stolen from Caitlin Whiteman’s blog, as cited above. “Just because a document or website is written in plain English doesn’t make its contents true, reasonable, ethical, fair, or in any other way virtuous or worth reading.” Martin Cutts, Oxford Guide to Plain English
So I’m working through my Youtube videos and captioning them. Already done: my most popular effort, at 14.2K distinct views! How to Cut Up a Pineapple. Lemming’s Twofer, Neener Neener and Blasteez (my advertisement for laxative coughdrops which, as you can likely imagine, work as poorly as advertised).
I shall continue with the making my videos more accessible until they are all done.
A couple of days ago, Misha Collins, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki got on social media to announce that the TV show Supernatural is ending next season (season 15, over 320 episodes) and the finale of all finales will thus be next season – their choice, most likely. A couple of them had been crying, which doesn’t bother me, I’d be crying too if I moved along from the best job I’d ever had even if it was my choice.
Inside the fandom, for the show, there is a substantial chonk of LGBT and straight cisgirl fans who absolutely love on the idea of a romance between Castiel the angel, who appeared season 4, and Dean the Hunter, who, along with his brother Sam the Hunter, carries the show week to week.
There are also Supernatural fans who write fanfic in the A/B/O universe (don’t look, it’s a concourse of poorly realized paraphilias and it’s even worse when you realize that (never mind, just more fandom bs) and I have read precisely one decently written A/B/O fic so I know it’s possible but Jesus it’s GROSS) and write explicitly incestuous fic (it’s called Wincest, and I haven’t even let my eyes roam over one of them, thanks).
Neither of these two things are supported by the show; Destiel, which is the mashup of the names of Dean and Castiel, while not supported word for word in script canon, is teased at, at least once a season, all through the show. I won’t go into the list of specific callouts as to there being romance in the air, just go to the Dean/Castiel page on Superwiki, where it’s all laid out in prim detail.
It’s my belief that the show would rather kill one of the characters than let any of them wander off into the sunset, encoupled. From a strictly ‘whose body is this’ standpoint, there’s no longer any squick about who Castiel’s vessel is, which removed a lot of the hassles about a canonical romance. But
it doesn’t fit the show. And Castiel, although he can be briefly physically affectionate, has not been represented as a sexual being, at least not successfully.
So yeah, I’ll write fanfic because it looks like love, romance and lifetime commitment to me. But anybody who thinks Destiel is gonna be canon is a fucking idiot, because the lead actor, the gold standard of a richly successful franchise, is happy with how things are.
The queer-baiting will continue until you make your own art, folx. (Definition of queer-baiting on the page linked to above.)
Look at me, all brave. Stealing the IP of Kenan Malik. Or is this the property of the New York Times? Gosh, it’s so hard to tell who owns what these days. Anyway, below is a defence of cultural appropriation typed by Kenan Malik. By the time I’m done, my blood pressure will be up twenty points and I’ll look like an idiot in public, but I suspect I’ll look less idiotic than Kenan Malik. For this witless motherfucker has done the classic, classic, classic bait and switch on the topic. He says we’re all richer for cultural mixing. He’s wrong. Having your cultural markers stolen for profit makes somebody richer, and wanting to prevent that is not gatekeeping, it’s survival. He says that all cultural practices are up for grabs because anything else may prevent the privileged from having compassion for the underprivileged, which is a narrow case of special pleading aka bullshit. And he skates by colonialism as if it isn’t the SINGLE BIGGEST ISSUE facing all content creators these days; it’s the issue that palimpsest-wise underlies his argument, and he avoids it the way a cab driver just doesn’t see you when he’s booking off shift.
LONDON — It is just as well that I’m a writer, not an editor. Were I editing a newspaper or magazine, I might soon be out of a job. For this is an essay in defense of cultural appropriation.
yeah, well fuck you. You start out from a position of privilege and you want more.
In Canada last month, three editors lost their jobs after making such a defense.
yeah, well fuck you. They were unprofessional, racist and FUCKING STUPID <<<<<<—– the way elites never get how fragile their blessed state is ——-> and gloriosky, they lost their jobs.
The controversy began when Hal Niedzviecki,
A man with a history of racism and stiffing writers, oh yes. …. gosh, is this a trend? A trans woman of colour told me he stiffed her for solicited writing. It wasn’t much money, but honey, when a first nations content creator thinks she’s selling me something I FUCKING PAY FOR IT. SO … right off the top, a racist asshole with holes in his pockets is represented as being ‘besieged’ ‘beleaguered’ and ‘besmirched’ for having a problematic opinion in public. Will Robinson is getting the danger page from his puckering butthole at this point, at least in the universe I inhabit.
editor of Write, the magazine of the Canadian Writers’ Union, penned an editorial defending the right of white authors to create characters from minority or indigenous backgrounds. Within days, a social media backlash forced him to resign. The Writers’ Union issued an apology for an article that its Equity Task Force claimed “re-entrenches the deeply racist assumptions” held about art.
OKAY LET’S JUST STOP RIGHT HERE. What Mr. Malik, administering his homeopathically weak smackdown of this ‘defence of racist writers for getting shit wrong’ aka ‘horrible censorship event’ fails to mention is ANYTHING LIKE CONTEXT. THE WRITE ISSUE WAS SPECIFICALLY AN ISSUE ABOUT INDIGENOUS WRITING. Okay, let’s go again. THE WRITE ISSUE WAS SPECIFICALLY AN ISSUE ABOUT INDIGENOUS WRITING. He could have put his feelings in his blog. He could have penned it for another publication. That would have been gruesome, but in the era of Doubledown Douchenozzledom, Racist Edition, he used a position of privilege to kick the living snot out of the people who were being represented in the mag. Gosh, folks, you should have seen my twitter feed when this all went down. Indigenous activists and writers were foaming, and justifiably so. Niedzviecki knew up front he was going to get shit, and for the first little while he laughed at the shit he got. Then he went OH SHIT, which is what you do when that college kid “just for a lark” smirk gets wiped off your face by real life.
Another editor, Jonathan Kay, of The Walrus magazine,
A man who, ha ha, is well known as being a Joseph Boyden supporter (another riproaring case of mighty whitey, writing himself into native history with his very well reviewed (by whites) book “Orenda”). He only writes about native issues to talk about how racist natives are, let’s just skip all the decolonializing reasons Mohawk peoples might want to get white people off their land on Canada’s dime. Here’s the link. http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/jonathan-kay-the-one-place-in-canada-where-racism-is-still-tolerated-native-reserves. Now that’s not inflammatory at all. He could be talking about any kind of racism that happens in Canada. He could talk about how the city of Thunder Bay has more racially motivated hate crimes per capita than any other place in Canada; the hate crimes are overwhelmingly committed by white people on FN people. But the most racist place in Canada is a reserve. No hon, the most racist places in Canada are not reserves. They’re prisons. But I’ll stick the ‘and in conclusion, fuck you’ pin in that for the time being. WHY IN THE EVERLOVING FUCK would we want to take this asshole seriously about race issues, SPECIFICALLY about First Nations. The multiple appropriations of land, language, people, culture have no emotional content for him; FN are just getting upset because they’re special snowflakes. No hon, you’re the special snowflake, thinking Canada is 150 years old and that makes the First Nations 150 years old too. This kind of racism I call “Measuring the universe with a tapeline the same size and shape as you.” It’s another example of “I’m not racist but we should talk about how all injuns are alcoholic jailbirds,” but tidier… prettier… publishable by the Capitalist Choir of Discordant Twaddle responsible for the National Post.
was also compelled to step down after tweeting his support for Mr. Niedzviecki. Meanwhile, the broadcaster CBC moved Steve Ladurantaye, managing editor of its flagship news program The National, to a different post, similarly for an “unacceptable tweet” about the controversy.
I don’t suppose you’d care to guess what format this unacceptable tweetstorm took. A whole bunch of well-known, well-connected, mostly white writers and journalists, gathered ’round their beleaguered fellow lickspittle to mock the people who took offence and to pledge money for a “Cultural appropriation” writer’s prize. Steve was up for giving $500 but one thing I know about these folks is that they’re faster to pledge cash than cough it up, so I can well believe the fucker was kidding and I’ll give him my brightest and shiniest hall pass for that.
It’s not just editors who have to tread carefully. Last year, the novelist Lionel Shriver generated a worldwide storm after defending cultural appropriation in an address to the Brisbane Writers Festival.
Mr. Malik fails to provide the context, again. Shriver played the clueless and hectoring old white guy (surprise, she’s an American woman) in front of a group of people who mostly thought she was right on. Strangely, indigenous people and people of colour in the audience were horrified, oh puhleez. Them coloured folks and their identity politics, getting all mad about sombreros and such. They didn’t find her arguments about how white people should have unfettered access to all cultural traditions (so they can get the last word in, steer the narrative, drown out indigenous voices and get the fat stacks) convincing, mostly because saying that you mean well when you’re handing out the cultural equivalent of smallpox blankets just doesn’t go down as smoothly as it did two hundred years ago, who knew. Of course fiction is ‘fake’ Shriver but that doesn’t meant it isn’t real, and representation matters if the people being represented are being lied to and about
even more than when you get it right.
Earlier this year, controversy erupted when New York’s Whitney Museum picked for its Biennial Exhibition Dana Schutz’s painting of the mutilated corpse of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American murdered by two white men in Mississippi in 1955. Many objected to a white painter like Ms. Schutz depicting such a traumatic moment in black history. The British artist Hannah Black organized a petition to have the work destroyed.
I would have been happy with the painting not being publicly displayed, but I’ve read Hannah’s letter and I understand where she’s coming from.
Other works of art have been destroyed. The sculptor Sam Durant’s piece “Scaffold,” honoring 38 Native Americans executed in 1862 in Minneapolis, was recently being assembled in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. But after protests from indigenous activists that Mr. Durant was appropriating their history, the artist dismantled his own work, and made its wood available to be burned in a Dakota Sioux ceremony.
Which is a fine response. Works of art are destroyed by their creators all the time. I’ve torched my own shit, and why not, it was shit and it was mine.
What is cultural appropriation, and why is it so controversial? Susan Scafidi, a law professor at Fordham University, defines it as “taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission.” This can include the “unauthorized use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc.”
It’s not just the permission. It’s the context. It’s the taking as if the act of taking ‘makes you native’ or ‘makes you black’ or ‘honours the traditions’ when it patently, replicably and reliably does not.
Appropriation suggests theft, and a process analogous to the seizure of land or artifacts. In the case of culture, however, what is called appropriation is not theft but messy interaction. Writers and artists necessarily engage with the experiences of others. Nobody owns a culture, but everyone inhabits one, and in inhabiting a culture, one finds the tools for reaching out to other cultures.
But the messy interaction is one-sided. Members of the dominant culture, with law, language, media and custom on their side, interact with the traditions of indigenous and creolized and ancient cultures from a mixture of fear, hatred, stark envy and jealousy, and call it art. Sure art’s theft; but it should also be thought made visible, and the thinking that’s made visible is DOMINANT CULTURE CAN STEAL ANYTHING IT LIKES AND IF YOU COMPLAIN you’re WHINY LITTLE BASTARDS WHO DON’T UNDERSTAND THE BROAD SWEEP OF 2500 YEARS OF COLONIAL HISTORY. Urk.
Critics of cultural appropriation insist that they are opposed not to cultural engagement, but to racism. They want to protect marginalized cultures and ensure that such cultures speak for themselves, not simply be seen through the eyes of more privileged groups.
The tone here is like Saruman chiding Gandalf in The Two Towers. To be chastised is one thing. To be told that your feelings are going to go in a big stew of rhetoric and come out normalized and standardized… part of the dominant culture, acceptable…. yeesh.
Certainly, cultural engagement does not take place on a level playing field. Racism and inequality shape the ways in which people imagine others. Yet it is difficult to see how creating gated cultures helps promote social justice.
Everything is mine to steal and my theft promotes social justice. Fucking breathtaking, isn’t it? Nobody creates a gated culture to start out with, but it may end up that way if anything you leave lying around gets stolen by white assholes – who tell you they’re doing you a favour by popularizing your cultural ideals, and then laugh in your face when you want to get paid. He wrote more, but since I don’t want to quote any more from this masterwork of spineless sucking up to thieves and monsters, I’ll just take my blood pressure off someplace else now. Okay, last questions. Why do members of the dominant culture have so little going on in their own minds that they must appropriate someone else’s marginalized culture in the first place? What failure of imagination is this, and why does Malik get so exercised in its defence?
Which is kind of inconvenient. But I’m fighting a bug again, I think, and my dry right eye is saying THANK YOU because it is experiencing no sensation of pain or abrasion and opened without being stuck shut, like most other mornings.
I also slept through every chance to make arrangements for the evening’s entertainment or the possibility of being sociable with my brother, which I’m not impressed with.
I must now be vewwy quiet, and go to my list of things I can accomplish by being quiet.
Okay: so yesterday I promised to, in a literary sense, and in a literary sense only, kick Konrad Yakabuski, a crypto-racist hack working for a variety of mangy sheets but currently the Groan and Wail (aka Mop and Pail, Goad and Flail) in his equally crypto goolies.
The first paragraph is the establishing shot. “I’ve been away so my vision’s clearer.” That’s the premise, the tone, the “I’ve seen things you’d never understand” crap.
No, your vision hasn’t cleared, Mr. Oblivious Child of White Settlers. (And with that name, he’s *likely* counting among his ancestors the first Polish migrants to Canada, although I can’t prove it.) All you’re describing is how you couldn’t truly see where you were when you left, and centre your dislocation as somehow important, upon your return.
Mentioning the barren British homeliness of downtown Toronto is supposed to carry some freight of humour, but alas it does not. All it tells me is that he doesn’t know that it was ANOTHER colonized people, the Scots masons who fucking built downtown Toronto, who built that ugliness, under the watchful direction of (mostly) Brits. SO IN THE FIRST FUCKING PARAGRAPH…. drum roll please!
He’s clueless about the colonial history of Toronto after the FN were pushed off. But does he wisely see his ignorance and make with the hard pass?
No he does not. He continues to draw a fine paycheque for his purulent emissions.
As a journalist, belonging has never been my main aspiration in life.
Putting aside that every great journalist who ever lived, of whatever stripe, puts themselves squarely among the human family. Perhaps that means never having a settled home but that’s not the same as not feeling like you belong to the human family. He doesn’t actually say what his main aspiration is, which is funny. It certainly isn’t the discovery and sharing of truth….
Then he says, and what complete and utter bullshit,
Real journalists typically take pride in shunning all labels, attachments, causes and collectivisms.
Just in case you think I’m being a little harsh by calling this bullshit, let me walk you down memory lane with a list of Canadian journalists, and I ask you to frame them against this remarkable statement and see how well they fit in his stunted neoliberal construction.
Well shit bag, they don’t. They were all supremely opinionated and attached themselves TO PLENTY of causes and collectivisms, to wrassle Yak’s fucking red-baiting bullshit phrase into some kind of context. And those are the WHITE journalists I pulled out of my ass. What award winning FN journos like the ones at Windspeaker might have to say on the subject makes for bitterly amused speculation on my part.
Then, the classic line:
We are chroniclers of, rather than participants in, the society around us.
He doesn’t vote? have a cell phone with awesome apps on it? he doesn’t drive? He has a twitter account, f’Chrissakes. Maybe he has a mortgage, or lives in a rental, rather than a tent under a highway. He eats in restaurants and consequently uses the sewer system… one hopes. IT’S EXACTLY THIS ATTITUDE, that he can separate himself from the herd with words (by talking about his calling as if he was pulled aside by the Jesus of Journalism on the Highway to Better Circulation) that allows him to believe the things he does. He calls himself a chronicler rather than a participant because he’s calling out what he perceives as his superiority.
waaaaal. All it does for me is tell me that he doesn’t see where his words are pointing.
Let’s pause for a moment. How does Allegra separate herself from the herd with words? Am I not guilty of the same white wordy masturbatory bs?
Sure. But I am a member of the human family, all of it. And I am a student of history. All of it. And I love my country. Not all of it, because some of it is structurally sexist, racist, colonial and a teensy bit fascist. But I’ve had to ask myself if I would take up arms for the conception I have of Canada, which is not a flag or a collection of laws but of a group of people who share a home, and the answer is, yes. This is a hard thing for me to say in public given how anti-colonial I can be, but it’s true, and I won’t linger over the dissonance I feel about it.
I am separate from other people because I occupy a frail, non-neurotypical body which preselects many of the things I like and hate for me. But I’m just like everyone else, EXCEPT in how I think and speak and act. I breathe, I came from two parents, I’m going to die, I try to find love and acceptance and avoid pain and loneliness, I eat & excrete, I consume goods and services, I make things, I destroy things, I try to communicate.
In my separation from others I wish to maintain an egalitarian world view; a compassionate world view; a self-inclusive world view; and a world view as passionately committed to the destruction of capitalism as firmly as I am currently entangled in its fractal tentacles.
So yeah, I was a bit pissed at the use of the word collectivism. It’s a goddamned dog whistle – “I am anti-communist.” Fuck yeah, you’re by extraction Polish and living in Canada, go figure. But more subtly, he’s saying that he’s clueless about how he participates in the Collective that is the Capitalist Posse, protecting everything that the Globe and Mail’s owners, subscribers and advertisers hold dear. Less subtly he’s saying that journalists who are overt about their causes AREN’T AS GOOD AS HIM. So he wants a fucking medal for being racist in public in the service of capitalism, but he doesn’t want to draw too much attention to that. The fellation takes place in private, I guess.
Okay full marks to him, now I think of it. Most Canadians wouldn’t get the freight of the word collectivism.
Then he makes his concession.
Still, not even journalists can escape their genes, childhoods, experiences or environments – everything that determines who we are.
Oh boy. He’s just plain folks, folks.
Our identities are never fixed, but subject to constant redefinition. In 2013, the Canadian part of my identity needed some refreshment and refinement. I found both in Joseph Boyden’s novel The Orenda, a haunting story of blood and belonging set amid the 17th-century Iroquois Wars.
HARD STOP. Joseph Boyden, who won awards for the above noted novel, has discovered a native ancestor and wishes to be Métis.
He isn’t. Didn’t hear me? HE ISN’T.
There are shitpiles of settler whites with native ancestry in this country. I’m related to them on both sides of the family.
My tribe is Scythian, just in case you were wondering; they liked warrior women, weed, deer, horses and travel, and that’s good enough for me. (Merely trying to point out how white people claiming tribal affiliations is clueless newage bs.)
I am not shameless, stupid, venal and greedy enough to want to claim any FN of Turtle Island as my own, and most important of all, I have no FN grannie, no aunties, no uncles, no nieces, no nephews; no land; no language; I also have no UNRECOGNIZED TOXIC RESERVOIR OF GUILT, SHAME AND DENIAL that makes me want to drain it by claiming an experience THAT IS NOT MINE. If you don’t have a First Nations family willing to claim you, you aren’t FN. It’s that fucking simple, folks.
Joseph Boyden doesn’t have a FN family. Therefore….
BUT HE WANTS TO BE. And because he’s white, we should let him. That is the underlying support for Yak’s contention that we should stop ‘lynching’ him.
Note that the link says lynch and the headline’s been changed.
NOTE IT. It’s important. It shows the Globe and Mail knows it fucked up, but not enough to change the URL too.
Meanwhile, in twitterland, the pixels are practically catching fire over in the fabulous network of indigeneity. Joseph Boyden is ONLY BEING SUPPORTED by FN people with a long, long history of toxic sexism, slur campaigns, greed for federal cash and faux reconciliation. Not one credible First Nations spokesperson supports Boyden in his claims to be indigenous. He’s Grey Owl for the Trump Era.
Then Yak goes on to describe how the indigenous awakening was important for the Canadian identity.
Nice indians are good for the Canadian identity. Noisy, university trained, angry, pushy, sophisticated, technically savvy, passionate life livers and givers standing up for the 600 plus nations and languages that white people keep trying to develop off the face of the earth, not so good for Yak’s construction of the modern Canadian identity.
Native life must be interpreted by white people to be real.
I used to believe it too.
Sorry Yak. Once you make the connection, as I have, over the internet, with real native activists; hear their voices; have private conversations with them; get scolded (in my case repeatedly) by them for not hearing, not thinking, not listening, not ‘getting it’, you can’t use language the way Yak uses it.
The rest of the article is shite so I won’t quote from it.
He uses the two words identity politics a lot.
If, as I suspect he is, he came from the Polish enclave in northeastern Ontario, I’d like to ask him a question.
How would you feel if every other kind of white person who lives in that part of the world pushed you off your land because you were Polish? Would you indulge in identity politics then?
The First Nations are NATIONS. They practice ‘identity politics’ which is a dog whistle for ‘coloured folks being uppity’ and ‘faggots being uppity’ and ‘trans being uppity’ and ‘anybody who doesn’t identify as a temporarily embarrassed millionaire being uppity’ because they have the THREE QUALIFYING FACTORS of NATIONHOOD. Land, people and language. Sure, their governance is screwed up in many places BUT WHOSE FAULT IS THAT? The Government of Canada, acting for all of us.
Yak wants to reduce the nations of Turtle Island to ‘Canadians’ and then bag at them for not being good Canadians. THEY AREN’T FUCKING CANADIANS. They have to live with the laws and the racism and the ‘can’t you deal with being a conquered people’ bs, but they aren’t Canadians. They can have a Canadian passport, but that’s because they don’t have an alternative if they want to, you know, live in the world, travel on business or to see rellies or for pleasure, like human people do.
So read the rest of the editorial with that in mind.
Yak, you are too clueless to live in this world you’re so far above.
Hi, friends, and some relatives. This is what I did today. (Thursday November 29th)
Up Burnaby Mountain to The Protest
Just go! I thought as I tried to find information about where to go, how much walking, what to expect. Just show support by arriving … somewhere. But Burnaby Mountain covers a large area, and if I went up it the way I knew, up to SFU, the only satisfaction I might have would be that I tried. Not much support for the protest against Kinder Morgan.
After much trial and error I found a map. Park near Curtis and Ayrshire, and just head UP, and UP, on a paved walkway, across Burnaby Mountain Parkway, and UP a little further to an information tent where you are told where the action is.
I saw Karl Perrin [of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver] at the tent. I had heard he was arrested the day before. Was he out already?
The drilling had moved, and the gathering was now down a very steep deeply muddy path, slippery, winding, intersected by thick roots and unexpected holes. People said it took 10 to 15 minutes to get to the gathering. It took me at least 30 minutes of hanging on to branches, tree trunks, people. The demographic was young. A guy tore a dead tree limb from the ground and handed it to me for a walking stick. Everyone wanted to help.
I could hear drumming: the First Nation presence. Speakers. Singing of an adaptation of We Shall Overcome.
Sliding, slipping, holding on, I reached a place where I could see the yellow ribbon. To go past that meant arrest. Gentle arrest it seemed. The police were friendly.
Someone was speaking. She was telling of her arrest the day before. The police carried her to a van. Solidarity Notes had been singing, and some of them were arrested at the same time. There was singing in the van. Singing again in the room they were taken to, and yet again in individual cells. Kraft dinner was provided. She signed a statement. I gather that at that point they were released, with trial was set for January 12th. That was it. I could have done that! But what would the arrest mean? Would one then be a “person of interest”? Well, if I could interpret it as interest in not having oil pipelines, in avoiding oil, that would be all right with me.
I headed back up the trail. Home to wash my mud soaked shoes and pants. Home to warm up.
PLEASE NOTE COPYRIGHT FOR THE ABOVE POST BELONGS TO MARILYN MEDEN
This interview was assembled by Lorraine Murphy, an internet colleague.
Alan Grayson: Now let me tell you what they’re talking about. They’re complaining about the fact that Wall Street wrecked the economy three years ago and nobody’s held responsible for that. Not a single person has been indicted or convicted for destroying twenty percent of our national net worth accumulated over the course of two centuries. They’re upset about the fact that Wall Street have iron control over the economic policies of this country, and that one party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street and the other party caters to them as well. That’s the real truth of the matter, as you said before. And…
PJ O’Rourke: Get the man a bongo drum, they’ve found their spokesman!
Alan Grayson: If I…
PJ O’Rourke: Get your shoes off, get a bongo drum, forget where to go to the bathroom, and it’s yours.
Alan Grayson: If I am the spokesman for all the people who think we should not have 24 million people in this country who can’t find a full time job, that we should not have 50 million people who can’t see a doctor when they’re sick, that we shouldn’t have 47 million people of this country who need government help in order to feed themselves, and we shouldn’t have 15 million families who owe more on their mortgage than the value of their home, okay, I’ll be that spokesman.
I always thought that PJ O’Rourke was a very amiable fascist.
Memo to the world if I’m ever killed in a terrorist attack.
I’d like to deliver a pre-event FUCK YOU to the media, sort of a “Panopticon friendly living will”.
I am an atheist, so please don’t drag God into it. God had nothing to do with mining the uranium out of the ground, or fabricating the explosives, or manufacturing the ricin, or in any way constructing whatever method blew me to bits or poisoned or drowned or suffocated me. Nope it was people, mostly men, who put me in the ludicrous position of trying to speak to you from my grave.
I don’t want the government to use my death as an excuse to harass people of colour; people who look different from my variously pink and white corpus; people who never had the complex edifices of hereditary and colonial privilege which are my daily and mostly unrecognized portion. The war on terror is a failure; my death is proof of that, but this proof will get drowned in a sea of wall to wall “How awful, how terrible, buy my hot chocolate pls” coverage. Besides, as I see it, I’m more likely to get killed by a domestic terrorist, lone wolves with grudges can walk into any church and start blasting away, and they don’t even need a coherent world view to act.
I don’t want the people I love to use it as an excuse to hate anybody. Fifty-two years on this ball o’ mud have taught me that only about 1 percent, maybe fewer, of human beings have the power to withstand social pressure when surrounded by the tribal emblems and ranting anthems and religious indoctrination that we grow up in, wherever we are; whether it’s the Inerrant Holy Text or the cult of Apple, we need our tribes and their shibboleths – and all the wit and good intentions and scientific advancement of 20 centuries means squat in the face of that drive. We try, we fail, we try again. A child is born; we vow to try again. A loved one dies, we rededicate ourselves. We are puny, but it’s hardly an excuse.
I have tried to join a tribe – or tribes – that at least look at human suffering and try to diminish it. I am angry, as angry as a human can be, at the starvation and false imprisonment and environmental destruction of people across the globe, but I don’t want to make it worse by running out and killing folks in revenge, even if I think they deserve it.
So my tribe of filkers (look it up, I’m tired of explaining it) sings and brings the making and sharing of beauty into its heart, and my family tries to integrate a lot of different world-views without breaking, and my tribe of Unitarians tries to stay cheerful, motivated and active for justice in the face of a lot of angst and doubt, and my tribe of coworkers tries very hard to make and support good products, although the way the global supply chain is looking that’s harder every year.
And now I’m dead, and my tribes will miss me. I’ll get a paragraph when they do a write up about the dead. Well let ‘em know. I loved the world, and I was sorry to leave it with so much undone. But I didn’t want revenge, and I want any grief to work its way into a useful memorial for the benefit of the world. And, FUCK YOU, mass media. Whatever you do, whatever you say, you’re going to get it wrong.
There are some UNFORGETTABLE quotes in here.
This early rising business MUST stop. So I guess it’s time for a roundup.
Adult onset diabetes foreshadowing in rising level of 5 proteins. Link here.
Lots of lawsuits won’t necessarily help your case. Righthaven screwed up, but fair use rights have been protected.
A very commonly used contemporary chart about radiation exposure, which I only link to on the off chance one of my readers hasn’t seen it yet. Here.
The “serpent storm” on Saturn. via Nasa/Cassini.
The assault of the Repulsigans on women’s rights continues. Honestly, though, the “Harper Government” would do the same thing if they thought they could get away with it; fortunately the Bloc Québecois would have a collective seizure if they tried to pass something like this.
The assault of the Repulsigans against anybody who dislikes factory farming continues. In what universe is it illegal to take a picture of a farm? (link removed for security reasons).
From chipper, an ad for what she termed a ‘proofreader’s delight’.
Also from chipper, some lovely ‘supermoon’ pix from England.
I have no idea how church went yesterday, I was in the kitchen helping Peggy with coffee. Gave Carol a ride home and picked up some frozen fruit so I can make fruit toppings for pancakes a bit at a time.