I've been largely avoiding the news for most of the past three years for the sake of my sanity. But I went to the BBC this morning because of the Google doodle on the web's 30th birthday. And while there remains plenty wrong with the world, I also found a trifecta of stories to feel good about:
- A heartwarming family story, featuring a mother hugging her son
A Spanish woman freaked out when her (then) daughter came out to her as trans. But seeing mother and son hug today, you wouldn't know it.
The way the story is structured, we first see the mother today, loving and supportive of her child. Only then do we learn it was not always thus.
I've had trans friends — for that matter, gay and lesbian friends — whose parents never did come around. Which would have heightened my reaction to Hugo's mother's story regardless. But structuring it as they did makes watching mother and son hug now all the more poignant.
- Good government — in Italy‽
Many years as a news-junkie conditioned me to expect that "Italy" in a headline would lead me to a story of government malfeasance — or, occasionally, of someone in Italian government who was trying to actually do their job being blown up in their car. And much of my reason for avoiding the news since the Brexit vote and America's descent into Trumpery is the extent to which news out of what used to be two of the world's most admired countries has come to resemble what I expect out of Italy. So I took it as a cheering (albeit sadly ironic) turning-of-the-tables to see a headline about government actually governing come out of Italy:
- MIT alum and Ivy-league-grad partner found company in Brooklyn
Does anyone know Janet Lieberman (Course II, '07)? She and her partner Alex Fine (Columbia; Psych) founded a company in Brooklyn to bring well-engineered products to an ill-served market niche.
Which would totally be a dog-bites-man story were it about two young men rather than two young women — and were their market niche something other than well-engineered sex toys designed by women, for women.
The BBC put up a video about them and their company them that's pretty much a straight startup profile. The reporting is forthright and tasteful — both marks it would have been easy to miss. And the video is almost entirely free from snickering — the sole exception being when the Ivy founder, Alex, cracks up while delivering a remark directly to camera:
I don't know Ms Fine, of course. But something — maybe just the glint in her eye as she gives up on suppressing her grin — tells me the remark came to her spontaneously during the interview. And that she, like many of my friends, engages in wordplay at a sufficiently high level that, had she come up with such an excellent line beforehand, she'd have steeled herself to deliver it totally deadpan.
- There was a hole in the market, and we just penetrated it.
Yes, we did.
After fifteen years on LJ, I have joined the great exodus.
It's lovely over here. Join me!
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