April rambling #2: Smartest place on earth

A World Awash in Purple

Librarian.gang

The 2016 Pulitzer Prize Winners, with links to many of the written pieces!

The Vlogbrothers — John and Hank Green — summarize the tax proposals of the folks who want to be your next President.

John Green: Here’s to civil discourse and David Kalish: Comparing Facebook to a pee-soaked lamp post.

Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy.

Mississippi Interracial Couple Evicted For Being In An Interracial Marriage. In 2016.

Michigan mechanic refuses to serve people from the ‘ghetto’ — but insists he’s not racist – he was a bit coarser than that. “But Jim S. insists he’s not racist — which is exactly what racists usually say. ‘Race has nothing to do with this, let me clarify,’ Jim S. told Mic. ‘What we’re trying to avoid is people who number one can’t afford service.'” In 2016.

Michael Rivest: Thoughts on White Privilege and Colorblindness.

Why You Should Care about Felon Voting Rights.
Continue reading “April rambling #2: Smartest place on earth”

June rambling #2: composer James Horner, and coloring books

John Oliver: Helen Mirren Reads the Most Horrible Parts of the Torture Report and What the Internet Does to Women.

The Internet Age of Mean.

11 Ways White America Avoids Taking Responsibility for its Racism. “The pernicious impact of ‘white fragility.'” Slurs: Who Can Say Them, When, and Why. And Churches Are Burning Again in America.

President Obama’s extraordinary eulogy in Charleston, SC.

A black man and a white woman switch mics, and show us a thing or two about privilege.
Continue reading “June rambling #2: composer James Horner, and coloring books”

Seeing it another way

I didn’t “get” the “what color is this dress” thing.

colorI read this joke recently. I’d seen it before:

As a man was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife’s voice urgently warning him, “Frank, I just heard on the news that there’s a car going the wrong way on the Interstate. Please be careful!”
“It’s not just ONE car,” said Frank. “It’s HUNDREDS of them!”

It doesn’t ALWAYS happen, but I do TRY to see things from other people’s perspectives. Sometimes, I get a compelling narrative that butts up against my own.
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For whatever reason, I never warmed to the Oscar Best Picture-winning movie Birdman. One of my oldest friends came out of a screening of the film the same day I saw another film, and she had exactly the same reaction as I did.

Yet, in my visit to one of the ABC Wednesday folks, Anita from India, wrote: Five Lessons from Birdman film. Among the observations: not resting on your laurels, and dealing with your inner voice. The piece is a wonderful contemplation, and I liked it much more than the film it touted.
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I didn’t “get” the “what color is this dress” thing. Fortunately, my colleague sent me this story from Wired, which describes the science.

Another colleague noted, regarding the picture above: “Put your finger in the middle – Both panels are same color. It is the fact that the angle and highlighting make you believe the top is in the light and must be darker and the bottom is in the shadow and must be lighter.”
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As a result of our conversation at church about white privilege in January, led by two of our members who are, not incidentally, white, one of my white church friends decided to engage his work colleagues about the topic; the result of this is that they looked at him as though he had three heads. Perhaps another reason why our white friends don’t talk about race.
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The article in Salon with the provocative title Why the right hates American history has some really interesting notations about the change in in the American English language, which were instructive:

Living in the 18th Century, the Founders never would have actually used the word “privacy” out loud or in writing… The reason is simple: “privacy” in 1776 was a code word for toilet functions…
Instead, the word of the day was “security,” and in many ways it meant what we today mean when we say “privacy…”
Similarly, “liberty” was also understood, in one of its dimensions, to mean something close to what today we’d call “privacy.”

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I’m still not going to read the book, thanks to SamuraiFrog’s painful and detailed review. But Jaquandor applauds EL James’s writing process for 50 Shades of Grey. Here’s a defense of its grammar.
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As a business librarian, I am somewhat concerned that Tougher ozone standards could snuff out the recovery, businesses warn. Yet as a human being, I’m very concerned that weaker ozone standards could snuff out life as we know it, scientists warn. What to do, what to do?
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Saturday Night Live had its 40th anniversary special last month. Haven’t watched more than seven minutes of the three-and-a-half-hour program, and I probably won’t. Didn’t watch the weekly show much in the past decade.

Yet I found myself reading several stories ABOUT the special, e.g., ‘Saturday Night Live’: 20 Personal, Funny Tales. Not only is former cast member Gary Kroeger’s observations interesting, so is the rest of his blog; he MAY run for Congress as a Democrat from California.

I enjoyed Norm MacDonald’s tweets; my, he did not fare well in the ranking of all 141 cast members.
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Dustbury cannot decide whether he’s impressed or depressed by the number of YouTube scenes he recognized.
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A favorite quote of the week, from Leonard Nimoy’s Mr. Spock Taught Us Acceptance Is Highly Logical:
“As a young black man and science fiction fan, I strongly identified with Spock’s struggles to fit in with his human coworkers as I struggled to fit in at mostly-white schools and workplaces. And I wouldn’t be surprised if other fans struggling to fit into their communities for different reasons felt the same bond.”

The dinner guide to white privilege

They show up to try and calm him down and offer their help (rather than barking orders, screaming threats, and beating him up,)

good-foodI had recently suggested that, because of the new Jim Crow, it is good when white people point out white privilege. But I realized that this was an unfair request, since some folk need a nutritionally balanced meal to help in defining and explaining it.

As an appetizer, start with this delectable cartoon.

A most unusual but satisfying salad: What riding my bike has taught me about white privilege. As someone who rides a bike, it’d doubly meaningful for me.

Sample a medley of vegetables Continue reading “The dinner guide to white privilege”

Dealing with that “white privilege” conversation with humor

These are examples of showing, in a satirical way, how white privilege is so ingrained. As Hayes points out at the end, if you had substituted “black” for “white”, it would sound like normal American media chitchat.

One of the things that many right-wing Americans are fond of saying, and there are variations in the wording, is that there are a bunch of “professional black people” stirring up trouble between black and white people. By “professional black people,” I don’t mean black people who are doctors and lawyers and the like. Rather, their profession is BEING a black person. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are ALWAYS cited, and Barack HUSSEIN Obama has been recently added to the mix.

The general narrative is that, racially, things are FINE in America, that we have a post-racial society. I mean, we have a President who’s black! What more proof does one need? Well, none for the Supreme Court, which decides to gut the Voting Rights Act and affirmative action.

Every suggestion that things are NOT hunky dory has a pushback. Continue reading “Dealing with that “white privilege” conversation with humor”