Some quick responses to US Army Corps of Engineers halting DAPL construction

Warrior Publications

Dakota Access Pipeline resistance art art by Chameleon Horse art & design.

Trolling the internet I found a few interesting statements about today’s announcement that the US Army Corps of Engineers has denied the easement to drill under Lake Oahe, a reservoir of the Missouri River.  I took the liberty of collecting a few FB comments, some of which contradict Standing Rock Sioux tribal chair tribal chair Dave Archambault II’s statement that protesters should now go home…

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A little upkeep, and a redirect to solchrom.com

draper-shrug

Apologies to those of you who’ve been following here.

(crickets)

(isolated muffled coughing)

(a lone tumbleweed rolls slowly across the stage)

As some of you may know, I’ve had to firewall this blog for some awkward reasons, but please read and follow me at my new site … solchrom.com. I’ll be repurposing some of the content here over there as needed. I won’t be burying this site, and if you know anyone who doesn’t have access but wants it, just let me know.

(I’m here all week. Try the veal.)

Polite racists in denial

Been watching the news lately (I know, I know, I should find another hobby) …

If you’re white, you benefit from racist power structures and racist forms of social organization. And you’ve most likely internalized the underlying racist assumptions to the point where you feel threatened or defensive whenever anyone questions them or makes them explicit. That’s what #WhitePrivilege is. It doesn’t necessarily make you a sheet-wearing, cross-burning caricature, but to the extent that you don’t question or work to dislodge those power structures, you’re helping to perpetuate systemic racism. And that, whether you like it or not, makes you guilty of racism yourself. It’s not surprising at all that a lot of white folks react to this so viscerally, and want to project their discomfort onto others by complaining about activists stirring up racial conflict. But part of being a committed anti-racist is owning your own racism — and doing what you can to overcome it.

It’s not complicated. #LeashYourDog

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Maybe I’m coming across as too angry about unleashed dogs in leashed areas. Maybe so. But you know what? I don’t give a fuck.

 

My boy is huge, black, and easy to demonize. Same goes for any other unfairly stigmatized breed. OK, he’s a giant Russian guard dog, and owning him in Toronto can be a challenge. I get that. When I walk him, I keep him on the leash and stay out of off-leash dog parks. I’ve done intensive training with him and keep him under control at all times. And yet, if some off-leash dog runs up to him and starts something, even in a leashed area, whom do you think is going to get blamed? I can do everything right and follow all the rules, and STILL lose my dog just because some entitled asshole doesn’t feel like following the leash law.

 

I’ll say that again. I COULD LOSE MY DOG because some irresponsible shitwaffles think they’re special and the rules don’t apply to them. (We used to have a mayor like that. You’re in pretty good company.) So guess where you can stick your “Way of the Dog” bullshit.

 

(“Really Sol, don’t you think you’re overreacting a little bit? You’re getting hysterical.” — ed.)

 

Special h/t to The Dog Snobs for this.

 

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Fassbender’s Macbeth: disappointingly static

What can I say? It’s one of Shakespeare’s goriest, most intense, most riveting pieces of work. It’s got everything: action, ambition, weird sisters, murder, more ambition, more murder, politics, more murder, gender-bending, vengeance, imperialism, and even a few twists of the supernatural. It’s got such a reputation that in some theatre circles, its mere name is an omen, prompting people to refer to it obliquely as “the Scottish play.”

And yet, apart from a few scattered action scenes, the bulk of the film doesn’t seem to move much. Almost every scene is shot in gloomy greys and browns, perhaps in a nod to the play’s dark themes. Visually, however, this makes it a little hard to follow at times. Most of the dialog is spoken in whispers of varying intensity; sometimes the emotion is discernible, sometimes not so much. Some of Shakespeare’s most famous lines have been cut in what sometimes seems like a belated recognition that things are draaaaaaagging and need to be moved along.

Really, folks, it’s Shakespeare. You shouldn’t be fighting to stay awake. I watched three or four people stand up and walk out of the theatre.

Early in the play, Macbeth is wrestling with the prophesy from the three witches and the implicit green light for killing the kindly King Duncan; when I studied it in high-school English class, it was about him struggling with his conscience while Lady Macbeth, already in thrall to the Dark Side, urges him to grow a pair. The discussion between Fassbender’s Macbeth and Marion Cotillard’s Lady Macbeth, however, carries about as much emotional weight as a couple arguing over what colour to paint the living room.

The flatness continues through what should be some of the most emotionally loaded scenes in the script, among them the appearance of Banquo’s ghost at the feast and Lady Macbeth’s descent into madness in the “Out, damned spot” sleepwalk. Both scenes provide the stars with a fat juicy opportunity to carry the film, but in both — well, whatever charge they’re supposed to bring, it seems the battery’s drained. Fassbender never jolts us with the horror, guilt, and paranoia Macbeth’s supposed to feel when he sees Banquo’s blood-spattered shade, and for all the pain and OCD Cotillard’s supposed to be portraying during her somnambulistic hand-washing, she might as well be advertising a dishwashing liquid.

True, you don’t have to chew the scenery, but is a little emotional content too much to ask for?

The last ten minutes, in fairness, are a vivid contrast to the muted torpor of the preceding scenes, if not enough to redeem the film. Especially when the filmmakers ditch the dark greys and browns in favour of a visually riveting advance on Dunsinane by the warriors in Birnam Wood. And the final confrontation between Fassbender and Sean Harris’s vengeful Macduff could have been an outtake from Braveheart.

Bottom line: 6/10. If you’ve seen other versions, it might be worth a go, but if not, start with something else.

 

The war on ‘microaggressions:’ Has it created a ‘victimhood culture’ on campuses? – The Washington Post

One much-discussed paper says a “victimhood culture” is rising at elite American colleges.

Source: The war on ‘microaggressions:’ Has it created a ‘victimhood culture’ on campuses? – The Washington Post

Thoughtful piece, crappy headline.

Why? Because casting it in terms of ‘victimhood culture’ implies that complainants want to be seen as victims, with the attendant connotations of ‘speech police,’ ‘political correctness,’ ‘oversensitivity,’ and ‘censorship.’ Moreover, putting air quotes around both microaggressions and victimhood culture suggests a false equivalence whereby the writer is raising doubts about both notions.

Once again, it’s important to distinguish intent from impact. Microaggressions may not be intended to be hurtful, but they do come from a place of privilege. In their broadest sense, they imply that being white, straight, cis, and male is the default setting, and anything else is a departure from the norm. When people call you out on that, they’re not attacking you – they’re drawing attention to that structure of privilege. And when you sneeringly dismiss the notion of microaggression, you’re reinforcing that structure.