A new bag?

I suppose it’s a measure of my increasing disengagement with media inside baseball that I noticed this when it was happening, but didn’t register it as an issue I should care about, but I’m glad Farai Chideya (a name you public-radio people should know) said something:

I was at Harvard for two conferences last week: one on gender bias in the technology industry, the other on fighting disinformation in news. While I was at the tech conference, tweeting out notes on presenters’ data-driven studies of gender in the industry, I also composed a Twitter thread on the story the death of designer Kate Spade and the coverage of it. “The class-based assumptions in the writing are staggering,” I wrote. “From A1 lede: ‘Buying a Kate Spade bag was a coming-of-age ritual for a generation of Americans.’” What about those of us, like me, who grew up wearing a mix of clothes from Sears and JCPenney, secondhand garb, and outfits my mother sewed; and then, in college and after, continued to shop at vintage and discount stores?

Yep. That was me, too. We were a long way from poor, but my parents were Depression children, and the idea of buying overpriced accessories as a “coming-of-age ritual” for their children is laughable. College was enough of an uphill climb; a plain-but-fancy bag in a shade usually reserved for the phrase “pop of color” would have prompted my mother to raise one eyebrow and give me her you-are-kidding-right look. She was a stylish woman, but her style came from inside, not labels. I remember showing her a pair of $90 Frye boots in Glamour magazine, and her reaction was, “Layaway.” And I did — I laid them away and paid $10 every so often until they were mine.

So while I mourned Kate Spade in a general that’s-very-sad sense, I didn’t wail and gnash my teeth. Bottom line, Coach is what I consider a luxury handbag, but only the leather ones, not that C-branded crap you get at the factory outlets. And I have plenty, and don’t need any more.

This is a weekend to look forward to: J.C. and Sammy are headed our way, en route to opening their cottage in the U.P. They’re not staying over, but maybe if we pour enough likker down their throats, they’ll be forced to. It’s a good time of year to have your friends swing by, as I could rustle up a wonderful dinner from a speed-shop at the Eastern Market on Saturday. Morels are plentiful, as well as strawberries and leafy greens and all the rest of it. We split a New York strip tonight with some sautéed morels, grilled romaine and a pasta thing I sorta threw together. It’s a wonderful time of year in Michigan.

Meanwhile, do we have any bloggage? Yes.

The Divine Dahlia, on the shameful separation of families at our southern border:

Most of the women I know are as heartsick about the obscene actions taking place at the borders as I am. I think a year ago we would have been out on the streets, were the government stealing the children of asylum-seekers and refugees and sending them halfway across the country or stacking them up like lumber in detention facilities. But today, I worry, we are horrified but numb. We want to be told what to do.

I think about this numbness constantly, because I worry about normalization all day, every day. Numbness is something thrust upon us, a physical or emotional reaction to external shocks, a natural bodily response. It is also maybe a buffer we put up against the devastation of being part of a group that is constantly told it is worthless and undeserving of meaningful attention.

That we are finding ourselves unable to process or act or organize because the large-scale daily horrors are escalating and the news is overpowering is perfectly understandable. But we need to understand that and acknowledge it and then refuse it any purchase. Because to be overwhelmed and to do nothing are a choice.

God, yes. Once you live through a national crisis, what blows your mind is this: The dailiness of life never stops. You still have to put food on the table, drive kids to school. This is “normalization” of a sort, but you never stop checking yourself. What do we do? You tell me.

Hank has some thoughts on how you might spend your summer TV time. Me, I’m working my way through “The Americans,” even though I saw some spoilers about the series end, and don’t care. I love the long scenes in Russian, because — wonder of wonders — I’m understanding about 10 percent of it.

And with that, I welcome the dawn of the weekend, and hope you do, too.

Posted at 9:21 pm in Current events, Media |

50 responses to “A new bag?”

  1. beb said on June 14, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    Isn’t separating children from their mothers a Crime Against Humanity?

    I never heard of Kate Spade before she died, partly because I’m a man and partly because my parents, like Manct’s were Depression Babies and never spent money on gradious things.

    253 chars

  2. beb said on June 14, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    I was shocked to hear that the President* had saluted a Korean officer. Watching the video, though, it looked more like his stupidity than any disrespect to America. Trump offered his hand. The officer saluted instead then Trump saluted back. Stupid but great propaganda for Kim. I’ve heard that technically saluting is only done between military personal and the president as the civilian commander-in-chief is not military personal and therefore should not salute anybody.

    And it’s nice to see that the Inspector General found that the Clinton investigations were properly conducted and their conclusions that she had done nothing wrong. And also that Comey placed his thumb improperly on the scales of the election.

    And nowe that it’s been confirmed that Trump used his charity as a slush fund I can only hope that criminal references go out and someone files criminal charges against the corrupt Trump empire.

    920 chars

  3. jcburns said on June 14, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    It’s going to be such a treat to see youall, Nancy. Heck, we’ll even chow down on day-old coneys! Don’t go to no any not at all not even a small amount of trouble!

    163 chars

  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 14, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    This is a clusterfarg of epic proportions:


    186 chars

  5. Sherri said on June 14, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    Never owned a fancy handbag until a year ago, now I own a couple of very nice (and absurdly expensive) Saint Laurent bags.

    I got to meet the Divine Dahlia and she was kind enough to let me take a selfie, which you’ve already seen if you follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/100021341051032/posts/195278807860153/

    329 chars

  6. Heather said on June 14, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    Lately I find I have a weird yearning for a Louis Vuitton bag–weird because I don’t normally lust over any kind of obvious signifiers of wealth, and Vuitton bags are super-obvious. I’m not going to buy one because they’re $2000 and I know I won’t get the happiness from owning one that I would from a nice vacation, for example. I mean, they’re made out of canvas.

    365 chars

  7. Deborah said on June 15, 2018 at 12:12 am

    My parents would have had a fit over $90 boots or even $50 boots. I’m older than you, Nancy so maybe that’s part of. It. I don’t have a problem today with $500 boots if I really like them and I think they will last forever but more than that, I put the brakes on.

    Handbags are beyond me, I hate carrying them, I really don’t get them at all. I use pockets or tiny bags that hold my phone and a few cards.

    407 chars

  8. Deborah said on June 15, 2018 at 12:54 am

    As Steven Colbert says we’re a feckless cuntry, related to the ripping apart of families, and we are,

    101 chars

  9. ROGirl said on June 15, 2018 at 5:40 am

    I found a beautiful high end vintage handbag at an estate sale and paid $35 for it. The brand is Anya Hindmarch, new ones are very expensive.

    141 chars

  10. alex said on June 15, 2018 at 6:33 am

    It just so happens that Jeffrey No-Regard Sessions popped into our little burg yesterday to give justifications for the new immigration policy. Why here of all places? Who knows?


    Our elites—who seem to think that they are also our betters—don’t like our immigration system; they know they don’t have the votes to change it—and so they have willingly embraced illegality. It is outrageous.

    But the Trump administration is working to restore legality to the system and undo the damage that was done in the Obama years.

    Unfortunately there has been a lot of misinformation out there on what we at the Department of Justice are doing. The reports have been so wrong that some people might even call it “fake news.”

    He also goes on to lecture the “church people” who have soft hearts for immigrant children about how their anger needs to be redirected at the parents, as well as at Obama and the snooty open-borders elites.

    Just another normal Thursday in flyover country.

    1136 chars

  11. alex said on June 15, 2018 at 6:38 am

    Oh, and the Washington Post had a few choice words about his visit as well: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/06/15/sessions-says-the-bible-justifies-separating-immigrant-families-the-verses-he-cited-are-infamous/

    235 chars

  12. Suzanne said on June 15, 2018 at 7:45 am

    I was appalled in the extreme about the president saluting the general of a repressive communist regime. I am more appalled about the lack of the right being appalled. I should know better by now.

    Jeff “Foghorn Leghorn” Sessions makes me physically ill. He’s a longtime US senator. He IS the elite who sounds like a country rube. But his mentality is one I hear everyday; one that says immigrants should just not come here, then they wouldn’t be arrested and have their families ripped apart. Those opioid addicts should just stop taking drugs, then they wouldn’t be addicts and could get a job. The solutions to life’s problems, in this world, are very, very simple.
    I am not sure what I will do if the GOP stays in power after the next election. Because it will get worse and worse and worse.

    811 chars

  13. alex said on June 15, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Remember the right-wing pearl-clutching when Obama bowed to a foreign leader in accordance with diplomatic protocol? Oh, but that was different.

    144 chars

  14. Connie said on June 15, 2018 at 8:04 am

    Nancy, I think I bought those Frye boots. Leather lace-ups?

    60 chars

  15. alex said on June 15, 2018 at 9:02 am

    Someone from my office attended the Sessions speech yesterday and thought it was the bees’ knees.

    Blame Obama. Blame snooty elites. Blame those bad parents who just dragged their children along to gain sympathy. And there’s a special place in Hell for Trudeau? Really?

    272 chars

  16. Peter said on June 15, 2018 at 9:04 am

    That’s why I was so very impressed by the Women’s March last year. There’s plenty of things to be outraged over, but it takes a lot of effort to organize a peaceful protest, and who has time for that?

    I may be way off, but one way the 2008 economic crash was just as bad as the Great Depression is how respected norms and civil government are damaged. One example out of a thousand – there’s no justification or reason to separate parents from children at the border. You’re going to ship them back anyway, so wouldn’t it make sense to load them all on the bus together? No, they just do it because they can.

    615 chars

  17. Sherri said on June 15, 2018 at 9:33 am

    In this article about how the DCCC is showing no love for African-American women who win primaries, I came across this explanation:

    And right now, that strategy is to focus on battleground states and districts, and focus on offering an economic message: a strategy that inadvertently is leaving these black women out.

    There’s nothing inadvertent about it. It’s a deliberate choice to center white male voters. Nobody would ever write that a strategy inadvertently left white men out.

    656 chars

  18. Julie Robinson said on June 15, 2018 at 9:50 am

    As we walked up to our gate yesterday at good ol’ Fort Wayne “International” Airport, a plane with United States of America landed and taxied off to the side. A few minutes later a fleet of SUV’s pulled up and were then quickly gone. It was 1:45, just in time to drive downtown.

    So, how does Sessions get to use a government plane? I thought Cabinet members were supposed to fly commercial. This waste of government money is just as odious to me as the hateful words coming from his evil mouth.

    497 chars

  19. Jeff Borden said on June 15, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Watching a racist bag of crap like Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III citing the Bible to buttress the obscene cruelty of separating desperate parents from their children is too much for me to handle.

    The story from the Brownsville facility –a converted Walmart facility being run by a non-profit group– was fascinating even though the reporters were closely monitored and no photos or video were allowed. The facility was described as extremely clean and orderly, but sheesh. The boys in that detention center are given two hours of outdoor play time –two hours– per day. Lights out at 9 p.m. And then there was the mural of our glorious Orange King silhouetted against a flowing American flag alongside the words in English and Spanish, “Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.” WTF?

    It’s getting hard to recognize the America I thought I knew. We should just blow the fucking Statue of Liberty up and use the island as another refugee internment camp. It’s more fitting a symbol of what we are these days.

    1041 chars

  20. Sherri said on June 15, 2018 at 10:43 am

    When you have a theology based on proof-texts and clobber verses (as Fred Clark calls them), you can use the Bible to justify anything.

    135 chars

  21. Mark P said on June 15, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Arbeit macht frei

    17 chars

  22. Deborah said on June 15, 2018 at 10:57 am

    What is this law whereof they speak that they biblically have to uphold? I have tried to find it, they say the Democrats passed it, that requires them to separate children from their parents. Can anyone here point me to it because everything I’ve read about it says there is no such law. And if the bible requires us to obey the law then how come they can choose not to uphold the ACA? I read that the justice dept is no longer defending cases regarding the ACA. So, as much of what Trump does you can pick and choose which laws you must abide by, especially if you’re white.

    575 chars

  23. Deborah said on June 15, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Deborah, I thought the same of Foghorn Leghorn’s Biblical citation. If God says we should follow the laws of the land, then they have no reason to take issue with same sex marriage or the ACA or legal abortion. Those things are the law of the land, whether they
    Ike it or not.

    280 chars

  24. Deborah said on June 15, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Talk about a punchable face, Sarah Huckabee Sanders sure has one. I realize she’s a woman but that doesn’t mean she can’t have a face you want to punch but won’t. I can’t believe she doesn’t deep down in her heart feel shame for all of the lies she has propped up. And as a mother of small children herself you’d think she would be appalled at these policies.

    359 chars

  25. Jeff Borden said on June 15, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Deborah — I just heard on the radio that Sarah Huckabee Sanders is only 35-years-old. It appears lying on a daily basis for the most corrupt bastard to ever occupy the Oval Office takes a toll.

    194 chars

  26. Jolene said on June 15, 2018 at 11:53 am

    What is this law whereof they speak that they biblically have to uphold?

    There is no such law. Some years back, there was a court decision restricting the amount of time a minor could be held in custody. The previous administration dealt with this restriction by releasing the parents and assigning dates for them to return to immigration courts, rather than separating children and keeping the parents in custody.

    The present situation grew out of the Trump administration’s policy to keep adults who cross the border in custody until their cases are processed. So, the “zero tolerance” policy of this administration plus the restriction on how long children can be held results in the separation of parents and children. There is no law requiring this separation, and the policy is not remotely a result of Democratic legislation, as Trump has argued.

    There’s a fairly detailed fact check at the link below. Hope that helps.


    1128 chars

  27. Jakash said on June 15, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Hey, I’m more than happy to read comments attributed to Deborah, but if Suzanne is gonna start calling herself Deborah, too (#23), that’s gonna get a bit confusing! ; )

    “Feckless cuntry,” courtesy of Colbert, via Deborah @ 8 sounds like a keeper.

    “It is difficult to divine the motivations of a president like Mr. Trump, a mercurial personality who tends to put ideology aside in pursuit of a quick deal. But analysts say public admiration of authoritarian strongmen has been one of Mr. Trump’s few consistently held views.”

    I imagine such admiration of tyrants, and saluting a North Korean general, are fine with patriotic Pilot Joe and other Trumpians, though, as long as it pisses the rest of us off.


    814 chars

  28. beb said on June 15, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Trump blames Democrats for his policies because he doesn’t want the blame for instituting the most horrendous border policy in our nations’ history. His policy is one of state-sponsored terrorism. He’s saying don’t come to our country because we’ll ‘disappear’ your children. In one case the children were separated from their parents ‘to take a bath’ and never came back. This is so like the gas chambers in Nazi Germany disguised as showers it’s sickening. And now the ‘leader’ of the free world wants people to jump to attention when he speaks just like the good folk in North Korea do when their dictator speaks. And trying to justify all this by quoting the Bible? I think Trump is the Anti-Christ

    709 chars

  29. Suzanne said on June 15, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    I have no clue why my name showed up as Deborah! Did I type it that way??
    Maybe I am losing my mind…
    Yes. I am losing my mind.

    128 chars

  30. alex said on June 15, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Manafort’s in jail for witness tampering! Yay!

    46 chars

  31. Dorothy said on June 15, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    I have much better things to spend my hard-earned money on than bags with names of designers on them. The very idea is just so upside down to me! I too would rather pay for a nice vacation rather than a name brand anything. In high school I had a babysitting job when a divorced mom needed me one night a week while she taught a class at a local college. I saved every pay and used all but one of them to pay for a ‘maxi’ coat that I’d been longing for. I think it was $45.

    Our daughter just went back home today after spending a week with us. Hubby had a health scare and needed a heart cath on Tuesday. (He’s fine, thank goodness. Some blockage in one artery but not enough to install a stent.) Daughter wanted to be here just in case anything serious was found. We downloaded the last season of The Americans so she could watch it while here (I’d already seen it). She worked from home Sunday through Thursday nights and it was kind of thrilling to know she was doing Washington Post work right in our house. And we had the bonus of Meg bringing Olivia over twice this week so it was a full, happy house this week for us. More company than we’re used to but I’m happy when family is around.

    Jolene cracked a joke after seeing some pictures of O, saying that she is ‘neglected.’ Wish I could share with you all a short video of her doing raspberries on her mom’s legs – it’s hilarious.

    1402 chars

  32. Deborah said on June 15, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Suzanne, I blame losing of minds on Trump, I know I’m losing more of mine every day since he got elected. In fact just now when I typed in my email address I spelled out “at” instead of using @.

    We finally went to the MVD today to get a handicap placard for when LB is with me running errands in the car. Yay, tomorrow is her MRI.

    334 chars

  33. Deborah said on June 15, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    OMG, if I was in Chicago I’d totally go to this tonight https://saintsabina.org/2018-annual-end-of-the-school-year-peace-march-and-rally.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=obama&utm_content=1+-+++++&utm_campaign=em_x_ofa_20180615_x_x_ofa_targets&source=em_x_ofa_20180615_x_x_ofa_targets&refcode=em_x_ofa_20180615_x_x_ofa_targets

    That link looks weird, I guess I’ll find out if it works

    409 chars

    • jcburns said on June 17, 2018 at 8:05 am

      Deborah, this part is the link: https://saintsabina.org/2018-annual-end-of-the-school-year-peace-march-and-rally.html
      And all this junk:
      …is how they track you and the people you send links to. It can be safely deleted.

      456 chars

  34. Deborah said on June 15, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Where is Manafort going to spend his time? Will he have to wear an orange jumpsuit? Will he be subject to a body cavity search? Will he have a cell mate? What I would give to see a photo of him in a jumpsuit sitting in the mess hall surrounded by orange. Guys like him who’ve been grifting for decades deserve to be treated like the common criminals they are.

    359 chars

  35. Jolene said on June 15, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    Guys like him who’ve been grifting for decades deserve to be treated like the common criminals they are.

    He’ll be part of the population at the D.C. jail. Will be quite a contrast from his life of $7000 suits. The TV people are saying that, unless he chooses to cooperate, he will never be free again because the evidence against him is insurmountable.

    364 chars

  36. LAMary said on June 15, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    I had the same reaction to all the words about getting a Kate Spade bag as a rite of passage. I didn’t grow up poor but there were no handbags like that in my past. I got my first Coach bag from my mother in law when I was about 30 and got another from my brother when I wanted a small bag the use when I was schlepping a diaper bag around. Same brother has bought me Coach bags for Christmas or birthday several times, so I’ve got an embarrassment of riches handbag-wise.

    473 chars

  37. Deborah said on June 16, 2018 at 12:24 am

    The only Coach bag I ever had I got at a garage sale and I used it maybe 3 times. My husband bought me a black leather Fendi oversized tote in Italy that I used for a travel carry on, I had it for years and years, probably still have it in our storage unit in our building in Chicago on the 2nd floor, I had it relined about 3 times. Once at LAX someone reached in it and stole my wallet (before 9/11), I stopped using it after that. I have another brown leather tote that I have used for a travel carry on, I got it at Madewell in Chicago on Rush. My favorite carry on bags have been the Frietag brand that are made of recycled plastic European truck coverings, they are extremely durable and cool (I think).

    709 chars

  38. Connie said on June 16, 2018 at 10:16 am

    My opinion? I would never waste my money on a purse that cost more than $50. What’s the point? It just has to carry my stuff.

    Sure is hard to remember that I now have to fill in my name every time.

    201 chars

  39. David C. said on June 16, 2018 at 10:18 am

    This is what those assholes are doing to kids from a former kid who’s been there. Warning: heartbreaking and anger inducing.


    182 chars

  40. Deborah said on June 16, 2018 at 10:56 am

    That was heartbreaking David C.

    31 chars

  41. Deborah said on June 16, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    It has been gloriously raining in Santa Fe most of the morning and is supposed to continue through the day. It’s the perfect rain (for plants) soft, gentle and prolonged. A neighbor in Abiquiu emailed me that it’s also raining like that in Abiquiu. Yay! Perfect for the Mistake Garden. Tomorrow my husband comes back from Chicago where it’s wicked hot. Then Monday we pick up our counters etc for the summer kitchen, and on Tuesday the counters get installed. I ordered a cast iron table base for the summer kitchen which already arrived but the table top (wood which I have to stain) comes next week, we already have the chairs for it. I can’t wait to get this kitchen operational.

    690 chars

  42. susan said on June 16, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    I use a kid’s daypack for a “purse.” Holds everything I need to carry and has room for extra stuffs, but it’s not too big and it’s hands’-free. Haven’t had an actual purse for probably 45-50 years.

    197 chars

  43. Deborah said on June 16, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    This is how McCarthy played the press, seems familiar https://mobile.twitter.com/PeterHamby/status/1006933624959262720/photo/1 hmmmm.

    133 chars

  44. Deborah said on June 16, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    The backstory behind the Trump mural in the converted Walmart is even more bizarre than I thought https://thinkprogress.org/donald-trump-mural-backstory-a74ffd2e12d2/

    166 chars

  45. Colleen said on June 16, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    I find the Coach bags with the big C all over them really ugly. I don’t care much for designer stuff that has the logo plastered all over it. I am a fan of Harvey’s seat belt bags. They wear like iron.

    201 chars

  46. Suzanne said on June 16, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    I have several Vera Bradley bags but all were bought either at the big outlet sale in Fort Wayne or at resale shops. I think the most I ever paid for one was $20.

    162 chars

  47. basset said on June 16, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    Carried a Land’s End canvas briefcase in my former life, have used the same black REI daypack with a shoulder strap the whole eleven and a half years I’ve been at my current job. Domke photographer’s jacket with no telling how many pockets when the weather allows, too bad they quit making em.

    294 chars

  48. Deborah said on June 16, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    I agree Colleen, I hate it when the brand logo is all over the product, I never buy those and if I have to I find a way to take the logo off of the product which I have become very adept at doing. I never buy those products that have fabrics that incorporate the logo into them like Coach and Louis Vuitton. I would never pay for them. Coach does have leather bags that that don’t have the logo all over them like the fabric ones but still those leather ones are way too expensive to me for what they are.

    507 chars

  49. Roy Edroso said on June 19, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Hank’s got a roundup, so has McArdle. How do people find time to watch so much TV? (Well, McArdle just adds bad jokes and passive-aggressiveness to AEI executive summaries, which leaves plenty of time, but how does Hank?)

    221 chars