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Posts tagged "lit"
The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
neonvmag:

                                            “infinite dreams”
 if i were strong enough, i wouldn’t need to drink it. every other day, i take a book to the soothie bar around the corner from my apartment and sit at a table away from the window, listening to the drone of the blender as it grinds frozen melons and mangoes into a sedate puree. i scan the pages, my ears perking up whenever someone leans in to place an order. will they go through with it?  the orders never deviate.  “medium mango moodslayer, please.” “large melon self-love to go. no ice.”  then the blenders start up again, whirring blades of sameness, and i return to my novel or bible or whatever book i happened to pick up on my way out of the apartment. i never finish my drink. as i leave the shop, it takes a minute for my eyes to focus, and i reach for the red banister outside the door to steady myself. i toss my cup into a dumpster in the alleyway. bums descend on it. i quicken my pace, rushing away from the sound of anxious sucking. there is a soothie bar on every corner in north hollywood. nine years ago, when i first moved to this wasteland for would-be actors and writers, people were less inclined to drink pureed fruit in a cup, especially at twelve dollars a shot. since the dereg of ‘22, my neighbors are more than willing to pay fifty-five dollars for their daily soothie. it’s sweeter this way, filling and there is no aftertaste.  
 if i were strong enough, i wouldn’t need to drink it. women like me are only as strong as the things we fear. as far as i know, i’m the only one of my girlfriends who finds solace in a straw clogged with blended fruit. soothies, hold the blues at bay and rejection and dusty dreams. my friends turn up their noses at such a crutch. when they’re in pain, they go to church. they sing psalms. they talk to god. i wish i could join in their pious conversations; but, my mouth is dry—all the time. if my great-grandmother were still alive, she’d scoff at the sight of me lying in my darkened bedroom, studying stucco for hours. when she was my age, she was down in alabama protecting her property from klansmen with a winchester rifle. “ole bessie,” she used to say, cradling an imaginary gun in her gnarled hands, “she ain’t stopped smoking yet.”  it’s embarrassing to be so weak. 
 a month ago, on my way out of a soothie bar in studio city, i saw my friend monifa walking down ventura on her way to salsa class. i tried to back into the shop, but she started toward me, pushing her way through the crowd of bums. “haven’t seen you in a minute, phyllis. how’s the writing going?” “fifty pages into a new script,” i said. i hadn’t written anything new in a while. at twenty-six, i already felt that my best work was behind me, but she didn’t need to know that. “we missed you at bible study.” “work has been crazy. never can seem to get out from under a mound of memos.”  she frowned at the cup in my hand. “inspiration?”  “this is my last one, monifa.” “you’re better than this. i’ll pray for you.” if prayer worked, there would be no need to sip soothies. my habit is a fruit-filled gulf separating me from god. i have never felt that love, have never known true communion. 
  today, i’ve decided that i will no longer live in the shadows of my life. this is my last soothie. i say that every week, but today, i mean it. i made the decision as i showered. water always brings clarity. for once, my hands are steady as i get dressed. i whistle, selecting a black crepe dress with an empire waist. i collect my braids into a wiry bun at my nape, securing the hairdo with a red clip. a faux leather purse and black flats complete the look, and i leave the apartment.  moving down the front steps of my building, i head in the direction of the shop. no idling motor or belching exhaust pipe slices the silence. most folks in my neighborhood choose to walk rather than waste their soothie money on gas. the only sounds are my flats squeaking on the pavement and a fat kid maneuvering his treadmill scooter down the sidewalk. it’s a cumbersome contraption, and the boy sweats as he jogs on the humming black strip atop his scooter. childhood obesity is a pandemic now, and federal law mandates that overweight kids exercise even as they play.
 i pass a row of grimy pink buildings that seem to be slouching into the earth instead of rising from it. i never noticed how dirty this neighborhood was when i moved here back in ‘15, but now my eyes are open to many things. at the door of the soothie shop, a small crowd of homeless people part to let me pass. it occurs to me that i didn’t bring a book to distract me as i sit at my table away from the window. there will be no mindless scanning of pages today.
 the cashier nods in my direction. behind her, laughing teens measure out powders, coax yellow puree into waiting cups. artificial sunshine. the smell of mangoes seems to be seeping from the walls. customers stand around waiting for their orders. they surround the glass enclosure, watching the blenders with quick eyes. 
three empty styrofoam cups of varying sizes stand atop the display case. the largest one taunts me with its pocked whiteness. i lean in to place my order. “i’ll have that one,” i tell the girl at the cash register, pointing to the biggest cup. “infinite dreams?” her voice is low as well, like a pharmacist at the drugstore reviewing a prescription with a patient.  “yes, please.” if the girl is surprised at my request she doesn’t show it. she slides a short form across the counter, and i sign it, barely reading the disclaimer. i read it months ago; but, i couldn’t go through with it at the time. now, i’m strong enough. “have you made any?” i ask.  “only one, a few weeks after the dereg.” she presses a red button on the wall to initiate my order. “my friend works at the beverly hills location, and she makes ten a month.” “how does she feel … after?” the girl shrugs. a cute blonde with a colony of pimples on her chin. “never asked. it’s just a job.” as i take my change, she points to a narrow door by the restroom marked private. “you can’t drink it at the table, you know. you have to take it back there. there’s a key on the counter next to the restroom key.” “thanks. have a good day.”
 soothie in hand, i reach for the key. it dangles from the end of a long metal spoon, as if its power is best managed from a distance. i head to the door pointed out by the cashier, but there is no privacy now. a few patrons turn to stare at me, and a redhead with a chihuahua nestled in the crook of her arm gives me a distracted smile. “sweet dreams,” she murmurs as i pass.
 my dreams will be sweet, and infinite, and they will be sticky like frozen mangoes resurrected by the heat of a whirring blade. i lay in the dark, on a cot, the last of the blended fruit melting on my tongue. water gurgles in the pipes of the adjacent restroom. it’s comforting to know that i am not alone, that patrons line up like pallbearers outside the door, and i will be ushered into the waiting arms of the almighty.   ever since the government deregulated the sale of antidepressants two years ago, sipping oneself into oblivion is much easier than swallowing a handful of pills. it’s sweeter this way, filling and there is no aftertaste. 
 ________________________________________________________________
+ nicole d. sconiers is an author + screenwriter who lives in a sunny jungle.
________________________________________________________________
*”infinite dreams,”a sci-fi, short story, was featured in the literature section of neonV, volume I the continuum in december 2012. the opening page collage, featured above, was created by the talented jasmine rose of followthelaws. 

neonvmag:

                                            “infinite dreams”

if i were strong enough, i wouldn’t need to drink it.
every other day, i take a book to the soothie bar around the corner from my apartment and sit at a table away from the window, listening to the drone of the blender as it grinds frozen melons and mangoes into a sedate puree. i scan the pages, my ears perking up whenever someone leans in to place an order. will they go through with it?  the orders never deviate.
“medium mango moodslayer, please.”
“large melon self-love to go. no ice.”
then the blenders start up again, whirring blades of sameness, and i return to my novel or bible or whatever book i happened to pick up on my way out of the apartment. i never finish my drink. as i leave the shop, it takes a minute for my eyes to focus, and i reach for the red banister outside the door to steady myself. i toss my cup into a dumpster in the alleyway. bums descend on it. i quicken my pace, rushing away from the sound of anxious sucking.
there is a soothie bar on every corner in north hollywood. nine years ago, when i first moved to this wasteland for would-be actors and writers, people were less inclined to drink pureed fruit in a cup, especially at twelve dollars a shot. since the dereg of ‘22, my neighbors are more than willing to pay fifty-five dollars for their daily soothie. it’s sweeter this way, filling and there is no aftertaste. 


if i were strong enough, i wouldn’t need to drink it. women like me are only as strong as the things we fear. as far as i know, i’m the only one of my girlfriends who finds solace in a straw clogged with blended fruit. soothies, hold the blues at bay and rejection and dusty dreams. my friends turn up their noses at such a crutch. when they’re in pain, they go to church. they sing psalms. they talk to god. i wish i could join in their pious conversations; but, my mouth is dry—all the time. if my great-grandmother were still alive, she’d scoff at the sight of me lying in my darkened bedroom, studying stucco for hours. when she was my age, she was down in alabama protecting her property from klansmen with a winchester rifle. “ole bessie,” she used to say, cradling an imaginary gun in her gnarled hands, “she ain’t stopped smoking yet.”
it’s embarrassing to be so weak.


a month ago, on my way out of a soothie bar in studio city, i saw my friend monifa walking down ventura on her way to salsa class. i tried to back into the shop, but she started toward me, pushing her way through the crowd of bums.
“haven’t seen you in a minute, phyllis. how’s the writing going?”
“fifty pages into a new script,” i said. i hadn’t written anything new in a while. at twenty-six, i already felt that my best work was behind me, but she didn’t need to know that.
“we missed you at bible study.”
“work has been crazy. never can seem to get out from under a mound of memos.”
she frowned at the cup in my hand. “inspiration?”
“this is my last one, monifa.”
“you’re better than this. i’ll pray for you.”
if prayer worked, there would be no need to sip soothies. my habit is a fruit-filled gulf separating me from god. i have never felt that love, have never known true communion.


 today, i’ve decided that i will no longer live in the shadows of my life. this is my last soothie. i say that every week, but today, i mean it. i made the decision as i showered. water always brings clarity. for once, my hands are steady as i get dressed. i whistle, selecting a black crepe dress with an empire waist. i collect my braids into a wiry bun at my nape, securing the hairdo with a red clip. a faux leather purse and black flats complete the look, and i leave the apartment.
moving down the front steps of my building, i head in the direction of the shop. no idling motor or belching exhaust pipe slices the silence. most folks in my neighborhood choose to walk rather than waste their soothie money on gas. the only sounds are my flats squeaking on the pavement and a fat kid maneuvering his treadmill scooter down the sidewalk. it’s a cumbersome contraption, and the boy sweats as he jogs on the humming black strip atop his scooter. childhood obesity is a pandemic now, and federal law mandates that overweight kids exercise even as they play.


i pass a row of grimy pink buildings that seem to be slouching into the earth instead of rising from it. i never noticed how dirty this neighborhood was when i moved here back in ‘15, but now my eyes are open to many things. at the door of the soothie shop, a small crowd of homeless people part to let me pass. it occurs to me that i didn’t bring a book to distract me as i sit at my table away from the window. there will be no mindless scanning of pages today.


the cashier nods in my direction. behind her, laughing teens measure out powders, coax yellow puree into waiting cups. artificial sunshine. the smell of mangoes seems to be seeping from the walls. customers stand around waiting for their orders. they surround the glass enclosure, watching the blenders with quick eyes.


three empty styrofoam cups of varying sizes stand atop the display case. the largest one taunts me with its pocked whiteness. i lean in to place my order. “i’ll have that one,” i tell the girl at the cash register, pointing to the biggest cup.
infinite dreams?” her voice is low as well, like a pharmacist at the drugstore reviewing a prescription with a patient.
“yes, please.”
if the girl is surprised at my request she doesn’t show it. she slides a short form across the counter, and i sign it, barely reading the disclaimer. i read it months ago; but, i couldn’t go through with it at the time. now, i’m strong enough.
“have you made any?” i ask.
“only one, a few weeks after the dereg.” she presses a red button on the wall to initiate my order. “my friend works at the beverly hills location, and she makes ten a month.”
“how does she feel … after?”
the girl shrugs. a cute blonde with a colony of pimples on her chin. “never asked. it’s just a job.”
as i take my change, she points to a narrow door by the restroom marked private. “you can’t drink it at the table, you know. you have to take it back there. there’s a key on the counter next to the restroom key.”
“thanks. have a good day.”


soothie in hand, i reach for the key. it dangles from the end of a long metal spoon, as if its power is best managed from a distance. i head to the door pointed out by the cashier, but there is no privacy now. a few patrons turn to stare at me, and a redhead with a chihuahua nestled in the crook of her arm gives me a distracted smile. “sweet dreams,” she murmurs as i pass.


my dreams will be sweet, and infinite, and they will be sticky like frozen mangoes resurrected by the heat of a whirring blade. i lay in the dark, on a cot, the last of the blended fruit melting on my tongue. water gurgles in the pipes of the adjacent restroom. it’s comforting to know that i am not alone, that patrons line up like pallbearers outside the door, and i will be ushered into the waiting arms of the almighty.
ever since the government deregulated the sale of antidepressants two years ago, sipping oneself into oblivion is much easier than swallowing a handful of pills. it’s sweeter this way, filling and there is no aftertaste. 


________________________________________________________________

+ nicole d. sconiers is an author + screenwriter who lives in a sunny jungle.

________________________________________________________________

*”infinite dreams,”a sci-fi, short story, was featured in the literature section of neonV, volume I the continuum in december 2012. the opening page collage, featured above, was created by the talented jasmine rose of followthelaws

shadowstookshape:

Doctor Nnedi Okorafor is an award-winning speculative fiction writer of Nigerian descent. Her first book Zaharah, The Windseeker won the Wole Soyinka Prize of Literature in Africa. As a creator, Okorafor has worked in a great deal of media including film, comics, illustrated books, and of course, the novel. She has an innate intuition about the images that accompany her powerful and imaginative words. She is adamant about the story the cover conveys and it’s associated message.

Who Fears Death, her first adult-oriented novel, set in post-apocalyptic sub-Saharan Africa details the adventures of a very powerful female sorcerer and her attempts to deal with the abilities with which she is born. The amazing text also uses speculative fiction to bring up conversations around access and technology, female genital mutilation, and the horrors of using child-soldiers for war. It is a compelling story and in 2011 it made Nnedi Okorafor the first person of color to win the coveted World Fantasy Award.

As a professor of design, I am always creating assignments that deal with taking complex ideas and distilling them into one image. The American cover for Who Fears Death (left) is, at the risk of enraging my colleague, adequate for the book but I have never found that it totally captured the essence of the story. The French adaptation’s cover (right) with it’s nuanced illustration; heavily relying upon the Rorshach-like affordances of a black and white multi-stable image, seems to give much more in depth narrative information about the tensions and challenges in the book. I love this rendition and I think that the more simple American version lacks the power of the connotations that the illustrated French cover delivers.

Regardless, of the cover, I’d highly recommend picking up Okorafor’s insightful and inspiring novels. Her current book is a collection of short stories entitled Kabu-Kabu. - John Jennings

Kim Love: …I’ve had them put me in a shock holdin’ cell, and I told them I did not want to be there. They told me that’s gonna be your husband, and that’s where you’re going to be and you’re going to love him. And I did my time with him…Without the sexual tension being brought down, the prisoners would probably overturn that place. Because there’s more prisoners than there is COs. They use us.

…As Kim Love’s experience shows, it is a prison industrial complex norm to use women’s bodies in unsafe ways to pacify male inmates. The prison staff and the PIC create sexually opportune environments (e.g., cage women in the same cells as straight men), coerce women into having unsafe sex with their cell-mates because there are few if any barriers for the sex acts, then validate the sexual roles with toiletries or medical favors (exchange of goods or services).

Forced boarding by a third party for sexual contact, or in prison “V-coding,” on the streets would be seen as pimping, as Kim Love called it. The placement of such coercion inside of prison, however, serves to locate pimping as a central part of a transwoman’s sentence. Most acts performed by prison staff, violent or not, are unfortunately upheld as the norm of prison culture. The vision of “sexual tension being brought down, to where there’s no sexual tension—they would probably overturn that place” screams to Love’s understanding of prison staff using her body to pacify her “husband.”

…Emmet Pascal witnessed many women attempting to resist or refuse being “V-coded,” but guards only turn a blind eye. The refusal of prison guards to acknowledge such violence (deliberate indifference), if not to directly coerce it, places the guards in a pimping position. Legal definitions of pimping consistently include intentionally inducing another to become a prostitute or soliciting a patron for sex acts with the sex provider. At what point do prison staff members receive such direct immunity from pandering or procuring customers (“husbands” or men they want to silence) for a sex act?

In an equally abusive placement, gender-variant women are being V-coded close to the end of their sentences. This location works to keep women incarcerated because if they defend themselves against rape or other violence that occurs with their “husband” or cellmate, it is common for them to be charged with assault then placed in the “hole.” The assault charge then shreds the previous parole possibility or release date.

"No One Enters Like Them: Health, Gender Variance, and the PIC" by blake nemec in Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, ed. by Nat Smith and Eric A Stanley

Where are anti-trafficking activists when it comes to activism against trans women being trafficked like this in prison? Of course, without even going into how many of them are terfs, anti-traffickers would never side with prison abolitionists, seeing as how their carceral/governance feminism is about direct support of the prison industrial complex.

(via marginalutilite)

medievalpoc:

lyricsja:

EUROPEANS TAUGHT FOR CENTURIES that Africa had no written history, literature or philosophy (claiming Egypt was other than African). When roughly 1 MILLION manuscripts were found in Timbuktu/Mali covering , according to Reuters “all the fields of human knowledge: law, the sciences, medicine,” IT DID NOT MAKE MAINSTREAM NEWS as did the lies taught by Europeans concerning Africa

Someone asked me to somehow “verify” that this story is real.

Of course it’s real! The PROBLEM with the coverage regarding these manuscripts is that they’re constantly portrayed as being in “danger” because many of them are still in the possession of Malian descendants. About 700,000 have been cataloged so far, and they have had to be moved in part because apparently extremist groups have tried to firebomb them. Many others are still in the possession of the families they have been passed down in.

Many of these collected manuscripts are being housed in exile, but mold and humidity have been a constant threat. They have been raising funds to try and preserve these manuscripts-you can read more about the project to house and protect them here.

A bit of the history of these manuscripts from National Geographic:

These sacred manuscripts covered an array of subjects: astronomy, medicine, mathematics, chemistry, judicial law, government, and Islamic conflict resolution. Islamic study during this period of human history, when the intellectual evolution had stalled in the rest of Europe was growing, evolving, and breaking new ground in the fields of science, mathematics, astronomy, law, and philosophy within the Muslim world.

By the 1300s the “Ambassadors of Peace” centered around the University of Timbuktu created roving scholastic campuses and religious schools of learning that traveled between the cities of Timbuktu, Gao, and Djénné, helping to serve as a model of peaceful governance throughout an often conflict-riddled tribal region.

At its peak, over 25,000 students attended the University of Timbuktu.

By the beginning of the 1600s with the Moroccan invasions from the north, however, the scholars of Timbuktu began to slowly drift away and study elsewhere. As a result, the city’s sacred manuscripts began to fall into disrepair. While Islamic teachings there continued for another 300 years, the biggest decline in scholastic study occurred with the French colonization of present-day Mali in the late 1890s.

So yeah, basically the story of this collection’s source more or less ends with “…but unfortunately, colonialism”, as do most of the great cities of Africa, the Americas, and some parts of Asia.

Also, as an additional consideration:

With the pressures of poverty, a series of droughts, and a tribal Tureg rebellion in Mali that lasted over ten years, the manuscripts continue to disappear into the black market, where they are illegally sold to private and university collections in Europe and the United States.

Notice where the blame is placed here via language use: on the people in poverty forced to sell their treasures, as opposed to the Universities in Europe and the U.S. buying them.

It’s really just another face of Neocolonialism.

(via brandx)

berfrois:

F.A.R.E. (Foucault Abuse Resistance Education)

Never underestimate the meanness in people’s souls… Even when they’re being kind… especially when they’re being kind.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

thelifeguardlibrarian:

progressive-librarian:

Today at the reference desk I helped a patron & her home-schooled daughter who were looking for resources for transgendered [sic] teens and their families.  My library system is fairly large and cosmopolitan, but even so, we didn’t have a very large selection of materials on the subject.  As I looked for titles to add to our collection, I came across a few great booklists for LGTBQ young adult fiction and nonfiction.


There are many more great subject lists out there, but these sites gave me a good starting place to add to our library’s collection.

I want to make sure teens looking for support & information about being transgendered will be able to find books about kids like them at our public library. And I want them to know that they’re not alone.

Great resource! Thanks for sharing. And for those of you in the Chicagoland area, the Oak Park library has the wonderful Transgender Resource Collection. Dig.

(via finedineonmyvegangenitalia)

In contemporary society, white and black people alike believe that racism no longer exists. This erasure, however mythic, diffuses the representation of whiteness as terror in the black imagination. It allows for assimilation and forgetfulness. The eagerness with which contemporary society does away with racism, replacing this recognition with evocations of pluralism and diversity that further mask reality, is a response to the terror. It has also become a way to perpetuate the terror by providing a cover, a hiding place. Black people still feel the terror, still associate it with whiteness, but are rarely able to articulate the varied ways we are terrorized because it is easy to silence by accusations of reverse racism or by suggesting that black folks who talk about the ways we are terrorized by whites are merely evoking victimization to demand special treatment.

stfuconfederates:

…if you want to talk about class struggle in America but don’t begin and end your discussion with Women of Color then fuck off.

(via finedineonmyvegangenitalia)

heyoscarwilde:

H.P. Lovecraft and Nikola Tesla: Paranormal Investigators

Illustration by Travis Pitts :: via zom-bot

(via cloud-scapes)

That paranoia is anticipatory is clear from every account and theory of the phenomenon. The first imperative of paranoia is There must be no bad surprises, and indeed, the aversion to surprise seems to be what cements the intimacy between paranoia and knowledge per se, including both epistemophilia and skepticism. D. A. Miller notes in The Novel and the Police, ‘Surprise…is precisely what the paranoid seeks to eliminate, but it is also what, in the event, he survives by reading as a frightening incentive: he can never be paranoid enough’ (164).

The unidirectionally future-oriented vigilance of paranoia generates, paradoxically, a complex relation to temporality that burrows both backward and forward: because there must be no bad surprises, and because learning of the possibility of a bad surprise would itself constitute a bad surprise, paranoia requires that bad news be always already known. As Miller’s analysis also suggests, the temporal progress and regress of paranoia are, in principle, infinite.
Eve Sedgwick, “Paranoid Reading and Reparative Reading” (via hookedonsemiotics)

(via deactiavtedhookedonsemiotics)

ohrohin:

“Tuscon schools champion science fiction as basis for new public schools curriculum”

(via ohrohin-deactivated20120622)