middle folks

the impression im getting that some of the people twitter that are getting defensive over slavery dont actually come from families that practice it (bc then they wouldnt be calling it “slavery”) reminds me of this passage from aijaz ahmad where he says one of the origins of cultural nationalism is the “professional petty bourgeoisie’s penchant for representing its own cultural practices and aspirations, virtually by embodying them as so many emblems of a unified national culture” and at first i kinda just glossed over how he says “petty bourgeoisie” and also “aspirations” but tbh now that i think about it a lot of times this dynamic of romanticizing and defending the “cultural authenticity” of the upper-class doesnt come from people that are at the tip top of society but like more middle class folk.

 like if youre actually rich and you have a bunch of ‘servants’ whose family has lived on your family’s property for generations and their payment is mainly in the form of you providing them with ‘food and shelter’ (with “wages” that are basically just a minimal allowance)  you dont necessarily need to write some nonesense about how this is a sacred and culturally authentic practice to justify its existence like it justifies itself mainly out of the utility it provides you and your rich family. but if youre some more middle-class person that is removed from that context but subscribes to a cultural-nationalist ideology the way youll justify shit thats specific to a status you hope to one-day obtain is by invoking a more ‘top-down’ idealogical approach about authenticity and whatever











My favourite Swedish podcasts

Podcasts are personally my absolute #1 learning resource. I do extensive listening (upper intermediate to advanced!) whenever I have to do one of my 20~30-minute walks. My main goal of doing this is to make understanding a foreign language a natural, effortless thing as well as finding holes in my vocabulary. Here is a list of my favourite podcasts in Swedish (that are still actively producing episodes)! I just turn on auto-download in my podcast app and consume them whenever I have time.

(Note: I’m linking to iTunes because it’s the most common way people get podcasts. I personally never use it, so rest assured you can get all of these elsewhere as well.)

  • P1 Dokumentär: half- to one-hour audio documentaries about social issues or personal stories / struggles in Sweden. Usually in the very standard “P1 Swedish”. Comes out irregularly but very frequently.
  • P3 Dokumentär: pretty much the same thing. I actually don’t know the difference between the nature of the two documentaries - I think this one is more current affairs-ish? Comes out weekly on Sundays.
  • Historiepodden: a long-running podcast with two dudes randomly chatting about historical and sometimes contemporary themes. Probably a good idea only if you’re interested in history - but ‘history’ here refers to a really wide range of events from ancient to recent history. One of them speaks in some sort of southern accent, which is good for training. Comes out weekly on Sundays, can be up to 1.5 hours long.
  • Allt du velat veta: as the name implies, it’s an hour-long podcast where experts in different fields teach you about really random topics from science to politics to Sherlock Holmes. As of the time of writing I’ve actually just discovered it through the latest episode about conlangs (of course), so I can’t make too much comments yet. Comes out weekly on Tuesdays.
  • Den svenska musikhistorien: my favourite, even though I just started listening! (What can I say, I’m a music student.) It’s relatively new podcast, each episode less than half an hour long, that discusses, well, Swedish music. It goes all the way from the Middle Ages to folk and pop; it’s currently still stuck in the 1800s though, having already surpassed the total planned number of episodes. Comes out mostly weekly on Wednesdays.
  • Fredagspodden: guilty pleasure?! I don’t even know why I used to listen to this myself - it’s simply girl’s chat for an hour, and I’m a dude…I was probably just looking for something that’s regularly released to listen to and couldn’t find anything better…anyway it’s released weekly on Fridays (as the name implies).

That’s it for now. I’ll update this if I find any gems, even though I think I’ve looked through many different podcasts. Or if you have a favourite, tell me as well! Happy listening and happy learning!

endless list of my favorite books: rebel of the sands by alwyn hamilton (15/?) 

“Being born doesn’t make a single soul important. But you were important when I met you, that girl who dressed as a boy, who taught herself to shoot true, who dreamed and saved and wanted so badly. That girl was someone who had made herself matter. She was someone I liked. What the hell has happened since you came here that she is so worthless to you?”

remember that girl who said she wants a boy who would bring her a glass of water in the middle of the night & folks was roasting her for about how her standards are too low, sayin “the bar is too low”

& she turned out to be an abuse victim

i think about that alot because it seems like alot of girls who gas boys for doing the bare minimum are abuse victims or theyve just experienced alot of cruelty from men in their life. and they really want even a small gesture of affection. which is okay btw. its alright to be flattered by the little things

it makes it worse since now i see those “the bar is too low” jokes alot

and whenever i see those jokes it makes me so uncomfortable cause im an abuse victim who has always received cruel treatment from men that i would be flattered if someone i loved actually

little gestures matter to alot of abuse victims please do not intentionally make jokes about that

also most those “the bar is too low” jokes are made by grown men towards young girls so…

Why I think the Three-fold Law is Bogus:

The law of the conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed.

Put a rock on the edge of a cliff, and it has potential energy. Push it off the cliff, and it becomes kinetic energy.

The Three-fold Law states that whatever energy you send out comes back to you times three. That would mean that energy was somehow created to triple the amount of energy that you put out. How is that possible?

It’s not.

10 characters tag

rules: tell me your favourite character from 10 fictional works (shows, movies, novels, etc.) & tag people!

Tagged by @severeminx , here we go:

  1. Yuri Plisetsky - Yuri!!! On Ice (Sticking with my angry cat boy since episode one but it’s a tough decision. Closely followed by Otabek Altin & Katsuki Yuuri)
  2. William Parry - His Dark Materials
  3. Draco Malfoy - Harry Potter (grumpy blondes are my character aesthetic)
  4. Silas - The Graveyard Book
  5. Rin Matsuoka - Free! (this is hard on my nerves because Haru and Makoto are my precious boys)
  6. Vanessa Ives - Penny Dreadful (I will never forgive this show for ending the series with such a shit episode but PD was a blessing. I’ll never get over the scene of “I am”.)
  7. The bear that’s looking for his hat - I Want My Hat Back
  8. Usagi Tsukino - Sailor Moon
  9. Jake Peralta - Brooklyn 99
  10. Clyde - Elementary

Tagging: @book-of-flights @seeyounextlevel @kawaiilo-ren @llyn-on-ice @kanuvina @katerspie 

+ anyone who feels like doing it.

Another Fun Fact About the Word 'Queer' as an Umbrella Term!

The reclamation of Queer began as a way to distance the identity and civil rights movements for those that were outside of the more “acceptable” (read: white, male, middle class ) LGBT+ folks that quickly became the face of queerness, and the focus of the movements efforts.

Marginalized LGBT+ people took “Queer” back from those that used it to belittle and bully in order to assert their right to exist in and be heard in queer spaces.

anonymous asked:

Were glasses/spectacles available to high class in regency?

Yes! Spectacles had been around for centuries by that point, however they were often considered a sign of old age and infirmity, so people would avoid being seen to wear them (particularly women.) The 1780s saw the invention of the lorgnette–that is, a pair of glasses fixed to a long handle, which were then held up to the face, rather than worn with over-the-ear wires or bands to hold them in place. Napoleon was known to use scissor spectacles, which were also held up to the face, rather than worn–this seemed to be the preference of the rich, with the use of scissor spectacles and lorgnettes popular among wealthier people, whereas poorer people might have to put up with wearing spectacles. Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals in America in the 1780s, so they certainly could have been available in Regency Britain.

Corrective lenses were still made by hand, and so would not have been likely to be available to poorer people, though middling-genteel folk could probably have budgeted enough to afford a pair if they really needed it, of varying qualities, second-hand, from a pawn shop or a traveling peddler, though the widespread availability of spectacles wouldn’t really come until the end of the 19th century with advancements in manufacturing and mass-production techniques. Richer folks could have ordered their own custom-made new eye-glasses from a jeweler’s shop.

With all this in mind, it’s no wonder Miss Bates was so grateful to Frank Churchill for fixing Mrs. Bates’ spectacles so she could wear them properly! It might have been a fearful expense, even simply to have them repaired, otherwise. Jane suggests having a spare pair of spectacles, and Miss Bates readily agrees with her assessment, but this must be out of affection and respect for whatever Jane says or thinks, as I cannot imagine it would be easy to make the Bates’ economies stretch to allow for a second pair of glasses for poor old Mrs. Bates!

There’s a wonderful essay available here in full, detailing some of the history around the science of ophthalmology and corrective lenses in Jane Austen’s time, as well as how she deftly weaves it into Miss Bates’ chattering about her mother’s eyewear.

There’s a sense in which our narrative intuitions about poverty are almost completely wrong. 

According to the old model – the classical model, the medieval model, the Victorian model, the model that shapes all our stories – poverty is basically about grunge, and about a sort of grinding day-to-day experience of material deprivation.  Poor people have shitty stuff, in a way that makes them sort of constantly low-grade sad.  Their clothes are rough and dirty.  Their food is coarse and bland.  Their homes are small and unkempt.  They don’t get to own cool toys and conveniences and luxuries.  This inspires our pity, because we’re not Ebenezer Scrooge, and so we give them little tidbits of non-shitty stuff (or money suitable for buying little tidbits of non-shitty stuff) and expect gratitude for it. 

In a modern first-world society, of course, this is all total nonsense.  Stuff is ridiculously cheap, so cheap that even poor people can afford it.  On the relevant axes, they’re basically indistinguishable from…well, not from the fanciest rich people, but from pretty much everyone else.  (Middle-class folk, young elites with non-upscale tastes, etc.)  They wear the same t-shirts and jeans and sneakers as everyone else.  They eat the same 4-for-$4 fast food as everyone else, which is extremely tasty even if it’s nutritional crap.  They have the same smartphones and game consoles and flat-screen TVs as everyone else, because those things are ridiculously good investments in terms of entertainment-per-dollar.  Hell, they often live in dwellings that are more spacious than the cramped coffin-homes of the “affluent people” trying to make it in Manhattan or the Bay Area. 

…which is not to say that being first-world-poor isn’t a giant crushing burden.  But the burden mostly doesn’t manifest as a lack of nice stuff.  It manifests as reduced access to health care and good education, the two giant expensive intangibles that define the strata of our civilization.  It manifests as horrible stressful humiliation-filled working conditions, or alternatively the shame of unemployment, either of which will fuck up every aspect of your life.  It manifests as debt and insecurity and constant fear, the kind that comes with being one paycheck away from living on the street. 

These are not things that can be perceived by someone who’s just casually looking at you, or interacting with you in a normal day-to-day arm’s-length kind of way.   

(The burden can also manifest as the absence of decent transportation options.  Which is a lack of nice stuff, in a real sense.  Cars are expensive goods, yo.  But they’re not the sort of goods whose absence, or whose poor quality, you notice on casual observation of a person.  And in big cities, where a lot of our social/political discourse gets generated, this is much less of an issue regardless; rich and poor people mostly take the same subways.) 

So what you end up with is a poverty that doesn’t have any of the signals of poverty.  A poverty that doesn’t communicate “I am deprived and you should pity me,” even though it is supremely wretched to endure.  How poor can that guy really be?  He and I are eating in the same Wendy’s, wearing pretty much the same clothes, texting away on the same Samsung Android phones.  I think his apartment is actually bigger than mine.  Hell, he’s wearing fucking gold jewelry.  Why the hell is the government taking away my hard-earned money to give it to his lazy ass?


This is a pretty well-understood dynamic, in the abstract, but I do think that grokking it fully is key to engaging with poverty-intervention debates. 

People aren’t heartless, but mostly they do care a lot about positional status.  Charity is fine, but it’s important that the recipient of your charity remains discernibly worse-off than you yourself are – otherwise, you’re not so much “charitable” as “a sucker,” letting yourself be guilted/bamboozled into giving precious resources away to a rival.  Ideally, the relationship that you want with the recipient of your largesse is a patron-client relationship, where he acknowledges his dependence with service or at least socially-validating self-abasement. 

(NOTE: I am not endorsing this line of reasoning, which is not really even reasoning so much as “instinctive emotional response.”  I am merely describing it, because I believe it is extremely common.) 

As things stand, for a culturally-normal person, the process of giving money to poor people – especially when you do it through the government – is unrewarding in just about every way it can be.  You don’t get to see the money being used to alleviate deprivation, or to introduce picturesque little luxuries; it disappears into a bottomless void of “maybe now it won’t be a catastrophe when this person gets sick or something.”  You don’t get to feel like a member of a superior class, because those poor people don’t seem so very much worse off than you are.  You don’t even get the warm glow of appreciation, because the poor people are likely to be proud and culturally-distant and not inclined towards shows of gratitude. 

And so you get resistance.  It doesn’t (usually) come from anyone hating the poor, or wanting poor people to die of treatable diseases, or anything like that.  It just comes from a vague sense that the poor ought to feel a little lowlier, somehow, if we’re going to be making sacrifices on their behalf.

Maybe it’s time to bring back sumptuary laws or something. 

damnverssisters  asked:

OK I finished Anne with an E... I should preface this by saying that I haven't read the books for like.. At least 10 years? So my memory of them isn't the best. In any case, I really loved the show, and was wondering your opinion on it, especially on the interpretation of Anne as someone who had gone through serious trauma. (Also... I love aunt Josephine.. I just needed to say that)

I looooved it so much that I am still recovering! (Also, AUNT JOSEPHINE FOREVER. I am so thrilled by how the show portrayed her. !!!) And I am sort of sad to come back down to ordinary real life where there are no more new episodes, sigh!

Personally, I don’t even consider the depiction of Anne’s serious trauma to be something that differs from the book; I think that comes through very clearly, albeit somewhat subtly, in the original text, and I’m really pleased to have an adaptation that was really dedicated to exploring that. I wrote a paper a few years back in grad school that basically focused on the idea that the warmth and humor of AOGG only works and is so resonant because it’s built on a foundation of terrible sadness and suffering and emotional neglect (for both Anne and Marilla in different ways); that’s something I’ve always really loved about the book, and loved seeing in this adaptation. I also love love love that this adaptation touched on things that were part of life and yet considered so taboo to the pearls-clutching middle class folks in Avonlea (sex, menstruation, etc.) – I really appreciated the exploration of that through these characters we know well. I think it makes a lot of sense and is extremely true to the spirit of the novel that Anne would be familiar with these things, and also not understand right away why they shouldn’t be talked about. Also, I will forever be glad that we now live in a world where we got to see Marilla teach Anne about her period while Matthew fled to the barn, haha. That was the scene I have been waiting for my whole life without even knowing it.

With that being said, I am sort of antsy about where the season one finale left us; it definitely veered toward Too Dark For My Frail Constitution. (And I think I would prefer Gilbert’s life to not be in such upheaval; he needs to be in that schoolhouse scholastically dueling Anne! Please, someone adopt Gilbert! Can’t he have a kindly aunt or something??) PLEASE DON’T LET ANNE AND MATTHEW AND MARILLA HAVE TO BATTLE VILLAINS THAT HAVE INFILTRATED THEIR HOME ALL THROUGH NEXT SEASON. WE NEED TIME FOR THE GREEN HAIR DYE DISASTER, LADY OF SHALOTT BOAT-SINKINGS, ETC. Basically: I hope that the show gets back to focusing on everyday shenanigans in Avonlea pretty quickly rather than having too much high stakes drama, because the thing I love most about AOGG is that it tells such a full story by just focusing on ordinary life, and I think this season did a really satisfying job of that for the most part.