As a Muslim, I’m sick of people asking me how I feel about 9/11. What do you want me to say, seriously? Do you want me to say, “It was a great plan, mwahahaha!” before I fly off on a magic carpet?
I was born and raised in this country and was just as shocked as everyone else to learn there were people on this earth so vile as to commit such a horrific attack - or to even think about doing it.
But I didn’t do it. Neither did 99.999999999 percent of the roughly 1.5 billion people in the world who also call themselves Muslims. So why should I or any other Muslim apologize for what happened? Nickleback is planning on releasing another album. Should I ask white people to apologize for that?
like, it’s okay to not laugh at someone’s joke about the difference between jelly and jam. it’s a bad joke. if you don’t laugh they might be like *nudge nudge* what do you think, isn’t that hilarious? and then you can just be all "no, i think women are people, my sense of humor extends well beyond genitalia puns, and that’s a rape joke in disguise"
and your friend probably won’t say things like that to you anymore, and what’s more, if he secretly thought he already thought women were people, he may reconsider the kind of jokes he’s telling to get guys to think he’s a funny/cool dudebro. he might also stop being your friend, but that’s probably okay though
it’s just i think there’s this guy code or there’s supposed to be, this unspoken thing where men think they’re all in it together, looking out for their brother, helping each other be successful hunters in a forest of doe-eyed nymphets, like that scene from a beautiful mind when the men all decide to date brunettes so no female would feel slighted - looking back, doesn’t that scene seem more creepy than genius? i wouldn’t write it
about that unspoken guy code thing - i’m not in on it (and you don’t have to be either). does it suck to hang out with me, because i’m not gonna be your wingman? oops. i won’t help you conquer anyone. or cheat on your whoever, or “hit that.” if you’re a butthead to women behind closed doors (or just joking around with me) then that’s all you are. you’re the guy wearing those leopard underpants from the wedding singer waking up all “hey baby. you - you make breakfast in bed?”
so don’t laugh, maybe. or if you do, go back and say “hey you know what i think? that joke sucks and you’re weird for wanting to tell it to me. i’m not about that and you shouldn’t be either” and then call the guy a mouth-breather because he needs to learn this before this is over
social justice stuff you see on tumblr is nothing new; these ideas and terminology have been around in activist circles for years. You’re only just finding out about them now because they’ve been brought into the mainstream of a website most of you frequent.
The NYPD arrested a mother who was standing alone outside an NYC restaurant after she told them she was just waiting for her family to return from the restroom. Turns out, she’s also a human rights attorney.
Chaumtoli Huq was standing alone outside a Ruby Tuesday’s in Times Square in July when New York City police officers told her to move. She says she wasn’t in anyone’s way, she wasn’t blocking the sidewalk — she was just waiting for her husband and two young children, 6 and 10, to come outside after using the restroom.
That’s when the cops arrested her.
DNAinfo, which first reported on the arrest, says Huq “said the officers pinned her against the wall, prompting her to say, ‘I can’t move, I can’t move.’”
Huq told The New Civil Rights Movement in an email conversation that police pushed her “against the wall of Ruby Tuesday, and I screamed ‘Help,’” as this image, taken by a bystander, shows.
She says when the police arrested her they pulled her arm up, causing pain and scars. Another officer, Huq says, was squeezing her arm “so I had to walk bent over,” as this photo, taken by the same bystander, shows.
"My shoe was gone. All in public as folks watched." It was "humiliating," Huq adds.
As it turns out, Chaumtoli Huq is a human rights attorney. She says she is on leave from her position as general counsel for NYC Public Advocate Letitia James. And she says she’s suing.
"When I was arrested," Huq tells The New Civil Rights Movement, "I was with my family, and we had left a rally for children in Palestine who were being injured, killed because of the conflict, and [were] heading to a picnic in Brooklyn."
"At that moment, I was a mom, a loving partner to my husband of 12 years, but I became in a second the arresting officer’s ‘prisoner.’ He said to me when he was searching my purse and took my identification and when I objected, that I was his prisoner and he could do whatever he wanted."
The New York Daily Newsreports that when Huq “said she was in pain, one of the officers, Ryan Lathrop, allegedly told her, ‘Shut your mouth.’ When he found out she had a different last name than her hubby, he told her ‘In America, wives take the names of their husbands.’”
She was held for nine hours after the officers falsely claimed she had refused instructions to move and had “flailed her arms and twisted her body” to make it hard for them to handcuff her, the suit says.
Huq, who is 42, says she is currently “on a fellowship to investigate labor conditions in Bangladesh after the collapse of Rana Plaza.” She says, “I think that as a mom [that] I can be reduced and humiliated and separated from my family is what impacts me most to this day. My son asked me: ‘Why did the officer arrest you?’”
Raising a boy of color, and knowing how youth of color are vulnerable to over-policing, made me think, this is not about me but about my life’s work of protecting New Yorkers.
If at this moment, I didn’t step up and advocate for their rights, then, how can I authentically call myself an advocate for New Yorker.
As for the lawsuit, Huq says, “I am demanding in my suit and through community groups: (1) the officer to be removed; (2) training for NYPD on Muslim and South Asia community as well as gender: (3) change in city policy on over-policing in communities of color; (4) resources for youth of color who are most vulnerable to over-policing and whose life chances are most impacted by a criminal record.”
Everyone has their own ways of beating writer’s block, and different things work for different people. Here’s a few suggestions to try:
Re-read what you’ve written, highlight your favourite parts to rediscover your excitement for the story.
Edit the opening paragraph.
Cut the opening paragraph.
Do ten minutes of free writing.
Write a blog post about how to beat writer’s block.
Do some housework.
Go for a walk.
Read a book.
Do some exercise.
Have a cup of coffee and some cake.
Listen to music.
Write your main character’s journal.
Write something totally different.
Write your book’s blurb.
Edit a photo of yourself to look like a zombie.
Wash your hair.
Buy yourself a new notebook.
Write something to throw away.
Write the stupidest story you can think of.
Write a song.
Draw a picture.
Make something creative.
Upcycle an old piece of clothing/furniture.
Tie yourself to your desk and just push on through it.
Allow yourself to suck.
Write character outlines.
Flesh out your plotting notes.
Write the ending.
Anyone else got other suggestions that work for them?
Speak descriptive passages into your phone or computer
Write dialogue unattached to any character / look at old dialogue you wrote and see if you can write a scene out of any of it
See how fast you can fill an empty journal page, see if you can do it in a minute
Do drawings about characters in your stories, revise the story to include details of the drawing
Outline a story or novel, start collecting these outlines
Do a character profile of someone you remember from the last week, write bits of how they’d talk, things they believe in
Load something old into Hemingway and start rewriting it
Take a character you’ve already written about and write another story about him / her
Go to the bar with just a notebook and drink two beers (or waters)
Write a found poem based on any scraps of paper or ads you see
Realize anything you write is just the first of three or four versions of that thing, so don’t worry about making it perfect. Just make it readable. If you haven’t yet realized this, wait until you realize it
Do the other things on the list but don’t languish too long. Writing is fickle, tenuous. If you let go of it even a little bit it won’t want you anymore.
My struggle with writing has always been this…fear of writing scenes I didn’t know how to write. Or if I didn’t know what was going to happen in the scene exactly. I would write around the edges, afraid to write the scary build-ups, or the climaxes, or the clifflhangers. I always figured I’d get around to them eventually. But eventually often means never.
Sometimes now when I feel like I can’t write or I’m just waiting for inspiration I’ll pick on purpose one of those scenes I didn’t know how to write and just…start writing it. First in a notebook, then in a word processor, and (for the project I’m working on now) then as storyboard sketches, then as comic panels, and then I revise the writing again and let the thing sit. It’s almost as though the process provides its own excitement; it’s just up to me at that point to make sure there’s something for me to write / rewrite / sketch / ink / revise / finalize (/code / publish).
So, more things:
Scribbling in a pad of paper for a few minutes every few days.
Challenging yourself to go headlong into something you’ve been avoiding.
Giving yourself a process to bolster and facilitate your creativity.
I think a lot of it also boils down to this: if you can’t write, find some other way to write.
if we’re out at a bar and i come back from the bathroom and i don’t know you but you’re trying to defend your point of view that we should nuke iraq to my girlfriend and her friends, hi, hello, you don’t know me but i’m about to make you feel very unwelcome so i come back and my girlfriend mouths to me “he’s saying we should nuke iraq” so i sit next to the guy. white guy, buzz cut, black rimmed glasses. i can hear he’s talking about isis, so i butt into the convo "oh hey, you’re talking about isis, right?" "yeah" "then don’t you mean nuke syria?" "nuke ‘em both" dude turns it up to 11 immediately. if you say this seriously, as a conversational tidbit and not a form of obvious trolling, just know that to a small percentage of the people you’ll be saying it to will no longer think of you as a human being, but as a monster "why are nukes in the equation? you shouldn’t want to nuke anyone." the guy reconsiders who he might be talking to. he decides i’m probably some young, idealistic, poli-sci major "i guess i just don’t care. i’m apathetic, you know?" "lots of people really do care though. i really care. don’t say that nuke shit around me or my friends" "are you still in college or something?" this is the first time he tries to other me, challenging my authority based on age "no, i’m 27. but let me say, you’re operating from the pinnacle of privilege right now, you’re a straight white male who thinks that people who are out of sight and vaguely dangerous they should be obliterated, and that these are defensible views” "well, yeah, but you’re white and male. i don’t know if you’re straight, but…" second attempt at othering. challenging my authority based on sexual orientation. "uh huh. well i’m using my privilege to shut you down for saying stupid shit and you’re using it to talk about nuking innocent people in other countries" "i guess i shouldn’t have talked politics. can’t a guy just come out with his friends for a drink and have fun?" translation: "i just came out to have a good time and honestly i’m feeling so attacked right now." "not if you’re promoting the blanket killings of large groups of people you’ll never have to see getting disintegrated, no." "are you a jew?" third attempt at othering. (whoa! i’m actually all of the same things he is, but i don’t agree we should nukes should ever be on the table) "no, are you jewish?" "no." "then what does that have to do with anything? and why are you asking me like that, instead of asking if i’m jewish?" "because you’re starting to annoy me, so i thought you might be a jew"
in short, from this interaction i learned that sometimes white supremacy and privilege serve as a platform of apathy from which to hand down insensitive prescriptions of violence against other groups of people, not to be questioned
later, the butthurt holden caulfied flagellated on the outskirts of our group, and i overheard him express to a friend that maybe they should go somewhere else, because “i don’t feel very popular here”
I dunno, man, sometimes I stop and think about how much media and news I consume is all violence against women all the time and how much of what I think about is violence and how much of pop culture is covert violence against women and, like, no wonder I’m exhausted all the time.
“Wake up early. Drink coffee. Work hard. Be ambitious. Keep your priorities straight, your mind right and your head up. Do well, live well and dress really well. Do what you love, love what you do. It is time to start living.”—Thank you for the reminder. Needed to read this. (via dream-on-darling) yes. (via therewillbewaves)
finally got around to watching life of pi, movie i was avoiding for more than a year
don’t know why i was avoiding it, but had bought a 3D blu-ray player just to watch it (after having missed out on the theater 3D version), finally watched it last night, and ok, sure.
i guess the rest of this post counts as “spoilers” although the book’s been out and the movie’s been out long enough that i don’t care.
heart-“warming,” the tale of a boy whose family dies due to a sunken ship, how he ends up on a lifeboat with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a tiger, and how he ends up not dying somehow (there’s a weird subplot with a carnivorous island that can’t be true but looks very pretty).
at the end of the movie the guy tells the writer (this whole thing is a flashback framed around an interview) how he told japanese authorities “what really happened” after he was rescued, a story which involved his mother, a cook and a sailor, and confesses to murdering the cook. does this to “not sound crazy and tell a story about animals” except why lie about something in a way that makes you a murderer? that seems weird to me.
"which story do you like better?" the guy asks the writer at the end of the movie.
"the story with the tiger," the writer says. but what i actually hear him saying is "the story where you didn’t murder a dude."
I can’t stop thinking about the terrifying story of the Maryland teacher/novelist who’s being weirdly punished because he once wrote a novel that includes a school shooting. No one knows the full story yet… Maybe there will turn out to be more going on here? As is, though, it sure looks like an author’s Constitutional rights are being violated simply because of his fiction. Because he wrote about a taboo subject, a subject that’s so scary we as a culture dare not discuss it even in fictional terms.
School shootings are absolutely chilling, evil, nightmarish. So are police states. And in a healthy society, we should be free to engage with those subjects in fiction without fear of a “Soviet-style punishment.”
Last month at the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland, my co-author and I pitched a sci-fi adventure screenplay which met with enthusiastic response… until we mentioned that our heroine time-travels to prevent a school shooting. Producers gently broke it to us that school shootings–even theoretical, thwarted ones–were totally taboo in Hollywood. Even bringing up the subject of domestic terrorism was right out. One producer even gifted us with a hot tip: just change it from a school shooting to something cool, safe, and timely–Ebola. (Brilliant! I’ll just go do a “find” “replace” right now.)
That’s when it occurred to this novelist-turned-novice-screenwriter that Hollywood’s fearful hangups could stymie a screenwriter in a way that no one really can do to a novelist anymore. Even if a Big 5 press doesn’t buy your book, you can self-publish it. Thanks to freedom of speech, as a novelist in America you can choose to write about difficult subjects without fear of being censored, blacklisted, etc. The worst that could happen is readers could collectively shrug and dollar-vote you down to obscurity. (In other words, what happens to most of us anyway.)
What baffles me most about the Patrick McLaw situation is that none of the big media articles end in “and this is frakkin nuts, WTF police?”
Objective journalism is one thing. Not commenting on a serious breach of law and abuse of power, stemmed from the basic inability to distinguish fact from fiction on the part of the law enforcement, is basically endorsing it.
An eighth-grade teacher who writes fiction under a nom de plume is ordered to undergo an “emergency medical evaluation” for his novel about a school shooting.
So holy fucking shit. I was sitting here, trying to figure out what it was that would drive the school board to have this man arrested and given a forced psychological evaluation. I mean, what the fuck? I certainly could have been considered far worse, considering all the shit that I write about. I mean I’ve written about little girls that have been lobotomized and turned into sexual appliances and I am still perfectly able to get a security clearance should I go back to working for a contractor. So what in the fuck? And then….I saw his picture.
From the Dept. of Insane and Dangerous Overreactions to Fictional Threats:
A 23-year-old teacher at a Cambridge, Md. middle school has been placed on leave and—in the words of a local news report—”taken in for an emergency medical evaluation” for publishing, under a pseudonym, a novel about a school shooting. The novelist, Patrick McLaw, an eighth-grade language-arts teacher at the Mace’s Lane Middle School, was placed on leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education, and is being investigated by the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, according to news reports from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The novel, by the way, is set 900 years in the future.
“So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys - to woo women - and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do.”—John Keating (via there-is-no-there-there)