We won’t be publishing a podcast this week. Oh we recorded one, but it’s possibly the most depressing and bland 40 minutes ever put onto tape (or bytes I suppose in this case.) I kept thinking about it last night and messaged Allyson this morning saying, you know what? We don’t have to publish that. So let’s not. And she said, thank god you said something.

See, the original idea was to talk about the news. This week has been a particularly momentous one as news cycles go, so I thought hey, we have a forum for discussion available to us, how’s about we use it? The swirl of convictions, pleas, investigations, and indictments around President Nazi is picking up speed by the day. That certainly seems worth discussing. There’s also a nationwide prison strike happening, a virulent immigration argument sparked by the murder of a young woman, white supremacy conspiracy theories transitioning into government policy, and the fact that Aretha Franklin didn’t have a will (GIRL.) Just a lot of fodder for a good healthy Graceless debate, right? Wrong.

Regular listeners know there’s a little verbal dance we do almost every week. It’s an honest dance, too; a manifestation of the mental gymnastics we all perform on a daily basis to keep from going batshit insane. Allyson and I talk about current events glancingly on the podcast, but generally when Human Stain or something related to his universe comes up, we hop right over the subject with a groan and “I just can’t.” Then we talk about YouTube videos of dogs.

That should have been an instructive lesson to us: we don’t read the news. At least not on our podcast. What resulted yesterday was 40+ minutes of pain. And we were recording in separate locations for the first time AND I wasn’t drinking because I had to pick the kids up at school after and it was just THE WORST. There were one or two moments worth hearing but really, we’re doing you a favor. I’d feel just awful making you listen to this.

But we do want you to feel informed! I know, you’re probably saturated with conviction/plea news. But if you just want the highlights in an informative Q&A, read this. (Tl;dr: it is absolutely imperative that we vote in November).

You should also definitely read up on the prison strike. It’s historic in its scope, and the demands they’re making are rights every human on earth should have. If you want to wade into the ugliness that is the Mollie Tibbett’s murder, it’s easy enough to find, but suffice to say that no one seems motivated to discuss the real heart of the matter: a woman said no to a man and he murdered her for it. It happens on a daily basis, no matter what country either of them are from.

See, now I’ve depressed myself again. I should just stay away from news entirely. Here, read this expletive-laden tale of what happened when Drew Magary tried to replicate fast food at home. That’ll make it all better.

Enters the room by kicking the door down. Obnoxious Austinite. Conflicted Texan. Writer. Procuress. Sot.