“No one is a poet unless he [or she] has felt the temptation to destroy language or create another one, unless he [or she] has experienced the fascination of nonmeaning and the no less terrifying fascination of meaning that is inexpressible.”

Octavio Paz, from “Recapitulations,” Alternating Current, trans. Helen Lane (Arcade Publishing, 1967)

There is no remedy for time. Or, at least, we do not know what it is. But we must trust in the flow of time, we must live. […] We are time and cannot escape its dominion. We can transfigure it but not deny it or destroy it. This is what the great artists, poets, philosophers, scientists, and certain men of action have done. Love, too, is an answer: because it is time and made of time, love is at once consciousness of death and an attempt to make of the instant an eternity. All loves are ill-starred, because all are made of time, all are the fragile bond between two temporal creatures who know they are going to die. In all loves, even the most tragic, there is an instant of happiness that it is no exaggeration to call superhuman: it is a victory over time, a glimpse of the other side, of the there that is a here, where nothing changes and everything that is, truly is.

Octavio Paz, from “Recapitulation: The Double Flame,” The Double Flame: Love and Eroticism, transl. by Helen Lane (Harcourt, 1996)

people have this really fucked up view of “masculine” and “feminine” as they relate to male power and the exploitation of women, and it boils down to seeing masculinity as a thing of inherent power women are kept from and femininity as a thing of inherent weakness women are kept in. the reality is that “masculinity” and “femininity” are loose, culturally-determined constellations of valorized and stigmatized things, and are an outgrowth of misogyny requiring that the male exploiter be valorized and the female exploited be attacked.

analysis which proceeds from the view that the feminine is a source of weakness recapitulates patriarchial ideology. the feminine is not a source of weakness, the masculine not a source of power. being a man is a source of power. the most feminine man in the world, the most masculine woman in the world, are still men and women - they might face different forms of discipline and repression, and it is rather more trivial to leave “man” or “woman” than anyone likes to talk about. but men do not become weak by adopting the feminine, nor women strong by abandoning it.

men are weakened and women are strengthened by the seizure of social power by women, the formation of women’s culture and women’s spaces, and a campaign of continuous resistance, relief, and retribution against the exploitation of women and the ideological structures that rationalize and organize it

Pinkwashing and Homonationalism in Israel

Pinkwashing and homonationalism are not practices that are exclusive to Israel, however this is a post to explain how pinkwashing and homonationalism manifest to promote the Israeli occupation.

What is pinkwashing?

According to Queers against Israeli apartheid, “Israel is cultivating an image of itself as an oasis of gay tolerance in the Middle East, a practice that is called pinkwashing”. In other terms, it uses the image of a “LGBTQ-tolerant society” to pinkwash its human rights abuses. According to Jasbir Puar, “Pinkwashing has become a commonly used tag for the cynical promotion of LGBT bodies as a representative of Israeli democracy..”

What is homonationalism?

Homonationalism is the alleged support of LGBTQ peoples to promote a nationalistic ideology. According to Scott Lauria Morgensen, “Israeli homonationalism – whether promoted by Israeli LGBTQ people or by the state – recapitulates accounts of Palestinians as a queered, racialised group that remains colonised due to its primitive endangerment of the sexual, racial, and national modernity that Israelis embody and enjoy.”

Pinkwashing is a practice employed by the Israeli government in order to paint Israel as a “gay oasis” to improve tourism and to deflect attention away from its human rights abuses in the Occupied Territories. The idea that Israel is a “gay haven” in a jungle of “backwards”, “savage” nations as Shiri Eisner puts it is an Islamophobic and anti-Arabist notion. Shiri Eisner writes that “Palestinian and Israeli LGBTQs are being cynically used by the Israeli government and Israeli propaganda in order to “pinkwash” Israel’s international public image. Israeli government, through the ministry of Tourism, makes use of the relative tolerance towards Jewish LGBTQs (especially in Tel Aviv), as a way of diverting attention from the many Israeli war crimes performed in Gaza, the occupied Palestinian territories, and inside Israel itself. Thus, on the backs of the Jewish and Palestinian LGBTQ communities, Israeli propaganda can market a false image of Israel as a “liberal” “progressive” “gay haven”, while demonising Arabic Middle Eastern Cultures and presenting them as inherently LGBT-phobic—an Islamophobic notion whose goal is to further justify Israeli war crimes in Gaza and the occupied territories as well as against Palestinian citizens of Israel.”

In her article “Love, Rage and the Occupation: Bisexual politics in Israel/Palestine”, Eisner also writes that due to this very PR stunt, “pinkwashing also takes it tolls on Jewish LGBTQs as incidents of violence, discrimination, harassment and mistreatment are discretely silenced so as to prevent injury of Israel’s “progressive” image.” She also writes “From a bisexual and transgender point, it’s also worth noting that the process of pinkwashing not only erases the fact that bisexuals and transgenders have no legal recognition or rights in Israel (contrary to gays and lesbians), but also erases and silences inner community violence against us — perpetuated not only for our being bisexuals and transgenders, but also for our activist communities’ extensive involvement in the struggle against the occupation.”

The experiences of Israeli and Palestinian LGBTQ people are not homogeneous, as both have nationalist attitudes attributed to them. While Palestinian queers are tied to the Palestinian struggle against the occupation and otherwise, Israeli queer experiences are co-opted to promote Zionist nationalism (although at times, homonationalism is a direct result of an Israeli queer individual).This leads to homonationalism. In fact, at times, the experiences of Palestinian LGBTQ people often go unaccounted for. In this video, Haneen Maikey, director of al-Qaws, a sexual and gender diversity in Palestinian society advocacy group, talks about how during the commemorance of the Tel Aviv LGBT association shooting, Palestinian LGBTQ people went to express their solidarity as fellow LGBTQ people, however at this commemorance, they played HaTikvah, the national Israeli anthem, which Maikey says, has very nationalist attitudes, and therefore was something Palestinian queers could not identify with.

According to Gil. Z. Hochberg in Introduction, Israelis, Palestinians, Queers: Points of Departure, he writes, “the queer narrative generated at the memorial service does more than simply reinforce the idea that the nation-state provides the most appropriate frame for a gay self-narration. It further naturalizes the subjection of queer affiliations to the standards of Zionist ethnonational exclusivity, as evidenced by the noticeable absence of any Israeli Palestinian or Israeli Palestinian queer activist speakers at the event.”

The conflation of Islam and being Arab with homophobia is an orientalist practice, wherein the global West (or, in this case, Israel) projects their perception of the Middle East onto Middle Eastern people. It suggests that being homophobic is an essential and inherent part of being Arab or Muslim, effectively erasing and dismissing all queer Muslims and Arabs by suggesting that their existence is an anomaly or an impossibility.

Queers against Israeli Apartheid states “Queer Palestinians continue to face the challenge of living under occupation and apartheid, subject to Israeli state violence and control, regardless of liberal laws within Israel that allow gays to serve in the military, or recognize same sex marriage and adoption for Israeli citizens.”

Queerness is not visible like ethnicity, but it is important to note that queerness does not exist in a vacuum. The intersectional nature of being a Palestinian LGBTQ individual living inside the Occupied Territories means that queer Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories are affected by occupation, queer-phobia and institutionalised racism.

While Israeli society is diverse, Palestinian and Israeli queer experiences and people are still the subject of pinkwashing campaigns. Being queer does not also remove the power dynamic between oppressors and oppressed. In “Eight questions Palestinian queers are tired of hearing”,  Ghaith Hilal writes, “Pinkwashing strips away our voices, history and agency, telling the world that Israel knows what is best for us. By targeting pinkwashing we are reclaiming our agency, history, voices and bodies, telling the world what we want and how to support us.”

Palestinian LGBT+ organisations:

Al Qaws


Palestinian Queers for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)

Pinkwatching Israel

Only 3 days in, and the kickstarter campaign for recapitulation: An Inktober Artbook has already more than doubled its original goal! I want to say thank you so much to everyone who has pledged or reblogged the campaign. It means a lot to me.

There’s still plenty of time left to back the campaign! The more orders I get, the more books I’ll print. And since several people have expressed concern about it, I want to let you all know upfront, international shipping is just $15.

I’m so excited to see how far this kickstarter goes and to be able to share this with all of you. Thank you so much!

There is a little under a week left to preorder recapitulation: An Inktober Artbook on Kickstarter! Thank you so much to everyone who has already supported the project via pledge or signal boost.

If you want to be sure to get the book, which includes all 31 of the #inktober paintings and a few brand new paintings that won’t be published elsewhere, make sure to back the Kickstarter campaign before 6:30 CST on Dec 6, 2015.

As a sidenote, if Kickstarter doesn’t work for you, whether because you don’t have a credit card or for other reasons, but you still want to be included in the preorder, shoot me an ask or a message and I can invoice you via PayPal.

An erotic encounter begins with the sight of the desired body. Whether clothed or naked, the body is a presence: a form that for an instant is every form in the world. The moment we embrace that form, we cease to perceive it as a presence and grasp it as concrete, palpable matter, matter that fits within our arms and is nonetheless unlimited. But, embracing the presence, we no longer see that palpable matter. Dispersion of the desired body: all we see are a pair of eyes looking at us, a throat illuminated by the light of a lamp and soon disappearing into darkness again, the gleam of a thigh, the shadow descending from navel to genitals. Each of these fragments exists in and of itself yet refers to the totality of a body. A body which suddenly has become infinite. The body of my partner ceases to be a form and becomes an immense thing in which I both lose and recover myself. We lose ourselves as persons and recover ourselves as sensations. As sensation becomes more intense, the body we embrace becomes more immense. A sensation of infinity: we lose our body in that body. The carnal embrace is the apogee of the body and the loss of the body. It is also the experience of the loss of identity: a diffusion of form into a thousand sensations and visions, a fall into an ocean, an evaporation of essence. There is neither form nor presence: there is the wave that rocks us, the gallop across the plains of night. A circular experience: it begins with the abolition of the body of the couple, is transformed into an infinite substance that palpitates, expands, contracts, and enfolds us in primordial waters: an instant later the substance vanishes, the body becomes a body once again, and presence reappears. We can perceive the beloved only as a form that conceals an irreducible otherness or as a substance that cancels itself out and cancels us out.

[…] Every sin entails a punishment: once we have emerged from our ecstatic trance, we find ourselves again in the presence of a body and soul that are alien. Then the ritual question: What are you thinking about? And the reply: Nothing. Words that are repeated in endless galleries of echoes.

Octavio Paz, from “Recapitulation: The Double Flame,” The Double Flame: Love and Eroticism, transl. by Helen Lane (Harcourt, 1996)

Quantum Theory Recapitulates Buddhism

by Samsaran

I have said before that ”the nature of consciousness is observation. To observe we must have two things … the observed and the observer.”  Reality exists as an infinite number of possible quantum outcomes which only become manifest when observed by a sentient being. Thus our observations collapse all of these infinite possibilities into a single line of space-time.  In Buddhism we have the concept of the “mindstream”

 That is the moment to moment sequence of continuum of awareness.  It is noted in the writings that there are an infinite number of “spaces” between our observations each cut finer than the other. The mind stream is identified with the “self” and creates an individual reality for each sentient being.  Sounds awfully familiar doesn’t it?  Buddhism got the jump on western science by about 2500 years.

“Observations are to be regarded as discrete, discontinuous events. Between there are gaps which we cannot fill in.”

— Erwin Schrodinger

Magnussen, Whachu Doin? or the one cap that yanked it all together beneath a neat little bow

For whatever reason, this was the cap that made it all make sense to me.

I just rewatched HLV, and during the shooting-Sherlock scene I decided to watch Magnussen instead of Mary. Consequently, I noticed this: while Mary is distracted by Sherlock, Magnussen is leaning over. This particular cap comes from somewhere in the middle of the “shoot them both and leave” scenario during Sherlock’s explanation to John of his shooting, but I only picked it because it shows Magnussen most clearly. If you watch carefully, you’ll see that he does this in every iteration of the shooting, be it hypothetical, recapitulated, or the event itself.

Whachu doin, Magnussen?

(Please see this post on AO3 for the most updated version. I keep adding to it. Because I’m a geek.)

Keep reading

Tiny human stomachs grown in the lab

Scientists have successfully grown miniature stomachs in the lab from human stem cells, guiding them through the stages of development seen in an embryo. The lumps of living tissue, which are no bigger than a sesame seed, have a gland structure that is similar to human stomachs and can even harbour gut bacteria.

The feat, reported in this week's Nature1, offers a window to how cells in human embryos morph into organs. Scientists say that these ‘gastric organoids’ could also be used to understand diseases such as cancer, and to test the stomach’s response to drugs.

“This is extremely exciting,” says Calvin Kuo, a stem-cell biologist at Stanford University in California. “To be able to recapitulate that in a dish is quite a technical achievement.“
Who’s Afraid of Gender-Neutral Bathrooms? - The New Yorker
How the multi-stall restroom became the last public vestige of gendered social separation in America.

This article talks about the history behind bathroom segregation and sexualization, including Victorian notions of “fragile females” as well as criminalized homosexuality. 

Even if the sexual-assault argument against allowing transgender restroom access is implausible, it is still hard to come up with an account of why public bathrooms should be gender-segregated that does not rely on a gendered version of privacy and safety that recapitulates “separate spheres” and sexual vulnerability.