Odetta - Tomorrow Is A Long Time
"If today was not an endless highway
If tonight was not a crooked trail
If tomorrow wasn’t such a long time
Then lonesome would mean nothing to me at all”
"In the epigraph to Drown, Junot Diaz uses a quote from a Cuban poet, Gustavo Pérez Firmat—“The fact that I am writing to you in English already falsifies what I wanted to tell you.” This is the dilemma of the immigrant writer. If I’d lived in Haiti my whole life, I’d be writing these things in Creole. But these stories I am writing now are coming through me as a person who, though I travel to Haiti often, has lived in the U.S. for more than three decades now.
Often when you’re an immigrant writing in English, people think it’s primarily a commercial choice. But for many of us, it’s a choice that rises out of the circumstances of our lives. These are the tools I have at my disposal, based on my experiences. It’s a constant debate, not just in my community but in other communities as well. Where do you belong? You’re kind of one of us, but you now write in a different language. You’re told you don’t belong to American literature or you’re told you don’t belong to Haitian literature. Maybe there’s a place on the hyphen, as Julia Alvarez so brilliantly wrote in one of her essays. That middle generation, the people whose parents brought them to other countries as small children, or even people who were born to immigrant parents, maybe they can have their own literature too."
Tower of David: the World’s Tallest Slum | Via
The Tower of David is an abandoned unfinished skyscraper in the center of Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela, that is now home to more than 3,000 squatters, who have turned the 45-story skyscraper into the world’s tallest slum.
Construction of the building, originally called “Centro Financiero Confinanzas” and nicknamed the “Tower of David”, after its developer, David Brillembourg, was started in 1990 and was to become a symbol of Caracas’ bright financial future. It is the third highest skyscraper in the country. But a banking crisis brought those plans to an abrupt halt in 1994. The government took control over the building and construction was never completed. The building has no elevators, no installed electricity or running water, no balcony railing and windows and even walls in many places.
In 2007, a group of squatters took over the building, and it quickly gained notoriety as a hotbed of crime and drugs. Despite this, residents have managed to build a comfortable and self sustaining community complete with basic utility services such as electricity and water that reaches all the way up to the 22nd floor. Lifts being absent, residents can use motorcycles to travel up and down the first 10 floors, but must use the stairs for the remaining levels. Inside the building’s long hallways there are warehouses, clothing stores, beauty parlours, a dentist and day-care centers. Some residents even have cars, parked inside of the building’s parking garage. Some seven hundred families comprising over 3,000 residents live in the tower today.
"When Israel is on “good behavior,” more than two Palestinian children are killed every week, a pattern that goes back over 14 years. The underlying cause is the criminal occupation and the programs to reduce Palestinian life to bare survival in Gaza, while Palestinians are restricted to unviable cantons in the West Bank and Israel takes over what it wants, all in gross violation of international law and explicit Security Council resolutions, not to speak of minimal decency. And it will continue as long as it is supported by Washington and tolerated by Europe – to our everlasting shame."
[Gifset text reads:
"There’s a very good sentence written by a black woman named Kay Lindsey in which she said, ‘Where the white woman is the sexual object, black women are sexual laborers.’
White womanhood has been the prevailing standard of femininity in this country [the United States of America]. If you were beautiful you had pale skin,…you had light skin, preferably light hair, you were gentle, you were retiring, you were sweet, you were chaste.
Because of our historical position as black women, most of us were slaves which means we worked as hard as any man on the plantations, then we moved into factories. Most of us were not pure because on plantations we were bought to be breeders and whores. We were not qualified for the prevailing standards of femininity, white femininity, so we were passed down.
If you are a woman who does not fit women’s standards, you’re a piece of crap. So we [black women] got none of the benefits of being a woman. They’re double-edged benefits but they are benefits: money from wealthy men, so-on and so-forth. We [black women] got all of the liabilities. As I said before, we are on the lowest rung, even in a profession like prostitution because we are valueless as black women.
So we [black women] were brought up outside the pale of femininity but we weren’t considered worth turning into useful men; because ‘What is a Black Woman?’ She’s a woman and she is also black. We weren’t as good as black men and we were useless, we weren’t good enough to be imitating white women. So we had nothing.
[Black women] were total outsiders. Which is why economically we are on the absolute bottom and psychologically, if you will, of the barrel.”]
You gon lurrn this day.
I feel this so hard it hurts. And I think of my own sex work experiences and how true this is and how much it fucking hurts. And just in life. So many people make me feel like I’m worthless and unattractive and shitty and that all I can do is some sexual or physical labour for them bc they should just be getting that from natural born “slaves” which so many view us as. Ugh.
"Budgets in Washington are tight, but our commitment to Israel’s security remains ironclad. The United States is committed to providing more than $3 billion each year to help finance Israel’s security through 2018."
Barack Obama, future occupant of the deepest pit in the lowest circle of hell [source] (via redphilistine)
wow, we suck
like a lot
What mental and spiritual contortions must a human tortuously visit upon his own mind to justify letting thousands of his own people’s water get shut off over late bills, while sending billions to help another country further their own genocide project?
You are lost, Barack Obama. You are a lost soul leading a land of lost souls. Your words mean nothing, you have no claim to integrity, and we are all failing to do justice by the Palestinians.
At least some of us are not lying about it. I want to claim at least that much of my own soul. I will not keep quiet, I will not pretend Goliath is the underdog, I will not pretend murder is security, and I condemn you, your administration, the blood-slurping U.S. media, and all other traitors before truth. May your conscience return one day and show you how far you have fallen. May it wake up each night you try to rest your head on a pillow, and scream grief into your bones.
"Gentrification spreads the myth of native incompetence: That people need to be imported to be important, that a sign of a neighbourhood’s ‘success’ is the removal of its poorest residents. True success lies in giving those residents the services and opportunities they have long been denied."
owls-well said: So they just confirmed Stoneheart's not coming back, thoughts? I'm pretty livid.
What should I say? What can even be said? Should I talk about how fucking out of this world ridiculous it is to say that you don’t have time to show something like Stoneheart, when we have time for five minute ableist speeches about beetles? Should I talk about the collection of rape and sexual violence scenes which, if removed, would leave open at least an hour of the ten that are provided in a season? Should I mention that the only stories that seem worthwhile to these people are the ones that directly revolve around male characters? Sansa gets scenes - as long as Petyr is there. Arya is featured, when Sandor or Beric or Jaqen or someone is there. Cersei only matters in terms of her children, Catelyn is killed after a season of literally no air time, Dany repeats the same boring dialogue every single episode, Brienne shoves a sword at someone before quickly being ushered off screen. I’m tired. I’m so, so tired.
Overall - I’m not livid. I’m just fucking exhausted. I’m done with the show that I love so much being put in the hands of misogynistic white dudes who have literally no interest in creating a show for the asoiaf audience. I’m not even sure if they are making the show for any audience anymore, considering that they don’t even want to bring back a character who is a typical “good guy” (she’s a Stark, which serves as a protagonist for a casual audience). We can show Greywind’s head being sewed to Robb’s body, but god forbid we see a second of his mother’s revenge. How boring. How dull. It was just the epilogue of GRRM’s best book, the scene that he decided to end ASOS on. Who gives a shit. Let’s get more tits and male speeches about philosophy. Booyah.
"Several episodes later Ros and another woman, Daisy, are sent to Joffrey. He points a crossbow at Ros and tells her to beat Daisy or he’ll kill her. This scene was not in the books and when it first aired many women and sex workers were upset about it. The offended parties argued that this was going too far. There are plenty of scenes of sexual violence against women within the books without adding more to the show.
This scene is especially hard to watch since it is not Joffrey carrying out the physical violence but him ordering one woman to hurt another. I have always felt safer working with another person, whether it be at a private residence or in a club. A scene in which one sex worker is commanded to nearly kill the other or die herself is clearly awful but the male producers could not possibly have realized how terrifying that prospect would be for sex workers in the audience. We are people who must do what we can to remain safe and combat violence, and Game of Thrones is presenting a world where that is never possible. Now, I can’t speak for everyone, but when I sit down to watch a show featuring dragons and smoke babies I would like some escape from the harshness of reality, not a heightened reminder of it.
…By the end of season three, Ros is dead. After discovering Ros has begun to sell his secrets to another spymaster, Littlefinger sends Ros to Joffrey again. Joffrey ties her to a bed and shoots her full of crossbow bolts. The shot of her naked body lingers just long enough to show that not only did he hit vital organs, but he also shot her breasts and vulva. All the while, Littlefinger describes the scene, and honestly his monologue is enough to make it clear that he gave Ros to Joffrey to have her killed. There was no real need to show a naked woman strung up and filled with crossbow bolts.
I would like to stress again that this scene was not in the books and had been foreshadowed since season one. Which means that aside from all the extra rape the producers added to the show, they also made the choice to create an intelligent, emotional sex worker character who is eventually killed for having agency and going against her boss. They made no effort to make a statement that the treatment of Ros and other sex workers was wrong. When people list Joffrey’s evil deeds they never mention these ones.These events are framed as power plays between the male characters, not as the loss of women’s lives. Ros was killed by Littlefinger because he needed to make a don’t fuck with me statement to Varys. Ros was forced to beat her co-worker because Joffrey wanted to make a don’t fuck with me statement to Tyrion. And of course, Littlefinger also made good on his promise to Ros that if she stepped out of line or hurt his business in any way, he would sell her to be tortured. Ros was remarkable, and had she just stayed in the background like nearly every sex worker on this show she might have survived.
This episode premiered the night after my first job at a private party. What I took from it was that I was worthless and that no one would care if I was hurt at work. This isn’t true of course—I have a great support system—but I believed it after I made the mistake of reading internet comments on articles about the episode. Again, commenters said the show went too far. But so many other people offered up this same statement as defense: “She was just a whore. Get over it.”
I cannot tell you how many comments I read on Tumblr, on feminist sites, and nerd sites, saying that Ros’s job made what happened to her less horrific. And the same sentiment prevailed after the most recent season finale, in which Shae was murdered by her client/lover Tyrion."
Denis Dailleux: Cairo
*truly one of the most gifted photographers currently working. His painterly use of colour is a rarity amongst so much of today’s sharp focal lengths and crisp digital frames. Of course the special ingredient is Dailleux’s obvious love for the city he is photographing…
previously posted here and here