September 23, 2020


Happy Redhead Appreciation Day! If your 16th chromosome happens to be graced with a mutated MCR-1 gene, get after it today, you fabulous ginger so-and-so!

September 23rd is also National Dogs In Politics Day. I don't really have anything else to add to that, other than it is VERY TELLING that the current occupant of the White House has no pets and continually uses the word "dog" as a pejorative descriptor for people he doesn't like. Meanwhile, his opposing applicant for the job has two very good boys, Champ & Major. I'm not saying that being a pet parent automatically equals being a top-notch President, but speaking as someone who routinely cleans up gross messes that occur outside of the litter box, it does entail a capacity for patience and persistent, unconditional love that probably comes in handy when dealing with Congress.

Boredwalk emails: come for the links, stay for the incisive political pet analysis! #BarkTheVote

Alright, let's eat some birthday cake!

 First up, cut an RBG-sized piece for Victoria Claflin Woodhull, born this day in 1838! Ms. Woodhull was a luminary of the women's suffrage movement in the U.S. and in 1872 became the first woman to run for President of the United States, with abolitionist Frederick Douglass nominated as her Vice Presidential running mate on the Equal Rights Party's ticket. She was a pretty controversial figure throughout her life, not just for the progressive stances of her youth, but also for the pretty conservative turn she took as she got older. That didn't stop her from also being the first woman to own and operate a successful stock brokerage and among the first to found a newspaper, Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly, which began publication in 1870. She was a pretty interesting woman, to say the least; look her up!

• Next, bop down a bite for legendary composer, bandleader, and saxophonist John William Coltrane, born this day in 1926! He's probably most well-known for the more avant-garde work of his later career, particularly A Love Supreme and Ascension, but my favorite albums of his are 1958's Blue Train and 1963's Ballads.

• Prefer soul to jazz? Perhaps you'd dig a little music from birthday boy Ray Charles Robinson, born this day in 1930! Popularly referred to as "The Genius", Mr. Charles famously liked all sorts of genres, and successfully synthesized elements of jazz, R&B, gospel, pop, and even country & western into something wholly unique — all while being blind since early childhood due to glaucoma.

• Finally, squeeze one last bite in for Bruce Frederick Joseph "The Boss" Springsteen, born this day in 1949! Keep that bite small, though — the noted fitness freak maintains a decades-long primarily vegetarian diet, still runs six miles per day and lifts three days every week in an effort to continue playing 2-3 hour-long concerts in his seventies without needing to be helped off the stage. Born To Run may have jump-started his stalled career, and Born In The USA may have made him an international superstar, but for my money it's all about Darkness On The Edge of Town and The River

OK, link time!

1. Feeling upbeat? These baby hippo memes will cure what ails you and bring you crashing right back down to Earth.

Nothing says "you haven't made it, and you probably never will" like an adorable baby animal telling you "the world owes you absolutely nothing." From the mouths of babes, indeed!

2. The ageless wonder Paul Rudd has a message for his fellow youngsters: wear your damn masks!

I'm not sure what is more ridiculous: a handsome 51-year-old actor dressing and talking like a 26-year-old hype beast, or the fact that actual 26-year-olds are still walking around in public in 2020 not wearing face coverings. #CoinFlip

3. "Goth Martha Stewart" Christine McConnell purchased a creepy Victorian mansion, and it's very on-brand.

If you're unfamiliar, Ms. McConnell makes wonderful crafts and cakes with a decidedly macabre bent. Also, if you ARE unfamiliar with her, it's certainly not for lack of my trying, as it seems like I attempt to get more people to follow her at least once per quarter via these emails, our podcasts, etc. Meredith and I recently became Patreon supporters of hers, mostly because she'll need some scratch to decorate this massive new house she just acquired. I hope she uses that $5/month for something especially spooky!

4. Texas is full of vampires, and Fodor's certainly makes them seem more cuddly than cannibalistic.

Seriously — these generous goths are registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit who are involved in charitable work ranging from blood drives (naturally) to helping kids with medical needs, exotic animal rescue organizations & shelters, and domestic abuse prevention orgs. Talk about bleeding hearts!

5. Rick Beato dissects great songs from across genres and generations, and it's awesome! 

Mr. Beato is a musician, producer, performer, and music theorist who regularly breaks down what makes great songs...well, his YouTube series. If you've ever wondered why certain songs send a tingle down your spine but never understood exactly why, he's here to help you articulate that feeling!

6. BONUS: People in NYC and San Francisco have been enhancing statues around the cities with Ruth Bader Ginsburg's trademark lace collar, and it's almost enough to bring a tear to my eye.

I'm not crying, YOU'RE crying!