Friday, January 16, 2015

Rebecca Solnit's "In Praise of the Threat: What Marriage Equality Really Means" (2013)

Solnit on marriage equity and the real power of same-sex marriage, a few passages:

"Because a marriage between two people of the same gender is inherently egalitarian––one partner may happen to have more power in any number of ways, but for the most part it's a relationship between people who have equal standing and so are free to define their roles themselves" (Solnit, Men Explain Things to Me, 62).

“Gay men and lesbians have already opened up the question of what qualities and roles are male and female in ways that can be liberating for straight people.  When they marry, the meaning of marriage is likewise opened up.  No hierarchical traditions underlines their union.  Some people have greeted this with joy.  A Presbyterian pastor who had performed a number of such marriages told me, ‘I remember coming to this realization when I was meeting with same-sex couples before performing their ceremonies when it was legal in California.  The old patriarchal default settings did not apply in their relationships, and it was a glorious thing to witness” (Solnit 63). 

“It’s time to slam the door shut on that era.  And to open another door, through which we can welcome equality: between genders, among marital partners, for everyone in every circumstance.  Marriage equality is a threat: to inequality. It’s a boon to everyone who values and benefits from equality.  It’s for all of us” (Solnit 65).  

Rape is a Civil Rights Issue

If you care about yourself and the rest of the women on this planet, you will read Rebecca's Solnit's Men Explain Things to Me as soon as possible.

Here are two passages to get you started:

“There are other things I’d rather write about, but this affects everything else.  The lives of half of humanity are still dogged by, drained by, and sometimes ended by this pervasive variety of violence.  Think of how much more time and energy we would have to focus on other things that matter if we weren’t so busy surviving.  Look at it this way: one of the best journalists I know is afraid to walk home at night in our neighborhood. Should she stop working late?  How many women have had to stop doing their work, or being stopped from doing it, for similar reasons?  It’s clear not that monumental harassment online keeps many women from speaking up or writing altogether” (Solnit Men Explain Things to Me 36-37). 

“The New Delhi rape and murder of Jyoti Singh, the twenty-three-year-old who was studying physiotherapy so that she could better herself while helping others, and the assault on her male companion (who survived) seem to have triggered the reaction that we have needed for one hundred, or one thousand, or five thousand years. May she be to women—and men—worldwide that Emmett Till, murdered by white supremacists in 1955, was to African Americans and the then-nascent US Civil right movement.

We have far more than eighty-seven thousand rapes in this country every year, but each of them is invariably portrayed as an isolated incident.  We have dots so close they’re splatters melting into a stain, but hardly anyone connects them, or names that stain.  In India they did.  They said that this is a civil rights issue, it’s a human rights issue, it’s everyone’s problem, it’s not isolated, and it’s never going to be acceptable again.  It has to change.  It’s your job to change it, and mine, and ours” (Solnit 38).  

Friday, January 9, 2015

A must read

As I walk back into the classroom next week, I will thinking very carefully about this article and it's core message:

"In a society rife with theories and practices that flatten and shrink and chill the human subject, the humanist is the dissenter" (Leon Wieseltier)

Maybe I will teach this essay on the first day.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

You Are a Badass

As the days before I have to get back into the classroom dwindle, I am trying to finish this self-help number that I purchased a few days before Christmas. And, yes, I did buy it because of the title. I'll post something more significant about it when I finish it:

Guys, Patti Smith...

Guys, Patti Smith has earned a Golden Globe nomination for her song––they are calling it a lullaby "Mercy Is," which she produced for Darren Aronofsky's "Noah."

Think this can't be beat, oh, but it can. Patti covering Rihanna's Stay––one of my secret favorite songs (possibly of all time)––live at Webster Hall in December 2013. I hope she takes this one to the studio. And the real question becomes, where have I been?  Living under a rock? I have not listened to the song about thirty times on repeat. It is so beautiful.

Here you go my pretties:

And I know it is superficial, but leave it to Patti to be just on-trend enough to get a god-damn lob and make it look utterly incredible. Can I be just one drop like her by the time I'm 68?  I am in love:

What I really love about Patti Smith is her quiet authenticity.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Burlington, VT

I spent the past weekend in Burlington, VT, at One-of-A Kind Bed and Breakfast, where proprietor Maggie Sherman has created a lovely oasis right on Lake Champlain. Burlington is the kind of place I could imagine settling down for the long haul. Seems like the kind of college town where adults still manage to have social lives and do things with their children other than attend soccer games––that's another topic, though, because I have serious anxiety about raising children in the suburbs of the very boring city where I live.

But in the meantime, check out Maggie's website. She is a former artist and true local and will ofter great hospitality:

We stayed in the suite, and I felt right at home. The only problem was that it reignited my deep, deep, desire to own and renovate a house someday.  Someday.

Lana Del Ray in concert

Am I too old and tired to drive to Montreal, QC to see Lana Del Ray in concert in July. Part of me says, "yes, absolutely." The other part says, "I don't want to grow up."

At any rate, she is playing half the shows with special guest, none other than, Courtney Love Cobain, in tow, but I definitely cannot go all the way to CA to see Del Ray and Love.

Here are the details:

Lana Del Ray and Courtney Love

In Performance/Courtney Love/NYTimes