Fiction or so

Road – part one

Gristly cast-offs spontaneously spawn, like sprouts on a spud, forgiving their makers with only the dust of the garden or farm.  These dirt roads called for nothing but a little sparkle of gravel along the way, but you couldn’t help call out for me, for more.  What if only the past heard you, and not the future?

Not many roads went on this long. This one was a sneaking sandy son-of-a-bitch from the get-go.  There wasn’t much to learn along it, just tufts of grass and weeds and trash, and wanna-be mile markers staring at the sky.  Often the bottles could not even finish breaking, and pointed open-mouthed at the little roll of a shoulder lumping along, or down the embankment towards the ditch.  Some sludge sometimes crawled up from the ditch and splashed across the road, too, spurting its flat elongated limbs and fingers in muddy viscous graffiti almost to the median.

A lonely road is obvious and long, can’t help but induce your company into its solitude usually to misery, but doesn’t tell you why it’s so lonely.  Curves ahead might be dangerous, but they tell a little about its character; lonely roads don’t talk, but ramble on.

Articles and Essays, DIDY-do it ya damn self

on getting your car fixed / car mechanics

    One time I asked an artist mentor in Burque who’d briefly been a mechanic to recommend one for me, in part so I wouldn’t get ripped off being (seen as) female. He did, and they proceeded to completely rip me off.  He explained that he liked that mechanic because he believed them to be trustworthy and they’d done good work for him and friends for a decade, so he was offering to go *with* me to their garage…because otherwise of course, being (seen as) female, they’d rip me off.  I tried to let him know that not only was this counter to what I was looking for, but that knowing this, I was astounded that he could possibly see them as a good business, continue to use them, and have done so for so long.

Though it may not be the case, this could be a part of what’s going on for you.  Asking local females which mechanic they trust can help find an actual non-discriminating good shop.  If this is not the case, and mechanics are trying to pull one over on you just like they would on anyone else, it still proves their sketch factor, and you can still get a good recommendation by asking such friends and nerdy or hipster-looking folks mechanics think they can get a lot of dough from on account of their assumed lack of car savvy. When my friends and the locals really did possess only a minimal body of vehicular knowledge,  I’d compare their recommendations to those of someone who I knew was mechanically savvy about cars to make sure the engine-disoriented people weren’t getting the wool pulled over their four-square-dark-rimmed glasses.

If you’re not having luck for lower cost, mechanics in some states charge minimum or fixed amounts for labor.  Some people I know and myself just bought the part and did a lot of YouTube DIY work on the car.

How to Find a Mechanic and Fix Your Car

Articles and Essays

Equalism: 1: On Equalism (and a response)

Regarding Joss Whedon’s speech on “Feminist” and in response to RealLivingBeauty’s response.

I don’t believe a person has to name-drop a comprehensive history of feminist theorists–but one important tenet of feminism OR equalism is giving credit where credit is due. Homage for its own sake, sure, but more importantly for the consequences of respect and perception shift*.  I would like to know what consideration if any Joss Whedon gave the question of whether or not to include acknowledgement of the ideas or accomplishments (or names) of any feminist shakers. I do have a problem with his focus on linguistics regarding feminism without a holla to the work of Mary Daly or the effects of dialects gendered for the speaker. I think in fact that it’s a disservice to his public and a falling short on the part of his capability to not use his position to bring to light see it as the same way I wouldn’t make a speech on the current* (mis)use of electrical power without harkening back to Tesla and his philosophy and the lack of awareness about the Sphinx’ battery function.

I grew up and out of adolescence to Buffy. I came out to Buffy. I’m a fan of Joss Whedon.  Airing his work does not excuse the missing diversity in produced writers, creators, et al. on TV.

I have two brothers, raised by our single mother, who embody and enact feminist principles but have a huge problem with the name or word, not for its aestheticism but for its alignment with one sex/gender.  I’ve met hordes of women (straight, gay, bi, trans; of many colors or national or cultural origin) who proclaim themselves “not feminist, but” or denounce feminism, aligning it with being a “femi-nazi” and for fear of being seen as such, who don’t know who Elizabeth Cady Stanton was, that Rush Limbaugh coined the above term, or who the Guerilla Girls are. Or that their side-stepping standpoint is related to these not-famous-enough leaders of feminism and setbacks by sensationalizing opponents.

I understand that the term “feminism” alienates some men. The semantic problem with the word is not (primarily, if at all) its sound, as Joss Whedon purports, but its usage given semantic similarity to the terms “racist” and “sexist” that therefore aligns it with these…within a yet misogynistic society.  And a misogynistic society also hurts men, and depends on classism and racism and heterosexism (that last, a word not recognized by WordPress!). The sexism can be directed at men, and the racism can be directed at white people, even though these groups also get by on a lot of privilege.  Homophobic violence has landed straight people in the hospital.  Most males have at least one female in their lives they care about, whose survival, success, and well-being matters to them. Intersectional feminism shows the problem is people in power taking advantage of these many discriminating -ists and -ist attitudes bludgeoning people intermittantly, simultaneously, and in syncopation, like a million permutations of ominous chords of possible alignments.  As long as people with not as much power also take advantage of or submit to these -isms and their -ists, the usury and abuse are repeated and reproduced.  And to change it all: Recognize your privilege.  Make your voice heard.  If you can’t, seek solidarity; if your voice is heard, help someone who needs to be heard and wants to be heard.

As far as words go, feminism concentrates on the problems women face because of their sex or gender, the problems misogyny causes.  The movement is called feminism, and people who focus on these particular struggles and this portion of a philosophy of equality therefore called feminists–the same way some people are Afro-centrists, and yes, still need to be, and the gay pride movement keeps going strong, led by or in close conjunction with gay rights activists. And whether or not you argue the term crosses over to the semantically and functionally occupational “-ist,” remember that most activists don’t get paid for their work. Neither do most feminists, like me, and unlike Joss Whedon.

The problem with the word mirrors the problem with the movement’s history, tending toward the exclusionary as much as the possibly healthy and necessary separatist, continuing and contributing to the oppressions of people of color, people earning lower income, lesbians and gay men, and gender nonconforming people before that was a term, and reaping the benefits of colonialist occupation and oppression of so-called developing countries.  Until feminism caught up with the struggles of people in all these groups, and people realized how interconnected all these struggles for equality are, because women come from all these groups.  Everyone who is oppressed in one but usually more of these ways fights to be equal.  Fighting for equality brings to light the way things should be and the humanity we have in common and rights every single person should share: Civil Rights and Human Rights, acting on your Dream to pursue education.

Feminism has moved as a movement to be inclusive and feminists are leaders working and fighting for racial equality.  Not too many people believe men can’t be feminists.  I do believe that focusing on the equality pursued at the basis of helps promote the philosophy –and in a more inclusive way.  It leaves room for the acknowledgment, understanding, and addressing of how sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism take form in all different directions, when girls are schooled in being manipulative to counter men’s dominance, for instance. But where each of these structural and systemic discriminations don’t out-and-out harm the majority group, say, White folk, it sure plays dirty tricks on their minds and keeps our society as a whole down, sick, because for one, there are always individuals that make up a group, especially groups defined by identity politics, who might belong to other oppressed groups, and for another–every society won’t be healthy until everyone really is treated equally.   To attain this, we must all acknowledge and enact the equal fights of fighting for equalism.

When impressionable young people and workplace holiday committees are taught 1990s multiculturalism where appropriation counts for celebration of different cultures, they practice it unwitting of its offensiveness and that as a machination of oppression until they learn or someone shows them otherwise. When impressionable young people and unenlightened workplace after-hours parties are taught a vague mixture of vague scandalous riotous fake bra burning feminism, of Femi-nazis, shame, and blame, and that boys will be boys and girls should be skinny–we end up with guys being slapped in domestic relationships along with in the movies as a twisted new norm.  This is not the empowered female of feminism. Anything other than believing that speaking out against this as unacceptable goes against the principle of feminism, of equalism.  In this sense, yes, I vote to promote a new word, I vote with my right hard-won by feminist foremothers and feminist (“sympathizer”) forefathers, for a term that includes men being treated individually not as some new enemy, but be treated still as equals, for Equalism.

If that helps everyone be treated as equals with the progress and changing tides for all groups still fighting the good fight for equality and equal treatment, and the new or now recognized rather than well-meaning (even straight, white) men feel alienated, when they can be willing and wonderful allies, then I am an equalist. I’d rather let the sons of soccer moms and single mothers know they are needed, so they can fight rape culture instead of rape cases that prey on the poor and men of color.

On the other hand, each of these fights contains different specifics because of its unique history.  There is a fine balance between recognizing the equality that everyone deserves, and working for it, fighting for it and working on and fighting for the equality of a certain group that needs it. Every path to full equality is specific. Each group deserves the recognition of its struggle; each fight requires the understanding of this struggle to reach the same equality that other groups appreciate (or fail to) in their privilege. Because people have lived it as individuals and groups.  Feminism has expanded, finally, to acknowledge the intersections and multiple oppressions people face, to its credit, from Angela Davis to Feministing website.  I believe that Equalism, and pronouncing oneself an Equalist might take this on and teach it even more quickly.
I don’t think we should work to eradicate the term by any means, but it should never be used to validate bullying against individual males, in media or life, either.

And I -love- the connotation of “Feministing” and its visual cultural reference to Rosie the Riveter and daring female sexual pleasure; it packs the right amount of punch, a goodly productive portion of goading, and a physical and visceral rallying cry of solidarity.

~Shakin’ a feminist fist at Spike,

Sabri Sky

*also a (deconstructionist) new understanding, critique, and change of the rule-making experts’ doling out of credit … which translates to money and fair treatment of individuals.

**pun intended

Words & Works of Others

The Wisdom of Non-Experts

The Thesis Whisperer

This post was written by Jonathan Downie, a PhD student, conference interpreter, public speaker and translator based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He co-edits LifeinLINCS the unofficial blog of the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies at Heriot-Watt University. He is married with two children.

His newest blog Rock Your Talk aims to help people keep on improving in their public speaking. In this post Jonathan gives some thought to an important topic – should we work harder to non academic others in our research?

Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 4.51.29 PMNowadays, most academic disciplines are pretty closed shops. Sure, they might have the odd study that involves another discipline and there might be the odd paper calling for greater collaboration but the limits of collaboration are firmly set.

We all know the rules. If you need help with research, you are expected to go talk to another researcher. If your research crosses disciplinary boundaries, you…

View original post 786 more words

Fiction or so, Kettle-Cooked Epaulets

Go Ahead and Fuck the Middle Class [rough draft]

My mother doesn’t really have any friends. It makes me so sad.
She’s always just been raising children, then working, and working and working and working, and never had any money to go out and do anything. And middle class people just look down on it, don’t understand at all a life of taking the bus home, of never, literally NEVER being able to go to a movie late, because there aren’t any buses when it’s over, and a cab is too expensive, it’s not worth it, especially after shelling out for a movie.
That’s how her whole life is, ALL of life. It’s not just like, “oh, it’s kinda expensive,” it’s like, you just *never* get to do anything like that.  So she just never does anything on Sunday. Cause there are no buses.  Anyplace she ever went on Sunday, ever, she walked to.
She never goes out on Saturday night, because she could not get home, because the buses stop at 6:30pm on Saturday.
So–if you’ve  been raising 3 children as a single mother, on $400 a month, for 15 years
how are you gonna get started meeting people to make friends, with limitations like you can just never go out on Saturday night or all day Sunday, period.
(Sunday unless it is close enough and/or the weather is not too hot and not too cold and not too windy and you don’t have to carry a lot, cause you’ll have to walk back.)
I’m afraid that you would just never be seen with us; you would just be totally humiliated to even be seen with us.
When i go “shopping with my mother” last night–we go to Goodwill.
We take a bus, that we have to wait 45 minutes for, then walk some, in the poor neighborhood (that i grew up in and my mother lived in until June)
then we skimp and scrounge because my mother *does not even buy full price clothes at Goodwill*  without budgeting and worry and regret; she has a limit, and very often refuses to buy anything that’s not the half-price sale color tag.
We are both wearing a knapsack, chock full of whatever we had to carry that day–an extra sweater or jacket, a flashlight for *walking* home when it’s dark, an umbrella, plastic containers and baggies from carrying lunch with you.   And we are also each carrying another bag, also from whatever we had to carry that day: my mother also has her purse from work, like a “normal” female coming from work.
So, we walk around in our bulky coats to protect from the cold and wind, since it’s fall now, and our knapsacks, and i’m so happy to be wearing the purple striped cloth backpack you got me. And we’re wearing hats and scarves before anybody around is, that is, before in the season or time of year, because they all are only out walking from their fucking cars to the door of the store, 50 feet through the parking lot, and it hardly even affects them whether it’s 60 degrees and sunny or 40 degrees and a little windy.  They do things like “toss a hoodie into the backseat of the car”
whereas our entire regimen changes, and the amount that you’re carrying
And we also have to think of WHAT ELSE WE NEED TO WEAR AND CARRY for
because we will still be out that late, to get home, taking the bus.
My entire life except for the one year i drove with my rich bitch daddy’s girl ex-girlfriend, I have lived like that
… by the time I finally get home after taking two buses in the cold, and now it’s dark, and I had to walk home from the bus stop or to the bus stop a quarter of a mile from wherever i was, and therefore had to bring with me a flashlight and an extra sweater, and a scarf and a hat and an umbrella since they said there’s a 40% chance of rain. . .
by the time i get home– you have been home an hour and a half
had supper
taken a shower
started your homework /
watched a tv show
It is 9:30pm.
I am just getting home
from the activity or store that I went to at 5:30pm.
But you went there right after school, at 4pm.
For 20 minutes of shopping, or turning in some paperwork form to a business or office, I have to leave at 2:30pm     to catch a bus at 2:48pm
then i get dowtown (bus interchange) at 3:15pm
and the next bus, the bus i have to transfer to,       doesn’t come until 4pm
so I have to wait downtown.
And, i have to wait doing nothing, because i don’t have any money to do anything. I can’t go to a cafe, because it costs money to spend $4 just for waiting for the bus, on a drink.
So–you’d better make sure you have a book to read with you! Something else to carry.
And you just sit there, with all the middle school kids from the Black neighborhood.
Then the bus finally comes, at 4pm, and it gets to where I need to go at 4:21pm.
I have to RUSHHH from the bus stop to make sure i get there, in the door before 4:30 pm, when they *close early to avoid rush hour traffic*
Then when I turn in the paperwork, I take it out of my backpack–which the snooty lady behind the desk in high fucking heels in the middle of winter scowls at because it’s considered unprofessional–
and when i take the paperwork out of my backpack, some liquid slime from my lunch that i am also carrying, and have been carrying walking around bouncing around all day in my backpack…. has leaked onto the folder, and it smells like sour tuna fish.
The lady behind the counter wrinkles her nose into a pucker tighter than a WASP’s asshole, and says, down her nose, “Don’t get that on our counter!”
So, I have to let the folder drip onto their floor, take out my paperwork, and hand it to her.   She says, “Oh, a such and such form. Let me see if Larry’s still in, he processes these–he usually gets them from the mail room.”
Then she turns and asks someone else, Did the mail room intern ever bring the batch to Larry?
She turns to me and says, You should’ve just mailed it.
I look down at the piece of paper in my hand. In bold letters on the top the instructions remain the same as they did when I received the form: MONEY ORDERS MUST BE HAND DELIVERED.   “But it says it has to be turned in in person…” I tell her, my face becoming a little knotted in confusion, and ….
trying not to let it be visible how my stomach is also turning and twisting into knots and my ears turning hot.
“Oh, no no no nonono, that’s just what it says on there,” she says.  Then she tosses her head back and forth like she were trying to burrow her nose farther into Charlton Heston’s behind.