You see, I take the parts that I remember and stitch them back together
to make a creature that will do what I say
or love me back.
Nicole Beharie: TCA Portrait Series
[…] A mature, realistic peacemaker will be the first to tell you, once the cycle of violence has gotten to the point there’s suicide bombers looking to blow themselves up in your midst or psychopathic killers looking to chop off your head, the peace process needs to concentrate on self preservation. It’s important, here, not to escalate beyond self-preservation into a vengeful orgy.
What seems to me the most important point to make here is the need for serious, socially respected peace talks that work on a separate track from the war-making track. Yes, there is a problem with this, and that is people who live for vengeance don’t extend much respect to those who would talk peace with counterparts of the demonized enemy. And vengeance lovers tend to be the ones with the guns, the police and the prisons.
Since it’s above the fold in the news right now, I’ll use Israel/Palestine for an example. It seems to me the reason peace talks never work there is because they are totally reliant on a pre-existing climate of peace. This is as absurd as it is true. In other words, you have to have peace (a complete cessation of all violence) in order to begin talking about peace. The only workable solution is to have peace talks on a separate social track than war decisions. A useful checks and balance dynamic within the social contract. Peace talks would go on even as suicide bombers were blowing up buses and F16s were flattening apartment houses in the neighborhood.
The question is do the combatants really want peace — or do they actually want war? The answer too often seems to be no, they really don’t want peace. Mao Zedong’s conclusion that power grows out of the barrel of a gun seems to prevail in the United States and in the Middle East.
Anonymous asked: What advice do you have for a 14 year old girl?
This is so vague I love it. The voices you are hearing are real, god is speaking to you. The nation of France needs you. Don your armor, take up arms, lead the French army. This is your destiny, joan. When the flames come for you let them lick your bones and laugh.
The paradox of vengefulness is that it makes men dependent upon those who have harmed them, believing that their release from pain will come only when their tormentors suffer.
There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.
Dr. Martin Luther King.
Taken from his speech, “Why I oppose the war in Vietnam.”
Details of Margaery’s wedding gown, by Michele Carragher
Quinoa may deliver a complete protein—all of the amino acids you require—in a compact package, but rice and beans together actually do better. And like goji berries, blueberries and strawberries are packed with phytochemicals. The only problem is that lacking an exotic back story, food marketers can’t wring as exorbitant a markup from these staples: The domestic blueberry, for example, is periodically (and justifiably) marketed as a superfood, and in 2012, products featuring blueberries as a primary ingredient saw their sales nearly quadruple. But they only raked in $3.5 million—less than 2 percent of açaí-based product sales.
Tom Philpott, "Are Quinoa, Chia Seeds, and other ‘Superfoods’ a Scam?" (from Mother Jones)
Also worth highlighting is this section:
“Worse than superfoods’ origin myths, though, are their effects on the people in their native regions. In 2009, at the height of the açaí berry hype, Bloomberg News reported that the fruit’s wholesale price had jumped 60-fold since the early 2000s, pricing the Amazonian villagers who rely on it out of the market. In the Andes, where quinoa has been cultivated since the time of the Incas, price spikes have turned a one-time staple into a luxury, and quinoa monocrops are crowding out the more sustainable traditional methods.” (emphasis mine)
So not only are the markets for “superfoods” putting the foods out of reach of the people who relied on them as a dietary staple, but there are foods easily accessible to us that deliver all the nutrition at a fraction of the cost, both to our grocery bill and to the social/environmental toll.
a Soviet artist, book illustrator, architect,
sculptor and poet
Most writers were the kids who easily, almost automatically, got A’s in English class. (There are exceptions, but they often also seem to be exceptions to the general writerly habit of putting off writing as long as possible.) At an early age, when grammar school teachers were struggling to inculcate the lesson that effort was the main key to success in school, these future scribblers gave the obvious lie to this assertion. Where others read haltingly, they were plowing two grades ahead in the reading workbooks. These are the kids who turned in a completed YA novel for their fifth-grade project. It isn’t that they never failed, but at a very early age, they didn’t have to fail much; their natural talents kept them at the head of the class.
This teaches a very bad, very false lesson: that success in work mostly depends on natural talent. Unfortunately, when you are a professional writer, you are competing with all the other kids who were at the top of their English classes. Your stuff may not—indeed, probably won’t—be the best anymore.
If you’ve spent most of your life cruising ahead on natural ability, doing what came easily and quickly, every word you write becomes a test of just how much ability you have, every article a referendum on how good a writer you are. As long as you have not written that article, that speech, that novel, it could still be good. Before you take to the keys, you are Proust and Oscar Wilde and George Orwell all rolled up into one delicious package. By the time you’re finished, you’re more like one of those 1940’s pulp hacks who strung hundred-page paragraphs together with semicolons because it was too much effort to figure out where the sentence should end.
The Why Writing Is So Hard field of psychology is very interesting to me.
Velvet gown by Edward Molyneux - 1935.
I should have been more kind. That is something a person will never regret. You will never say to yourself when you are old, ‘Ah, I wish I was not good to that person.’ You will never think that.
Side by side, not
hand in hand: I watch you
walking in the summer garden—things
that can’t move
learn to see; I do not need
to chase you through
the garden; human beings leave
sings of feeling
scattered on the dirt path, all
white and gold, some
lifted a little by
the evening wind; I do not need
to follow where you are now,
deep in the poisonous field, to know
the cause of your flight, human
passion or rage: for what else
would you let drop
all you have gathered?
Louise Glück - the Wild Iris