Hey white gals: regarding women of colour, bring money, material support, respect or silence.
Do basic reading and corrective thinking without a metaphorical shepherdess.
Don’t ‘piss your woes out’ over WOC.
From twitter this am. She studies genocide. She’s moving to Canada from the US in 2021… she hopes.
What is interesting to me is watching for the warning signs:
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?
If you’re racist and you know it shut your mouth X2 If you’re racist and you know it then you’re not obliged to show it If you’re racist and you know it shut your mouth
If you’re sexist and you know it shut your mouth X2 If you’re sexist and you know it then we’d all like you to stow it If you’re sexist and you know it shut your mouth
the shit I think up when I’m trying to nap before work
I was thinking last night that there’s a point that comes during the long conversion from selfish clod to self-actualized human where you just have to drop the rope you’re tying yourself up in.
Racism doesn’t just tie you tight to almost everything bad about your own culture, it ties you up and incapacitates your own mind. You look without seeing, feel without empathy, hear without understanding and speak without compassion.
I have another novel in prospect. It’s called Earbud, and it’s not set in the Upsun Universe (or if it is, it’ll be because of something the Sixers Plus Henchmen are doing in the background.) It will be interminably chatty, though. It’s WOT I DO. It’s not like I have any other projects to be working on.
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.
It’s a .38 special for me, thanks. Fits my hand and my accuracy is good. Menfolks had fun too. 65 bucks poorer, I emerged.
Today I have a 30 year old child. WITAF???
Dallas. Black mens’ names. Grief and rage.
This is what I’m doing about it.
One of my favourite filkers played a drinking game with himself while watching the Democratic debate last night, and then live blogged it. He was pretty smashed by the time he stopped, and his wife was carefully hydrating him at last report. It was pretty funny.
Still no plan or commitment to end police violence. Bernie is using all the right words, but they don’t add up to “We will take the following steps to end deaths during custody and confinement”. This is the standard that the black activists I follow on twitter are politely asking for, and it is not adding up to a plan.
When they point it out to white people (or wypipo, as it sometimes appears on twitter much to my amusement) the mostly male Berniestans LOSE THEIR CHEESE. The stuff they say to people like Imani Gandy @AngryBlackLady (lawyer, feminist and CHRIST can she throw shade) and Elon James White (who is straight up one of the funniest, kindest, nerdiest and clearest thinking humans I’ve ever run across, while still being uncompromisingly stern with racist assholes) and Ta-Nehisi Coates (‘ta na hezzy) who is an awesome prose stylist and an atheist, and you try being an atheist in black culture, Abiyomi Kofi, the Gullah-Indigenous intersectionalist, and I dare you to say that when you’ve been drinking, and Wagatwe Wanjuki, activist against gendered violence — is absolutely disgusting. All these people get shit from white people on the internet, in an ever flowing stream of bile, bad spelling, shitty science, gendered slurs, racial slurs, and yet they rise every day and try to hack through the thickets of law, media and custom to get to a place where anything but equality is unthinkable.
The Zika virus is unlikely to be causing the microcephaly cluster. It is much more likely to be a previously unknown teratogenic effect of a Monsanto larvicide which started being added to the water in large swathes of the affected areas in 2014.
So I am looking at this horror show and thinking, wow. Monsanto sells MORE LARVICIDE to get rid of the mosquitoes. The various government health bodies pay out money for larvicide and reap the hellish bounty twice: Once when the larvicides quit working and forever when microcephalic children are born.
The governments involved may say it’s a fair price to pay to keep the working population healthy enough to you know, work. Screw the kids, they’re all poor anyway.
As for Zika virus being found in sufferers, it’s present in 75% of the population in that state anyway. Not a clear signpost.
I DIDN’T LIKE MONSANTO BEFORE THIS.
This ol’ world sucks a mop. But it’s the only one we got, and I need to help make it better.
I’m a left-loonie, so-far-away, no brain, no balance sheet, no COMPETITIVE VIGOUR kind of person, except for my fondness for guns.
How on earth can I justify such a thing?
Well, I had never tried to, and then an Organizing Principle appeared from the writhing and fuscous depths of my sensorium: why not make a list of who else carries guns in Canada and, you know, compare and contrast?
I’m not really that much of a left-loonie I guess, since I have these libertarian and anarchist stripes, which I need to bury under a more ancient way of knowing. No anarchist or libertarian ever fucking learned to live inside an ecosystem without destroying it, and the ancestors of the current First Nations actually had that well in hand, from the Haudenosaunee to the Gwich’in and all the peoples many days’ journey around and between.
Note that the slave based culture of MesoAmerica did not prosper. They fucked up their water table and had armies of drones to support one big hereditary family of fucking parasites (who made nice art possible, sure, that’s the Eurocentric response and it was but an armature for later development like the Enlightenment and Oh Look there are still Royal houses in Europe bla bla bla.) Yeah, they put too many people on too little land and last few generations of the lower classes were in such rough shape that it’s amazing they gave as good an account of themselves as they did when the Spanish arrived.
The people who figured out the buffalo, and the salmon, and the caribou, and the three sisters, now THOSE are people we should respect. We don’t even know how many of them lived here before white people came, but it was a fuckton, and if they didn’t leave much behind maybe it’s because they didn’t ruin everything.
So there was a fooferaw in the press after the service for Rev Clementa Pinckney at which Barack Obama sang a few staves of Amazing Grace.
I don’t give a shit about what the white conservative pressgong said; they all lick rich naughty bits for baubles and won’t leave a lasting mark on human affairs. I was much more interested in what the black & activist voices said on my twitter feed, being spoken in what are individual and human voices.
A lot of them were mildly approving, but a bunch of them said, “It should have been “Lift every voice and sing” instead of pandering to sensitive whites with Amazing Grace”, which as a song, in memetic terms, has long ago gone beyond parody and flown up its own semiotically charged ass.
Now, being a Unitarian… Marcy I hope you’re reading this, because it should give you a chuckle…the first thing I do, ten days later, but I did follow up, is go to the internet and check the U*U hymnal and make sure the damned song is in there. O committee of U*U musicians, what hath thou wrought???? yup, it’s there, and my easily clenched shamey bits relax somewhat. Good work folks!
Then I go unto the internet, o weary ones, and read the lyrics. Because that’s how we DO.
Then I go to youtube and randomly pick a rendition with lyrics.
It wasn’t until the second time through on the lyrics that I realized that the words native land appear in the last verse.
SETTLER COLONIALISM enshrined in a black hymn.
Yar. Arg har. Bleeble bleeble.
Okay, so first off I’m giving Barry a hall pass, the ****er’s unsingable, so he picked Amazing Grace as being a sound compromise in an emotionally and politically volatile public event. I got no problem with that.
Second I’m thinking wow I’m going to filk that. A better tune is coming, but the lyrics, except for the last verse which is where the song makes a right turn from social justice into God this and God that and God on every line, are OUTSTANDING. I mean it. Read the lyrics and tell me what you think.
It is now two in the morning. It’s possible I’m cool enough to sleep.
side note, ever see that using U*U as a short form for Unitarian Universalism makes our symbol look like you’re mooning someone and showing your asshole? I couldn’t love Unitarianism more now if I tried.
Pentium, Tammy’s remaining kitty, was euthanized yesterday. I am so glad Mike was in Toronto. I’ve supported him through a pet death so this seems like karma sneaking in.
Got to talk to Paul and Phyllis on the phone yesterday. They and Katie and Alex were taking the sights in Port Stanley, always a family favourite with the folks. Phyllis (to be candid) sounded exhausted so I hope he’s not chivying her too hard. Phyllis seems smitten with Alex, although how things could go differently is hard to figure.
Keith came by yesterday. Being on the spectrum – both of us – makes our communication extremely intense, haphazard and painful at times, but this turned out well so I’m going to characterize it as a win. He’s enjoying the mix of work that he has right now, including supplying eyeglasses through his company to X-Files.
Buster’s back/butt wound should get veterinary attention in my view, but I don’t own him. All I know is that had Margot received such a wound I’d have her into the exam room in 12 hours; portions of the wound are now 72 hours old and not crusting over so I am quite concerned about an abscess. Fortunately Margot is only subject to persistent eye goobers, thanks to her allergies, and I’m trying to stay on top of those by removing them every time her eyes get droopy. She does not thank me, but she usually quits running and lets me pick her up when I’m persistent.
It’s been deliciously sunny and breezy and not too hot.
412 words yesterday, mostly on Pharos.
Mike is planning on renting an entire commercial sauna for his birthday. Man o Man, that’s gonna be some party.
There’s this woman in Spokane who is white and has been pretending to be black since she was in University. This is what I have to say about her:
Libertarians are calling Rachel D. the ultimate manifestation of white guilt. I’m calling her as a gender-flopped urban Grey Owl. Her romanticization of black culture without living through a black childhood isn’t guilt, it’s a minor mental disorder.
Further: SHE EMBODIES WHAT MY TAG RACEFAIL IS FOR.
A few recommendations of my own:
Read the 94 recommendations.
Which of these recommendations can you action in your own life?
In your church?
At your workplace?
In your buying habits?
Do you know where the nearest Friendship Centre is? Locate it.
Do you know what languages the First Nations in your area speak?
If you have internet access, research and follow a First Nations activist on social media.
Visit your local library and borrow and read books by First Nations authors which can be fiction, poetry, memoir, non-fiction, academic.
Donate money to a First Nations cause.
Read the Indian Act.
If you have access, watch a youtube video google “youtube testimony residential schools”.
Go to a powwow. Dance your ass off.
Purchase and display art by aboriginal artists.
Examine your speech for racist terms and expunge them.
Listen to First Nations music.
Learn how to say hello, goodbye, please and thank you in a local First Nations language.
Support First Nations people by attending peaceful protests.
Learn the traditional territorial boundaries of First Nations people.
Read about the laws, traditions and spiritual beliefs of First Nations people in your area.
If you have school aged children, ensure that they learn age appropriate materials about the residential schools.
EDIT. This was brought on by thoughts of geobonding – the way a language spoken on a land for a long time in some ways becomes a land. I am envious of those who speak a language which has been on the land for a long time, because it has depths of richness and resonates in ways that English, the language that records its colonial history, cannot. There are about 35 at-risk languages in BC alone, and the death of a language is part of the extinction that is genocide.
It is your land – or you belong to it, after a while the distinction blurs – because every syllable of your language matches in magic the staccato calls of birds, the falls of rock, the crashing ocean, the dear familiar taste of this corm or that other, your particular delicacy. Only those friendly voices, who speak as you speak, and understand as you do, can share those nuances with you. This is what your language is. Each time you kill a language, my dear human, you are killing a small but measurable way to look at the world. Do not be an idiot! If a people live on a land for 50 years they forget the poor children (in capitalist terms, and even then it’s charitable) they stole it from. If they live on it ten thousand, twenty thousand, thirty thousand years, ah, then strange things start to happen.
They have sung there for 30,000 years. Their land has felt the resonance of their ir/reverant voices for 30,000 years,. You say it isn’t theirs. Of course it is. They’ve been putting their people in the ground, or elsewhere, for that long, birthed and suffered great wounds and triumphed and been wrong to the point of extinction on that land, and then been kicked off of most of it or transposed entire.
Then they experienced that moment, which you are not allowed to co-opt, you with your fucking lawyers, god damn them all and I say that as an atheist so you hell-coupled miscreants will attend me, when you, with all of your people, have been ground up in the Malthusian sequelae of geopolitics, and weather, and religion, and war, and disease, and alcohol or opium or speed, and all of you are thrown into history like pretty stones into a rock polisher. When you come out, you are bright and shiny and new, for the house organs of capitalism likewise wear you down, and tell you that if you do not look like the rest of the world (however defined, but since humans are racially all one big playground, it’s really the same everywhere – the local rich) you will be Othered until you have the sense to kill yourself or otherwise die young from generations of trauma.
But. Life’s not fair. Your enemies (demonstrably trying to kill you = enemies, pull on your beard as you may) co-opt everything about your people that they think is cool (an ever shrinking target as your blessed elders die), conflate it with sex and race and linguistic ability in a new language, and with skill and speed and a keen eye for the main chance, mock and countersue and vilify and beat and rape and jail and drug and abuse the living shit out of you if you even dare to whimper in the courts, or in any way upend the folkways of racism, Jim Crow and apartheid and the hell-coupled residential schools, so you have to get creative about how to keep fighting, but in the meantime everything you love about your culture you must keep alive (and even some shit you hate, but hey, tradition.) There is no one else.
So please be poor and mount court challenges to systemic discrimination against white people, while being among the last three hundred people who speak English, on Earth, while living in Nigeria with no clean water, before you pour verbal abuse on people who are in exactly the same situation, now, with just.the.names.changed. Your inability to understand with any human feeling or compassion the responsibility placed on the holders of a language in jeopardy transforms you into an enemy, always, until you free your mind. For even if I grant that you have the right to the land, shelter on this challenging planet (which no uncoerced indigenous person ever shall), by killing a language you have committed a crime against humanity, and in spreading the blame and shame of it across an entire country, every colonial government must stand accused.