“The urge to “date a girl who reads” leaves unsaid its assumption that a prolific reader of acclaimed modernist novels (Joyce, Woolf, or Nabokov always seem to get invoked at some point) must be fascinating while they go about it. Flipping through lots of books doesn’t automatically make you clever, funny, interesting, or wise; it can also render you abstruse, tedious, uncertain and obsessive, as it sometimes does to me. What could be more anti-erotic than demoting reading from an interpretive performance to the signifier of some “literary” lifestyle—a subculture bound together not by resistance to hegemony but that panicked need, found in so much contemporary nerd culture, to preserve and cultivate it. “Date a girl who reads” picks up a million or so extra search results than “date a woman who writes” for a reason. These men want a partner to debate at without risking any fundamental challenge. “Date a girl who reads” is a cipher’s solipsism, imagining the idealized.
It reminds me of a realization that Isabel Archer arrives at in The Portrait of a Lady, after her ardent intelligence becomes one more curio for a rich man to own: “The real offence, as she ultimately perceived, was her having a mind of her own at all. Her mind was to be his—attached to his own like a small garden-plot to a deer-park. He would rake the soil gently and water the flowers; he would weed the beds and gather an occasional nosegay. It would a pretty piece of property for a proprietor already far-reaching. He didn’t wish her to be stupid. On the contrary, it was because she was clever that she had pleased him. But he expected her intelligence to operate altogether in his favour, and so far from desiring her mind to be a blank, he had flattered himself that it would be richly receptive.” The Girl Who Reads is finally just another text to be read, and possessed, and consumed.”—Chris Randle, “The ‘Girl Who Reads’: Just Another Text to be Read” (Hazlitt)
“Violence does not consist so much in injuring and annihilating persons as in interrupting their continuity, making them play roles in which they no longer recognize themselves, making them betray not only commitments but their own substance, making them carry out actions that will destroy every possibility for action.”—
“A veces uno amanece con ganas de extinguirse… Como si fuéramos velitas sobre un pastel de alguien inapetente. A veces nos arden terriblemente los labios y los ojos y nuestras narices se hinchan y somos horribles y lloramos y queremos extinguirnos… Así es la vida, un constante querer apagarse y encenderse.”—Julio Cortázar. (via amordecolor)
“’Slut’ is attacking women for their right to say yes. ‘Friend Zone’ is attacking women for their right to say no.”—And “bitch” is attacking women for their right to call you out on it (via dearscience)
Undocumented students and community members did a very brave thing in talking at the senate meeting today in support of SB 2-Bill in Support of Undocumented Students and Immigrant Communities. The statistics on her track record of deporting undocumented folks, personal stories, tears and anger did…
“Student loans are destroying the imagination of youth. If there’s a way of a society committing mass suicide, what better way than to take all the youngest, most energetic, creative, joyous people in your society and saddle them with, like $50,000 of debt so they have to be slaves? There goes your music. There goes your culture. There goes everything new that would pop out. And in a way, this is what’s happened to our society. We’re a society that has lost any ability to incorporate the interesting, creative and eccentric people.”—David Graeber (via azspot)
“For years, I opened my 11th-grade U.S. history classes by asking students, “What’s the name of that guy they say discovered America?” A few students might object to the word “discover,” but they all knew the fellow I was talking about. “Christopher Columbus!” several called out in unison.
“Right. So who did he find when he came here?” I asked. Usually, a few students would say, “Indians,” but I asked them to be specific: “Which nationality? What are their names?”
In more than 30 years of teaching U.S. history and guest-teaching in others’ classes, I’ve never had a single student say, “Taínos.” How do we explain that? We all know the name of the man who came here from Europe, but none of us knows the name of the people who were here first—and there were hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of them. Why haven’t you heard of them?
This ignorance is an artifact of historical silencing—rendering invisible the lives and stories of entire peoples.
[…] In an interview with Barbara Miner, included in Rethinking Columbus, Suzan Shown Harjo of the Morning Star Institute, who is Creek and Cheyenne, said: “As Native American peoples in this red quarter of Mother Earth, we have no reason to celebrate an invasion that caused the demise of so many of our people, and is still causing destruction today.” After all, Columbus did not merely “discover,” he took over. He kidnapped Taínos, enslaved them—“Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold,” Columbus wrote—and “punished” them by ordering that their hands be cut off or that they be chased down by vicious attack dogs, if they failed to deliver the quota of gold that Columbus demanded. One eyewitness accompanying Columbus wrote that it “did them great damage, for a dog is the equal of 10 men against the Indians.”
Corporate textbooks and children’s biographies of Columbus included none of this and were filled with misinformation and distortion. But the deeper problem was the subtext of the Columbus story: it’s OK for big nations to bully small nations, for white people to dominate people of color, to celebrate the colonialists with no attention paid to the perspectives of the colonized, to view history solely from the standpoint of the winners.”—Bill Bigelow, Rethinking Columbus: Towards a True People’s History (via professorpinka)
“I’m beginning to know myself. I don’t exist. I’m the space between what I’d like to be and what others made of me. Just let me be at ease and all by myself in my room.”—Fernando Pessoa (via adrianamtz-r)
“The Republican and Democratic parties are alike capitalist parties — differing only in being committed to different sets of capitalist interests — they have the same principles under varying colors, are equally corrupt and are one in their subservience to capital and their hostility to labor.”—Eugene V. Debs in his opening speech, The Socialist Party and the Working Class, that he delivered as a presidential candidate of the Socialist Party in 1904. (via sinidentidades)