I’ve been taking Our Dog out for early runs with my bike because he’s ten now and doesn’t do so well in the heat. But this is one of the hazards of doing so: garter snakes that have stretched themselves out across the trail and just lie there, still sluggish with cold. I do NOT want to ride over a snake and kill it, so I’ve come to screeching stops for them several times this year. I generally encourage them to vacate the space (I don’t pick them up to move them as often as I used to because they always seem to pee on me if I do.)
This one was particularly sluggish; Our Dog trotted right across it and it didn’t so much as twitch. (Luckily no big golden retriever feet came down on it.) So I was able to stop and take some pictures.
Though it did eventually decide that discretion was the better part of valour and do the “I’m outta here” thing.
Oh, and bonus golden retriever pic.
Natalie Luhrs has a comprehensive set of links up, but I want to add a few more. First of all, this Foz Meadows post from Tumblr. I am white and I identify as a feminist, and I agree with everything said by feministbatwoman and Foz: not in my name. The whole idea of justifying the murder of black people by saying it is to protect white female purity is abhorrent bullshit. White women do not need to be protected from black men. Every white feminist, every white woman, should reinforce this message.
Also: mental health issues may cause someone to be violent, but it is the existence of systemic, institutionalized oppressions such as racism that tell them where to point the gun. The Charleston shootings were clearly racist, and it appals me that they might be considered anything else.
“Empathy does not preclude accountability”: Jay Smooth on Rachel Dolezal.
As if it’s not bad enough to have BIRDS stripping the cherry tree during the day, this is what we get at dusk…
Henry A. Giroux | Flipping the Script: Rethinking Working-Class Resistance (via @ChrisBoese)
Which brings me to this recording by Holly Near and Ronnie Gilbert.
(And let’s not forget… women are missing in Canada.) http://www.missingwomeninquiry.ca/
And of course I was reminded of this because Ronnie Gilbert died this week.
The ACLU unveiled a new mobile app designed to help you record and report abusive cops.
In the news
Good news for once. Conservation groups welcome protection for Strait of Georgia’s unique glass sponge reefs. (via Sheila Malcolmson)
Art + Design
Marko Korosec’s weather photos are amazing, especially some from this set: “I love extreme weather and seen a lot, but this was just above my imagination what I experienced earlier this week. A crazy amount of hard rime after more than a week of strong Bora winds and freezing fog atop of mt. Javornik, Slovenia. It was 100-150cm deep at some most exposed placed.”
Maggie Stiefvater: A novel is a lovely but forbidding natural monument, like an iceberg
Quote of the week
By the way, “full-diaper-angry” is Open For Business as slang for young men who are full of shit and mad at women for not being their mom
Just for fun
Golden retrievers. What can I say?
Janet Mock: Revealing Caitlyn Jenner: My Thoughts on Media, Privilege, Healthcare Access & Glamour. “To make any trans person a symbol for an entire community is an unfair task. No one can speak about the varying, intersecting and layered ways in which trans people experience the world. That is why it’s necessary to create a space for nuance and to amplify the voices of those who often are not heard. What excites me about Jenner’s story as a trans woman who revealed myself as a teenager is my own opportunity to learn about her experience. I find it fascinating, even as a trans woman, to learn about the journey of another trans woman who had taken steps to be her true self only to be pressured back into “the closet” and to step out more famous than ever in her mid-60s — at a time in most women’s lives when they’re deemed invisible.” (via @iSmashFizzle)
“The Theology of Consensus” A look at some of the inherent issues with consensus-based decision making that ties them to its history. As someone who worked for two and a half years in a co-op studio committed to consensus decision making, I found this fascinating. (via @al3x)
Art + Design
Seven Scribes: Letters from the Underground. WE ARE PLEASED to announce the launch of SEVEN SCRIBES, a brand new online publication. We are committed to creating a space where young Black writers and artists can offer commentary and analysis on politics, pop culture, literature, and art. This is a space where writers and artists can experiment with content and be intentional about consumption.
Quote of the week
20 Things That Women Should Stop Wearing After The Age of 30
1-20: The weight of other people’s expectations & judgments
I have learned not to be seduced by the notion of inevitability — whether it’s progress, hope, love, or friendship. It all requires work.
—deray mckesson @deray
“Blanket octopuses literally rip the tentacles right off portuguese men-o-war and use them like little nunchuks.” Six reasons the blanket octopus is my new favorite cephalopod. (I think this was via @UrsulaV)
It was a bit wet on the trails today—and certainly on the narrow ones you could expect very wet feet from all the overhanging grass. But someone didn’t mind a bit.
And the roses looked wonderful.
And the arbutus trees looked sexy as always.
Well, I missed a whole week of links posts, and then a bit more, so this is an attempt to make up for it. I missed them because I mostly find interesting stuff when I’m surfing on my iPad, and then send myself an email with the links so that they’re in my mailbox when it comes time to write the links post, which I do on my computer. But last week when I went to go through those emails, they weren’t there. Somehow the mail I sent from any number of programs on my iPad wasn’t getting through. I checked the settings and they seemed to be okay, but…
Anyway, I tweaked some things and maybe it’s working now. More getting through, at any rate, though it still seems a bit wonky.
Revelations About Being Brown in a World of White Beauty. “In dentistry speak, the space between two front teeth is called a maxillary midline diastema. It is a genetic trait. It occurs across cultures and in casual observance, appears to have a higher occurrence among black communities. Some research notes black children exhibit more than twice the prevalence of gap teeth as white children. In books and articles I’ve read over the years, a worldview became visible about its value, ranging from ‘normal’ to ‘appalling’ to a ‘deviation from normal adult dentition.’ … A Nigerian acquaintance once told me how much he loved my gap. I learned from him that my gap teeth are valued, and in some instances coveted, by some Nigerian woman. I had never considered that I would posses anyone’s ideal. I live in America, and there are many reinforcements to remind me that small gap-toothed dark girls are the least desired. My gap teeth defined as a beauty mark? That shifted my axis.” (via @iSmashFizzle)
Kansas has found the ultimate way to punish the poor. “The legislature placed a daily cap of $25 on cash withdrawals beginning July 1, which will force beneficiaries to make more frequent trips to the ATM to withdraw money from the debit cards used to pay public assistance benefits. … It’s hard to overstate the significance of this action. Many households without enough money to maintain a minimum balance in a conventional checking account will pay their rent and their utility bills in cash. A single mother with two children seeking to withdraw just $200 in cash could incur $30 or more in fees, which is a big chunk of the roughly $400 such a family would receive under the program in Kansas.” (via @pericat)
Art + Design
Quote(s) of the week
James honed a definition that he finally published in his 2012 book, Assholes: A Theory. Formally stated, “The asshole (1) allows himself to enjoy special advantages and does so systematically; (2) does this out of an entrenched sense of entitlement; and (3) is immunized by his sense of entitlement against the complaints of other people.”
What separates the asshole from the psychopath is that he engages in moral reasoning (he understands that people have rights; his entitlement simply leads him to believe his rights should take precedence). That this reasoning is systematically, and not just occasionally, flawed is what separates him from merely being an ass. (Linguistics backs up the distinction: ass comes from the Latin assinus, for “donkey,” while the hole is in the arras, the Hittite word for “buttocks.”)
—Jerry Useem: Why It Pays to Be a Jerk
After these trivial but bracing exchanges, my pulse rate was normal, my cheeks were not red, I was not trembling. I hadn’t thought direct action would be so much fun. Habits of a lifetime peeled away. The world bristled with opportunities for a woman in her 70s to take a stand. I shouted on planes. I fought for my place in queues. I talked to myself out loud in public. I walked along the street singing a little song under my breath: “Back off. How dare you? Make my day.” I wouldn’t say I was on a hair-trigger. I was just primed for action.
— Helen Garner: The insults of age, A one-woman assault on condescension
Rishi Kaneria videos on Vimeo. These are some amazingly beautiful videos. Watch the Stunt Poetry one, even if you don’t watch the others.
Just for fun
Mad Max posters improved by Daily Mail comments. (Click on the individual images.) I keep reading reviews by feminists about this movie, and now I REALLY want to see it. (There are negative reviews by feminists as well, but so far in my online sources the pro-Mad Maxes are coming out way ahead.)
Can’t. Stop. Laughing: Xenostapler
“That escalated quickly.” (Ignore the warning about “sensitive content” if you get it, it’s worth it to see a sterling example of how one person sees one thing in an image while another might see something quite different.) (via @pericat)
A few interesting articles in the past week or two. Most recently, in this week’s Sounder I see that the Bridge-Free Salish Sea society met with provincial representatives this past week to express concerns about the whole issue of a fixed link to Gabriola.
“Mr. Richter confirmed that he would ensure that the Minister would be apprised of our concerns and of the very strong feelings we expressed regarding the entire process – how even the instigation of the study flies in the face of the established Islands Trust’s clear policy statement on no fixed links.”
Well, yes. That issue of the creation of a fixed link simply steamrollering over the policies of a lower level of government is interesting, isn’t it? Not to mention steamrollering over the wishes of a pretty significant number of islanders. But hey, if they don’t vote for you anyway, who cares?
And relating to ferries, from last week’s Sounder:
BCF cancels $4.9 million in service cuts to major routes. Now this is interesting. First they say that the hardship of the service cuts will be shared equally, then, well, no, they won’t. Specifically, they say this: “We did look at trying to find those savings on the major routes, we looked at options, all those came back to incurring more revenue loss than savings.”
Hello? I’m finding it hard to read this in any way other than, “We made statements about cuts across the board before we bothered to research how any of it would or could work.”
And that’s followed by the statement that with regard to savings on the major routes, “We were looking at things in the fall – that was raised, viewed publicly, there was backlash – it was decided at the provincial level not to proceed in that direction.” I’m finding it hard to interpret this in any way other than: a decision was made not to proceed based on political expediency, because the backlash came from people whose opinions counted, unlike those of coastal communities.
Yeah. Interesting is the word.