me: ugh i can’t send it i’m dead e: … just do it omg e: nothing—or at least nothing we do—is inherently meaningful me: haha i did e: you may just as well cast a pebble into the ocean as— me: i subsequently messaged someone else SO THERE e: oh okay cool e: HAHAHAHA e: /JPSARTRINGyou e: i should totally put this under my “you should msg me if” hahaha e: “nothing we do is inherently meaningful, so messaging someone on OkCupid is akin to casting a pebble into the vast ocean. …so do it, if you want.”
“Sometimes while I ride the subway I try to look at each person and imagine what they look like to someone who is totally in love with them. I think everyone has had someone look at them that way, whether it was a lover, or a parent, or a friend, whether they know it or not. It’s a wonderful thing, to look at someone to whom I would never be attracted and think about what looking at them feels like to someone who is devouring every part of their image, who has invisible strings that are connected to this person tied to every part of their body. I think this fun pastime is a way of cultivating compassion. It feels good to think about people that way, and to use that part of my mind that I think is traditionally reserved for a tiny portion of people I’ll meet in my life to appreciate the general public. I wish I thought about people like this more often. I think it’s the opposite of what our culture teaches us to do. We prefer to pick people apart to find their flaws. Cultivating these feelings of love or appreciation for random people, and even for people I don’t like, makes me a more forgiving and appreciative person toward myself and people I love. Also, its just a really excellent pastime.
I do not have a prescription for successful relationships, and I don’t think anyone should. The goal of most of my work is to remove coercive mechanisms that force people to comply with heteronormative gender and family norms. People often get confused and think that me and other trans activists are trying to erase gender and make everyone be androgynous. In fact, that sounds a little boring to me. What want to see is a world in which people do not have to be criminalized, or cast out of their family, or cut off welfare, or sexually harassed at school, or subjected to involuntary mental health care, or prevented from getting housing because they organize their gender, desire, or family structure in a way that offends a norm. I hope we can build that vision by practicing it in our own queer and activist communities and in our approaches to ourselves. Let’s be gentle with ourselves and each other and fierce as we fight oppression.”—Dean Spade, "For Lovers and Fighters" (via 302point5)
“Growing up, I didn’t read novels by women. It’s not that I didn’t want to. It’s almost like I didn’t think that I needed to or, I guess, I didn’t know that I needed to. I was perfectly happy in a world contained by men. I adopted the posture of the brooding male as my own. I was Salinger, I was Kerouac, I was any male protagonist in a novel that one of my boyfriends recommended. I didn’t know that there was a specific female sadness so I was content with relating to a generalized one. And in a way, reading these novels was less of a way to relate and more of a way to learn how to be the type of girl that these male novelists liked. One of my first ambitions wasn’t to be a writer – it was to be a writer’s muse.”—
There needs to be a code word or something that means “my brain is fighting me every step of the way today and I feel like I’m going to vibrate out of my skin, so I need you to forgive everything and go slowly and speak softly and lower your expectations.” And then we could all just be like, “I know I said we could go to a movie tonight but… tangerines.” And the other person would nod and squeeze your elbow or rub your head and you wouldn’t feel like a failure.
“Don’t wait for permission to make something that’s interesting or amusing to you. Just do it now. Don’t wait. Find a story idea, start making it, give yourself a deadline, show it to people who’ll give you notes to make it better. Don’t wait till you’re older, or in some better job than you have now. Don’t wait for anything. Don’t wait till some magical story idea drops into your lap. That’s not where ideas come from. Go looking for an idea and it’ll show up. Begin now. Be a fucking soldier about it and be tough.”—
Quick tip for things to do immediately post-interview:
When I come out of an interview, I jot down the things I remember as being my favorite moments. For an hour-long interview usually it’s just four or five moments, but if out I’m reporting all day, I’ll spend over an hour at night typing out every favorite thing that happened. This is handier than you might think. Often this short list of favorite things will provide the backbone to the structure to my story.
Read through for the gear This American Life uses and its editing process.
“While some of these great white men have passed away, these policies, theories and mindsets that produced this country’s mass incarceration persist. Over the years, police departments have given it different names: quality of life policing, community policing, hot spot policing, stop and frisk, neighborhood policing, and zero tolerance policing, to name a few. In the comfort of criminal justice classes and textbooks, these descriptions each have a specific definition. However, in practice over the past 30 years, these tactics mirror one another in their reliance on racial profiling and cracking down on petty crimes and ‘disorder’ to yield the same result: criminalizing the poor, black and brown. Those who champion it should be honest with themselves: it’s not crime they’re afraid of — it’s the black body”—When People Are Property — Medium (via nathanjurgenson)
Object permanence is the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be observed—this understanding doesn’t develop in the human brain until post-infancy, which is why babies find the game peekaboo so entertaining. With every reoccurrence, a surprise.
(Sometimes I forget that people think of me even when I am not right in front of them. Sometimes I am so startled by the space I take up in other people. That they allow me that.)
“For many of these women, the reading experience begins from a place of seething rage. Take Sara Marcus’ initial impression of Jack Kerouac: “I remember putting On the Road down the first time a woman was mentioned. I was just like: ‘Fuck. You.’ I was probably 15 or 16. And over the coming years I realized that it was this canonical work, so I tried to return to it, but every time I was just like, ‘Fuck you.’” Tortorici had a similarly visceral reaction to Charles Bukowski: “I will never forget reading Bukowski’s Post Office and feeling so horrible, the way that the narrator describes the thickness of ugly women’s legs. I think it was the first time I felt like a book that I was trying to identify with rejected me. Though I did absorb it, and of course it made me hate my body or whatever.” Emily Witt turned to masculine texts to access a sexual language that was absent from books about women, but found herself turned off by their take: “many of the great classic coming-of-age novels about the female experience don’t openly discuss sex,” she says in No Regrets. “I read the ones by men instead, until I was like, ‘I cannot read another passage about masturbation. I can’t. It was like a pile of Kleenex.”
This isn’t just about the books. When young women read the hyper-masculine literary canon—what Emily Gould calls the “midcentury misogynists,” staffed with the likes of Roth, Mailer, and Miller—their discomfort is punctuated by the knowledge that their male peers are reading these books, identifying with them, and acting out their perspectives and narratives. These writers are celebrated by the society that we live in, even the one who stabbed his wife. In No Regrets, Elif Bautman talks about reading Henry Miller for the first time because she had a “serious crush” on a guy who said his were “the best books ever,” and that guy’s real-life recommendation exacerbated her distaste for the fictional. When she read Miller, “I felt so alienated by the books, and then thinking about this guy, and it was so hot and summertime … I just wanted to kill myself. … He compared women to soup.””—
I liked the very end: “Young women are often barred from feeling the easy pleasure that comes with reading and identifying with the classics. But we also benefit from a critical perspective on these books that many of our male peers don’t have. We don’t see ourselves in them, so we grow up challenging them.”
“Or maybe it’s this: Maybe I just miss being 28 and being heartbroken for the first time. Maybe I was a little in love with the pain. If nothing else, things were vivid. I wasn’t numb. I was legitimately depressed (and even did a disastrous three day dance with Lexapro) but the summer had a kind of cracked beauty to it, the darkness illuminated by some genuine flashes of light, cosmic reminders that I wouldn’t always be feeling that way. There was beauty in the world… and some of it would be mine.”—Josh Radnor (“Dear Damien Rice’s Seminal 2002 Album O,” The Rumpus)
Time is, of course, doing its steady work on every object ever made. This complex relationship between the maker, an emotionally invested object, and the growing distance between them is not new, only rediscovered each generation, whether by an artist, a mourner, a mother, or a soldier…
We let go with the hope others will grab hold. These objects ask very human, moral questions: What right do we have to forget? What do we owe to each other’s memories?
There is a scene in my book where the main character gets a haircut. Specifically, she gets her hair cut by her mother, with whom she has a tense, basically estranged relationship, in the bathroom of their house. They’re both reeling in the aftermath of an unexpected death; after…
geez the fact that this is dismissed as a “makeover scene” is just.
“After 40 years of impoverished black men getting prison time for selling weed, white men are planning to get rich doing the same things. So that’s why I think we have to start talking about reparations for the war on drugs. How do we repair the harms caused?”—Michelle Alexander (via kennygeezus)