everyone you’ve ever loved has said some problematic shit: a novel
you have also said some problematic shit: the sequel
having said problematic shit does not necessarily make you or anyone else a bad person, just be aware of it, don’t say it again, and don’t make fucking excuses for people who continue to say problematic shit: the thrilling conclusion
“America will be the name of my first daughter.
She will be pulled from my womb screaming and I will swear
to the nurse that her wails sound like a Bob Dylan song.
She will have a cherry tree red birthmark
on her left cheek. She will not be pretty.
On her fifth birthday, she will ask me what the word bastard means.
It will be the only time I ever lie to her, saying
that it stands for “something too precious to hold.”
I make a mental note to rip that page out of our dictionary later.
Every year, she will refuse to blow out the candles on her cake
claiming the monsters under her bed need to wishes more.
Meri, will never cease playing when the street lights flicker on
and I will wait up like a ghost until
she comes through the screen door, all giggles,
telling me the conversation she had
with the pine trees that night.
My baby will scream her lungs sore the first time a boy
tries to kiss her on the playground.
She will punch him in the jaw and refuse an apology.
I will get frustrated every morning
when my lipstick is nowhere to be found.
It will be her secret weapon. Her atom bomb.
She will smuggle it away in her backpack
and paint her lips on the bus.
She will claim she likes the way it makes
her look like a lioness,
mouth dripping with blood.
She will be thrown against lockers and rarely invited to parties.
No one will like be a fan of the way her
and her best friend decide to go to prom together.
Sisters with a secret and a fondness for dancing by themselves.
The others will tease her for years,
saying she is named after a dead thing.
But she will be brave, the crucifixion kind.
She will wear baseball caps and floral dresses.
She will always ask the worst questions in bible study.
She will read the paper while she paints her nails.
My daughter will be the messiah of a dying land.
My daughter will be what the founding fathers fucked up.
My daughter will be the only America I ever pledge my heart to.”—b.e.fitzgerald (America, my love)
I'm confused about what Beethoven was doing in the black composers post. He was German.
By golly gee! I keep forgetting that Black people didn’t exist until the Fresh Prince of Bel Air came on television! Or that Black people existed in anywhere else than Africa even with slavery going on :) My apologies.
Anyway, here’s proof that Beethoven was Black:
"… Said directly, Beethoven was a black man. Specifically, his mother was a Moor, that group of Muslim Northern Africans who conquered parts of Europe—making Spain their capital—for some 800 years.
In order to make such a substantial statement, presentation of verifiable evidence is compulsory. Let’s start with what some of Beethoven’s contemporaries and biographers say about his brown complexion:
"Frederick Hertz, German anthropologist, used these terms to describe him: ‘Negroid traits, dark skin, flat, thick nose.’
Emil Ludwig, in his book ‘Beethoven,’ says: ‘His face reveals no trace of the German. He was so dark that people dubbed him Spagnol [dark-skinned].’
Fanny Giannatasio del Rio, in her book ‘An Unrequited Love: An Episode in the Life of Beethoven,’ wrote ‘His somewhat flat broad nose and rather wide mouth, his small piercing eyes and swarthy [dark] complexion, pockmarked into the bargain, gave him a strong resemblance to a mulatto.’
Beethoven’s death mask: profile and full face
C. Czerny stated, ‘His beard—he had not shaved for several days—made the lower part of his already brown face still darker.’
Following are one word descriptions of Beethoven from various writers: Grillparzer, ‘dark’; Bettina von Armin, ‘brown’; Schindler, ‘red and brown’; Rellstab, ‘brownish’; Gelinek, ‘short, dark.’
In Alexander Thayer’s Life of Beethoven, vol.1, p. 134, the author states, “there is none of that obscurity which exalts one to write history as he would have it and not as it really was. The facts are too patent.” On this same page, he states that the German composer Franz Josef Haydn was referred to as a “Moor” by Prince Esterhazy, and Beethoven had “even more of the Moor in his looks.’ On p. 72, a Beethoven contemporary, Gottfried Fischer, describes him as round-nosed and of dark complexion. Also, he was called ‘der Spagnol’ (the Spaniard).
Other “patent” sources, of which there are many, include, but are not limited to, Beethoven by Maynard Solomon, p.78. He is described as having “thick, bristly coal-black hair” (in today’s parlance, we proudly call it ‘kinky’) and a ‘ruddy-complexioned face.’ In Beethoven: His Life and Times by Artes Orga, p.72, Beethoven’s pupil, Carl Czerny of the ‘School of Velocity’ fame, recalls that Beethoven’s ‘coal-black hair, cut a la Titus, stood up around his head [sounds almost like an Afro]. His black beard…darkened the lower part of his dark-complexioned face.’
Engraving by Blasius Hofel, Beethoven, 1814, color facsimile of engraving after a pencil drawing by Louis Letronne. This engraving was regarded in Beethoven’s circle as particularly lifelike. Beethoven himself thought highly of it, and gave several copies to his friends.
Oh, oh, that is definitely not nearly enough Prohibition history. I've never before run across those analysis/critiques you mentioned, which is wild because it's one of my favorite eras to read about. You wouldn't happen to know whereabouts I could find more info on the historical context bits?
I can give you some starting places, but the opinions expressed in that post were an amalgam of a lot of different study, not all of which I have right to hand at this point :D
For the interactions between feminism and Prohibition, the Ken Burns documentary Prohibition is probably your best bet. It is very Ken Burns — lots of still images and soulful Appalachian Guitar — but it traces what we think of as Prohibition back to its roots in 19th century feminism, where women campaigned against alcohol not because it was “a sin” or “bad” but because they wanted to defend their sisters from men who would go straight from work to the bar and straight from the bar to assaulting their wives. When we’re taught about Prohibition we’re given these images of super-conservative middle-class hatchet-faced old broads trying to dictate morality to the rest of the country, but what was actually happening was a bunch of freethinking social rebels were desperate to stop men from constantly attacking and murdering their wives.
An examination of class and the way Prohibition interacted with it is harder to pin down because noooooooobody wants to talk about it, since it is deeply uncomfortably echoed in modern society. The modern war on drugs is a very thinly veiled War On People Of Color, just as Prohibition in the early 20th century was really Prohibition For The Working Class. (Boy did that backfire; booze lords were the noveau riche by the time Prohibition was repealed, and were of course one reason it was repealed: segments of the working class, including oh my god immigrants, were gaining too much power.)
The prohibition of marijuana in America, just to use the most talked-about example, was literally just a justification to attack a high-use population: blue-collar Mexican immigrants. (For more on this, see the excellent documentary “Grass: The History of Marijuana”.) There are statistics that go something like 14% of African-Americans are drug users, but they make up 37% of all individuals arrested for drug possession or use. Just recently, in Tennessee, they decided to drug test everyone receiving state aid, assuming they’d be able to cut a lot of aid by refusing to provide it for drug users. One person in 800 testees was positive. Oops. (Also, why the eff would we refuse aid to people who clearly need it the most, Jesus this country is so dysfunctional.)
Anyway the point is, we are living in an era of Prohibition in a social sense; our government is using the ban on drugs to attack a specific population, just like they did then. (They never stopped, really; it was communism for most of the mid-century, and when that stopped working, it became cocaine/crack in the 80s, and “terrorism” in the 21st century, where the Patriot Act is mainly used in drug busts.)
Googling terms like “war on drugs racism” or “prohibition racism” will probably get you on the path, though tread carefully, some of the sites that pop up are a bit more legit than others.
And all of this is the reason you can do a lot of reading about Prohibition in America and never hit this stuff — the narrative of Prohibition is carefully crafted to set it apart as a kind of fantasyland that has no bearing on modern prohibition. You get this weird situation where you’re not really taught why at that specific moment in time (two generations post-emancipation, ten years after a world war) the idea of a SUPER RESTRICTIVE FEDERAL LAW was so appealing. You’re not taught who the targets of the law were. 90% of what you get is the romanticised gangster: shootouts in Chicago, rum-running in New York’s harbors, funny stories about how sacramental wine imports (sacramental wine was exempt from Prohibition) shot up 200%.
And don’t get me wrong, I enjoy reading about that; the number of gangster documentaries I’ve read is high. But Prohibition’s like a section of a Disney park, isolated and floating in its own little mythology, because if kids were actually taught about the social ramifications of it, they’d start asking some super-uncomfortable questions.
“If you told me today our being together would result in heartbreak, I would still choose to be with you because I believe that truly living life is in the experiences, not the outcomes.”—Kathryn Vance-Perez (via purplebuddhaproject)
so hey fun fact for anyone who wants queer history trivia: the first disco in Seattle was opened in 1973 and was a gay bar called “shelly’s leg” and it was named after a dancer named shelly who lost her leg in a confetti cannon accident and used the insurance/lawsuit settlement money to open a gay disco.
a) This is such a fantastic story that I wouldn’t care if it were made up, except that
im a bad person who thinks bad thoughts like ‘ew what is that girl wearing’ and then remember that im supposed to be positive about all things and then think ‘no she can wear what she wants, fuck what other people say damn girl u look fabulous’ and im just a teeny bit hypocritical tbh
I was always taught by my mother, That the first thought that goes through your mind is what you have been conditioned to think. What you think next defines who you are.
“Fandom, after all, is born of a balance between fascination and frustration: if media content didn’t fascinate us, there would be no desire to engage with it; but if it didn’t frustrate us on some level, there would be no drive to rewrite or remake it.”—Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture, 2006. (via bigbangthesis)
Okay, so in Science class yesterday we were talking about sleep cycles and melatonin and my science teacher said, “if you’re trying to sleep, avoid one colour. Blue. Your melatonin levels decrease when looking at the colour blue because it’s the colour of the sky.” GUYS, I KNOW WHY NONE OF US SLEEP. TUMBLR IS BLUE.
THE JIG IS UP, YOU SNEAKY BASTARDS. WE’RE ONTO YOU.