Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thirteen words of significance...


Thirteen Words of Significance I'm Teaching Stinkapee

This is good for me. It's giving me an opportunity to further understand what I'm attempting to do. Articulating agendas out in the open air, in the light of day...or in the darkness of night, for that matter, helps.

In a spin doctoring culture, in a culture of denial, in a dominating culture, in a culture where forgetfulness and avoidance are prized, words as transformative and transgressive vehicles for knowledge, yes, but also as steamrolling, sledge hammering vehicles for things political, things about resistance, are key.

I can...unh...eek!...typo...that was supposed to read - can'T, CAN'T make Stinkapee into me. She will become who she will become. I can offer her all the words I've encountered over a life collecting single words, phrases, sentences bundled together, paragraphs loaded with power.

These are just a handful of the single ones she knows and is in the process of developing an understanding of (if you read the first post, here are the definitions as I steal moments to type during the course of my day...):

One:
Menstruation:
Blood comes from inside a woman's body, from her uterus after the hormones start flowing when she goes through puberty.

Two:
Menopause:
Blood stops coming from inside a woman's body, from her uterus after the hormones stop flowing when she becomes an elder.

Three:
Patriarchy:
Some people like to tell a girl or a woman what she can or cannot do. These people like to think that boys and men are better, smarter, stronger, cooler. The idea that wimmin should just do as they're told and not understand that they are good and smart and strong and cool is called patriarchy.

Four:
Middle Passage:
Our ancestors lived in Africa. The pale people from europe came over in ships. They were lost. They decided to stay and cause a lot of trouble and hurt a lot of people. They stole our ancestors, put them on boats, took them across the water to Turtle Island and made us work on their farms and in their houses for free. They thought they were the boss of us, our big masters. This time was called The Middle Passage.

Five:
Dyke:
Some people believe that girls must only have boys as partners or boyfriends. Some people believe that women must only have men as partners or boyfriends. They think that when a princess is lonely she must look for a prince or that when a queen is lonely she must find a king. These people are gender challenged. They have gender issues. Girls can have partners that are girls and women can have partners that are wimmin. Princesses can kiss frogs and the frogs can turn into princesses. Queens can search for another queen and they can rule their lands very well together. Every year there is a big festival that happens in lots of different cities. This festival is for girls who have girlfriends and wimmin who have wimmin partners and princesses who kiss frogs and find other princesses and queens who rule with other queens who can call themselves dykes. This festival is called the dyke march. You've been to it almost every year since you were born. This is where mama takes her top off in public to celebrate her body.

Six:
Androgynous:
see monday's post.

Seven:
Caribbean:
The islands where the pale people dropped of our ancestors when they stole us and forced us to work for them. This is native land. But a lot of Black people live there.

Eight:
Black:
A figure of speech. We have lots of melanin in our skin. The melanin, as you know, makes our skin beautiful and dark. It also protects us from the sun. We call ourselves black people because our skin is dark. Originally, the pale people who were melanin deficient came to Africa and found us looking so beautiful and interesting...they did not understand our skin. They were confused, angry, scared and had severe issues. Often when people have severe issues they say things about things or people they may not understand to try and make themselves feel better or seem smarter. So, the pale people who came and stole away our ancestors, who made us cry and hurt, called our skin black because they wanted to say they understood who we were...which they didn't. They sort of tried to make themselves think we had muddy skin, dirty skin, dirty blood, like in Harry Potter where some of the wizards think that muggles have dirty blood. Today many people with ancestors from Africa use the word Black to say that our Black skin is beautiful. We like being black and having lots of melanin in our skin.

Nine:
Emotions:
How we tell we are alive and our spirits are working...even the emotions that don't feel so good are good things, because when we feel them, they don't stay inside our bodies and hurt our spirits.

Ten:
Angry:
This is a good feeling. It's a warning. It tells you something doesn't feel right, that something isn't working for you. It can let you know that maybe someone has crossed your boundaries. It can let you know that someone was not respectful of your feelings. It can let you know that you don't like something that is happening. Don't be scared of feeling angry.

Eleven:
Love:
You can agree to love someone when you check to make sure they are worth loving. Are they nice to you? Do they treat you well and respect your boundaries? Do they listen when you speak? Do they talk to you? Are they behaving like a good friend? If a person does not behave like a good friend then loving them isn't a good idea.

Twelve:
Uterus:
A part of your body. It is hollow and small. When you go through puberty it will hold and release blood. Maybe, when you get older if you decide to have babies your uterus will get bigger, it will stretch and become bigger than your belly.

Thirteen:
Genitals:
Another name for the area around your vulva, vagina, clitoris, urethra.

Now, keep in my that I make sure to only utilize words in definitions and conversations with her that I have already explained and that we've discussed. So, although the language may seem a little complex, keep in mind that I don't drop these words on her out of the blue. They come up in conversations and have been discussed quite a bit in our family.


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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dinner conversation...

Last night tha Ru (my father) and Ophelia, papi's father came over for dinner. I won't bore with all the basic details...everyone knows all the possible variations of family dinner interactions. That's simple.

I just wanted to share a few snippits.

I'd told Ophelia about Zebulon. I think I've become a member of his church of kak...a bonafide convertee. I showed her his magazines, especially the rant about Oprah and her bringing her:
"I'm the pre-emininent Black Amerikkkan media mogul, business woman, philanthropist coming with my Back-to-Africa-gonna-save-the- backward-continental-darkies because I've internalized the white amerikkkan imperialist missionary project which involves me traveling elsewhere under the auspices of the power of the united states of kak to spread oppressive bile about our moral, economic, social, intellectual superiority in the form of a cultural plague of backward, limited ideas. Save the darkies...oh wait! I'm a darky!"
Fuck! That felt good. There's nothing like writing stream of consciousness.

Ophelia giggled as she read and we talked about Oprah's gall and her lack of anything more than the most basic analysis informed completely by media and amerikkkan self-centered culture.

We also talked about what it means to write outside the academy, about writing when you're not on the bankroll of a funder, writing for it's own sake, writing for resistance and for intellectual growth, for curiosity's sake, just because you can.

Then we wove in talk about the nature of "radical" at this particular point in time...
conversation was brief but serves as a good jump off point for me to write...

The right has gone so far, become so conservative, so powerful that they have also transformed, touched, influenced what it means to be "Left". "Left" being simply left of the "Right", existing in relationship to the "Right", obliviously dragged into a destructive, ultimately disastrous dynamic which forces a profound right leaning swerve in agendas and movements for change.

When those who understand themselves as the decision makers, as the "leaders" of the "Left", busy themselves following and reacting to the moves of those on the "Right", independent articulation of what it means to seek change is sacrificed. We ebb and flow, roll and duck according to autonomous moves of those on the "Right" who keep their agendas clear and in sight.

We scurry after them, begging them for funding, begging them for validation, begging them for meetings, begging them to notice us, begging them to listen, marching so they'll listen, writing petitions so they'll listen, creating email campaigns so they'll listen...

Then we lose more time, spend more time, waste more time complaining about them reserving the right to not listen, wondering why they won't listen, developing theories and exchanging ideas about how to get them to listen, without ever admitting to ourselves or to each other that the success of their many agendas completely relies on them deciding not to listen. We strategize about perhaps supplying their leaders with hearing aids without ever realizing that all we've succeeded in doing is moving the focus from ourselves and our agendas to the "Right".

BAM!

They win. Game over. Story done.

It's that simple.

They win the field when we direct our energies at them.

They win the day when we define our agendas according to their moves.

They win the real war when we mobilize our people to block, deflect, soften their blows.

They've distracted us, confused us by making themselves, their goals, their actions, their groups and orgs, their politicians central to us.

When they decide to give us a li'l sumthin', sumthin' by pretending to cave in to public opinion on this issue or that, we celebrate great victories as if we won the war. When they visit our children, touch their hair, watch their films, when they attend the funerals of our fallen leaders and applaud the impassioned performances of our entertainers, we feel accepted. When they stiffle their gag reflexes and allow themselves to shake our hands, when they allow us into countries they dominate so they can get some more low waged labourers, we jump for joy and tell ourselves things are changing for the better...but changing for who?

We remind our peoples to respect the rules of engagement, to not fight "dirty", to not be rude. We remind our wimmin folk that it is still necessary to observe cultural prohibitions governing wimmin's proper speech, emotions and the articulation of the primal self. Wouldn't want the gentler sex to come across as mean, self-centered or egotistical...that wouldn't be womanly...unh feminist. And 'sides, that's just not nice. And above all else, the revolution must be nice, orderly and well modulated.

The "Left" has "leaders". And so it would be best to let our middle-class(ing) /upper-class(ing) progressive "leaders" speak to the affluent powerful leaders of the "Right" because really only folks in hierarchical positions of power can fully understand the issues well enough to advocate for us...no need for us to advocate for ourselves, speaking for ourselves.

Yes, we, too, have leaders. We have tidy, clean, well fed, progressive (perhaps coopted or distracted might be better descriptives?) lefties who have the ear of tidy, clean, well fed liberals, who have the ear of affluent, power hungry, not in the least bit interested in the concerns of the "Left" leaders on the "Right". There is an invisible yet completely agreed upon chain of command. A hierarchical structure. All will be well in the new "Left" as long as everybody on the "Left" knows and trusts in their place...just left of the "Right", drawing breath in relation to the moves of the "Right".

The "Left" dragged farther right, conservatively "Right" according to the dictates of the "Right", has become more acceptable, less "extreme" in response to the actions of the "Right". What is understood as "radical" at this point in the history and herstory of resistance is a pale fucking shadow, without teeth or claws, talking, theorizing, writing about rage yet stifling and threatened by rage, without direction, without a fucking cause save to run after those on the "Right" with hat in hands, tail between its legs, yelping at the tables of those with power begging for more scraps of power to ingest.

Bah! I'm disgusted.

P.S. Dinner was a smash. One free range, naturally grown chicken boiled in miso soup and then sprinkled with grey sea salt followed by an intense fire blasting in the gas oven to brown (for Me, Stinkapee, the Ru and the Shmolian), one free range, naturally grown chicken breast steamed with organic green onions for Nana O, accompanied by whole steamed organic carrots, large chunks of zucchini and broccoli fleurettes, with organic brown basmati rice.

Oh, and...
The Shmolian is crawling....farther, radically "Left". (laughter of the damned)

Sugasm #81, a devilish digest...

Starting to feel more intrepid and interested in continuing to seek...

Venturing out, trying to peek under the skirts of those who don't seem to mind one little bit. Of course, if I peek, I have to be prepared to share some of mine, too.

This is my second Sugasm entry. My first was last year, March 2006. Still pregnant with the Shmolian I entered with some older published creative writing about ancestral possession, two Black wimmin...strangers, an alley way fuck and some passers by.

This time 'round I offered up a post from last week. Not fully "home" as is usually the case no matta where I roam. I see distant kindred here too in the ranks of those who resist domination and control in their own ways. I knocked on the door, they peeked and didn't mind what they saw. In other words I requested a place among them and they shared their space without asking me to be less of who I am.

For those confused about who should be included or excluded from things political...yet another wonderful lesson from tha edge.

Enjoy...


Sugasm #81

The best of this week's blogs by the bloggers who blog them. Highlighting the top 3 posts as chosen by Sugasm participants. Want in Sugasm #82? Submit a link to your best post of the week using this form. Participants, repost the link list within a week and you’re all set.

This Week’s Picks

Do / Do Not (lafillemariee.blogspot.com…)
“Do – stop in the hallway to kiss and fondle me before even getting to the room.”

The Red Cross of Fucking (perverselypoly.blogspot.com…)
“They can pay her a “finder’s fee,” and everybody will be happier.”

Review: The Amputee’s Guide to Sex (www.radicalvixen.com…)
“When he first mentioned it he turned his disability into a fetish.”

Mr. Sugasm Himself
Meet Lin Chong, Dong Assistant (sugarbank.com…)

Editor’s Choice
Mothers day 3 (joeheather.blogspot.com…)

More Sugasm
Join the Sugasm

See also: Fleshbot’s Sex Blog Roundup each Tuesday and Friday (Fleshbot.com)

(Sugasm participants should re-post all the links above. The following links may be excluded as long as you include all the above links.)


Erotic Writing and Experiences

Agly (theadulteress.livejournal.com…)
All Day Love (talktovanessa.com…)
Do You Know? (fexual-strustration.blogspot.com…)
Heartbeats and Breaths (bikersballsandteacherstits.blogspot.com…)
Hidden Desire - Submission #1 (confessionjournal.blogspot.com…)
Horny Sales Girl Giving Pleasure (humandigest.blogspot.com…)
Joshua Three - Part Three (junohenry.wordpress.com…)
Lay With You (www.smuttydirt.com…)
One More Night pt. 3 (kislee.naughtyblog.net…)
Overtime With The Boss (eroticjournals.blogspot.com…)
The Pussy Slayer (confessions112.blogspot.com…)
Room Service (gentlygently.blogspot.com…)
Watch Me Squirm (drtycplinva.blogspot.com…)
Welcome home honey (orangeuglad.blogspot.com…)


Sex News & Reviews

Ow! You’re On My Hair! (aslipofagirl.blogspot.com…)
Since when is stripping news? (deliciously-naughty.typepad.com…)


NSFW Pics, Videos & Audio

Aria Giovanni Nude (eroticandy.blogspot.com…)
Audio: Pussy Lickin’ Good (www.taratainton.com…)
Girlfriend of “Sexual Expression” in the Kitchen (kitchen-girls.blogspot.com…)
Half-Nekkid and Guilt-Free Hiney (www.tarasnaughtyshop.com…)
Happy HNT - Hand spanking video (darkside-journey.blogspot.com…)
Irina & Alena (viviane212.blogspot.com…)
Natali Demore and Lady Dalbin (video) (thebootcam.com…)
Presenting Avril (onlymet.blogspot.com…)
Supermodels from Peru (myhotbox.blogspot.com…)
Titty Tuesday (imelda-imelda.blogspot.com…)
Video #1/”Sexual Nostalgia” (sexualnostalgia.blogspot.com…)


Sex Work

A Day In The Life Of A Professional Fetish Blogger (www.quipsandchains.com…)
Madeleines (thismuse.blogspot.com…)


Thoughts on Sex and Relationships

Alpha & Beta (smart-girls.blogspot.com…)
Defining Erotic (www.thenaughtychick.com…)
Friday (sexcakes.blogspot.com…)
I loved this then and still love it now… (darkdaughta.blogspot.com…)
The Problem with Porn Part II: Manifestations Online (un-cool.blogspot.com…)
The Sex Kitten History; The Sex Kitten Future (www.sex-kitten.net…)
Spanked by Robin Byrd, or not that innocent (lustylady.blogspot.com…)
A Strange New World of Emotion (practicalpolyamory.blogspot.com…)


Sex Humor

Man Gets Out Of Traffic Ticket, Potential Threesome Cited (funnyextreme.com…)


BDSM & Fetish

Art, human condition and spanking (www.spankingwriters.com…)
Darkness (transformher.blogspot.com…)
I’m Easy (Sort of) - Reflections on Cuckolding (mrsemmakelly.blogspot.com…)
Star Trek and BDSM (twentyfoursevends.blogspot.com…)
Wednesday Session (www.sub-burbs.com…)
Wolves vs. vampires (lastbreath.wordpress.com…)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Stinkapee, pocoyo and androgyny...

This morning Stinkapee was watching pocoyo on tvo while I braided her hair. Just another hundred or so twists to go.

Gender, as usual, surfaced in our conversations. I was making some reference to the Shmolian and purposefully transgressing in conversation with Stinkapee by referring to him as a princes or as a girl, knowing that it would stimulate conversation.

She reminded me that the Shmolian is a boy. I reminded her that, as is the case with her, we'll have to wait for him to get old enough to tell us what he prefers. She, remembering all her struggles (at five) with teacher and fellow children who had what we in our family call "gender difficulties", agreed. Yes, the Shmolian will tell us in his own time when he gets older.

Just to spice things up a bit, I threw in a new word - androgyny - into the mix.

"Or maybe, instead of being a boy or a girl, Shmolee might decide to be androgynous."

"Androgynous?"

"Yeah. That's when you aren't a boy or a girl. When you sort of look like someone in between or maybe like neigther a boy or a girl. Just like yourself."

"Yeah. Shmolee could be androgynous."

"Like those characters on the tv. Do they look like boys or girls?"

"Yes."

"Well, would you know that they were boys or girls if they didn't have names that told you they were boys or girls?"

"Noooo..."

"I don't see anything that make me think they are supposed to be boys or girls. Do you see them wearing the colours people say boys or girls are supposed to wear? Do you see them with long hair like people say girls are supposed to have or with short hair like people say boys are supposed to have?"

"Noooo..."

"Then, we can say they're androgynous."

Gender curve ball seems to be processing. If she starts using it correctly in her day to day speech, trying it on for size as she does when she encounters new terminology, then I'll know she gets it.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pitiful, just pitiful...

I found this headline through another blogger who writes north of the 49th.

I'd like to ralph. But since that seems to be what I feel like doing most of the time, all that's coming up is some slimey green gunk...

Tory proudly takes part in Toronto gay film fest

"May 26, 2007 04:30 AM
Robert Benzie
Queen's Park Bureau Chief

Leader John Tory is emphasizing the ``progressive'' in Ontario's Progressive Conservative party this weekend.

Look no further than today's "Queer Youth Video Project" at the Isabel Bader Theatre, part of the 17th annual Inside Out Toronto Gay and Lesbian Film and Video Festival, the kind of event his more traditionalist predecessors might have shunned.

Tory, an honorary "distinguished patron" of the youth film showcase, said he was delighted when organizers asked him to lend his name to something that is part of the third-largest such festival in the world.

"This is a great group of men and women, including the young people who are involved," he said yesterday, noting the importance of the film industry to Toronto and Ontario.

"They're creative and they're people who are making a contribution to what is a very important industry in this city. They're a key part of the `creative city' that is so important to the economy."

Tory also said he wants to send a signal to all Ontarians that the Progressive Conservatives are a "big tent" party."
I was wrong...there's a jetty...wrong word, but it sounded good...jet of projectile vomit hitting my screen right...about...now....

Christian conservative, extreme right winger John Tory hanging out with gays and lesbians with queer youth? Hmmm...I wonder how many of the youth were snickering behind their hands as he forced himself to touch their hands, campaigning for their vote rather than attempting to hand out ex-gay pamphlets?

Now, you've gotta know this has nothing to do with saving our youth and everything with strategic photo ops designed to court affluent, conservative, rapidly gentrifying community, top level gays and lesbians who probably have more in common values wise with Tory than with the vast majority of queers.

As far as I can see, Tory's appearance doesn't mark any sort of shift in his extreme conservatism. Nah, ah. If I was into governmental politics, I would watch to see which communities he approaches and which he threatens. This is a favourite hunting tactic of the political animal...the usually very effective divide and conquer strategy. Threaten some groups, hang out and laugh and talk shop with others who thirst being included in the halls of power without having to level any meaningful critiques.
"This is a great group of men and women, including the young people who are involved,"???
Hunh?

What syphilitic kak, as Zebulon would say. Tory doesn't give a flying fuck about queer youth, queer people or queer issues. But he is trying to become premier of Ontario and wants to make sure all the right palms are greased...

So, I get why he would want to attend a high profile event like this. But who is the backward GLBTTIQ...did I leave out any letter?...person...or people who signed off on this public, embarrassment of a community assimilation project?

more oppressive tripe courtesy of the toronto star and john tory

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Braiding hair, watering the garden and Ozzy...

So,
I spent the day braiding Stinkapee's hair with kinky black extensions. She's got these luxurious twists that will temporarily replace her own tiny braids (also done by me)...I'm not sure if I ever mentioned the unfortunate run in with the craft scissors where she tried to give herself a fauxhawk. She likes the new hair.

Since I took her out of her private school and went back to homeschooling... actually more like unschooling because what she learns and what I offer her is really driven by her curiosity and interests...she's venting a lot of the emotions she was holding about her school experience. She talks about things the children did that didn't sit well with her. She talks about fear and about feeling excluded. She talks about teachers denying her her the right to have her emotions when she was taught by us that her feelings were to be experienced.

Today, as I braided she talked about worry related to being accepted or treated well by other children because they didn't like her short hair. She expressed sadness over looking different, unattractive because she had short hair when so many people think girls should have long hair.

I held her and told her that she was beautiful with short hair, no hair, fake hair, blue hair (which she's had), whatEVER hair. She seemed relieved and smiled.

I didn't finish braiding. She sat for quite a long time and I didn't want to push it. We ate roti for dinner and then everybody went outside to keep me company while I took care of the gardens. Planted tomatoes, zucchini and beans. Watered all the babies. Visited, touched and examined each and every plant.

Came inside. Tried to put Stinkapee to bed. But I was all Stinkapee'd out...braided hair for about five hours. Papi had more success.

Then I blogged and breastfed.

I came online again because I had to share. We were watching videos when an old jem from Ozzy - crazy train - came on. I sang along and played air guitar. I remembered high school in suburbia in the eighties which is where I encountered the Oz. This video is pure cheese and the original song has been replaced for the purposes of the video with a newer track...the version I saw on tv was missing the maniacal laughter at the end. But, nonetheless, care to join me? Mouah, ah, ah, ah! Mouah, ah, ah, ah!




clustrmaps says I'm over 30,000 views...


I haven't mentioned it. But, I need to say that I really like clustrmaps. I got one on a lark thinking it might be fun to see where my viewers were from. I didn't need anyone to say: Hey! I just wanted to get a global snapshot.

I didn't realize what this little doo-hickey would come to symbolize or how much it would end up meaning to me. At various points in my recent blogging career, I've been blogging in frontier country. Not a blessed soul in sight. Just me on a dark horse eyes looking directly into the sun, squinting playing masturbatory...who's sex obsessed?...hallucinatory mirage games with myself, now I see an ally, now I don't, now I see an ally, now I don't...

I tip-tapped typed furiously, voraciously and believed that perhaps one or two intrepid, or lost creatures came by every now and then.

I knew some people even had links to my blog. Linky love, some called it. Since none of these people could know me well enough to agree to love me...or my love child, this blog...I just thought of the links as linky like. But links seemed static, old, ageing without much in the way of new ones showing up...only here or there.

I typed on.

But once I got my frackin' clustrmaps hook up, it was like getting a kwanzaa gift everyday! I could "see" what was happening! I could "see"...

(the Shmolian just fell asleep at the titties. My back is killing me. See, he's lying on my knees with me leaning over so he can breastfeed while I use my elbows to keep him from rolling off...a technique I perfected with Stinkapee while I was building my 75 page website darkdaughta.com...and I use both hands to keep typing. Putting him down, be back in a sec...)
...who was looking and where they came from.

Probably because I'm north amerikkkanized and positioned over here on stolen land, immediately the other settler bloggers started showing up. At first the eastern seabord, but soon expanding westward.

I was excited, I had acheived what I'd hoped for - I was a meme, an ever spreading plague of words and ideas and although many of my fellow bloggers would not link themselves publicly to me in ways that spoke to their viewing habits, clustrmaps told a clearer story.

I was surprised and not surprised that the west indies and the continent showed so little activity for so long. I could speculate. But, I definitely welcome anyone...from Africa...or the caribbean...who would care to share their observations or understandings.

Asia seemed to take off really early...australia, too. Even hawaii. south amerikkka was sparse, but is also coming along with other parts of the world including the middle east.

Like kkkanada and amerikkka, pale people central command aka europe also took off really early.

I relied on this device for moral support, for alliance in the face of various shit storms I've already outlined and will continue to refer to until people stop hiding and passing themselves of as victims and take responsibility for the thoroughly unrevolutionary crap they did and then tried to cover up.

Clustrmaps changed my subscription at one point. They stopped showing me daily reports...when I was still really needing to get a picture in order to motivate myself to keep going. I emailed them asking: What up?

They emailed back promptly explaining their process of changing from daily updates when a blog's viewership increased to a certain point at a certain rate. They had a process they followed.

I explained to them that tracking these hits was the only thing keeping me going. Their rep, wrote back saying that they would take what I was saying under advisement...which they did.

Newsflash:
To revolutionaries who want to create lists of feminist followers or things like woc blogger lists: Your constituents...unh...the people who sign on with you actually matter. Their concerns matter. It is possible to show strength, to keep the goals of the many in mind and not handle "situations" as if you are a corporation that doesn't give a flying fuck about the feelings of an individual blogger.

Newsflash to the herd:
If the needs of the many outweigh the needs of any individual member, eventually, none of the individuals who collectively comprise the many will have their needs met. Dunh...you set the stage for your own individual needs and concerns to be dealt with in a similarly underhanded, passive-aggressive, yet thoroughly merciless and draconian manner. You make certain that you, too, will have no space to speak clear when your moment of oppositional truth arrives. whatEVAH.

As I was saying, clustrmaps, a faceless internet org gets this concept. They were able and ultimately willing to take in new information, a critique, well...many critiques and were still amenable to engaging in a way that said: Sure, we've got thousands of customers. But we here what you're saying. We will make change to accommodate what you're saying.

I appreciated the humanness of this faceless tool. I appreciated the human interaction in the form of emails sent by one of the people who work to offer this tool. "Hi, CJ!" I was touched and was left with the sense that I was heard.

Fast forward to present day:
Now, they tell me that in less than four months I've passed the thirty thousand viewer mark!? woo-HOO!

I want to say a resounding "Thank you" to whoever has been coming. I've had comments and communications from a handful of intrepid people who came, read, identified themselves and transmitted words, thoughts, ideas. I especially want to thank these people. I know I haven't communicated much. But I do go visit your sites and leave notes and/or read.

To celebrate this momentuous occasion I just want one thing from the rest of my faceless readers...well two things, actually.

One, if you haven't said: "Hey!" And you like what I write. Please drop a line. I'm curious to see who's there.

And if you can't stand me but you still find yourself reading...and taking notes for your term papers, doctoral theses, research....hee, hee, hee! Drop me a line, too. You can be anonymous so that you can keep on keeping on with...unh...the revolution.

But, most importantly, for all those people who think that the blogosphere isn't a series of giant power cliques run according to popularity, Puleez! Be my guest. Prove me wrong.

If you have been reading, but were hesitant to be caught dead with my link on your blog for fear of loosing all your cool...unh, I mean revolutionary and radical blogger friends...unh I mean, allies. Remember, this isn't a big high school popularity game. I'm an adult...sort of. And you? Why, of course you're an adult, too.

And, no joke, I'm not sitting by my locker skipping classes and you're not walking by with all your newly found queer/mama/feminist/woc/activist/anarchist friends trying not to notice me as you step on...unh...over me. Nah...

You're bigger than that. So, just to prove it...give a sulky, rude, foul mouthed, big mouthed outkast a link. :) Your ulcer...unh I mean grounded ethical center will thank you for it...somewhere...deep, deep, DEEP down inside. Hee, hee, hee! (laugher of the damned)

And remember, clustrmaps rawks!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Marriage is not love, it's business and social validation...









marriage is...

a socially validated,

legally binding,

business contract

imposing state sanctioned,

ritual monogamy.

let's give

a big round of applause

for PRIVILEGE!

i signed up for some.

have YOU?


Reading yesterday's post again I started thinking about my choices, choices that are informed by an analysis of privilege, oppression and power. I thought about the failure of the intentional community I tried to build with other people, other queer wimmin, other black wimmin who hated themselves and each other covertly, enough to destroy homes that they themselves admitted were places of safety and respect. Internalized oppression sucks. I thought about my disappointment, about my rage, about my worry and regrets.

"What now?" I asked myself?

How would I raise my children without the protection of a tribe? How would I continue to do my resistance work, my shit disturbing, my speaking and writing against the grain when I have no allies to watch my back?

Reality is, I haven't had allies in quite some time. When I say allies, I mean people who understand what I do and why I do it, who make the choice to speak truth rather than engage in denial for the sake of popularity and wide acceptance, who realize that they'll get flack for even being my friend let alone for openly agreeing with the critiques I level inside communities of resistance and don't give a flying fuck because they're so secure in who they are.

I realized that I wasn't interested in waiting around and hoping that some mythic ally riding a dark horse pulling alongside my dark horse then we ride off into the margins together...blah, blah, blah...

There was no time to wait, no space to hope.

I thought and thought. I thought especially about the privilege that I had been attempting to undermine, privilege offered to me as a binary gendered female openly in relationship with a binary gendered man, both assumed to be heterosexual, both assumed to be patriarchal, both assumed to be monogamous, both assumed to be interested in the approving glances of heterocentric black folks and others, both assumed to be interested in the polite banter of those who (mis)understand the presence of my children as a beacon inviting their (completely conditional) validation and respect.

I thought about unearned power, relative safety, about attempting to perform as a member of the herd, as an approved card carrying member of the in clique represented world wide.

I decided that I would utilize the privilege I had been offered, access the privilege I had been offered as a way to offer myself and my family more of a smooth passage through this fucked up world.

I said to Papi: "We should get married."

He looked at me as if I was taking that prozac I kept threatening to buy.

I assured him that I was not yet on emotion, sight and power suppressing drugs.

I explained that given all the shit we'd gone through and given the fact that no allies were in sight, it might be time for a drastic change in plans, a surface swerve to the right...of course I used way more words and the conversation happened over the course of months.

Then we told Ophelia who also looked at me as if I was taking that prozac I kept threatening to buy. She talked about why she had chosen to get married and about all the wedding plans she made. Were we going to cater? Where were we going to have the ceremony? What dress was I going to wear? Was there going to be a reception? Who were we going to invite?

This conversation also happened over a days, weeks, months as I came, Papi came and then we brought Ophelia to the realization that there was going to be no wedding, no caterer, no church or hall, no white dress, no reception, no guests.

I didn't want to invite my father who doesn't understand my politics and who I only have marginal communication with to a ceremony he would attend as proud father attempting to give away his daughter. I didn't want him to call my relatives and tell them: "Tonia is getting married!" and then have to deal with them trying to occupy their positions in a patriarchal, heterosexual, monogamous, cross gendered wedding spectacle against my will, completely not understanding any critical experience I might attempt to craft. I did call him on the night of the paper signing as we travelled across the city. I figured I'd just let him know. But he didn't answer his cell. Relief.

Papi and I played with the idea of inviting his relatives. We went through the list of people he's related to but not interested in spending intimate time with. We thought about the fact that wedding guests come with wedding gifts, hardcore evidence of conditional approval. We thought, well we could say no gifts just money, hee, hee, hee! Lots of cultures do "sprays" where the "lucky" couple is showered with capitalist, consumerist, masturbatory showers of cold hard green. Wedding narratives aside, this simple act exposes the cold calculated business of marriage.

A money shower? Money we could take to pay for Stinkapee's schooling and funnel into our various projects. But then we thought about having to smile through a ceremony and reception with people who don't understand who we are, the kind of relationship we have or the kind of family we're crafting. When we ran the simulations they always ended with us feeling icky and having to scrub off layers of skin to feel clean again.

So, no guests. Save Papi's mama who we invited. But she didn't want to come without her male partner...unh, no. Add him to the list of people who are sleeping and don't care to see what's in front of his face. As I've mentioned, softcore patriarch to my father's hardcore patriarch, sometimes I just have to engage in a little bit of denial, myself and pretend he's just not there. laughter of the damned.

A ring for the newly purchased hefah? Nope. No, blood diamond signifying Papi's ownership of my worldly possessions and pooni power. Gross, stoopid, trite, unnecessary for my purposes. If I wanted to be recognized as a well paid whore, which I do from time to time wield in order to access more privilege in certain situations, I just lug out the old, tired "h" word. "Have you met my h?" "Have you seen my h?" "I was talking to my h..." "Last week me and my h were..." It never fails to take the fear and confusion out of the eyes of those who are interested in accruing or offering heterosexual patriarchal privilege to those willing to participate in various monolithic age old lies about superiority and worth.

So, it would be me, papi, Stinkapee, the Shmolian...unh, we needed two witnesses and could only come up with one - one of Papi's friends, a white skinned jewish business man. He came and signed off on the correct docs. But not before we got there - city hall - late. Made a detour to see Ophelia.

Found her male partner grinning a slightly befuddled, congratulatory grin as if to say: "Unh...she told me...I don't really get you, don't want to get you, wouldn't have chosen you as a daughter-in-law. But! What tha fuck! Welcome to our family!"

I watched him struggle, lots of mental gymnastics, I'm sure, as he tried to fit what was unfolding as a completely unexpected happening with the wedding scenarios he had no doubt been indoctrinated with as a hetero, patriarch growing to adulthood in this world.

In response I decided to engage with him as little as possible. I smiled a sort of uncomfortable, please don't try to hug me because you're not getting what we're doing or why we're doing it sort of smile as if to say: "I know you wouldn't have chosen me as a family member. I know you'd sit better with a young, university educated yet still completely brainless, surface feminist/activist, patriarchal, panafrican, starving, small, young, sexually inexperienced girl/woman who would show deference and respect what you say. Well, I'm not her. S'aright. Cuz I'm not entering your family. I've simply accepted your son and Ophelia into my rag tag resistant, resilient, defiant matriarchal world."

I said a sad and disappointed goodbye to Ophelia across a political chasm of sorts and we continued on to City Hall where we were greeted by an admin worker who wouldn't let us bring the Shmolian's stroller into the space where the papers were going to be signed. We entered the space and found two black people, a young man and a young woman dressed in white, smiling brittle hopeful smiles..."When does it happen? When does the sky open and the golden shower...hee, hee, hee...shower of golden approval, the rush happen?" They had just signed their papers and were glowing with newly transformed from separate single adults into married couple by the power vested in the forty something year old robed white woman into complete and utter relationship hell...unh, I meant to say: bliss.

As "luck" would have it, the "husband" agreed to be our second witness and with that we were off! Do you take this....blah, to blah and blah, to be your blah, blah, blah, from this day...blah, for blah, or blah, as long as you both shall...blech.

Yah, yah, yah. Then Papi and I signed off to cement the legal portion of the proceedings which served as notice that both of us would now agree to accept the privilege we had been avoiding and fucking with for most of our relationship.

By this point Stinkapee, who had agreed to play music on her battery operated baby piano, had fallen asleep, bored by the lack of pomp and circumstance...wouldn't want to offer up a puffed up, stepford wives-esque fairy tale she might want to emulate in later years. Stinkapee was gurgling, happily oblivious to the Kangaroo court charade his parents had decided to participate in.

The masturbatory justice of the peace wanted to see romance, kisses and picture taking. We grudgingly offered something she could squint at and pretend looked familiar. The pictures, which will never see the light of day speak volumes. There are glowing red eyes, uncomfortable postures and strained smiles. Ick.

It was finished. We were now card carrying, licensed breeders sanctioned by the state. We thanked our witnesses, gave the congratulations the willingly and obliviously married man and woman we had encountered there actually wanted and expected.

We took a cab home and went to bed.

So, I'm married. Feels pretty much like it did before we had the papers. Sometimes we talk about going to vegas and getting married by elvis. That was what I orignally wanted to do. I figure if you're going to engage in a farce that you know is a farce because a farce is all you want because the farce carries a lot of weight and smooths over interactions with everyone from bill collectors to landlords to neighbours, it should look like a fucking farce. And being married by elvis...definitely screams campy, flaming farce.

I was going to go out on that note.

But really, part of the reason I wrote this post was because of blogland. When I first came here, looking around and checking out people's blogs, I found a lot of wimmin who defined as feminists. It was bizarre, especially since no one else noticed that a lot of these radical feminists sounded more like hardcore conservative liberals.

It was especially bizarre watching these anti-patriarchal feminists go through their paces talking on one hand about fighting patriarchy and then writing stuff like: "This post is about my engagement. Here's the ring Doug, Dave, Miguel, Sanjiv, Sandeep, Kwame, Ho-chee, Lee, Tchaka, Julio, Diego, Thierry, Phillipe, Cedar gave me." "Here's a picture of us with his parents and my parents at the wedding rehearsal dinner." "My designer, custom made dress is a size eight and I'm a size ten. Diets suck, but a feminist has got to do what a feminist has got to do."

I searched for anti-patriarchal analysis that turned marriage as a dominant and dominating construct and found none. They were serious. They were good with being wedded breeder sows in white.

I found those rainbow signs supporting gay marriage all over blogland: Marriage is love. I searched for radical guerilla analysis and found none. I searched for poly solidarity and demands for marriage to be available for everyone or no one. I searched for campy parodies and found none. Folks were serious about gentrifying their relationships so as to come more in line with heterosexual norms that allow people in cross gendered relationships to dominate queers. We're as "good as" they are.

Let's be clear.
At this point in my life having locked horns with way too many unscrupulous feminists, activists, queers, black folks, organizers in community, I'm presently dead serious about mercilessly accruing privilege...since gathering true, strong alliances at this point seems to be a giant butt crapping bust.

I'm serious about utilizing societal validation of heterosexual, patriarchal, monogamous couplings to safeguard my (unwillingly) nuclear family.
I'm serious about utilizing the trappings of polite society to camouflage my children and my relationship even as I continue to expose and explode the significance of all this through carefully planned and thought through radical childrearing techniques.

I'm serious about navigating through a world that attempts to offer unearned privilege to me and Paps just because he has a dick and I have a twat and we happen to sometimes rub them together and go "Ahhh...fuck, that was good."

That's just plain stoopid. Believing in it, spending thousands of dollars to court it and allowing our wounded little selves to attention feed off it feels sad to me.If I had created the circumstances for such a feed, as if to say: "This is the high point of my existence. This decadent display of insecurity is what I've brought to this planet. This is what I was born to do. This spectacle feeds my core..."...I would wonder why I even bothered to draw breath. I would wonder what exactly I had learned in all these years of self-guided politicized study all these years.

I'm serious about critiquing my relationship with/to Papi and about asking/expecting him to do the same. This running, work in progress critique is the only thing that gives our relationship even a small possibility of surviving in a world where there is no validation for two Black folks, children of the middle passage, children of the diaspora, settled on the wrong land, trying to unpack generations of verbal, emotional, physical abuse and rape bequeathed to us by white slavers who passed it on to our ancestors. Even with a critique of all this, the shite drowns us and our family every fucking day.

A wedding in white would never wash all that clean. Though, I suspect it does white wash away the surface grime for a desperate and simple few, creating a canvas where they can paint on a more pleasing surface seeming..."We just as good as white people," that shifts ab-so-lute-ly nothing about what actually lies beneath.

sigh...

I'm serious about critiquing feminism from the inside out. I'm serious about discussing wimmin's socialized need to be popular, to be validated and to belong even as this socialization oftimes conflicts with what we describe and understand as our radical, revolutionary politics.

I'm serious about cross referencing all things political with overtly discussed and described strategicly practical guerilla maneuvers that allow feminists, activists, shit disturbers to function and resist in plain sight. I'm big time serious about survival by any means necessary.

Hmmm...I think I've written plently for now.

Here comes the blaaaahhh,
Here comes the blaaaahhh,
Here comes the blaaaahhh, with a daaa, daah, ta-DAAAAH!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I loved this then and still love it now...

I published this post...in...February of 2006. It was already many years old. I like it because it turns a lot of the conversations most people see in blogland about monogamy, sexuality, the erotic, marriage, weddings, rape, abortion upside down. It speaks in plain english about things that are shrouded in ritual language, conservative political feminist speak and emotionally devoid academic speak so distanced from the fleshy, messy reality of day-to-day life.

Fuck! Shit! deeYAM!

So layered, so insightful, so defiant, so creatively political. I hope that when my four (she was four when I posted this originally) year old grows up and her hormones start raging and giving her ideas, she's surrounded by wimmin who think deeply and complexly about who they are as sexual beings in the world. Fingers crossed.

Actually, I need these words now. Struggling as I am in the grip of so much crap used to enslave my Black female erotic, the queer sexuality I would like to embrace, that I have tried to embrace comes at so high a price.

Herd members attempt to construct power relations where they see a "mother" who is dressed "inappropriately" with too much cleavage, too much leg, too much personal power.
Herd members attempt to define my station in life by relating to me as a wifely possession, "Man, why do you not keep her in line?"
Herd members who don't see any room outside outdated social conventions controlling everything from wimmin's attire to the sound of our voices to the way we can comb or style our hair to the ways we can fuck, when and with whom make it difficult to breathe let alone to resist my own living death as a woman struggling against the confinement of her own erotic.

I'm tired of dealing with people who think polyamorous means stupid or diseased or nymphomaniacal or without worth or lyin' or creepin'.

I'm tired of dealing with people who offer dominant space to Papi as a primary male partner who seek Young and the Restless type showdowns where my pussy can be described as his pussy.

I'm tired of dealing with wimmin both feminist and non-feminists who derive a sense of moral superiority and the understanding that they are fit to lead and educate the rest of us (mostly unstated but definitely acted on and out) from being sexually possessed.

But, I'm also I'm tired of dealing with people who substitute sex for engagement, relationship, connection whose communication skills involve mostly really wide smiles and shared attestations about everything being "cool", "fine", on the "positivity tip" or "just chillin'". Sure, I want to have my cake - sex. But I also want to eat it too - meaning participate in respectful, considerate, emotionally intelligent, communicative, politically conscious, honest relstionships, too.

For now, Papi, my primary partner is sadly also my only partner presently...though this is more about circumstances than by choice. The pickin's are pathetically thin and I don't want to hurt my head as I settle for connections that really don't impress.

Besides, Papi and I struggle to define our relationship in a myriad of ways that take a lot of energy and attention.

Almost seven years since the time we met, we're still in negotiation making decisions every day which impact how our relationship does or doesn't work.
Our relationship is a work in progress. Its completely real as in completely imperfect, stupid, annoying, frustrating and painful. We struggle around time management, patriarchal relations, communication, the intermingling of our childhood stuffs and over sex. Not more or less, which is, I've heard the favourite topic of consternation between hetero men and wimmin in relationship.

No, we struggle around perversifying our sexual relationship. We tug of war over how far away from the patriarchal, gendered, hetero norm Papi will allow himself to stray. Hee, hee, hee.

But in truth, as parents of two really active and interactive children we talk about fucking and then put Stinkapee and the Shmolian to bed and then....
we catch up on our various projects then...
too exhausted to do more than climb the stairs to bed...we go to bed each with one eye open knowing that one or both of our children will be up shortly.

Surface contradictions, struggles, complexities, lumps and jagged bits all in a tussle...I relate to
The Slut Manifesto as a raging, intelligent resistance howl sent over the net.

When I read this piece, I remember that my self concept is much more complicated than people outside my door will allow for. When I read this piece, I remember that I'm angry for some very real reasons. When I read this piece, I remember myself.

The Slut Manifesto

Thursday Thirteen, or how I learned to play...


Thirteen Things about darkdaughta

Surfing for non-annoying places to affiliate where I can turn more of a blind eye to people's unstated, unclaimed contradictions. If they don't claim to be anything more than fluff, I won't look for them to behave like anything more than dust bunnies or bits of cat hair floating around in the blogosphere.

I've decided to attempt to become a Thursday Thirteen blogger. That seems harmless enough. It'll be like gardening and tree planting...I can process other relevant bits and pieces while playing hopscotch with another part of my brain.

Thirteen things about me?

I'll do my numbers first and while I'm typing them out, I'll brainstorm and come right back...

One:
I was born on a thursday.

Two:
I am slowly going blind of a degenerative eye something or another. Glasses don't do a lot of good. So, I just squint and appreciate not being able to see people who I know and don't want to know while walking in public. Hee, hee, hee.

Three:
I learned to type on a non-electric typewriter where there were no letters or numbers printed on the keys and where I had to bang the keys hard to get them to work.

Four:
I have really dry skin.

Five:
I'm looking for a new bed.

Six:
My parents are both geminis.

Seven:
I'm a capricorn and I don't get along with either of them for very long.

Eight:
The Shmolian is a gemini and I'm hoping we'll be able to work out our astrological differences.

Nine:
I'm an indoor plant killer.

Ten:
I like to do my hair and other people's (black) hair.

Eleven:
I've never been anywhere outside the western hemisphere.

Twelve:
I'm thinking of getting a dog. I know, I know I won't be able to get something ferocious with big teeth as I'd like because it'll eat the baby.

Thirteen:
I want to get a hamster for my daughter...I know, I know the big ferocious beesty dog would eat it.



Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!




Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bloggers with faces...

Today I was thinking about the bloggers I've been drawn to reading, who I've believed because I got the impression that they were fer real...as much as anyone can be in blogland in a world where denial and lyin' reigns supreme.

I asked myself: Why do I gravitate towards some and not others? Why do I feel a connection to some and not to others? Simultaneously my brain was doing a rubic's cube thing with information free associating, trying to put it together...

info:
I was having conversation with Papi about face book and popularity and different services online and in realtime playing off people's insecurity and need to be liked
info:
I was thinking about blogging and anonymity
Info:
about bloggers who were identified and jailed for blogging against the policies of their various governments
info:
the safety and privilege of remaining faceless or masked enough to speak or blog
info:
about me, I'm starting to think of myself as having lefty tourettes. It's like I can't shut my fucking mouth when I see something that doesn't add up. The words just come spewing out of my mouth, my fingers just start dancing over the keyboard. Sometimes I publish my posts before they're truly finished as a way to commit to writing what I need to. That way, I have to complete my thoughts...I've already put a jagged little version of whatever was stuck in my craw out into the blogosphere. I do get scared. What tha fuck did the teenager write this time? Hee, hee, hee! She's smiling. What polite, anal little witch burner all done up in political drag feminist, activist, academic or othersie is going to go whisper, gossip all coward like occupying the corners filling them with drivel rather than face me...oh, but wasn't I talking about radical freedom fighters being unable to put their faces to their blogs? It's so hard to take someone talking about courage and being unrepentant seriously when they hide and cower.
kaBAM!
kaPOW!

It hit me, I gravitate towards bloggers, I love bloggers who show not just their words and big, defiant, out of order radical political selves, but who also show their faces in conjunction with their words, their faces in conjunction with ballzy behaviour that can be traced back to them, their faces with a range of claimed emotions, their faces with their humanness...

When I see faces, whole faces, not eyes over the tops of kerchiefs or masked people or disembodied appendages I think: "Holy fuck! This person is standing alongside what they've written! Let me pay close attention. They're not leaving themselves much room to lie or to contradict themselves in real time. It will all trace back to them...as all my work and words trace back real time to me."

Of course, I realize that some people are pathologically strange or malignantly odd and might just use a stranger's photo or create whole fictional lives designed to be consumed by blogland denizens. But the polyanna in me, yes, I have one, still feels heartened and warmed when people show themselves. I was never much of a fan of masked super heros or super heroines for that matter.

I feel even more kinship when these faced folk talk about some real life shit. Their relationship with their male partner is getting on their last good nerve, they spanked their child and then cried afterwards, they've been on meds for years, they hear voices...of people they don't know and don't want to know, they are addicted to something, they are scared and trying to write through the anxiety, they have radical politics of some kind, they have analysis, but their poltics don't fit neatly with their everyday lives...

I think those people are brave, open, shit disturbing...disturbing social conventions that tell us to hide away our shit, to hide away ourselves, to hide away our contradictions, to hide away our extreme emotions. They come out with shit that would curl your hair because if they don't say it, tell it, write it they're done for and they know it.

I feel honoured to read people who struggle imperfectly. I feel as if they offer more space even as they often occupy different social locations that might leave many wondering how I managed to vibe with their blog in the first place.

And again I say: "BYOA" Bring your own analysis. I don't go anywhere without mine. Not leaving home without my oppositional gaze means that I can travel anywhere, try things on for size, learn and access new bits of information tucking it all away in my brain for future cud chewing.

With all this in mind, I wanted to point anyone who is reading in the direction of CJ of Universal Plume. Papi and I have been reading her. She's real...I think. :) Passionately, emotionally, she writes about mothering and partnering on a really jagged edge where she can't quite seem to neatly stitch feminism to the fabric of her day-to-day...which is what I struggle to do, sometimes better than at other times...her howls strike a note with me because I've heard myself on more than one...okay a few billion occasions howling out loud painfully or just screaming inside myself in ways that allow her words and worries to resonate...clearly. She's not a conservative...unh politically radical academic, prof or even a student with career aspirations inside the academy slumming it...I don't think...CJ, are you? Hee, hee, hee! I think she wrote that she's going into real estate.

For anyone who noticed the new quote in my sidebar:
"Leaders are not, as we are often led to think, people who go along with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see, whether anyone is following them. "Leadership qualities" are not the qualities that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do without them. They include, at the very least, courage, endurance, patience, humor, flexibility, resourcefulness, stubbornness, a keen sense of reality, and the ability to keep a cool and clear head, even when things are going badly."

True leaders, in short, do not make people into followers, but into other leaders.
-- John Holt, Growing Without Schooling, Issue No. 2, November, 1977
I got it from one of her posts. I just wanted to check with her before I started directing people her way. Did that this morning. She said she was fine with visitors.

P.S. You'll have to go to her older posts to see the photos of her I saw.

Universal Plume

indi bloggers



Placenta burial day...

The Shmolian's placenta is almost one year and nine months old. It's been in cryo storage for almost one year. Today I took it out and decided that instead of making placenta stroganoff with it, I'd bury it in the backyard among the herbs and veggies and hope that the raccoons won't dig it up. Later on once the sun starts going down I'll dig a deep, deep hole, take it out of its tupperware and give it a decent burial. Then I'll cover it with a paving stone so that the racs won't be able to access it easily.

Today was a good day. I had conversation with the old non-english speaking lady next door. Talking to her is exciting. She doesn't speak a romance language so I don't get to fake my way through as I can if someone is speaking french, spanish, portuguese...hmmm...I guess those would be the...oh, italian, I forgot Italian. Of course I can only claim to speak passingly good french and less passingly good spanish. The others I sort of muddle through looking for key words the languages have in common.

Think of me as the ship's translator program on Star Trek. I take in language, cross reference with body language and intonation and then make an educated guess at what the person could be saying. A few days ago I was showing said elder greek lady the herbs and veggies I bought for the backyard...anything having to do with planting makes her happy. She let loose with a bunch of greek sentences to which I responded: "In the backyard," assuming that she was asking where I was going to plant 'em. Her son in law and her daughter both laughed. They said that she was asking where I was going to plant them.

"Stinkapee! Come here!" Gotta go see what she's doing. Papi's gone to run an errand with one of the nanas. They took Shmolee. So, I'm in charge of Stinkapee who has been banished to her room for almost locking all of us out of the house when she had a fit over not being able to make lemonade for a lemonade stand "RIGHT NOW!" I'm hoping she slams her own room door at some point. It sticks and then I'll know exactly where she is for the next little while.

Did I say that outloud? Bad Mama.

Ship's translator signing off.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Proud mama...

I've been drawing since I was a young child in Barbados. I remember drawing black people with brown, almond shaped eyes and big circular afros haloing their heads.

I came to kkkanada and stopped drawing black people. I started drawing people with long stringy hair and strangely coloured eyes. It was almost ten years before I started drawing people that looked like me again. And more years still before I understood what had happened and why.

So!
Stinkapee started going to school about two years ago. She was drawing shapes and colours and lines. Wonderful abstracts.

She went to public school and they started giving her idiot outlines to colour in. She complained and I agreed with her. Colouring inside the lines rots your brains and turns you into a robot.

She went to private school and they gave her more idiot outlines to colour in. She complained and I agreed with her.

For march break she went to visual arts camp for one week. She got colour and movement and line and shape. She got independent drawing time. She didn't have to measure her drawing ability against caricatured images drawn out for her to follow with pencil and crayon.

She stopped asking me to draw dotted outlines for her to follow. I stopped having to explain to her why I would not.

One thing, though...
She had been drawing herself, me, papi and the Shmolian with limp hair. Long and stringy.

About two weeks ago I sat her down and showed her some techniques for drawing nappy hair. whoo-HOO! She's been drawing these gorgeous, textured, patterned, developed pictures of black people with hair that stands proudly up in squiggles and locks and kinky afros.

She draws all the time! We drive, she draws. She wakes up, she draws. She watches tv, she draws. She plays with a toy, she draws it.

She has also surprised me in that she's doing math! I learned from my father who bears out the truth of the link between math and music being that he was both a musician (trumpet and bass guitar) and excellent with math.

Needless to say, when it came to math, we didn't get along. He would sort of look at me, his head shaking with disbelief, how could this girl, this child possibly be so stupid, so unable to comprehend even the most basic mathematical principles, how could he ever explain the internal workings of numerics when they came with such ease to him?

Basically, my father ruined math, took the fucking fun right out of it for me. Left me with the feeling that I was no good at math. As an adult Iknow that I can hold my own quite nicely, thank you very much. I have all sorts of tricks and crutches, bits of mental gymnastics I use to do everyday and more complex math with ease...I just never bothered to explain this to him.

Stinkapee has had no such difficulties with math. She gets it. She likes it. She works at it. She gives herself equations and problems. I make sure to show her my excitement and pleasure at her developing skills. My daughter is a mathematician.

Shmolee, is also having his own milestone moments. He started sitting up on his own about two weeks ago. He doesn't topple over anymore. He supports himself and stays in sitting position.

He's talking. He can say "breast"..."mbre" I know he's saying it because he looks right at my breast, grabs for it to feed and says "mbre". Then he looks at me as if to say: "I want that."

He says Stinkapee's name..."Ta". He can say "Papi" which, for easy pronunciation I changed to "Papa" saying it over and over again while pointing at Papi and having Papi say the same thing whenever he approaches.

The shmolian already says something that sounds like "Ma-ma" But since he doesn't actually say it to me, I haven't really pursued it with the understanding that it's me he's referring to.

He's trying out a whole slew of consonant sounds including "La-la" and "Ba-ba."

They're both doing so well. I find it difficult to be happy or excited about much having to do with people I encounter...to many assholes. Watching my children...no, these two human beings grow and develop is such a simple, wonderful pleasure.

Blue jays, the lazy negro stereotype, black cedar mulch and me...

I grew up in suburbia in a four storey roach and sometimes mouse motel next to a hydro field.

I went to school in an upper working class to lower middle class dominantly greek (and Macedonian), italian area where immigrant asians, south asians, south americans and latinos also lived.

There were trees everywhere. Trees and grass and birds. I was a child bird watcher. I vaguely remember some of the names of the birds I saw...I know because recently I've been bird watching with Stinkapee. We've seen red winged black birds, cardinals, blue jays, red breasted robins, chickadees and grackles. Cool!

I remember growing up putting carrot tops in water and watching them sprout, sprouting beans to plants in disposable cups. We had a rusty balcony, not a garden. But to my child's mind it was enough. I had a garden.

I've been digging in the soil and remembering farther back. I come from farmers...well, we were probably farmers in Africa, farmers and gatherers, then we spent a few hundred years being forced to work on other people's farms...then we farmed to feed ourselves and each other. So, I understand that I come from people who had to plant and harvest to eat. My greatgrandfather, a leather faced, grey haired, serious man with yellow where the whites of his eyes should have been and rickety spaced out yellowing teeth in his mouth, who died in the 90's had a dour looking wooden house that was dark and unpainted greyish black. There was land surrounding his house, land that seemed gynormous to me as a child growing up in Barbados. He had livestock, too. I remember the smell of animals and one of his goats eating a corn plant I planted. I think I've always liked planting things and watching them grow.

Life has been as peaceful as it can possible get for someone who attracts the ire of people by speaking her mind. No drama or created idiocy brought by non-well-meaning people. No processing. No trying to sort out truth from lie while attempting to hold my own in conversation.

I'm feeling creative. But I'm not feeling at all interested in being published by someone else in their journal, magazine, zine or anthology right now. More drama.

My creative juices are flowing into front and back yard gardens. I'm creating a crystal, nicknack and rock garden with a gorgeous scattering of plants that may or may not survive, that may or may not flower. Today I filled in the spaces between with black cedar mulch. Did I say I like my garden?

There's an old, I think racist and misogynist loud old white greek man who visits the people who live on one side of us. He makes comments that I think are supposed to be at my expense in a big guffawing voice. He's not smart. I think me and papi are freaking him and our neighbours out. We work way too much for lazy darkies. Everytime they see us, we're travelling somewhere or sweeping the front steps or digging up the soil or planting the soil or watering the soil or taking the children somewhere or, or, or...

I think the man is having severe difficulties. Today he actually tried desperately to get me to stop working in the garden. He said I was working too much, too hard. I understood that through the simple act of taking everyday care of my home and the grounds surrounding it, this dark, bleach haired, fat, clearly tattoed, slightly tarty tight clothes wearing mama is probably fucking with a slew of stereotypes including the racist lazy darky one. Gawd! He even mentioned something about me planting watermelons. I thought: You can't possibly be that backward...no, yes, you are.

Tonight, I'm aiming to finish digging up the back garden, limit the spread of a peppermint patch and plant the chives, thai basil, oregano, sage, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes...I think that's what I bought for the back. maybe I'll add some pumpkin, too.