Sunday, 18 February 2018

...

There are two things on my mind right now, disparate and hard to combine. The weird and entirely new feeling of faint homesickness, caused by the Winter Olympics - a feeling I've successfully avoided for three years, that is now evoked purely by the sound of skies on snow, the twists and angles of athletes throwing themselves down a mountain on a pair of sticks - and the feeling of dread, after the 17 lives lost in a Florida high school. 
Something that I have to admit would have passed me, the way that previous attacks have (and the mere fact that there have been countless previous attacks and lives lost since Columbine, 19 years ago), if it weren't for the rage and fury of these students, insisting that their country doesn't return to the status quo as effortlessly at is had before. Their directed and articulate rage is inspiring, but as is the idea that the solution to this is teachers bearing arms, or teachers putting their own lives on the line, or children being taught how to make their own death last those vital ten seconds longer so that they may save someone else. It is of course a completely unthinkable situation for anyone outside the United States - how easily firearms are obtained, and how ease in which they kill so many is not considered at all because there are so many who would sacrifice lives for the principle of gun ownership. 
It's an irrational quirk of American history and culture, one that we (in Europe, in Australia, since 1996) can ponder with the detached luxury of countries that consider themselves superior to such irrationalities.  It makes me wonder about how it would have transformed my experience of being in school, of regarding the angry, lonely kids and the loud kids and the aggressive kids as suddenly transformed into an existential threat, and how much that would have been an impossible thing to deal with, considering the limited resources of teachers and students. But also, imagine being young and knowing how many times before this has happened, and how many other kids have come out of this thankfully alive but traumatised for life, and also realising how utterly unwilling your parents' and grandparents' generation and the politicians representing you are to take the oh so obvious steps to prevent this from ever happening again. It's the hardest thing about growing up - realising the irrationalities of others, the shortcomings, the things that seem glaringly obvious and seem so unavoidably embedded in your culture and politics. It's your own parents' fallibility, but on a grand scheme, with so much greater consequences than divorces and emotional pain. 
I'm with Rainbow Rowell and the idea that we need a slower news cycle, in which that speech - which must have taken so much to write, and to deliver - reverberates for longer than the next horrible headline to emerge. 

Imagine realising the fallibility of your own parents and grandparents, of every single politician representing your, because your friends and school mates have been slaughtered. Imagine growing up with such a keen sense of the steps required to prevent such a thing happening to anyone else, and seeing those in power failing to take those steps, out of greed, out of some misguided political ideology, out of sheer cowardice. I wonder what will happen - not just locally, not just in one country - when the distance between what generations consider rational and obvious becomes too great, and unbridgeable. I think we're almost there. 

...


The students did not stand for this. In interviews, posts, and tweets, they brought antibodies to the info pathogens. Newtown parents, Las Vegas adults, and other survivors of recent mass murders have not been digitally confident this way: They have been slower to recognize memes as memes.
But on day one the Parkland students pulverized weak memes like “thoughts and prayers.”  

No longer willing to be sacrificed for some hoary constitutional theory, one surviving student after another, born in the shadow of Columbine, from the moment of the attack and for days afterward, relentlessly and courageously called out their parents and their politicians and their president for failing to do what every child has a right to expect from all of us every day: protect them from danger. 
Politico: Our Children Deserve Better Than This, February 17, 2018 

Das Lied zum Sonntag

Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer Trailer



Er... the year of Tessa Thompson I guess?!

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Das Lied zum Sonntag

Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne - No Place I'd Rather Be


We're a thousand miles from comfort, we have traveled land and sea
But as long as you are with me, there's no place I'd rather be


Superorganism - Everybody Wants To Be Famous



I think that you and I
Could set the world alight
'Cause we're all stars tonight

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Reading List: January.

Fiction: 

Naomi Alderman: Disobedience. 
Lidia Yuknavitch: The Book of Joan. 
Renée Watson: This Side of Home. 
Elif Batuman: The Idiot.
Iain M. Banks: Consider Phlebas.
R.E. Stearns: Barbary Station.
Sarah Perry: The Essex Serpent.
Danez Smith: Don't Call Us Dead.
Eve L. Ewing: Electric Arches.

Films: 

Life is Strange: Before the Storm Walkthrough.
Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware (WIRED, 2016).
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017, Angela Robinson).
I, Tonya (2017, Craig Gillespie).
Ladybird (2017, Greta Gerwig. 

Shows: 

Black Mirror, Season Four.
The Leftovers, Season One, Two.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Ursula K. Le Guin

We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.

Time and time again, Le Guin surpassed my expectations of what a writer and a person can be. She was not only good, but consistently good. Her emphasis on storytelling and the act of listening evidences an ability to see perspectives beyond her own, a lack of self-imposition on other cultures and other people’s stories. I always found an implied advocacy for activism in her words: ‘Listening is not a reaction, it is a connection. Listening to a conversation or a story, we don’t so much respond as join in—become part of the action.’ 
WIRED, January 23, 2018 

A Random Links 25/1/18

Politics: 
It represents the lengths Australia has gone to in order to cover up its colonial crimes. The country promotes a devastating amnesia about the mass slaughter of Aboriginal nations in order to escape accountability — not just for the thousands of lost black lives, but for the stolen land that Australia was built upon.
This is what Australia Day is ultimately about: resisting accountability. And it is not a coincidence — it is deliberate. Australia Day is not about "mateship" or a "fair go". It is not a celebration of the "lucky country". It is a tool used by a perpetrator of violence to undermine calls for justice. 
Buzzfeed: To Celebrate Australia Day Is To Celebrate Violence, January 22, 2018

Pop Culture: 

In this year 2018, let's celebrate that Portlandia will soon end, that Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl will be developed into an HBO series, and that Sleater-Kinney are back in the studio. (and also, what does this mean?)

And else? The loss of the Hairpin and the Awl, this film seems like it will be a lot. And in most exciting news, Daniel Kaluuya has very well-deservedly beaten all other Skins alumni to the Academy Awards punch.