer: Let it come down!

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

It’s high noon on the first day of the Democratic National Convention and the block is, in every sense of the word, hot. It’s almost a hundred degrees in the shade. …


Drew Angerer / Getty Images

ROS: Fire!
GUIL: Where?
ROS: It’s all right — I’m demonstrating the misuse of free speech. To prove that it exists. (2.68–70)
—Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

This is a story about how trolls took the wheel of the clown car of modern politics. It’s a story about…

Laurie Penny

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