rushthatspeaks: (Default)
2017-04-22 11:32 pm

The Lost City of Z (2017)

Okay, so I haven't read the book. But B., who has, was with me, and one of the things he mentioned before we watched the film is that, in the book, at one point an Amazon tribe who had come forward and said that they killed Percy Fawcett in the late nineteen-twenties later came forward and said that a Brazilian minister had asked them to say they killed him in order to stop people from sending innumerable expeditions into the jungle in futile search of Percy Fawcett. This rather stuck with B., as it was an interesting way to handle the problem, and I found it pretty striking as an anecdote. Note that both the 'we killed him, that's what happened' claim and the 'here's why we said that' claim were made decades after Fawcett's disappearance.

I suppose I should not have been expecting anything sensible from Hollywood racial politics, but for fuck's sake, don't the film people know what it looks like they're saying when they have Fawcett being Insistently Anti-Racist Person Who Insists Amazonians Are People Too, in the face of openly racist opposition, yet, all over the movie-- which from what I gather is also rather inaccurate-- and then heavily imply that he was not only killed but also eaten by natives without including the refutation which was right there in the source material for them?

This is also a film which comes down pretty heavily on Percy Fawcett being Right About Things, and I'm not even sure it was intentional on the writer's part. It's just that when the issues somebody has are things like 'is heavily overinvested in cultural conceptions of masculinity', you have to be very blatant when you demonstrate that those are actual issues, because our culture is so approving of extreme behavior along those lines that disapproval needs to be obvious in-text just to bring us to neutral. Sure, Fawcett almost certainly got himself and his son killed, but the film goes to great (and, from what I hear, also a-historic) lengths to say that maybe they just went off to live with the natives, plus the whole thing very much has an air of It's How He Wanted To Go He Was Following His Noble Dreams. Also, even when we see Fawcett doing things that are demonstrably pig-headed, sexist, and aggravating, he winds up getting vindicated by the narrative over and over again. We never see anyone arguing against his expeditions from the level of logistics on which I am assured they were bad ideas; we see people arguing against them because they are Bad People, or because they are his family and they want him home, which we are assured is understandable and tragic but just How It Had To Be.

In conclusion, I'm definitely going to read the book, because the film, despite a reasonable central performance by Charlie Hunnam (perhaps a bit too restrained) and a very fine side performance by Robert Pattinson (unrecognizable beneath layers of fuzz), some pretty cinematography, and occasional attempts at symbolism, comes off as racist, insultingly simplistic, and just not overall what you want Hollywood to do with a good source text.

Sigh.
rushthatspeaks: (sparklepony only wants to read)
2017-04-19 09:56 pm

for some reason it has taken me thirty years

to notice that Edmund's arc in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is an in some ways perfectly straightforward retelling of Kay's arc in 'The Snow Queen'. In other ways not so straightforward, and Gerda doesn't come into it at all, because Aslan, but the beginning and middle of the fairytale are spot-on.
rushthatspeaks: (parenting)
2017-04-18 01:09 am

Fox update

The Fox cub is six months old!

A recent habit they've picked up is creaking very loudly in their sleep. It sounds like an extremely rusty doorhinge. It can be hard to tell when they've actually woken up and are protesting, but the creaking can also be quite distinct and not really a sound I've heard a human make before. The real problem is that it's loud enough to make it difficult to sleep ourselves.

and the babe of whom I'm speaking still is creaking, still is creaking )
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
2017-04-13 03:12 am

waltzing with bears

As I'm sure I've mentioned, singing to a baby causes one to dredge out of one's memory all the songs one has ever so much as heard in passing, and because it's difficult to keep on and on doing that, most people seem to settle pretty quickly into a relatively stable repertoire.

My mother-in-law happens to remember, and to sing pretty frequently, a tune I do in fact remember from the wilderness camps of my youth, but nowadays I have to say the connotations read, uh, differently, at least for me. It's difficult when I hear her start up for me not to need to leave the room and immediately stifle myself with a sofa cushion lest I go into spasms, because if that happened-- and I really don't want to do this to my mother-in-law-- I would have to explain.

The song is called "Waltzing with Bears". You've probably heard it.


I went to his room in the middle of the night
I tiptoed inside, and I turned on the light
But to my dismay, he was nowhere in sight
'Cause my Uncle Walter goes waltzing at night.

He goes wa wa, wa wa wa, wa waltzing with bears
Raggy bears, shaggy bears, baggy bears too
And there's nothing on earth Uncle Walter won't do
So he can go waltzing, wa wa wa waltzing
He can go waltzing, go waltzing with bears.



You see, I know from bears. I've been to enough Pride parades. They have a flag of their own and everything. It's a pawprint on the leather pride flag, and often the bears are covered with leather, as well as with fur, and they're often very tall as well as very round, and always very burly. Sometimes they carry teddy bears, but the teddies aren't usually any fuzzier than the men.

So Uncle Walter has made a significant lifestyle decision, about which his family seems dismayed, though personally I don't see the problem.


We bought Uncle Walter a new coat to wear
But when he comes in, it's all covered with hair
And lately I've noticed there's several new tears
I'm sure Uncle Walter's been waltzing with bears.



Well damn, Walter. I assume this was all at a leather bar. You probably don't want to ask for the details about how he got his coat torn.


We told Uncle Walter that he should be good
And do all the things that we said that he should
But we know that he'd rather be off in the woods
We're afraid that we'll lose him, lose him for good.



See, when people come out, they generally don't want to go back in, especially if the only reasons you give them are moralizing ones. I'm entirely with Uncle Walter here, is what I am saying.


We begged and we pleaded, "Oh please won't you stay?"
We managed to keep him home just for a day.
Then the bears all barged in and they took him away
Now he's waltzing with pandas, and they can't understand us
And the bears all demand at least one waltz a day.



As far as I can tell, Uncle Walter has at this point taken up with a biker gang. In fact has run off with a biker gang. He really sounds as though he is enjoying that biker gang-- to each their own kinks, Uncle Walter. I am picturing this all "Leader of the Pack" style, except without the crash part, Uncle Walter riding off on the bike behind the lead bear with a loud VRRRRMMM noise, the whole gang vanishing into the night with their middle claws extended. (I vacillate as to how human I think the bikers are. Maybe they're furries? There are definitely bear biker gangs, but I don't know if there are furry bear biker gangs, even though in a just universe there ought to be.)


Now my Aunt Matilda was mad as could be
She said, "Walter, that rat, never waltzes with me."
So she took her fur coat and remodeled it so
Now she can go waltzing and Walter won't know.



I feel your pain, Aunt Matilda. It's distressing that your husband turned out to have a necessary-to-him epiphany so late in life, probably after years of marriage. You love him, and you wish you were still sexually compatible.

... I have to say, I did not see BECOMING A FURRY AND JOINING THE BIKER GANG coming as a solution to this problem. You go, Aunt Matilda! Self-actualize! Claim your waltzing, motorcycle-riding power!


Anyway, by this point I am basically weeping with laughter, and the baby may well be asleep, and I have no desire to say one word about it to my mother-in-law, who is probably actually waltzing the (Schrodinger's-sleeping) baby around the room in an adorable-anthropomorphic-animal nursery-song way, which is perfectly reasonable, honestly, and why shouldn't she.

I just mostly tango with the baby, myself. Waltzing has gone all euphemistic in my head of late, and tango seems the wiser course.
rushthatspeaks: (our lady of the sorrows)
2017-04-11 09:54 pm

new home

Well. This is the first entry I haven't crossposted. It feels very odd.

If I haven't got you friended over here, it's entirely my own fault, and it's because baby. Please ping me in the comments to this entry-- I'll try to do as much crossmatching from Livejournal as I can before I delete over there, but I don't want to miss anybody if I can possibly help it.

I was using DW as a de facto backup for LJ. Now that that isn't a thing, does anyone have recommendations for software to back up DW? Critical things: must include comments, must be relatively easy to use, must produce backup in a format that is searchable (even if that search turns out to be grepping text for keywords).

I have seen the death of LJ on the horizon for some while, but I didn't know it was going to be so quick and so sudden. It does hurt. I've been there since before graduating college, and it saw me through graduation, marriage, the start of career-building, major moves, several extremely important life decisions, and the birth of a child. I met two separate partners on there, really cemented the relationship with another in ways that helped lead us to being together now, and have made friends and adopted family that I devoutly hope I never lose. I know online communities do fade eventually, but due to timing this is the first one that has collapsed from under me.

Well. I'm so glad so many of you are here, now, and I am so glad that even people who aren't moving here are deleting over there, because it may become harder to communicate but at least I feel that my queer back is being watched.

Omnia mutantur, nihil terret. Or so I have always hoped.
rushthatspeaks: ([         ]  is a badass)
2017-04-11 09:51 pm

goodbye

This is my last post here. The new TOS is unacceptable, and I will not abide by laws which consider my existence criminal. I will be deleting and purging this journal three days from today, so on Friday, April 14th.

I can be found at this username on Dreamwidth, as has been true for several years. If I don't have you friended on DW, and I do here, it's my own mistake-- I posted a couple of months ago, asking for people's usernames over there, and then because we have a new baby I failed to do anything about that information. If I don't have you friended on DW, please do leave a comment on the entry similar to this I'm putting up at that journal, and I will friend you ASAP.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.
rushthatspeaks: (sparklepony only wants to read)
2017-03-28 03:31 pm

slush as a form of meditation

The line I return to over and over about the slush pile is that all of human life is there, and I don't think I'm going to get sick of saying it. If I'm feeling particularly depressed about humanity, all I have to do is read slush for a while, and I will find something to make me feel better. Of course, if I'm feeling particularly good about humanity, all I have to do is read slush for a while, and I will find something that makes me despair for our future and, indeed, past and present as a species.

I feel as though at some point some ancient and secret confraternity of editors has codified the guidelines of slushomancy, and I hope someday they let me in on it: next year will be heavy on space squid, say, with a chance of light pastiche storms. I'm not sure you could use it to predict real events, although it certainly has about as much randomness included as any yarrow stalk or marrow bone.

There are a few trends that have become clear, of course. More fantasy than science fiction, always, always. Sad lesbians, or lesbians in romances that don't work out for one reason or another, are very in. People who write excessively effusive cover letters have frequently never learned how to use spellcheck. Every so often there will be a story I absolutely love which is simply completely wrong for the magazine, and I will have to write a very sad note reading Dear X, this is amazing, there is nothing wrong with it, I love it, have you tried a mainstream lit mag/a horror magazine/an erotica anthology? I always fear they won't believe me, is the problem with that.

Also, every so often we get actual answer stories, stories written in direct response to and in conversation with other works in the field. What fascinates me about these is which works people choose to respond to. I mean, more than fifty years on we are still getting direct replies to 'The Cold Equations'. That's a sub-genre of its own, people who object to something or other about 'The Cold Equations'. Which is fair, except that at this point I suspect it has all been done. There's that, and then responses to Ender's Game are a subgenre (one which has become more impassioned since Card proved to be... the kind of person he is), and then responses to 'The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas'.

We do occasionally get really good response stories. I'm not inherently against the idea of publishing them. But the problem with response stories is that you don't just measure their quality against your own standards, you measure them against the original, and while that isn't a horrific problem with Card or 'The Cold Equations', I feel bad for people who are directly attempting the prose style, let alone the story structuring, of Ursula K. Le Guin. Probably the best way to go prose-wise with an Omelas response would be to be as different as humanly possible, because direct comparisons are going to be odious. Unfortunately, this memo has not reached many of the writers in question.

Ah well. You can't make an Omelas without breaking a few egos.

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (sparklepony only wants to read)
2017-03-28 03:31 pm

slush as a form of meditation

The line I return to over and over about the slush pile is that all of human life is there, and I don't think I'm going to get sick of saying it. If I'm feeling particularly depressed about humanity, all I have to do is read slush for a while, and I will find something to make me feel better. Of course, if I'm feeling particularly good about humanity, all I have to do is read slush for a while, and I will find something that makes me despair for our future and, indeed, past and present as a species.

I feel as though at some point some ancient and secret confraternity of editors has codified the guidelines of slushomancy, and I hope someday they let me in on it: next year will be heavy on space squid, say, with a chance of light pastiche storms. I'm not sure you could use it to predict real events, although it certainly has about as much randomness included as any yarrow stalk or marrow bone.

There are a few trends that have become clear, of course. More fantasy than science fiction, always, always. Sad lesbians, or lesbians in romances that don't work out for one reason or another, are very in. People who write excessively effusive cover letters have frequently never learned how to use spellcheck. Every so often there will be a story I absolutely love which is simply completely wrong for the magazine, and I will have to write a very sad note reading Dear X, this is amazing, there is nothing wrong with it, I love it, have you tried a mainstream lit mag/a horror magazine/an erotica anthology? I always fear they won't believe me, is the problem with that.

Also, every so often we get actual answer stories, stories written in direct response to and in conversation with other works in the field. What fascinates me about these is which works people choose to respond to. I mean, more than fifty years on we are still getting direct replies to 'The Cold Equations'. That's a sub-genre of its own, people who object to something or other about 'The Cold Equations'. Which is fair, except that at this point I suspect it has all been done. There's that, and then responses to Ender's Game are a subgenre (one which has become more impassioned since Card proved to be... the kind of person he is), and then responses to 'The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas'.

We do occasionally get really good response stories. I'm not inherently against the idea of publishing them. But the problem with response stories is that you don't just measure their quality against your own standards, you measure them against the original, and while that isn't a horrific problem with Card or 'The Cold Equations', I feel bad for people who are directly attempting the prose style, let alone the story structuring, of Ursula K. Le Guin. Probably the best way to go prose-wise with an Omelas response would be to be as different as humanly possible, because direct comparisons are going to be odious. Unfortunately, this memo has not reached many of the writers in question.

Ah well. You can't make an Omelas without breaking a few egos.
rushthatspeaks: (sparklepony only wants to read)
2017-03-10 11:22 pm

Stuff I Edited In 2016

Last year's stories. There was, of course, a huge chunk of parental leave in there, too.

The Angel of Divine Intent, Tim Akers. SF, despite some of the trappings. My id really likes angels in an SF context, OK? Also a good story if your id doesn't, though.

This Is A Letter To My Son, K. J. Kabza. SF. SF engaging with trans issues in a way I had not seen before. This kind of story is why I find editing so rewarding. I loved every part of working with this, from getting it in my slush email onward.

Dragon-Smoked Barbeque, M. K. Hutchins. Flash fantasy. Tiny and cute.

Heroes, Lavie Tidhar. Fantasy, subgenre superhero. In the same universe as his novel The Violent Century. Led me to listen to recordings of David Bowie's legendary 1987 Reichstag concert, which was nifty.

Timothy, Philip Schweitzer. Fantasy. Technically published after I was on parental leave, except the baby hadn't come yet, so I managed to get in another set of line-edits and galleys between when the baby was supposed to arrive and when the baby actually arrived.


Goals for 2017:

-- Edit more stories-- there are three of us editors and three publishing weeks per month, plus the fall fund drive, and minus December which we take off, so the number of stories I edited should be more like eleven or twelve per year, if I can step it up. Wasn't gonna happen in 2016, though. On this front, 2016 went about as well as it could have.

-- Figure out how to promote stories and authors I've worked with in a classy manner that still manages to let people know about the work. Nominating authors for awards, while satisfying, is a back-end process that does not actually attract any more readers unless the piece is long- or shortlisted for or wins the award; must do something in addition to that. (BY THE WAY, GO READ THE K. J. KABZA. PLEASE. RIGHT NOW. I'LL WAIT.)

-- Try not to drown in melting slush.

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (sparklepony only wants to read)
2017-03-10 11:22 pm

Stuff I Edited In 2016

Last year's stories. There was, of course, a huge chunk of parental leave in there, too.

The Angel of Divine Intent, Tim Akers. SF, despite some of the trappings. My id really likes angels in an SF context, OK? Also a good story if your id doesn't, though.

This Is A Letter To My Son, K. J. Kabza. SF. SF engaging with trans issues in a way I had not seen before. This kind of story is why I find editing so rewarding. I loved every part of working with this, from getting it in my slush email onward.

Dragon-Smoked Barbeque, M. K. Hutchins. Flash fantasy. Tiny and cute.

Heroes, Lavie Tidhar. Fantasy, subgenre superhero. In the same universe as his novel The Violent Century. Led me to listen to recordings of David Bowie's legendary 1987 Reichstag concert, which was nifty.

Timothy, Philip Schweitzer. Fantasy. Technically published after I was on parental leave, except the baby hadn't come yet, so I managed to get in another set of line-edits and galleys between when the baby was supposed to arrive and when the baby actually arrived.


Goals for 2017:

-- Edit more stories-- there are three of us editors and three publishing weeks per month, plus the fall fund drive, and minus December which we take off, so the number of stories I edited should be more like eleven or twelve per year, if I can step it up. Wasn't gonna happen in 2016, though. On this front, 2016 went about as well as it could have.

-- Figure out how to promote stories and authors I've worked with in a classy manner that still manages to let people know about the work. Nominating authors for awards, while satisfying, is a back-end process that does not actually attract any more readers unless the piece is long- or shortlisted for or wins the award; must do something in addition to that. (BY THE WAY, GO READ THE K. J. KABZA. PLEASE. RIGHT NOW. I'LL WAIT.)

-- Try not to drown in melting slush.
rushthatspeaks: (sparklepony only wants to read)
2017-02-26 05:49 pm

adventures in bad poetry

[personal profile] nineweaving recently gave me John Julius Norwich's Christmas Crackers, which is a commonplace book filled with the quotations Norwich has, for many years, collected and typed out as Christmas cards and crackers (the store-bought ones don't say much interesting, usually). It's a very good commonplace book, distinguished by being funnier and more impressive than those usually get, and I am treating it as one should treat commonplace books, i.e. opening it occasionally at random, giggling, and putting it down again. In no circumstance do I intend to read it straight through, because then what would there be to boggle at when I pick it off the shelf and open it randomly in a few years or decades?

Anyway, as good commonplace books do, it collects bad poetry as well as good, and I opened it to something so thoroughly appalling that the selection has been stuck in my head for more than a week. I truly think this belongs in the annals of terrible verse with William Topaz McGonagall and Julia Ann Moore, for the comma splices if for nothing else (and there is else). I showed it to Ruth, and spent the next five minutes desperately wishing for a video camera; I really thought they were going to throw the book out of the window.

Abandon hope, etcetera. )

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (sparklepony only wants to read)
2017-02-26 05:49 pm

adventures in bad poetry

[personal profile] nineweaving recently gave me John Julius Norwich's Christmas Crackers, which is a commonplace book filled with the quotations Norwich has, for many years, collected and typed out as Christmas cards and crackers (the store-bought ones don't say much interesting, usually). It's a very good commonplace book, distinguished by being funnier and more impressive than those usually get, and I am treating it as one should treat commonplace books, i.e. opening it occasionally at random, giggling, and putting it down again. In no circumstance do I intend to read it straight through, because then what would there be to boggle at when I pick it off the shelf and open it randomly in a few years or decades?

Anyway, as good commonplace books do, it collects bad poetry as well as good, and I opened it to something so thoroughly appalling that the selection has been stuck in my head for more than a week. I truly think this belongs in the annals of terrible verse with William Topaz McGonagall and Julia Ann Moore, for the comma splices if for nothing else (and there is else). I showed it to Ruth, and spent the next five minutes desperately wishing for a video camera; I really thought they were going to throw the book out of the window.

Abandon hope, etcetera. )
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
2017-02-16 06:51 pm

this plaguey throat

I've had an appalling sore throat for about a week-- living entirely on ice cream, which is not fun despite how it sounds-- and the doctor yesterday diagnosed me with strep.

Quite annoyed about this, as I was pretty sure I was immune to strep. People all around me in my childhood would keep breaking out with it, and I never had so much as a sniffle. At one point literally half of my (tiny) elementary school class had strep, and I was not among them. Either something has changed, or it was lying in wait until it could be really nasty.

Luckily, the baby can't get it. The doctor said children of under a year old can't, which is entirely for the best.

Unluckily, this is a weekend in which multiple people I don't see often are going to be in town, and, with the exception of B, who is going to stay in our house, it looks as though I shall continue not seeing them. Sigh.

The doctor visit was kind of hilarious, actually, because it was a sick visit for me and a well visit for the baby, and he did both at the same time, which went something like this:

DR.: ... and you have such great muscle tone, yes you do, let me just turn you over onto your front, so strep is highly contagious and you should avoid large crowds, look at that neck control, wow, sit down before you fall down because you have over a degree of fever which is pretty serious in an adult, oh, hey, you are so close to being able to turn over from front to back, that's so great, no, seriously, go to bed and make whatever arrangements are necessary to stay there...

I could mostly tell which one of us he was talking to, but he never stopped using cooing-at-the-baby voice the entire time, and I'm not sure which one of us he exhorted to take care of the other at the end, or whether he genuinely meant to address it to both.

Anyway, I am feeling terrible. If you've come across anything interesting or funny or cute or at least not related to the flaming political trash-fire lately, now would be a wonderful time for a link.

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
2017-02-16 06:51 pm

this plaguey throat

I've had an appalling sore throat for about a week-- living entirely on ice cream, which is not fun despite how it sounds-- and the doctor yesterday diagnosed me with strep.

Quite annoyed about this, as I was pretty sure I was immune to strep. People all around me in my childhood would keep breaking out with it, and I never had so much as a sniffle. At one point literally half of my (tiny) elementary school class had strep, and I was not among them. Either something has changed, or it was lying in wait until it could be really nasty.

Luckily, the baby can't get it. The doctor said children of under a year old can't, which is entirely for the best.

Unluckily, this is a weekend in which multiple people I don't see often are going to be in town, and, with the exception of B, who is going to stay in our house, it looks as though I shall continue not seeing them. Sigh.

The doctor visit was kind of hilarious, actually, because it was a sick visit for me and a well visit for the baby, and he did both at the same time, which went something like this:

DR.: ... and you have such great muscle tone, yes you do, let me just turn you over onto your front, so strep is highly contagious and you should avoid large crowds, look at that neck control, wow, sit down before you fall down because you have over a degree of fever which is pretty serious in an adult, oh, hey, you are so close to being able to turn over from front to back, that's so great, no, seriously, go to bed and make whatever arrangements are necessary to stay there...

I could mostly tell which one of us he was talking to, but he never stopped using cooing-at-the-baby voice the entire time, and I'm not sure which one of us he exhorted to take care of the other at the end, or whether he genuinely meant to address it to both.

Anyway, I am feeling terrible. If you've come across anything interesting or funny or cute or at least not related to the flaming political trash-fire lately, now would be a wonderful time for a link.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
2017-01-29 05:35 pm

on growing up with refugees

Welp. It took a week for us to get to Constitutional crisis. Whoopee.

Fox is becoming a very-well-traveled baby; Ruth took them to Copley Square today to the anti-Islamophobia pro-immigration protest, and they did very well, which I was figuring they would after they coped with walking the entire route of the Womens' March with me and [personal profile] sovay last week. I stayed home today because I have a terrible cold which I do not want to spread around, though it is hard not to feel like a traitor to my nation and the cause as a result.

Oh, and though most people reading this probably already knew, this is your reminder that Uber continued driving to/from JFK last night in disregard of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance's protest strike. Uber are scabs, strikebreakers, and kleptocrats; if you have the app, delete it and tell them why.

Anyway, I look at this whole situation, and it makes me remember something.

I grew up in a community filled with refugees.

I was raised a Baha'i, though I am not one now, and the Baha'i Faith was founded in Iran in the mid-nineteenth century. Baha'is have never considered themselves to be an offshoot or sect of Islam, but the local religious and governmental authorities at the time the religion was founded saw it as a heretical sect, and therefore not subject to Islamic teachings on respecting other faiths. The early history of the Baha'is of Iran is filled with massacres, mass imprisonments, stories of judicial torture, and a few outright military skirmishes. How difficult it is to be a Baha'i in Iran has varied depending on the regime in charge, but during the eighties after the Islamic Revolution it got very bad. Baha'is were pushed out of education, out of any skilled profession, and many were, again, imprisoned, tortured, and executed. Many refugees left Iran, some with only the clothes on their backs. I met these people, growing up, both in the small Central Ohio Baha'i community, where some had come to live, and through various conferences, field trips, and so on to other regions.

I grew up with letter-writing campaigns to the U.N., with working campaigns with Amnesty International, with six styles of Persian rice at every potluck. I grew up meeting former doctors and lawyers who were now receptionists and waitstaff in a language not their own. I grew up among teenagers who were fundamentally of a different culture from their parents, among family trees filled with black holes of no data, no idea, and the other holes that came from rejection and the painful loss of treasured ties.

It was never my burden. But I saw it.

And do you know what these people, who had lost their culture, country, possessions, family, education, use of education, home, safety, and security, said to me about Islam, the religion that was continuously cited by their persecutors as the reason for doing all this to them?

They said that Islam, just like their religion, came from God, that Islam was just as valid a spiritual path as their own, and that followers of Islam were members of the human family, to be loved and cherished as family members, full stop.

Eighteen years in that community and I never heard a word of hate. That is the America that I grew up in: refugees engaged in both active resistance to and active forgiveness of their oppressors. That is my America.

Whereas these fools and cowards in this administration, who have never even had to think about walking away from their privileged lives--

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (the unforgiving sun)
2017-01-29 05:35 pm

on growing up with refugees

Welp. It took a week for us to get to Constitutional crisis. Whoopee.

Fox is becoming a very-well-traveled baby; Ruth took them to Copley Square today to the anti-Islamophobia pro-immigration protest, and they did very well, which I was figuring they would after they coped with walking the entire route of the Womens' March with me and [personal profile] sovay last week. I stayed home today because I have a terrible cold which I do not want to spread around, though it is hard not to feel like a traitor to my nation and the cause as a result.

Oh, and though most people reading this probably already knew, this is your reminder that Uber continued driving to/from JFK last night in disregard of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance's protest strike. Uber are scabs, strikebreakers, and kleptocrats; if you have the app, delete it and tell them why.

Anyway, I look at this whole situation, and it makes me remember something.

I grew up in a community filled with refugees.

I was raised a Baha'i, though I am not one now, and the Baha'i Faith was founded in Iran in the mid-nineteenth century. Baha'is have never considered themselves to be an offshoot or sect of Islam, but the local religious and governmental authorities at the time the religion was founded saw it as a heretical sect, and therefore not subject to Islamic teachings on respecting other faiths. The early history of the Baha'is of Iran is filled with massacres, mass imprisonments, stories of judicial torture, and a few outright military skirmishes. How difficult it is to be a Baha'i in Iran has varied depending on the regime in charge, but during the eighties after the Islamic Revolution it got very bad. Baha'is were pushed out of education, out of any skilled profession, and many were, again, imprisoned, tortured, and executed. Many refugees left Iran, some with only the clothes on their backs. I met these people, growing up, both in the small Central Ohio Baha'i community, where some had come to live, and through various conferences, field trips, and so on to other regions.

I grew up with letter-writing campaigns to the U.N., with working campaigns with Amnesty International, with six styles of Persian rice at every potluck. I grew up meeting former doctors and lawyers who were now receptionists and waitstaff in a language not their own. I grew up among teenagers who were fundamentally of a different culture from their parents, among family trees filled with black holes of no data, no idea, and the other holes that came from rejection and the painful loss of treasured ties.

It was never my burden. But I saw it.

And do you know what these people, who had lost their culture, country, possessions, family, education, use of education, home, safety, and security, said to me about Islam, the religion that was continuously cited by their persecutors as the reason for doing all this to them?

They said that Islam, just like their religion, came from God, that Islam was just as valid a spiritual path as their own, and that followers of Islam were members of the human family, to be loved and cherished as family members, full stop.

Eighteen years in that community and I never heard a word of hate. That is the America that I grew up in: refugees engaged in both active resistance to and active forgiveness of their oppressors. That is my America.

Whereas these fools and cowards in this administration, who have never even had to think about walking away from their privileged lives--
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
2017-01-02 06:00 pm

LJ situation

I've been crossposting to Livejournal from Dreamwidth for years now, and my username is the same on DW and LJ. I expect this situation to continue, but I reserve the right to stop LJ posting at any time, erase things, etc. If you're on Dreamwidth and I don't know your username, please do let me know, as that is the platform I will be devoting most energy to, keeping up with reading list on, etc.

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
2017-01-02 06:00 pm

LJ situation

I've been crossposting to Livejournal from Dreamwidth for years now, and my username is the same on DW and LJ. I expect this situation to continue, but I reserve the right to stop LJ posting at any time, erase things, etc. If you're on Dreamwidth and I don't know your username, please do let me know, as that is the platform I will be devoting most energy to, keeping up with reading list on, etc.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
2016-12-11 02:05 am

a Fox update

Fox is eight weeks old, or will be in about seven hours.

We are still pursuing co-lactation; for those of you who might be interested in trying it, a useful key phrase for both doctors and Google is "the Newman-Goldfarb protocol". A more detailed entry on this whole saga eventually.

And the rest of this is under a cut, for the sake of those not interested in babies. )

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (parenting)
2016-12-11 02:05 am

a Fox update

Fox is eight weeks old, or will be in about seven hours.

We are still pursuing co-lactation; for those of you who might be interested in trying it, a useful key phrase for both doctors and Google is "the Newman-Goldfarb protocol". A more detailed entry on this whole saga eventually.

And the rest of this is under a cut, for the sake of those not interested in babies. )