As Mexico City archaeologists sort through the surreal array of Aztec sacrificial skulls recently uncovered while excavating their city’s subway system, it’s worth remembering that parts of the London Underground were also tunneled, blasted, picked, and drilled through a labyrinth of plague pits and cemeteries.
So what am I? As a young person I imagined myself a sort of vengeful spirit. A schoolyard Robin Hood who attacked the strong and popular on behalf of the social outcasts. I’m 36 years old now though and I realize what I am is a bully. I may have been the one who got beat up but I sent plenty of kids home in tears. I also realize that I carried those ridiculous insecurities into adulthood. I still see people who attack me as the enemy and I strike back with the same ferocity as that seventh grader I used to be. I’m ashamed of that and embarrassed. The crazy thing is I don’t even necessarily believe the stuff I say a lot of times. It would probably be more noble if I did. The truth is I just say them to be mean. I say them because I know they will hurt. It’s pretty fucked up.
Ladies and gentlemen…we have a truly sincere apology from Mike Krahulik. I didn’t expect that of him, I really didn’t.
“In January 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Kalydeco, the first drug to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis, after just three months of review. It was one of the fastest approvals of a new medicine in the agency’s history. Vertex Pharmaceuticals, which discovered and developed the drug, priced Kalydeco at $294,000 a year, which made it one of the world’s most expensive medicines. The company also pledged to provide it free to any patient in the United States who is uninsured or whose insurance won’t cover it. Doctors and patients enthusiastically welcomed the drug because it offers life-saving health benefits and there is no other treatment. Insurers and governments readily paid the cost. Several months later, Zaltrap was approved to treat colorectal cancer. The drug was discovered by Regeneron, an emerging biopharmaceutical company like Vertex, but sold by the French drug maker Sanofi. Though it worked no better in clinical trials than Roche’s cancer drug Avastin, which itself adds only 1.4 months to life expectancy for patients with advanced colorectal cancer, Sanofi priced Zaltrap at $11,000 a month, or twice Avastin’s price. Unexpectedly, there was resistance. Doctors at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York, one of the world’s leading cancer centers, decided Zaltrap wasn’t worth prescribing. They announced their decision—the first time prominent physicians anywhere had said “Enough” to the introduction of a high-priced cancer drug—on the op-ed page of the New York Times. Three weeks later Sanofi effectively dropped its price by half through rebates to doctors and hospitals. Even so, British health authorities said they would not pay for the treatment. The FDA approved 39 new drugs in 2012, the most in a decade and a half—a sign that the pharmaceutical industry may be recovering from its long fallow period. Wall Street applauded the revival, especially because many drug companies are facing patent expiration for their top-selling products and could see dwindling revenues after years of lackluster research productivity. Most of the new drugs either treated rare diseases like cystic fibrosis or were marginal improvements over existing cancer drugs. All carried extremely high price tags.”—Why New Drugs Are So Expensive | MIT Technology Review (via newsweek)
“The short story is like an exquisite painting and you might, when looking at this painting, be wondering what came before or after, but you are fully absorbed in what you’re seeing. Your gaze is fixed, and you are fully engaged. That’s the beauty of the short story.”—The Rumpus Interview with Edwidge Danticat (via therumpus)
But R. Kelly is an actual predator. It’s well documented. He has actual victims. That’s the other side. He confirms not just the suspicions around black male sexuality, but that of black women’s sexuality. Kelly’s victims are young girls. Had they been young white girls, the collective “we” would have been much more outraged, because their “virtue” is to be protected. Not only do we not care about black girls, we believe their sexuality is something over which they exercise no control. They are jezebels and vixens from an early age. Their sexual appetites are insatiable, and their desire to use their sexuality to “destroy” men is not repressed. They crave the attention. They aren’t human beings with healthy sexual urges or agency. They are hottentots incarnate.
R. Kelly beat the charges against him and went on to produce more music, win more awards, make more money, and establish himself as a pop cultural icon. In his path are the lives of young black girls, now women, that he abused.
The newest chapter of the Assassin’s Creed series gives me some of the things I’ve always wanted in a video game: a heroic fantasy that lets me control a warrior fighting against slavery. Part of it happens in Haiti, where my parents were born. Characters talk in Antillean Kreyol, the mosaic tongue made of French and West African words that I heard while growing up. But, mostly, it reminds me of going to church with my mother. It makes me happy and sad at the same time.
I want this game so badly now…WHY CAN’T I HAVE NICE THINGS, GUYS?
I’ve touched on this topic a few times. People from academia have a hard time understanding why I would deign to respond to some of the comments and messages that I receive that are obviously unfounded attacks on my credibility.
It’s hard for people to…
THIS is a must-read if you want to understand why internet trolls, do, sadly, matter in the grand scheme of things.
“We teach girls to shrink themselves to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not too successful otherwise you will threaten the man.’ Because I am female I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. A marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support, but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors, not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they can not be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.”— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Beyonce’s ‘Flawless’ (via th0umayest)
“If owning a gun and knowing how to use it worked, the military would be the safest place for a woman. It’s not.
If women covering up their bodies worked, Afghanistan would have a lower rate of sexual assault than Polynesia. It doesn’t.
If not drinking alcohol worked, children would not be raped. They are.
If your advice to a woman to avoid rape is to be the most modestly dressed, soberest and first to go home, you may as well add “so the rapist will choose someone else”.
If your response to hearing a woman has been raped is “she didn’t have to go to that bar/nightclub/party” you are saying that you want bars, nightclubs and parties to have no women in them. Unless you want the women to show up, but wear kaftans and drink orange juice. Good luck selling either of those options to your friends.
Why We're Wrong About the Fake Mandela Interpreter
Today in shitty American media coverage, we have a brilliant take-down of how said media has reacted to the sign language interpreter fiasco in Mandela’s memorial. Hint: Notice how we never once see the reactions and thoughts of the deaf community in any of the commentary they present.
“We shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. Knowing the contents of a few works of literature is a trivial achievement. Being inclined to go on reading is a great achievement.”—B. F. Skinner (via psicologicamenteblog)