WILD GEESE by Mary Oliver

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Poetry

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Continue ReadingWILD GEESE by Mary Oliver

Today – 2023-01-31

11:50 pm – Didn’t do much today except work and stay around the house. In the morning I finished outlining 7 of the 20 anti-trans bills that are going through the Indiana Statehouse. That was draining. Working on documentation for work.

Reading: Stayed up exceptionally late finishing Demon Copperhead. What an extraordinary novel. The narrator voice is fantastic.

TV Shows Watched:
Pokerface – first episode, then we discovered we have to pay the premium to buy the rest. Since we just canceled Paramount, we’re unlikely to pick up Peacock.
Vera – we’re in the 9th season and the show just seems dark.

Continue ReadingToday – 2023-01-31

Indiana Banned Books

Banned Books 2022

In January, I put together a list of books that various far-right protest groups in Indiana were trying to get banned from Indiana school systems in various towns (Carmel, Fort Wayne, Greenfield, Pendleton, Indianapolis). There are a lot of books that have either been challenged or soon will be – 148 titles and counting.

What these groups are doing is taking book titles compiled by a national organization as “inappropriate books” and searching online catalogs or sending people into school libraries or public libraries to see if those books are available. If they are, they report back to one of the local organizations to get a letter-writing campaign from people in that district to protest the books. They’re also sharing books in a couple of facebook groups to get disruptions going on in as many school systems as they can around the state.

The books are called “inappropriate” if they teach about racism, history of marginalized people, LGBTQA+ subjects, immigration, sex education, gun control, sexism… anything that would challenge white male hegemony.

It sounds like these same people are in connected to the legislation going through the statehouse as well – they’ve referenced it.

Some links where I gathered lists of books they are working on banning:

Sources:
Unify Carmel – How To Search For Inappropriate Books
Facebook page – Mary In the Library
Facebook page – Mama Bears in Carmel Clay Schools
Facebook page – Moms for Liberty – Hamilton County, IN (PUBLIC)

I put together a wishlist on IndyReads online store at bookshop.org if you are interested in helping me put some of these books in our little free library. I’ve been buying diverse books for the last couple of months, but I’d be happy to have more.

  • The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story – The New York Times Magazine, Caitlin Roper, et al.
  • The 1619 Project: Born on the Water – Nikole Hannah-Jones, Renée Watson, et al.
  • #Blacklivesmatter: Protesting Racism – Rachael L. Thomas
  • 10,000 Dresses – Marcus Ewert and Rex Ray
  • A Big Mooncake for Little Star – Grace Lin
  • A Good Kind of Trouble – Lisa Moore Ramée
  • A People’s History of the United States – Howard Zinn
  • A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches – Martin Luther King
  • A Young People’s History of the United States: Columbus to the War on Terror – Howard Zinn and Rebecca Stefoff
  • All Are Welcome – Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman
  • And Tango Makes Three – Peter Parnell, Justin Richardson, et al.
  • Antiracist Baby Board Book – Ibram X. Kendi and Ashley Lukashevsky
  • Ask a Queer Chick: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life for Girls Who Dig Girls – Lindsay King-Miller
  • Ask Me How I Got Here – Christine Heppermann
  • Autoboyography – Christina Lauren
  • Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at Education – Mike Rose
  • Backwards Day – S. Bear Bergman and Kd Diamond
  • Beautiful – Amy Reed
  • Berlin Boxing Club, the PB – Robert Sharenow
  • Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Beyond the Gender Binary – Alok Vaid-Menon and Ashley Lukashevsky
  • Black Lives Matter at School: An Uprising for Educational Justice – Denisha Jones, Jesse Hagopian, et al.
  • Blankets: A Graphic Novel – Craig Thompson
  • Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope – Jodie Patterson and Charnelle Pinkney Barlow
  • Breathless – Jennifer Niven
  • Brick by Brick – Heidi Woodward Sheffield
  • Call Me Max – Kyle Lukoff
  • Call Me Tree / Llámame Árbol – Maya Christina Gonzalez
  • Calvin – Vanessa Ford, Jr. Ford, et al.
  • Cemetery Boys – Aiden Thomas
  • Count Me in – Varsha Bajaj
  • Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement – Kimberle Crenshaw, Neil Gotanda, et al.
  • Dead End – Jason Myers
  • Dear Martin – Nic Stone
  • Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z – Irene Latham, Charles Waters, et al.
  • Doing It – Hannah Witton
  • Don’t Hug Doug: (He Doesn’t Like It) – Carrie Finison and Daniel Wiseman
  • Don’t Touch My Hair! – Sharee Miller
  • Drama: A Graphic Novel – Raina Telgemeier
  • Dreamers – Yuyi Morales
  • Dreaming in Cuban – Cristina García
  • Dress Codes for Small Towns – Courtney Stevens
  • Exit Here. – Jason Myers
  • Full Disclosure – Camryn Garrett
  • Full, Full, Full of Love – Trish Cooke and Paul Howard
  • Gender Queer: A Memoir – Maia Kobabe
  • George (Scholastic Gold) – Alex Gino
  • Ghost Boys – Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • Graceling – Kristin Cashore
  • Hands Up! – Breanna J. McDaniel and Shane W. Evans
  • Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi
  • How to Be an Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi
  • How We Fight White Supremacy: A Field Guide to Black Resistance – Akiba Solomon and Kenrya Rankin
  • I Am Enough – Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo
  • I Am Jazz – Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings, et al.
  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter – Erika L. Sánchez
  • I Am Rosa Parks – Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos
  • Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story about Gender and Friendship – Jessica Walton and Dougal MacPherson
  • It’s Not the Stork!: A Book about Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends – Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley
  • It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, Gender, and Sexual Health – Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley
  • It’s So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families – Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley
  • Jack (Not Jackie) – Erica Silverman and Holly Hatam
  • Jacob’s New Dress – Sarah Hoffman, Ian Hoffman, et al.
  • Jamie Is Jamie: A Book about Being Yourself and Playing Your Way – Afsaneh Moradian and Maria Bogade
  • Jesus Land: A Memoir; With a New Preface by the Author – Julia Scheeres
  • Julián Is a Mermaid – Jessica Love
  • l8r, g8r – Lauren Myracle
  • Leah on the Offbeat – Becky Albertalli
  • Let’s Talk about Love – Claire Kann
  • Let’s Talk about Race – Julius Lester and Karen Barbour
  • Lexicon – Max Barry
  • Looking for Alaska – John Green
  • Making a Baby – Rachel Greener and Clare Owen
  • Malala: My Story of Standing Up for Girls’ Rights – Malala Yousafzai and Sarah J. Robbins
  • Marvin Redpost #3: Is He a Girl?
  • Max and the Talent Show – Kyle Lukoff and Luciano Lozano
  • Max on the Farm – Kyle Lukoff and Luciano Lozano
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Revised Edition) – Jesse Andrews
  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor – Layla Saad and Robin Diangelo
  • Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress – Christine Baldacchino and Isabelle Malenfant
  • My Princess Boy – Cheryl Kilodavis and Suzanne DeSimone
  • Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult
  • Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness – Anastasia Higginbotham
  • Nuestra Clase es una Familia – Shannon Olsen and Sandie Sonke
  • Odd One Out – Nic Stone
  • Oliver Button Is a Sissy – Tomie dePaola and Tomie dePaola
  • One of a Kind, Like Me / Único Como Yo – Laurin Mayeno and Robert Liu-Trujillo
  • One of Us Is Lying – Karen M. McManus
  • One of Us Is Next: The Sequel to One of Us Is Lying – Karen M. McManus
  • Our Own Private Universe – Robin Talley
  • Out of Darkness – Ashley Hope Pérez
  • Perfectly Good White Boy – Carrie Mesrobian
  • Pink Is for Boys – Robb Pearlman and Eda Kaban
  • Pinky and Rex and the Bully: Ready-To-Read Level 3 – James Howe and Melissa Sweet
  • Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag – Rob Sanders and Steven Salerno
  • Red: A Crayon’s Story – Michael Hall
  • Rick – Alex Gino
  • Seeing Gender: An Illustrated Guide to Identity and Expression – Iris Gottlieb and Meredith Talusan
  • Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation – Duncan Tonatiuh
  • Sex Is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and You – Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth
  • Sex: An Uncensored Introduction – Nikol Hasler and Michael Capozzola
  • Shades of People – Sheila M. Kelly and Shelley Rotner
  • Sissy: A Coming-Of-Gender Story – Jacob Tobia
  • So You Want to Talk about Race – Ijeoma Oluo
  • Sparkle Boy – Leslea Newman and Maria Mola
  • Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Stamped (for Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You – Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi, et al.
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-Winning Stamped from the Beginning – Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
  • Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom – Bell Hooks
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Sherman Alexie
  • The Berlin Boxing Club – Robert Sharenow
  • The Boy in the Red Dress – Kristin Lambert
  • The Boy Who Wore a Dress – Ben Franks and Jarrod Becker
  • The Boys Body Book (Fifth Edition): Everything You Need to Know for Growing Up! (Puberty Guide, Health Education, Books for Growing Up) – Kelli Dunham, Steve Bjorkman, et al.
  • The Breakaways – Cathy G. Johnson
  • The Colors of Us – Karen Katz
  • The Day You Begin – Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López
  • The Every Body Book: The LGBTQ+ Inclusive Guide for Kids about Sex, Gender, Bodies, and Families – Rachel E. Simon and Noah Grigni
  • The Gender Wheel: a story about bodies and gender for every body – Maya Christina Gonzalez
  • The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas and Nikki Giovanni
  • The Haters – Jesse Andrews
  • The Infinite Moment of Us – Lauren Myracle
  • The Matter of Black Lives: Writing from the New Yorker – Jelani Cobb and David Remnick
  • The New Queer Conscience – Adam Eli and Ashley Lukashevsky
  • The Other Boy – M. G. Hennessey and Sfe R. Monster
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
  • The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family – Ibtihaj Muhammad, S. K. Ali, et al.
  • The Secret Loves of Geeks – Margaret Atwood, Gerard Way, et al.
  • The Sissy Duckling: Book and CD – Harvey Fierstein and Henry Cole
  • The Skin I’m in: A First Look at Racism – Pat Thomas and Lesley Harker
  • The Skin You Live in – Michael Tyler and David Lee Csicsko
  • The Story of Ruby Bridges – Robert Coles and George Ford
  • The Story of Ruby Bridges: A Biography Book for New Readers – Arlisha Norwood Alston
  • The Temptation of Adam – Dave Connis
  • They She He Me: Free to Be! – Maya Christina Gonzalez and Matthew Sg
  • They, She, He easy as ABC – Maya Christina Gonzalez and Matthew Sg
  • This Book Is Gay – Juno Dawson and David Levithan
  • This One Summer – Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
  • Triangles – Ellen Hopkins
  • Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom from Young Children at School – Carla Shalaby
  • Understanding Gender – Juno Dawson
  • Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead
  • What Girls Are Made of – Elana K. Arnold
  • When a Bully is President: Truth and Creativity for Oppressive Times – Maya Christina Gonzalez
  • When Aidan Became a Brother – Kyle Lukoff and Kaylani Juanita
  • Where Did I Come From?: An Illustrated Childrens Book on Human Sexuality – Peter Mayle
  • Who Has What?: All about Girls’ Bodies and Boys’ Bodies – Robie H. Harris and Nadine Bernard Westcott
Continue ReadingIndiana Banned Books

Night Flyer – Allison Russell

Night Flyer by Allison Russell
Outside Child Album

This song just blows me away. One of the best country music songs of the last 10 years.

Lyrics excerpt:

I’m the wounded bird, I’m the screaming hawk
I’m the one who can’t be counted out
I’m the dove thrown into battle
I can roll and shake and rattle mm-hmm, hmm

I’m the moon’s dark side, I’m the solar flare
The child of the earth, the child of the air
I am the mother of the evening star
I am the love that conquers all

Yeah, I’m a midnight rider
Stone bonafide night flyer
I’m an angel of the morning too
The promise that the dawn will bring you

Continue ReadingNight Flyer – Allison Russell

Respect

Two meanings of respect

Sometimes people use “respect” to mean “treating someone like a person” and sometimes they use “respect” to mean “treating someone like an authority.” And sometimes people who are used to being treated like an authority say “if you won’t respect me I won’t respect you” and they mean “if you won’t treat me like an authority I won’t treat you like a person” and they think they’re being fair but they aren’t, and it’s not okay.

quote from @stimmyabby

Continue ReadingRespect

‘This Goes All the Way to the Queen’: The Puzzle Book that Drove England to Madness | Hazlitt

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An amulet, a treasure hunt, and a legion of readers mobilized by the false patterns our brains create to make sense of the world around us. 

[…]

When you look at a rock formation or a car grille or the moon and see a face, that’s a form of apophenia—pareidolia, the construction of coherent visual or auditory stimuli from noise. The Rorschach test: apophenia. Horoscope adherents who see correlations between their star charts and their lives or personalities are engaging in apophenia too. When several unrelated things go wrong in a single morning, it’s apophenia that tells you that you must be dogged by a curse. Most attempts to anticipate what will make newborns stop crying are tinged by apophenia. And if you know anyone who’s convinced herself she has food sensitivities she doesn’t have, based on a supposed pattern in how she feels after eating, feel free to tell her she suffers from apophenia (though you shouldn’t expect it to go over too well).

Source: ‘This Goes All the Way to the Queen’: The Puzzle Book that Drove England to Madness | Hazlitt

Continue Reading‘This Goes All the Way to the Queen’: The Puzzle Book that Drove England to Madness | Hazlitt

This is why I no longer read anything from DC Comics

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This is a scene from the brand-new video game Batman Arkham Knight, in which Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), after she has been injured and is in a wheelchair, is held captive under the control of the Joker, and is made to kill herself in front of Batman. The scene is “Fake” in that she’s “not really dead” but the scenario is played out to torment Batman in the game so he will become enraged.

And Batman’s reaction – “Scarecrow was punishing me.”

Because this is all about Batman, of course. Never mind that they just used an iconic character from my childhood as grief bait for Batman to get his revenge.

If you are not aware of what “the Killing Joke” is – it’s a controversial, sadistic storyline written for DC Comics by Alan Moore in 1988 where the Joker tortures and rapes Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), then leaves her paralyzed in order to give Batman and Commissioner Gordon anguish. This story entered her “canon,” and Barbara became the wheelchair-bound computer geek Oracle for years and years after, and other women took over the character of Batgirl. Only recently have they “retconned” the storyline to make Barbara Gordon into Batgirl again – except that they left “The Killing Joke” in her storyline and just fixed her paralysis.

Batgirl in Arkham Knight

Women have been angry (with good reason) with the KJ storyline ever since because it takes one of the strongest female superheroes and turns her into a damsel in distress for Batman to rescue. And it’s still part of her storyline today, complete with all the torture scenes intact (although they tone down the rape scene pretty drastically so it’s not as clear anymore that it happened.)

This and the Amazons being killed off in Wonder Woman are two of the worst ideas that DC Comics has ever had, and they continue to double down on those stories instead of recognizing how offensive they are.

So as much as I still love Wonder Woman and Batgirl, to me the idea of them is removed from anything happening at DC Comics today, and I read Marvel Comics instead.

Continue ReadingThis is why I no longer read anything from DC Comics

2015-03-15 Recently Read

Cool stuff I’ve read recently.

Andrew Keir: Split ink Fountain Printing
ypically when printing, a single colour only is used in each ink fountain (pictures to follow), and while gradients can be printed using modern process colour printing – the standard mix of cyan, magenta, yellow and black found in your average home/office printer – printing methods like letterpress are typically limited to solid colours as a wooden or metal block stamps a colour into the paper stock, a method which doesn’t allow blending of multiple densities and layers of ink. By blending inks directly in the fountain, split fountain printing allows for some wonderful effects in letterpress and screen printing which otherwise wouldn’t be achievable, combining blends of colour with the more exotic stocks and debossing effects that aren’t available with standard offset printing.

Susan O'Malley Poster

The Morning News: Cities Don’t ♥ Us
Our urban future is upon us, city planners tell us, but residents’ on-again, off-again relationship with their surroundings makes them want to say goodbye to all that.

London Review of Books: Why didn’t you just do what you were told?
Jenny Diski
A few years ago, someone asked how it came about that I ended up living with Doris Lessing in my teens. I was in the middle of the story of the to-ing and fro-ing between my parents and was finally reaching the psychiatric hospital bit when the man said something extraordinary, something that had never occurred to me or to anyone else to whom I’d told the story.

‘Why didn’t you just do what you were told?’ he asked.

Priceonomics: The Time Everyone “Corrected” the World’s Smartest Woman
When Marilyn vos Savant politely responded to a reader’s inquiry on the Monty Hall Problem, a then-relatively-unknown probability puzzle, she never could’ve imagined what would unfold: though her answer was correct, she received over 10,000 letters, many from noted scholars and Ph.Ds, informing her that she was a hare-brained idiot.

Washington Post: Why digital natives prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right.
Textbook makers, bookstore owners and college student surveys all say millennials still strongly prefer print for pleasure and learning, a bias that surprises reading experts given the same group’s proclivity to consume most other content digitally. A University of Washington pilot study of digital textbooks found that a quarter of students still bought print versions of e-textbooks that they were given for free.

Continue Reading2015-03-15 Recently Read

2015-01-29 Recently Read

Grantland: How ‘Selma’ Got Smeared
As a member of more than one marginalized group of people, I can attest that these sorts of conversations with allies happen all the time wherein the needs of the marginalized group end up being subservient to the plans of their allies, who have more power and are able to set agendas and timelines that are at odds with those of the people they purport to aid. So the fact that Selma found a way to depict that sort of interaction is important to our understanding of the civil rights movement, and if minute historical detail was bent slightly in order to show that sort of interaction onscreen, I’m okay with that.

The Atlantic: Why I Am Not a Maker
When tech culture only celebrates creation, it risks ignoring those who teach, criticize, and take care of others.

Wikipedia: Searles Chinese Room
The Chinese room is a thought experiment presented by John Searle (b1932) to challenge the claim that it is possible for a computer running a program to have a “mind” and “consciousness” in the same sense that people do, simply by virtue of running the right program.

Good.Is: How Knitting Behind Bars Transformed Maryland Convicts
In late 2009, Lynn Zwerling stood in front of 600 male prisoners at the Pre-Release Unit in Jessup, Maryland. “Who wants to knit?” she asked the burly crowd. They looked at her like she was crazy.

Pacific Standard: The Greatest Rock Show I’d Ever Seen
How one guy’s beloved memory of a long-ago rock show turns out, when he rediscovers a record of it, to be quite different than the show as he remembered it.

Stairs upward

Continue Reading2015-01-29 Recently Read

Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art available for download

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The Ramayana (Tales of Rama; The Freer Ramayana), Volume 2

The Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler art galleries put more than 40,000 works of art online that are downloadable for non-commercial artistic purposes.

With a new year, the Freer|Sackler launches a new initiative: Open F|S. We’ve digitized our entire collection and today, we’re making it available to the public. That’s thousands of works now ready for you to download, modify, and share for noncommercial purposes. As Freer|Sackler Director Julian Raby said, “We strive to promote the love and study of Asian art, and the best way we can do so is to free our unmatched resources for inspiration, appreciation, academic study, and artistic creation.” More facts and figures about the project can be found in the infographic below.

Continue ReadingSmithsonian’s museums of Asian art available for download