Asked by Anonymous
Today I was waiting to cross the street at a corner in Brooklyn. Now, in New York, animals are pretty cozy being near humans and you really need to aggressively invade their space for them to flee in the same way a non-city-dwelling self-preserving animal would. So when I was standing at this street corner and this tiny bird was unflinching, walking near my feet, and then started awkwardly hopping directly in front of a car making a turn, I panicked and jolted after it to herd it away from being crushed. While this definitely angered the driver, I did succeed in getting the little thing onto the sidewalk — however, I quickly noticed that its wing had clearly been extremely banged up.
I don’t particularly like animals, I’ve never owned a pet, and am not a terribly compassionate person, but I do have the bare-minimum feeling of “I don’t like seeing things die” so for the next 10 minutes I chased and scooped this little fucking bird around trying to keep it on the sidewalk because it kept hobbling back into the middle of the street. At one point my scoop-throw resulted in it getting solid hang time and seemingly soaring off, only for it to quickly arc back towards me in a boomerang fashion and hop back into traffic. I looked like an absolute idiot, I’m sure that I got all kinds of weird bird diseases in the process, but I was so frustrated by this bird’s poor decision making that for those 10 minutes, I kept with it. It hopped to its near death, I scurried after it and scooped it back onto the sidewalk. Hopped again, scurried, scooped, saved, then back again. It was like helping every friend anyone has ever had who makes terrible choices and then continues to make them. Eventually though, my patience wore thin and I wasn’t about to take it home, nurse it back to health with a tiny yet adorable wing bandage, and become emotionally invested in its well-being only for it to one day fly away. So I walked away. Most people did just that from the get go, others stood and watched, some would make awkward little half-steps to try to help too, and after I left, maybe someone far better took on the potential heartbreak and made a micro-wing-splint out of toothpicks and tissue paper, then lovingly named it Pidgeotto … but I was presented with a situation and I handled it in the way that felt natural to me. It was exactly what I would do. There were a million other things to do instead that could’ve been more helpful, more interesting, more evil, more apathetic, and everything in between — but this particular set of actions was mine — the most natural thing I could do.
I tell you this dumb little story as a response to your very explicitly artsy question, because a) deal with it and 2) style just isn’t formed through a plan. It’s not a set of rules and guidelines that you follow and check off as you create a painting. If I need to lay down a brushstroke, I’m not thinking how I should do that, the length, the pressure, the speed, the color, the variation, the texture — I’m just laying a line down in the way that feels most natural to me in that moment. I can gather a thousand images that other people have made and say “I like these colors or this lighting or this line work or this composition or this whatever” and I do, but at the end of the day, I can only like those styles passively because when pen meets paper (so to speak), my personality and affinity for doing things in my own way will always beat out what’s right, wrong, better, worse, trendier, sexier, uglier, or different. We CAN follow guidelines to make our work look like other work or to do what seems like the most obvious choice when confronted with an injured bird with very poor self-preservation skills, but I found my style through dumb little situations like these where I wasn’t following a bible of moral or artistic codes, just by doing exactly what I would do. Not my fantasy version of myself who can paint exactly like Caravaggio and heroically slow-motion dived to save an innocent bird from an Escalade driven by Hitler while Natalie Dormer watched, but the one who paints like I do and bumbles around swearing at a bird to not get itself killed for 10 minutes and then giving up because there was a clear language barrier between us and I wasn’t prepared for a long-term commitment with pidgeotto.
CNN has been hesitant to include the prefix “right wing” to the use of the word extremism or terrorism for fear of the right wing hysteria machine.
NOTE: Certain points bolded for emphasis by me to show their importance. They weren’t originally bolded in the original article - Drew
In the aftermath of the deadly Las Vegas shooting rampage, which left two police officers, a shopper, and the shooters dead, one can expect all the usual talking points that follow an all too regular and familiar massacre – mental health, access to guns, the killer’s motives, and so forth. But here’s another one: the intellectual cowardice of cable news giant CNN, when it comes to reporting right wing terrorism.
The facts and back story to Sunday’s carnage are pretty well known and have been widely reported by a multitude of online and offline news outlets.
A married couple, Jared and Amanda Miller, walked into CiCi’s Pizza, shouted, “This is a revolution,” and then shot police officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo as the two ate lunch. They then ran across an adjacent parking lot to a Walmart store, where they shot a shopper before retreating to the back of the store, where Amanda Miller fatally shot her husband before killing herself.
What is also known is that the suspects stripped the dead officers of their weapons and ammunition, before covering their bodies with the Revolutionary War-era Gadsden flag, which depicts a coiled snake and the words “Don’t Tread on Me” – a flag that is informally adopted by the Republican Tea Party.
When the Millers left their home to embark on their cowardly ambush, they delivered an ominous message to their neighbor Kelly Fielder. “”We gotta do what we gotta do,” Jered Miller told her, adding that he and his wife, Amanda, were departing for an “underground world.”
Fielder told NBC News she had heard Jared Miller make anti-government statements in the past — including a desire to overthrow the government and President Obama and kill police officers — but was not alarmed by them.
It takes no degree of sophisticated insightfulness to conclude the obvious: that the Millers are right-wing extremists, identifying with Tea Party anti-government views. It’s also reported that the Millers were among those in attendance at the Cliven Bundy ranch, when right-wing extremists, egged on by Fox News, pointed assault rifles at U.S. federal agents.
But don’t expect CNN to include the prefix “right-wing” to the use of the word extremism or terrorism, for their, and the mainstream media’s, fear of the right-wing hysteria machine is ever present and always palpable. In fact, CNN refused to identify the Tea Party flag. Dan Simon of CNN went so far as to avoid the far right’s wrath that he said the killers “left behind some type of flag with some kind of insignia.” The cable network’s 24/7 ticker feed reads, “Killers had extremist views.”
No, CNN, the killers had RIGHT WING extremist views. That is established and clearly evident. Wolf Blitzer asked a guest, “What kind of anti-government groups are associated with this type of extremism?” Again, that much is obvious. The right-wing of today’s Republican Party is in itself an anti-government group, and has been ever since Goldwater Republicans became the loudest voice in the GOP’s shrinking tent, culminating with Reagan’s, “Government is not part of the solution. Government is the problem.”
In the first 36 hours since the shooting, CNN has used the following words and terms to discuss the shooting: “extremism,” “extremist domestic groups,” “radical groups,” anti-government groups and individuals,” but not once has the term “right wing” or any mention of the Tea Party been uttered.
Regardless, CNN’s cowardice hasn’t stopped the right wing moving into a defensive or preemptive crouch, with conservative columnist Horace Cooper claiming on the same day of the shooting that far-right violence is a “complete and total bogeyman,” and is “an attempt to marginalize opponents of the Obama administration.”
From the recent shooting of an airport police officer at LAX to last month’s shooting at the Jewish Community Center in Kansas City, and to the murders at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, right wing terrorism is now the new normal, and it’s a safe assumption that tragic, indiscriminate acts of violence, of this ilk, will become increasingly prevalent as white minority politics becomes increasingly shill at the same time demographics run counter to the politics of the far right. In other words, these “well armed militiamen,” so lovingly embraced by everyone from Sarah Palin to Rand Paul, will feel their cause has become inversely desperate.
Here’s an interesting and sobering fact: that when it comes to domestic terrorism, you are far more likely to be murdered by a far Right-wing American than a Muslim American, but the term “terrorist” remains reserved exclusively for acts of political violence carried out by Muslims.
Violence carried out by far Right groups or individuals, which have racism as a central component of their ideology, is of similar magnitude to that of Jihadist violence. In the years 1990 to 2010, there were 145 acts of political violence committed by the American far Right, resulting in 348 deaths. By comparison, 20 Americans were killed over the same period in acts of political violence carried out by Muslim-American civilians.
“Both categories of violence represent threats to democratic values from fellow citizens. Whereas the former uses violence to foment a change in the ethnic makeup of Western countries or to defend racial supremacy, the latter uses violence to try to intimidate Western governments into changing foreign policies. Ultimately, to be more concerned about one domestic threat of violence rather than the other implies governments and mainstream journalists consider foreign policies more sacrosanct than the security of minority citizens,” writes Arun Kundani, adjunct professor at New York University and author of The Muslims Are Coming: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the War on Terror.
It has now been 13 years since al Qaeda and its associated forces have carried out a successful attack inside the United States. National security analyst and global terror expert Peter Bergen asks, “Given this, it becomes harder to explain, in terms of American national security, why violence by homegrown right-wing extremists receives substantially less attention than does violence by homegrown jihadist militants?”
The Southern Poverty Law Center calculates there are 939 far right-wing hate groups across the country today, including neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, border vigilantes and others.
“Since 2000, the number of hate groups has increased by 56 percent. This surge has been fueled by anger and fear over the nation’s ailing economy, an influx of non-white immigrants, and the diminishing white majority, as symbolized by the election of the nation’s first African-American president…. The number of Patriot groups, including armed militias, skyrocketed following the election of President Obama in 2008 – rising 813 percent, from 149 groups in 2008 to an all-time high of 1,360 in 2012. The number fell to 1,096 in 2013,” the SPLC calculates.
Terrorism is a display of weakness. Terrorism is a tactic used by a much weaker combatant. It represents an inequitable power dynamic. With that in mind, it’s a terrifying prospect to run this violent trend to its natural conclusion, given the closed circuit loop of the right wing media, and the desperation that will follow future likely electoral defeats at the presidential level.
America, meet the Millers.
Source: CJ Werleman for Alternet
Resubmitting this because the original did not cite the original author, and plagirizing of WoC’s work is a serious and rampant issue. We cannot allow them to do this difficult work without acknowledging the value of their work. If you reblogged, please delete the original and reblog this version.(via shitrichcollegekidssay)
This is why we NEED feminism.
Boys , Being friendzoned is nothing compared to being betrayed,cheated on , beaten up or killed. SO SHUT UP . IF SHE DOESN’T LIKE YOU , SHE DOESN’T LIKE YOU. You haven’t experienced anything yet so stop acting like women are so horrible, You came out of a woman so stop treating women like shit.
How many more incidents of hate until people stop denying the harm of using native americans as mascots?
I do not understand how people can think those things are okay. I understand how folks can be bullheaded about changing a team name (understand, not agree) but this? This is evil.
“But now, as a result of activism against Indigenous mascots, many of us have been attacked by white students and teachers at the school for challenging their “proud tradition” <-advocates trying to get the “bedford road redmen” mascot changed