Showing posts with label Culture as War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Culture as War. Show all posts

Friday, November 13, 2020

The stuff of horror

Tomorrow is Diwali and I want to get this down in the hope that I will be able to set it aside for a little bit. I've been carrying it around since yesterday when I read a thread on Mona Eltahawy's Twitter (since then, I've seen a few news outlets calling it the "Kashmore Tragedy"). The details are so horrific I can't say them out loud without choking and I don't really think I could pass it on to anyone else.  

But the story keeps going around in a loop in my head, knotting now and then around the old nodes: the precarity of being a single mother; how difficult it is to love and grow a girl child in this fucking patriarchal world; the horror of captivity and unending rape; lives where people move across the country for a job that pays about 250 dollars; knowing people are out there victim-blaming--saying things like 'bad choices' and 'where is the father?'; what care and support are available to the mother and child; why support wasn't available to them previously; the courage it took for the mother to go to the police instead of prolonging the cycle; if the police treated her with respect; the bravery and compassion of the ASI (assistant sub inspector?) using his wife and daughter as decoys to catch the rapists; were the ASI's wife and daughter given a choice in the matter; worried for the ASI and his family now that his name and likeness are all over media; knowing there's so much more abuse I'll never even know from within safe spaces in families, communities, and professional + emergency services. Why are so many men/humans such trash? 

On the Enby parenting group, one parent recently asked what our own lives might have looked like if we had the freedom of gender choice we support for our children. I know I've always wished for genderlessness, especially in professional settings. And in so many other settings, I'd have loved the possibility of having what Wanda Sykes calls a "detachable pussy."

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Believe in open-minded people

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi in our Presidential Speaker series (via Zoom) tonight and here's my question and his response.

How do you decide whether or not to engage with someone who may put you in a position where you have to argue for your humanity/human rights?

Well, remember there are people who are close-minded and people who are open-minded. 

So someone may believe in voter fraud, and you may bring them some sources and say: there is no significant voter fraud. 

And they may say: [I] don't trust your sources

So you ask them: Ok, what sources do you trust? 

And you go and find material from those sources and they say: I don't trust those sources anymore

Those people may have closed minds. And when a person's mind is closed, I try to not spend my time on them unless they are really close to me. 

I'm going to spend my time with the open-minded people. 

Friday, November 06, 2020

And Another One

This is the other snake--from yesterday. Today has been very homebound. But also, today is yet another repeat of yesterday. 

Is it possible to be full of nervous energy and simultaneously enervated? Yes, yes it is. Time to call it, CNN!

I was kind of glad to have a planner full of class and meetings at hourly intervals all day, so I could go from one to prepping for the next. I may have rambled at a few of them (two nights of low no sleep will do that to me) and then the internet was all cute and hide-and-seeky-y. But I managed. The day is done.

But I've done so little at home today except find time to cuddle with everyone for comfort. We're still eating pizza from yesterday... I mean after all, Big A did order four pies for three humans. 

Nu and I had planned to make another batch of the awesome "Pumpkin Spice and Fundamental Rights" cakes we made on election day. We gave/swapped so many away and Nu and Big A want more. As they reminded me, they want more, they want more, when you like something, you want more! But the baking will have to wait until tomorrow.

Thursday, November 05, 2020

"Zero at the Bone"

I met one of Emily Dickinson's narrow fellows this morning, while out with L. In fact, we met two. 

TBH, I thought the rest of the day would hold more excitement, but it was just a pattern of waiting, a fever of refreshing between class work and meetings, and ultimately not much else.

I was nervy all day--too nervy to make dinner--so we got pizza from Jolly Pumpkin, vegged, and watched an ep of The Queen's Gambit--and lo, all of this was good, but I kept checking Twitter for something better.

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

What is this?

Sanford Woods; I felt trippy when I saw this in the viewfinder.

Also mystifying: how on earth this race is so close after all the cruelty and negligence that has been on display.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

My Panel / My At

To be clear, my colleagues and I did not fight about cancel culture and statues--but we did deliberate.  

Yet apparently, it didn't stop people from watching the panel discussion as though it were a prize fight at the MUN House (per At). If I look amused in the top right corner it's because At was asking some cleverly self-deprecating question online. The corner of the laptop abutting the screen is his! Togetherness! Yay!

(OMG, I love that fellow. I have to admit, I lost all professional composure when a late arrival rehashed the "statues are history" tack in Q&A and At's deadpan riposte on the event chat was: "I got my history major by staring at a bunch of statues.")

Sunday, October 25, 2020

"Global crises can only be solved globally."

And some other gems to "make our planet make sense" from Ambassador Andrew Young at the UN's Past, Present Progress event. 

An obvious statement, yet so deserving of amplification in these times. 

Sometimes one forgets how things used to be. It gave an added urgency to discussing the new ENG civic discourse and social justice pilots today with AP.

Thursday, October 22, 2020


An earlier than usual morning ramble with L yesterday, and then this odd, technicolor surprise when we rounded the MSU greenhouses. We took picture after picture under the tolerant eye of the MSU police parked outside.

And apropos of yesterday, I want to remember how the thought of going to the interview without seeing L made me so panicky... L is everything I imagined the USA to be, and I'm lucky the universe brought me to her in 2016, the most disconsolate point of my American dream. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

A is for... Apple Pie?

Big A drove me to Detroit for the citizenship interview so I wouldn't be nervous and he and Nu quizzed me over and over yesterday so I'd be prepared. 

When we returned home, LB and TB brought over apple pie with "USA" pricked into it... We were all crying in the driveway, and L said the NYT said it was ok to hug, so could we hug? But I'm just around so many people every day, I didn't think it would be good for her.

The very kind agent said the swearing-in wasn't likely to be before the election. But MI has same-day registration, and a girl can hope.


Tuesday, October 20, 2020



So proud of At!

So proud of At!

So proud of At!

(Nu's been having some challenges with homework, and Big A suggested At makes a PSA about homework next. Haha Hahaha. Laugh-sob.) 

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

King, Chavez, Parks... and Penrose

When I heard Sir Roger Penrose won the Physics Nobel today, the first thing that came to mind was that At had had some playdates with RP's son Maxwell (named for the mathematician) back in Oxford. Was it 2001? 2002? We knew Penrose on the fringes of JSA's work with him so I googled "Penrose and JSA," and sure enough--tons of collabs. Gosh--that feels like such a lifetime ago.

Today, I received logo-ed masks from the KCP program (King-Chavez-Parks, baby!) and will wear them everywhere with pride.

Friday, October 02, 2020

Radio News

The WH Covid superspreader events and all their painful consequences were always so preventable--that part really bothers me. Thousands of people could have been alive today... Maybe we could even have been headed back to the old normal...

Also on the radio--I heard Allie Brosh sob and I wonder if her new book is maybe too sad for me RN, but there's a sweet chapter up at her old blog.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

"Get Well Soon!"

This sweet, sad piece of found art:
 see it here; and hear about it here.

And while on reading--this article on ambiguous loss (from earlier in the year, but I found it just last week) really helped me.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Got that look

I'm fine, I'm fine. I'm fine.

Feeling like everything from 2 through 12 is normal. Right?

(Full teaching day; have to talk really loudly through my mask; feel bad about having to remind students about masks sometimes; but I think we're beginning to get to know each other, yay; dropped off At's kettle bells and got a hug; went home to dinner already on the table thanks to Big A; Nu seemed to have managed the first full day of online school okay; kiddie cuddles from Nu and puppies; a binge of Indian Matchmaking with Big A; and so to bed.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2020


At and I found this bird's nest by the bike shed on our walk-and-talk on Monday. It seems quite late anthropocene in style, with bubble wrap woven into its construction! 

Actually, we've had a bit too much nature in the house. Last night we found a bat in our bedroom and then later--(another? the same?) one in the library. We couldn't find them this morning, though. I even doused rooms in mint essential oils and played high-frequency recordings, to no avail. Then as I woke from a nap this evening, I noticed a bat roosting about five feet away from me between two beams. We opened the front door and encouraged it to leave, and it did after endlessly stupid loops all around the living room and kitchen.

Friday, August 07, 2020


I was a bit skimpily dressed for my meeting--something I realized only as I was actually logging into the meeting and got the camera preview, so I threw on a scarf I fortuitously found stuffed between the couch cushions. There's no AC in the upstairs library, so it was super uncomfortable, but obviously not as uncomfortable as 'office' inappropriateness.

My selfie (after the meeting) came out with old family pictures perched over my shoulder; I appreciated the notion of mom and aunts figuratively having my back as I undertook a South Indian dosa fest for dinner (dosas, sambhar, chutney, chick*n varuval, and the mandatory potato-peas stuffing). Let the record show that today's dosa yearnings were brought on by the "Don't Mind if I Dosa" episode of Padma Lakshmi's delightful series Taste the Nation on Hulu.

Friday, July 31, 2020

A Different Season

Perhaps I asked the wrong question 
of this place
at such a time

Imagining what we've become
at that time
in this place

Discovering us borderless 
I open to shelter
--maybe laughter?

Like a wave in our spacious sky 
--I who cannot swim
see my shadow float