i need ferguson to go down in history books. i need school children in the year 2074 to learn about michael brown being shot on august 9th, 2014 by officer darren wilson. i need this to spark a movement. this can not lose the focus of society a mere month after it happened.
Last Sunday, 17 trans women were arrested in Bahau, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia were arrested at a local wedding simply for being trans. 16 of them were fined RM950 (296.55 USD) and sentenced to prison for 7 days. If they do not pay up the fine after 7 days they will be sentenced to prison for 6 months. One of the 17 was underage so she was let go, but she is now required to report to the Religious Department once a month for a year.
Justice for Sisters, a support and advocacy group for the rights of trans women in Malaysia, managed to secure a syariah-court lawyer to held these women appeal their sentences. The lawyer advised them to prepare RM1,500 (468.24 USD) per person as it is apparently a common practice for the court to ask for more money from detainees who appeal their sentences.
As their Malaysian ICs all say “male”, if imprisoned, they will be sent to men’s prison and treated as male prisoners - including shaved heads and lack of access to hormones.
Justice for Sisters is currently fundraising RM24,000 (7491.81 USD) and needs the money immediately. They are accepting PayPal donations at firstname.lastname@example.org . (I created the PayPal link - if that doesn’t work just manually put in email@example.com in the PayPal Send To address. Note the “PP.”!)
For more information, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org (note the lack of “pp.”).
From I AM YOU: Be A Trans Ally, a Malaysian social media campaign for trans* people and their supporters. Please pass the word!
EDIT: The first version of this had a typo - the original fine is actually RM950 not RM960 as I had written. The converted amount in USD is correct.
Please donate if you can
Breaking news: The D.C. Appeals Court just killed Net Neutrality.
This could be the end of the Internet as we know it. But it doesn’t have to be.
Tell the FCC to restore Net Neutrality: http://bit.ly/1p4kukb
Canadian artist Maskull Lasserre (previously featured here) has recently been “re-carving” mass-produced wooden souvenir sculptures and decoys to reveal intricate an skeletal system beneath each sculpture’s wooden skin.
Visit Maskull Lasserre’s online portfolio to check out more of his amazing artwork.
"You—you alone—will have the stars as no one else has them—"
"What are you trying to say?"
"In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night … You—only you—will have stars that can laugh!"
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in The Little Prince.
Song: “It Overtakes Me / The Stars Are So Big… I Am So Small… Do I Stand a Chance?” by The Flaming Lips
babooshka // kate bush
she wanted to test her husband
she knew exactly what to do
a pseudonym to fool him
she couldn’t have made a worse move
Making this year’s tour through the MLA got me thinking, oddly enough, about The Jam, a mod revival group that thrived two decades after the first mods appeared, and my favorite band in early adolescence. In some ways it was a typical obsessive adoration, though through the years—today I’m forty-four—I’ve kept on listening, I think because they provided me my first experience of kinship with a subculture and of resisting the mainstream. I was a mildly privileged white American teen from New Haven, Connecticut, with little standing in the way of a comfortable youth. I wasn’t a working-class Brit seeking an alternative path to upward mobility, as the first mods generally were. No “foreman Bob” was pushing me around at work, as “Billy Hunt,” The Jam’s great song of workplace disgruntlement, complains about. In fact, I was more likely on track to become the sort of proper white-collar conference-attending sod at which The Jam hurled invective (“And if I get the chance, I’ll fuck up your life!” frontman Paul Weller screams at the corporate cog “Mr. Clean”). I responded to mods so forcefully at fourteen because they looked cool but weren’t all that threatening; they allowed me to identify with insurrectionary power and restlessness without requiring me to relinquish the comforts of accessible and formally satisfying tunesmithing. Weller fumed and caterwauled at the microphone and his trio spat out rebellious mini-manifestoes, but the songs themselves were tightly crafted and salable pop gems. In other words, they attacked the world of adult attainment but left it delicately rather than grossly transformed.
Conferences remind me a little of those rock bands that want to thrash, yet also yearn, as they grow older, for a little respect and attention from the mainstream (if you’ve ever seen Aerosmith play “Dream On” for MTV’s 10th anniversary, backed by a full orchestra, you know what I’m talking about). The Jam, and the first-generation mods after whom the band was patterned, serves today as an intriguing analogue to the academic world of literary studies on display at the MLA: both perform balancing acts, between subversion and rebellion on the one hand and professional respectability on the other. Mods and literary academics are caught between the allure of wildness, ingenuity, and nonconformity and the desire for some sort of stability, recognition, and achievement.
Feature image by Sarah Awad.
IN A GRAVEYARD in the village of Weybridge, Vermont, stands an unusual headstone. It is inscribed with the names of two women, Sylvia Drake and Charity Bryant, who were born during the Revolutionary era and died in the middle of the 19th century. The women were pillars of their community for four and a half decades … They were also, according to their own understanding and that of those around them, a married couple.
Book is called “Charity & Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America” (Oxford University Press)”
One. Oporto (June 2014, with a brief stop in Lisbon)
If I look at a gray sky filled with gray seagulls I can not talk about pain.
I’ve had nightmares about cats, nightmares about fingers.
I’ve dreamt about ripping off my own skin to sleep better.
Sad readings are essential while you and I laugh and you were just about to do it on the inside, why didn’t you
The gray seagulls. The river.
I’ve come to eat fish and drink filthy wine. Listen, there are fat foreigners and sparrows, there is agua dulce and then suddenly an ocean. Will we go to the beach? Will we be scared of eating the fish with long bones? Will we be blamed for eating them mercilessly, inside taverns, where the rain can’t lash at us anymore?
Emoji of an anchor.
And emoji of a heart pumping cold beer on the bed of a tower filled with flowers.
All these images exist because every one of these throbs exist.
It has been days since I last heard the mermaids.
They’re away somewhere, trying to calm themselves.
Afraid of us who eat away at the ocean like greedy birds.
Two. Return to Barcelona (June ends)
Think about Naomi.
Imagine a world where every mother is dead.
Who would be left. Who of us would be left behind,
the sterile cats with tricolor fur,
the men with pale shriveled dicks,
the newborn doves?
Think: emoji of a seagull defecating at a certain height —perhaps from a church, or from an unlit lamp amid the Oporto night— over my head, now wet and viscous, how gross, I say, how fucking gross.
Think: emoji of my face filled with joy that my belly yearns to be a mother but you don’t.
We are so happy. We don’t laugh much. We dance amid sardines and cream cakes. We drink too much.
Think: that an orphan poet is not a poet but an artifact loaded with hot gunpowder.
Here we are all sterile.
Here we are all alive.
Nicole Dextras freezes garments in solid blocks of ice
using ice as both her photographic and sculptural medium, environmental artist nicole dextras freezes garments of varying season, texture, and fabric in frosted volumes, highlighting the wardrobe’s skeletal qualities. the series that makes up ‘castaways’ has been captured on toronto island, a small community celebrated for its beach and amusement park open during the warm months, while the winter period leaves the town somewhat devoid of its usual summertime energy. with this in mind, dextras imagines the apparel representing the spirits of the theme park frozen in time, out of season, waiting for the great melt. the ephemeral nature of the urban sculptural installations invite the viewer to construct their own narrative as the artist explains, ‘like an isolated silent film still, they exist only for a moment and then the movie continues on.’