250 Years: Honour Your Words
So I finally got around to watching the video for “Wrecking Ball” yesterday, and while I don’t really get the whole sledgehammer lick, I didn’t think that was that big of a deal—y’all really need to chill out about female nudity already.
Goldroom - Embrace (Dickystixxx Remix)
Mastered by Milan Schramek at Lacquer Channel
THE NEW SCHOOL UNIFORM
Models Bette Franke, Caroline Brasch Nielsen & Lindsey Wixson for Vogue Japan October 2013, shot by Giampaolo Sgura and styled by Anna Dello Russo.
date 30.08.13 time 21:50
I watched Top of the Lake last week and I thought it was really interesting and visually stunning. I highly recommend it.
One of my aunts is married to a Syrian. Near the border half of his family resides on the Turkish side, the other is on the Syrian side. He himself is from the Syrian side and moving to Turkey, getting Turkish citizenship all had a lot to do with the tyrannical rule in Syria. This happened decades ago of course, though the situation obviously has also worsened in Syria now.
My father visited Syria before… We have family friends in Syria, from Syria. When the news of a new massacre comes, it is not about some far away people living in far away lands whose faces we could never know… No, it is about people we may know of, it is unsettling, it is phone calls and e-mails to friends and family, asking around, trying to learn if the dead are identified.
Syria is personal for me. As much personal as it can get for a non-Syrian. I do understand that I am more sensitive with regards to it because of this fact. I do understand that we humans, beyond morality and ethics, are faulty and frail individuals and the way we connect we those that we can identify with closely, the way we feel connected to those whom we know of, who have shared similar experiences… it is different. A murder is always a murder, and it is surely always wrong yet surely it will hurt more when it is somebody you actually know personally or you were close to knowing… All these details about how much we hurt and how we hurt, they may be ugly from a certain point of view and I accept that but they are part of human nature and they are, I believe, beyond our control, and they are I believe, not necessarily, immoral. It is just the way we feel and as long as our laws are not written solely on the way we feel but what is just and what is right, then we should be fine… that’s how I tend to think.
However, there is nothing righteous in blatant indifference to murder. If there is murder and you ignore it because you have the privilege to do so, because you are living far far away and you think that “it is none of my business”, in a world where you are so so close that you can watch the faces of their dead children - in HD, their cities being bombed - in real time… No, there is no excuse and there is nothing righteous about being indifferent. Surely, you may not be able to connect personally, surely you may not hurt as much as you would if those were the children of your friends and family, if they were your own cities - but you should be at least aware of these atrocities, know them, speak out against them, and bear the heavy weight of being a witness to such things… At least that’s what I think. That’s what I firmly believe in. In this age, most of us do not have the blissful ignorance card any more as massacres are reported tweet-by-tweet in real time and their videos are streamed to our phones while we take the bus… Whether we like it or not, we are witnesses.
I have been a witness of the numerous massacres and civil war that unfolded in Syria for the last two and a half years. I watched Syria from 15th of March 2011 to today. There is so much pain there and regardless of how much I talk about it, I feel that I have spoken so little of it. In my religion we believe that if one sees oppression or atrocity, one must fight against it to resolve it, if they cannot by the strength of their hands, then by their tongue, they must. If they cannot even do that, then by their heart. If I was only more selfless, if I was only more courageous, if I was only stronger… I would be there and help those suffering with the strength of my hands. Yet I cannot, and I work my tongue and heart but it is not enough. When photographs of yet another massacre arrive, when the new footage of mothers and fathers crying over their dead children arrives… I realise how pitiful I feel; no, cursing this in my heart and by tongue simply does not feel enough and I know it is not enough. So I pray. I find refuge in my faith in these times when I realise how weak and pitiful my existence is the most.
There are many activists some of whom I like and follow, some of whom I do not like and follow… they pursue a variety of causes. Most of them who are not from Middle East have been constantly silent about Syria. For it is never worth to interrogate individual silences and it can come close to a totalitarian order of “forcing people to speak” - I have never really liked it. But I do realise that there is a certain privilege in indifference. All of us has share this trait. We can be indifferent to certain atrocities because we know these specific atrocities cannot and will not hurt us. It is this knowledge that sustains our indifference; truly, if these atrocities could come to bite us, then our basic survival instincts would kick in. We could not stay indifferent to such danger. I have this privilege as well with respect to many atrocities out there. Even some of the most oppressed people may have one or more forms of such privilege. So no wonder a blogger in Paris or a human rights advocate in NYC has tons of it when it comes to Syria. I have very specific convictions about responsibility that comes with consciousness and morality and I have a tendency to focus on how I fare in these than about how others do. So I did not pay attention to this silence and focused on my silences and tried to destroy more and more of them and speak more and more.
Then the alleged chemical attack came and then the rumours of a military intervention, of some strikes to Syrian regime targets. There is a lot one can talk about these in terms of political analysis, but what I want to talk about is really not this. I am not interested in one’s political positions either. What I want to say here, what I want to share here is the disgust I felt at the new scene that appeared before me:
The very same people who ignored the over a hundred thousand deaths, the very same people who did not see any significance in massacres that left behind hundreds of children corpses, the very same people who, for the last two and a half years, snuggled into the comfortable indifference provided solely to them by the luxury of knowing that what is happening in Syria, the bloody hands of Assad, would not creep into their homes and kill their beloved ones… all of a sudden they were all so very “concerned” about a “war starting in Syria”. I guess it was normal that they thought a war was just starting, after all they had spent the last two and a half years ignoring the one that unfolded right in front of their eyes, within the proximity of a computer screen and a few clicks. No wonder they did not know about this war that was not a possibility, but a damn reality with a grim death toll.
There is no need to interrogate silences for their silences have broken into a speech now… Into a speech that oozes with the very privilege that afforded them a massive indifference for two and a half years. The privileged indifference that was maintained till the moment a much more direct involvement of the US government and thus a much more direct involvement of their taxes, of their countries, of their people came into question had started to crumble… Surely, not fully; the very ease with which the US is able to keep its shores “at peace” is one of the main enablers of how it keeps others’ shores “at war” afterall. Still, maybe not the storm, but they still feel the cold and hear the thunders within their borders. The peace that their privilege provided (though not the privilege itself) was now under a threat.
Foreign policies of the US Government that have disregarded the value of human life have caused death and suffering in many countries for decades. So have, the foreign policies of many other superpowers in the past and present. And so have, the policies of many other powers; a State does not need to be a superpower to bring about destruction to its own or others’ citizens. In a democratic regime though one of the foremost enablers of such policies is the constant indifference of the population. And in an extremely connected and globalised world, it is not possible for a nation to not have stake in another, especially in a region like the Middle East. It is not enough to not stay indifferent when the US is the instigator of a war, it is not enough morally nor is it enough politically. If you are a true activist, you have to pursue justice proactively; before the possibility of the US intervention even arises.
But no. No, the same people who bathed in their own indifference to Syria now require rest of their respective nations to not be indifferent to the US foreign policies involving Syria How hypocritical that is? How different are you from the US Government when you are only concerned about the suffering of a people only when your own interests are involved? You are no different than the US Government, just as selfish, just as immoral - more cowardly though, the US Government pursues its desires and interests by active engagement, and you, you prefer to pursue it through inaction and passive engagement. At the end, just like the US Government, in colloquial terms, you do not give a fuck about other people. You do not give a fuck about Syrians.
You may not feel anything personal about Syrian conflict. It is OK, nobody expects you to. You may feel inadequate in terms of knowledge regarding Syria and stay silent, and you can, sure, there is nothing wrong about that. You may feel that you do not know the answer to this conflict and thus you may have stayed silence out of this despair and surely, that is all right. I honestly empathise with such a position. But after watching from the warm comfort of your couches the massacres and the war that has continued to only escalate in Syria for two and a half years and not having felt the need to care because you have the luxury of not to care, do not start yelling about peace and humanity and love and the hypocrisy of the US Government now. Because you are just as hypocrite. And it is disgusting. Oh God, it is disgusting.
Your privileged indifference is not righteous and it is not, in any shape or form, activism. It is what it is, a privilege and an indifference.
Your privileged indifference is not righteous and it is not, in any shape or form, activism. It is what it is, a privilege and an indifference.
Holy fuck Arthur was on some next level shit
Oh my godHello, yes, let’s actually break down this episode shall we?
This episode features not one, but TWO autism spectrum characters (one never appears onscreen, but does play a significant role in the plot of the episode). Both are portrayed as highly intelligent, talented, and worthy of dignity. Both characters are DIAGNOSED Aspies. This is important, because while Carl coincides with the generation of children post-1993 who were diagnosed early in life, the uncle discussed later is an adult, and as such was probably not diagnosed until adulthood. And his diagnosis is accepted as valid, and his opinion is acknowledged.
Furthermore, Carl’s portrayal (while simplified) actually makes an attempt at realism. His autistic behaviors aren’t merely focused on social interaction. He actually has an on-screen meltdown, complete with stimming. And it is acknowledged as A Thing that Happens, without trying to justify why it someone else thinks it SHOULDN’T.
Also, look at the way that George reacts to Carl. He actively pursues a friendship with him, enjoys his company, and isn’t offended when Carl doesn’t reciprocate his social cues. More importantly, George MODIFIES his behavior to make Carl more comfortable. He doesn’t try to come up with reasons why Carl should modify HIS relationship with the world around him. He is eager to teach Carl AND to learn from him.
Finally, this episode centers around a puzzle piece. And while my first reaction was to cringe away with disgust, especially when the piece goes missing (that terminology sounds familiar, doesn’t it?), but here’s the interesting part: by the end of the episode the piece gets located. And as it turns out, it was never actually missing to begin with.
And all of this happened on a kid’s television show about anthropomorphic animals. Now explain to me again how mainstream media can’t handle an autistic character.
Arthur was the best, and the magic school bus, and popular mechanics for kids. I watched them both every day before school, so good. I don’t want to sound like an #oldsplainer, but what shows do they have nowadays that can compare or deal with these issues so deftly?
This dusty state is to blame
for the glaring children hustling
on the steps of El Hussein
Green lights tinting sunken eyes
animalism sprinkled onto their lashes
Hend slapped Haneen
on the back of her neck
and called her mother
“a cheap whore”
“may your father
die in prison
we all know
what he’s in there for”—
I had forgotten
they were children
selling scented facial tissues
and roasted Sudanese nuts
to apologetic tourists,
nodding quickly shovelling
through their purses
for a stray Euro.
Hend and Haneen lit up
like the streets of Gamaleyya
when given popcorn
in a cellophane cone
Street kids of El Fishawy cafe,
eyeing steaming sobia
and glinting Samsungs,
kicked in the back for begging
they spit on the waiter’s lids
in swift retaliation,
Spit little girl, spit
we are to blame.
Street kids on the concrete steps of El Hussein,
speaking like broken adults,
they don’t know it
but their country did this to them,
letting them dream in cemeteries
and study in the streets—
Hend whispered in my ear
telling lewd stories
about a fellow beggar,
“They all think she’s sweet,
but I watched her do the thing
with a boy
by El Hussein,”
“How old is Haneen?”
“She just turned seven.”
They do not know
that they are children,
and we are to blame
because we have forgotten.
Bastille covering “We Can’t Stop" by Miley Cyrus (and throwing in a few extra surprises) in the Radio 1 Live Lounge
Greatest cover artist ever. + that voice
'I am committed through my photographs, to contributing to societal change that will leave a positive legacy for the children of Africa' - Cedric Nunn.
A collection of images taken by South Africa documentary photographer Cedric Nunn who, over the years, has captured the lives of everyday South Africans from the 1980s to the present. As a South African of mixed heritage born into a highly segregated country, Nunn has focused his work on a wide range of events of stories, some of which are related to his personal life in some way - from his exploration of his mixed background and what it meant to be categorized as a ‘coloured’ or ‘Cape coloured’ individual by the apartheid government, to the violence that broke out as a result of political conflict in his birth province during the latter period of apartheid in the 1980s, and his love for jazz music.
Talk: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School
By Xat’sull Chief Bev Sellars (UVic Alumni)
September 16th 2013
Doors: 11:20 Reading and discussion: 11:30 - 1pm
Ceremonial Hall of the First Peoples’ House, University of Victoria
Sponsored by the Department of History and…
I’ll be at this—will you?