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Hey there,

Some weeks, the news is so intensely bad that I struggle to know what to say. I feel so sad about the lack of justice for Breonna Taylor. And I feel so sad for her family, that they lost this loving, vital member of their family and then have to fight this hard only to have the legal system tell them that her death doesn't matter. Because it does. And she does. As the journalist Wesley Lowery put it, "The American legal system as currently constructed and the laws it enforces as currently written are not designed to criminally charge police officers who kill people — no matter the circumstance."

We need change. We need it so desperately. But the only way we get that is if we don't give up. The great comedian Jackie Kashian wrote a pep talk this week where she said, "Do what you can right now. The terror of 'what if' is to paralyze you in despair. Make sure you are taking care of yourself & your friends & family & helping whoever else you can help IN FRONT OF YOU... If you project what if and what if and what if you will have a heart attack and they will win bc you won’t be able to do anything in the present that is November. That is January. That is next March." I don't think I can put it any better than that. As Arthur Ashe said, "start where you are." 

One small place I'm starting is by text banking for Biden. My friend Alex and I did it together over Zoom and I had a ton of surprisingly pleasant exchanges with voters in Arizona, including a grandma who is pumped to vote. My only complaint was that when a Trump supporter texted back that he'd "rather dip his balls in boiling hot oil than vote for Biden," the organizers wouldn't let me text back "No reason you can't do both!" 

Upcoming Events

- U.S. Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd. But in many states, you can (and should) vote early. Here's a useful state-by-state guide.

- Wednesday, September 30th at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET
HIDDEN EXPERT. I’m hosting this new event series for LabX and the National Academy of Sciences. The storytellers are so fun and the LabX folks have planned a bunch of interactive elements. More than a thousand people have already signed up! Tickets are free and you can register here.

This week's list

Cord Jefferson has written for The Good Place, Watchmen, and Succession. When he won a well-deserved Emmy this week, he generated a lot of attention for thanking his therapist in his acceptance speech (also for being hot). I really enjoyed this post-Emmy interview with him. But I've also gone back to his interview on the Longform podcast several times over the past year. The way he talks about the art of writing and navigating professional setbacks has been very helpful and inspirational to me when I'm feeling down about my own career. Especially at this moment in history, acknowledging the importance of mental health and encouraging people to reach out for help is so crucial. And the Emmy Goes to... My Therapist (If you want even more Cord, here's a fun conversation with him and Jia Tolentino for Pop-Up Magazine) 

Demi Adejuyigbe has single-handedly created an internet holiday. Every year, on September 21st, he releases a new, even more impressive and hilarious video of himself dancing to Earth, Wind, & Fire. This year's video is not only incredible, it's also raised more than $300,000 for charity. Everything about it is perfect. September 21st (Demi is also a writer on Amber Ruffin's new show, which premieres this weekend and I'm so excited to watch!)

Allie Brosh is the artist behind the webcomic Hyperbole and a Half. Her stories and art made her internet famous, then a best-selling author, then a very public face of depression and mental illness. Marc Maron interviewed her on WTF. Bill Gates reviewed her book. And then, she disappeared from the public eye. Many of her fans were worried about her wellbeing. Seven years later, she's back with a second book, Solutions and Other Problems. She gave a funny and vulnerable interview to BuzzFeed News about what's been happening in her life and how she creates comedy out of tragedy. In one of the all time great interview answers, she describes her new book as "Like a wildlife documentary about one specific animal. It was written and directed by the animal. And instead of watching, you have to read and look at pictures. The animal drew the pictures. There are 1600 of them. One time, the animal became trapped in a bucket. I think that basically describes it." Here's an excerpt from the new book: Richard

Thanks for reading! If you're enjoying these emails, please forward to a friend or spread the word. If someone forwarded you this email but you're not yet on the list, you can subscribe here.

Take care of yourselves,

I'm Chris Duffy, comedian, TV writer, creator/host of You're the Expert, spoon enthusiast, a former fifth grade teacher and former fifth grade student.
Copyright © 2020 Chris Duffy, All rights reserved.

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