Blood Feast / The Rumpus

Blood Feast / The Rumpus

The latest installment of my column, Turning Purple, is up this week at The Rumpus. “Blood Feast” is centered around my time canvassing in Trump country and the roots of my activism. Check out the photos on Instagram.

“In every story I read to my class, the villains were my student’s uncle, who recognized me at a club, kissing a girl. At parent-teacher conferences the next week, the girl’s parents glared at me with their arms folded, finally shouting what are you teaching our daughter, without saying what they knew. I shook next to the principal, certain that I was about to be outed, arrested or fired. When that didn’t happen, I decided it was time for my third graders to learn about activism. I wanted to find out what mattered to eight-year-olds.”

– excerpt from Blood Feast, The Rumpus

A FINAL NOTE: On Tuesday night, the efforts of volunteers around the country paid off at the polls. If you’re looking for a therapeutic and easy way to get involved in the 2020 election, write to Postcards to Voters to join the party. #PostcardstoVoters

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What’s on my Nightstand: October 2019

What’s on my Nightstand: October 2019

Nonfiction

Be Here Now | Ram Dass | Hanuman Foundation

White Fragility: Why it’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism | Robin Diangelo | Beacon Press

Burn it Down: Women Writing About Anger | Edited by Lilly Dancyger | Seal Press

The Cost of Living | Deborah Levy | Penguin Books

PEACE: 50 Years of Protest | Barry Miles

The Wrong Way to Save Your Life | Megan Stielstra | Harper Perennial

Short Fiction

White Dancing Elephants | Chaya Bhuvaneswar | Dzanc Books

The Best American Short Stories | Edited by Roxane Gay | Mariner Books

Poetry

You Should Feel Bad | Laura Cresté | No Tokens

Two Poems by Camonghne Felix | Camonghne Felix | PEN America

Failed Essay on Privilege | Elisa Gonzalez | The New Yorker (listen)

Essay (selected)

Impossible Hope | Amy Bond | The Rumpus

Alt. Latino Playlist: Songs That Shout Protest | Felix Contreras | NPR

It Comes in Waves | Lilly Dancyger | Longreads

How to Lose a Third of a Million Dollars Without Really Trying | Heather Demetrios | Forge

Born Again: Rene Denfeld On The Birth Of Love | Rene Denfeld | Ravishly

Bikini Kill – and my Bunkmates – Taught Me How to Unleash My Anger | Melissa Febos | Longreads

Your Healing Crystals Are Part of the Capitalist Exploitation Machine | Aaron Gilbreath | Longreads

Voices on Addiction: The Promises | Cameron Dezen Hammon | The Rumpus

How to Mourn a Glacier | Lacy M. Johnson

Keeping My Promise to Popo | Anne Liu Kellor | Longreads

Marissa Korbel | Why We Cry When We’re Angry | Guernica (or

A History of My Body | Joe Nasta | ENTROPY

Why I Teach | Viet Thanh Nguyen | The New York Times

Vision | Susan Power | GRANTA

Of Braids and Blades: Fighting the Ghosts of Kashmir | Amrita Sharma and Peerzada Raouf | Wasafiri

Inherited Anger | Marisa Siegel​ | Burn it Down

Spines of the Finwoman | Lidia Yuknavitch | The Rumpus

Interview / OpEd / Review

Experiments show this is the best way to win campaigns. But is anyone actually doing it? | David Brookman and Josua Kala | Vox

About That “A-Word” Barbara J. King on animal emotions, anthropomorphism, and the future of the planet | Mark Moring | Orbiter

President Trump is at war with the rule of law. This won’t end well | Rebecca Solnit | The Guardian

Real Life – Brandon Taylor | Review | Publishers Weekly

“I wanted my characters to inhabit spaces outside what’s expected for queer and trans people—especially joyful spaces.” Talking to author Claire Rudy Foster about their new book – Shine of the Ever | Lisa Walls | ISTORIALIT

Verge – by Lidia Yuknavitch | Review | Kirkus Review

Why the Trump Impeachment Inquiry Is the Only Option “After all, Americans have seen this playbook before. During the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump called on Russia to find emails he hoped would embarrass Hillary Clinton: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he bellowed then at a campaign news conference in Florida. Mr. Mueller subsequently showed that Russian agents tried to hack into Mrs. Clinton’s personal servers that same day … that Mr. Trump was not dissuaded by the response to Mr. Mueller’s findings from seeking political aid from another foreign source suggests he has learned nothing except that he is free to try anything — that a president may use the office as he chooses to promote his re-election.” 

The Editorial Board | The New York Times

Magazine / Journal / Newspaper / Pamphlet

No Tokens | Issue No. 8

Lesbian Connection: free to lesbians worldwide, but the suggested donation is $7/issue (more if you can, less if you can’t), May/June 2019 issue

The New Yorker

The Week

TIME

Music

El Machete | Ani Cordero | Spotify

Random

Postcards to Kentucky Voters #DitchMitch (It’s a fantastic stress reliever – sign up here.)

lip balm

ginger cookies

earbuds

cold cup of coffee

AA battery

Pixel eyewear

list of Horsham Township Council candidates

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VOTER REGISTRATION DAY: Take the quiz!

Today is National Voter Registration Day. How much do you know about voting and elections? Take CNN’s quiz. Another easy thing you can do today to help is to share the link to this page on usa.gov.

Tweet it out or share it on Facebook.

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Method 45: Demonstrative Funerals / Report on the dangers of being a climate activist

Method 45: Demonstrative Funerals / Report on the dangers of being a climate activist

A note on the image for Method 45: On August 19, Iceland held a demonstrative funeral for Okjökull, a 700-year-old glacier. Okjökull lost its status as a glacier in 2014, and is now a small patch of ice atop a volcano.

Today, as sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg leads and inspires the world in a climate strike, there’s a disturbing new report that shows darker proof of her bravery. In July, Global Witness released a report that showed that in 2018, more than three people a week died defending their land or our environment:

  • In 2018 Guatemala recorded the sharpest rise in murders, which jumped more than fivefold to make it the deadliest country per capita.
  • The Philippines had the highest number of killings of any country this year, with at least 30 defenders murdered.
  • Mining was the worst sector, causing 43 deaths, though deaths related to conflicts over water sources also surged. Attacks driven by agribusiness, logging and hydropower continued too.
  • Private security groups, state forces and contract killers – sometimes working together – are all suspected of carrying out killings. 

On Tuesday, the activist group Extinction Rebellion staged a demonstrative funeral to mark the end of Fashion Week in London. According to CNN, Bel Jacobs, a former fashion editor who now belongs to Extinction Rebellion, told CNN that Tuesday’s protest was organized to “lay to rest the toxic system that is destroying us all, and to mourn those who have already lost their lives and those still to lose their lives to the effects of climate change.”

Today’s Student Strike is Method 62 of Gene Sharp’s 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action. Since beginning this project a year ago, every time it’s time to do a new post, I’ve never had to look far – these methods are being used every single day, all around the world.

“For way too long, the politicians and the people in power have gotten away with not doing anything at all to fight the climate crisis and the ecological crisis. But we will make sure that they will not get away with it any longer.”

– Greta Thunberg

A note on the image for Method 45: On August 19, Iceland held a demonstrative funeral for Okjökull, a 700-year-old glacier. Okjökull lost its status as a glacier in 2014, and is now a small patch of ice atop a volcano.

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Method 44: Mock Funerals / Brett Kavanaugh

Method 44: Mock Funerals / Brett Kavanaugh

I didn’t ever want to hear Brett Kavanaugh’s name again, but if it means that the FBI might grow a pair and investigate this dirtbag, bring him out. While impeaching a federal judge is rare, there is a process for it. If you want to make your voice heard on this issue, 5 Calls has a script for calling your Members of Congress.

Mock Funerals were first used in this country in 1765, just before the Stamp Act was scheduled to go into effect. On November 1, the Sons of Liberty marched through Newport, Rhode Island carrying a coffin marked “Old Freedom.” When the protestors reached the cemetery, a groan came from the coffin and a figure emerged – freedom was not dead! A battle between Freedom and the Angel of Death was played out in the graveyard to cheers and the ringing of Newport’s bells. Similar protests were staged on the same day in three other cities. The idea behind this method is to create a spectacle – one that onlookers can’t resist, and the people in power will notice.

From the early days of the Trump administration, the White House has been doing everything it can get away with to limit the role of the FBI. It’s time a coffin marked “FBI” was dragged down Pennsylvania Avenue and dropped at 1600. For updates on Kavanaugh, the climate crisis, and the other Riders of the Apocalypse, subscribe to 5 Calls for weekly updates on how to make your voice heard.

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Gary Markstein / Creators Syndicate

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Postage from Fid

Postage from Fid
Postage from Fid / “Owls Against Patriarchy” by Fid Thompson

Dear Fid,

Receiving your Postage was the best kind of surprise. Like you, my grandparents were artists, and they often included small watercolor paintings or cray-pas illustrations in their letters to me. I would hold the envelopes to my nose before opening them to see if I could guess the medium they used. For a long time, researchers thought that pigeons used smell to find their way home, and your relationship to handwritten letters feels warm and familiar, like a kind of homing instinct. I so wish I could join your workshop this weekend, and since I can’t, I followed your prompt.

Dear Uncle Dick: before i had a name for who i am, i had you. when i think of you, my feet curl and stretch to free themselves, and soon they’re up and running back to that cabin in the woods, the lake still sparkling, the smell of sun on cedar shingles. i’m making dinner tonight! you called, and everyone laughed, but you pointed to me and then to bobby: yes, i’m making dinner, and they’ll help. you shooed all the grownups off to the lake and said c’mon kiddies, we’re going to make a real dinner party. you took us by the hands, your skin soft and safe, flecks of paint under your nails and in your hair, and the three of us skipped down that pine-hallowed stone road like thieves. for two hours, we waded waist-high in a field of queen anne’s lace, gathered the flowers up in our arms like they were bales of hay, and carried them home. when we’d piled them on the picnic table you said, go on, i’ll take it from here, and you poured yourself a drink. by the time you banged a spoon against the bottom of a dinner pot, the sun was longways along the lake’s edge and everyone was cranky from hunger. by then I’d pulled a sundress over my bathing suit, anticipating something from somewhere else, somewhere that smelled like gin and aftershave and conversation. what happened next is something i plan to take to my ever-after: as we made our way up from the lake, it was like the sun had set behind the water and rose inside the cabin. the first thing i noticed were the porch railings, wrapped in garlands of queen anne’s lace, thick green braids the size of my thighs. i reached for bobby’s hand and said look! but there was no need to show him, his mouth was an o, his brown eyes shining in the candlelight, because that was the next thing i noticed – the candles. hundreds of tea lights, maybe a thousand, you had filled that place with so much light, the cabin seemed winged. behind me, granny was laughing, oh dick, you’re something, and when i turned, granny and gramps and mom and dad were all laughing, too. come-come-come you called, before dinner gets cold. up the stairs, the pathway to the table was a petaled runway of green and white, on the table, vases of white petticoats, sprays in vodka bottles and medicine bottles, too. and at our places, each plate held a crown of queen anne’s lace. when we were adorned and laughing, you reappeared from the kitchen with a steaming pot, twirled your spoon in the air, and presented the meal with a flourish: hot dog stew for everyone! nothing could contain us then, whatever crankiness people had felt was gone, and it was then that i understood the most important lesson about entertaining: whether the food is good doesn’t matter, it’s all about presentation and connection. as you dished out the bowls, i remember the way you looked at my grandfather like he was something that could be eaten up, and i remember the way he beamed back at you when you ran your fingers through the bristles of his silver hair and placed another garland on his head. it was a smile i saw him make only once in all the time i knew him, a smile i see now he must have saved for you. and that’s when i knew that the words i had heard used to describe you – irresponsible, bankrupt, flamer, cirrhosis – they were all wrong, because when i imagine what god must be like, i think of you.

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What’s on my Nightstand: August 2019

What’s on my Nightstand: August 2019

Fiction

Naamah | Sarah Blake

What Belongs to You | Garth Greenwell

Nonfiction

Horace | Reverend T. Buckley

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel | Alexander Chee

American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass | Douglas S. Massey & Nancy A. Denton

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl | Harriet A Jacobs

Women | Annie Leibovitz & Susan Sontag

Maid | Stephanie Land

Short Fiction

Cougar |Maria Anderson | The Iowa Review

Madeline | Ludwig Bemelmans

Under the Wave | Lauren Groff | The New Yorker

Open Mouth | Ayla Zuraw-Friedland | Gay Mag

Poetry

The Doe | Leila Chatti | Narrative Magazine

Scylla and Charybdis | Megan Fernandes | The New Yorker

She Had Some Horses | Joy Harjo

Dog Moon | Rikki Lights

Almost Human | Ocean Vuong (listen)

The New Yorker

Essay (selected)

Elegy in Times Square | Lily Burana | Longreads

Why I’m Joining the Climate Strike – and Why You Should, Too | Rio Constantino | Global Climate Strike

How I Came to Own My Name | Lauren De Pino | The New York Times

Cyrus Grace Dunham on a Year Without a Name | Cyrus Grace Dunham | The New Yorker

Remembering Woodstock ’94 | Steve Edwards | Longreads

If You Jump Into my Arms I Will Catch You | Miriam Feldman | ENTROPY

The Borderland | Leigh Hopkins | The Rumpus

Gioncarlo Valentine’s Searing Portrait of the Fears of Young Black Men | Kiese Laymon | The New Yorker

The Meaning of Silence in Conversations About Death | Michael Erard and Mosaic | The Atlantic

Early Menopause Gave Me a Dating Superpower | Lisa Kirchner | Dame Magazine

The Dehumanizing Politics of Likability |Teow Lim Goh | Los Angeles Review of Books

The Gall of Ghislane Maxwell | Naomi Fry | The New Yorker

On Likeability | Lacy M. Johnson | TinHouse

Rise and Fall of the Pocket Protector | Henry Petroski | American Scientist

Interview / OpEd / Review

The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #189: Sarah Blake | Greg Mania | The Rumpus

Kristen Stewart Plays It Cool | Durga Chew-Bose | Vanity Fair

“Next year, Stewart will embark on adapting for the screen Lidia Yuknavitch’s book The Chronology of Water...listening to her speak about first reading the book sounds holy and indoctrinating, as if Stewart mainlined the words. “The way [Yuknavitch] talks about having a body, and the shame of having that. The way that she’s really dirty, embarrassing, weird, gross, a girl. It was a coming-of-age story I haven’t seen yet. I grew up watching fucking American Pie, these dudes jacking off in their socks like it was the most normal thing, and it was hilarious. Imagine a girl coming—it’s like, what, so scary and bizarre. I feel like I started reading her stuff, and she was articulating things that I’m like, ‘Dude, I didn’t have the words for that, but thank you.’”

Meet Chani Nicholas, The Fashion World’s Go-To Astrologer | Hannah Hanra | Vogue

U.S.-Denmark Relations Are Now in the Hands of a Conspiracy-Loving, Climate-Denying Ex-Actress | Will Sommer | Daily Beast

Paul Lisicky Interviewed by Adam Swanson | Adam Swanson | Corporeal Writing

Magazine / Newspaper / Pamphlet

The CRISIS | April 1964

Lesbian Connection: free to lesbians worldwide, but the suggested donation is $7/issue (more if you can, less if you can’t), May/June 2019 issue

The New Yorker

The Week

TIME

Vanity Fair

Random

clothespin

Rose Art washable markers (red, black)

Vintage Notebook Agenda | Jenni Bick Custom Journals

Tibetan singing bowl / lavender springs

beach stones

Pixel glasses

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