It’s a cult!

And not even a documentary-worthy one

Maybe the only surprising thing anymore is finding out you’re still capable of surprise. We guess some happy little spark of American exceptionalism was still hammering away in our heart, because this feeling only comes when you expected something better and didn’t get it

The only institution too many people will fight for — the only institution cops will kill for — is white supremacy. The only value American government has to them is upholding white supremacy. Stray from that job even a little, and they’ll tear it down. 

It’s embarrassing, to be this many years old and really, finally accepting that. Yeah, we “knew” it, but we must not have believed it. Or we wouldn’t be feeling like this right now. 

There’s nothing to ask of you that you don’t know to do. Yeah, for every Stacey Abrams photo you share, make a donation to Fair Fight, cute, glib, insert GIF. But if you are a white person and find yourself sitting with some emotions you weren’t expecting today, get honest about them. We have to clean out every bit of white supremacy from our own minds first. And then we need to go after all the family, friends and colleagues who we haven’t directly challenged. Because if you think there’s no one in your life who would do this, you are wrong.  

Business is delusionally unaffected by current events, as it always seems to be these days. Project44 raised $100 million to grow it’s freight-tracking platform. Considering the number of packages outside of your door right now, it seems like a safe bet. 

Chicago companies are also doing the investing. Guaranteed Rate made itself the 10th largest mortgage lender by buying rival Stearns Holdings. It’s a move that could potentially bring unwanted oversight from minority partners — companies that might, say, question the private company’s choice to buy naming rights to a ballpark that was often half empty before the pandemic.

We pulled this GIF at random. They are … not full games.

Relativity is getting creepier with its acquisition. The legal discovery software maker is buying New Jersey-Based VerQu in an effort to make it easier to analyze chat-based conversations for tidbits worthy of the courtroom. Let this be yet another reminder: Don’t Slack it if you don’t want to hear a judge read it.

Outside of Cook County, businesses are flush with extra cash. In Normal, Rivian is working on a fundraising round that values the electric truck startup at $25 billion. And in Geneva, flavor company Fona International has just been bought by spice daddy McCormick for $710 million. We spent a lot of time thinking about what a flavor purveyor could be, but it’s never as cool as in dreams.

The Tribune is offering another round of buyouts to cut newsroom staff at the same time that Alden Capital is looking to take over completely. Given the hedge fund’s history of slashing budgets, soon there may not be enough business news left for us to mouth off at over here.

Jobs, Glorious Jobs
Copy Editor
at Crain’s Chicago Business
On a less gloomy note, here's a rare copy editing job at a relatively stable place to do journalism. Crain’s just elevated the person who had the job before, so expectations will be high. 

Assistant Director of Communications and Social Media and Analytics Coordinator at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Sent in by a hustler, these two jobs are perfect for people who find themselves contemplating the apocalypse for no particular reason — the Bulletin is responsible for the nuclear Doomsday Clock in addition to its website and magazine.

Inspiration of the week

The cult of productivity is a racist, sexist, able-ist, sociopathic asshole.

We can keep optimizing ourselves to ideal robot status. Or we can reject the dead-hearted ideals at the core of capitalism. Part of the daily practice of doing that = building a permission structure — for yourself, for your colleagues, for the people you manage, for your kids and your partner and every person you encounter in your daily life — to feel some fucking feelings. You could call this a softness, or a posture of grace, but it is also a mode of resistance.

— Another thing we should know, but … from Anne Helen Peterson’s excellent Culture Study newsletter. Every productivity hack ever written is predicated on being able to isolate yourself from the world — to turn your focus away from survival for yourself and others and toward your output. You know who can do that? The people who can fearlessly loot the Capitol. 

Guilt here isn’t useful — we’re bouncing a baby with the same leg that’s balancing this laptop. And we’re not going to resolve to be better about living a lifestyle that prioritizes people over profit, because we make that resolution every year. It’s fucking hard. There are generations of conditioning and misplaced pride to work through. 

So instead of beating ourselves up for once again working through the weekend, we’ll make a promise we can keep: to celebrate any effort you make to spend your time where your values are.

A hustler’s hustle we’re promoting 
Letting friend of the newsletter Kammy Lee declutter your damn life with her business, Organized by Kammy

What Kammy says:

If you're tired of looking at your "stuff" and you're ready to transform your home into a peaceful, joyful space, a KonMari consultant can be the catalyst. Trained in Marie Kondo's revolutionary method of decluttering and organizing, Kammy believes her clients are creative, resourceful people. She's not here to "fix your problem," but to partner with you, providing guidance as you uncover answers that are already part of you. This is the meaning of "spark joy," and the reason this method truly is life-changing. 

Get 15% if you book before the end of February with code TIDYUP15.

Do you have a product or service we should promote? We won’t take your money, but we will not shut up about it if you’re doing something cool.

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