the last road north

into the fire... and right back out again, are you kidding me? yikes

friends, it’s time (at last) for another episode of Storytime with Deacon.

credit to @deichqueen​, @shellbacker​, and @frenziedgem1 for putting up with me at all the elements of this that came up in chat earlier. you the real MVPs. :fingerguns:

(I’ll update this in The Deaconomicon later)

Once upon a time, there was a particularly handsome mercenary who’d had enough of life on the road and wanted to settle down, preferably somewhere warm.

Obviously the climate on the north-eastern coast of post-apocalyptia didn’t have that many options vis-a-vis tropical retirement homes, but the mercenary was pretty damn smart too and had already come up with a plan. So he took to the road for one last time, walking himself up to the north-east of the north-east of said apocalyptia to a charming and (crucially) well-heated locale known as the Saugus Ironworks.

Keep reading

northern california gothic

driving along highway one is more dangerous than one would think it would be. not only are there sharp twists and turns on the edge of the pacific, but the coastal cliffs and bluffs are steadily falling into the sea. the news has stopped covering the stories of the family vans and construction trucks that were last seen cruising along that patch of road.

you’re driving north on i-5 and all you see are fields. dry fields. rice fields. strawberry fields with faceless workers in the bright sun. apple orchards in uncomfortable patterns. corn fields as far as the eye can see. are you sure you’re not in the midwest?

the people from the hills up north are isolated. women drag their screaming children through walgreens, smacking their bubblegum in their painted red mouths. men sit on diner stools drinking coffee and smoking their sixth cigarette before 9 am. there is a meth house five minutes out of town that no one acknowledges. are you sure you’re not in appalachia?

you lay in bed and hear a train whistle in the dead of night. you moved across town to get away from the railroad. the horn rattles your windows and knocks your water bottle off of the table. whats going on?

the delta is strong. every summer there are reports of the bodies of drunk college students washing up on a river bank four miles from campus. children are warned not to swim too far out, the undertow will pull them in. the mosquitos and leeches depend on the flesh of sunburnt, self-proclaimed “river rats” to live. speaking of rats, don’t look behind you. they like to swim.

MUST Read & Yep!: Indigenous Rapper Frank Waln Thinks Americans Should Know Their History

By Rawiya Kameir via thefader

(Photo credit: Matika Wilbur)

“My story is shaped by the reality of colonization and genocide.”

Sicangu Lakota hip-hop artist Frank Waln was born and raised on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, where his experiences growing up would eventually inform his work. As both a rapper and an activist, Frank campaigns on issues including indigenous visibility, climate change, and environmental racism. Last year, he joined the cast of MTV’s Rebel Music: Native America, one segment of a recurring program highlighting the stories of artists who wield the power of their work for a greater good.

When The FADER called Frank last week, he was parked on the side of the road in North Dakota, on his way to the White Earth Indian Reservation in Minnesota, where he was due to perform at a banquet for people recovering from alcohol addiction and substance abuse. You can catch him on Rebel Music, whose second season is back on the air this month.

How did you got into music?

I produce, write, record, and mix all my music. I have a degree as an audio engineer that I recently finished in 2014 at Columbia College in Chicago. I’ve been doing music professionally for the past six years, recording and doing shows and workshops. Before that, I was pre-med. I thought I wanted to be a doctor, but then I decided to follow my passion. Since I graduated in May, a lot of different, awesome opportunities have come up for me to follow music for a career.

Why did you decide to abandon medicine? 

I studied it for two years, and after three years, I hit a rock bottom in general. I was at my lowest point for a lot of reasons. There was stuff going on in my personal life, and I got to my lowest point. And I was just like “Okay, I’m going to do what makes me happy, screw what anyone says.” It took me getting to that rock bottom to decide to do what makes me happy and to follow my passion.

How do you incorporate your activism into your work?

I do it by writing songs about my life and my lived experience. Whether I want to accept it or not, my story is shaped by the reality of colonization and genocide, of that history and that story. So I just make music about my life.
What have the reactions been like since you appeared on Rebel Music? It’s been a mixed bag. It’s either people really love me or they really hate me. If i’m pissing off ignorant people, shaking their reality and what think they know about native people, which is often not a lot, then I must be doing something right. It’s always either extreme love or extreme hate.

There’s not much balance in that. 

The balance for me is that the people who love me and the people who know me and my home community, they feel like I’m doing something right. The extreme hate and extreme love, it’s a distraction to me. Everything that matters is the music and the message. If the people who have chosen me to represent them tell me I’ve done something wrong, I’ll listen.
What has your community’s feedback been like? It’s been for the most part positive. In my lifetime, it’s the first time—well, no, it’s one of the few times I’ve seen young indigenous people and this reality of our lives portrayed in a real way. It doesn’t really fit the stereotypical image; it doesn’t look like a dead people of the past. This country is the result of genocide and this is our story. This is colonized land and every one here is a settler, so they should know our history and their own history. But [my community] treats me with love and admiration. Everyone says that they’re so proud of me, so I’m staying connected. I’m trying to give this country the spiritual spanking it deserves.

As you said, we’re all settlers. But some people, like African-Americans for instance, did not choose to come here. What kind of relationships do you want to see between indigenous and black communities? 

I’m figuring that out myself and I’m learning. In South Dakota, it’s only white people and Indians. But living in Chicago, I’ve had to interact with the black community. In my family, there are black Indians, and I’ve learned a lot from my relatives who are black Indians. I kind of see that relationship as one where we should show solidarity and expect nothing in return. As native people, we shouldn’t get caught up in the oppression Olympics, of wondering why black people get this or they don’t get that. I think it’s possible to support each other. We came out of genocide and black people came out of slavery and genocide in some cases. So really our liberations are connected. I’m listening and learning and providing whatever support the community asks of me.

What do you hope to accomplish with your work?

I just want to see a day when me and my family and everyone I love and all indigenous people are happy and healthy, and respected and loved. And also that we realize for ourselves that we deserve that. It took me a while to realize that. Me, I was born on one of the poorest reservations in the country and so I have all this colonial baggage. I only recently started working through that, and music is part of how I do that. I do want to see that day.

Fashion designer accused of having endangered species' body parts at west London boutique

A fashion designer to the stars including Jay Z, Rihanna, and Katy Perry is accused of having the bill of a rare sawfish in a stash of endangered species at his west London boutique, a court heard.

Sasko Bezovski, 48, allegedly had specimens of five banned species, including the shells of a spur-thighed tortoise and a green turtle, when officers from the Met’s Wildlife Crime Unit raided his Koton to Zai store in Golborne Road, North Kensington last July.

Bezovski, with his partner and fellow designer Marjan Pejoski, run edgy fashion label KTZ, and boast celebrity fans including Rita Ora, Whoopi Goldberg, rapper Kanye West, and British singer FKA Twigs.

It is claimed police found part of a Sundra or False Gharial, from the crocodile family, which is native to Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra, and Java, at the Kensington store on July 15 last year.

Officers say they also recovered the bill, or rostrum, of a knifetooth sawfish, shells from a green turtle and a spur thighed tortoise, and part of a North Sulawesi Babirusa, a pig-like animal found on islands near to Indonesia.

Bezovski is due at Hammersmith magistrates court tomorrow to face an allegation that he broke strict rules governing the trade of endangered species.

He and his partner, Mr Pejoski, launched the Koton to Zai brand, meaning “east meets west” in Japanese, in 1996 with its first store opening in Greek Street, Soho, stocking items from designers including Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen.

They established their own KTZ label in 2003, promising “ready-to-wear clothing with couture detailing known for its raw energy and contemporary urban edge”, and branched out with a store in Paris and the Golbourne Road branch which opened during London Fashion Week in 2008.

Among the celebrity fans is rap superstar Jay Z, who donned a KTZ hoodie while at the Made in America music festival with wife Beyonce in 2012, while Rihanna was seen wearing trousers and a tanktop designed by the label at a basketball game in 2013.

Bezovski and his partner - who made his name with the iconic swan dress worn by Bjork to the 2001 Oscars – also helped launched the career of designer Riccardo Tisci by exhibiting his range at Koton to Zai before he was appointed as creative director of fashion label Givenchy.

Bezovski was due in court last week, but the hearing had to be abandoned because he was on a flight from Los Angeles to London and would not arrive in time.

Prosecutor Carly Loftus said it was “frustrating” delay as Bezovski had been told to be at court at 10am, but agreed the case could be put back until the following week.

Bezovski, of Little Venice, has not yet entered a plea to the charge of purchasing, offering to purchase, sell, or keep a specimen of species on a prohibited list.