Imagine fucking the person running imaginefucking and you’re imagining how many other people they’re imagining fucking and they’re imagining how many people you’re imagining fucking and you open up a portal in space-time.
And then there’s nothing left to do but fuck the space-time portal. Because c’mon: sexy.
by Janet Walsh
“If I looked nice, he hit me,” Ana L., a mother of five in Colombia, told me.
Ana (not her real name) detailed years of abuse by her partner. He beat her when she was pregnant, and hit her head so hard that she suffered permanent vision damage. She sought help from a prosecutor’s office, but they never charged him, and failed to offer Ana an order for protection. Ana said she lived in a two-room house with 14 people, and struggled to feed her children. A dismal situation, but Ana was anything but dismal the day we spoke earlier this year. Surrounded by strong women in a community organization fighting for women’s rights, Ana’s voice rang out as she described helping other women, as well as her plans to start her own business.
In my line of work – human rights research and advocacy – violence against women and girls is a constant. My colleagues and I interview hundreds of women and girls around the world every year who endure domestic violence, rape, trafficking, female genital mutilation, and other abuses. We hear women’s accounts of cruelty, but also of resilience and courage. Many survivors go on to campaign to stop the violence, and to force their governments to act.
On November 25 every year, a grim accounting takes place: the world takes stock of violence against women, the toll it takes, and progress toward eliminating it. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women has been commemorated on November 25 for more than three decades. It’s a day each year when my colleagues and I focus on the courageous women we have met, the injustices they’ve suffered, and the hope they inspire.
Over the past year, progress, both big and small, has been made in efforts to reduce violence against women and to improve governments’ response.
Take Afghanistan. Women and girls there face extraordinarily high levels of violence. But rather than protecting victims, Afghan courts often jail them. About half of the women in prison and close to 100 percent of the girls in juvenile detention in Afghanistan are imprisoned for either “running away” from home (which is not even a crime under Afghan law) or being suspected of engaging in sex outside of marriage. Human Rights Watch interviewed women and girls in Afghan prisons, and found that most had fled home to escape domestic violence or forced marriage. Some had been raped and then convicted for unmarried sex. Judges ruled against them on the flimsiest of evidence, and prosecutors routinely failed to bring charges against the abusers.
But exposing this injustice and pressuring the government made a difference. In April 2012, Afghanistan’s attorney general issued instructions that girls who run away for the purpose of getting married are not to be prosecuted. In September, the Afghan parliament held a meeting on the issue where the minister of justice and a deputy minister of interior publicly confirmed that “running away” is not a crime and there should be no arrests or prosecutions under this charge. This is far from the end goal, but important progress nonetheless.
Or take the situation of domestic workers. There are some 50 million to 100 million domestic workers worldwide, the vast majority women and girls. Domestic workers face a wide range of serious abuses and labor exploitation, and some suffer physical and sexual abuse by employers.
“The woman [her employer] beat me whenever I did something she didn’t like,” Fatima K., a child domestic worker in Morocco, told us earlier this year. “She beat me with anything she found in front of her. Sometimes with a wooden stick, sometimes with her hand, sometimes with a plastic pipe.” Hundreds of domestic workers in dozens of other countries have described to Human Rights Watch physical abuse by employers ranging from slaps to severe beatings using shoes, belts, sticks or household implements; knocking heads against walls; and burning skin with irons.
Fortunately, in 2012, enough countries ratified a landmark international treaty on domestic workers to trigger it coming into force next year. The International Labour Organization’s Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers establishes the first global labor standards for domestic workers worldwide, and includes specific protections against abuse, harassment, and violence.
Fatima told us, “I would like to do a job to keep girls from working as child domestic workers because I know how they feel.” We have a long way to go in combating violence against women and girls, but with Ana, Fatima, and countless others like them in the fight, perhaps next November 25 we’ll have less to mourn – and more to celebrate.
Published in: CNN
Photo © 2011 Samer Muscati/Human Rights Watch
Something interesting I learned in my speech class textbook, Reflect and Relate (Second Edition) about they/them/their in the English language, page 187:
A language’s regulative rules also change. When you learned to speak
and write English, for example, you probably were taught that they is inappropriate as a singular pronoun. But before the 1850s, people commonly used they as the singular pronoun for individuals whose gender was unknown—for example, “the owner went out to the stables, where they fed the horses” (Spender, 1990).
In 1850, male grammarians petitioned the British Parliament to pass a law declaring that all gender-indeterminate references be labeled he instead of they (Spender, 1990). Since that time, teachers of English worldwide have taught their students that they used as a singular pronoun is “not proper.”
I always thought that “they” was considered grammatically improper as a singular pronoun because of the possibility of confusion with the plural “they” (an additional factor also explored in this paper). I wanted to see if their were other sources on the above and there are! I was interested to learn about this in particular because, time and time again, I’ve heard people rudely remark on they/them/their being “improper” after someone would mention this as the pronoun set they’d like people to use in reference to them - both online and off. They/them/their is also the pronoun set I have gelled with best in reference to myself. If anyone has more info on this, I’d love to know about it!
All of this.
Also, the notion that there’s ambiguity between singular and plural they is utterly exploded by the fact that we routinely use “you” as both singular and plural without any difficulty.
And “you”, like “they”, originated as a plural pronoun.
The one truly good thing about Lincoln is that it’s inspiring some great articles and opinion pieces examining Abraham Lincoln’s life and legacy, the Civil War, and slavery. There was an excellent article in the NYT that pointed out how the movie never touches on the efforts of African Americans to free themselves. And here are excerpts from another thoughtful critique of Lincoln by Corey Robin (with a few parts I bolded):
Lincoln is most decidedly not a movie about Lincoln. The main character of the film is the 13th Amendment…The entire plot revolves around its passage. And what’s most fascinating about the film is that Spielberg, and his screenwriter Tony Kushner, shows that emancipation wasn’t the product of a lone heroic effort by a saintly Lincoln; instead, it depicts emancipation as a collective endeavor.
The film in fact does a remarkable job…of decentering Lincoln from his traditional role in our national narrative. Lincoln gets surprisingly little air time in the film. Many scenes are littered with the hapless attempts of three lowlifes…to get lame-duck Democrats on board with the 13th Amendment through promises of sinecures and patronage. In terms of getting the Amendment passed, Lincoln’s role is rather small. He only intervenes successfully in getting two or three votes.
[…]For all the decentering of Lincoln, for all the inclusion of multiple voices, the film studiously keeps black people in the audience—literally in the gallery, in one of the closing scenes, or in the bedroom or in the foyer, waiting, watching, attending. Black characters are almost always either looking up at their saviors (even allowing for the fact that Lincoln was tall) or wistfully after their saviors, as the latter depart for the halls of power. It’s true that the film opens with black soldiers telling Lincoln all they have done in the war, and telling him all that he should still do. Mary Todd Lincoln’s black servant speaks up every once in a while, as do some other servants. But that’s pretty much it.
What is so odd about this film…is that it really is trying to show that abolition is the democratic project of the 19th century. Democratic in it objective (making slaves free and ultimately equal) and democratic in its execution, involving a great many men beyond Lincoln himself, and a great many lowly men at that. But it is a white man’s democracy. In the film, in fact, Lincoln tells his colleagues: “The fate of human dignity is in our hands.” Our hands. Not theirs.
The inclusion of so many white players makes the exclusion of black players all the more inexplicable—and inexcusable. It’s just a weird throwback to the pre-Civil Rights era except that emancipation is now depicted as a good thing—just so long as it is white people who are doing the emancipating.
Robin also points out that Steven Spielberg was initially thinking about doing a movie focusing on the relationship between Lincoln and Frederick Douglass (why hasn’t there been an epic Douglass biopic instead of yet another Lincoln movie?). Additionally, Spielberg used Team of Rivals as source material, but chose to focus on 3 pages in the book—3 pages that happened to not discuss the role of black people in abolition efforts. All in all, the movie didn’t have to sideline black people in showing how the 13th Amendment was passed—that was a choice.
As for Kushner, who wrote the screenplay for Lincoln, he seems to hold some seriously messed up views about Reconstruction. In an interview with NPR, he said:
The inability to forgive and to reconcile with the South in a really decent and humane way, without any question, was one of the causes of the kind of resentment and perpetuation of alienation and bitterness that led to the quote-unquote ‘noble cause,’ and the rise of the Klan and Southern self-protection societies. The abuse of the South after they were defeated was a catastrophe, and helped lead to just unimaginable, untellable human suffering.
This is a really backwards, revisionist, white supremacist view of Reconstruction that focuses on the supposed plight of white southerners at the hands of a vengeful north. Please remember that many Reconstruction laws were passed specifically to protect freedmen and integrate them into society. Despite what some white southerners would have you believe, Reconstruction wasn’t entirely an effort by the north to humiliate and punish the south.
Kushner’s references to “the abuse of the South” and the rise of “self-protection societies” (what a fucking euphemism!) like the KKK has its roots in a white supremacist historical school of thought. Dunning argued that freedmen were incapable of participating in government and that white southern terrorism and barbarity to black southerners (e.g. the KKK) was a somehow justifiable or understandable reaction to Reconstruction.
Here’s historian Eric Foner’s criticism of the Dunning School:
Their account of the era rested, as one member of the Dunning school put it, on the assumption of “negro incapacity.” Finding it impossible to believe that blacks could ever be independent actors on the stage of history, with their own aspirations and motivations, Dunning, et al. portrayed African Americans either as “children”, ignorant dupes manipulated by unscrupulous whites, or as savages, their primal passions unleashed by the end of slavery.
When you get down to it, white southerners thought that not being allowed to prevent African Americans from exercising their newly won civil and political rights was a form of ‘abuse’ by the North. They were afraid of blacks gaining any measure of political and economic power. So the KKK and similar groups arose to terrorize black southerners into docility. As with the Confederacy itself, there’s no way to spin the KKK as anything but an expression of white supremacy. And if you do hear such spinning, watch out.
So don’t believe revisionist depictions of Reconstruction as a horrible, terrible thing. Despite the corruption and inefficiency, Reconstruction was overall better than the alternative. Remember that when Reconstruction ended, white southerners immediately passed laws that basically nullified the Fifteenth Amendment and kept black southerners politically and economically marginalized for decades, essentially ensuring that blacks would remain a source of cheap labor. When you hear Kushner refer to groups like the Ku Klux Klan as ‘self-protection’ societies, remember what those societies were actually protecting: white supremacy and domestic terrorism.
What’s important about Kushner’s reference to the Dunning account of Reconstruction is that it highlights the main problem with Lincoln: it suggests black incapability. It doesn’t matter the film’s depiction of whites as saviors and blacks as hapless victims was created without malicious intent—it still upholds a white supremacist historical narrative.
Lincoln is what happens when you have white people in charge of the story—white faces and white voices are centered and a white supremacist view of history is put forward. This is particularly problematic because the white people in charge are prominent artists like Spielberg and Tony Kushner and the story they tell will be viewed by millions of people, many of whom are unaware that the abolition of slavery is a bigger, more complex, and far more interesting tale than whites freeing blacks. There’s nothing artistically challenging or novel about yet another narrative in which whites save hapless, nameless people of color.
Speaking for the Negro, I can say, we owe much to Walker for his appeal; to John Brown [applause] for the blow struck at Harper’s Ferry, to Lundy and Garrison for their advocacy [applause], We owe much especially to Thomas Clarkson, [applause], to William Wilberforce, to Thomas Fowell Buxton, and to the anti-slavery societies at home and abroad; but we owe incomparably more to Haiti than to them all. [Prolonged applause.] I regard her as the original pioneer emancipator of the nineteenth century. [Applause.]….the freedom of Haiti was not given as a boon, but conquered as a right ! [Applause.] Her people fought for it. They suffered for it, and thousands of them endured the most horrible tortures, and perished for it.
Well, duh. Especially in light of all the shootings that have happened on school campuses in recent years.
the thing is, women are conditioned to be the primary caregivers in relationships.
the average woman acting as an informal, that is unpaid, caregiver will be married, have a full-time job and yet feel guilt that she hasn’t done enough to help. the labor of unpaid women caretakers in the united states comes to around $150 billion dollars annually.
we’re 50% more likely to be informal caregivers to aging parents than men are. we’re more likely to be the primary or sole caretaker of our children then fathers are. we’re more likely to be the peacemakers in our straight relationships. of course there are the exceptions but generally, this is how it goes.
what does this have to do with why I’m tired of men apologizing and feeling guilt and say how sorry they are when we’re talking about sexism and misogyny?
I am so used to men thinking of women as caretakers. because when leftist men tell me they feel guilty and that isn’t productive or helpful or supportive. instead, it is exhausting. because then, instead of focusing on women the focus turns onto men and how, oh, no, sweetie, I didn’t mean you
I don’t think leftist men are any less likely to not expect caretaking from women. everythingbutharleyquinn once mentioned about how femmes are expected to bring cupcakes everywhere which is a pretty great analogy to how we code femininity with a willingness to support others, sometimes at cost (emotional, financial, time) to ourselves.
“I’ve read Hamlet, I know men suffer”. I understand that many men have women they love and it hurts them to see the women they care about suffering. I get that. I just don’t really care when we’re talking about how women suffer.
because I get it, guys, I do. you are used to women taking care of you. you are used to us being the caregivers.
but you have to understand how this works. you have to understand that I am not here to listen to your guilt or your feelings. I am not your mother!
I don’t want to be your mother!
so look. until women are no longer the primary caretakers, I don’t want men to ask me to take care of them because of their guilt.
I don’t have the time for that.
See also: the Cosmic Titty archetype
It’s no woman’s job to coddle the sadfeels of whoever expects it of her. We aren’t Manic Pixie Dream Girls, existing only to heal some dude’s issues and make the world a delightful happy place for him again.
© Ron McKinney
Katlyn Addison of the Houston Ballet
B68, the Black Cloud
This "War on Men" article from Fox News that’s been making the rounds is hilariously stupid: biotruths (“[Men] want to provide for and protect their families – it’s in their DNA”), gender essentialism (“Women aren’t women anymore”), slut-shaming (consequence-free sex? OH NO!), etc. Its thesis is that women are to blame for men feeling bad about themselves and that if we’d stop being such selfish bitches, maybe the poor, frightened men would want to marry us.
I think the funniest part of the piece is a throwaway line where Venker refers to Hanna Rosin as a feminist. She would probably like Rosin’s book if she gave it a chance. It’s basically chapter after chapter of “but what about the menz?” It’s also been well-received by MRAs.
I guess Venker is one of those people who assume that if a woman writes about gender, then she’s automatically a feminist. It’s just funny that Venker is putting down (because ‘feminist’ is a put down to conservatives) Rosin, when Rosin’s work is just as anti-feminist as her own.
- Repealing Bush-era tax breaks for the wealthy does not mean “raising taxes.” It means “restoring tax rates to where they were — at least — before President Bush gave the rich a break.”
- Restoring tax rates for the rich does not mean “raising taxes for everyone.” It means “restoring tax rates for the rich to where they were before President Bush gave the rich a break.”
YES. I also wish the mainstream media would stop reporting this narrative. Instead of reporting that the president wants to raise taxes, they should be more specific and say he wants to raise taxes for the rich. If they want to go really wild with the context, they can add that taxes for the rich were higher under Clinton and the economy was doing just fine back then, thanks.
Increasing the wages of retail workers to $25,000 per year would lift roughly 730,000 workers and their families out of poverty, according to the Demos study. It would also increase the purchasing power of retail workers by $4 to $5 billion, boosting overall GDP by between $11.8 and $15.2 billion. And in doing so, it would generate between 100,000 and 132,000 new jobs as a result of this “stimulus” and its multiplier effects, while having only a small effect on prices, the report finds.
Paying retail workers better also offers substantial benefits to the companies that employ them. While this may seem counterintuitive, detailed academic research backs it up. Zeynep Ton of MIT’s Sloan School of Management argues that seeing keeping wages low as the way to achieve low prices and high profits is badly mistaken: “The problem with this very common view is that it assumes that an employee working at a low-cost retailer can’t be any more productive than he or she currently is. It’s mindless work so it doesn’t matter who does it. If that were true, then it really wouldn’t make any sense to pay retail workers any more than the least you can get away with.”
Like the leading high-tech and manufacturing companies, the best, most high-performing retail companies benefit from having better paid, more skilled and more engaged workers. In a study published in the Harvard Business Review, Ton finds that the retail companies that invest the most in their lowest paid workers “also have the lowest prices in their industries, solid financial performance, and better customer service than their competitors.”
I think that what “moderate” people don’t understand is that to some of us their political views are very extreme.
The only reason why they’re thought of as moderate is because they uphold the status quo and supposedly use “pacific” means to get that.
But no one ever speaks about how violent both the status quo and those “pacific” means are to some people, except the people suffering from it, to be silenced right away.
The moderate position is relative. Once upon a time, it was ‘moderate’ to advocate for maintaining slavery where it was already established while banning it in the western territories (a position Abraham Lincoln endorsed for a long time). Being ‘moderate’ doesn’t necessarily mean you’re holding the best, most moral, or most rational view of things. At best, you’re compromising with a decidedly backwards viewpoint.
This piece by Seth Ackerman is a fascinating take on the Hostess situation. He argues that the way neoliberals disparage unions for enforcing ‘uncompetitive’ wages can be traced back to—literally—medieval notions of moral worth, class status, and the economic value of one’s labor.
First, Ackerman points out how rare it is for wages to be cut. Employers tend to fire workers rather than cut wages because doing so risks walk-outs and decreases in morale and productivity:
…Judging from the commentary, you would think that out there in the real world, 30% pay cuts are the norm and people just suck it up. In reality, nominal pay cuts are rare. This is a well-known phenomenon in economics: it’s called downward nominal wage rigidity. Companies rarely impose actual reductions in the dollar amounts of pay for existing workers. In the most reliable studies, using company payroll records, about 2%-3% of workers experience a pay cut each year. Data from national surveys are notoriously prone to measurement error, but after correcting for it, 4%-5% of workers are observed experiencing falling wages.
[Yale economist Truman] Bewley summarized what he found this way: “All employers thought cutting the pay of existing employees would cause problems. The main argument was that employee reactions would cost the firm more money than a pay cut would save, so that it would be profitable only if workers accepted it.”
Interestingly, while many are eager to criticize unions for enforcing ‘uncompetitive’ wages that hurt firms, those same critics fail to discuss how those firms can hurt themselves by not offering competitive wages (emphasis mine):
In a piece for Salon, Jake Blumgart quoted a bakery worker who had been at the company for 14 years. “In 2005, before concessions I made $48,000, last year I made $34,000…. I would make $25,000 in five years if I took their offer. It will be hard to replace the job I had, but it will be easy to replace the job they were trying to give me.”
What we have here is a situation where a company offered a wage in the marketplace and couldn’t get any workers to accept it. Consequently, it went out of business. The word “competitive” gets thrown around a lot, often with the murkiest of meanings, but in this case there can be no doubt at all that a company, Hostess, was unable to pay a competitive wage. Ninety-two percent of its workers voted to walk out on their jobs rather than accept its wage, and they stayed out even after they were told it was the company’s final offer.
By all the canons of competitiveness, it was the company that was deluded. Hey, it’s a tough labor market out there. Hostess just couldn’t compete.
Yet many were quick to blame the Hostess unions for the company’s failure to stay competitive. Here’s the thing, though: if you can’t run your business without making your employees so unhappy that they’d rather walk out and forgo pay than continue working, then you probably shouldn’t be in business. Cutting wages is not the only way for a business to remain competitive. In fact, doing so can be bad for business, as the employers interviewed by Bewley point out.
So if there’s no objective, economic reason to blame unions for Hostess’s failures, then why do so many do it? What do they really mean when they say unions are harm businesses by demanding ‘uncompetitive’ wages? (emphasis mine):
But the union got blamed instead, and that points to a fascinating aporia in neoliberalism. The competitiveness ideology keeps a double set of books. On the surface, it celebrates free individuals making voluntary agreements on a footing of formal equality. But look just a little deeper and it turns out to be a musty, medieval system of morality that venerates human hierarchy and inequality. If taken literally, an accusation of insufficient “competitiveness” would refer to a failure to buy or sell on the terms objectively demanded by the dispersed actors of the marketplace. But nine times out of ten, this literal meaning is just a facade for the real underlying meaning, which is all about policing the socially accepted rules concerning who is a worthy human being and who is not. Workers at an industrial bakery are losers. They need to take a pay cut — not so much to make the numbers add up…but as a ritual affirmation of their debased social status. The refusal to take the cut was shocking and revolting — an act of lèse-majesté. It’s in that sense that the union was uncompetitive. The workers didn’t know their place.
Erik Loomis neatly sums up the ugly classism lurking beneath complaints about uncompetitive union wages:
So much of our ideology about workers is looking down on blue-collar labor. They aren’t educated so they deserve to be at the bottom. Plus I have a college degree and I have an unpaid internship. I am so lucky to get this “job” and I am so valuable with my bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan. So if I’m not getting paid, certainly those losers should be getting even less.
When a business fails, why should workers, rather than management, be blamed? It was the bakers’ job to bake. It was management’s job to make sure the company stayed in business. This included making sure they were paying wages that would attract and retain workers. The Hostess bakers were doing their jobs. The people running Hostess failed to do theirs. To argue otherwise is to suggest that blue collar employees are somehow more responsible for keeping a company successful than the white collar people paid handsomely to manage it.
I made 25K with a BA working a full time research-heavy desk job. I worked in the Chicago Loop. Basically: Aww, how cute
Yeah, that’s the thing. NO ONE is being paid enough. The people at the very, very top of the pay scale have experienced a huge jump in income, but everyone else is being underpaid. I just saw an article the other day about a federal judge who was looking for a law clerk who would work for him for free:
This is the practical endpoint of a social system that has produced a vast oversupply of bright, ambitious, hardworking and highly educated young people, who are increasingly desperate for any sort of employment that bears a vague resemblance to the kind of work they thought they were being trained to do. The zero-salary job is merely the logical extension of what has been called “the internship rip-off,” which allows employers to exploit unpaid labor under the guise of educational training.
Casualization is happening in both blue and white collar jobs. And employers are expecting both white and blue collar workers to work for less money and fewer benefits. And the fact that white collar workers are being underpaid is a means of turning them against blue collar workers. If you’re not getting paid that much for your white collar job, then why should a retail worker get paid more? Eric Loomis characterizes the class warfare this way:
So much of our ideology about workers is looking down on blue-collar labor. They aren’t educated so they deserve to be at the bottom. Plus I have a college degree and I have an unpaid internship. I am so lucky to get this “job” and I am so valuable with my bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan. So if I’m not getting paid, certainly those losers should be getting even less.
The thing is, almost everyone is being underpaid. Work in general is being undervalued. Everyone is working harder and investing more in their education and skills, but income hasn’t risen to match increases in productivity. And that’s because the very wealthiest among us are effectively cutting wages and salaries so that they can pay themselves the most. The 1% are making off with the lion’s share of this country’s wealth while the rest of us squabble over the scraps.
Yup. My notes about it being fucked up were hashtags. The expectation of personal dignity has become a luxury.
Oh I get that. But your comment gave me an opportunity to discuss the alarming trend of work being severely undervalued in this country, which I’ve been wanting to bring up.
I remember reading articles years ago about how productivity in the U.S. jumped by a huge amount in the ’90s, which was one factor for the economic boom of the Clinton years. But the fruits of that productivity have not being equally shared. And the invisible hand of the market isn’t responsible for the enormous wealth gap in this country—there have been deliberate policy changes that have led us to this new Gilded Age, in which we’re expected to be grateful for being paid anything at all.
Basically: Fuck Ronald Reagan.
New Doctor Who ‘The Snowmen’ promo
I had high hopes when I saw the trailer.
…but this is a piece of crap.
#can we just stop it with making the companions submissive damsels #and the doctor into some sort of action star beef cake? #this is 11 #he’s like a baby giraffe learning how to walk #not some suave action star #give me a break #and a true depiction of what the show will be #please and thank you #jfc
perfect tags are perfect. “he’s like a baby giraffe learning how to walk”
Yeah, this poster makes more sense for 10 or maybe 9. 11 is not an action hero. And I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m so enamored with the new companion. Yet another cute, young, spunky white chick? Moffat’s female characters are way too similar. Say what you will about the unevenness of the Davies years, but at least Rose, Martha, and Donna had distinct personalities.
Pic of the day: Where do you think you’re going? [Narita Airport, Japan]
Whitaker Wright was a financier and self-made millionaire. He had mining interests around the world and, closer to home, his business empire included the London & Globe Finance Company, principal backers of London’s Bakerloo line.
About 1890 Wright assembled a huge 9,000 acre (3,644ha) estate stretching from Thursley to the Devil’s Punchbowl and engaged leading architects and engineers to construct a vast mansion and lavish pleasure gardens. But whatever the scale of the house and grounds, it’s Wright’s dream-like follies that send your imagination into overdrive.
Like a children’s den, it all starts with a hollow tree and a door. Beyond the door, a ramp spirals down past musty subterranean rooms towards a flooded tunnel, 50ft (15m) below the ground. Your feet would take you no further; but luckily enough, there’s a boat here. Climb aboard, and feel your way through the tunnel until it brings you out onto a lake.
There’s an island over there. Row across and tie up the boat; things are starting to get interesting. A flight of stairs lead down to a light, airy room directly below the island. Time to change into party clothes here, before more steps and another tunnel take you through to the miniature iron and glass ballroom, totally submerged beneath the surface of the lake. If you’d like a dance, only the fish will notice. Another submarine tunnel leads us back into the warm sunshine, to ponder what all this must have cost. It’s said that Wright spent around £1.5m on Witley Park in the 1890’s; perhaps as much as £200m by today’s standards. But that was the least of it.
By the turn of the century, Wright’s business enterprises were collapsing like a set of dominoes; he was arrested on charges of fraud, tried at the Old Bailey, and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. Waiting in an anteroom to the court, Whitaker Wright had other ideas. He asked for a cigar, and a glass of whiskey - then swallowed a cyanide capsule, and died where he fell.
The entire Witley Park estate is private property, and not open to the public at any time.
Underwater smoking room (by odin’s_raven)
This is perfect.
The Lines will always be skewed
NO NO NO
RYAN IS NOT A HUFFLEPUFF HOW DARE YOU
TAKE THAT BACK. HUFFLEPUFF DOES NOT ACCEPT PAUL RYAN. WE DO NOT ACCEPT HIM IN HUFFLEPUFF.
If anyone is a Hufflepuff it’s Joe “Ice Cream Cone” Biden. Paul Ryan is a squib.
The nerd in me cannot let this stand. Barack Obama is clearly a Ravenclaw and Biden is a Hufflepuff. Republicans are always
But one thing I have learned in my twenty years on this earth is that no man will ever love Law & Order: SVU the way a woman does.
Men like the mothership; they really like Criminal Intent (but only the D’Onofrio years). Ladies fucking love SVU, however. I have never had a substantial conversation about this show with a dude; yet in high school I ended up bonding with a girl who had previously hated me over how much we shipped Elliot/Olivia. I once overheard half of a phone conversation on the street that involved a very beautiful twentysomething woman saying to her conversation partner, “I just want to go home, take off my bra, and watch SVU.” And on some level, I’m pretty sure that’s what every woman wants.
I’m not sure if it’s because Mariska Hargitay is more beautiful than Cinderella and smells like pine needles and has a face like sunshine, or because watching stories about rape and child abuse are like pressing on a bruise — they hit you someplace visceral but it’s hard to pull yourself away — or because sometimes it’s fucking ridiculous (“THE MONKEY IS IN THE BASKETBALL!”) or what. I just feel like, on some level, it’s a Lady Show, despite being super intense and rape-y pretty much all the time. I don’t know.
Anyway, all of this boils down to the fact that I’m watching an episode right now about a college student who keeps getting pregnant in order to kill the babies as soon as she gives birth and also the baby daddy is HER father. This is just as fucked-up as any weird European horror movie. I can’t look away.
I’ve always said that the reason so many women love SVU (myself included, although I prefer watching syndicated marathons for 8 hours at a time instead of keeping up week to week) is because it gives us a false sense of security. We all know the way that the justice system actually handles issues of sexual violence, we all know the way these “special victims” are neglected by the system. But SVU creates a beautiful myth for us, a world as fantastical as Narnia, where the cops fight hard and true to bring rapists and murderers to justice, where the race, religion, sexual orientation, and immigration status of the victim doesn’t determine the quality of justice they receive. The bad guy is always caught, the victims are avenged, and the survivors get closure.
We watch SVU because its the only form of media that actually treats sexual violence as a serious crime.
I have never thought about the show this way, but I think you all are right.
Now I can’t stop sorting politicians into their appropriate houses.
This is probably the nerdiest thing I’ve ever done on this blog.
Imagine fucking James Joyce. You are no longer capable of looking people in the eye.
I’ve had this list sitting around for a while (in case I ever want to try something new) and I thought I’d share it, because why the hell not, everybody loves free stuff. I’ve only used a couple, so for all I know these could be complete shit. BUT YOU NEVER KNOW, RIGHT?
*= available for both windows and mac os
GIMP * - Does a lot of the same stuff as Photoshop.
FireAlpaca * - Similar to Paint Tool Sai, so it’s a good alternative for Mac users.
Autodesk Sketchbook Copic Edition * - Simulates the look of copic markers.
MyPaint * - Basic stuff, nothing fancy.
Pinta * - Drawing program modeled after paint.NET.
Inkscape * - Vector/drawing program meant to be similar to Illustrator.
ArtRage * - Digital painting program; you can get the trimmed down version for free or buy the full version with more features.
Sumo Paint * - In-browser drawing app.
DAZ Studio * - Some sort of 3D model poser thing.
Pencil * - Software for animating.
SketchUp * - Tool for making 3D models. Looks handy for stuff like architectural drawings.
Blender * - Pretty popular 3D software.
escape motions * - Some browser apps, fun to fiddle with when you’re bored (the fluid fire simulation is pretty cool imo).
Twistedbrush (Pixarra) - Seems to be meant for replicating the look of traditional media.
Pixia/Phierha - A popular program in Japan, according to the website.
Krita - This was originally made for Linux and it looks like the developers haven’t ironed out all of the kinks in the Windows installer.
Artweaver - Another trimmed down free thing if you don’t want to buy the full program.
paint.NET - Pretty basic kit, probably good for simple stuff.
Project Dogwaffle - I’m not sure what this one is all about because I couldn’t stop laughing at the terrible website.
Speedy Painter - Lightweight digital painting program.
mtPaint - Originally made for pixel art; simple enough to run on older computers.
Chasys Draw IES - Supposed to be some sort of drawing+image editor thing.
PaintRibbon - Seems to be another plain old basic image editor.
DrawPlus - Looks like it’s made for graphic design and vector stuff.
SmoothDraw - I’m guessing this is a basic thing for people who don’t want to bother with complicated stuff.
Might be useful for some of you guys! Also you should all check out Alchemy, too. It’s really fun to mess around with.
Reblogging because I know some of you draw.
for a more civilized era
Read Moby Dick a chapter at a time over four months
The folks over at the Moby Dick Big Read describe Herman Melville’s novel as ‘Sprawling, magnificent, deliriously digressive…the great unread American novel’. After my best friend tried for years to get me to read Moby Dick, I finally moved the American bible of whaling off of my bucket list and onto my bedside table after he spontaneously tattooed a sperm whale on his forearm as an homage to the behemoth in his favorite book. Now I understand what all the fuss is about. Moby Dick is manly, cosmopolitan, and above all, nerdy in the best way possible.
Nevertheless, tackling this epic saga can prove an inaccessibly daunting task for the average roman de gare reader. Fortunately, the likes of Tilda Swinton, Simon Callow, Stephen Fry and countless other talented entertainers have teamed up to release each chapter of Moby Dick in 135 downloadable audio tracks over the course of four months. Let them inspire you to dive into one of the best books ever written.
I read Moby Dick when I was going through a phase where I wanted to read all the ‘great books’. I thought it was going to be a slog, but I honestly enjoyed it. Because I’m a weirdo, I particularly liked the parts where Melville discussed the whaling industry in detail.
Anyway, these audio tracks might be an easier way to get into the book.
A comprehensive overview of the current state of affairs in Juarez and other Mexican cities that are caught in the middle of an ongoing, deadly turf war between various cartels.