Thursday, August 20, 2020

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

What DID happen to them?

 

 

This is one of my favorite videos in a long time. 24 minutes and some change, but if you're interested in dogs and history, or the history of dogs, worth every bit of it. Carolinas of course do feature, and in this context pups like my girl are even more interesting.

Friday, July 31, 2020

OH THE DIRTY, STUPID PAST, said the patriarchy

Oh my good Lord, THIS. All of this, all day long. Stay tuned for 12:35, when I wanted to stand up and CHEER.


Monday, June 1, 2020

WFH Window

The day is impossibly beautiful and breezy. Dazzling.

Nekkid baby has returned to my strip of the sidewalk, on a tiny bicycle. Riding it like a scooter. One foot on a pedal, one accelerating heedlessly.

An hour ago, with his mommy, he had walked by wearing nothing but a pull-up diaper, holding a sippy cup, absorbed utterly by anything under his nekkid little feet. Leading with his lil' boy belly. Dappled in sunshine.

But now, on his bike, daddy along for the ride literally, he is dressed and helmeted and speeding. I hear no wailing; he must be good at not falling.

He fades down the road.

The passel o' boys across the street from me are outside playing some game, squealing with joy between yelling like angry badgers, all modulated by occasional, calm dad-voice.

It. Is. OSUM.

Oh man - another bloodcurdling scream! Kids at play so often sound so terrifying!!! It sounds exactly like my own neighborhood, circa 1978.

Between this, tweeting birds, and inviting breezes, I am hard put to finish part 2 of the month's reporting. Gah.

There is this very specific inflection to kids playing - an elastic up-and-down wave, nothing like so tidy as a sine - in which the sound of injustice resonates with purity. BUT WHYYYYY ... can't I go over here ... does he get to run to the next base ... am I not wiii-ii-iiiiiii-in-in-innniiiinnng?

The breeze in the maple outside the window, playing with the grass, scintillating in the treetops across the way. The beagle a couple houses away, Expressing Opinions.

It is ... beautiful.


***


Just a few miles away, filthy Confederate monuments I want to see for myself, updated for our age by people angry, and sad, and bereft for the several-millionth time in 400 years. The police chief here has been on the side of citizens. Just south of us, another chief stood with his people. It is not loaves and fishes The Beatitudes, and it IS optics and choices and amplification calculated - but it is good to see choices for those these polices forces are here to protect and serve.

One of my dearest friends, my best neighbor at work, a woman I love so much - I have heard the sirens, but she heard those and the sound of "no justice/no peace" and "I can't breathe" all this weekend. She is a living blessing.

The Daughters of the Confederacy could have done as others have - served history instead of themselves, as an institution. Why anyone would care to be institutionalized with a group of worshippers of the Lost Cause - people lionizing rebels, who broke away from and tried to destroy the United States - is beyond comprehension. Their existence is shameful, and their mission indefensible. They should relinquish their revolting relics to actual historians, donate their facilities, repent and make reparations. They are shameful. They burned - for a little while - this weekend. This is not looting, it is reprimand, and long past due.

Lee's tired horse, on an exalted platform of ridiculous loftiness - tail down and tired, while the old General still rides, ramrod straight and UNASHAMED, bronze and burnished, but shat on daily by local pigeons with more rectitude - is bedaubed with graffiti. Stuart's plinth, a little shorter, surrounded by a wrought iron bridge it could *not* have been easy to bring down - but brought down it has been, by living bodies who matter more than these rebels do.

Leave them desecrated, the echo of the desecration these insurgents brought to the United States, in dividing them. Remember them for the failures they were. Let the bronze and granite decay, the rot take them over. Leave them to rot, or take them away altogether.

Leave Kehinde Wiley's living horseman in their place - no traitor, but an AMERICAN man - pristine and strong and proud and standing for something. Let him tower over the others as they fall down.


***


It would take only minutes to see what has been done, and what has been undone, in my city. I will probably drive out - before the newly enacted curfew - to see what I need to know. To be a part of it.

To see the dazzling sun, perhaps, set ... on these newly-faced (hardly DEfaced - how do you "ruin" idolatrous monuments to traitors?) images.

To breathe the good air, and commit to using my privilege ... so that little nekkid kiddo can stay untouched a while longer.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

WANTED

Erick...

Say just one variable had been different, and I'd been 1/4 mile east, walking with my neighbors. Say the "KKK leader" who revved his engine and ploughed into the crowd had hit me and killed me. I'm DEAD.

You're going to feel good about that?

Say you found out tomorrow that I am dead today. You'd regret nothing?

You'd never wish I were still alive ... wish you could still turn to me ..

Great Zot, yes, boy. This is a cry for help.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Ecolog-ollection

Genealogies gleaned from ancient human DNA are set to transform archaeology.

For an historical fiction author (well ... I used to be), this one represents a tantalizing plot bunny. Who were the unrelated women on these prosperous farmsteads? Why are there no offspring present with their DNA? Graves and grave goods gave me a huge amount of the research information I used when I wrote The Ax and the Vase, and still featured significantly in my work on the second novel. This sort of thing seems to energize my creative juices. Maybe, juuuuust maybe ... someday I can talk about work on that second novel in the present tense again. *Sigh*

Mmmm, ancient brains. Jokes aside, either one of these stories that could be a plot bunny, or maybe they're interesting in their own right. Right now, I am not chasing bunnies, but I have found myself peeping out of my own burrow from time to time to sniff the air and *think* about them.

Urban ecologists who ignore the geography of race and income in a city do so at the peril of their science


Time to tell that one middle manager to lose the "survival of the fittest" poster. It is INSPIRING and very, very cool to take a closer look not only at the influence of community and cooperation in biology, but to once again review the very idea of individuality, as regards any body ... and anybody. This, for me, begins to look like a bunny I'd like to chase.

Bacteria, for instance, may make as much as 95 percent of the serotonin in our bloodstreams, meaning you have a diverse symbiont community to thank for your pleasant mood. ... (A)nimals, humans included, are really multispecies events, composite byproducts of collaboration.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Rumors of War

"I'm working on something, and you're going to love it, and it belongs in Richmond, Virginia."

Honestly, I'm not so sure about the point that Rumors of War actually "outflanks" discussion of removing monuments bought and paid for toward a racist political and social agenda. I hope that the idea of removing such so-called monuments (to insurrectionists who rebelled against the United States and lost) isn't just *over*. But I do appreciate the strategy, and not least because this is the most breathtaking kind of  art.

Side note ... given how lazy/racist it is to use chocolate and coffee imagery in describing characters of color in fiction, how do we feel about the "silky, dark patina" comment from a white journalist? Hmm.