Roadmap for the underground
and faces from a single thread
ROCK PAPER RADIO is a dispatch for misfits & unlikely optimists by your favorite hapa haole, beet-pickling, public radio nerd. It’s a weekly email newsletter and podcast that shares three curiosities every Thursday - something to hold on to (that’s the ‘rock’), something to read (that’s the ‘paper‘), and something to listen to (you guessed it, that’s the ‘radio’). Themes include but are not limited to: rebel violinists, immortal jellyfish, revolution. Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word. Learn more at RockPaperRadio.com.
SOMETHINGS TO READ
The world continues to be a lot! Today alone, the Supreme Court has both sworn in Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson—the nation’s first Black woman to become a Supreme Court justice—while also ruling that clean air should not stand in the way of the rights of power plants to spew toxins into the atmosphere.
Meanwhile, praying in public schools gets the green light, while women who want autonomy over their healthcare do not (even through 60% of Americans say that abortion should be legal in all or most cases). What a time to be living in the home of the free.
If you missed it last week, I wrote a letter to our RPR fam about what’s it’s been like for me trying to wrap my brain around this whiplash moment, all the good along with the terrible.
It’s nuts out there, friends. Hang in there and remember to unplug when your timeline starts to make your eyes cross.
SOMETHING TO LISTEN TO
This 40-minute episode of The Daily from the New York Times is a time capsule. It was published on May 17th, shortly after a draft of the decision to overturn Roe was leaked. The alarm in the voices of the host and reporter over the possibility (now a reality) that Roe might be reversed is subtle, but palpable and—now we know—ominous.
The Mexican Model of Abortion Rights, opens with reporter Natalie Kitroeff taking us across the border where we meet Mexican human rights activist Verónica Cruz Sánchez. The piece is as much a profile of a remarkable grassroots activist and one woman who has benefited from her activism, as it is a journey through the history of women supporting women in the underground, when above ground our rights have been eviscerated.
In a media landscape where other countries—especially countries whose populations include mostly people of color—have often been framed as primitive, or, at least behind the Great American times, this piece hits this present moment like a truck. This story just may serve as a roadmap for bleak times ahead for women in America.
Shout out to producer Galen Beebe for giving our Audio Squad the heads up on this episode.
SOMETHING TO HOLD ON TO
Artist Kumi Yamashita is making faces. For her Constellation series, Yamashita wraps a single piece of unbroken thread around thousands of galvanized nails to create intricate portraits.
The series is a moving reminder that we’re made up of so many connecting milestones and stories, even if when we’re too close to those turning points we can’t see the full picture.
That’s a wrap on issue 85, friends. Thanks for reading, listening, holding on.
And happy last few days of Pride Month, gays, queers, and allies! Don’t put those rainbow flags and Big Queer Energy cropped tank tops away yet. We need all the love and representation we can get right now. Obergefell looks like it might be next.
See you next Thursday.