If you take the time,”about a year,” to learn a language that may or may not come in handy later, like Cmdr Ivanova, you too could end up commanding an elite force of future paladins dedicated to protecting the vulnerable and saving the galaxy!! Maybe also saving the entire planet earth from COVID-19 by explaining to them in their own languages that smoking makes it worse, and why everyone needs #UniversalHealthCare! 🙂
Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure:
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare , and
4. good #publictransport Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !
I was moved with both recognition, and with fear, at Audre Lorde’s comment that “it’s scary because we’ve been through that before. It was called the fifties.” Then I was moved with that stirring to act, upon reading in print what I have known and been told in different words since Dunbar (High School): “My responsibility is to speak the truth… with as much precision and beauty as possible. … We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.” And we must not remain silent while the blood of our sisters/brothers/neighbors/communities/fellow human beings is shed.
Sherley Anne Williams reiterates this responsibility of a writer to write as well as one can and to “say as much of the truth as I can see at any given time.”
Although this book is dated, and does not include my favorite author (Octavia Butler), I am so glad that I read this book in spite of my initial misgivings. From Bambara’s hope that “We care too much … to negotiate a bogus peace,” to DeVeaux’s “responsibility to see,” I find my own compulsion to write validated by the responsibility of a writer to render individual expression into a universal expression, and to give voice to the voiceless/unseen/erased. To show the unspoken and to “empathize with the general human condition.”
Society needs all perspectives because without those perspectives, we are missing vast parts of what our society actually looks like, which leads to deep problems. Writing, as was pointed out, must transcend individual experience, but it also comes from and is filtered through individual experience, so we desperately, as leaders from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr to Octavia Butler have pointed out, need every point of view.
Last note (not in my GR review): I think that this book has helped me to see that my intended audience has two possibly conflicting sections –
I. those who have endured traumas in early childhood or also in adulthood, particularly due to structural racism, and
II: those who can change that situation.
Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness ,& #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4: (
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare , and
4. good #publictransport ) Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !
This first person #YAlit novela (a bit short for a novel, I imagine) was both very hard-hitting in its accuracy, and very hope-giving, if a bit too much so, perhaps, in the ending. I find myself agreeing with another reviewer about the timeline being too short for certain things, but I can understand or imagine that the author wanted to give hope and encouragement, and teenagers have very short attention-spans and time-line perspectives, in general.
For me, this was a difficult read emotionally because it had me reliving events from my own early childhood and teenage years, and the earliest were the worst, as the ending of the book brought the external and internal conflicts together in ways that confirmed my own experiences very uncomfortably. But this is a very important work, and it is crucial to persist.
Wow, #TheFemaleOfTheSpecies, written in first person and present tense for all three PoV characters, is a book which is both difficult to read, and also cathartic. There are also some really good zingers, funny lines and situations, believe it or not, and some really spot-on descriptions of the humanity of one of the main characters from whom you’d not expect human warmth. I can only hope that I can make such a contribution one day, but if I manage to publish a book half as good as this crucial work by @MindyMcGinnis, I will feel my writing career to have been worthwhile.
I noticed that this was not her debut novel, and that the author seems to have had a bit of a time getting her agent to push for this work, which spent 15 years in a drawer. That tells me that these types of books are either coming into their time, now, after the ME TOO movement, or that I’d best better start with more light and fluffy novels until I get established as a fiction author. Either way, I am grateful and glad that McGinnis kept this work, and got it to see the light of day after all those years in the dark. In publishing this book, she has also helped many of us to believe that we can come out of the dark, as well, if not entirely whole.
Given the crying need for global cooperation we see sorely lacking during this current pandemic, I am adding #languagelearn to my list of tags related to my proposal for a new rite of passage and set of prerequisites for Adulthood. To manage even an acre of one’s own land, and to manage the responsibilities and rights of citizenship as an Adult in our modern worldwide society, each person needs to be able to learn independently, and to teach some needed life skill to another person, in short: to #cooperate.
Winning glory on today’s battlefield: The Modern Mind
Aug. 30th, 2014 02:56 pm
WilliamJamesMEOWdate: (see link to his MEOW below…)
Renault’s excellent book The Persian Boy shows the difficulty of learning, and of teaching. Both would probably be easier if our society understood what it takes to teach a person a useful and necessary skill from start to finish. Hence my proposal for a modern universal
Adult Rite of Passage. What we need our children to prove, upon recognition of adulthood, is not their prowess in battle or the hunt, not their virility, not their adeptness at social maneuvering, but their ability to contribute meaningfully to society by teaching another member of the community, from level 0, how to do something that is both difficult and absolutely neccessary in our society today. By requiring our children to teach some other person, child or adult, a needed life skill, over the course of about a year, this pre-adult shows persistence, perseverence, discernment, and of course, the key skill in question. A useful side effect of this is also that it would effectively increase (dramatically) the number of available tutors, and also lead to every adult in our society coming away with an understanding of the challenges involved in teaching anyone anything non-trivial. Thus we provide an esteem building excercise and respect building accomplishment all in one go. We then reward that accomplishment with full adult status, whatever the age of the pre-adult in question. This obviously assumes that the pre-adult has had opportunity to prove his or her good judgement in other ways as well, prior to seeking said recognition. This might help as one step of a series of steps implemented by and through local communities which could lead to more long-term thinking in society at large, given a critical mass and good faith in the ability of human kind to rise above our instincts, and learn to cooperate. In other words (from Lenier in Bablylon 5): to be better than we are.
Community Cooperation Shira,
Gregorian Date: Saturday, August 30, 2014
MEOW Date : Wednesday, August 29, 12014 H.E. (Holocene Era, aka Human Era)
William James: The Moral Equivalent of War
(ShiraD.livejournal.com Subject was: “Generating more respect for teachers requires cultural change” … )
Do gatekeepers enslave human potential?
Aug. 28th, 2014 03:28 pm
In Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation 1838-1839 Frances Ann Kemble points to the reactions of slave owners and overseers in the capacity of gatekeepers, preventing the voices of slaves from being heard.
More generally and in the same vein, Voices of Dissent’s C. Heifetz and Sarah Ariste (magazine article from abt. 2006 now unfindable…), ask in “Voices Without Authority” whether our gatekeepers are preventing us from living up to our values as a society.
I further that question:
Are our gatekeepers, and particularly, those who choose the gatekeepers, preventing humanity from reaching its full potential? For, if we fail to live up to the values we profess as a society, such as freedom for all, or equality before the law, then are we not also limiting the potential contributions of some, and thus failing to achieve all that we could, as a whole?
I realize the need, in certain situations, for gatekeepers. However, when the gatekeepers act on the basis of priviledge or perception, rather than on the actual needs of the given situation, they can be counter-productive. They can artificially prevent access, resulting in uneven or misleading outcomes, or in simple outright injustice. This reduces our effectiveness as a society in providing each person the opportunity to contribute fully to the creativity and productivity of the human race, and that, is a shame for all of us.
Gregorian Date: Thursday, August 28, 2014
MEOW Date : Monday, August 27, 12014 H.E. (Holocene Era, aka Human Era)
Gatekeepers and Quipu (Khipu) Democracy; Los guardias y la Democracia del os quipus
Aug. 28th, 2014 03:25 pm
In Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad, Tobin and Dobard point to what is essentially a Quipu made of fabric. The question is whether the gatekeepers of today will allow our modern quipus, ‘memoriathon’ quilts and oral histories to make a difference.
Quipu for Peru’s dead; Un Quipu por los muertos de Peru
A quipu made from stories collected and added as a knot for each story representing a victim in the ‘memoriathon’ to prevent the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission from August 2003.
from PeacebyPeace magazine, p. 16-17 published by Fr
As an aside, which was posted back in 2007 on LiveJournal, I wonder (given that we know trade routes existed before the Spanish Conquest) if the art of making or interpreting the quipu was known up in north america, outside of the Incan
No pude encontrar traduccion de este articulo, pero se describe mas sobre el Khipu aqui:
Me pregunto si se puede saber (ya que sabemos que habia rutas de intercambio entre el sur y el norte de America antes del conquista de los espanyoles) si el arte del quipu fue conocido al norte del emperio Inca?
“Cancion para Pablo Neruda” – Atahualpa Yupanqi.
Shira Destinie Jones Landrac
Gregorian Date: Thursday, August 28, 2014
MEOW Date : Monday, August 27, 12014 H.E. (Holocene Era, aka Human Era
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Harry Quebert: friend, liar, or both?
Aug. 27th, 2014 03:32 pm
Love and friendship are entwined with community.
In Joel Dicker’s book , Harry makes one think about all three:
Common committment to the idea of community: open communication, positive action, pro-active,consensus-oriented. That is the type of community I have hoped to help build.
I used to believe that, despite my own personal feelings about a given person, the fact that that person is a member of my community entitles that person to something from me: my acceptance, my patience, my invitation to a community event; some acknowlegement that we are in the same boat, and that like him or not, as long as he accepts my personal boundaries, I cannot exclude him simply on the basis of arbitrary personal dislike or taste.
Now, I no longer know.
In Service to Community,
Gregorian Date: Wednesday, August 27, 2014
MEOW Date : Sunday, August 26, 12014 H.E. (Holocene Era, aka Human Era)
updated during self-isolation:
Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness ,& #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4: (
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare , and
4. good #publictransport )
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !
This is an off-the-cuff post, as I need to get this off my chest in order to concentrate on the book (A-Train…) I am reviewing and the one I am writing, but this cuts into both like a hot rusty knife. The jagged edges left from the taunts of the kids in kindergarten and 1st grade of how I must be white because my mother is dating a White man, and my skin is so light, I look like a little wild indian.
Of dark-skinned girls saying how I had “that good hair” while not letting my play double dutch with them, and of feeling grateful to the one girl who “took up for me” in school for a short while.
And for another short while there was my mother’s Jewish roommate Susanna, the 18 year old who took me everywhere, while my mother was out with her White boyfriend every weekend, and often weekdays as well. The one adult who never said “stop asking so many questions!” Yet the one adult who really showed the fear I lived with: a NY police officer pulled us over and she looked at me
-don’t say anything smart alecy, because this cop is going to think you are my daughter, so he is going to think I’m dating a Black guy.
A that moment, I knew. There really was no place for me in this world, and there never would be.
Through all of the moves to different projects and evictions, through sleeping in cars, begging to be let back into the school program I’d been in before … then even while staying in a Black professor’s apartment as she traveled to Africa, grateful to have a place to stay that week before my internship, I knew I had no place in this world. And I knew that it would always be that way: too light-skinned to be included by most of my fellow Black people, even within my own family (“you know M. only tolerated your mother because she was so light-skinned” -thanks, Uncle…), but always reminded by the white folks, like my first day of school in VA, that I am a “nigger,” and nothing will change that constant outsider-ness. Not even fleeing to another religion.
But I can try to help make this world a place where skin color and connections matter less. A world where no one ever sleeps on the street or fears for his or her safety, and thus a world where who you were born only means who your friends might (or might not) be, but doesn’t mean you are out on the street or fear for your safety.
So I work and I walk: I work for the Universal Basic Income that Dr. Martin Luther King called for, so that no child, black or white, ever has to fear the police just because of skin color, and no person ever has to sleep on the street for any reason, or go hungry, or come with hat in hand to ask anyone else for food, clothing, shelter or money for basic needs (and yes, a basic phone is also a basic need, as is free decent Public Transpo and Universal Health Care).
And I walk because a car (which I will admit to having fears of driving due to my PTSD, but I could usually keep that under control enough to pull over, back when I used to drive) also divides us economically, and any car takes money from public transportation. Yes, I am also lucky to be able to walk. And grateful. Ok, back to reading and writing…
Destinie (Shira… ? really?)
Back-posting this so it shows only to my Readers… Written on Monday, March 11th, 12019 HE…
“-Architecte Numérobis !
C’est pas la peine de me pousser !”
… ça s’appelle (aux états unis) un “Body Attachment” -ce qui permet de t’envoyer au tribunal sans avoir commis un délit. Et le problème avec ça c’est que il y à plein des procès contre le démunies mais pas contre les riches. Souvent, les jugements par défaut sont obtenus sur les dettes qui sont bien au-delà de leurs statuts de limitations, mais les accusés ne pouvaient pas se défendre par un manque de savoir ou un manque de capacité à se défendre, et donc perdu soit par défaut, malgré la poursuite étant techniquement illégal. En suite ça mène à encore plus des soucies d’argent et même en prison, sûr tout quand on à des diversions pour ce qui peuvent payer, mais des procès et aux prison pour ce qui n’ont pas les moyens de payer pour éviter les procès. Après ça, le système de justice criminel a son propre montage des dettes, encore pire.
Des solutions possibles: Qu’on fait pas amené au tribunal pour des dettes, qu’après un temps limite, il n’y aura pas des procès pour des dettes, et sûr tout pas de paiements pour éviter les procès légaux. Et comment se fait-t-on pour éviter tous ces maux ? On incite les gouvernements de donner un Revenu de Base a tout le monde, augmenté par des Monnaies Locales. Et ça, c’est fait par la coopération humain. Même la Reine ne le peut pas nier.
… that is called (in the United States) a “Body Attachment” -which lets you be taken into custody without having committed a crime. The problem with that is that there is a greatly disproportionate rate of civil justice system debt collection litigation against the poor, rather than against wealthier debtors. Often default judgments are obtained on debts which are well past their Statutes of Limitations, but defendants were unable, due to lack of knowledge or lack of ability (illness, fear, no time off from work, lack of transportation, etc…) to defend, and thus lost by default, despite the lawsuit being technically illegal to begin with. This can lead to further financial problems, and even to jail time for those who end up in the Criminal Justice system. Particularly unjust is Pre-Trial Diversion, also known as Pre-Trial Intervention. Those who can afford to pay for Pre-Trial Diversions get all charges dropped, while those who cannot afford to pay go to trial and even to prison. To make matters worse, the criminal justice system has its own structure of debts on top of civil debts.
Some possible solutions to this arbitrary abuse of our justice system are: abolishing “Body Attachment” in the case of civil debt judgments, prohibiting lawsuit filings on time-barred debts, and above all, eliminating payment for Pre-Trial Diversion/Intervention. But how can we potentially prevent all of these problems at their source? We could encourage governments to provide a universal Basic Income, even if only in a Local Currency, potentially backed by partial acceptance for payment of local taxes, as many municipalities have done. This provides a floor on poverty, a floor on desperation, and a chance at avoiding the civil debts that often presage criminal justice system involvement, in our uneven set of systems. Even the Queen could not deny that.
Let us feed, clothe, care for and help release the creative potential of every human being on this earth until such time as we are no more. When others look back on this time, they can say of us, either that we died foolishly, mired in our own inhumanity, or that we died well, making the best life that could be had for each and every one of our fellow human beings.
We have the means easily at hand to allow a Basic Income as called for by Dr. King, Participatory Budgeting, Universal Health Care and Local Currencies, starting with multiple Time Banks and scrip currencies at every level.
Every person should have the help needed to write his or her own story, unlike in Orwell’s 1984 where writing was banned, and the Star Wars films, where writing is neglected, to the delight of a dictator who has that many fewer journalists/poets/novelists to round up and shoot or make disappear.
In the 17th century, from whence this popular folk song comes, litigation was not an option for most people, so they resisted in rhyme:
They hang the man and flog the woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
Yet let the greater villain loose
That steals the common from the goose
And then as now, community cooperation on a very wide scale was key to winning the freedoms promised in our foundational documents like the Magna Carta, the Constitution, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So we continue to walk, rhyme, and support court and non-violent community-based actions to cooperate in making this a safer and kinder world for all of us, and to non-cooperate with injustice.
As we discussed my all time favorite show, El Ministerio del Tiempo (sorry B5!!), a friend recently told me that one of her relatives had fought in the Spanish Civil War as part of the Lincoln Brigade which turned out to have been known officially as the Lincoln Batallion.
Looking into the history of the Lincoln Batallion, I found, among others, Oliver Law, a Black man who had to leave the USA to become the first African-American in US history to command a military unit (not counting NCOs during the US Civil War like Robert A. Pinn, who picked up the standard and command after the deaths of all of his officers), during the Spanish Civil War.
In total, one Black woman and 54 Black men volunteered from the United States, where they were treated with disdain, to fight racism and oppression on the other side of the Atlantic. They hoped to change things back home in the US, and they were following the calling of their consciences, to fight racism and oppression where they could: in Europe. For Tom Page, it was the first time he was treated with human dignity, and for Salaria Kea, the only Black woman to volunteer, it was a dashing of hopes upon returning home. But for all, it was honorable service to humanity.