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more articles on Haiti [Jan. 24th, 2010|09:54 am]
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Dr. Evan Lyon, on Democracynow.org: “Earthquake Frees Haitian Prisoners from Port-Au-Prince Jail, 80% Never Charged With A Crime":

“The National Penitentiary held 4,000 prisoners. We know that 60 to 80 percent of them are not convicted of anything. They’re in prolonged pretrial detention. The average pretrial detention is a year. So, between time of arrest and accusation to the time you see a judge, the average is a year. Sometimes that’s out to two, and sometimes that’s out to three. It’s a fairly common practice in Haiti. If someone who’s accused can’t be found, a family member will be picked up. So the lies that criminals have been released into the street is a lie. Sixty to 80 percent of these people are not convicted of anything.”

comment on above by abbyjean:

wait, so when anderson cooper implied that the correct thing for those people to do when the prison was destroyed in the earthquake was to sit tight and wait for the justice system to literally rebuild around them until such time they could be reimprisoned, that wasn’t accurate and overlooked key facts about the country while imposing a western view of right and wrong? NO WAY.

The Guardian: Luxury liners are still docking at private beaches near Haiti's devastated earthquake zone for holidaymakers to enjoy the water

The Guardian: Our Role in Haiti's Plight:

[...] Haiti is routinely described as the "poorest country in the western hemisphere". This poverty is the direct legacy of perhaps the most brutal system of colonial exploitation in world history, compounded by decades of systematic postcolonial oppression.

The noble "international community" which is currently scrambling to send its "humanitarian aid" to Haiti is largely responsible for the extent of the suffering it now aims to reduce. Ever since the US invaded and occupied the country in 1915, every serious political attempt to allow Haiti's people to move (in former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide's phrase) "from absolute misery to a dignified poverty" has been violently and deliberately blocked by the US government and some of its allies.

ReclusiveLeftist: Libertarians and evangelicals explain the problem with Haiti:
So Haiti was isolated: no diplomatic recognition, official embargoes on trade. “You don’t really exist,” said the French. And the Americans. And the British. And the Spanish. The economy foundered. Then the Bourbons started making noises about re-conquering the island. Finally, in 1825, the Haitians signed a deal with France: recognize us diplomatically, call off the gunboats, and in return we will reimburse you for the loss of us as your slaves. The price? One hundred and fifty million francs.

Haiti spent the next 122 years paying off that indemnity. The final installment was in 1947. Nineteen forty-fucking-seven. The entire history of modern Haiti is about paying off that goddamn debt. They borrowed money from European and American bankers to make the installments, took out more loans to pay the interest, and the whole thing turned into a century-long bankrupting of the country. Imagine a giant straw jammed into the Haitian economy, with white bankers sucking hard on the other end for a hundred-plus years, and that’s the story of Haiti. The U.S. even occupied the country for awhile to make sure the goddamn money kept coming. Gotta make those debt payments. By the time Papa Doc Duvalier came to power in 1957, Haiti was a hollowed-out mess.
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School [Jan. 23rd, 2010|11:05 pm]
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My eyes are in pain from all this class reading. IN PAIN cos I'm studying for a test on monday. and I JUST FINISHED all the required reading. and I have another test in two weeks w/ 9 more chapters of varying length... I can't imagine having a family to look after/ working AT ALL and doing this at the same time.

I've been thinking a little more abt what I want to do after school (yea why am I on the comp it'll end up hurting my eyes even more) I want to apply to Doctors Without Borders (MSF) instead of Peace Corps. Someone had alr recommended MSF over PC to me cos they said PC wouldn't ask me to do much by way of nursely duties (like, really basic, and well, I would be fresh out of school anyway...) AND MSF is not affiliated with any government.

I was thinking of studying to become a nurse anesthetist/midwife/ smth because those are listed as "most urgently needed" on their website. but of course those require more years of study.. a Master's I believe. I'm alr thinking of trying for a Master's anyway cos I want to be able to specialize in women's issues/trauma but

anyway real quick

I need to
do a lot of
things like
planning and

figuring out if I'm going to be working and going to school part-time (likely) or (continue to) be really privileged and ask my parents to support me so I can go to school full-time and get a Master's and all the ins and outs of that.

In other news: Haiti

Vs. the Pomegranate: Haiti and the difference between looting and finding:

“Here is the difference Heather: if there were a comparable natural disaster on the Upper West Side people would be doing exactly the same thing but the press would be calling it “The Triumph Of The American Will to Survive.” The reporting on Haiti that focuses on the looting does so to make a point about the character of the Haitian people, not the desperation of their circumstances. And essays like yours try to have it both ways, display pity for the Haitian people, which proves you are a *good* person, while maintaining a tastefully curled lip at their behavior. It reads to me like you are struggling between pity and disgust so you are trying to use one feeling to justify the other. I think perhaps you know this, which is why you deleted it in the first place. Do I think the looting in Haiti should be reported on? Of course, it is part of this tragedy. But when (not if, When) emphasis on the (Ha!) “dark side of the story” (thanks for the unintentionally revealing phrase sagemerlin) is employed—as it was in Katrina—to dehumanize the victims of this disaster I am going to say so. The demand to control the narrative of other people is the very definition of white/western privilege.”

A Radical Profeminist: And When Whites are Engaged in LOOTING What is THAT Called? Ah, yes: expansionism, colonisation, manifest destiny, globalisation ...

Racewire.org: good article w/ lots of sourcing, on the militarization/media portrayal of the urgent need for order vs actual manifestations of violence:

As the unprecedented humanitarian relief effort in Haiti struggles through logistical chaos, triaging shipments of food, medicine, and personnel, making sure help is distributed efficiently, one entity seems to consistently dominate the hierarchy of needs: the military. [...] At a press conference on Monday, [top military commander Ken Keen] admitted that there was no massive threat of violence. In fact, military officers’ fears may have been informed by alarming press accounts—demonstrating the media’s influence on not only public perceptions but policy calculations as well.

Doctors without Borders: U.S. military refused to allow MSF aid plane with full hospital and staff to land in Port-au-Prince.

Just please read them.

I got these via following tumblrs: doctorswithoutborders, clingtomymouth, ihatethismess, abbyjean; robot-heart-politics also posts lots of news on Haiti.

it's also pretty disheartening and really messed up that we still live in a time where a well-known radio host could say the President is rushing to the aid of Haiti COS THEY'RE BLACK OMG (and. believe it) and urge the US not to donate to Haiti.
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wips/junk [Jan. 10th, 2010|02:22 pm]
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three moreCollapse )

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On crying [Dec. 29th, 2009|02:59 pm]
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Disclaimer: I'm not asking for pity here or trying to control what other people do, I am just exploring my thoughts.

I have been crying a lot lately. Of note that I remember, started? with watching Avatar. No, I remember getting choked up before that, (well, of course, but) on tumblr, on yesmeansyesblog. Wrong is wrong is wrong. After watching Avatar I've been thinking about it a lot, not too hard to do since it's still being pushed heavily and it's so fresh and people still talk about it, mention it. At first I thought to myself, after watching the movie, I'm upset by the movie but I'm still glad that I experienced watching it, so I will know what people are talking about, so I can join the conversation meaningfully and with context on my mind. But now I'm sick of it. Every time it's mentioned I remembered all the things I didn't like about it. I'm sick of it being mentioned because I think of all the people, SO MANY people who don't see the same horrible things I do. Am I taking this too personally? I do feel glad when someone knows where I am coming from. I have to be careful not to rely too much on that.

I think of all the people that have been and are hurting from the concepts displayed in Avatar. Even though Avatar is meant to draw an analogy to colonialism and it overtly presents itself as anti-colonialism, there's still too many things wrong with it.

Cut for spoilers.Collapse )

Whenever I cry I think about how crying is looked down and how it's weak. But as I argued on the nursing forum, it's not properly "weak" until it interferes with one's ability to perform one's responsibilities competently... of course people may be put off and feel a bit off balance maybe? questioning your ability, but I feel like that is something that can be changed with time, as the perception of how acceptable crying is changes. We have feelings, it is ok to express them.

Then I think about the time I watched The Science of Sleep at MICA, and afterwards filing out noticed a girl still in her seat watching the credits rolling, clutching the back of the seat in front of her and crying, eyes and face wrinkled up and tears squeezing out. At the moment I felt such utter contempt for her. Stupid girl. But why?? Am I doing the same thing now? She was affected by the movie in a way I was not, can I judge her?

The way I saw it then (and still see now, but of course I don't know exactly why or what she is crying for), Gael Garcia Bernal's character wasn't sympathetic. He played a childish, head in the clouds fool, but because he is so handsome and because his appeal is obvious to one of the ideal artistic sensibilities that itself is attractive (and maybe seen as the "only" way to be artistic) to people who become art students, we are supposed to overlook his weirdness. If GGB didn't look like himself, if he was a fucking ugly toad, would that girl have still been crying? Would it have been popular? I felt frustrated w/ his character, for being so scared that he lived inwards, unable to parse real life, and yet was rewarded by the movie with a mate of like mind, with love. He lives a life that will be unattainable by a lot of people. (isn't it? ) Maybe I feel like the movie is irresponsible. (Should it be responsible?) In any case it represented to me, another influence that asks a certain audience, who most likely are emotionally immature, to be like itself.

Being scared of life isn't romantic. Being unable to deal with real life at all isn't romantic.

I do believe that the utmost majority of life is built out of utterly arbitrary human constructs. But that doesn't mean I should go breaking every law in order to prove it or my defiance. That's just. rude.

So you know that you are in control of your life and you DON'T have to live it a certain way, you don't have to follow the way of your disapproving parents or the one of society at large. It doesn't mean you should be obnoxious and rude to people who DO choose to live that way, people you think are "sheep," cos who the fuck do you think YOU'RE modelling your behavior after? ya damn shoop.

It IS wonderful to be able to create wonderful things you take pleasure in. But GGB's character had some serious issues, and I don't think the movie really dealt with that. (Maybe it did, at one point I think his love interest was disturbed by him? Although she went back to him in the end.) Do I want him to end up horribly?

I think my issue with it is that it contributed to a feeling that your unique way of living makes you superior to others. That it's ok to be considered odd and socially fucking stupid because those other people just don't get it. They're normals, they're just blind sheep.
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tumblrs & musics [Dec. 16th, 2009|11:48 pm]
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Do any of you have tumblrs? I started one but just to keep track of all the tumblrs/posts that I like, it's dirtsky.tumblr.com. It's pretty empty right now. But these are people whose tumblrs I check regularly:

http://tiredofbeingignored.tumblr.com - posts a lot on sexuality, fat-pride, sexism, racism, feminism. Some posts NSFW.

http://ihatethismess.tumblr.com - same, focus on sexism, racism, feminism

http://liveship.tumblr.com - posts pretty screenshots from movies/shows she likes, and pictures of animals. and Zachary Quinto.

http://patriarchyisbullshit.tumblr.com - posting is kinda sparse but still like it

http://sexismandthecity.tumblr.com - women's rights, racism, feminism, art regarding all of it

here's a couple songs I found thru tumblr. like an orchestral version of Poker Face. along with other music I've been listening to on repeat.

For Orchestra #9 - Lady Gaga's Poker Face
Snow Patrol - Set the Fire to the Third Bar
Angela Zhang - 夢裡花 (Meng Li Hua)
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Breaking the Girl
Cupid - Cupid Shuffle
The Hush Sound - Lions Roar
The Hush Sound - You Are the Moon
Roisin Murphy - Ruby Blue
Nick Cave - To Be By Your Side

The preview for Lions Roar isn't the whole song, but I linked it anyway cos it's cool. It's a fan-made typography video.
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me and me and me. [Nov. 25th, 2009|07:50 pm]
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mmnh I think I will fall in love with a guy who would say Have a blessed day. Peace!

I love how strong my body is. No, it's not the poster body for strength & there are tonnes of people way stronger than me but- the other day I ran up the hill right outside my house with my dog and with surprise I realized I wasn't winded at all. About a year ago? A year and a half ago? I put on some running shoes and started jogging up that hill and I was so winded after about 100 ft. I stopped.

I am really such an addict but I am grateful for the internet. Yes Means Yes! Visions of female sexual power and a world without rape. A sex-positive blog that discusses such topics as determining your own definition of virginity.
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on the disappointment with Spock/Uhura [Nov. 19th, 2009|01:23 am]
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Well, on ontd_st people posted the most recent news of JJ Abrams & the rest of the writer/production crew talking about what we may expect from the sequel. One of the bits was that the Spock/Uhura relationship will be taken "to the next level," and tho that is really vague, we can take from it that S/U will continue onto the sequel, and tt we will get more of an idea into what their relationship means to each other.

The majority of the comments express disappointment with the S/U storyline in the first movie, and its continued exploration in the next movie.

From what I can gather, a lot of the complaints were of how the relationship was out of character for either of them (which is one reason why I'm hesitant to input my own opinion, since after all, I have only the 2009 movie & fanfic to base my characterizations on), that the pairing seemed like it came out of nowhere, and the fear that S/U will take away from the S/K that was so integral to the original.

the rest of it.Collapse )
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(ya) booookkkksss!!!! & other recs [Nov. 14th, 2009|01:16 am]
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Hey lords and ladies. Here's an amazing post from ontd. 15 pages of YA book recs featuring female protagonists. Go ontd! Even though the comm is ripe for/with wank I love that there is also a (small?, persistent) strong presence of feminists on there willing to educate/debate, and we get posts like this that call out the misogyny in a book that result in people listing their favorite books with strong girls/women.

the personal list I gathered so far from them to read or re-read. collected from up to pg 8Collapse )

Maru in Michigan, adorable dog blog. So very fucking adorable, fucking seriously. Pics look good, dog looks good, some good setups. part of a Japanese blog ring that ranks popular dog blogs.


Vogue by Luminosity, it came out in 2007 so you might've seen it before. You don't need to have watched 300 to get/enjoy it, and the editing is quite beautiful on its own. It's a mashup of 300 with Madonna's "Vogue." Don't judge it by the weirdly crappy screengrab? Uhh I don't recall a red rectangle appearing anywhere in the video. Her summary:
Bite me, Frank Miller.
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365, 5 [Nov. 13th, 2009|04:22 pm]
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haha I make myself laugh looking at this, such a hopeful look he's got.
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365, 3, 4 [Nov. 13th, 2009|02:14 am]
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for Wednesday n-e-s-day


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