Ticker Tape

Shenanigans. Tomfoolery. Monkeyshines. Coffee. Beer. Whiskey. Occasionally, Wisdom. I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

Against Carceral Feminism | Jacobin

"Carceral feminism ignores the ways in which race, class, gender identity, and immigration status leave certain women more vulnerable to violence and that greater criminalization often places these same women at risk of state violence.

Casting policing and prisons as the solution to domestic violence both justifies increases to police and prison budgets and diverts attention from the cuts to programs that enable survivors to escape, such as shelters, public housing, and welfare. And finally, positioning police and prisons as the principal antidote discourages seeking other responses, including community interventions and long-term organizing.”

Nothing says ‘liberty’ like wishing for the death of the President.

Nothing says ‘liberty’ like wishing for the death of the President.

BOOK REVIEW: “Misdiagnosed: The Search For Dr. House” by Nika Beamon

“One can become quite used to the specter of the eternal Footman, like some lethal old bore lurking in the hallway at the end of the evening, hoping for the chance to have a word. And I don’t so much object to his holding my coat in such a manner, as if mutely reminding me that it’s time to be on my way. No, it’s the snickering that gets me down.”

-Christoper Hitchens, “Mortality

When Nika Beamon first encountered Christopher Hitchens’ eternal Footman back in 1993, in the form of an extremely rare genetic disorder marked IgG4-related systemic disease (a “collection of letters and a number” that Ms. Beamon neglects to relate), I’m sure she never imagined that the two of them would become so intimately acquainted. After twenty years of fruitless searching for her enemy’s True Name amongst the collective shrugging of the medical community, combined with an endless barrage of spectacular medical debacles both intimate and highly public, all to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars and an ever-mounting deficit independence and self-sufficiency, Ms. Beamon seems to have developed a rather cozy relationship with Death, more than enough to speak on the subject from a position of considerable authority. Not everyone can hang their hat on the gallows with quite the breezy, eloquent air that the late Mr. Hitchens so graciously exhibited when diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2010 (spawning the book from which this review’s opening quote was culled), and Misdiagnosed: The Search For Dr. House tackles the subject with more brevity than wit; nevertheless, Beamon has managed to create a sturdy, simple, and immensely compelling narrative for anyone contemplating mortality - whether their own, or someone else’s.

Weighing in at 320 pages, Misdiagnosed is not an especially large book, but it would be easy to assume when reading the synopsis that it would be a fairly dense read, one that might even require a reference text (or two). It was a pleasant surprise to discover that this was not the case; Beamon’s illness isn’t on display so much as is her ability to endure the travailing circumstances surrounding it. To that end, the book provides an intensely visceral experience: from coitally-activated hemorrhaging to vomiting blood every morning to having a stroke on the highway to an endless whirlwind of hospital visits, Beamon describes in frank, excruciating detail the Sisyphean task of living under the burden of multi-symptomatic disease, and does so with little sense of sentimentality or self-pity. Across her life, the Footman’s gesture is a wide one: romances rise and fall, loved ones have their own brushes with death to varying ends, and her career suffers as a result of her condition, yet still she maintains her course. Perseverance of this scope is to be greatly admired, and could be even more greatly, if not for the fact that it resides against a backdrop of seemingly minimal introspection.

Misdiagnosed, for all of its muscular storytelling, offers a narrative that, while not at all impersonal, does come off as somewhat detached, with the author chalking her ability to survive mostly up to God, her family, and the man she spent the latter decade of her struggles with. While absolving herself of participation in her own survival might offer a convenient vehicle which the reader can easily step in to the driver’s seat of (I know I certainly did), this offers consolation without counsel; treating the symptoms and not the cause, so to speak. Hitchens wrote in Mortality that “(i)t’s no fun to appreciate to the full the materialist proposition that I don’t have a body, I am a body,” yet still he managed to do so frequently, never failing to relate the results to his audience. If we are to learn anything from Beamon’s experience, then it must be qualified in the knowledge that she has done, and will continue to do, the same.

No manner of epigrammatic exhortation will ever be able to adequately convey the immensely profound and personal experience of those whom which the Footman awaits. Those who have the courage and the tenacity to make the attempt are to be commended, not only for their valor but for whatever perspective they manage to offer along the way, no matter how fractious or disjointed. Misdiagnosed offers us a glimpse into the stark and literal world of lifelong illness, a place where, to quote Hitchens one last time (albeit loosely), Beamon still resides, “shackled to her own corpse.” Perhaps in time, after her and Death have grown old together (and he’s stopped that damned snickering), Beamon will find an opportunity to relate to us in full more than just the particulars and the participants in her story. I know I’d love to hear all about it.

Dropbox Dudes Tried to Kick Children Off a Soccer Field

Gentrification may not be driven exclusively or specifically by white people or white racism, but it’s certainly driven almost exclusively by white supremacy, which operates in or on every American in some way regardless of their skin color, making it infinitely more difficult to root out. It’s important to note that you don’t have to be a white person to be an agent of white supremacy, and that this concept is among the more insidious things that has allowed gentrification in places like SF to be pushed so far.

Tech companies (and the real estate developers who love them) are able to hide behind a veneer of ethnic diversity (and to do so with a modicum of legitimacy, I might add) because of their various commitments towards championing such diversity in their hiring practices. This gives incredible cover to the gentrification agenda and the white supremacist power structure, as these same companies can, with the same veneer of legitimacy, make the claim that they are, to a certain degree, replacing black and brown people with other black and brown people. Therefore, what they’re doing couldn’t possibly involve participation in a racist power structure, right? Never mind the fact that it’s STILL overwhelming numbers of black and brown people who are getting the shaft, AGAIN; only this time, it’s from people who look like them, but still (and always) at the behest of those who don’t.

Best thing I’ve seen on the Internet all day.

Best thing I’ve seen on the Internet all day.

"Dulce Et Decorum Est," by Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! — An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, —
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

shmurdapunk:

bibi-baby:

shmurdapunk:

the-goddamazon:

extraextraex:

pretty tired of seeing this hair trope on asian characters
EDIT: because three examples wasn’t enough for some of you:


OH WOW.
Why is this a thing?


As soon as I saw this post I thought about Mei Melancon as Psylocke in X-men: The Last Stand

Jenna Ushkowitz as Tina Cohen-Chang in Glee (early seasons)


this is such a weirdly specific thing
i bet there are even more examples

Weird…

shmurdapunk:

bibi-baby:

shmurdapunk:

the-goddamazon:

extraextraex:

pretty tired of seeing this hair trope on asian characters

EDIT: because three examples wasn’t enough for some of you:

OH WOW.

Why is this a thing?

As soon as I saw this post I thought about Mei Melancon as Psylocke in X-men: The Last Stand

Jenna Ushkowitz as Tina Cohen-Chang in Glee (early seasons)

this is such a weirdly specific thing

i bet there are even more examples

Weird…

(via toughpearls)

"I’m lovin’ it!*"*it: the smell of terrified children

"I’m lovin’ it!*"

*it: the smell of terrified children

I think one thing a lot of people don’t understand about suicide is that those who are considering it usually already know on some level the tragedy and misery that will come after they’ve committed the act, and that perversely, this is part of the appeal. 

As your humanity fades, and the will to live is slowly siphoned away through the cracks in your facade, the fear of being forgotten requires that you leave this world with sufficient impact to negate the dissolution of your legacy, regardless of the consequence for those you leave behind. What better way to acheive that than to make a final, haunting spectacle of yourself, one that will permanently imprint itself upon the consciousness of those who’s regard for you is held in so much doubt? 

This is the grand conundrum of the terminally depressed: when you’re feeling suicidal, there is no such thing as bad attention. To make them weep for you in death the way you never believed they could in life holds far greater appeal than being convicted of their alleged apathy.

I think one thing a lot of people don’t understand about suicide is that those who are considering it usually already know on some level the tragedy and misery that will come after they’ve committed the act, and that perversely, this is part of the appeal.

As your humanity fades, and the will to live is slowly siphoned away through the cracks in your facade, the fear of being forgotten requires that you leave this world with sufficient impact to negate the dissolution of your legacy, regardless of the consequence for those you leave behind. What better way to acheive that than to make a final, haunting spectacle of yourself, one that will permanently imprint itself upon the consciousness of those who’s regard for you is held in so much doubt?

This is the grand conundrum of the terminally depressed: when you’re feeling suicidal, there is no such thing as bad attention. To make them weep for you in death the way you never believed they could in life holds far greater appeal than being convicted of their alleged apathy.

The next big thing

The next big thing

cultureunseen:

The Dapper Rebels of Los Angeles, originally published in LIFE magazine, July 15, 1966.

(via toughpearls)

BOOK REVIEW: “A Soldier’s Thoughts” by Derrick Randall

by Randle Aubrey

It’s a truism that spiritual leaders (or those aspiring to become them) often expect their audience to take extraordinary claims at face value, while at the same time offering little in the way of context or exposition as to how they arrived at their conclusions. This is the crux of most arguments against faith-based reasoning: in the words of Carl Sagan, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” evidence that, under the light of inquiry, is often found to be either circumstantial, or non-existent. While Derrick Randall offers no extraordinary claims to truth or enlightenment in his book A Soldier’s Thoughts – a meditation on power, love, faith, and family – the platitudes he does offer, without the benefit of even minimal exposition, fail to engender much in the way of trust or authority in what is otherwise a stately, albeit incoherent narrative.

A Soldier’s Thoughts is a combination of poetry, journal entries, and general musings about life curated by its author, and sadly, it reads like one. The affirmations presented within its pages feel very personal, taking for granted knowledge of Randall’s personal experiences, and leaving the reader with an overall feeling as if this book was intended for an audience of one: namely, the author himself. While punctuated with occasional moments of poetic grace (“For You, My Dear,” with its “simple grilled cheese before school,” is a powerful testament to a mother’s love, and “Tracing My Footsteps” conveys with beautiful simplicity the lengthy and altogether messy transition from infancy to adulthood), the remainder of A Soldier’s Thoughts leaves one with more questions than answers.

In passages like “Power: Revisited” and “The ‘N’ Files,” complex, cumbersome language and phrasing present themselves as woefully inadequate surrogates for expositional depth, and this convention is repeated throughout the book to deleterious effect. Upon reflection, Randall’s decision not to attach experience to enlightenment feels intentional, but not capricious; Randall clearly wishes to keep his private life a secret, perhaps more out of discomfort than guilt, but he does so at the reader’s expense.

Randall claims in the passage “Two Battles, One War” that “(t)o understand what I write, I must first believe it.” This could easily be construed as the theme of the entire book, and also as its fatal flaw. A juxtaposition of the phrase is required: for one to believe in something (or someone, for that matter), one must understand it first. After reading A Soldier’s Thoughts, I don’t understand Derrick Randall. Therefore, how I can believe him, or better yet, believe in him?

A Soldier’s Thoughts is currently available on Amazon. To find out more about Derrick’s life and work, please visit his website, www.derricklrandall.com.