Have something happy: How First Nations Kids Built Their Own Internet Infrastructure
Have something happy: How First Nations Kids Built Their Own Internet Infrastructure
"What I’m determined to do, no matter how long I stay on JLA, is to always create new villains. If I do the next Darkseid story, the next Weapons Master or Starro the Conqueror then firstly, you’ve seen it all before you know immediately who the villain is. I want to surprise you; I want to use antagonists that aren’t automatically a villain, and hopefully make you question everybody’s motivations, fears and concerns. At least with a new villain, you don’t know quite what to expect the first time around. That’s not to say familiar faces aren’t popping up, but in terms of the main antagonists, it’s all new territory.
There was a time all this stuff, comics, heroes, villains and so on was new to each of us. Every issue was a surprise. I’m not in the nostalgia business; I don’t want to repeat the stories I read as a kid, but I do want us all to feel like we felt when we first read this stuff. The excitement of the unexpected!"
- Bryan Hitch
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Phil Sandusky is a plein air painter, landscape, cityscape and figurative artist based in New Orleans. I’ve written about Sandusky previously, most recently in 2014. Since then, he has unveiled a new website that showcases his work to better advantage.
Sandusky paints the streets, parks and neighborhoods of New Orleans, and several other cities that he frequently visits, with verve, confidence and a keen sense of direct observation. To my eye, there is always a touch of wildness in his work, a sense that the painter has just barely contained the energy and light of the scene.
Ten years ago, Sandusky confronted another kind of wildness, when his response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina was that of both a new Orleans resident and a painter, and he painted a series of remarkable views of the aftermath of the storm, that were eventually collected into a book, Painting Katrina. These were painted with simultaneous compassion and equanimity, party with the eye of a painter and partly with the clear observation of a reporter.
Sandusky will be giving a slide presentation about his experiences painting those works on this Friday, August 28, 2015, one day before the 10 year anniversary of the storm, at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art.
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Either this model is an alien or she’s made out of some sort of stretchy plastic material.
Thanks to Samantha for sending this in with the note, “When your foot is as long as your calf….”
Featured online here.
The rest of the issue is small, but very sound. Go read all of them!
I was saying in a comment on my last post that I think native Tumblr users are often baffled or even angered that anyone would suggest the platform is difficult to navigate or even not ideal for fannish interaction. The most memorable conversation I had on the topic was where someone told me AO3's threading style was based on Tumblr, which everyone understood, and that they had never even heard of Dreamwidth. It was an actual, good natured, off Tumblr conversation (related to the OTW, which honestly made it even more surreal) and I was floored, but it was an eye opener. I want to note there was bafflement on both sides here - I knew there were factual problems with those assertions and they were confused that these things weren't obvious. I was completely unprepared for that situation mentally and hopefully my reply sounded sane rather than slightly hysterical.
I think between the impermanence of Tumblr - which has obscured a lot of fannish history from the newer set - and the way the younger users assume everyone is in their age group because of the lack of personal, in-depth content that would clue them in otherwise (this is not a 'them vs us' situation! we are you! you just haven't noticed), for them Tumblr = Fandom. Period. Suggesting to the native users, who have all the flush and desperate loyalty of the newly fannish, that the platform itself might not be perfect is sometimes tantamount to a personal attack by outsiders. I feel like so many of them don't understand that fandom is older than they realize, that the "elders" didn't necessarily move on - they're still here and may already be on their dashes (aka friends page, reading circle), that you don't magically stop being fannish on a particular birthday, and that fandom will endure in many forms over the course of their lifetime. I can sympathize, but you can see where the discussion isn't going to get off to a great start and Tumblr's Really Damn Annoying, cobbled together "conversation" style only exacerbates the problem.
I don't really have a solution to that, but I feel like identifying that disconnect in the conversation at least helps me to understand that POV better. Tumblr is not fandom, which is terribly obvious considering where this is posted, and I hope more and more of the strictly Tumblr users realize that fandom is bigger, older, more complicated, and stronger than any one platform will ever be so that we don't risk losing them when some inevitable sea change occurs.
By Guest Contributor Marquis Bey
A friend of mine asked, two days before the theatre premier of Straight Outta Compton, what impact I thought the N.W.A. biopic would have on the Black Lives Matter movement. My answer, since I had not seen or read much about the film, was insufficient and characterized by stock hip-hop feminist answers: white viewers and critics of the Movement may very well use the film to say, “See! They’re advocating violence, glorifying it even!”; hopefully it’ll give historically contextual backing to the legacy of violence visited upon Black bodies to which Black Lives Matter is speaking directly; and, of course, as with all things venerating hip-hop, I worry about the gendered violence and erasure of (Black) women.
This last point — the violence and erasure of Black women in particular — is what the conversation in the car ride with a few other Ph.D. students at my graduate school revolved around. And rightly so.
If we are to allow the film to speak to the plight of Black bodies in contemporary America and use it to do the work of Black liberation, then we must honor the aims of the Black Lives Matter Movement—and the three queer Black women who founded the movement—by critiquing the normalization of violence against Black women.
As Kimberly Foster explains, “One must be invested in dismantling a culture that normalizes violence against Black women before we talk about reconciliation. We’ve yet to see that from these men, and unless they’re going to do this work, linking the group to #BlackLivesMatter is an affront to the movement’s intersectional foundations. The current fight for Black liberation is for all of us—not just men.”
Among other key issues and erasures, one might think of the glossing-over of Ice Cube’s (O’Shea Jackson) coming from — as depicted in sociologist Patricia Hill Collins’ book Black Sexual Politics — a wealthy white neighborhood, in a gated home, raised in a two-parent family in a middle-class residential area of south central Los Angeles, never going to prison, and graduating from the wealthiest high school in Los Angeles. But that’s not “’hood” enough for “Niggaz” with attitude. The treatment of Black women in the film, hip-hop in general, and by the artists of N.W.A. deserves much attention.
For sure, many might see a critique of N.W.A.’s misogyny as a slight against the film’s quality, the artists’ talent, or the overall value of hip-hop, the assumption of which being that the film and N.W.A. are saintly racial heroes speaking for the oppressed Black youth and any critique of them an unjust critique of their entire enterprise. To be clear, then, my critique as a radical Black cisgender male feminist is a critique not of the quality of the film or artists’ lyrical talent (which is actually rather dexterous) but rather a critique of their perpetuation of violent narratives that endanger the lives and subjectivities of Black women, and the truncation of Black women’s humanity.
It is certainly easy to condemn wholesale the sexist lyrics of N.W.A. as they are riddled with “b*tches,” “hoes,” and said “b*tches” and “hoes” being assaulted sexually and physically. In their song “She Swallowed It,” the group rhymes, “And if you got a gang of niggas, the bitch would let you rape her / She likes suckin’ on d*cks, and lickin’ up nuts.” Throughout the song women are “punch[ed] in the eye” and told “You little ho’ hurry up and suck my d*ck!” demonstrating that women in the group’s lyrics are used as means to bolster the “authentic” (Black) masculinity of the artists via being a “down ass chick,” i.e. a woman who submits to the primarily sexual whims of these “real niggas.” And this, to be sure, is no new critique.
But what is often more insidious is how any woman is readily read as a “b*tch” on the basis of how quickly she succumbs to the wishes of the rapper. In a word, women in the minds and lyrics of N.W.A., with celerity, can go from “lady” to “b*tch” in one lyric flat if the artist is dissatisfied with her.
This distinction between good and bad women was captured succinctly as far back as 1996 by historian Robin D.G. Kelly in his essay “Kickin’ Reality, Kickin’ Ballistics: Gangsta Rap and Postindustrial Los Angeles”: “Distinguishing ‘bad’ women from ‘good’ women ultimately serves to justify violence against women by devaluing them.”
In this scenario, the “good” woman becomes bad the second the rapper wants to commit or justify violence against her, or she falls outside of his desired use. Ice Cube committed this exact bifurcation in an interview promoting the film, saying, “If you’re not a ho or a b*tch, don’t be jumping to the defense of these despicable females. Just like I shouldn’t be jumping to the defense of no punks or no cowards or no slimy son of a b*tches that’s men. I never understood why an upstanding lady would even think we’re talking about her.”
The distinction Ice Cube makes is a false one, used simply when any woman deigns to assert her humanity and lack of male ass-kissing (or, more accurately in this context, oral sex). To make a parallel that he may understand: you weren’t a “boy” or a “nigga” or a “banger” when those cops had you and your crew spread eagle on the ground about to arrest your ass, were you? Let me respond, with your own logic: “I never understood why an innocent, truth-telling young Black man like yourself would even think those words apply to you.”
Bottom line: Under this worldview, the valid humanity and due respect and integrity afforded to female bodies undergoes extreme doubt as soon as she falls away from male validation. Men, in a nutshell, are the arbiters of women’s social worth, and any action committed by a man against a female body is deemed just. Just devalue her, call her a b*tch, and it’s all good, have your way with her. After all, according to N.W.A. logic, why should anyone be jumping to the defense of slimy b*tches and despicable females? By virtue of a woman’s “b*tchness,” all assaults against her body are okay.
Now, surely not all the members of N.W.A. have been as crass as Cube. Dr. Dre, who assaulted TV host Dee Barnes in 1991, said that he has “made some f*cking horrible mistakes in [his] life,” and that “Those are some of the things that I would like to take back. It was really f*cked up. But I paid for those mistakes, and there’s no way in hell that I will ever make another mistake like that again.”
But still, Dre doesn’t reference the specific sexual assault, generalizing and glossing over it as “some f*cking horrible mistakes.” Dre, angry with Dee Barnes’ Pump It Up! segment in which Ice Cube is depicted dissing N.W.A., trapped her in a bathroom and slammed her head against a wall multiple times (for which, by her account, she still suffers migraines to this day) because, according to him, Barnes, not Ice Cube or the show’s producers, made N.W.A. “look like fools.”
Dre’s attempted contrition can be read as sincere or disingenuous politician-like apology, but it remains that he is still venerated as a hip-hop saint, which then invalidates the bodily integrity of Dee Barnes — and, by extension, all women — and sloughs off her assault as un-noteworthy, minor.
The film’s director, F. Gary Gray, who was actually the cameraman for the Pump It Up! segment that enraged Dre, highlights the unworthy depiction of the pervasive domestic violence committed by N.W.A. members as “side stories”: “The original editor’s cut was three hours and 30 minutes long, so we couldn’t get everything in the movie. We had to make sure we served the narrative; the narrative was about N.W.A. It wasn’t about side stories.” Uh huh, sure, and the scene where we see Ice Cube telling off an unidentified journalist (“Eat a d*ck, Brian”), the part where Ice Cube is laughing at his own script to Friday, or the scene in which some random ass buff Black dude ominously says to Jerry Heller “Nice house” are super integral to knowing the vagaries of N.W.A.’s career, right? F.O.H.
So for those who wish to use the film as a piece of the Black Lives Matter movement’s Black liberation discourse, this, I think, shows how much more inclusive and honest the proclamation that “Black Lives Matter” must be.
So to my friend’s question: what might the impact of Straight Outta Compton have on the Black Lives Matter Movement? My answer now is two-fold: I think the film does a phenomenal job of giving historical links to contemporary police brutality by depicting the numerous times N.W.A.’s members were racially profiled by police and the Rodney King beating, followed by the L.A. riots. An early scene in the film in which Ice Cube is innocently walking home and is subsequently slammed onto the hood of a police car by an officer and called a nigger is an external manifestation of contemporary sentiments between the US’ militarized police force and Black bodies. We can use this to speak to the contemporary moment and show that Black bodies have been criminalized long before Trayvon Martin. This discourse, given theatrical clout by a blockbuster film, needs to be out there, for real.
However, not to my surprise, the movie continues to denigrate the bodies of Black women. Whether it be in hotel room scenes where the group has throwaway sex with “groupies” the names of which none of them know; reducing women’s worth to their genitals and how much they let members f*ck; or rhyming about f*cking other men’s girlfriends as a means by which they become Über-men, the film fails to critique the pervasive sexism and truncation of female subjectivity.
N.W.A.’s manager, Jerry Heller, initially thinks the acronym stands for “No Whites Allowed.” Funny, and perhaps not entirely incorrect, but perhaps a more telling misnomer would be “No Women Allowed” … except when their only purpose is to please the members (pun intended). Black lives must matter if they are all to be liberated. That includes Black women’s lives. If Black life is continually coded as Black male life, then those who proclaim it are doing a disservice to the Black queer women who started the movement, and to the humanity for which Black liberation movements have been fighting for centuries.
Ayo Dre, I got something to say too: f*ck tha misogyny.
Marquis Bey is an English Ph.D. student at Cornell University. His work focuses primarily on African American Literature, Black Feminist Thought, and Transgender Studies. He hails from Philadelphia, PA, and his work can be found at https://cornell.academia.edu/MBey.
The post Straight Outta Compton, Black Women, and Black Lives Matter appeared first on Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture.
I enjoy the 10-minute commentary/weather on the radio as I drive to work. The radio guy and the weather guy have a few minutes of shooting the breeze before actually making the weather forecast. Today they were talking about the upcoming remake of "Magnificent Seven", complaining about the lack of the Western genre on current TV, and then back to the movie, a large part of which will be filmed in New Mexico.
The radio guy said, "Of course! Just look at the wide-open spaces as you travel around the state. There's no place that you can't just point the camera, and the scenery is perfect for a Western." Then my mocking little internal devil's advocate pops up and says, "Uh... the middle of Albuquerque? Or Santa Fe?"
Okay, enough wasting time. Back to making a schedule. <groooannn>
I have managed to watch some of the great vids being posted recently though, so here have some recs.
Zero by sweetestdrain (Natasha)
This is a brilliant look at Natasha over all the films so far, covering her central role in the story and how she's the one who assembled the Avengers.
1941 by rhoboat (Peggy)
Great song choice, great editing, great series overview. Peggy! \o/
I Lived by flummery (Steve/Peggy)
*ugly crying* their love is so tragic. sob. But really this is actually wonderfully optimistic in tone, because both of them are living the heck out of their lives even though they're apart. The bittersweet tinge is a punch in the gut though.
Korra, Sense8, Doctor Who, Mad Max: Fury Road
Landsailor by skygiants (Legend of Korra, Jinora)
A really beautiful overview of Jinora's arc and all the themes therein.
Breathe Me by butterfly (Sense8, ensemble)
Ahhhh my heart. I love this cluster so muuch, beloved darlings.
Survivor by odessie (Doctor Who, multi era)
This is the BEST. It is what my heart is made of. Companions having wonderful post-Doctor lives and being friends and being amazing. It's beautifully structured, every time a new character was introduced I shrieked a little bit.
Na Na Na by violace (Mad Max: Fury Road)
THIS IS SO AWESOME. Inspired song choice and a fantastic whirlwind ride through this film. I have watched it many times and I love it.
Today we got sent the draft script for our ceremony from the registrar, and it's my hen night this weekend, and our flat is covered in RSVP cards and robots and the constituent parts of centrepieces, all of which leads me to conclude that time has gone past inordinately quickly and I am in fact marrying happydork in two and a bit weeks.
Which is tremendously exciting, and also a little bit surreal. But then I sneak a peek at our wedding rings, or remember awesome little things we have planned for the day, and actually it's all totally great.
Also, this is late notice, but we haven't actually started putting together the decorations yet, and if you would like to contribute, you can decorate one of these awesome robots and send it to us, digitally or physically. If we have it on Friday 11th it'll go up in the hall, and if we have it this weekend it might also be included in something else we're planning. <3