February 15th, 2019
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A new journalism podcast looks to history to counter ‘objectivity’

“A lot of great journalism in the United States and all over the world has been journalism that stood for something,” says Wallace. “Standing up to power requires standing for something. Standing for nothing at all in the Jim Crow era is like, well, we accept segregation.”

For reporters from underrepresented communities—reporters of color, queer and transgender reporters, disabled reporters, poor reporters—taking a neutral stance on their own humanity isn’t an option.

Wallace notes the long history of the black press—coined “a fighting press”—for its track record of pursuing stories that challenge white racism, reporting on issues and people that have been traditionally ignored by other news outlets, and for openly advocating for the acquirement of human and civil rights for black people in America. Newspapers by and for other marginalized communities have done similar work.

“You had LGBT papers doing the preeminent investigative coverage and human interest coverage of AIDS for years and years before mainstream papers covered it,” adds Wallace. “And those are papers that have been written out of official journalistic history as niche, or as advocacy journalism.”

The podcast, which will be produced by Ramona Martinez alongside Wallace, will feature a range of episodes about how seminal eras of American history, such as lynching and the spread of AIDS, were reported. It will also tackle contemporary issues, including the Black Lives Matter movement, coverage of transgender people, the #MeToo movement, and coverage of both overt and what Wallace calls “status quo” white supremacy.MORE

Here is the Kickstarter
the_future_modernes: text icon black history 365,  black green and red letters against white background (black history month 2)
posted by [personal profile] the_future_modernes at 11:10pm on 15/02/2019
We Wish to Plead Our Own Cause:The past and future of America’s black press

From its inception, the black press has been fighting. Fifty years after the American Revolution, while the country built its wealth and global prominence on the basis of violent chattel slavery, free black people living in northern coastal cities, particularly New York and Philadelphia, came to sense that their ongoing struggle for human rights and dignity would need a platform. Black churches and social societies aimed at self-improvement were not enough to improve the conditions of a people. Newspapers of the time worked against them, by pushing negative stereotypes of both enslaved and free black Americans—as violent, uncivil, and unfit for basic rights afforded to other citizens. Journalists like Mordecai Manuel Noah, the editor of The New York Enquirer, a four-page tabloid, advocated for the transport of free black people out of the US to Liberia; in editorials, he cheered in anticipation of their untimely deaths on the journey.

Early ventures into black-focused journalism began with a collective of prominent preachers, orators, and abolitionists. In A History of the Black Press (1997), Armistead Pride and Clint Wilson II write that, within that group, a newspaper—owned, written, and edited by black people—emerged as a valuable tool “to give free persons of color a voice they otherwise lacked.” Like the newspapers and pamphlets that helped birth a movement for American independence, the black press would serve to unite people in a fight for their lives.

Freedom’s Journal, the first newspaper to be published solely by black people in America, debuted in New York City on March 16, 1827. In a front-page essay, the paper’s editors, Samuel Cornish, a reverend, and John Russwurm, one of the first black graduates of an American college, went to great lengths to distinguish it from existing abolitionist newspapers—controlled by white people who, they wrote, “too long have spoken for us.” Put simply, they continued, “We wish to plead our own cause.” Freedom’s Journal would seek, through the universal attainment of civil rights, education, and character development, to “vindicate our brethren, when oppressed, and to lay the case before the publick.” The men sought to use the newspaper as a tool in pursuit of a common goal—full citizenship and equal rights.


Danielle Belton, the editor of The Root, finds that the work of telling stories that cover the most vulnerable communities remains a job for the black press. Reports that appear on The Root and its competitors generate attention to problems—like white people calling the police on black people for frivolous reasons—that later become dominant narratives in the mainstream. The distinct moral view of black publications gets transferred, gradually, into universally accepted moral clarity. What that pattern reveals, Belton points out, is that “objectivity” is a false premise—too much gets missed in its name.

“There is this perception that the only person who can be objective is a white man, even though he comes with his own prejudices and background,” she says. “The notion of impartiality, that people can turn all their biases off and report purely, is a fantasy.” She adds, “The difference between The Root and a more mainstream publication is that we are honest with the fact that we bring with us our blackness, our femaleness, maleness, when we are reporting. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking The Root is a left-leaning blog. It’s a pro-black blog.” MORE
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posted by [personal profile] lizbee at 02:55pm on 16/02/2019 under
Here is a list of things I was mentally shouting at the screen during A Particular Scene of this episode...

Is this what TNG would have been like if Admiral Necheyev had been written like an actual person? )
Mood:: 'ecstatic' ecstatic
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
So, I'm reading Post-Captain, the second Aubrey-Maturin book, and things are a bit surreal. The start is all Pride and Prejudice who will marry who stuff. That part was fun but I missed the loving descriptions of futtock shrouds and so on. And then Jack was stony broke, and then Jack was in France, and then it got really weird.

Me at breakfast this morning: So then it got really weird.
Lilacsigil, raising spoon to mouth, not really listening: Uh huh
Me: Suddenly Stephen was leading Jack around on a leash
Lilacsigil, pausing with spoon in mid air: Wait, what?
Me: And Jack was dressed in a bear skin. He was a bear called Flora and he danced to Stephen's pipe.
Lilacsigil: *puts her spoon down very carefully, her eyes wide*

They've just made it to Spain. I'm not sure if it's the medication taper or the late hour that I was reading but the whole thing has a strange dreamlike feel. Like, this morning, I wasn't sure if I'd read it or dreamed it.

Today is the twentieth anniversary of moving to the country and opening the doors to the business under my family's name. ([personal profile] lilacsigil came and went for a little while but settled here soon after. A year after?) It's strange to look back. It seems to have gone very fast? And this is a good place to live, I couldn't imagine living in the city again.
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posted by [personal profile] alias_sqbr at 10:58am on 15/02/2019 under , ,
Leave a comment with a number and a relationship and I'll draw (or possibly write) something!

Gen prompts welcome. Be clear on whether you mean romance or friendship!. No incest or zombies please, and while you can prompt the sexy ones the art itself will be like Teen at most.
prompt list under the cut )
February 14th, 2019
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Each month, we look back over the media we loved in the previous month, from books to film to video games and more.

Read more... )
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Fanwork is awesome and sharing fanwork is even more awesome. Join us as we keymash and squee over our favorite fanwork, from fic (both written and podfic) to art to vids and meta and back again.

If you find something you love, we encourage you to comment/favorite and let the creator know you enjoyed their work. :D o/

Recommendations included:
  • Final Fantasy VIII – art (1)

  • GLOW - vid (3)

  • Hamilton – art (1)

  • Mass Effect - meta (1)

  • MCU – art (1), vid (1)

  • Ocean's 8 - vid (3)

Read more... )

What fanwork have you loved recently?
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posted by [personal profile] the_future_modernes at 12:19am on 14/02/2019

Sarah Schulman Explains How Rent Straightwashed Queer Lives and AIDS Activism

In her book Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS, and the Marketing of Gay America, prolific playwright, novelist, and activist Sarah Schulman detailed her experience living, writing, and eventually watching what came to be known as the highly-lauded Broadway musical. Except the musical wasn't hers at all — as she alleges, its writer, Jonathan Larson, took the plot, settings, characters, and themes from Schulman's 1990 novel People in Trouble, but gave her no credit.

Schulman was 28 when she joined the grassroots AIDS activist group ACT UP in 1987, a time when she simultaneously launched into a full-on affair with a married woman. The woman was an artist, but also quite homophobic, both internally and externally.

"My fantasy was that by exposing her to the realities of the AIDS crisis, she would drop her blinders about the functions of homophobia and simultaneously develop an understanding of the value of artwork rooted in experience," Schulman writes in Stagestruck.

It didn't work out for Schulman and her lover, but the story and its circumstances did inspire People in Trouble. A love triangle vacillating between the perspective of a lesbian, a bisexual artist, and her male partner, things come to a head when the artist stages a performance piece about a Trump-like landlord evicting people from their East Village homes because they have AIDS. The novel also features an interracial gay couple, one of whom dies of AIDS.

In Stagestruck, Schulman explains how a composer named Stewart Wallace and librettist Michael Korie wanted to bring a musical adaptation of People in Trouble to the stage. "It would be the first AIDS opera for a closeted but AIDS-devastated opera world," she writes.

But from the beginning, directors and producers were not thrilled about the major relationship being between two women; even gay men within the theater industry made misogynistic and lesphobic remarks. Every attempt to bring People in Trouble to the stage or screen was thwarted, and so Schulman moved on to keep writing more plays and publish more books.

Seven years after the novel’s release, Schulman saw Rent for the first and last time. Jonathan Larson, the musical’s creator, had died the night before the show's first preview at only 35 years old. Schulman says that she, like many others, assumed he'd died of AIDS. But Larson (a straight white cis man) had a brain aneurysm, and his unexpected death led to a heightened sense of meaning to his new musical about living (at least, if you're a straight white guy).

As Schulman watched the musical that would eventually become the precursor to Hamilton, she writes about the experience watching scenes from her real life — and her subsequent novel -— on stage. Both followed mostly queer people living in the East Village in the early '90s, when AIDS was ravaging the artists community, except the central character in Rent, Mark, was a straight white guy (like Larson himself). The characters and stories from People in Trouble were slightly recast in Rent: The main character’s girlfriend, an artist, leaves him for a Black lesbian; AIDS was used as a plot point to kill off the Puerto Rican drag queen character, only to further the narrative for a heterosexual couple who also had AIDS but were able to survive.MORE
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Young, Gifted, Black, and Closeted: Barbara Jordan’s Political Rise in a Country Not Yet Ready For Her

Early in 1974, the House Judiciary Committee began an impeachment inquiry into the President of the United States over the Watergate scandal. A bulk of the investigative work would be handled by an army of lawyers — including a recent Yale graduate named Hillary Rodham — but eventually, the task of moving impeachment proceedings forward fell to the committee’s 38 members. Still a freshman congresswoman, Barbara Jordan sat through opening statements from the committee’s senior members before she had an opportunity to address the nation in prime time on July 25, 1974.
The words? Eloquent. Her statement is universally considered to be one of the greatest speeches in American history. The voice, though? The voice, it was magical. Her contemporaries, including fellow Congressman Andrew Young, Molly Ivins and Bob Woodward, said she had the voice of God. She said, in part:

Earlier today, we heard the beginning of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States: “We, the people.” It’s a very eloquent beginning. But when that document was completed on the seventeenth of September in 1787, I was not included in that “We, the people.” I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake. But through the process of amendment, interpretation, and court decision, I have finally been included in “We, the people.”

Today I am an inquisitor. An hyperbole would not be fictional and would not overstate the solemnness that I feel right now. My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total. And I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction, of the Constitution.

The nation had watched the Watergate hearings for months — 71% of households told Gallup that they’d watched the hearings live — and while that’d had a deteriorative effect on Nixon’s poll numbers, most Americans didn’t believe it warranted his removal from office. Jordan’s opening statement on the Articles of Impeachment changed that. In her allotted time, she was part professor, explaining to the public the president’s obligations under the Constitution, and part prosecutor, clearly laying out the evidence to prove wrongdoing. There was never a moment where the viewer was left thinking that Jordan’s aims were partisan in nature; instead, Americans were convinced of Jordan’s fidelity to our nation’s values and ideals.

“What Barbara Jordan did [in] that appearance, she articulated the thoughts of so many Americans. Frankly, when she ended it, it was no doubt in my mind that we’d have a Senate investigation and that the president might very well be impeached or have to resign,” longtime CBS newsman Dan Rather once said.
Following Jordan’s statement, public opinion turned firmly against the president. For the first time, a majority of Americans thought Nixon’s actions warranted removal from office. Two weeks later, the president would resign, in disgrace; Jordan — the “big and fat and black and ugly” girl from Houston’s segregated Fifth Ward — had brought down the president.

Those 15 minutes would ultimately define Barbara Jordan’s life. She became a household name: universally adored by folks on the right and the left, among black and white households. She got fan mail at her Congressional office by the truckload. One supporter took out billboards all across Houston that said, “Thank you, Barbara Jordan, for explaining the Constitution to us.” Her high profile earned her the keynote speaking slot at the 1976 Democratic National Convention. On the day she spoke — giving another one of the most celebrated pieces of political rhetoric in history — her star eclipsed everyone. She was, perhaps until Barack Obama, the most universally beloved black political figure in American history.

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posted by [personal profile] flamebyrd at 01:06pm on 14/02/2019 under
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I haven't updated the blog for a while - but happy Lunar New Year! Gung hei fatt choy!

We also celebrated Bai Tian Gong yesterday, which falls on the 9th day of the 15-day Lunar New Year festivities. Bai Tian Gong has special significance to Hokkien Chinese as it is a day of gratitude and celebrating the birthday of the Jade Emperor.

Also sent off all my edits. So, I am giving myself a semi-hiatus.


Also Valentine's and Galentine's Day!
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posted by [personal profile] flamebyrd at 09:19am on 14/02/2019
In come the dollars and in come the cents
To replace the pounds and the shillings and the pence!
Be prepared folks when the coins begin to mix
On the Fourteenth of February, Nineteen Sixty Six

February 13th, 2019
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Adventures Elsewhere collects our reviews, guest posts, articles, and other content we've spread across the Internet recently! See what we've been up in our other projects. :D

Read more... )
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posted by [personal profile] copracat at 09:35pm on 13/02/2019 under , ,
Reading the news today, I went to find this post from oh, 5366 odd days ago: Stars in my eyes. Spirit had been on Mars two days by then. I wasn't really following NASA at that time due to life so when the image dropped into my internet, a wee drab image of a bit of machine and a lot of dirt and rocks I was initially underwhelmed. The feeling, the feeling that followed though seems as clear to me now as it was that day. Mars in my eyes. The red dirt of Mars. What an amazing pair of machines and what an awesome group of people who designed and built and worked with them.

Man, today. What a day. Here, I will precis:
- started the day distressed because the medevac legislation was going to Senate and it was clear from the morning news that the monsters in our government were going to use specific scaremongering to manipulate the vote of one of the independent Senators because God forbid they show any compassion to the people they're torturing on island gulags.
- worked on a great project that is doing measurable real good in the world but with distressing content so a bit on the edge of weeping as I proofread and proofread
- then the medevac legislation passed omg and my twitter feed was an explosion of exhausted relief
- it's the anniversary of the national apology and things are worse
- one of my colleagues wrote us a beautiful email (content redacted due to privacy) and I had to tell her I couldn't read it because of the unnatural small localised dust storm at my desk
- Opportunity isn't waking up

My heart hurts, Dyson, and I really, really know why.
February 12th, 2019
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posted by [personal profile] nou at 04:30pm on 12/02/2019 under

In my local history research, when I’m quoting a monetary value from the past I also give the equivalent in modern terms, using the Bank of England inflation calculator. This helps understanding to some extent, but leads to things like the modern-equivalent annual rent for a shop plus living accommodation being given as £5,846 (£50 in 1870), which feels absurdly low.

Then I saw an essay going around at the moment, “How do we know the history of extreme poverty”? from the Our World In Data project, which is not only very interesting but also includes data on historical per-capita GDP in England (adjusted for inflation and including non-market production such as households growing their own food).

This made me wonder if I should move to using per-capita-GDP-adjusted inflation-adjusted prices instead of just inflation-adjusted prices. Using the example above, the annual shophouse rent quoted would map to £42,666 (per-capita GDP was £4,149 in 1870 and £30,281 in 2016, so £5,846 in 1870 is equivalent to £5846*£30281/£4149 today), which feels rather more realistic.

Obviously I can’t be the first historian to think of this, but I haven’t managed to find any discussion or guidelines on it, partly because my Google searches keep filling up with economics and accounting instead.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this, or can see an error in my reasoning, or can point me at existing guidelines? (No need to point out rounding errors in the maths — I’ve simplified for clarity.) (Also, for those who don’t know, I have no formal historical training whatsoever. I intend to do something about this at some point.)

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posted by [personal profile] brainwane at 10:05am on 12/02/2019 under
On what helps some people decide to attend social gatherings.

On the Short Trek The Escape Artist.

On noticing that I'm trying to read inaccessible fiction.

"Random" (as in the modern slangy sense, e.g., "the Mountain Goats are making an album about D&D? That's random") means: unexpected in a way that I disapprove of, unjustified, and I resent having to make room for this unexpected thing; where do I even file this?!.

The coverage of celebrities (especially actors) and sports that I run into is usually a way into telling stories about labor and power.

Arrested Development loved showing us how its characters clung to the perceived power of names/categories, to make other people see things their way. "It's a satire!" "Illusions, dad!" "Mr. Manager." And, relatedly, mistook fake things for real -- living in the model house, George treating all dolls as though they were people.
brainwane: Sumana, April 2015, with shaved head. (shaved head)
After I wrote this review of Manikarnika and this tiny review of, among other things, Victoria & Abdul, I started showing Black Panther to my spouse and I was talking with him about it and about Thor: Ragnarok. And I started wondering aloud why Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok, which are about royalty, actually have reasonably interesting things to say about geopolitics, while Captain America: Civil War tries to and is incoherent.

(Do I actually believe everything I say here? Not 100% sure. Iron Man 3 spoiler ahead.) )What I said about Victoria & Abdul and about Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi was: "both of which seem to think the problem with the British oppression of India is that local subjects were deprived of a wholesome, classy, righteous queen (rather than, say, that Indians were deprived of representative democracy)." And I think that message isn't just about the Raj. I mean, representative democracy is cognitively demanding and there are a million ways it's broken and everyone has to keep making decisions. Wouldn't it be nice for someone else to do it for us??

But -- no. We tried that.

[personal profile] yasaman, basically I am waving my hands around not sure whether I'm full of crap, and would particularly welcome your input here!
alias_sqbr: Torchwood spoilers for various episode numbers: Jack dies (torchwood spoilers)
st_aurafina: A ceramic head marked with phrenology detail  (Brain: Phrenology)
I am weaning off escitalopram because I can't handle the flattening thing anymore. It's mashed my ability to initiate actions. For example, at the moment I'm getting up at 6:30am so I can make it to work by 9am. (I live less than five minutes drive from work.) I'm arriving at work without having done all the anxiety self-care things I need to do like meditate and go for a little walk in the garden. All I can get done is the basics: wash, put on clothes, take meds, eat breakfast. And even then, I'm arriving while I'm still chewing the last of my cereal. It's a mess.

I haven't written in a month. All I do is play Subnautica and crochet and hug kitties. That's not such a bad existence, but still. At least it's not too hot this week.

Also, [personal profile] lilacsigil saw a white-bellied sea eagle today (I was looking the wrong way, damn it!) which kind of gives me hope, in this environmentapalooza. (They're a recovering species. Something is going right. One thing, anyway.)

Fandom Things
- via [personal profile] sharpest_asp, Multifandom Friendship meme.
Go make friends! I mean, if you want. No pressure.

- there's also a friending meme at [community profile] halfamoon, here. Go meet other fans of female characters.
(Ack, that means [community profile] halfamoon is nearly over and I didn't write anything. Ugh, brain.)

- [community profile] justcreate - A place for crafters, artists, coders, and creators of any variety to share their projects.

- via [personal profile] timetobegin (who btw runs some excellent icon communities): How to Screencap: A Screencap Guide
(Turns out I have a program that can do this?? I did not even know...)

Feelgood things:
- via [personal profile] princessofgeeks, at Captain Awkward's Patreon: Some Social Media & Media Engagement Hygiene And Self-Care Lessons I've Learned From Spending Several Years On This Hellmouth

- PhD 2048
I'm sorry, person who linked this, I didn't note down your name in my haste to play this iteration of the game. I do not have a PhD and only spent a year in academia but I still find this process hilarious: coffee -> panini -> idea -> code -> etc. Sometimes you get garbage! Sometimes there's a random relationship with a ticking clock. (2048 is a particularly good zone-out game for me.)

- This internet rabbit hole I fell down, starting with an ASL version of Ariana Grande's Seven Rings by an EXTREMELY attractive man in a mesh shirt. I'm cutting this because it got a bit scatty )

Podcasts I'm enjoying:
- Ologies with Alie Ward, which is a podcast about sciences.
I'd recommend Egyptology with Kara Cooney, and Testudinology with Amanda Hipps.

- David Tennant Does a Podcast, which is basically what it says on the bottle. I listened to the first one with Olivia Colman and it was delightful. (He calls her 'Collie' and she calls him 'DT'.) The next one is Whoopi Goldberg.

- Monster S2: The Zodiac Killer - the first season, when they covered the Atlanta Monster was really intense and confronting, and I bailed on it. Zodiac has a little distance, maybe because of the hype? A lot of the story is the hype itself, and that is really interesting to me, as well as this peek into the way police departments had to learn on the fly how to deal with this kind of killer.

- Shelf Life, from the Newberry Library in Chicago. I listened to 'Mourning Glory' about the Victorian culture of death and mourning.

- The Case of Charles Dexter Ward from BBC Four. It's a dramatisation of the HP Lovecraft novel, as if it were being investigated by podcast journalists. Modernised, therefore less rabidly racist than Lovecraft usually is. Good and spoopy!

I understand it's a snowpocalypse for the northern hemisphere people. Please stay safe and warm. (Anyone want a scarf? I've made a bunch of scarves...)
alias_sqbr: Torchwood spoilers for various episode numbers: Jack dies (torchwood spoilers)


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