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Hey there!

It's been a pretty apocalyptic week here in Southern California. First, it was boiling hot (parts of LA County reportedly hit 120 degrees) but we did manage to cool off afterwards (when wildfire smoke helpfully blotted out the sun). Waking up to ash coating our car and a sickly yellow-grey sky on Thursday, I thought to myself "At least tomorrow will be better." And then I had to laugh, because tomorrow, of course, was going to be 9/11. So... yeah. It's been quite a week.

At the moment, I'm reminding myself that the elections isn't decided yet and we can have an impact by actually doing something now. I'm reminding myself of an idea I've come back to many times over the years, that joy can be a political act. And I'm reminding myself that most people are kind and good (even if that's currently being debated on Quora).

Upcoming Events

- Sunday, September 20th at 6 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. ET
STORY WORTHY HOUR OF POWER. I’m telling a story on this great comedy show hosted by Christine Blackburn. Get tickets here

- Wednesday, September 30th at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET
HIDDEN EXPERT. I’m hosting this new storytelling series for LabX and the National Academy of Sciences. Tickets are free and you can register here.

This week's list

I'm a big fan of Sarah Lazarus. She can write a viral tweet or a high concept New Yorker piece (The Environmental Impact of Breaking Up with Me). Sarah's comedy manages to be laugh out loud funny, insightful, and empathetic at the same time. That's especially clear in this essay she just published about discovering she was a match for an anonymous patient in need of a bone marrow transplant. It's incredible. Coronavirus, Charity, and the Trolley Problem

At least once a week, I get this five second Bill Wurtz song stuck in my head. Wurtz makes great music, but if you haven't seen his history lessons already, you're in for a treat. I think they might be my favorite YouTube videos of all time? Start with the History of Japan and then move on to the History of the Whole World, I Guess

I finished Isabel Wilkerson's book, Caste, this week and I can't recommend it enough. I've really never read a book like it. It's a deeply researched analysis of the construction of race in America, but it's interwoven with these beautifully written, vivid narratives of individual people's lives, so it almost reads like a novel. I completely understand why reviews called it "an instant American classic" and why Oprah said it was the most important book she'd ever picked for her book club. (h/t Mollie)

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.

Have a good weekend!

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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