Why is this not taught universally.
lol his face in the background starting at the 4th gif is exactly the reaction you want.
(To Westboro Baptist Church)
"If you really believe in standing up to those threatening the Christian way of life," Hills said on his UK television program "The Last Leg," "how about putting your money where your mouth is, taking a direct flight to Iraq and picketing the people threatening to behead Christians if they don’t convert?"
Hills then took his suggestion a step further by making a generous offer. “I will personally pay for every member of the Westboro Baptist Church to fly to Iraq right now. I’ll even fly you first class and pay the carbon offset.”
This was what my house was like. It's *pretty* great. It did make my first couplings strange... I needed to verify that they wouldn't interrupt my getting an abortion if a condom broke and I got pregnant. "Why do we have to talk about this?" Those are people I didn't sleep with.
Lea Grover, "This Is What Sex-Positive Parenting Really Looks Like," HuffPosts: Parents (29 July 2014)
where was this quote when i was in HS!?!?!?(via labyrintho)
Illustration by the author
It's been a summer of monsters.
Last week, the Islamic State released a video broadcasting the execution of James Foley in Syria.
Foley was a photojournalist. He was a brave, handsome man, who, according to people who knew him, was kind under stress. He was a member of a world I've only dipped into—that of freelancers reporting on war. It's a scene bonded over whiskeys in Gaziantep or Beirut. Because they have scant backup, freelancers look out for their own. This might mean sharing tips on fixers. Or it might mean something beyond the job, like raising money for the kids of a colleague killed in the field.
James Foley was kidnapped two years ago near Aleppo. A foreigner (or well-off Syrian) can net a fortune in ransom. Later, ISIS acquired him. They murdered him on the hills outside Raqqa. The voice on their propaganda tape was from London's East End.
I learned of Foley's death via a Skype message from a Syrian media activist. “Have you seen the video?? James :( May god bless his pure soul.” It was 4 AM. I googled, then doubled over in ugly sobs. Behind my eyelids, I saw the orange jumpsuit ISIS forced Foley to wear, echoing Gitmo. How many captives were still locked in their basements? How many Syrians had they murdered? Those names would never trend on Twitter.
I was in Sweden. The country's neat politeness made an obscene contrast to social media, where the stream showed police rampaging in Ferguson, Missouri. A cop had killed a black teenager named Mike Brown. Police would lay siege to the town to protect the man who shot him. Cops gassed an eight-year-old boy, or a woman fleeing in her wheelchair. Despite their sci-fi toys, the police's violence was as old as slavery. With raw courage, Ferguson kept protesting.
Weeks before, New York City police strangled to death a black grandfather named Eric Garner. A week before that, a California cop pummeled Marlene Pinnock, a black great grandmother. Back in New York, police stripped a black mom naked in the hallway outside her apartment, then arrested her entire family. They had knocked on the wrong door. Social media presented a parade of videos showcasing state violence that black people have endured since they were kidnapped to America.
Weeks before officer Darren Wilson killed Mike Brown, Israel invaded Gaza under Operative Protective Edge. They bombed homes, hospitals, mosques, even UN schools where Palestinians were told to shelter. After six weeks, the IDF had killed over 2,000 Gazans, most of them civilians. Palestinians tweeted photos of the devastation. Israel claims to have the “world's most moral army.” Those photos showed this to be a lie.
During Gaza or Ferguson, I could not look away. These were events in which I, as a white-skinned woman or an American, was unwillingly complicit. But I wondered about the nature of looking. Was it voyeurism, to watch people attacked each night and do nothing but donate to bail funds? Or was it worse not to look, to retreat because one was able?
Journalism often feels like vampirism. Before Ferguson or Gaza, I'd been reporting from Abu Dhabi, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria. Before that, Guantanamo. Sources told me about repression and violence. A journalist on the disaster beat told me to be a funnel for this pain. “Let it go through you. Get it down truthfully. Move on.”
I could not.
Writing about others' trauma bears no relation to living it. Yet I was a ruin more and more. The word “burnout” is dead from overuse. Constant exposure to pain burns in.
Quinn Norton once advised me to write about what I loved. Rage came more easily. I'd make my lines bloody, my words damning. I didn't know how to write about happiness. What did it mean, the night I danced on the street in New Orleans? A brass band howled. I'd woven flowers into my hair, but they dissolved beneath the Halloween rain. My friends and I danced for hours.
It was one night, on one sliver of earth.
We need beauty. But what right did I have, I kept asking myself, in a world so full of hell?
In his poem, “A Brief for the Defense,” Jack Gilbert attempted an answer. “We must risk delight,” he wrote. Life contains everything. Tear gas in Ferguson. Books read on the grass. Foley's murder. Dancing in New Orleans, till sunrise blots the stars. We're meat—fragile and finite. But joy is survival.
To remind myself, every summer I visit Coney Island. My mother used to visit, as did my grandmother. I love Coney's tattered glamor. I love the animatronic Grandma spitting fortunes, or the monsters Chico airbrushed at The Spook House. I love the dizzy minutes when the Wonder Wheel freezes. I'm above it all. Alone with the sky.
For a hundred years, Coney Island's been a symbol for working class pleasure. But New York lacks space for such darlings. In 1964, Fred Trump (Donald's father) bought Steeplechase, Coney's grandest park. He intended to raze it for apartments. Though he failed to push through the necessary rezoning, he destroyed Steeplechase anyway. On the night before the bulldozers, Trump threw a party.
At the party, bikini models presented bricks to Trump's friends. The moguls hurled the bricks through Steeplechase's stained-glass windows. They must have giggled as the glass broke.
Every year, Coney Island faded. In the early 2000s, Thor Equities bought up much of the boardwalk. They expelled a culture as sparkling as the glass crushed into Times Square's sidewalks.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy ravaged Coney Island. No one even repainted the signs.
When my friends and I visited Coney Island this summer, the old parts had shrunk to bones. As we watched the storm come off the water, Coney's lights seemed fainter than ever.
I thought of Fred Trump as he hurled bricks through Steeplechase's windows.
Spaces of joy are always threatened. Blink, and they've been destroyed.
I thought of the gunships blocking Gaza's sea from fishermen, or the Islamic State smashing ancient statues, or the New York cops who would choke a black man to death for little more than being outside in the sun.
I thought of the roses laid in the street where Darren Wilson shot Mike Brown.
Power seeks to enclose beauty—to make it scarce, controlled. There is scant beauty in militarized zones or prisons. But beauty keeps breaking out anyway, like the roses on that Ferguson street.
The world is connected now. Where it breaks, we all break. But it is our world, to love as it burns around us. Jack Gilbert is right. “We must risk delight” in the summer of monsters. Beauty is survival, not distraction. Beauty is a way of fighting. Beauty is a reason to fight.
Follow Molly Crabapple on Twitter.
The Bank booked my tickets for me (yay no financial overhead!.. but–) with an 11-hour layover at LHR. So I popped on the Heathrow Express to Paddington. I’m sitting in a Starbucks, of all places. They’re playing Morrisey. It’s pretty awful, but it’s also a holiday and everything else around here was closed. I was meant to have been back in Boston for the past week, after a long stint of travel, but things got extended by a continent, so here I am.
I gave a keynote at Cascadia.JS, and the event and its people were absolutely wonderful. Even played some pinball with Case (oh, PS, we’re throwing a CyborgCamp at MIT in October and you should come). I was soooo stressed when I gave this talk. Not from the talk itself – this community is lovely! I even wrote about it on the Civic blog – but because of the things surrounding this entry. When I watched the video later, it’s actually pretty alright. They gave me a full 30 minutes, and I wish I had padded it with more information. C’est la vie. Huge huge hugs to Ben and Tracy and the rest of the crew. You made a rough time easier through your care.
The drawings I did for other people’s talks are all here.
This was my first Wikimania, and it was stunning. So so much fun. Many things to think about, frustrations in new light, conversations over cider, and even more stick figures. And! Some lovely person taught me how to upload my drawings to the commons, and so now I’ll be hosting from there instead of from Flickr. Got to spend too-short time with Laurie (who I’ll see more of in Boston! Yay!), AND found out about Yaneer’s work on networked individuals and complex systems which rings closer to true in my intuition than most anything else I’ve run across recently.
Getting to know a neighborhood in London that I actually like, with art in the alleys and a bike repair and tailoring shop with a pub and wifi while you wait that is totally hipster gentrification and I so don’t care. And a strange moment in a Bombay-style restaurant of a half-recognized face, that ends up being the brother of the heart-based Seattle ex-Partner. We hug fiercely (as is the way of his family, and mine), until his manager gets angry. We laugh and promise to catch up.
Thence to Future Perfect, through the too-early fog of morning, and a panic attack, and dear Sam handling the accompanying compulsive need to stick to The Plan, even if it did not make the most sense, with the sort of calm curiosity and fondness which is exactly what is needed in those moments, and jogging through far away airports to finally arrive at our not-even-yet-boarding gate.
A short flight (slept through) and a longer ferry ride (also slept through) through the archipeligos of Sweden, and Sam and I are on the island of Grinda for Future Perfect. We’re here at the behest of one Dougald Hine, long-time mirror-world not-quite-yet-cohort, to be Temporary Faculty at the festival, and to “difficultate.” It’s a strange thing, to be encouraged to ask the hard questions, and Ella and I are a bit adrift in the new legitimacy of our usual subversive action. “Ella, I think we’ve just been made legible.” “Shit. Quick, act polite!” But there’s an awfully strong thread of Libertarianism and Profiteering From The Future, so it’s not a difficult thing to ask stir-up questions. I sit on a panel called When Women Run the World, and mock the title, and question the assumption of binary sex, and point out matrixes of power. I draw as people talk, and post the print-outs to a large board for all to see, a strange combination of digital and analogue. Another panel I’m pulled onto I advocate for inclusion and codesign on the basis of values – not everyone bites. So then, pulling from Yaneer’s work, I point out that hierarchies fail at the capacity of any individual, whereas examined networks can scale in complexity. They nod. I grit teeth.
We also meet Bembo and Troja Scenkonst and Billy Bottle and Anna and the Prince of the Festival Lucas, and see old friends Ben and Christopher and Smari. We walk through the cow and sheep pasture as a shortcut from breakfast to festival, avoiding dirty boots and communicating via body language to over protective rams. I jump into the half-salt water of the archipelagos after a long sauna stint, and we drink sweet Swedish cider, and we sing Flanders and Swann across our joined repertoires. Ed gives me access to his audio book library, and I’m high on dopamine and scifi for hours to come. Our tiny temporary faculty crew sleeps in adjacent cabins, keeping the floors swept and porches clean.
And another early flight, stomach dropping as the pre-booked taxi service couldn’t find us and didn’t speak English (and Sam doesn’t hold Swedish in his repository of languages), no Ubers showing up on the app as they had the previous night, and finally finding a taxi app that would generate our location and sent a lovely driver for us. Getting to the airport, again, in time, with an uncertainty of how to part ways from this other human-shaped being who moves at high velocities, having been caught up in each other’s orbits for a short period of time, still texting threads and punctuation past gates.
And then I went back to Dar. And I realize in writing this how worn down my travel-muscle is, exhausted to the core. Less able to appreciate the beauty of a second wrecked ship on a calm sandy beach, unable to see the trying and hurt at the core of some of the people we hear speak. I am frustrated that the workshop I have been flown here to participate in has people reading verbatim from slides, that at the core of this workshop are not the people who are the most marginalized. I am brief, and I am blunt, and I do not show the same care that I expect to be shown to everyone. I become even more blunt with those who are unkind to others, a sort of brute force function into civility, and I and others know it will not work.
But some of the workshop has us figuring out hairy problems like reducing the 16-digit identifier for water points to locally useful and uniquely identifiable phrases for the database lookup table. I listen while the People Who Decide These Things think their servers won’t have the troubles other servers have. And some sections have people talking about appropriate technology and inclusion. It is productive, though differently than I’m used to.
I exchange a quiet conversation in the front of a taxi that waited for us at a restaurant, a practice which I hate, on the long journey home. The driver having not said more than a word or two at a time at first, now sharing anger about high taxes and now visible payout. The roads are paid for by other countries, the buildings, the power grid… where are his tax dollars going? We talk about schools, and his sister, and about how he has no way to speak.
We work with the Dar Taarifa team, who are unfolding and learning to push back, hours into github and strange google searches and odd places to encourage and odder places to encourage disagreement. We pause for translations, and I try to bow out so they’ll operate at full speed in Swahili, rather than moving slower so that I might understand.
One of my drawings ended up all over the place:
— Morgan Mayhem (@headhntr) August 16, 2014
Morgan’s research is pretty boss, and Barton did a great job writing.
It looks like I’m going to be in Kenya in parts of October and November playing games around climate change.
This post is apparently in the memory of LJ.
Take me now.
me, in Dar, with the World Bank.
the basic law of capitalism is you or I, not both you and I.
why don’t we get together and call ourselves a “we”?
[Sorry, we can’t find an image for this because it never happens.]
goddamn it, capitalism, get out of the pool.
The neighborhood just south of Central Park that stays red unusually late is Midtown, home to Times Square, 30 Rock, and Grand Central Station, and intersected almost right down the middle by Broadway. With so many landmarks, it's a wonder that it doesn't stay red even later. The same goes for the southern tip of the island, home to Wall St., and the financial district. As they say, "money never sleeps."
Submitted by: (via Dark Horse Analytics)
Love it, except that it body shames people who happen to be slighter. Ah well. Welcome a swing in the other direction.
Meghan Trainor - All About That Bass
I’ve told you all before about my past abusive relationship. I’ve also been doing a lot of work in how to be more accepting of people. It’s a strange and new thing for me – to stand up for myself, to know my Self well enough to NOT be trampled on, not in a way that requires blustering or forcing respect.
I had wanted to tell you a story. But that’s not something that’s allowed in these situations. Our social and legal systems prevent me from talking about what, specifically, happened1. I don’t believe in unexamined support, and so asking people to express solidarity when I can’t express all the details (nor do I particularly want to, in the interest of the other person maybe… changing… one day?) is pretty weird. So let’s say this: I had to cut someone off recently for abusive behavior. Not one of my wonderful partners2. And while the situation is being handled, I wanted to talk a bit around what the experience has been like, socially, and how I think it can be handled responsibly.
Of those people I can talk to about it (for legal and social reasons), their responses are aiming for protective, seeking understanding, and solidarity. But these can easily end up instead falling into one of the following buckets: infantalizing, dismissive/justification, and overkill. While in this situation, it’s more difficult for me to do affective labor (cognitive and emotional processing) for other people. I need them instead to help me with mine. So here’s a general breakdown, in the hope that it helps me out, as well as others (if it fits with them/you as well).
To me, what it takes to be a good ally in these situations is to simply say “I am sorry” / “that sucks” + “What do you need right now?” That gives space to decide what is needed, in relationship to the person asking. Often the same places are gotten to, but together. And remember, listen to the person who is affected. Just like codesign. Just like anything else in life. The person living it is likely the expert in their experience.
So far as the person I cut off, I went through these steps, which I find important: expression of care, re-statement of disregarded boundaries (and how those had been crossed), new boundaries (ie, “don’t talk to me, on any platform”), consequences for crossing those new boundaries (legal action), and recourse (“until/unless you’ve completed an abuser program”). This leaves no ambiguity in the situation, and I’ve also laid a path to action for myself that I can read and stick to when/if things get complicated.