Tumblr, we need you! A rogue Arizona State representative, John Kavanagh, wants to pass a bill that would thow trans people in jail for using public restrooms. Anyone could be asked for I.D. to “prove” their gender, and if there’s a discrepancy they could face a fine or jailtime.
When asked why the bill targeted trans people, Kavanagh explained that it’s because he thinks “they’re weird.” Outrageous.
We can stop this bill by taking action at www.allout.org/arizona and spreading the word far and wide. Will you help?
That quote sounds like something out of an onion article oh my god I can’t believe people are this awful
You should help and spread the word too
This is everything that makes my heart hurt and my stomach drop.
The late Chinua Achebe talking to Terry Gross in 1988 about the parable of the tortoise and the leopard:
The leopard meets the tortoise on a lonely stretch of road.The leopard has been trying to catch the tortoise for a long time. The tortoise is a trickster and so obviously has been escaping and then, on this day, the leopard finally catches up with him and says, ‘Aha! Now I’ve got you. Prepare to die.’ And the tortoise says to [the] leopard, ‘Can I ask you one last favor?’ And the leopard says, ‘Yes, why not?’ And the tortoise says, ‘Give me a short time to prepare myself for death.’ And the leopard looked around and said, ‘I don’t see why not. Yes, go ahead.’
But then, instead of standing still and thinking as the leopard had expected, the tortoise began to dig and scatter sand all over the road, throwing sand in all directions with his hands and feet. And the leopard says, What’s going on why are you doing that?’ And the tortoise says, ‘I’m doing this because after I am dead I want anyone passing by this spot and seeing all this sign of struggle on the road to say, ‘A man and his match struggled here.’”
Image of Chinua Achebe via the PEN American Center
Backpacked with my brother through Asia. Passport, book, and underwear are the three things one should never leave home without.
As part of my field school, we were to write a journal on the places we visited. Here are a few of them:
I’ve watched Schindler’s List and movies that portrayed Jewish concentration camps in World War II. I have imagined the blood, horror and abuse. I have empathized with how degrading and humiliating the experience must have been: the anger and rage, the infinite sorrow of losing loved ones, the uncertainty and fear of not knowing (or knowing) whether they are alive or dead. I’ve felt those emotions watching films, and reading books. I understand the heartbreak, but nothing, and I mean this sincerely, nothing can compare to walking in on a place knowing that it was such a place.
Terezin is a placid town, quaint, and peaceful with its history obvious within its old walls. During WWII, the Nazi’s converted the city into a garrison and internment camp for Jews. Prof Cilek explained that during WWII residents of Terezin hid Jewish neighbours in cellars and attics. It somehow felt real rather than a movie when he said that. When we stepped inside the concentration camp, I looked at the walls and saw names and dates, numbers that perhaps were identification markers, and drawings. I imagine the inhabitants were leaving a piece of themselves behind. I felt humbled. Inside the concentration site, it felt peaceful and tranquil. The day was beautiful with a nice breeze that swayed the few lavenders rooted around the area. It was surreal somehow. We climbed up a small hill and sat down overlooking the camp. We listened as our guide told us the story of Terezin from its medieval origins to its more tragic historical attachment. Sitting next to him, I saw how uncomfortable he was dispensing information about the atrocities committed within the concentration camp. I remember him saying: “we don’t speak about this.” This, meaning, the war, and how it still affects millions of Europeans. I cannot relate but I understand how hard it is to talk about genocide, particularly when it is part of the historical fabric of the entire continent.
As we were walking away from the concentration camp towards the Terezin Museum, I talked with my professor and related to to her the story of my grandmother’s hometown Car-car during WWII. It seems that everywhere one goes there are places that are remnants of evil, but people (residents) forge ahead and change the significance of such cities and towns like Terezin, Car-Car, and Hiroshima. I’m glad that Terezin lives on as a city, accepting its scars, living with the memory of what has happened within its boundaries. Its citizens live, make new histories, and create music and art.
When I think of castles, I think of noble knights charging to the rescue of damsels in distress. It’s a silly thought going back to my childhood fantasies inspired by Disney movies. This love was exacerbated by my fascination with medieval literature and fantasy novels. Stepping into a genuine late medieval castle, I was awestruck by the size. According to our guide, Hrad Rabí, a donjon-type keep, was constructed as a way to protect trade routes along the Otava around 1300s. It was built in three separate sections, constructed in tiers above each other. The ramparts were up to 6 m wide, and had bastions, fortifications, and moats. However, building activity exhausted the Švihovský family’s finances and the fortifications remained incomplete.
It must have been a sight to behold during the 14th and 15th century. Its many tiers tells a story of how its owners were aware of threats from the outside and so made the inside structures pragmatic. We passed through the 6th gate and a shallow body of water was beside a stone structure. The guide said it was a cistern used for stabled horses. The lower tier must have been buildings for serfs and merchants. We went through the 5th gate and saw a well with iron grates. It has no use anymore but for hundreds of years it was the main source of water for hundreds of people, both noble and serf. Near the well is a room with a replica of Hrad Rabí at the height of its glory — it was both imposing and grand — a fortress with hard walls and majestic towers. We took the stairs up to the highest point of the castle and the surrounding countryside looked green and lush. The guide talked about the construction of the tower, how near the highest point of the tower would have been the lady’s quarters. My very first thought as I heard that was how hard it must have been to carry buckets of hot water up the stairs to the lady’s chamber for bath. Underground, in the cellars, the air was cool and damp perfect for storing vegetables meat, and ice. I asked if it was used as a dungeon and the guide acknowledge that it might have been. One titillating tidbit about the castle was that one of the towers (prismatic tower), I read, was a prison.
What I wanted to happen while we were walking around in Hrad Rabi was the past to come alive and a medieval noblewoman to appear and great me, smile and invite me to her sitting room for conversation. Or perhaps, I wanted to follow a serving woman, observe her daily life, intrude on the hustle and bustle of castle activity. I wanted to understand how the late medieval age was about by understanding its people not only the structure that is left behind. It’s wishful thinking but being in Hrad Rabi invigorated my love of medieval literature, and fuelled my imagination for fantasy.