scratch track

the distortion is part of the charm – it’s a natural feature of whacking the guitar this hard at a harmonic point with a rubber mallet – yes this is a hammered guitar

It’s the hottest part of the summer and I’m treating myself to beer. God I love this song. Anyway, it sounds MUCH BETTER on headphones, I’m hearing stuff I didn’t hear the first time. It’s just got depth, you know, and then this sort of pounding howl of a chorus, so much pent up jealousy and rage and then back to… I do this, I do this, I do this, life has a rhythm, and then I JUST GET SO MAD. I LOVE IT so there

 

Harpers Letters Section – letter and rebuttal, and comments about the signatories which I’ll finish later

July 7, 2020
The below letter will be appearing in the Letters section of the magazine’s October issue. We welcome responses at letters@harpers.org

Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial.

which…. the fuck … institutions are you referencing???

from Wikipedia

cultural institution or cultural organization is an organization within a culture/subculture that works for the preservation or promotion of culture. The term is especially used of public and charitable organizations, but its range of meaning can be very broad. Examples of cultural institutions in modern society are museumslibraries and archiveschurchesart galleries.

Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts.

So the cultural institution you’re actually referencing in the first line is really…. the cops? Are you fucking kidding me? or no, cultural institutions in this case are academia, a racist cesspit of sheltered and overgrown egos, journalism WHICH HAS BEEN BUTCHERED by right wing billionaires buying up every independent newsroom and news provider they can get their mitts on, philanthropy, the method by which billionaires deflect opprobrium, and the arts, which, fuck, I’m a creator and I know ‘zackly how bad shit is.

But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity.

This is the FUCKING TONE ARGUMENT once again are you shitting me Cthulhu. And by cracky if you think the leftists I hang with on twitter are ideologically conforming to any gatdam thing – at all – BESIDES the notion that none of us have read enough – literally the only thing any of us agree on – you’re obviously someone grand and stupid enough to have signed this limewater screed.

As we applaud the first development, we also raise our voices against the second.

So marginalized voices pointing out exactly how, and by whom, they are being marginalized get to run their ideas past you now? IN WHAT FASHION IS THAT NOT CENSORSHIP.

The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy.

Okay, thissssss is the point at which the cheese and the cracker separate, to the peril of the cheese. Because instead of calling what Trump and his supporters enact ‘fascism’, which it fucking well is, look it up, they call it illiberalism, which is what you say WHEN YOU ARE TOO MUCH OF A FUCKIN’ COWARD TO CALL FASCISM BY ITS NAME.

But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion—which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting.

YEAH, why don’t you give an example for the folks in the back rather than doing the academic equivalent of the noted folk saying, “Everybody knows –––”

The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

Now just a corn-poned second there, Sparky, there’s a BIG DIFFERENCE between the ‘intolerant climate’ for white Christians and Black Muslims; white Trump artistes and Indigenous moms, anybody who voted for Steven Harper and me. For a couple of examples. The lived experience of marginalized peoples is herein magically made equivalent to that of gun totin’, mask scoffin’ fuckwits of all races and genders. IT IS NOT. The discourse of American Black men, who have a 1 in 1000 chance of being shot to death by police over the course of their lives (and even higher odds of dying in custody, should they survive arrest) is not the same as the discourse of a young white rapist caught in the act and protected by a judge who says his whole life is in front of him. The intolerant climate has set in on ONE SIDE. That’s fascism, pushing the middle to the right and people who long for justice to the left WHETHER WE WANT THE SHOVE OR NOT.

The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted.

Well, it’s a good fucking thing I’m not listening to people like this, because the free exchange of information and ideas is expanding in my universe; if it isn’t in yours it’s because you aren’t humbly seeking the wisdom of people who aren’t, uh, white. Perhaps you think your moral universe is sufficiently large. I have my doubts.

While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.

I do not show intolerance to opposing views. I show hatred, scorn, contumely and my entire ass in all its jellied glory to any ratfucker who tells me that it’s an acceptable viewpoint to detest and wish to end, stop the existence of or kill trans women. That the Indigenous ‘got beat fair and square and it’s white land now LOL’. That Coulten Boushie asked to be shot by that asshole SK farmer. That Cindy Gladue asked to have her private parts paraded through court after she’d been murdered. That slavery was two hundred years ago, get over it. That cultural artefacts 40000 years old should be destroyed in international mining operations because who gives a shit what a bunch of blackfellas and their mob want.

What kind of blinding moral certainty are you talking about?

We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.

Let’s just pause for a moment and look at the signatories. Given that Steven Pinker is caught up in the whole Epstein-Maxwell-pedophile-Rape_Island mess, don’t you think it’s telling as hell how he raced to sign anything that tries to position THE LEGIT QUESTIONS OF PEOPLE WHO SURVIVED RAPE AND TRAUMA AT EPSTEIN’S HANDS AS ‘severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions’? ‘Perceived’ because they haven’t had their day in court I suppose. I prefer to believe survivors, which in this case means that I’m part of the retribution for perceived transgressions squad, la me.

More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms.

Oh how sad for those being punished. They figured the good times would roll forever and then some 18 year old ‘bitch’ goes to the press about being repeatedly fondled by a prof at Uni. Can’t she take a joke? Can’t he get his day in court?

Editors are fired for running controversial pieces;

RACISM ISN’T CONTROVERSIAL. It’s a fact of life. Running a piece that says that Black people have it good in Amerikkka and they should quite whining and start working is racist, and you should get your ass fired.

books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity;

Cultural appropriation DOESN’T EVEN GET NAMED. So if you steal something but you’re soft and kind in your words to the people that you stole from that somehow makes it better. Every Indigenous person reading the above words is likely getting sour sour stomach.

journalists are barred from writing on certain topics;

Isn’t it funny that what really happens is that marginalized people ask TO BE CONSULTED when an article on, say, #CripTheVote or #BlackLivesMatter or #MMIW is commissioned and when they weren’t, they drop a twitterbomb on the writer and editor and given that they’re marginalized WHAT DID YOU EXPECT. They’re going to go for cheap and available.

professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class;

Yeah, he said the n-word seven times during a single lecture with such relish that even the white people in the class felt queasy, and do you really have to do that while teaching Twain.

a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study;

which has since been retracted because right wing assholes keep quoting it and misconstruing the conclusions and the data;

and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes.

Hey, I didn’t find out until the last possible second that my leading light academic was a multiply accused rapist. Despite the mountain of complaints. Too busy drinkin’ at the Faculty Club, fuck all y’all.

Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal.

If you’re going to be a public figure and support racism, misogyny, transphobia, Islamophobia, the right of white men to run Canadian academia in perpetuity because they are naturally better at it, ‘if you’re not doing anything wrong you don’t need to fear the police’ constructions of public safety, and other little lapses in judgement, reprisal is coming, sorry chuckles.

We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement.

YOU NEEDN’T BE RISK AVERSE IF YOU CONSULT THE PEOPLE YOU’RE WRITING ABOUT AND TAKE CRITICISM WITHOUT BEING A WHINY ASS CLOWNBAG.

This stifling atmosphere will ultimately harm the most vital causes of our time.

RIGHT, because Climate Justice really needs to take the feelings of the rich into consideration. and because justice for descendants of enslaved Africans really needs to take the needs of racists into consideration, and trans women need to take the feelings of JK Rowling into consideration, and Indigenous women need to take the feelings of serving RCMP officers into consideration. Because if they are stifled then ALL OF DISCOURSE OH MY GOD will be destroyed and ‘the most vital causes of our time’ will fail because angry, disenfranchised people aren’t being nice enough to the people oppressing them WHILE CLAIMING that that isn’t what is happening, nope, not at all.

an extension of the tone argument is still the fucking tone argument

The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society,

So when Tucker Carlson or Rex Murphy does it it’s okay, since he’s neither the government nor society? I AM SO CONFUZZLED.

invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation.

You are too stupid to protest, let us do it. We can’t be trusted either, but at least we’ll sound prettier while we meep from our academic publications, twitter platforms and walled garden journals and newspapers.

The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away.

I’m not wishing anything away. I’m pointing out that it’s bullshit, and not even bullshit fit to dress flowerbeds with.

We refuse any false choice between justice and freedom, which cannot exist without each other.

I refuse to believe that a long list of famous rich people signing what is essentially a ‘white tears apologia redux’ (even though BIPOC signed) can make any real contribution to either justice or freedom. The false choice they’re asking me to make is to be a bad and mistaken and unjust and unfree person or agree with them, and they can **** ** ***** * ****.

As writers we need a culture that leaves us room for experimentation, risk taking, and even mistakes.

But when you signatories make mistakes, YOU DON’T OWN THEM! I’m looking at you Bari Weiss and JK Rowling but Noam Chomsky and Greil Marcus are also getting SIDEEYE

We need to preserve the possibility of good-faith disagreement without dire professional consequences. If we won’t defend the very thing on which our work depends, we shouldn’t expect the public or the state to defend it for us.

It’s not good faith disagreement they are wanting to preserve. It’s freedom from consequences when they say something that limits the freedom of others and that, my chums, I will not abide.

a few notes about the signatories. They aren’t all white, they aren’t all men, they aren’t all conservatives. Some of them appear to have been pressured socially into signing. Some of them shouldn’t have done that since it doesn’t reflect their beliefs.

These are people who have money, respect, awards, positions, titles, and WIKIPEDIA PAGES. This is the ‘liberal establishment’ talking. And they are shootin’ poo.

Elliot Ackerman

Noted, decorated US Veteran and supporter of the draft dob April 12, 1980

Saladin Ambar, Rutgers University

Professional academic and Mario Cuomo biographer Married to the President of Oberlin College  —-dob 60s-ish

Martin Amis

Noted Islamophobe dob 25 aug 1949

Anne Applebaum

Journo & Editor, possibly one of the least self absorbed of the signatories dob  July 25 1964

Marie Arana, author

Noted self-hating Latinx editor and author of historical works

September 15 1949 (exactly same age as Paul)

Margaret Atwood

Ah, Pegster, your treatment of Indigenous writers and your complete inability to take any criticism of your public utterances and work at all is legendary in its pettiness and cruelty

dob Nov 18 1939

John Banville

I have no idea why an otherwise relatively blameless Irish writer got dragged into this bullshit

dob 8 Dec 1945

Mia Bay, historian

Black woman historian @ UPenn

dob in the 70s

Louis Begley, writer

dob Oct 6 1933. Avoided dying in the holocaust as a child with forged papers. So this Jew escaped fascism but wants you to mind your tone.  Fuck …

Roger Berkowitz, Bard College

Director Hannah Arendt Centre. Into Heidegger. DOB not available
Paul Berman, writer

I have nothing to accuse this person of, except sheer folly in signing this. Was once sued by Michael Moore, who used the money to make Roger & Me, and I guess we all know how that turned out dob 1949

Sheri Berman, Barnard College

Classic small l liberal academician, refuses to give her dob

Reginald Dwayne Betts, poet

November 5 1980. Black, award winning poet. A talented gent, he will likely regret until his corpsification that he signed this screed

Neil Blair, agent

dob late 60s early 70s

heavily invested in supporting Rowling seeing as how she was responsible for most of his wealth

David W. Blight, Yale University

dob March 1949

Historian of Black lives including Douglass, multi award winning and whiter than I am
Jennifer Finney Boylan, author

dob June 22 1958 She is a trans woman… I don’t know how the trans community is going to deal with her being a cosignatory with Rowling, but hoooooo lassie I just checked on twitter and SCORCH AI YI

David Bromwich

dob December 15 1951 He wants to be loved by conservatives but he mostly trends left in his public announcements, so this is hot garbage for his rep
David Brooks, columnist

out as a conservative commentator, he was born in Toronto but makes his bones in US media

dob August 11 1961
Ian Buruma, Bard College

dob december 28 1951

He’s the ratfondler who published Jian Ghomeshi’s sad little self defense in the NYRB (the one I got published in for yelling as hard as I could type about it) and as far as I’m concerned his meeping about how he was censored and fired for it is the reason this letter was published.  WAH WAH WHITE TEARS
Lea Carpenter

Epitome of well-connected well born white liberal woman who refuses to give her dob
Noam Chomsky, MIT (emeritus)

NOAM YOU ASSHOLE dob? God’s younger than he is
Nicholas A. Christakis, Yale University

dob may 7 1962

a mensch, how he got dragged into this bullshit is like ????

Roger Cohen, writer

dob 2 Aug 1955

supported the invasion of Iraq, enough said

Ambassador Frances D. Cook, ret

dob sept 7 1945

a trailblazer among women in the foreign service of the US she currently runs a merchant bank with evvvvvverything that implies

.
Drucilla Cornell, Founder, uBuntu Project

June 15 1950

she’s worked to undo the damage of apartheid and is a noted feminist scholar

Kamel Daoud

June 17 1970 once had a fatwa out against him but the Algerian courts but the imam in jail for it How he feels about cosigning with Martin Amis? Mighst all Critey

Meghan Daum, writer

dob 1970 Essayist & Guggenheim ‘fellow’
Gerald Early, Washington University-St. Louis

april 21 1952 Black essayist, academic and culture critic

Jeffrey Eugenides, writer

Dexter Filkins
Federico Finchelstein, The New School
Caitlin Flanagan
Richard T. Ford, Stanford Law School
Kmele Foster
David Frum, journalist
Francis Fukuyama, Stanford University
Atul Gawande, Harvard University
Todd Gitlin, Columbia University
Kim Ghattas
Malcolm Gladwell
Michelle Goldberg, columnist
Rebecca Goldstein, writer
Anthony Grafton, Princeton University
David Greenberg, Rutgers University
Linda Greenhouse
Kerri Greenidge, historian
Rinne B. Groff, playwright
Sarah Haider, activist
Jonathan Haidt, NYU-Stern
Roya Hakakian, writer
Shadi Hamid, Brookings Institution
Jeet Heer, The Nation
Katie Herzog, podcast host
Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College
Adam Hochschild, author
Arlie Russell Hochschild, author
Eva Hoffman, writer
Coleman Hughes, writer/Manhattan Institute
Hussein Ibish, Arab Gulf States Institute
Michael Ignatieff
Zaid Jilani, journalist
Bill T. Jones, New York Live Arts
Wendy Kaminer, writer
Matthew Karp, Princeton University
Garry Kasparov, Renew Democracy Initiative
Daniel Kehlmann, writer
Randall Kennedy
Khaled Khalifa, writer
Parag Khanna, author
Laura Kipnis, Northwestern University
Frances Kissling, Center for Health, Ethics, Social Policy
Enrique Krauze, historian
Anthony Kronman, Yale University
Joy Ladin, Yeshiva University
Nicholas Lemann, Columbia University
Mark Lilla, Columbia University
Susie Linfield, New York University
Damon Linker, writer
Dahlia Lithwick, Slate
Steven Lukes, New York University
John R. MacArthur
, publisher, writer

Susan Madrak, writer
Phoebe Maltz Bovy
, writer
Greil Marcus
Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center
Kati Marton, author
Debra Maschek, scholar
Deirdre McCloskey, University of Illinois at Chicago
John McWhorter, Columbia University
Uday Mehta, City University of New York
Andrew Moravcsik, Princeton University
Yascha Mounk, Persuasion
Samuel Moyn, Yale University
Meera Nanda, writer and teacher
Cary Nelson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Olivia Nuzzi, New York Magazine
Mark Oppenheimer, Yale University
Dael Orlandersmith, writer/performer
George Packer
Nell Irvin Painter, Princeton University (emerita)
Greg Pardlo, Rutgers University – Camden
Orlando Patterson, Harvard University
Steven Pinker, Harvard University
Letty Cottin Pogrebin
Katha Pollitt
, writer
Claire Bond Potter, The New School
Taufiq Rahim, New America Foundation
Zia Haider Rahman, writer
Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, University of Wisconsin
Jonathan Rauch, Brookings Institution/The Atlantic
Neil Roberts, political theorist
Melvin Rogers, Brown University
Kat Rosenfield, writer
Loretta J. Ross, Smith College
J.K. Rowling
Salman Rushdie, New York University
Karim Sadjadpour, Carnegie Endowment
Daryl Michael Scott, Howard University
Diana Senechal, teacher and writer
Jennifer Senior, columnist
Judith Shulevitz, writer
Jesse Singal, journalist
Anne-Marie Slaughter
Andrew Solomon, writer
Deborah Solomon, critic and biographer
Allison Stanger, Middlebury College
Paul Starr, American Prospect/Princeton University
Wendell Steavenson, writer
Gloria Steinem, writer and activist

Older than my mother. nuff said

second wave feminist whose ongoing issues with racism need a more settled mind than mine to review and who only apologized for her bullshit views on trans women in 2013. Any modern feminist should be on guard against her, she’s always a day late and dollar short in 2020.
Nadine Strossen, New York Law School
Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., Harvard Law School
Kian Tajbakhsh, Columbia University

Jan 25 1962

Spent years in jail in Iran so he knows from fascism…. and yet
Zephyr Teachout, Fordham University

Lawyer actor politician academic dob October 1971
Cynthia Tucker, University of South Alabama

March 13 1955
Adaner Usmani, Harvard University
Chloe Valdary
Lucía Martínez Valdivia, Reed College
Helen Vendler, Harvard University
Judy B. Walzer
Michael Walzer
Eric K. Washington, historian
Caroline Weber, historian
Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers
Bari Weiss
Sean Wilentz, Princeton University
Garry Wills
Thomas Chatterton Williams, writer
Robert F. Worth, journalist and author
Molly Worthen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Matthew Yglesias
Emily Yoffe, journalist
Cathy Young, journalist
Fareed Zakaria

sorry about the radio silence

Basically I started drinking beer when I got there, stopped around 7 pm, started having kidney grit again around 2 am, peed into a cup at one point because I couldn’t make it from the trailer to the house, and man, continence is A WHOLE THING of beauty and you really appreciate it when you don’t have it. I woke Jeff up around 6:30 the next morning and we talked it through, whether we wanted to leave in case I got worse, ended up getting the 9 o’clock ferry, more or less, and was greeted by an exceedingly noisy Buster.

But kidney grit aside….

We had an awesome time, can’t say how much, it was balm for my soul. And Jeff is of much the same mind. Brought a PILE of guest gifts mostly to indicate how grateful I am to have access to a miniature Baumfest. Anyway why take flowers? I brought vegetation of a different kind. Also a plaque showing Percy Saltzman saying Tonight’s forecast: low standards, alcohol and poor decisions. I thought Al was about to lose his mind when he saw that. I also brought them four capshields with hardware.

Drank beer ate fishburgers and other food, listened to the waterfall – they have a WATERFALL you can hear FROM THEIR YARD listened to their incredible playlist on spotify and around ten I got to sleep in their extremely comfy trailer in the side yard. I FELL IN LOVE with that trailer, it’s incredible me-sized.

IT WAS FUNNE!

 

This little exchange on the internet may NOT GO AS PLANNED for grandpa but he’ll be dead when his grandson eulogizes him as ‘the man who really accepted my sexuality’ LOLOLOLOL

 

 

email circulated by a world famous scientist

Thanks to me exchanging emails with Carolyn Porco back when I was still stanning for Unitarianism, I got this this am. It is actually from a friend of hers.

Subject: What I am doing for the upcoming COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic

Dear Colleagues, as some of you may recall, when I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources. The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April.

Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves.:

1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.

2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.

3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip – do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.

4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.

5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.

6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands.

7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!

What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:

1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.

Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average – everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon.  This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth. >>>>>>> OKAY THIS WAS THE POINT I SAID hunh

Because this disease has cell receptors all over your body, as previously mentioned in this blog. HOWEVER he’s right that it can only infect you by getting into your respiratory system, usually by you transferring live virus to your facial mucosa. Once it gets in you, it can hurt your heart and your circulatory system surfaces as well.

2) Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you – it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth – it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.

3) Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.

4) Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY “cold-like” symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.

I, as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be. Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it. Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available. I hope these personal thoughts will be helpful during this potentially catastrophic pandemic. You are welcome to share this email.

Good luck to all of us!

James Robb, MD FCAP

millennial prayer

Biscotti batch 3 in oven, this will be AWESOME

Image

https://www.chickenscratch.co.uk/shop/the-millennial-prayer is where to buy this AWESOME MERCH PLEASE ensure that Keith sees this I’m sure he’ll be amused this is from @wangleberry on twitter and she lettered this after something her ‘idiot husband’ (WRONG) said.

If Phyllis was still alive I TOTES WOULD GET THIS FOR HER

pumpkin carved candy purchased

Gelis and Nicholas scratch track.

I stuck the pumpkin out front this morning so people could smile at it on their way to work.

Buster is really really really tired of the cone of shame. He’s getting noisier in the morning and he just wants to cuddle all the time. We’ve taken it off so he could at least wash his front paws but THEN he wants to clean his sore eye, and NOPE. Back it goes. Saturday can’t come fast enough for our animal companion.

There’s a load of laundry in the dryer and coffee’s been made. The day hath commenced.

Must buy glowsticks for the rest of the decoration but unfortunately there’s a bus strike, or is there? Nope, starts tomorrow. All good for today.

 

Atheist cult!

Hooo weee kids THIS IS THE CREDO OF A NEW ATHEIST CULT

 

Aaron Rabinowitz via PZ Myers

 

  1. The truth is complex and painful but intrinsically valuable, so help others learn it and help others suffer through it.
  2. Luck drives everything, so have as much empathy as you can for those who suffer and do wrong.
  3. Morality and value are still real, because experience is real and instills in us a variety of obligations that, when enacted, promote flourishing.
Atheist Cult Rules

Land acknowledgement

The world is now awash in land acknowledgments. The Aussie one at the end of many TV productions sounds like it went through a glass-cutter:

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

See, in my conception of the local Indigenous practices, they don’t own land. They’re in a permanent (in planetary existence timescales) and precious relationship with their land and their language and their people, and to call the land part of the relationship ownership is everything that’s wrong with colonialism in a single sentence.

I see that acknowledgment as shown above and I feel a gaping lack.

(However I urge you to look up how the word ‘country’ is used in English by many Indigenous people living in Australia, because it’s beautiful and resonant.)

As of 2019, this is my land acknowledgement:

I acknowledge that nothing short of complete restitution of Indigenous lands across this Earth will do.

I acknowledge that reparations for the land, war crimes, genocide, language extinction; theft, despoliation and destruction of great works of art and cultural centred-ness; as well as yet unknown-to-science damages to Indigenous people caused by sequelae from these events, are due in full measure, and I hate that capitalism is going to make that reparation virtually impossible even if it completely fails, as I hope it does.

I will hold up Indigenous rights and ask Indigenous persons no rude questions, tell no rude lies about them, and may study but co-opt none of their spiritual or artistic practices for praise or pay.

I will pay Indigenous editors to read my fiction, some of which is already published, but which needs to be vetted by someone without my biases, so that it may be changed, and changed again if need be; the future comes on fast.

This land, the land I live on, belongs in the human care of Coast Salish people, nations among whom made their own agreements, under their own systems of justice and negotiation. I hope to keep living here, after it’s been released from colonial bondage and theirs in the sense that they may be in their traditional relationship with this land, without colonial interference. I hope to live here when the sign at the city limits comes down and there are no longer any artificial colonial barriers between any of the lands here.

I’m a settler here. My descendants will most likely be settlers. I will never go through the farce of ‘owning’ land under the stamp of the Province of British Columbia again or indeed anywhere in what is now called Canada, and I encourage my children to do likewise. I am unemployed and cannot pay the rent I owe to any local nation, but I acknowledge that I owe it and may be called upon to pay it some other way.

eyeroll wrong day

The indigenous arts thing is today, not yesterday; Paul and I sang and played for a while here (he wasn’t prepared and was having a hell of time with remembering words but we laughed and sang and played anyway, so there) and then went to his place where we worked on household finances splitting for a while which was interesting (helping him set up a spreadsheet) and then Katie came home and told, rapidfire, a very droll standup routine about her job, and fixing machines at work, and how she’s covered one end to the other in bruises, which you’re gonna be if your brand new to the ‘moving marble’ game. Then I begged her to take me with her to pick Alex up and his smile was almost enough to power me through a week and Katie dropped me off.

Laundry is complete in the sense that the clothes are clean and dry.

Thinking about that tourtière but I have to get through the leftover Chinese food first.

Fringe final season is really about how we’re all doomed without love; I currently feel like I have plenty. I’m not suffering from family strife and dislocation right now, so I’m above the happiness waterline, whatever my stupid brain and weird biochemistry has to say about things.

Just had the most amazing and wonderful convo on line with an old dear friend. She’s got hard times but lots of joy anyway, and I love her. OMG THIS IS WHAT SHE SAID ON FB ABOUT THAT CONVO

 

This morning, I had the longest facebook messenger convo of my life and it was, with little exaggeration and without getting into personal details, a life saver.
Technology really can overcome distance and give you meaningful connections with people far away.
Reach out to your friends, and you will get and give support in ways you can’t imagine.
We all need each other.
I am grateful and thankful for the love and support of my girlfriends.

 

I JUST MISTOOK AO3 FOR AOL in a convo and I’m like the picture of an embarrassed boomer. And there may be one person who reads this blog who understands the reference.

Somebody on facebook said tell us 10 books that stuck with you.  Since I could just yell DOROTHY DUNNETT FUCK YEAH and sit back down again I purposely left her out of the list. Instructions were spend no time on it just pick the 10 books you remember as meaningful and memorable and here they are.

 

The Gift of Fear, Gavin de Becker
The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels
You Just Don’t Understand, Deborah Tannen
Sex Time and Power, Leonard Shlain
Forty Rules of Love, Elif Shafak (This is the book that gave me permission to structure my novels the way that works for my brain, kinda untraditional but still with a clear thruline)
Sandman comics, Neil Gaiman et al
Maus, Art Spiegelman
Conundrum, Jan Morris
A Distant Mirror, Barbara Tuchman
Kingdom of Carbonel, Barbara Sleigh
I’m trying to think of if these books have anything in common beside the fact that I read them, but it may be interesting to see the threads….
The Gift of Fear taught me that even if little girls are supposed to comply, if you’re scared BOOK IT. I avoided gang rape by following this book’s advice. You don’t forget a gift like that.
The Gnostic Gospels, as well as exposing me to the 1400 mystery cults that were apparently coexisting in Palestine and environs in the early years of Christianity, exposed me to Sophia, the presence of wisdom, as female. I’m an atheist but it was a telling moment. Also, the Bible was not dictated by God! and it was hidden and reworked and assembled like the world’s fugliest philology convention had a speed dating/face punching round! Thanks, Elaine!
You just don’t Understand taught me that men are judgemental assholes, real fucking clownbags, morons, hypocrites and straight up manipulating jerks when it comes to communicating with women, and I can turn that to my advantage if I want to completely forget how I was raised. Essentially it analyzed, in broad terms, the communication styles of men and women, mostly from English language research, and I learned that men really suck at communicating but judge women for their style because it isn’t theirs, while we have to learn everything about the way men communicate or they’ll fucking rape and kill us. Unless they’re among the little bubble of men I hang out with, who just aren’t into that. I did learn one very useful trick when talking to men and I must use it every week or so. I’m not going to tell you what it is, and besides you’re still mad at me for calling men clownbags so just hang on to that rage kids.
Sex, Time and Power – Jeff gave it to me for Christmas fourteen years ago and I read it in one sitting. It made a lot of sense to me. My new understandings of the underpinnings of society being buttressed by the crypto nature of women’s reproductive systems (in terms of ovulation) and the non-crypto nature (in terms of menstruation) were absolutely crucial to how I structured sixer sexuality, and how it would impact their ‘society’.
Already let you in on how important Forty Rules of Love was to me. Tammy gave me that.
I’m not going to talk about the Sandman comics; you should read them, if you haven’t.
Maus. It took me THREE REREADS to understand the ending, and then my heart broke, and rebroke ever single time I thought about it for almost a month. An unbelievable work of art, of homage to his difficult, opportunistic, racist (after Auschwitz/Oscwiecem, oy), hoarder, judgemental father, of historical reckoning, of emotional truth.
Conundrum got my foot on the path to wanting to understand the transgender experience. Morris was privileged in ways many transgender people aren’t, and doesn’t really address that too much in this work, which I read in paperback in the early eighties, before Kimberlé came up with intersectionality. Transgender activists are now among my strongest, strangest and funniest teachers as I slide down the rest of my life arc.  I thought about my perceived gender and my felt gender quite a bit over the last ten years, and my feelings are complicated enough that I don’t want to talk about them in public. I will say that I’m happy with the body I was issued and have no complaints or plans for revision on that score, mostly so my parents can sit back down and unbug their eyes.
A Distant Mirror. I find it absolutely hilarious that when myself and a potential new friend are talking books, this one comes up. Almost every intelligent person I know who speaks English has read it. SOMEBODY MAKE A FUCKING MOVIE ABOUT THE SIRE DE COUCY Calice, tabernac.
Kingdom of Carbonel is the middle book of a trilogy of talking cats novels written in the period between the late fifties and the early seventies. Of all the children’s books I ever read this one comes closest to limning how kids feel about ‘summer friends’ the families and children you only see when school’s out. Gone Away Lake is the next best example of that.
Are there any common threads? I read non-fiction and am changed by it more than fiction. The fiction I read must broaden my perspective, open my heart, and challenge my vocabulary. But the non-fiction is what goes under my foot and in my hand; it is my connection the real world of unfolding understanding of how the grand scheme of things and the most trivial of pastimes are all of a piece.

A quick roundup plus my song for July 1 2017

Called or spoke to a remarkable percentage of the people I love today and am feeling better for it. Got news out of Katie that, independent of the blast of sunlight us poor benighted and bedrenched Vancouverites received at sunset, was THE BEST. Last night was INSANELY UGLY BUSY and there’s a definite uptick of serious illness right now which I believe corresponds to having a thunderstorm during allergy season. Yeah, it’s not good.
There was a thunderstorm the other day. I’m used to thunderstorms in Vancouver – they consist of one crack of thunder, either during February (weird, hug) or late summer, not now.
Toronto trip is on.
I am feelin’ the love.

Oh yes I’m a member of the working poor
and I’ve walked the windy corridor at Yonge and Bloor
There’s always someone wealthier with more to say
And I’m just trying to get through another day

Oh yes I’m a member of the working class
and I think about Vancouver before Jack got gas
Before they took the timber out of Stanley Park
and it was still safe to be native after dark

Go ahead and mock me as a working slob
a bus ride away from a demeaning job
who gets to see exactly how the poor folks do
But I don’t expect understanding, not from you

On facebook and twitter I have found a voice
You’re the one who thinks that I should have no choice
Who wants me to be marginal who wants me to stay poor
calls me race traitor, calls me ugly whore

See my dayglo banner that says “eat the rich”
You’ll run me down cause I’m a social justice bitch
But thank you for clarifying where I stand
Every inch of Canada is someone else’s land
It’s all bound together, it will not go away
Not feeling like celebrating, not today

Improvement

This day I gave blood, practiced my mandolin, wrote 512 words on a new section of the book, and got a restaurant meal at Best Quality Sweets & Restaurant which has, as promised the best cheap Indian vegetarian food. Today was black lentils and spinach and taters and this enchanting but somehow disturbing tasting (I don’t know how else to describe it) vegetable medley that was mostly onions. Thank you Paul.

Then I watched Jupiter Ascending, and a noisier bit of incoherent eye candy one rarely gets to see.  Ah, the recreation of the couple!

Trying to arrange a Mother’s Day thing for next Monday, we shall see.