taiga13: Raylan Givens from Justified (Justified)
taiga13 ([personal profile] taiga13) wrote in [community profile] poetry2017-08-18 07:24 pm

Hymns by Sherman Alexie

Published August 16, 2017 in response to recent events in the United States

Why do we measure people's capacity
To love by how well they love their progeny?

That kind of love is easy. Encoded.
Any lion can be devoted

To its cubs. Any insect, be it prey
Or predator, worships its own DNA.

Like the wolf, elephant, bear, and bees,
We humans are programmed to love what we conceive... )
sasha_feather: horses grazing on a hill with thunderheads (horses and lightning)
sasha_feather ([personal profile] sasha_feather) wrote2017-08-18 07:08 pm
Entry tags:

Farm update

I love the farm. I just love how quiet and peaceful and gorgeous it is.

The adolescent guineas and pheasants in the shed get meal worms as a treat. Meal worms are the BEST, according to them. The internet says that pheasants are wild and won't tame down, but apparently these sites don't know about meal worms. Anyways, today I picked up the bucket where they are stored, and one of the guineas was so excited that she Flew At Me, hit my chest, bounced off and ran away.

Abbie had a couple of good sprints down to the barn and back.

Today I saw:
A hummingbird feeding off the cannas
A Monarch butterfly
A female cardinal
A woodpecker (I just heard this)
nanila: little and wicked (mizuno: lil naughty)
Mad Scientess ([personal profile] nanila) wrote2017-08-18 02:20 pm
Entry tags:

Friday's Unscientific Poll: Spoiler: The correct answer is Yes

Poll #18711 Eye candy
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 35


Which?

View Answers

Vin Diesel
8 (22.9%)

Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock
14 (40.0%)

Yes, yes please
7 (20.0%)

Fast AND furious, hurr hurr
6 (17.1%)

No thanks, fit bald men aren't my thing
12 (34.3%)

I have a really short attention span. What was the question?
5 (14.3%)

Cake, anyone?
18 (51.4%)

Ticky!
11 (31.4%)

spiralsheep: Woman blowing heart-shaped bubbles (Bubble Rainbow)
Humph ([personal profile] spiralsheep) wrote2017-08-18 12:39 pm

In which there are love that isn't, messages in food, hattitude, and murals in the woodshed

Sleeping tree, Paignton, Devon 05-17

- If your idea of ~love~ involves submitting me to violence then that's abuse not love. I'm not here for privileged people insisting that disprivileged people should ~love~ violent abusers such as racists and fascists.

- My crisps claim they were cooked by Andre7. I'm now trying to work out if there are likely to be seven people called Andre working in a regional English crisp factory, or whether Andre7 is some sort of clone or android who needs rescuing. /Seven of Nine

- Reading, books 2017: 82. I've now reached all my unwritten reading goals for 2017 except my total goal which escalates, 26 to 52 to 104. Novels, adult: 26 (+2 short story collections). Poetry: 13. Books given away: 52.

78. Letters From Klara, by Tove Jansson (translated by Thomas Teal), 1991 (this translation 2017), short stories. Warning for an oblique reference to the Holocaust in the story My Friend Karin, while at least three other stories evoke mental health problems and/or suicidal thoughts. I personally found the stories in Letters From Klara generally life affirming, always insightful, and often wryly amusing, but I'm aware that many readers seem to find Ms Jansson's adult short stories bleak and disturbing: I suspect this depends on the mental state brought by the reader. (5/5, goodreads = 54 ratings / 8 reviews 3.5/5)

• Goodbye: They said their goodbyes in the front hall, with an affection that was perfectly genuine but that committed them to nothing.

• Weathering: By morning the storm had passed.
His jeans had dried. One day he'll find the boatbuilder's address in his back pocket.

• Something nasty in the woodshed... literally: Since the summer is over tomorrow, I've nailed shut the door to the woodshed. Sometimes it's good to make a decision. But I'm going to show the murals to my daughter.

• On returning from a sneaky smoke break while staying with one's overly religious and puritanical extended family, lol: When I got back, I stopped in the doorway and burst out, "How nice it smells here - just like home!"
Aunt Elsa said, "It's denatured alcohol. We're washing the windows."

• Hattitude: They began their trip by boat. Their friends stood on the quay and waved. Up on deck, Mama was clearly visible with her white hair and her large light grey hat, broad-brimmed, strict, with a low crown - the very epitome of hatness. She hadn't changed her headgear since 1912.
bibliogramma: (Default)
bibliogramma ([personal profile] bibliogramma) wrote2017-08-18 03:56 am

Trevor Noah: Born a Crime



I was pretty sure that I was going to both enjoy and be enlightened by Trevor Noah's Born a Crime from the first few pages, which were fill of witty, pithy, yet accurate and often poignant observations such as these:

"The genius of apartheid was convincing people who were the overwhelming majority to turn on each other. Apart hate, is what it was. You separate people into groups and make them hate one another so you can run them all."

"The Zulu went to war with the white man. The Xhosa played chess with the white man. For a long time neither was particularly successful, and each blamed the other for a problem neither had created. Bitterness festered. For decades those feelings were held in check by a common enemy. Then apartheid fell, Mandela walked free, and black South Africa went to war with itself."

"Like indigenous peoples around the world, black South Africans adopted the religion of our colonizers. By “adopt” I mean it was forced on us. The white man was quite stern with the native. 'You need to pray to Jesus,' he said. "Jesus will save you.' To which the native replied, 'Well, we do need to be saved—saved from you, but that’s beside the point. So let’s give this Jesus thing a shot.' "

"For a long time I didn’t understand why so many black people had abandoned their indigenous faith for Christianity. But the more we went to church and the longer I sat in those pews the more I learned about how Christianity works: If you’re Native American and you pray to the wolves, you’re a savage. If you’re African and you pray to your ancestors, you’re a primitive. But when white people pray to a guy who turns water into wine, well, that’s just common sense."

Noah's book is part autobiography, part South African history, and part social and political commentary, wrapped up in just enough wit and comedic structure and timing to make it flow smoothly and swiftly, until all of a sudden you're brought up short with a 'wtf?' feeling as you realise the full meaning of what you've just read.

I've had a lot of respect for Noah's presence on TV as a successor to Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. I now also have a lot of respect for him as an author - and as a man who lived through South Africa's troubled post-apartheid times and saw truths so clearly.

His account of his childhood, growing up as a child of mixed race, is lightly told, but horrifying. Under the segregation laws of South Africa, it was illegal for white people to have sex with non-white people; as a child of such a union, Noah was, as the title of the book says, 'born a crime.' His parents were not married - that would have been impossible - nor did they live together. Though his mother lived - quietly, secretly, illegally - in Johannesburg near his father's apartment, Noah could only spend time with his father in private.

"Where most children are proof of their parents’ love, I was the proof of their criminality. The only time I could be with my father was indoors. If we left the house, he’d have to walk across the street from us. My mom and I used to go to Joubert Park all the time. It’s the Central Park of Johannesburg—beautiful gardens, a zoo, a giant chessboard with human-sized pieces that people would play. My mother tells me that once, when I was a toddler, my dad tried to go with us. We were in the park, he was walking a good bit away from us, and I ran after him, screaming, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” People started looking. He panicked and ran away. I thought it was a game and kept chasing him."

But it wasn't just his father who could not acknowledge him publicly. His mother, a dark-skinned Xhosa woman, could not be seen with a 'coloured' - the South African classification for person of mixed race - child without everyone knowing she had committed the crime of sleeping with a white man.

"It was illegal to be mixed (to have a black parent and a white parent), but it was not illegal to be colored (to have two parents who were both colored). So my mom moved me around the world as a colored child. She found a crèche in a colored area where she could leave me while she was at work. There was a colored woman named Queen who lived in our block of flats. When we wanted to go out to the park, my mom would invite her to go with us. Queen would walk next to me and act like she was my mother, and my mother would walk a few steps behind, like she was the maid working for the colored woman. I’ve got dozens of pictures of me walking with this woman who looks like me but who isn’t my mother. And the black woman standing behind us who looks like she’s photobombing the picture, that’s my mom. When we didn’t have a colored woman to walk with us, my mom would risk walking me on her own. She would hold my hand or carry me, but if the police showed up she would have to drop me and pretend I wasn’t hers, like I was a bag of weed."

It was just as much a problem when his mother took him to visit his black relatives in Soweto. A coloured child in a black township was just as much a threat to his family as a coloured child in a white city.

"My gran still tells the story of when I was three years old and, fed up with being a prisoner, I dug a hole under the gate in the driveway, wriggled through, and ran off. Everyone panicked. A search party went out and tracked me down. I had no idea how much danger I was putting everyone in. The family could have been deported, my gran could have been arrested, my mom might have gone to prison, and I probably would have been packed off to a home for colored kids. So I was kept inside."

Noah's memories of his childhood make one thing perfectly clear - that he attributes much of his own character to his mother's independence and choices to live as far as she could outside the legal and social limitations imposed by South African apartheid.

"My mom raised me as if there were no limitations on where I could go or what I could do. When I look back I realize she raised me like a white kid—not white culturally, but in the sense of believing that the world was my oyster, that I should speak up for myself, that my ideas and thoughts and decisions mattered.

We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited. Growing up in Soweto, our dream was to put another room on our house. Maybe have a driveway. Maybe, someday, a cast-iron gate at the end of the driveway. Because that is all we knew. But the highest rung of what’s possible is far beyond the world you can see. My mother showed me what was possible. The thing that always amazed me about her life was that no one showed her. No one chose her. She did it on her own. She found her way through sheer force of will."

Noah completed the book prior to his becoming an American TV host, and the book itself contains very little about his professional life, or how he made the transition from a teenaged boy hustling pirated CDs to get by, to a well-known and admired comedian and TV personality. Perhaps that's for another book.

This one is the narrative of a mixed race child growing up in one of the most oppressive and racist societies in the world, and surviving. And it's well worth reading.

azurelunatic: A red apple with a bite out of it, captioned in Star Trek font "What no-win scenario?" (what no-win scenario)
Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz) 🌺 ([personal profile] azurelunatic) wrote2017-08-17 02:28 pm
Entry tags:

Family.

I am scared of my family right now.

My immediate family are largely good people who generally behave with kindness to all, and abhor the concepts of white supremacy and fascism like any decent person.

My aunts on my father's side are pretty awesome. Hippie Uncle is great, and Woodworking Uncle has good intentions and maybe a few distortions due to assorted experiences of privilege, but he does not appear to go out of his way to fuck other people over.

My aunt-by-marriage scares me. She's a doctor, and things she has said about transgender people, and gender in general, make me feel unsafe around her.

My uncle who is married to that aunt has good intentions, but does not appear to be in a position to temper his wife's attitudes.

"Racist Cousin Anna" has said some things about Mexicans that made me turn away from her. She's married to the older of that uncle's kids.

Both those cousins have posted things about guns and Muslims on Facebook that make me scared, like they wouldn't hesitate to support laws that would marginalize my friends, or might use one of those guns on someone.

I don't have the scariest family in the world. And I'm still skittish of saying anything that might prompt them to stop seeing me as their tame cousin and start seeing me as Other.
jesse_the_k: amazed Alanna (hero of Staples/Vaughn SAGA comic) (alanna is amazed)
Jesse the K ([personal profile] jesse_the_k) wrote2017-08-17 02:36 pm

Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction

... is a Kickstarter-funded project that's almost over. I'm so lucky to be able to fund it.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lynnemthomas/disabled-people-destroy-science-fiction-uncanny-ma/updates

Uncanny Magazine -- whose editors have personal relationships to disability -- picked up the mantle of "create a wonderful anthology themed by marginal creators" from Lightspeed.

Even if you can't contribute money, Uncanny is posting free essays from SF writers about the connection between SF and disability. The essays are wonderful, and I've learned something from every one of them.

I kept meaning to post a highlight entry, and wowza [personal profile] beatrice_otter has done it for me!

So, go read this post and read wonderful essays

http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/354745.html
owlmoose: (quote - B5 avalanche)
KJ ([personal profile] owlmoose) wrote2017-08-17 12:32 pm

Semi-regular political linkspam: World in flames edition

Between North Korea and Charlottesville and everything else happening, it's hard not to feel like everything is burning down. But until the world actually ends, it's better to proceed as if it will keep on turning, so have some linkspam.

jesse_the_k: Flannery Lake is a mirror reflecting reds violets and blues at sunset (Rosy Rhinelander sunset)
Jesse the K ([personal profile] jesse_the_k) wrote2017-08-17 01:51 pm

Parting Thought

I'm headed up north for my customary two-week sojourn by a cool lake (as pictured in the icon).

I'll leave you with this handy keyboard tip.

When I realize I want to delete a lot of text in the middle, I start a new line before and after. That way I can use the triple-click or keyboard commands without fussing with selecting between words.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
mme_hardy ([personal profile] mme_hardy) wrote2017-08-17 08:20 am
Entry tags:

No more cakes and ale (race edition)

I follow an excellent curated list of reporters. Thrown in as the token conservative is Salena Zito. Zito's claim to fame is that she called Pennsylvania and thus the nation as going for Trump early, and she was right. She has positioned herself as the voice of Forgotten Non-Urban America. (This reached hilarious levels when she toured "non-urban America" and counted in, not only a commuter suburb of Gary, Indiana, but people who actually commuted to Gary.)

Today, Salena retweets a 1994 post in which she explained it all to us, race edition. (Save for nausea before clicking.)

Briefly, the essay says that a black family moved into her white neighborhood in 1969. I'll let her explain it.

Race in Pittsburgh, as in many industrial cities, was volatile in 1969. Society was changing rapidly for whites and blacks and, as with most change, some people reacted with fear, others with anger, and many with no brains at all.

In typically horrible timing, government-enforced integration coincided with Lyndon Johnson's “Great Society,” which bulldozed iconic ethnic neighborhoods — tearing apart lifelong experiences, communities and ways of life — in favor of public housing.

It was supposed to compensate for past injustices but it merely punished one community to make amends to another.

No mention that the "iconic ethnic neighborhoods" included black neighborhoods, of course, or the neighborhoods -- almost certainly including Zito's -- whose sale contracts forbade the owner to sell to a black person.  No, that neighborhood just mysteriously grew up all-white.

Thanks to my parents, the Chatmans weren't considered “black people.” They were just new neighbors, and we did what we always did when someone new moved onto the block — baked chocolate-chip cookies and delivered those to their home.
Three months later — after spending our days jumping rope, playing tag and all of the other things that 9-year-old girls do — a brick shattered the Chatmans' front window; another smashed their car's windshield, and the perpetrators, a couple of teenage boys, tried to burn a cross on the lawn.

“Your dad chased those young teens ... he caught all of them, single-handedly, and held them for the police,” Carnisa recalled. “I remember him telling them how ashamed he was of them.”

And everything was okay then! And Carnisa, her black friend,  repaid her by saving her from a black riot in high school! And therefore:

So the solution to our nation's racial discourse should be handled by us individually, one person at a time — and not by exploiting bad deeds done by both sides that only further the hatred.

Note that it never occurs to Zito that Carnisa had to go to school with the brothers and sisters and friends of those boys who burned a cross.  Or that there were other people who put their resentment of "tearing apart lifelong experiences" into words and action.  No.  Zito made friends with Carnisa and they're still close friends and that's what everybody should do!  And nobody (among Zito's friends) considered the Chatmans black, so that made everything better!

You won't read an essay that better encapsulates the belief that individual virtue is better than collective action.   With a triple scoop of  white privilege.

e:  Chaser.  Mother Jones finally does what nobody else is doing and interviews rural black voters.

Turner’s mom, who cleans houses in town for a living, went to work a couple of days after [the election], and her employer, an older white woman, brought up the results of the recent election. The two had talked politics before—Turner’s mom is a Democrat, and her employer is a Republican. “Well, you might as well come and live with me now,” the employer said. “You gonna be mine eventually."

jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (Default)
Jesse the K ([personal profile] jesse_the_k) wrote2017-08-17 09:08 am

Hard reading -- Roxane Gay: HUNGER

I started reading this via audio, narrated by the author. Technically excellent; both writing and reading. The subject matter, however, has given me thrashing screaming nightmares.

Contains: shame, sexual violence, shame, internalized misogyny, eating disorder, shame.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to finish it.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
elainegrey ([personal profile] elainegrey) wrote2017-08-17 08:39 am

(no subject)

[Sunday morning] I'm not sure it was rhetoric distressing me on Wednesday: i got myself into a right good funk though. Therapy was good, with gentle coaching through procrastination and the identification of a reward system for me.

I took Friday off, inspired by an errand i needed to run and, with the day cleared, i decided to spend the morning with my nephew & niece. We had breakfast at the classic small town restaurant (blueberry waffle & banana pancake for them, respectively, hashbrowns & eggs for us), a little visit to our home where they hadn't been for a while, and then -- yay, i found my beading tools! -- to their house for playing with beads for a bit. It was lovely, and now that i have all my kit, i should do it again in an organized way. Also, when my sister is there, so we can use her beads, too.

I'd made a bit of a mess trying to find stuff, so i spent some of Saturday in the residual moving task of sorting out jumbled stuff. We have many residual moving tasks lingering. I also fixed some jewelry of Christine's i'd said i'd fix and made the necklace and earrings to go with my Easter dress with the faceted yellow chalcedony and vermeil links and pendants i bought with birthday money from my grandmother. The dress is a 50s influenced, A-line dress in a print of lemons, so this necklace and earrings is a sparkling accent for that.

--== ∞ ==--

The week is flying by. Sunday i stopped by my parents after meeting, where "stopped by" means driving an extra 35 or more minutes. My parents are in the opposite direction of meeting. Later, as i was spraying my yellow squash and other cucurbits with a milk-soap-baking soda mixture, my dad stopped by to take a look at the crack in the slab in our front porch. He agreed with my assessment that the "fix" someone had applied in the past was part of the problem. He also knew a much better way to repair it than someone had told Christine. (That instruction was to essentially replicate the bad repair.) He confirmed it was a cosmetic and not particularly structural issue, and wouldn't stop thinking about the issue until he came up with a cause for the crack.

We also have an issue with the light that is not quite over the island in the kitchen: i think "Mr Handyman," the previous owner, caulked the halogen light bulb into the socket. I am happy for the excuse to replace the otherwise attractive but poorly located pendant lamp with a ceiling fan with lights.

Yesterday, my niece and nephew stayed with us during their parents' workday. They had to entertain themselves mostly, but over lunch we made oobleck, a non-newtonian fluid with interesting shear properties. That is, we mixed one part water with around two parts corn starch and examined how the behavior changed when you stirred it slowly vs quickly and a variety of other messy experiments. My favorite was watching an apparently solid chunk fly out of the container, hit me, bounce off, land on the counter and then slowly melt into a puddle.

Making gravy will never quite be the same.

I tried mowing last night, but somehow our lawnmower has lost the adjustments to the front two wheels and all one can really do is scalp the grass. There are some areas where that is desirable, but it was even scalping the moss, which isn't.

It's miserably humid, by the way. Miraculously the forecast for Monday is "clear", although the detailed prediction for Brevard, NC is 50% cloud cover in the afternoon. I've been trying to pretend like it's no big deal and have not been practicing camera stuff, etc. I guess i ought to be getting out the eclipse glasses and filters now, though.
cmcmck: (Default)
cmcmck ([personal profile] cmcmck) wrote2017-08-17 12:46 pm
supergee: (starmaker)
Arthur D. Hlavaty ([personal profile] supergee) wrote2017-08-17 06:19 am

Classification metrics

Fantasy or Science Fiction? (or one or another sort of –punk)

Thanx to File 770
bibliogramma: (Default)
bibliogramma ([personal profile] bibliogramma) wrote2017-08-17 04:42 am

Alison Weir: Anne Boleyn, A King's Obsession




Alison Weir's latest novel in her series about the wives of Henry VII, Anne Boleyn, A King's Obsession, is Weir's interpretation of the story of Anne Boleyn, the woman who triggered the creation of the Church of England through her relationship with King Henry.

There have been many different interpretations of Anne's life and character, from villainous harlot to innocent and loving victim of Henry's overwhelming desire to have a male heir. Weir takes an interesting path between the extremes, giving us an intelligent and ambitious Anne who may not have loved Henry, but consented to her pursuit of her for reasons more charitable than greed and power-madness, an Anne who did not betray the King in deed, but who may well have allowed the game of courtly love to go too far with a man, or men, for whom she felt greater emotional affinity than she did for her husband. Weir's Anne is an early church reformer, who pressed Henry to break with the Church of Rome, not just to facilitate their marriage, but to give Henry the power to correct abuses of the people by church and clergy.

Weir says about her interpretation of Anne: "In writing this novel from Anne’s point of view, I have tried to reconcile conflicting views of her, and to portray her as a flawed but very human heroine, a woman of great ambition, idealism, and courage who found herself in an increasingly frightening situation."

Weir is, as one would expect, painstaking in her research and she fills her novel with explicit detail, paying close attention to where Anne was, at various points in her life, and the people she was likely to have encountered and how they interacted. From that perspective, the book succeeds in giving us a fairly full picture of Anne's comings and goings, and her known and possible dealings with family, friends, and with members of the courts of three countries - Burgundy, France and England.

Unfortunately, I found this portrayal of Anne somewhat flat, as if, despite Weir's telling of the story from Anne's perspective, we are seeing more of the outward than the inner woman - a license the writer of history cannot take, but the writer of fiction must.

rachelmanija: (Buffy: I kind of love you)
rachelmanija ([personal profile] rachelmanija) wrote2017-08-16 10:04 pm
Entry tags:

Dear FemslashEx Writer or Artist...

Full letter with prompts to come ASAP. The letter below is incomplete.

ETA: I changed my sign-up since I posted this, so if you looked early on, look again if you're interested - I added a fandom and switched out some of the Original Work ships.

Dear FemslashEx Writer or Artist,

Thank you so much for writing for me! This is my first time doing FemslashEx, so I'm really excited.

(I only requested art for one fandom; however, if anyone is moved to do an art treat for me in any of them, I would absolutely love that.)

Loves, DNWs, and notes/prompts for my fandoms (Aliens, Carrie, Original Work, Star Trek: Classic Timeline, X-Men comics (Marvel 616) and X/1999 below cut). Read more... )
ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)
John Michael Greer ([personal profile] ecosophia) wrote2017-08-16 11:04 pm

Kunstlercast interview

Me and fellow peak oil pundit James Howard Kunstler spending an hour talking about a recent Ecosophia post of mine, Hate is the New Sex, and much more! Listen to it here.