Feeling defeated? Demoralized? Just plain confused? Yeah, us too. That’s why we share with you, dear reader: our weekly roundup of what got us through this week.
To recap: this week our president rescinded the DACA program for young immigrants, while simultaneously saying he has a "great love" for the 800,000 people whose families are now in jeopardy. Many parts of Houston are still underwater from Hurricane Harvey, with Hurricane Irma coming closer. Education Secretary Besty DeVos announced a loosening of the rules on campus sexual assault; Harriet Tubman might not go on the $20 bill after all. And, after its ordered closure, the Russian consulate in San Francisco was spotted with smoke coming from its chimney, burning some stuff. Probably just firewood!
Along the way, art, joy, distraction, beauty and catharsis helped save us. Without further ado: here’s what got us through this week.
Hiller Goodspeed's Simple, Innocent Illustrations
If "warm fuzzies" could be encapsulated in an art work, it would be done with Hiller Godspeed’s work. I usually prefer art that both challenges and agitates my world view. But Hiller Godspeed’s work is anything but political – it’s soft, pure, and simple. There are days I don’t want to look at art that reminds me of the burning shitstorm of our political climate, when I just want to look at crayon drawings of moons and flowers and feel okay. Godspeed’s work is reminiscent of holding a warm cup of tea and watching rain drops stick to the window. I can’t quite explain why Godspeed’s work always makes me feel better, but it always does. —Katherine Manley
Bun B's Set at Hiero Day
Midway through Houston rapper Bun B's set at Hiero Day on Monday, it hit me just how much loss the guy'd been through in his life. Losing his creative partner, first to jail, then to overdose. For a while, losing the interest of the mainstream press. And this week, losing so much back home to Hurricane Harvey. You wouldn't have known it from his performance, a portrait of class and gratitude that ended with "International Players Anthem," which re-enters my life every six months or so and always hangs around for a week straight, buoying my spirit. Even while Bun B organizes a major telethon for Hurricane Harvey victims — with Beyoncé, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, Barbra Streisand and more, to be aired Sept. 12 on all TV networks simultaneously — he found time to come to Oakland and share some resilience. It was heavy. —Gabe Meline