“Poetry ceremonializes the shared primitive impulses of human experience by ritualizing the purposes of living, existing as a metaphor for crossing the threshold from lived agency to inventive agency, by identifying and altering the patterns of your inner life, by permitting the figurative passages of living to be revealed to yourself and to others, and by initiating both the poet and a reader into clarities of heart and mind.”—David Biespiel’s Poetry Wire: The Poet’s Journey Chapter 2 (via therumpus)
From a public policy perspective, the fear that an incumbent industry won’t make as much money is irrelevant; in fact, incumbent industries having to adapt to change is evidence of innovation. It’s evidence of the system working.
We should not be particularly surprised by their fear, as these actors do not like users to have any level of control over their own content. The content industry was vehemently against the first VCR when it appeared in the United States, allowing individuals to have any control of their own media. The content industry went to war to kill the idea of individuals recording live television, and argued that an individual recording live television for home consumption was copyright infringement - even though the broadcasters put their content on the airwaves for free. They argued that time-shifting over the airwaves content was copyright infringement, and that average citizens could be liable for $150,000 per recording.
Then-MPAA President Jack Valenti testified before Congress and argued, “I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.”
“Fluff rice with a fork, never stir it with a spoon.
Vaseline is the best night time eye cream on the market.
You can buy alcohol and chips with your parents’ gas station credit cards.
If you force something, you’ll break it. That could be good or bad.
It’s important to read the care tags on your clothing and follow those instructions.
Related: don’t wash and dry j. crew wool sweaters.
Changing your car’s oil is not optional.
Whatever physical objects you acquire you will one day have to put into a box and move.
You’re allowed to disagree with negative feedback.
It’s always worth reading the instruction manual.
Nostalgia, like any drug, can be a poison or a remedy.
Pets are like human friends but better in every conceivable way.
Good doctors listen more than they talk.
You can’t fix a burned roux.
Just because someone is an authority figure does not mean they are intelligent/competent/right.
Measure twice, cut once.
Get your nice jeans and dress pants tailored by a professional.
If you’re uncomfortable wearing it you will not look good.
You’re not required to drink alcohol while in a bar.
There are a few things that cure all ills: the beach, your favorite album on vinyl, and fresh garlic.
Kindness is not weakness.
Baking soda is not baking powder.
Taking Excedrin P.M. while still in public is not advisable.
Terrible people will succeed. Wonderful people will fail. The world is not fair.
Appropriate footwear is always key.
You can absolutely be too forgiving.
Real humor punches up, not down.
Reading the assigned chapters will actually help you learn the material.
There are no adults. Everyone is as clueless as you are.
Applying eyeliner well is a timeless art.
You can always leave. Awkward dates, suffocating jobs, hometowns that you outgrow, relationships that aren’t growing in the right direction.
You can always come home again.
But it won’t be the same.
Life is too short for bad books, boring movies, shitty people, and margarine.
Never underestimate the importance of eyebrows.”—36 Things I Wish I Figured Out Sooner - Whitney Kimball (via cutlerish)
A group of First Nations with territory covering a quarter of the route for the proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline met with federal representatives Friday to officially reject the project. Officials with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the National Energy Board and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans met with the four clans of the Yinka Dene in Fort St. James, and listened as dozens of elders, hereditary and elected chiefs said “No.”
"We do not, we will not, allow this pipeline," Peter Erickson, a hereditary chief of the Nak’azdli First Nation, told the six federal bureaucrats. "We’re going to send the message today to the federal government and to the company itself: their pipeline is dead. Under no circumstances will that proposal be allowed. Their pipeline is now a pipe dream."
Karen Ogan, chief of the Wet’suwet’en, thanked the Crown representatives for listening. During the often emotional meeting, Ogan touched on the country’s checkered past with First Nations and its role in the dispute. “Some people may come from an anger perspective because we’ve been bulldozed, we’ve been run over all through history, through colonization and today we want our voice to be heard,” Ogan told the six bureaucrats during the day-long meeting.
The bands said the project is now banned from Yinka Dene territories, under their traditional laws. Members young and old of the Nadleh Whut’en, Nak’azdli, Saik’uz, Takla Lake, Tl’azt’en and Wet’suwet’en communities were unanimous. They said the decision by the four clans marks the end of negotiations. The pipeline project faces a major hurdle in getting First Nations on board but behind the scenes negotiations have continued talking with many groups. The company has also signed several benefits agreements with First Nations, though few of them admit publicly to the deals.
ETA: i’m going to affix my second post here, because this has gone a little viral, without the best sources. bear in mind, my initial discussion of this topic began as a response to props for the denny’s tweet about coachella and its implied wrongs of cultural appropriation.
i did ask everyone to complete further research. thus far, i’m seeing reblogs, but no further comments. c’mon, now. like certain agencies and news outlets, i withheld pertinent information about this case, hoping you jovenes would go find it. no? seriously? why not.
okay. did you find the fact that the head of the DOJ’s civil right’s division, deval l. patrick, remarked at the time, that this was the largest and broadest settlement ever paid under federal public accommodation laws? those were federal laws—not state statutes—enacted over 70 years ago, now, to end segregation in restaurants and other public places serving the public.
so, what actually happened, to bring denny’s to the attention of the DOJ’s civil rights division (and: did you know the DOJ has a civil rights division, with various branches, including housing?).
a majority of the claims came from black customers. this included a black federal judge from houston, traveling with his wife, who was forced to wait nearly an hour—while white patrons were served, and white teens taunted the black couple with the word “n*****.”no one from the staff did a damned thing.
one of the first complaints came in 1991 from a group of 18 young black men, who were asked to pay before service, at a denny’s in san jose, california. the men complied—but they also filed a suit against denny’s.
in 1993 (some articles have the date wrong), 6 uniformed members of president clinton’s u.s. secret service were refused service in Annapolis, by a white waitress, because they were black; meanwhile their white secret service counterparts were seated and served. the black agents filed a complaint—and one denny’s corporate public relations offices obviously couldn’t ignore.
1997 saw the rabid beatings of 6 Asian American students from syracuse university. after the standard treatment of denny’s “wait while we serve the whites,” the students complained to the management and their server, so were forced to leave the restaurant by security called by the manager. the students stated a group of white men then emerged from the restaurant and attacked them while shouting racial slurs. several of the asian students were left unconscious.
what denny’s paid was a class action lawsuit for racial discrimination. claims proven during that case were settled, by any person of color (called a “minority,” in the suit). the overwhelming majority of those who had proven claims were black customers. denny’s clearly had an overall agenda upholding white supremacy.
ironically (and sadly), after the $54.4 million settlement, the restaurant chain went all out to win back its percentage of people of color—especially its former 10% black customer base. their public relations department featured sherman hemsley and isabel sanford, in one television commercial. Fortune magazine selected denny’s as “best company for minorities” in 2001; Black Enterprise gave top space for the chain in their “best companies for diversity,” in 2006 and 2007. read more about the effects of denny’s “grand slam” advertising, by doing some research. seriously *s
now consider why denny’s has its public relations department sending out these bold "calling out" messages, that manage to "raise awareness" about cultural appropriation. even for some of us who are critical of the tweets, there’s the thought that, “it’s not a bad idea.” well, it worked, didn’t it? mm.
i remember at the height of my job interview period i would look up job interview tips anywhere i could find them. sometimes in a weird, delusional state i would convince myself it was possible to mind trick people, you know? like get inside their heads. body mirroring, using their names a lot, stuff like that. there was this one time i was getting dressed to go out and i was trying to find a clean undershirt. i found one, but then i found another undershirt that was, uh, pretty much as clean. i had worn it for like four hours while i was out the day before. it wasn’t dirty, it was just, worn i guess. anyways i was looking at these two undershirts and i thought, “i’ll wear this one that i wore yesterday because what if that thing about human pheromones is true and they’re on this shirt and i wear it and then the person interviewing me like, picks up on it and falls in love with me on a really deep subconscious level? that’s a thing, i’ve definitely read a thing about that.” so i wore the shirt. see how crazy extended job searches make you? like that sounded like a good idea to me. “job interview? sure, i’ll just wear this dirty fucking shirt and trick their ancient lizard brain into thinking they want to mate with me. then we’ll talk vacation days. if this doesn’t work i’ll present the collection of shiny stones i keep in my backpack.”
“The daily routine of most adults is so heavy and artificial that we are closed off to much of the world. We have to do this in order to get our work done. I think one purpose of art is to get us out of those routines. When we hear music or poetry or stories, the world opens up again.”—Ursula LeGuin (via nathanielstuart)
A friend and I were out with our kids when another family’s two-year-old came up. She began hugging my friend’s 18-month-old, following her around and smiling at her. My friend’s little girl looked like she wasn’t so sure she liked this, and at that moment the other little girl’s mom came up and got down on her little girl’s level to talk to her.
“Honey, can you listen to me for a moment? I’m glad you’ve found a new friend, but you need to make sure to look at her face to see if she likes it when you hug her. And if she doesn’t like it, you need to give her space. Okay?”
Two years old, and already her mother was teaching her about consent.
My daughter Sally likes to color on herself with markers. I tell her it’s her body, so it’s her choice. Sometimes she writes her name, sometimes she draws flowers or patterns. The other day I heard her talking to her brother, a marker in her hand.
“Bobby, do you mind if I color on your leg?”
Bobby smiled and moved himself closer to his sister. She began drawing a pattern on his leg with a marker while he watched, fascinated. Later, she began coloring on the sole of his foot. After each stoke, he pulled his foot back, laughing. I looked over to see what was causing the commotion, and Sally turned to me.
“He doesn’t mind if I do this,” she explained, “he is only moving his foot because it tickles. He thinks its funny.” And she was right. Already Bobby had extended his foot to her again, smiling as he did so.
What I find really fascinating about these two anecdotes is that they both deal with the consent of children not yet old enough to communicate verbally. In both stories, the older child must read the consent of the younger child through nonverbal cues. And even then, consent is not this ambiguous thing that is difficult to understand.
Teaching consent is ongoing, but it starts when children are very young. It involves both teaching children to pay attention to and respect others’ consent (or lack thereof) and teaching children that they should expect their own bodies and their own space to be respected—even by their parents and other relatives.
And if children of two or four can be expected to read the nonverbal cues and expressions of children not yet old enough to talk in order to assess whether there is consent, what excuse do full grown adults have?
“Cheating is NOT a mistake.
If you’re truly in love with someone, you will not be able to kiss someone else without tasting your loved ones tears stain your lips. You will not be able to take your clothes off for someone else without feeling like a field ripped bare to its soil. Cheating is a choice, its a choice you made because you obviously didn’t give a single fuck about your relationship.”—Aleana hurts too (via a-sleeping-perspective)
Depression is hard to understand, because it is not a consistent state. Depression is rather like a virus, but like a virus, it has its manageable days and its acute, life-threatening flare-ups. You can be in a depression and still laugh at a friend’s joke or have a good night at dinner or manage low-level functioning. You grocery shop and stop to pet a puppy on the corner, talk to friends in a café, maybe write something you don’t hate. When this happens, you might examine your day for clues like reading tea leaves in a cup: Was it the egg for breakfast that made the difference? The three-mile run? You think, well, maybe this thing has moved on now. And you make no sudden moves for fear of attracting its abusive attention again.
But other times…
Other times, it’s as if a hole is opening inside you, wider and wider, pressing against your lungs, pushing your internal organs into unnatural places, and you cannot draw a true breath. You are breaking inside, slowly, and everything that keeps you tethered to your life, all of your normal responses, is being sucked through the hole like an airlock emptying into space. These are the times Holly Golightly called the Mean Reds.
“When it’s White Knuckle Time, you will have to remind yourself to stand in the middle of the subway platform, well away from the edge.”
“There is an undertow to depression. It doesn’t take you all at once. It leaves you with some false sense that you are coping. That you are in control. That you have the shore still well in sight, until, at some point, you raise your head to find yourself all alone, battered by rough seas with absolutely no idea which way you should swim.”
Jesus, every damn word of this post. It’s remarkable.
Violent temper. Refusal to admit wrongdoing. Penchant for expressing every feeling as anger. Penchant for expressing anger through physical intimidation. Homophobia and transphobia. Impulsive, risky behaviour with no consideration of potential consequences. Obsession with the competitive parts of politics (campaigning) and disdain for the collaborative parts. ”Boys will be boys” brand excuses for egregious behaviour. Yup. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford sure is winning at Toxic Masculinity Bingo.
This isn’t the first time I’ve thought about Rob Ford’s embodiment of the socially-constructed norms that shape and constrain our culture’s understanding of what it means to Be A Man. I thought about it a lot after the Mayor violently confronted journalist Daniel Dale on the property adjacent to his home, fist cocked and charging at full speed.
I thought about it after reports quoted him calling Liberal Party of Canada leader Justin Trudeau a homophobic slur. And when he asked if a transgender person was “a guy dressed up like a girl or a girl dressed up like a guy.” And when he made homophobic comments about who really contracts HIV/AIDS and whose life is really worth something at the end of the day.
I thought about it when he voted (on every occasion possible) to cut all kinds of community programs that help all kinds of children and youth, believing instead that personal support of a football program exclusively for boys was sufficient to help at-risk youth in Toronto. Boy-only football programs are great for boys who like football, but not all boys do – and there’s a whole lot of other kids out there who aren’t boys, besides.
I thought about it a lot when I launched my personal blog with a post about my suspicion that Rob Ford is a woman abuser – based on the consistent history of domestic calls to his home (including one charge that was later dropped) – which I later deleted because a handful of male non-libel lawyers said it left me vulnerable to libel suits.
But it was hard not to think about it extra-hard when a video surfaced of an inebriated Rob Ford ranting in disturbingly graphic terms about his desire to “first-degree murder” someone. He was blind with anger and the evidence poured out of his erratic movements and rhetorical violence. His explosive anger appeared to be a result of things a third party had said about him; in other words, he craved physical violence as a response to some ostensible verbal wrongdoing.
The nail in the coffin came later on when his mother sneered at a television reporter that she wouldn’t want her son, who clearly has a debilitating issue with substance abuse, “off in some rehab” – she’d prefer to focus on the size and shape of his body as the real problem. It hurt to watch. It was a painful reminder of how men are socialized to never show weakness or softness; how often a man caring for himself is perceived as unmanly, how men must be strong at all times. It said a lot about why he may have ended up in the sorry state he has.
There has been a lot of talk in Toronto this last week about enabling in the context of Rob Ford’s substance abuse, which is good, but the public writ large seems to enable his toxic masculinity. People who called Daniel Dale a wuss on Twitter for being afraid of a much-larger man approaching him violently? Enablers. People who said Ford’s “murder rant” was just the kind of murderously violent speech we all engage in when we’re a little angry? Enablers.
But then, when it comes to the replication of gender norms, most of us are enablers. Toxic masculinity is not “men being awful”; rather, it is people of all genders holding, performing and perpetuating rigid ideas of who we are allowed to be. Rob Ford, in particular, has spent a lifetime striving to perform what a Rich, Powerful White Man should be (a whole other level of toxicity beyond the merely masculine). His pursuit of idealized masculinity seems unmistakably modelled after that of his simultaneous bully and protector brother, who has often been framed by the media as “the smart one” and seems to have always been perceived as more competent, more likeable, more of A Man.
Articles imploring Rob Ford to step up to some ill-defined code of manhood do not help matters. It is not useful or accurate to frame honesty, accountability and “honour” as masculine traits, nor is it ever helpful to implore someone to “be a man.” Why not just “be a decent, trustworthy human being”? Why gender that? This kind of macho posturing only serves to validate idealized masculinity and reductive, binary understandings of how gender can and should influence identity.
Consider for a moment if a woman sharing Ford’s documented track record of physical aggression would ever have been elected Mayor of a major city. More likely she would have long ago been perceived as “unhinged” and cast out of the leadership pool in her chosen field. Yet we laud – or at least will grudgingly accept – this behaviour from a man, so much so that we elect him to a prime position of public trust. His impulsive expressions of anger are part of what endears him to so many as a ‘regular guy,’ one they could ‘have a few pops with.’ Boys will be boys, right?
If we want more gender diversity in politics, we need to understand that a) a good politician can come equipped with a wide variety of character traits, not all of them about cutthroat aggression and cold calculation, and b) there is immense diversity within genders and no trait is “naturally” masculine or feminine – we choose to understand and value traits in these binary ways, and if we want to, we can choose to change that.