No. 12: Things I Like Right Now

Because sometimes reporting takes a long time, ugh

I have 2,356 words for you, drafted and proofread and edited. But now additional sources have suddenly decided they do want to talk after all — which is wonderful! —so that word count is going to change and new edits will happen and the newsletter I had all set to go for this morning will hit Wednesday morning. I promise it is worth the wait. In the meantime, here are some recommendations.


Watch: I sometimes think Veronica Mars can’t possibly be as good as I remember, and then I go back and watch it again, and it is. To be clear, this is not an endorsement of the new season, which I have not watched yet and I understand is controversial AND DO NOT SPOIL ME FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. But in advance of the new season, I have been watching the original series for the third time, and y’all, it holds up. (Mostly. The casual homophobia is very dated and unpleasant.) I originally binged the first two seasons of the show the old-fashioned way, via Netflix sending DVDs of four episodes at a time in the mail, in the spring and summer of 2006 with my then-boyfriend, after his brother insisted we had to watch it. And it was so intense and real, despite being not at all real. But the emotions! It was a high school Law & Order but with real emotions, hidden most of the time with sarcasm, which was also the relationship I was in, and man, I felt it all. The third season, which we watched in real time, was obviously subpar but still had highlights. Then the show was cancelled. A few months later, so was my relationship. I rewatched it all in 2015, and now I’m rewatching it all with my mom, who, because she is a mom, thinks Logan is the worst. (She is totally wrong, but also kinda right.) I am not a person who rewatches shows, at all, and I am still surprised at how fresh and relevant and emotional 2004 Veronica Mars feels in 2019. If you have never watched it, you should. Bonus: Like, L&O, you get to see guest stars who are now famous back when they were young nobodies!

Listen: If you have the time and patience to sit through a couple of early episodes that aren’t as tightly edited as they should have ideally been, The Ballad of Billy Balls is an investment that pays off. Photographer and writer iO Tillet Wright investigates the mysterious shooting of a punk musician who went by Billy Balls, and whose death devastated the woman he loved. It starts off as a true-crime story, but it evolves into something so much deeper — an excavation into parenting and addiction and grief and forgiveness. Also, Cheetah Chrome! A must-listen if you are at all into that late ‘70s/early ‘80s NYC punk and post-punk scene, but you don’t need to know anything about the music to care about the story.

Read: Make the time to read this devastating ProPublica feature on heirs’ property rights and the lack thereof and how developers are screwing over poor black families whose ancestors bought land in the Reconstruction-era South because of legal loopholes and the lack of wills.

Then, go get a lawyer to make you a will already! It astounds me how many people I know who have children who don’t have wills. My dad, who was a lawyer, didn’t have a will until he got cancer at 46, and that was insanely stupid. Don’t wait until you are dying! Go get a will! They aren’t that expensive if your estate isn’t incredibly complicated. (I know, because I have one.)


Reminder: I’m on Venmo @cgervin until subscriptions start (very soon!) if you want to help fund this reporting. More importantly, if you want to throw reporting tips my way, you can reply to this email; DM me on Twitter or Facebook; message me on Signal or Confide; or call or text me.