My great-grandmother called herself a "bruja blanca,"
after a story she told when a Hispanic man of her acquaintance called on her to release his cousin from a curse. Entirely missing from the story as I heard it was a reason that the man thought she was one to go to, but she rose to the task with some dramatically declaimed prayers and just a pinch of incense, and the cousin left feeling entirely free of the hex.
I did some research, and I’m pretty sure that “bruja blanca” is not a concept native to Hispanic culture. While there are traditions of brujería that tend more to the neutral than to the evil, as far as I can tell any concept of ‘white’ and ‘black’ witchcraft- especially using color terminology- is imported from English tradition. The role my great-grandmother fulfilled could more accurately be described with the word “curandera,” a shamanistic healer figure distinct from a witch. The curandero does not cast spells or tell fortunes, but instead heals ailments physical and spiritual; sometimes they interact with spirits both good and foul, sending the latter on their way, and it is to a curandero that one would turn to remove a curse placed on one by a brujo; sometimes, this involves contacting the witch spiritually and browbeating or magic-arm-wrestling them into removing the curse.
Cultural inaccuracies aside, this is a cool story about a woman with a lot of flair, and also a lot of problems which we won’t discuss here. I’d like to think I could lift a curse myself, if the need arose. (And maybe instill a dose of empiricism into the victim? Modern medicine has undone many a hex in the witch’s repertoire!)
There are several songs and/or artists and/or albums I associate with creepy shit. Owen Pallett, and particularly This is the Dream of Win and Regime, I associate with Junji Ito. Lodger, by David Bowie, and particularly Look Back in Anger, I associate with the SCP Project. I’m having trouble coming up with others, but I know that others exist- songs I listened to on repeat while reading creepypasta.
I associate Standard Fare with NetHack via similar processes.
which makes vague my otherwise very clear feeling that the obligation to be masculine feels terrible.
I mean, I know, on a cerebral level, that I don’t have to resolve this inconsistency, because it’s not actually inconsistent.
But that’s not something I have faith in.
Also, I have the sneaking suspicion that, above and beyond the pleasure inherent to the activities in question, I enjoy fulfilling external expectations. And that is genuinely problematic, because the only external expectations I approve of are expectations on me to fulfill the emotional needs of people I care about.
He called me the Lady Gaga to his Beyonce I don’t understand
There appears to be some confusion about this post, Joey and Will. This is a quote. A quote from an incredibly dorky thing. Yes, if someone called me the Lady Gaga to their Beyonce I would know exactly what they were talking about. That is why I did not say this. I found it amusing. JEGUS GUYS
Dying of shame: a Congolese rape victim, currently resident in Uganda. This man’s wife has left him, as she was unable to accept what happened. He attempted suicide at the end of last year. Photograph: Will Storr for the Observer
“Of all the secrets of war, there is one that is so well kept that it exists mostly as a rumour. It is usually denied by the perpetrator and his victim. Governments, aid agencies and human rights defenders at the UN barely acknowledge its possibility. Yet every now and then someone gathers the courage to tell of it. This is just what happened on an ordinary afternoon in the office of a kind and careful counsellor in Kampala, Uganda. For four years Eunice Owiny had been employed by Makerere University’s Refugee Law Project (RLP) to help displaced people from all over Africa work through their traumas. This particular case, though, was a puzzle. A female client was having marital difficulties. “My husband can’t have sex,” she complained. “He feels very bad about this. I’m sure there’s something he’s keeping from me.”
Owiny invited the husband in. For a while they got nowhere. Then Owiny asked the wife to leave. The man then murmured cryptically: “It happened to me.” Owiny frowned. He reached into his pocket and pulled out an old sanitary pad. “Mama Eunice,” he said. “I am in pain. I have to use this.”
Laying the pus-covered pad on the desk in front of him, he gave up his secret. During his escape from the civil war in neighbouring Congo, he had been separated from his wife and taken by rebels. His captors raped him, three times a day, every day for three years. And he wasn’t the only one. He watched as man after man was taken and raped. The wounds of one were so grievous that he died in the cell in front of him.
“That was hard for me to take,” Owiny tells me today. “There are certain things you just don’t believe can happen to a man, you get me? But I know now that sexual violence against men is a huge problem. Everybody has heard the women’s stories. But nobody has heard the men’s.” Read more…
I just got done reading this article, and it is probably the most difficult thing I’ve read in my entire life. As a rape survivor myself, I’m glad this is getting more attention in the world.
This perturbs me a lot. I guess this is one of those things I carefully did not think about to make life easier.
This is an old, old thing, too. There are theories that Leviticus 18:22- “Thou shalt not lie with a man,” et cetera- was originally written about male rape, and not about consensual sexual contact between men, an unheard of concept (of which the Pentateuch-writers would probably have disapproved anyway, let’s be real here).
Marcus Bachmann, control yourself. You’re gonna jizz colonialist language in your pants.
"Barbarians need to be disciplined." OH GREAT. So it used to be the White Man’s Burden, now it’s the Straight Man’s Burden? Or the Deeply Closeted Gay Man’s Burden?
Can we stop using words like “heathen” or “savage” or “barbarian” please? I mean, you can use “barbarian” to indicate a warrior archetype, I guess; the Germanic peoples to whom the word was originally applied would be proud that we remember them as fearsome warriors. But really, unless you’re self-identifying, don’t use these words. These are hateful, oppressive words.
Tavros doesn’t reciprocate, because Hussie can be a bit of a heterosexist douche like that- c’mon man there aren’t even any proper same-sex blackroms- BUT STILL
Also, Gamzee’s game is INCREDIBLE. How could you refuse an invitation like that?
TC: ThIs iS BeAuTiFuL, dUdE, i fEeL So aT ChIlL WiTh yOu. AT: yEAH, fRIENDLINESS WITH YOU IS, pRETTY MUCH ALWAYS NICE, aND FUN TO HAVE, TC: HeY… TC: WhEn wE Up aNd sTaRt tO KiCk aT ThIs rEd TeAm NoIsE, TC: YoU ShOuLd mAkE YoUr wAy tO GeT YoUr hAnG On aT My hIvE. AT: oH, yES, tOTALLY, TC: We cOuLd sPlIt a tIn oF ThE PiMpEsT SnEeZe i gOt oN HaNd, BaKeD Up aLl sPeCiAl fOr yOu. TC: AnD ThEn mAyBe mAkE OuT A LiTtLe. AT: uH, TC: ;o)
I mean, fuck. I kinda want to kiss Gamzee after this. And I know that he becomes an omnicidal tyrant later!
I’m talking to a friendly acquaintance, queer/GQ status unknown, about a window in the dorm room I saw today. I try to find words to describe how the view makes me feel, and, without thinking very hard about it, I fling my arms wide and say,
I AM QUEEN OF ALL I SURVEY!
I possibly just outed myself to this person. Good job me.
Seriously. I am tired of this shit. “Mainstream science is privileged and normative and fucking terrible blah blah blah.”
Is science wrong sometimes?
Are things are accepted as true sometimes not true?
There are flaws in the scientific community. But I’m going to throw some ideas out here.
-If science is being biased, isn’t being completely objective or is saying something that isn’t actually true (like, oh, gayness being a disease or whatever some pseduo-jerks try to presume), it’s not really science. It’s a bad product of society that is masquerading as science.
-You know what fixes crap like that? MORE SCIENCE.
-There is not some society of doctors and researchers and chemists and physicist trying to fuck everybody’s damn lives up. Seriously. Like, doctors, MAYBE. Physicists, no, they’re too busy doing whatever annoying math they do. Chemists are too busy trying to not explode shit (or explode shit, depending).
The answer to society’s problems is not to characterize science as some sort of villain. It is not to call science “privileged” or “mainstream” (seriously, are you trying to be a hipster?).
It is to FIND better science, better research, better facts, better scientists, better journals, better reports.
And if you can’t find it….
Also, flawed science is science contaminated by politics. Now, the MO for social activists is that, wherever we detect fucked-up politics, we overwhelm them with radical politics. But that instinct, while pretty sound, DOES NOT HOLD for science. You’re just adding more integrity-sapping politics to the pot. The solution is to remove all the politics you can and step the fuck back.
I wrote this while at Kenmore Park the other day. On the back of a notecard.
“Everything in Fredericksburg is halfway. There’s no place to go but no place you’d want to stay so people end up wandering around on brick sidewalks, quaint, I’m sure, until their feet bleed. It’s a college town - a place dedicated to transition and only that. It breeds wanderers, people with no place to go but all the motivation to just keep moving. The tallest rock in town, with a drop off, is not high enough that you could jump and die but is high enough that you don’t dare tease the edge. Fredericksburg steals people, keeps them there because it is hard to find a good enough reason to leave — the town is fine, jobs are around, the economy is okay and people are nice. This town is an absolute monster.”
This will be the first “stop” on our road trip, from PA to GA. Leave after work on Wednesday, roll into one of those two towns to spend the night-eat breakfast- proceed on journey…
I’d like to get in a mini dose of architectural/historical sightseeing.. Which of the two has better breweries? If…
If you stop in Fredericksburg, you’ll never get out.
The city will eat up your sense of direction and leave you to wander aimlessly with mild interest in antiques and historical sight seeing value. You will come to believe that tthe buses are called “trolleys” and that you’re paying a reasonable amount for your coffee shop drinks. You will be compelled to make a pair of cut-offs and wear them with a hoodie for no understandable reason. Graveyards will become exciting places to you. Football will begin to matter and you will end up sending your friends little knick-knacks with pineapples embossed on them.
Make your choice, but consider your fate.
I wear cutoffs with ties unironically.
I WEAR CUTOFFS WITH TIES UNIRONICALLY
GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN