Am I Straight?

Am I? No. Are you? Maybe. 

A poem for your survival, regardless:

by Jim Harrison
The moon comes up.
The moon goes down.
This is to inform you
that I didn’t die young.
Age swept past me
but I caught up.
Spring has begun here and each day
brings new birds up from Mexico.
Yesterday I got a call from the outside
world but I said no in thunder.
I was a dog on a short chain
and now there’s no chain.

And links:
These 80 programs would lose Federal funding under Trump’s proposed budget
Trump is officially under investigation by the FBI for his ties with Russia
Donald Trump is the symptom, not the problem

Livin and Lovin in NYC’s election debrief
The invention of heterosexuality
Youtube is now restricting LGBTQ+ videos, WTF
Chuck Tingle is the greatest author of our generation

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Pro-tip: email subscribers click headline for great GIF

How to Make America Better

Friends and country folk,

I woke up with a lot of ideas about the current political climate and what is even HAPPENING in America. Therefore, of course, I decided to go full throttle on Twitter. The Storify is here. I am sharing this with you because I care about you, us, this country, and how we might make a better America.

Feel free to holla atcha gurl.

Much love,



Kate McKinnon plays the piano and sings a tearful Hallelujah as Hillary Clinton (and makes me cry)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn voted for Trump
Judith Butler on Trump, Germany’s Willkommenskultur, and radical Democracy
16 writers on Trump’s America

“The earliest record of an Indian traveling to the USA is that of a young Indian man from Madras who may have visited Massachusetts in 1790. As Salem developed its trade with India during the next decade, young Indians worked on the India wharves at Crownshield and Derby, two of the larger shipyards. In 1851, six Indians marched in the Salem Fourth of July parade under the banner of the “East India Marine Society”. Most of these men are believed to have married American women of African origin and integrated themselves into that community.”

Autocracy: Rules for Survival
How to encrypt your entire life in less than an hour

This Land is Your Land
The story of Ella and Louis (one of the greatest albums of all time), 60 years later
Kulning demonstration (watch to the end)
The “I was not a Nazi” Polka

Wancy Young Cho on racism in the male gay community
A list of pro-woman, anti-bigotry, pro-earth, pro-immigrant organizations that need your help

A street dog gets adopted, become L.A. foodie cutey
Start your week (every week) with a map!
Hong Kong’s unflappable Starbucks uncle is the hero we all need

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Pro-Tip: email subscribers click title for “I Want a President” by Zoe Leonard, 1992

What Kind of Times Are These

What Kind of Times Are These


There’s a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphill
and the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadows
near a meeting-house abandoned by the persecuted
who disappeared into those shadows.

I’ve walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread, but don’t be fooled
this isn’t a Russian poem, this is not somewhere else but here,
our country moving closer to its own truth and dread,
its own ways of making people disappear.

I won’t tell you where the place is, the dark mesh of the woods
meeting the unmarked strip of light—
ghost-ridden crossroads, leafmold paradise:
I know already who wants to buy it, sell it, make it disappear.

And I won’t tell you where it is, so why do I tell you
anything? Because you still listen, because in times like these
to have you listen at all, it’s necessary
to talk about trees.

The choreographic moment, ideas from Jeanine Durning
Anna Sperber at New York Live Arts

Twenty-seven by Amy Klein
Laura Gibson on KEXP

A comprehensive list of public figures who have supported Trump
Pictures of Nazi rallies at Madison Square Garden

A comprehensive guide to psychedelic drug combinations

The staggering toxicity of Vice Principals

I replaced the word Millenials with 43-year-old White Man and now these headlines are…
Longhorn cow scratches itch with his horns

The literature of pregnancy and new motherhood
Why I’m glad I was raised by a sex-positive mother
Photoessay of birth (NSFW)

Women get paid less than men and it’s not women’s fault
Hillary Clinton answers 40 years of ridiculous questions

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(Pro tip: Email subscribers, click title for pic of young Adrienne Rich)

Who Will Be Heard?

This morning I read an internet post in which someone tried to argue we did not put Buzz Aldrin or Neil Armstrong on the moon because no wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had been found. No, really. And that got me thinking: the internet is becoming an echo chamber of fools, with branded channels to provide a pseudo-respite from the cacophony. The big channels have become like cable networks, each with its own target demographic, anxieties and aspirations, ad buys and media. I click around and around and around. I find the channels that interest me. Sometimes—and when it happens, it feels like magic—I stumble on a piece of treasure in the midst of the mess, and I want to share. 

Fundamentally, I believe in the democratization of information, but I would be willfully blind if I did not acknowledge the need for curation in the chaos. Play every sound at once and you get static. The fact is, the more voices there are, the more we need unique voices. But that’s where the role of gatekeepers becomes tricky. Which voices get amplified?

I ask that question out of time. You can find the answer for the past in the historical record and in your memory/knowledge of who the greats of history have been. That many of the greats come from one or two demographic groups is evidence of what cultural obstacles prevented other groups from rising and/or from being remembered. For the present, the answer is in the surveys, like VIDA count, that keep track of who gets heard. But I ask that question out of time because I am obsessed with how we define the criteria for amplification. I think we want to believe in a meritocracy, where everything of quality gets the loudest signal, but a cursory survey of viral content or even who is given a platform on the networks and big internet channels belies this belief. Instead, the looking glass is ever-pointed at our values. The things we find funny are tainted by our taboos. The people we trust as authorities fit our cultural biases of what an authority looks and sounds like. The celebrities we watch and follow are the gods and goddesses of our inadequacies. The outrage we perform is rooted in what we hold sacred and inviolable.

Watching the media of other countries gives an equally salient experience of what any given country holds dear. So I wonder: what would a gatekeeper look and sound like, that did not have these cultural blindnesses? Would it have a perspective? Is it even possible for quality to be a perspective, outside of a culture’s definition of what quality is? The work that people do, presently, to have more women and minorities heard, is often characterized as giving a more diverse swath of quality voices a platform—but I think too, if not moreso, this work is about changing what our culture considers quality and by extension, what our culture values. 

That scares the hell out of the people who could, in the past, take for granted that their voices would be valued and amplified. They know instinctively that we can only hear so much, read so much, watch so much, and they resent the new competition. The echo chamber of fools is full of these angry anonymous, shouting desperately to be heard. They don’t want the criteria to change. They don’t want the values to shift. And much to their chagrin, they are becoming the noise. I say that confidently, even as the noise has its own Presidential candidate.  Fundamentalism, religious or secular, is a sign of the shifting, a response to the changes already happening. It doesn’t mean a new epoch has begun, but it does mean we are living in a transition. For what it’s worth, I hope we come out the other side with new definitions, values and a more inclusive culture that is also reflected in our media and by our gatekeepers. But there’s no guarantee. The signal is vacillating. Who will be heard?

Obligatory unrelated links:

Only 9% of America chose Trump and Clinton: A lesson in American democracy
From Reagan to Trump

The big sexy problem with superheroines and their liberated sexuality
The plight of the alpha female
10 ways to identify a witch

14 terrifying facts about otherwise adorable animals
Tiger cubs being ridiculously cute
Buffalo can be cute, right?

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