I’m reading Judith Thurman’s New Yorker Fact piece on Teresa Heinz Kerry, and it’s fascinating. Here’s a stripped-down excerpt with some Wikipedia links:

Maria Teresa Thierstein Simões-Ferreira Heinz Kerry was born in Lourenço Marques on October 5, 1938. . . . The Simões-Ferreira family produced some of Lisbon’s most distinguished lawyers and judges (and also a poet . . . who was “crazy as a loon,” and a friend of Sartre’s), so her father’s choice of a career in medicine was . . . mildly heretical. He emigrated to Mozambique about the time Salazar seized power [in 1932 in Portugal] . . . having married a young woman from Lourenço Marques’s cliquish British colony. . . . [Heinz Kerry’s mother], Irene Thierstein, [was] a Mediterranean matriarch of the old school. . . . born in Mozambique to a couple who had immigrated from South Africa at the time of the Boer War. Her father was the scion of a Swiss-German family living on Malta, and her mother was the half-French, half-Italian daughter of an Alexandrian shipowner who traded with Russia during the Crimean War.

When Heinz Kerry’s mother was pregnant with her first child, she contracted a kidney ailment in Manjacaze and nearly died. The family returned to Europe for a few years so that she could regain her health. . . . [T]hey settled in the capital, where Simões-Ferreira opened an oncology clinic. His children had a modern urban childhood that included movies, pop music, and dating. “My life was idyllic,” Heinz Kerry says, “but more modern than Isak Dinesen’s.”

Paying no attention to anything makes me miss out on stuff like how friggin’ cosmopolitan certain aspects of the political scene have become. Is Teresa Heinz Kerry a side effect of globalization or one of the causes of globalization? Jeezum, it’s a weird world.

And, um, MetaFilter mentions this Queen-Hip-Hop mashup done by The Kleptones

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