‘Street Life’ was originally written for an audition
in New York in fall of 1989 By Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes at only 18. The track touches on street violence,
broken homes, prostitution, crack babies and being an educated woman.
*After hours of work this -final- version was driven and hand-delivered an hour before the cut-off time. [x]
So todays the anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street that happened on Sunday 4 October 1936.
the police were protecting a bunch of fucking fascists. So various anti-fascist demonstrators, including local Jewish, Irish, socialist, anarchist and communist groups beat the shit out of these fascists.
these fascists were walking here because the area had a large jewish population, and they were given hell by said jewish population, fuck em.
20K antifascists beat the shit out of 3K fascists while the government tried defending these fuckers, the antifascists took on both the police and the fascists.
I am a transgender man (see photo of my mug for context).
I love all trans people and I love non binary people. But lately some of my trans spaces (both on the web and irl) that are mainly non binary have started to feel a little hostile.
I want to make something perfectly clear before I continue - I love and respect non binary people, I think their genders are valid and I am in no way suggesting they are any less important that myself or any other binary trans person. I also need you to understand that this isn’t meant to be a post calling out non binary people at all, it is just me talking about my personal experiences in the hope that it can get people to be a little more considerate sometimes?
In university spaces, it seems that there is a growing population of non binary people that tends to dominate trans groups. Which is good in lots of ways, especially since it shows how this generation has become much more relaxed and aware that gender is a construct and fluidity is key. However, amongst people I know there is a lot of ‘ew gross men’, or 'ew gross trans men that are masculine’, while at the same time being predominantly DFAB populations.
Now trust me, I very much understand the dislike a lot of dfab trans people have of men. A lot of us are survivors and I think that does play a big part in how we feel about the gender overall. Not to mention it is not uncommon for men to be, for lack of a better word- wankers. However, I don’t think people consider trans men when we are talking about this.
Making a comment like 'ew men are so fucking gross’ to a room of trans people means that to a trans man you are saying one of two things - 1) you are gross, or 2) you aren’t gross because you’re not a Real Man, and you are excluded from this statement because you are and always will be, partly a woman. Even now I feel uncomfortable 'complaining’ about this. I have to remind myself that just as suggesting that a trans woman is somehow different to other women would be considered incredibly offensive, so is it for trans men.
I didn’t realise how much this stuff affected me until it did. Constantly being around people that talk about, how body hair on men is gross, masculinity is by default toxic, making jokes about my masculinity being toxic when I excitedly tell people that I’ve started going to the gym and its making me feel better about my body. No, it’s not funny. It’s MY dysphoria I’m trying to ease. I as a trans person want to feel supported and loved when I do things that have a chance of making me feel good about my body.
It hit me like a brick wall when I realised how much it had affected me. I was with my partner, and was trying to have sex, but I just broke down. I felt so incredibly disgusted with my body and myself. So much hair, so masculine. The noises I made, gross. The way I touched him, creepy. I couldn’t get out of my head the idea that later in life he would talk to people about how gross and unshaven I was, just like I had heard friends describe ex boyfriends so many times before.
I felt cheated because these were the changes I WANTED my body to make. But now they felt ruined. Spoiled.
It was after that realisation that I decided I had to get out. I stopped going to some of student socials and instead started attending a group for older trans people. It was so refreshing to meet other trans men for once (just because I rarely meet them at uni, and it was nice to talk to someone similar.) It was awesome to be around people who weren’t shitty about trans people being stealth (as I remember I once was.)
There are some important things to take away from all of this:
1) Telling trans boys and men that they are disgusting for wanting to be like men will only destroy self esteem and feed into the toxic environment that a lot of cis boys grow up in.
2) Non binary people are extremely valid and awesome, but also must accept they have a responsibility to cultivate a supportive and friendly atmosphere in spaces where they are dominant (I put this in here for university spaces especially)
3) Laughing at a trans man/woman for being excessively masc/fem presenting if you are a dfab nb person who mainly presents as fem or androgynous is facetious and not respecting that they may have to present that way to stay safe, (especially in the case of trans women that may be more 'obviously trans’) and that despite suffering prejudice in many ways, the one thing you are not realistically facing is street violence and such because you inevitably are not going to be clocked as trans. (which yes, does NOT make your transness invalid but we have to respect the different struggles people in our community face.)
4) Someone being stealth does not mean they are adhering to 'toxic gender roles’. It means they are either 1) trying to be safe or 2) surprise surprise they want to live their life as the gender they identify with. Trans people are not less legitimately trans because you think they are 'acting cis’.
5) Being a binary trans person does not give you privilege over nb people. Like seriously, trans women are literally the most likely to be murdered. Don’t be a dick. Erasure is a problem yes but it’s not the same. I read names out at the TDOR vigil and pretty much all of them were trans women of colour. Respect that. Help the community. This isn’t about scoring points over who has it the shittiest.
6) The idea that the only good kinda of trans men are 'soft sensitive kinda trans masc guys that don’t have surgeries and shave all their body hair’ is shitty and offensive (tho that kind of trans man is totally valid, that not what i mean). Its shitty because one you’re sexualising them either as more childlike or more feminine (both is rude, former is creepy), but its perpetuating the idea that trans men aren’t really men and the best ones are the ones that YOU think still kinda look suitably enough like women.
“45 years ago today, the Chicago Police Department and the FBI murdered Chicago Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton while he slept in bed. The assassination was both the goal and endpoint of an illegal nighttime raid that saw agents and officers spray more than ninety bullets into the apartment where he, his pregnant fiance, and others slept.
Prior to his death, Hampton had been the leader of a citywide interracial organizing effort, laboring to bring blacks, Puerto Ricans, and poor whites into a functioning alliance – what he called a "Rainbow Coalition.” Among his other core initiatives were the negotiation of a truce between Chicago’s gangs to curb street violence, establishment of a free health care clinic for the urban poor, and implementation of one of the most successful Free Breakfast for Children programs that the Panthers ever ran.
He was 21 years old when they murdered him. No one was ever convicted in his death. The City of Chicago later settled a civil case for nearly two million dollars.“
I live in a neighbourhood with a majority of people of northern and western African descent.
Amongst the roars of joy I heard a woman.
She was shouting “We’re saved”, triumphant, ecstatic, relieved.
Yet I know tonight fascists will be coming down on MOGAI peeps and PoCs, and get into fights with antifa.
And I shudder at the thought that it could have been even worse.
“Our country will be sold to the great capital, but at least we’ll be alive and free to see it and be against it” is what the streets tell me.
But the violence is still here.
The injustice is still here.
And during his whole time as our President, we will remind Macron that he’s not here because we want him to be there. He’s here because we want to destroy him and everything he represents. The corruption of our state. The influence of US ultraliberalism. The tyranny of the 1%. We’ll be there every second to tell him that he can take his wishy-washy socialism in name only and shove it right up his arse, because we’re better than this.
We will fight for what is right. We will stand united, as a people of many colours. For freedom, equality, and solidarity.
- a little life by hanya yanagihara (4/5): the saddest book i think i’ve ever read, so dark but also really beautiful and genuine. it’s about the friendship of 4 young men in new york. they lead very different lives but all care about one another. one of the guys is haunted by dark secrets.
- the bell jar by sylvia plath (4/5): a very real and affecting look into depression. takes place during the 1960s and chronicles the downward spiral of a young woman named esther greenwood. doesn’t glorify mental illness; discusses women’s issues that are still relevant to our times.
- dangerous by milo yiannopoulos (3.5/5): a series of social and political essays intermixed with personal anecdotes from the life of milo. it’s a funny book guys, i think everyone should familiarize themselves with it.
- aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe by benjamin alire saenz (5/5): the most sincere and heartfelt story of a hispanic teenager’s coming of age. its the first lgbt book i ever read and boy what a great introduction to the genre it was!
- a thousand splendid suns by khaled hosseini (4/5): takes place during the turn of the 20th to the 21st century. about the relationship of 2 women - mariam and leila - in kabul. this book is engaging, heartbreaking; read it guys, the rep is amazing!
- a clockwork orange by anthony burgess (5/5): a deeply disturbing book. written in the 1970s and intended to portray a future vision of england where the youth dominates the streets and violence is rampant. an exploration of the nature of humans. so great!!
Fuck the narrative that Trump and the cops will be putting out after tonight in Phoenix. They’re going to say the protesters started the violence, they’re going to say that the police in the streets stopped the violence. But they were the ones who threw tear gas, smoke bombs, flash grenades, and threatened all the protesters with pepper spray. There’s literally helicopters circling the area telling everyone that they will be pepper sprayed if they don’t leave.
There were tens of thousands of people on these streets tonight and chaos only started AFTER the cops started throwing gas into the crowds. Who gives a fuck if some dude threw a water bottle. They are in tactical gear and they have guns. A water bottle isn’t going to do shit to them. They could have confronted the guy, instead they threw tear gas into a MASSIVE crowd and caused danger once everyone started to scatter. These cowards didn’t stop any fucking violence, they didn’t keep the peace, all they did was endanger the people here.
As the weather gets warmer, and clothing becomes less layered, many women are reminded of an unpleasant side effect of spring sunshine: street harassment. Cat calls, car honks, states, jeers, even unwanted touching. All women have experienced this. I caught myself last week suggesting that “street harassment is something men just don’t have to consider when getting dressed in the morning,” but that’s incorrect.
Not all men have the privilege of not considering whether or not they will be harassed based on their clothing. LGBTQ+ men often have to consider what homophobic slurs may be yelled at them from across the street if they wear certain outfits that are don’t align with traditionally masculine clothing. They may also have to consider whether or not they will be bombarded with unwanted sexual comments from other men in the LGBTQ+ community. Trans and non binary men are especially vulnerable to street harassment and violence. Men of colour, especially black men, are subject to a long list of clothing based stereotypes that often lead to harassment, violence and even murdered for wearing the wrong hoodie. So a more accurate assertion would have been to say that “cis straight white men don’t have to consider street harassment when getting dressed in the morning” but if I did, the cis straight white men would say “why is feminism all about vilifying cis straight white dudes?” as if somehow, in their heads, having the privilege of not considering street harassment is worse than having men three times your age mutter under their breath what they want to do to your body, just loud enough that only you can hear.
In 1934 the Daily Mail called Oswald Mosley, founder of the British Union of Fascists, “the paramount political personality in Britain”. The BUF was then enjoying a wave of popular enthusiasm and its membership was up around 34,000. Blackshirts marched through British towns and cities, and new recruits were encouraged simply to fall in behind. There was high unemployment in Britain at the time, particularly in the north, and Mosley’s appeal was in part the promise to restore jobs. A charismatic megalomaniac of immense wealth, convinced he was born to rule, Mosley also attracted support from middle-class Tories. They shared his vaunted pride of race, love of country and his commitment to law, order, free speech and “English methods”.
Jews were not admitted to the BUF, but Mosley was not at this time a rabid antisemite. He said national pride had no need of the “delirium of race”. But he came to realise that a movement requires a scapegoat, and that Jews fitted the bill. He said as much to Lord Sieff of Marks and Spencer, in Sieff’s own home, and to his surprise was at once thrown out. Meanwhile BUF marches, meetings and street violence continued unabated, and it was Mosley’s hope that political disorder would eventually precipitate a crisis that would sweep him into power.
It had happened in Italy, and of course in Germany. Mosley had married into a family, the Mitfords, some of whom were on the warmest terms with senior Nazis in Hitler’s inner circle. The Führer was present at Mosley’s wedding to Diana Mitford in Berlin in 1936, as was the most pro-Nazi of the Mitford sisters, Unity.
It has been evident for some time that a violent element of the American far right identifies closely with the European fascism of the 1930s. These neo-Nazis repeat the slogans and ape the beliefs. They are extreme nationalists. They are antisemitic, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic and racist. Straight-arm salutes and swastikas are displayed with pride, and there’s a readiness among them to march, chant and fight in the streets, even to drive a vehicle at speed into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters.
The demagogue is indispensable to any fascist movement if its members are to be inspired and held firm to their commitment to take to the streets and spill blood. Fascism does not arise from rational sources. It does not require rational argument to sustain its followers. Fascists are deaf to reason. They sneer at reasonable argument. It is the role of the demagogue to arouse and direct their rage towards the scapegoat, most commonly the racial Other.
I feel like the basis of this album is that he’s the one getting shot at the beginning during the intro and the track titles are his emotions and feelings that you can’t take to heaven. I feel like blood and DNA are him being identified because he referenced street violence throughout the album. Then he talks about going to heaven and god and duckworth is the perfect closing to the album and symbolizes his life flashing before his eyes and going through each emotion he felt before dying. There is a gunshot during the closing moments and it rewinds the track and ends. This may be a reach but I feel like the backwards raps are Kendricks metaphorical life flashing before his eyes
Request:Anon: reader had been a nurse in the war and now they offer their healing services to gangsters so families aren’t losing their men to street violence but everyone knows the reader is neutral and Alfie is protective of them and pretty much in love with them.
“He’s coming in again today, isn’t he?”
You kept your eyes fixed on the book you were reading– in fact, it had been a gift from the very man your friend was referring to.
“I don’t know when Mr. Solomons is going to visit our centre until the moment he walks through the doors, Anne,” you hummed in response to your friend’s question.
Anne rolled her eyes before inching closer to you and closing your book. You looked up at her with a frown, “What?”
“Don’t give me that look! This place might be full of injured gangsters, but we both know a man like Alfred Solomons– a man of that sort of standing– wouldn’t think to come here even if he was just about ready to die. He’s too proud.”
You set the book down on the counter, “I don’t know what you’re implying, Anne.”
She scoffed, “Like hell you don’t. He must really like you if he comes all the way into this part of town just to see you, Y/N, because he’s definitely not coming in to get his wounds treated.”
“Everyone knows a good boss checks up on his workers,” you jumped slightly at the deep voice joining the conversation. You hadn’t even noticed the door open during your conversation and you felt instantly giddy at the sight of Alfie, “And seeing as you’re treating nearly half my men in here I thought I’d pay them a visit,” Alfie stopped and turned to look at you, “Though to be fair, I would use any old excuse to see Nurse Y/N over here,” he winked at you.
The heat rose in your cheeks in response while Alfie flashed you a quick grin. Anne only gave you a knowing look before excusing herself.
As soon as she was out of earshot, Alfie stepped towards you, “How’ve you been, love?”
Your heart quickened slightly at his words. “Since you saw me yesterday?” You raised an eyebrow in amusement when you realised he was genuinely asking, “I’ve been quite well thank you, Alfie.”
“Good, good. I’m glad,” he mumbled to himself, gently brushing away a strand of hair from your face. You couldn’t hide the grin that escaped your lips at his gesture. Your encounters with Alfie often went like this– he seemed to have a knack for sending your heart rate into a frenzy the moment you saw laid eyes on him. You had rather hoped that after all this time, you would’ve become used to Alfie being his usual self with you. But needless to say that even a lingering glance left your cheeks rising in heat.
You snapped out of your reverie, clearing your throat, “Shall I take you in to see the boys then?”
Alfie looked puzzled for a moment, “What? Oh– yeah, yeah let’s go,” he nodded, following you into the hallway, “Any casualties I need to know about?”
You shook your head, “Nothing too serious. There’s a hell of a lot more this week than usual though, Alfie. All your gangsters are good for is keeping us nurses busy with their never ending list injuries. Between your lot and Sabini’s men, this place is never quiet– they even fight with each other when they’re in here those… those ruddy idiots!”
Alfie chuckled at your choice of words, “Why d'you think I let my boys get into all them fights in the first place, love? Gives me a bit of peace and quiet too ‘round my bakery and all.”
“I doubt there’s ever a dull moment in your bakery, Alfie Solomons.” You chided playfully.
“Well you’d know for yourself if you ever let me show you round.”
“Tell your men to stop fighting with their fists and start talking to one another and maybe I’ll actually have the time.”
Alfie loved this. The back and forth between you two that seemed to flow effortlessly. And it was thanks to your indifference on the entire gangster situation. To you, treating these men was no different to treating soldiers during war. You had become a nurse to help people, and if the war had taught you anything, it was that groups of men not getting along very well often resulted in casualties.
At least, this was the explanation you had given to Alfie the very first day he visited the centre and asked what an innocent young woman such as yourself was doing treating criminals. He even asked if you were being forced into it, promising to take care of it if that were the case.
You had laughed it off, saying a job was a job. From that day on, Alfie had taken a keen interest you. The only woman– no, the only person he knew outside the bakery who didn’t look at him with either fear or disgust when they found out about his line of work. And for that, Alfie thought the world of you.
You had arrived in the infirmary– the ward that had most of Alfie’s men, at least, “I’ve tried to keep them separate from Sabini’s men this past week. Bit of extra paperwork, but Anne and I are sick of them trying to murder each other while they’re still bedridden.”
Alfie scoffed, “I can barely put up with my lot longer than a day before I lose it at someone. How the hell do you put up with all this lot?”
“Gives me an excuse to see you nearly every day, doesn’t it?” You said truthfully. Even as the close friend he had become, Alfie’s presence was oddly comforting when you were dealing with his men all day long.
“Have they been behaving themselves for you?” Alfie asked, as if he was reading your mind. You were stood at the entrance to the ward, no one had noticed you yet.
“I don’t think it’s in their nature to behave, Alfie,” you joked.
“Well you tell me which ones are give you trouble and I’ll sort them right out.”
“Duly noted,” you smiled as you gestured for Alfie to step into the ward. Some of the boys had noticed you and Alfie and began to get riled up.
“Boss is here boys!” One shouted out, “Looks like he’s brought his bird with him too,” he snickered as he winked at you.
You grimaced at the man while Alfie marched up and grabbed him by the collar, “Don’t you fu–,” Alfie stopped, giving you a sideways glance before continuing, “Don’t start with me boy, or you’ll be too dead to regret it,” he muttered threateningly.
You couldn’t count the amount of times the men had hurled all sorts of lewd comments your way but most of them knew to shut up when the boss walked in. Most.
“Right then,” Alfie looked around with a cold expression, “Anyone else got something to say to Nurse Y/N?… No? No one at all?,” Alfie looked around with mock concern before hardening his expression, “Good. Now keep it that way or I’ll make sure these injuries become permanent.”
You stayed quiet, Alfie’s visits to his men often ended with him lecturing them all about treating you better. Needless to say you were used to it by now, you even got a little kick out of watching the men’s faces turn pale after Alfie had stormed out of the room.
“Come on, love,” Alfie said quietly to you, gently pulling you out of the ward.
“You really don’t have to give that spiel every time you come in here, you know. I can handle myself.”
“Believe me, I know you can,” Alfie chuckled, “Actually, that um… that brings me to why I really came down to see you today.”
“Oh?” You raised an eyebrow.
“Yeah, yeah,” Alfie started, running his hand through his beard, “Seeing as you already know how to handle yourself round my men how’s about you come and work for me directly?”
“A-As what exactly?” You were surprised at yourself that that was your first question. Alfie Solomons was offering you a job and for some strange reason, that didn’t strike you as unexpected.
“As a nurse, what else?” Alfie shrugged as if it were obvious.
“Alfie, I already am a nurse for your men here– and all my equipment is here too, I couldn’t pick it up and move it because it doesn’t exactly belong to me. Besides, I doubt your factory would have space for a makeshift infirmary anyway.”
“Makeshift? No love, I’d have it all built nice and proper for you– if you said yes, of course.”
To be fair, your own space to work did sound rather appealing, but you still couldn’t envision leaving this place. “What of all my equipment? Technically it all belongs to Mr. Briggs, he owns the building.”
Alfie thought about if for a moment, “I’ll have my men speak to this Mr. Briggs about letting you take it. Or I’ll buy the building and have anything you need transferred to my warehouse– Or you can give me a list and I’ll have all your equipment bought brand new. Choice is yours,” Alfie said, mulling over those three options himself.
You were slightly taken aback by Alfie’s generosity. You knew he was in a position to afford it, but to be prepared to spend all that money on you was quite the compliment.
“Maybe we ought to see what Mr. Briggs says first, he might me willing to part with some of the equipment. Besides, I really wouldn’t want you spending all that money on me.”
Alfie smiled, “You know I could afford to buy this building and have a new facility built for you in the warehouse. Speaking of money, how much is this Briggs paying you?”
“Ah– enough to get me by each week, I suppose.”
“Well whatever he pays you, I’ll double it– no, triple. And you live alone?”
You nodded, “My flat’s just down the road.”
Alfie hummed, “Right, well I can’t have you making the trek all the way over to me everyday by yourself–”
“I’m sure I could manage, trust me,” you said, slightly defensively.
Alfie chuckled, “I’d trust you with my life, Y/N. But being the beautiful young lady you are, it’s the men out there I don’t trust,” he said gesturing to the street, “I have an empty house not far from bakery, you can live in that if you want, and–”
Your eyes widened slightly, “My own house?” Saying it out loud made you realise it wouldn’t work, “Thank you Alfie, but I really don’t think I can afford an entire home–”
“You’ll find that I’m a very generous landlord, Y/N. As long as you’re working for me, the house is yours free of charge.”
“Alfie this is all far too kind…” A new home, a tripled salary and your own facility?
“Kind? No, love, you’d be doing me a favour. I won’t have to come all the way out here to see you everyday– in fact, you can start visiting me in my office,” he grinned at the thought.
You smiled at that, “I’m being serious Alfie…”
“Honest darlin’, I need a nurse on site and you’re the perfect person for the job. Nothing kind about that, just business,” He said nonchalantly, though secretly he loved that this was all making you smile so much, “What d'you think? You’ll come and work for me?”
You didn’t even need to consider it a moment longer before nodding excitedly, “It would be my pleasure, Alfie,” without thinking you engulfed him in a hug, “Thank you.”
Alfie was slightly surprised by your gesture before you felt his chuckle reverberating through his chest as he wrapped his arms around you, “No need to thank me, Y/N. You know I’d do anything for you,” he said quietly, placing a quick kiss on your forehead.
You couldn’t help but think that being so close to Alfie each day might actually mean the friendship between you might blossom into something more now. You smiled at the thought. And although he gave nothing away on his expression, Alfie was thinking exactly the same thing.