Hi, I’m Gabrielle Blair and this is my newsletter. It’s completely free to access and read, but if you feel so moved to support my work, please consider a paid newsletter subscription: just $5/month or save money with the $50/annual sub. You can also go way above and beyond by becoming a Founding Member at $75. Thank you! Seriously, thank you. Support from readers keeps this newsletter ad and sponsor-free.
Hey there. How’s it going? This morning, I received a booster shot. (Moderna.) No side effects so far, but I have zero plans for the next few days just in case. This is only my second shot, because when I was first vaccinated back in May, I received the J&J shot. I’m so happy/comforted to be boosted! And for those who are curious, getting a same day booster wasn’t an option for me here in France — I made the appointment a month ago, but this was the earliest date available. According to the offical French Anti-Covid app, vaccination coverage in France is 89.5%.
In other vaccine-related good news: France is starting widespread vaccinations for the 5-12 age group! Which means Flora June can finally get vaccinated! We made her first appointment for the earliest date: January 5th.
What’s happening vaxx-wise where you live? Is it easy to access a same-day vaccination? Or do you have to wait for an appointment? Is your community working on initial vaccinations? Or have they moved on to boosters? Is it free for you to get vaccinated? Or do you have to pay a fee?
What I’ve Been Consuming
December can sometimes feel like a marathon to me. I totally hit a wall a few days before Christmas and over this last week I took lots of “breaks” to rest. (Breaks = me, skipping out on whatever family activity is happening and hanging out in bed). My brain wasn’t up for reading or writing, but I would watch movies, or listen to audiobooks. Here’s some of what I consumed:
-I really enjoyed the audiobook of Children of Time. The narration was excellent and the story was so ambitious.
-Don’t Look Up. It’s a new all-star Netflix movie. It felt so realistic to me that I sometimes found it hard to watch, and I was fully rooting for the comet before I was even halfway through. One of the big criticisms of the movie that I’ve seen is that the people who really need the message of the movie, are not likely to see the movie. Sadly, that’s probably true.
-Ben Blair gave me the the 1619 Project audiobook for Christmas. I’m only 3 chapters in and have already learned an embarrassing amount of things about the founding of America that I had never heard of before. So compelling and important.
-Insecure. This a series on HBO. The series finale premiered on Sunday night, closing out 5 seasons. I’ve been watching this since the beginning, and was really sad to see it end, but I love how they handled the finale. It was perfect.
If you’re curious, you can see more of our holiday in this Christmas Instagram highlight.
Here Are A Few Things I’ve Wanted to Share With You
-According to Wired, Science is increasingly finding that there’s enormous value in working much less each day—and relaxing far more.
-"It's right in front of our eyes. The most interesting and the most distressing thing about American news coverage right now is that we don't treat the end of democracy in America as the story. That is the story." An important report from NPR.
-Related: This article explains that three (3!) Generals are worried about a coup across the armed forces, and also casually mention that National Guard Command ignored a Presidential command last week.
-I keep thinking about these numbers in this tweet. Maybe because I’m in France, but I have never heard of the show Yellowstone (though I am a watcher of Succession). Do you watch Yellowstone? Is it good? I watched a trailer for it after seeing this tweet, and I might give it a try.
-The Great Shoplifting Freak-Out. Lots of headlines about the non-existent crime wave that’s happening. This essay in the Atlantic explores the coverage.
-A Colorado trucker rejected a plea deal after causing a traffic accident when his brakes failed. So he got 110 years in prison. A reporter spoke with the DA, who openly admitted that she punished him for exercising his constitutional right to trial.
-Absolutely fascinating. People got sick at a conspiracy conference and had common covid symptoms. But instead of admitting it’s covid, they believe they were attacked with anthrax.
-"I’ve never had a drink of alcohol. Ever. People have strong reactions to that during this season of toasting." Let’s stop asking people why they’re not drinking.
-An important warning: America is now in fascism’s legal phase.
-Mark Zuckerberg Is The New Republic’s 2021 Scoundrel of the Year. “The nitwit founder of Facebook has created the worst, most damaging website in the world. And we’re just supposed to accept it.”
Feel free to share your thoughts in response to anything above. The last week of the year often feels so odd — I hope you’re taking it as easy as you can. Lastly:
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!