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Saw Run the Jewels earlier in the evening with two very good friends. Concert ended two and a half hours ago. My ears are still ringing.

Paris can get pretty turnt when it wants to. It appears.
Current Location: Paris
Current Music: Black Lab - This Night
Underworld - A ReviewCollapse )
Current Location: Paris
Current Music: Jack Ü - Diplo & Friends Mix
07 December 2014 @ 04:23 pm
Yesterday marked the culmination of a week-long effort that has subsequently left me drained and en-cold-ed.

I will have more to say about yesterday's protest later when I'm more recovered, but I awoke this morning to some incredible Twitter coverage, an article in CitizenSide France with a remarkable photo gallery, and an appearance in the BBC.

There was more French coverage, some surprising ink in Mississippi, a bit with video from a FOX station based out of St. Louis, MO and a collection of photos of Michael Brown and Eric Garner protests around the world.
Current Location: Paris
Current Music: Jimi Hendrix - Mannish Boy
05 December 2014 @ 04:56 pm
On Quai d'Orsay, if you walk from Place du Canada down Pont des Invalides, you hang a right, go a block or two and the South African embassy towers over you to your left. To the right, through a veil of trees, is the shimmering Eiffel Tower with a spotlight shooting out of its top, spinning a soft arc through clouds that hover like a halo around the space.

On the ebony base wall of the embassy, a bit of structure that stands about my height, is a picture of Nelson Mandela that someone had printed and taped there. Below it, a set of votive candles. ‪On this day‬ last year, Nelson Mandela had passed away.

In one of my elementary school textbooks was the following sentence: "Nelson Mandela is a terrorist."
Current Location: Paris
Current Music: RL Grime - Site Zero/The Vault
04 December 2014 @ 07:33 pm
-- Pain - Will Boast, Virginia Quarterly Review, Jan. 6, 2014

"When he caught me, he thrashed me with the same slipper, the only time I remember him really beating me. I can still see the shine in his eyes as he let himself go. He was, for a moment, enjoying himself, relishing pain and giving pain in a way he hadn’t since his boxing and rugby days. I crawled away, sobbing, locked myself in the upstairs bathroom, stripped off all my clothes, and sat naked in the bath without turning the water on. I resolved to kill myself just to punish him. But the sting of the spanking had already faded. I got out of the tub feeling like I wanted to retch. What caused that terrible, devouring ache in my stomach? It wasn’t that I’d been cast out forever (as I thought then) from my father’s good graces but the shock of the realization: I’d wounded him. This unbreakable man—​I’d put the first chip in him."

-- Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain - Leslie Jamison, Virginia Quarterly Review, Apr. 2, 2014

"At the heart of Carrie is a glorious inversion: What if you could take how hard it is to be a girl—​the cattiness of frenemies, the betrayals of your own body, the terror of a public gaze—​and turn all that hardship into a superpower? Carrie’s telekinesis reaches the apex of its power at the moment she is drenched in red, the moment she becomes a living wound—​as if she’s just gotten her period all over herself, in front of everyone, as if she’s saying: Now I know how to handle the blood."
Current Location: Paris
Current Music: Katt Williams: Priceless: Afterlife
03 December 2014 @ 06:46 pm
02 December 2014 @ 03:37 pm
-- Freedom is Overrated: Jonathan Franzen and David Foster Wallace - Pater Edmund, Sancrucensis, Oct. 12, 2012

"St Thomas Aquinas says that love is a political virtue; it is based on the sharing of those common goods in which human perfection primarily consists. The truest love rests in God Himself, the supreme common good. When love is not based on the recognition of any common good it remains a blind passion. This is something that Wallace saw very clearly. In bourgeois hypermodern society the basic necessitys of life are met, but there is no guidance on where the next stage of human perfection is to be found; one is supposed to decide ‘freely’ for oneself. This leads to the miserable freedom so well described by Patty. What Wallace shows is that this misery leads to a flight into a kind of false necessity that is really a slavery to passion."

-- Deus Ex Machina - Me, Boy Boxes Bear, Orig. published in The Morningside Muckraker, Dec. 12, 2014

"I’m not completely convinced that it is the Medusa stare that has captivated me. More often than not, I am waiting for the bloop of a notification. Someone will have liked what I posted, commented on it, posted something in a group to which I belong. Someone will have involved me in their Interneting, and I can continue with the business of curating a boundless online presence, of which a Facebook profile, a Tumblr, a Livejournal, a LinkedIn profile and innumerable comment threads in innumerable online forums are a part."
Current Location: Paris
Current Music: Alice in Chains - Rooster (Acoustic)
02 December 2014 @ 09:15 am
Folks at the Préfecture de police in Paris are surprisingly helpful and cheered when they learn you're organizing a demonstration.
Current Location: Paris
Current Music: Dr. Dre - Lolo (Intro) (Instrumental)
27 November 2014 @ 10:46 am
-- Rage in Jerusalem - Nathan Thrall, London Review of Books, Nov. 21, 2014

"With all the despairing talk today of the impossibility of a two-state solution and the inevitability of protracted civil war in a single state, it is easy to forget how different the conflict looked two intifadas ago. Before the First Intifada, no one of any importance spoke of Palestinian statehood, rather than autonomy. Today statehood is publicly accepted, even if only rhetorically, not just by the US and the UN but by a long-serving Israeli prime minister from the hawkish Likud. Before the First Intifada, Israel and the US refused to engage with the PLO. Dividing Jerusalem was unthinkable, as was the idea of partition along the pre-1967 borders, with equal swaps. Today these are the positions of most of the international community and growing numbers in Israel. Many Israelis, however, see no reason for their country to take substantial risks and pay a large cost to change an imperfect but long-lasting and manageable status quo. It would be a great tragedy if nothing less than a third uprising, at a terrible price, could convince them otherwise."
Current Location: Paris
Current Music: Piano Tribute Players - Feed the Machines
27 November 2014 @ 08:03 am
-- The Parable of the Unjust Judge or: Fear of a Nigger Nation - Ezekiel Kweku, the Toast, Orig. Aug. 27, 2014

"Jesus told the Parable of the Unjust Judge, the writer of Luke tells us, to teach us about prayer, but I think it can tell us something about justice as well. The unjust judge of the parable could be petitioned into rendering justice in a particular case if it were made inconvenient enough for him not to. This realization, of course, we have heard echoed by Malcolm and Martin alike. We should notice, though, what does not happen in the parable – the judge does not repent or reform. He does not become a righteous man. He renders justice to the widow out of pure self-interest, but this does not make him anymore inclined to be just in the next case the widow might bring, or indeed the next case that anyone else brings. There is no amount of pleading, petitioning, or protesting that will transform the judge into a just man. We live in under a state that is at best, indifferent to our problems, and at worst, actively seeking to destroy us. It is good and right that we hound the state into giving us justice, but blacks cannot delude themselves into thinking that the state will ever become justice. There are no laws that can be passed or reforms that can be pursued that will allow us to stop being vigilant. There are no victories that will bring us peace. We will never be able to pound our swords into plowshares, because we will always have to be prepared to fight. Dr. King, our beautiful prophet, was wrong. The arc of the moral universe does not lead anywhere in particular, not in this life. If it bends towards justice, it is only because it is pulled that way by our constant effort, by our unceasing straining and sweating and shouting."

-- Barack Obama, Ferguson, and the Evidence of Things Unsaid - Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic, Nov. 26, 2014

"What clearly cannot be said is that violence and nonviolence are tools, and that violence—like nonviolence—sometimes works. "Property damage and looting impede social progress," Jonathan Chait wrote Tuesday. He delivered this sentence with unearned authority. Taken together, Property damage and looting have been the most effective tools of social progress for white people in America. It describes everything from enslavement to Jim Crow laws to lynching to red-lining."

-- The Plight of the Gentile, Or How to Deal with the Effects of Tear Gas - Me, Boy Boxes Bear, Nov. 26, 2014

"The pain will pass. When running against the wind, be sure to keep calm. Don’t touch your face. Do not rinse with water. Use Coca-Cola or milk instead to end the burning. If you are close enough to the police, they cannot use the tear gas on you. And in the event that you are without a gas mask, you can wrap a t-shirt around your nose and mouth and protect your eyes with goggles or something similar. The oblong teargas canisters are small enough that they can be hurled back at the shooter before too much gas is expelled. To properly douse them, be sure to arm yourself with a Poland Springs jug half-filled with water, and the canister that lands beside you, toss it inside, stand on the opening and wave away the remaining fumes as the device is extinguished. If there is fire nearby, toss the canister in the fire, and that too will neutralize it."
Current Location: Paris
Current Music: Kerry Leva - Proud (Juventa Remix)