Last night

27 Oct

TheFeatheredSleep


Last night, The Devil called

He said

I’m calling in my marker

You have the wrong stiff, I replied

I’ve been scared stiff too long

I calcified

Turned into crystal

Split apart under armadillo sun

Melted and became a resin lingua, beneath surface, hearing murmur

Of half forgotten plea
Smoke me if you must

You’ve got the flame

Though displeased not to gain my soul, ponder this …

What you cannot snap in two

What resists

Will one day be called beautiful

And all that pain it took

Just to keep walking

When the sun burned you to clay and turned you finally to river mud

When the last ounce of yes I can

Si su puede

Became Holy Lord I cannot endure

When you felt yourself

Wilt like wax candle of the saints, in midday sun

From alive, to oil, to fire and back again to blood

When Demi-Devil’s…

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QotD: “Faster, higher, twerkier?”

22 Oct

Anti-Porn Feminists

According to the BBC, pole dancing has taken the first step towards being recognised as an Olympic sport:

Could pole dancing become an Olympics sport? It’s not as far-fetched as you might think…

That’s because pole dancing – or pole, as the International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF) prefers – has been recognised by an international sporting body for the first time.

[…]

The IPSF emphasises that pole dancing is about “athleticism and technical merit”, in line with “other Olympic standard sports such as gymnastics, diving and ice skating”.

So even though it may be closely associated with strip clubs, a performance does not have to contain an erotic element.

However, there is a big debate within pole dancing about how much it should be separated from its origins.

In 2015 and 2016 various people who pole dance shared photos on Instagram using the hashtag #Notastripper – something that some…

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The Politics of Not

15 Oct

 

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From “The Sneetches,” by Dr. Seuss

I was thinking today about how much of politics seems to center around what we’d like people to believe we’re not. “We’re not abusers,” that’s a big one. “We’re not like those people.” We’re not overly restrictive, we’re not overly lax. We’re not extremists, we’re not like those who say we are extremists.

Or people may not eat meat, or not eat various and sundry other foods. If we are women, we may want to be thought not to be women who submit to men, or maybe even we would like to say we are not even women, though we know that when it gets right down to it, you are what you are.

But what you are seems less important all the time in this culture. With the Internet, we have a whole new set of ways to explore appearing to be what we’re not, or alternately, if we are less ambitious, to merely trumpet our not-being in various venues. People I am less well acquainted with may inform the world at large that they are not suffering from various social phobias. A more advanced form involves announcing you’re not into purity politics, this latter being seen as an essentialist way of saying what one is not.

Our love of announcing what we’re not is making it seem odd and old-fashioned and perhaps even suspect when people write about what they are. What’s their agenda? we ask ourselves. What are they hiding? Or, even better: Why are they like we are not? We shall have something to say about this. And we do.

So, little by little, what we are disappears behind closed doors, into our more interior landscapes, and our public life turns into endless warfare between various Nots. And this we call activism.

 

 

 

The Glasgow School Sisters who Influenced Klimt

14 Oct

#womensart ♀

Despite being central to the “Glasgow style” of art, influential in the expansion of the Art Nouveau movement, sisters Margaret (1864-1933) and Frances MacDonald (1873-1921) were both born in England. The MacDonald family, however, moved to Scotland when the girls were still young.

marg selfMargaret MacDonald

Due to their privileged upper-middle class background, Margaret and Frances received a rare female broad education in subjects ranging from Latin to science from a pioneering school for girls. After their earlier schooling, in the early 1890’s the sisters then enrolled at the Glasgow School of Art. Unlike many places of education, which still restricted and excluded on the basis of sex, the Glasgow School was described as providing a more “enlightened” space for women artists. Here the sisters and their fellow females were allowed to work towards a career in art by studying a variety of mediums, from textiles and embroidery to painting and…

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Gwich’in prepare for another battle to stop drilling in caribou calving grounds

14 Oct

Warrior Publications

8885949_web1_171011_anwr_caribou The Porcupine caribou herd in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). (Peter Mather/petermather.com)

‘A way of life is going to be destroyed if you do this’

by Lori Fox, Yukon News, October 11, 2017

Lorraine Netro’s eyes filled with tears. She folded and unfolded her hands nervously, broke them apart and tugged at the edge of her brightly-printed scarf.

“It’s just very hard to find the words to talk about,” she said. “I get very emotional.”

“We have a spiritual connection to the caribou. The caribou sustains our way of life, they sustain our spirit and our soul.”

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Organizing and Nonprofits

12 Oct

A few thoughts on this.

1. If you ask people for money, either organizationally or as an individual, say thank you. The more you personalize this the more effective it will be. People love feeling valued and appreciated. They will forgive you for a multitude of sins if you do this for them.
2. Don’t organize as a nonprofit that runs an enterprise unless there is some clear financial benefit to doing so. If you work on your own or as a private enterprise or club, your reporting obligations will be many fewer and public expectations much less as well. Nonprofits are commonly suspected of being up to no good and expected to be completely transparent, even beyond legal requirements. If you look like you’re hiding anything people will hang you with it whether you deserve it or not. Do not assume the public in general understands how nonprofits work. There is a tendency to believe that the nonprofit just collects money and the people running it pay themselves tax-free. There is also a tendency to believe there is money hidden. Even if you are completely transparent people will want to argue with you about the money because it makes them feel more involved. Find better ways for them to be involved. An overly passive membership will not feel the same kind of commitment and involvement and will be more likely to devote themselves to power plays.
3. It is okay to have paid staff. It may be a big improvement on overworked and cranky volunteer managers. But again, people will want to know who they are paying and what their responsibilities are and how accountable the paid staff will be.
4. Make your financial statements public. Do this whether you are legally required to or not. Publish profit and loss and income statements, not just lists of things. See number 2.
5. If this all sounds too overwhelming, don’t organize as a nonprofit. Sole proprietorships and clubs and other less formal groups can do lots of good work and public perception of them involves much less suspicion. And gift income to individuals is tax-free up to a certain point. But even if you don’t organize as a non-prof, even if there are security reasons that preclude financial transparency, see number 1.

Pronouns – The *Real* Problem…

11 Oct

Powerful meme.

Dead Wild Roses

Yep. Women got 99 problems and worrying about pronoun use shouldn’t be one of them.

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QotD: India’s female students say ‘to hell with it, we won’t stand for molesting and Eve-teasing’

8 Oct

Anti-Porn Feminists

The first time Shivangi Choubey missed the curfew at her student hostel was a night in late September. It was not the only rule she broke that day.

Women students at Banaras Hindu University are not supposed to protest. Many are made to sign a contract that spells this out explicitly. Men are not required to sign anything of the kind.

Nor, at many hostels on campus, are women served meat, permitted to speak on the phone after 10pm, or allowed out in the evenings when their male counterparts still roam the tree-lined campus on sputtering two-wheelers or cram into the library to study.

So it was especially shocking – and unprecedented in the university’s 100-year history – when Choubey led 200 women through the gates of their college to join hundreds of others assembled outside Lanka gate, the campus’s bustling entrance. “Nobody ever misses a curfew,” she says, pulling…

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Morning

6 Oct

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That Has Such People In It

6 Oct

I think at times about how I am a terrible friend. I don’t ask questions. You are supposed to ask questions, but I don’t know the right questions to ask. I fear I will ask the wrong questions. And then it will be terrible.

So what happens is I wind up just asking odd questions that make it be about me. And that’s wrong. That doesn’t work.

But on the Internet, we show ourselves differently, so that makes it harder to know what questions to ask. We cannot ask “You look tired, can I get you something?” We cannot see each other’s immediate beings, and this makes it really hard to know which questions to ask. We cannot see each other crying and know what to do.

All we can do is try to hope that we will somehow know when each other of us are crying, and then, somehow, also get some feeling about what to do about all this pain that we cannot really see, let alone hear.

Whatever we come up with will never be close to enough, and we know that too.

This is our brave new world, they tell us. I think it is the ruins of our old one, just with fancier lighting.

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