sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
it can't happen hereSince no one else has finished their three YA books yet, I get to read adult books until they're done. Yay! I just finished It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis, and I have a lot of feels, and need to talk about it.

You may have heard of it as "that dystopian novel written in 1935 that suddenly ended up on the bestseller list again because it predicted Trump's presidency." It is, basically, that—written to warn Americans, well before WWII, about the dangers of fascism in a populist mask. It's not the only such book, but there's something particularly resonant in it—probably because the weird-looking, jovial, outsider president is just so very Cheeto Benito that it's deeply chilling to read.

I also very much related to the protagonist, despite the fact that he's completely a liberal who complains at great length about how the Marxists are a bit shit. (I have to say, as a commie myself, the book's scathing portrayal of communists is pretty much accurate.) This guy has to be one of my favourite dystopian fiction protagonists, as he really just wants to be left alone to sleep in, get laid, and read proper literature, but people keep being fascist at him so he has to actually go out and fight. That's me in a nutshell, or would be before Netflix was invented.

It does pretty well on gender—again, 1935, just in case you're ever inclined to write off a lack of interesting and complex female characters in a book as a product of its time—there are multiple overtly feminist women, one of whom gets to kick way more ass than any of the male characters. It's worse on sexual orientation, if only because the only prominent queer character is based on Ernst Röhm and meets a similar fate (it's unknown whether the writing of the book was completed before the Night of the Long Knives, but one doesn't have to be all that prescient to guess at what happens to people like Röhm under fascist regimes, or Milo Yiannopoulos, for that matter).

At any rate, I was absolutely engrossed and if you want a likely portrait of what the next four years will bring, give this book written over 80 years ago a read. And never sleep again.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (she)
The silver lining to having an anxiety disorder is that you always predict, and plan for, the worst possible outcome. You may be occasionally pleasantly surprised, but you'll never be disappointed.

cut for those coping in less morbid ways )
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (doomsday)
Just came back from a really interesting lecture at the Reference Library called "Bill C-51 and Dystopian Literature" by Allan Weiss, whose classes I now regret not having taken at York.

I found nothing to dispute in the content of the lecture, which traced the pattern of the classic dystopian novel and applied it to the recent thievery of our civil liberties in this country. In particular, he talked about the essential problem of happiness (in the Epicurian/Utilitarian tradition) versus freedom, and the willingness of citizens—and ultimately, the morally cowardly protagonists—in dystopian fiction to surrender the latter to avoid having the possibility of the former challenged.

This said, my brain went on a weird tangent that I couldn't quite put into words during the Q&A*. Early on, Weiss drew a distinction between classic dystopian fiction, which is about a totalitarian state (e.g., We, Brave New World, and of course 1984), and modern dystopian fiction, which is about the absence of a state or a state supplanted by corporate interests (e.g., cyberpunk, Mad Max). He talked about Bill C-51 in the context of classic dystopian literature, which, yes, makes more sense, but I kept thinking about the parallels with modern dystopian fiction, which are much less obvious.

It occurs to me that the disintegrations of our freedoms in the modern Western world are less a problem of totalitarian governments than a crumbling of the state itself. After all, the Tories were elected out of anti-government sentiment; fear of a state, not desire for a strong one. The oppressive provisions of Bill C-51 arguably support corporate interests more than those of a traditional state—data mining may be used to toss a few people in black sites, but it is far more broadly useful to sell to private companies to market to and/or sue private individuals. Even the state's coercion can be outsourced to private prison contractors. The enemies of the state as defined are as likely to be those who interfere with economic interests—trade unionists, environmentalists, First Nations activists, and the like—as they are to be ISIS fanatics with IEDs.

Or put another way: Are the traditions even actually separate?

One young woman in the audience raised the issue of Facebook, and how much of their privacy her generation has willfully given away, and this resonates with me a great deal. As we move towards unified online identities under real names, abandoning the pseudonymous anarchy of the internet's early days, as we move from programs that required expertise to use to apps that anyone can use but few can alter, as my students read classic dystopias and don't see what the big deal is, after all these people all have jobs and aren't starving and besides, they have nothing to hide, it seems doubtful to me that privacy rights will be anything anyone bothers to fight for anymore. It reminds me of what a prof said in one of the classes I did take at York: There are coercive and consensual ways of controlling and oppressing a populace. The coercive government is the one that's easier to overthrow.

It astounds me that, just because Canadians don't understand statistical risk and don't understand legalese, we can meekly put our heads down and accept, even embrace, such a brutal attack on basic freedoms. Only we've done it before, we do it all the time, and so why would I expect any different? Ask someone if they're willing to accept a decrease in their freedom, and they will say no; ask them if they'll vote for Harper or Trudeau and they won't see the inherent irony at all.

One woman in the audience actually said, "I'm an ordinary citizen, the government already knows everything about me, what do I have to fear from this?" The mostly educated audience took delight in Weiss's takedown of her ("so was Maher Arar") but I think her attitude is more common than mine or most of the people who go to Tuesday night lectures at the Reference Library.

Sometimes I fear that I won't be able to finish any of the dystopian novels that I start (I have started many) because politics descends into entropy faster than I can predict it. But I don't think there's a bottom to this well.


* I almost never ask questions at Q&As for that reason; the second there is the threat of a mic near my face, my brain turns to mush.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (socialism with a human face)
For reasons, I have been reading extensively about the Okhrana's surveillance and infiltration of Russian émigré communities from the 1880 to early 1900s lately. It's some pretty wild stuff. One of the things that strikes me is just how disorganized and weird a lot of these operations are, like, "I seduced this guy*, drugged him, kidnapped him, and got him on a boat to Russia, without making sure that the boat had enough fuel to get to Russia without stopping at one of the many countries where public sympathies are in his favour." Or the sheer number of high-profile assassins who were actually Okhrana agents but still assassinated Tsarist officials. And the sheer number of Okhrana officers who, when given the opportunity, went "fuck it, these guys are assholes" and told the revolutionaries everything they knew. Or the ones who went, "hey, let's get some occultists involved, for reasons."

You can't make this shit up.

You can justify it somewhat because people back then didn't have the intertubes or the countless books on espionage best practices that we all have access to now. They were just kinda making it up as they went along. Surely, sting operations against leftists are smarter now?

Enter the RCMP.

RCMP tracked Toronto activists with fake Facebook profile

Has a waddle of penguins ever “liked” your Facebook page? If so, your account may have been monitored by the RCMP.
...
“Will there be food and drinks?” an officer wrote on the Facebook page for an anti-Novotel union rally in 2012. “Cause I am on a fixed student income and will bring some buddies to add to the numbers if we can grab some free food.”
...
The social media account, which went by the name of Bebop Arooney and had a profile picture of three penguins frolicking on a beach, tracked the Facebook pages of more than two dozen organizations in Toronto, ranging from Black Lives Matter Toronto and Idle No More to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

Six Jewish and Palestinian groups were also monitored.

WWF wrestler Mick Foley also attracted the Mounties’ attention. A second RCMP social media account — @angrycitizen123 — followed Foley on Twitter."


So, yeah. Don't friend penguins on FB, okay. Also, the RCMP is watching all of us, but kinda badly.

* Vladmir Burtsev. Obviously.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (harper = evil)
Canada's Parliament, last seen playing the Imperial March on the bells without a hint of irony or self-awareness, has voted to pass Bill C-51, euphemistically referred to as "controversial" in all the articles about it. Essentially it gives the government even more power to spy on and round up terrorists and terrorist supporters, which for those of you who haven't been paying much attention to Canadian politics, can be defined as "everyone the government disagrees with, but especially environmentalists and First Nations activists."

This isn't even the biggest news story of the day. It passed because it's got a boring name and hardly anyone was paying attention.

More later unless I'm thrown in an army transport vehicle and sent to a camp somewhere, but in the meantime, you can view a list of who voted for it, and, even more tellingly, who didn't even show up, so you know who should go up against the wall come the revolution, I mean next election.

Just in case you thought Trudeau's Liberals would be an improvement over the current lot: spoiler, no, they won't be.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (commiebot)
Leigh Phillips joins authors Gwyneth Jones, Marge Piercy, Ken MacLeod and Kim Stanley Robinson to discuss the role of science fiction in extending the radical horizons of our imaginations.

I don't agree with everything in this article, especially in regards to Zizek (Ken MacLeod, you know that's not what he meant) but it's a pretty fascinating read on the radical potential of science fiction and a good starting point for discussion. I particularly liked the last question, about technology and its place in cultural narratives. All of the authors really hit the nail on the head in terms of describing exactly why I feel uncomfortable with the emphasis on anti-GMO/anti-Monsanto/pro-woo stuff on the left:

Gwyneth Jones: Progressives have a right to be cynical about nanotechnology, likewise GM foods and crops, as long as these developments are controlled by ruthless corporate interests. It isn’t about the science; it’s about the tragedy of the commons.




On a more mundane (but still futuristic!) note, this article on organizing workers in a service economy (from Macleans, no less!) is also an interesting read. The premise is that traditionally middle class jobs aren't coming back (likely true) and thus minimum wage service sector jobs should be transformed so that one can actually earn a living at them.

Proponents of the idea that service jobs can become the new ticket to the middle class point to sweeping changes in the manufacturing sector in the early 20th century that helped transform factory work from dangerous low-pay jobs into secure careers that could support a family. From 1914, when Henry Ford declared he would pay his employees what was then an exorbitant sum of $5 a day in order to reduce turnover and boost demand for his cars, governments saw higher wages and greater workplace regulation as the start of a virtuous economic cycle. But whether the service industry can follow the same model is far from certain.


Read and discuss.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (harper = evil)
So what's our Fearless Kitten-Eating Leader been up to lately?

Besides losing over $3 billion of Canadians' money (but...but...fiscal conservatism and respect for taxpayers!), attempting to take control of the publicly funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and muzzling freedom of information, he has now slid all the way into outright fascism and is attempting to rewrite Canadian history.

The latter is of particular interest to me as an educator. I mean, why do Canadians fall for someone like Harper in the first place? I find that, by and large, Canadians are intellectually uncurious, bigoted, provincial, and uninterested in critically examining our past. It makes it easy for someone like Harper to ooze in and spend tons of our money trying to retcon Canada into a militaristic America-lite state.

Canadian history is already taught in the dullest possible way to make sure that children aren't interested in knowing more. It by and large glosses over unpleasant incidents where settlers engaged in genocide against the indigenous population, put Japanese-Canadians in internment camps, sent Jews back to Nazi Germany to be slaughtered, bulldozed black communities, briefly flirted with slavery, and so on. It excludes the contributions of marginalized populations; textbooks will drone on about names and dates relating to important white men, then devote about a paragraph per chapter to "The Role of Women." While there are certainly engaging, creative history teachers who make the subject come to life (I was lucky to have quite a few!) the curriculum itself leaves a lot to be desired.

And now Harper's going to make it worse, despite not actually having the legal jurisdiction to do so. We've seen similar efforts in places like Arizona and Texas, where they're determined to erase the contributions of Latinos and blacks. Tomorrow's schoolchildren will learn more about war (in an effort to glorify Canada's role in occupying Afghanistan) and presumably less about, say, universal health care or the Winnipeg General Strike or anything else that prepares them to stand up to their government and demand better.

Harper wants total control. It's not enough to tear this country to shreds; he needs to salt the earth so nothing good can ever grow here again.

He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past. Rinse, lather, repeat.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (the doctor dances)
This may seem like a strange thing for an admitted enthusiast of post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction to admit, but I rather wish there were more science fiction stories about institutions that actually worked versus institutions that were one crisis away from shipping off half the populace to concentration camps. Even if the latter sorts of institutions are the ones that we actually have, the result is an individualist narrative where humans in large groups inevitably behave in terrible ways and that the only people capable of saving us are inherently more powerful and special than the downtrodden masses.

jetlagged fanwank, mostly about Torchwood )

Also, I can't get over how awful the acting is. Was I just spoiled by watching Treme or can absolutely no one on that show act?
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (fighting the man)
We still don't know how many people are in prison—when I spoke to someone from the Toronto Community Mobilization Network on Thursday, she estimated around 60 or 70. Many will face charges, nearly all of which will be trumped up. It's important to keep in mind, if you've never known anyone who's had brushes with the law, that even relatively minor charges can keep you in the court system for months or years, damage or destroy your career, put you in debt, mess up your living situation, and place incredible strain on your relationships with partners, friends, and loved ones.

I have enough confidence in the legal system to believe that very few people will be convicted or serve time as a result of taking part in the protests, but that's not why cops arrest people en masse. The idea is to intimidate, harass, and disrupt the lives of dissenters so as to discourage further activism. (Conversely, this is why I'm so strongly in favour of an inquest—not because I think it will result in actual justice or policy changes, but because it might inconvenience police and government officials. Experienced activists are accustomed to being inconvenienced—it impresses me just how calm my friends have been regarding being beaten and jailed—but police are not used to having their actions questioned, and inconvenience is an excellent deterrent from committing aggressive activities.)

What I'm getting to is this—the Movement Defense Committee, who are the amazing legal team advocating for the G8/G20 protesters—need money. It's ridiculously expensive to navigate the court system, and these wonderful people are doing it for free. They're running out of bail money, which is going to be nothing compared to what happens if folks actually have to go to trial.

You can donate at your bank c/o OPIRG York:

transit number 00646
institution number 842
account number 3542240

Cheques can be made payable to OPIRG York (please put "G20 Legal Defense" in the subject line) and mailed to:
C449 Student Centre
York University
4700 Keele Street
North York, ON M3J 1P3

For more info: g20legaldefence@gmail.com and http://g20.torontomobilize.org/
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
They still haven't put many of the garbage cans back.

For me, the lack of garbage cans are a more poignant symbol than the fence, or the hippies being teargassed for singing Kumbaya. Without garbage cans on the sidewalks, private space remains untouched, but public space becomes filthy and unlivable. Garbage cans are the mark of the public service, of civility, of, dare I say it, the social contract itself.

It occurs to me that there are a lot of people who would be happy to live in a police state. Right up until the knock on the door in the middle of the night, they would assume protection because they'd done nothing wrong. They might even delight in the persecution of the Other.

But no one wants to live without garbage cans on the sidewalks. No one.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (fighting the man)
Well, the cops have lost it. They're just arresting everyone. Journalists, passersby, even children! One boy was sent out by his mom to buy milk and arrested because he didn't have ID.

Here are some links from [livejournal.com profile] writer_grrrrl, from her fantastic round-up.

Eyewitness accounts of police brutality.

The 5 most important videos from the G20. You won't see these on TV because they just keep showing the same loop of the burning cop car.

Conditions for detainees at 629 Eastern Ave are illegal, immoral and dangerous. (Trigger warning.)

I don't know how many of my friends have been arrested—most have checked in, but out of 900 people, it's pretty certain that I know a lot, especially since they were targeting community organizers. [livejournal.com profile] frandroid and Firoza, whom I spent most of Saturday with, were among those arrested. They have since been released. [livejournal.com profile] frandroid has a brief update here.

In a darkly funny twist, they've arrested quite a few people who clearly aren't on the side of the protesters. Conservative nutbag Sammy Katz was reportedly detained (though he denies the rumour on his Twitter feed), as were two photographers for the National Post. The sheer number of journalists, including reporters for Reuters and the Guardian, who were arrested bodes well for better coverage than we've been getting.

Locals can help by attending today's rally at 5:30 in front of the Toronto Police headquarters at 40 College St. W. Please come if you can. I know I've been reporting all sorts of terrifying stories about beatings and arrests, but we need to show them that we're not intimidated and that we won't stand for living under martial law.

[livejournal.com profile] tanyahp asked what internationals can do. Prime Minister Harper is tarring us all as "thugs" and is pleased at the G20's success. You can tell him otherwise at pm@pm.gc.ca. Our mayor, David Miller, gets some points for demanding compensation from Ottawa, but he needs to work harder to pressure police into releasing the detainees, dropping charges, and ordering a full investigation of police conduct. He can be reached at mayor_miller@toronto.ca. Our Premier, Dalton McGuinty, is responsible for the hastily drafted regulations that allowed a massive expansion of police powers. He's at dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org. You can drop police chief Bill Blair a line at 416-808-8000. Send strongly worded letters. Tell them that the world is watching.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
Conflicting reports about a police raid on the Toronto Community Mobilization Network's convergence space, which turned out to be false, though there is still a police presence. At one point, demonstrators were blocked in and detained by police, but then let go. Rumours of rubber bullets being used near UofT. (For non-Hogtowners, neither the convergence space nor UofT is nowhere near where the summit was happening.) About 150 people have apparently been arrested doing strike support for the workers at Novotel.

The UofT Graduate Student Union was raided. The house of a young couple was raided at 4 am by armed police—the victims had nothing whatsoever to do with the protests. Two people were arrested at a solidarity rally at the detention centre on Eastern Ave.


Peaceful protesters boxed in by police at Queen and Spadina today.

[livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid gives us a poetic explanation.

Now, everything's quiet again. I went with [livejournal.com profile] bcholmes and S. to see Cherry Orchard at the Shaw Festival—it was awesome and I so needed to get out of the city. As we came back along the highway, we saw the motorcade taking the G2O delegates to the airport. Someone made or rented a gigantic billboard that read: "G-20: Go jump in the lake."

I am completely exhausted. It's over at last. Well, it isn't, because there are still people in jail or who have been charged who need our support, and there's still all sorts of disinformation in the media that needs to be countered, but for now I am a sleepy [livejournal.com profile] sabotabby who needs to sleep.

G20: Day 1

Jun. 26th, 2010 12:10 am
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (march)
Watch my hastily-edited video of the march! It's almost like being there:



some photos )
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (march)
1. Ontario secretly passed a law allowing police to arrest you for exercising what had previously been your legal right to refuse to provide ID or consent to a search. You can be fined or face two months in prison.

[livejournal.com profile] mycrazyhair gives details and questions whether this new law is constitutional.

2. [livejournal.com profile] kellista has a great post up on reasons to protest. Most compelling to me:
G20 countries are responsible for more than 85 per cent of global military spending and 95 per cent of global arms production. Five G20 countries (the United States, Russia, China, Japan, and South Korea) spent nearly $1 trillion in 2008 on the military but for about one-tenth of this we could eliminate global starvation and malnutrition, educate every child on earth, make clean water and sanitation accessible for all, and reverse the global spread of AIDS and malaria.
[...]
The G20 decides the policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The UN notes that, in an era characterized by the implementation of WB and IMF prescriptions, an unprecedented number of countries saw development slide backwards. In 46 countries people are poorer today than in 1990. Why would G8/20 leaders advocate such policies? Because their result is that the world's poorest nations end up subsidizing the richest. Professor David Harvey points out that from 1980-2007 $4.6 trillion was transferred from the Global South to the Global North.
[...]
The money spent for the summit (fake lake, fences, granola bars for cops, downtown tree removal, et al) could house everyone who is currently homeless in Toronto plus everyone on the waiting list for community housing - a total of 80,000 people - for over a year in a one bedroom apartment at the average market rent for each person. It could pay for every person on the woefully inadequate Ontario Disability Support to get $250 a month added to their cheques for the next ten years. It could buy a Metropass for public transit for every person in Toronto on welfare for about ten years.


3. Today, the G8 meets in Huntsville, ON. Harper is presumably attempting to justify why the "Accountability Summit" is hitting Canada's taxpaying citizens, particularly those in Toronto, with a $1 billion bill during a recession, and why the focus on maternal health doesn't include funding for abortion. Christ, what an asshole.

In an added bit of hilarity, with the massive amount of money spent on security and building a massive wall around the summit location, CBC Radio is reporting that no one showed up to the designated "free speech zone."

4. This just in: the attempt to block use of the sound cannon, which can cause permanent hearing loss and has not been properly tested, has failed. I am headed out to buy earplugs.

5. CSIS may be the scum of the earth, but at least they're honest. The G8/G20 presents a very low terrorism risk. This comes as no surprise to anyone paying attention, but the $1 billion is meant to quash legitimate, peaceful, civil dissent expressed by the people these leaders were elected to represent.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (harper = evil)
It's not paranoia if they really are watching you.

Hey, not that it comes as a surprise or anything. At this point I wouldn't be surprised at anything these bastards did.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
It's not paranoia if they really are watching you.

Hey, not that it comes as a surprise or anything. At this point I wouldn't be surprised at anything these bastards did.
sabotabby: (jetpack)
Because, as usual, I am at least a week late to the party.

You know how in those near-future dystopian sci-fi movies, there are all these tiny clues that give the genre away before anyone breaks out the hovercars, or later on to remind the viewer that yes, the filmmakers did their worldbuilding homework, thank you very much? It's usually a TV somewhere (flatscreen, or holographic projection, or what have you). The images are supersaturated, in stark contrast to the gritty browns and greys of the rain-drenched urban streets. It's the latest android pop sensation, wearing an outrageous costume, singing overprocessed music with no feeling in it whatsoever.

I have news for you, O would-be prophets of the grim meathook future. This is pretty much just Lady Gaga's latest video. Which was apparently the most important thing to hit the intertubes last week—more important than Haïti or Chile or the protests in Thailand—and this, too, is a marker of the near-future dystopia. I missed it because I was in school, but I finally caught it this morning while sipping my morning fair trade coffee.

Look, I get it, I really do. Lady Gaga's fashion is the best thing to happen to drag queens since disco. It has Camp Appeal for the hipsters. But that's the minority appeal. For the rest of its intended audience, it presents a vision of the near-future dystopia that's weird enough without being mindblowingly different; it's a relief to know that gender roles remain firmly intact, that while we may wear oversized sunglasses and hats made out of telephones, pop music is still overwhelmingly about reducing the female form to an object for male consumption. It has the aesthetics of subversion without actually challenging the dominant culture—for all its edginess, it's fundamentally safe and comfortable.

Musically, it's nothing. Sanitized R&B for white people. It sounds like every other hit recorded by a female singer in the past 20 years. I was still humming it several hours later. Ugh.

Watching it, I'm Rick Deckard in a rain-slicked trenchcoat eating take-out noodles, neo-noir, surrounded by anachronistic paper books on the edge of a crumbling empire. I'm Spider Jerusalem hiding up in the mountains, away from the rot and corruption of the City. The culture has passed me by. I don't mind, because I am aging and curmudgeonly and besides, was never cool. We're living in the future and I never got my jetpack.

Meanwhile, 21 garment workers in Bangladesh burned to death, locked in a factory that produces clothes for H&M.
sabotabby: (jetpack)
Because, as usual, I am at least a week late to the party.

You know how in those near-future dystopian sci-fi movies, there are all these tiny clues that give the genre away before anyone breaks out the hovercars, or later on to remind the viewer that yes, the filmmakers did their worldbuilding homework, thank you very much? It's usually a TV somewhere (flatscreen, or holographic projection, or what have you). The images are supersaturated, in stark contrast to the gritty browns and greys of the rain-drenched urban streets. It's the latest android pop sensation, wearing an outrageous costume, singing overprocessed music with no feeling in it whatsoever.

I have news for you, O would-be prophets of the grim meathook future. This is pretty much just Lady Gaga's latest video. Which was apparently the most important thing to hit the intertubes last week—more important than Haïti or Chile or the protests in Thailand—and this, too, is a marker of the near-future dystopia. I missed it because I was in school, but I finally caught it this morning while sipping my morning fair trade coffee.

Look, I get it, I really do. Lady Gaga's fashion is the best thing to happen to drag queens since disco. It has Camp Appeal for the hipsters. But that's the minority appeal. For the rest of its intended audience, it presents a vision of the near-future dystopia that's weird enough without being mindblowingly different; it's a relief to know that gender roles remain firmly intact, that while we may wear oversized sunglasses and hats made out of telephones, pop music is still overwhelmingly about reducing the female form to an object for male consumption. It has the aesthetics of subversion without actually challenging the dominant culture—for all its edginess, it's fundamentally safe and comfortable.

Musically, it's nothing. Sanitized R&B for white people. It sounds like every other hit recorded by a female singer in the past 20 years. I was still humming it several hours later. Ugh.

Watching it, I'm Rick Deckard in a rain-slicked trenchcoat eating take-out noodles, neo-noir, surrounded by anachronistic paper books on the edge of a crumbling empire. I'm Spider Jerusalem hiding up in the mountains, away from the rot and corruption of the City. The culture has passed me by. I don't mind, because I am aging and curmudgeonly and besides, was never cool. We're living in the future and I never got my jetpack.

Meanwhile, 21 garment workers in Bangladesh burned to death, locked in a factory that produces clothes for H&M.

Linkspam

Feb. 18th, 2010 06:39 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (commiebot)
And some of it was terrible, and some of it was beautiful...

[livejournal.com profile] freetobeme had a bunch of good ones today. Here are my favourites:


War Zone: A woman uses a Super-8 camera to talk back to street harassers. Grungy, angry, and frequently funny.

A mother and daughter talk about fat. This is long and painful but well worth the read.
"I'm not disappointed in your body," I said. "I think you're beautiful." Jess looked at me skeptically. "I do," I insisted. "Your eyes, your hair, your manner, everything about who you are—it's all beautiful." But my perceptive daughter heard the roar of words unsaid. I never said "your body," because to say I found it beautiful would have been a lie.


On a related note, Fatshionista talks about healthcare and personal responsibility.

[livejournal.com profile] symbioid brings us this little piece of terror. A high school student and his parents are suing a school district for allegedly using school laptops to spy on children and their families at home.

Via [livejournal.com profile] pope_guilty, the best captcha ever:


Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] curgoth and [livejournal.com profile] pluvka, I now have new decorations for my classroom:

How to use a semicolon
How to use an apostrophe
Ten words you need to stop misspelling

Linkspam

Feb. 18th, 2010 06:39 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
And some of it was terrible, and some of it was beautiful...

[livejournal.com profile] freetobeme had a bunch of good ones today. Here are my favourites:


War Zone: A woman uses a Super-8 camera to talk back to street harassers. Grungy, angry, and frequently funny.

A mother and daughter talk about fat. This is long and painful but well worth the read.
"I'm not disappointed in your body," I said. "I think you're beautiful." Jess looked at me skeptically. "I do," I insisted. "Your eyes, your hair, your manner, everything about who you are—it's all beautiful." But my perceptive daughter heard the roar of words unsaid. I never said "your body," because to say I found it beautiful would have been a lie.


On a related note, Fatshionista talks about healthcare and personal responsibility.

[livejournal.com profile] symbioid brings us this little piece of terror. A high school student and his parents are suing a school district for allegedly using school laptops to spy on children and their families at home.

Via [livejournal.com profile] pope_guilty, the best captcha ever:


Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] curgoth and [livejournal.com profile] pluvka, I now have new decorations for my classroom:

How to use a semicolon
How to use an apostrophe
Ten words you need to stop misspelling

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sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
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