this american life live

SUNDAY: Indigenous women poets, writers, and musicians explore the power of language, story, and song in today’s fight for environmental and cultural justice. With a focus on the Standing Rock Resistance, Words for Water is a call to action and awareness around protection of sacred sites, cultures and languages, and our water, air, and earth. Featuring Natalie Diaz, Jennifer Foerster, Joy Harjo, Toni Jensen, Layli Long Solider, Deborah Miranda, and Laura Ortman and contributions by Heid E. Erdrich and Louise Erdrich. Tickets at whitney.org. Can’t make it? We’ll be streaming the event live on our Facebook page.

[Photograph of Standing Rock by Natalie Diaz]

i love this whole obsession with Eugene from buzzfeed thats going on now. like “omg i have the biggest crush on Eugene,” “Eugene is so hot,” “I wish i could find a guy like Eugene.” Because honestly, when was the last time you remember hearing about large amounts of people being obsessed with an asian guy? Like i love it. It feels so empowering that someone asian is considered extremely attractive in a society of euro-centric/white beauty standards. And whats great is people aren’t obsessing over him because he’s asian, they’re obsessing over him because he’s just fucking attractive. You go Eugene. Keep having girls, guys, both, just people in general obsess over you. I’m proud.

Moonlight and Racism

So, I decided to read some comments on different articles for Moonlight, which I instantly regretted because people are shitty. 

But there were comments that caught my attention. There were lot of people (who identified as gay, or black or POC, or whatever) who simply couldn’t understand, or relate to the story at all, and believed that it detracted from the overall film. 

But, that’s kind of the point of Moonlight. 

One of the things I loved about Moonlight was how it handled race as well as sexuality. If you’ve seen it, you know it has an all black cast. So, there isn’t a white (or nonblack) character around for audiences to project onto. And because all of these people are of the same race and live in the same conditions, they don’t need to translate any part of their experience for one another. The characters are black people living in an impoverished neighborhood in the American south (Miami Florida). Drugs are a natural part of the environment, and for many people it’s the only way they can make a living, because business in America don’t want to invest or place high end jobs in black neighborhoods. The people use AAVE without stopping to translate it for anyone. There are after school activities for kids to go to so they don’t get into trouble. Many kids spend time at home while their parents are away working. Hell, I remember taking a bubble bath with dish detergent.   There is the rough language that black boys constantly use (even when they’re with their friends) to make themselves to seem bigger, tougher and stronger. There is a run down feel to everyone in this movie (from Juan to Chiron to Teresa) and this comes from over work, constantly worrying about dangers in your neighborhood, and looking over your shoulder for cops or gangsters. The same run down feeling is shown in the setting as well. It’s obvious this town is in a constant state of construction (take the old house Lil’ hid in at the beginning of the film).  

And then add this with the main character’s sexuality, and how he (and the movie) navigate that. Despite Chiron’s sexuality, his experiences are strictly structured through an African-American lens. He doesn’t stop being black just because he’s learning about his sexuality. He doesn’t stop using AAVE just because he’s attracted to a man. He doesn’t stop going through the world as a black man, conditioned to be hyper masculine in a poor town just because he falls in love with Kevin. This film makes no apologies for its blackness. And the racism it deals with? It’s subtle and systematic.. 

When people think of racism in the movie, they think of something that’s easily recognizable (think slave movies, white people with whips, or segregation signs). But what’s interesting about Moonlight is that the racism these people deal with (the town that’s in constant construction, the drugs on the streets,) are all real aspects of systematic racism that black people have to live under. It’s not an easily identifiable constant that can be punched out, or reasoned with. It’s in the fabric of Black American life, and most people miss it unless you’ve lived under it.  And let’s be real, many white people (white gays included) wouldn’t pick up on it. 

And it’s so funny that people in the black community believe that once you come out as gay, suddenly you’re no longer black. It’s like…no. Our skin color’s still the same. We still lived under the same racial conditions that ya’ll lived under. We still dealt with the same white washed history, and have the same distrust of the American legal system. And with white gays, a lot of them expect us to stop being Black when we come out. We’re supposed to somehow shun our Black heritage (or at least downplay it) when we enter LGBT spaces. We’re not supposed to talk about race in the LGBT community because “We’re all gay!!!! Race doesn’t matter!!!!!!” Or we’re not supposed to question why so many white gays have no problem saying “I’m not into black guys.” And when we do interrogate them further on it, all they can say is “It’s just a preference” and expect that to be the end of it.

So yeah. This movie is beautifully authentic, and I love it for that reason. 

There’s more grim news about inequality in America.

New research documents significant disparities in the life spans of Americans depending on where they live. And those gaps appear to be widening, according to the research.

“It’s dramatic,” says Christopher Murray, who heads the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. He helped conduct the analysis, published Tuesday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Health experts have long known that Americans living in different parts of the country tend to have different life spans. But Murray’s team decided to take a closer look, analyzing records from every U.S. county between 1980 and 2014.

Life Expectancy Can Vary By 20 Years Depending On Where You Live

GIF: vizhub.healthdata.org/subnational/usa

“So what are you?”

The question which plagued my childhood in suburban Kansas; the ponderance of which led me towards years of agonizing identity searching; the answer to which I still hesitate to deliver.

“So what are you?”

It is an innocent question; one I know I am not alone in hearing the echoes of. But what do I say? “I’m mixed” is the short answer, but it always leads to the question of “With what” so do I say “My mom is white and my dad is brown” but brown isn’t usually specific enough so do I say “my mom is white and my dad’s Pakistani” but that doesn’t flow right because white is a race and Pakistani is a nationality so do I say “my mom’s American and my dad’s Pakistani” but that isn’t true because my dad was born in Canada and he’s lived here his whole life and American sure as hell doesn’t mean white I mean my dad IS American so do I say “My mom’s a white American and my Dad’s Pakistani American” but that just sounds like I’m trying too hard so that’s out of the question and so do I just drop it and leave it at “none of your business” but that’s rude and it’s really such a simple question so what in the hell do I freaking say?

“So what are you?”

It’s a good question, really… why don’t you tell me? I am the alienation that I feel when my mom’s family talks about how dangerous those Muslim immigrants are over dinner and I am the strange sinking feeling in my stomach which occurs when my cousins tell me that whatever I’ve just done is haraam. I am the frustration which clouds me when people around me doubt that I am what the hell I say I am. I am the product of the millisecond long stares of confusion people give me when I tell them the pale as china blonde lady I’m with is my mother and the looks of disgust I get when I, the young, doll eyed light skinned girl, go out to dinner late at night with a big burly middle aged brown man, aka my father. I am the three and a half years it took me to decide what to call the pigmentation of my skin.

I am the sadness which clouds me when one of my Aunties asserts how lucky I am to be so fair skinned. I am the anger I feel each and every time I think about the people who called my full and plump Desi lips fat as a kid and now use copious amounts of lip liner to accentuate their tiny mouths on Snapchat. I am the hours of hoping and praying during and after shootings that it wasn’t a Muslim. I am the incredible lengths I go to, the precise and complex knowledge I feel I must have of my roots in order to truly claim my heritage. I am neither and I am both and I hate it.

“So what are you?”

I can’t stand here and tell you that it is all bad. That would be I lie, for I am also the cool, smooth feeling of the bronze crucifix which sits on one side of my bedroom wall and the sentiment of the words “Allah most merciful” written in beautiful Arabic script on the other. I am my large French hazel eyes and my thick and wavy South Asian hair, my favorite of my features.

I am the pride I feel as I trace my thumb over the intricate embroidery on one of my anarkalis and the anticipation I feel for Christmas as I help line my grandmother’s fireplace with garland. I am the rhythmic clanking of my bangles as I dance to bhangra music at a cousin’s wedding and the clicking of tongues by a sizzling grill as my grandpa flips our burgers during a Sunday night barbeque. I am the flavorful and savory taste of pulao my father makes and the creamy texture of mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving. I am the Maybelline mascara I coat my eyelashes with and the kajal I used to line the edges of my eyes. I am the flavorant meeting of two cultures melting in an incredible country in which such a thing is even possible.

“So what are you?”

God, but what am I thinking? I’m Jackie. I am the impending messiness that is my bedroom. I am my inability to fall the hell asleep before eleven o’clock at night. I am my love for all things fashion and glamour. I am my obnoxiously large collection of makeup. I am my hideous shedding of tears each and every time Spock dies in the Wrath of Khan.

I am my intense love for horror movies and my struggle to move in the dark for two days after watching them. I am my passion for music and Michael J. Fox and Kanye West and my unrequited love for Zayn Malik. I am my collection of records and of 32 scarves which I never wear, my brown riding boots, my belting of Christmas carols in the middle of July, my irrational hatred of algebra, my inability to sleep without my phone being on its charger, the Toll House cookie dough I eat straight from the bag and the four Beatles posters I have hanging in my room.

I am the scent of Aussie conditioner and my clumsy, spacy nature; my obsession with the Kennedys, my adamant love for Diet Dr Pepper, losing myself in my daydreams, my extreme extroversion and procrastination of literally everything, my weakness for Reese’s peanut butter cups, my A to Z knowledge about Mick Jagger, my ever changing mind. I am my dreams and I am my fears and and I am my tenacity and I am my mistakes and my courage and my insecurities and my abilities and my hope … I am so much and yet I am so little. I am me. I am unapologetically and beautifully me.

“So what are you?”

I am Jacqueline Renee and I am what I am and no answer that I give you to this question will make what I am any different.

anonymous asked:

So, I'm American & fairly new to the Skam fandom and unfamiliar with Norwegian anything, so I was just wondering about something. On the show they play songs in English and the characters, most notably Noora, sing American songs in English, so does this mean they also speak English and understand it? Like if I went to Norway and ran into one of them and spoke to them would they understand what I'm saying? Is it common for Norwegians to also speak English?

I have to admit me (French) and my Swedish friend had a good laugh over your ask.

I’ll answer it seriously instead of the million of ways I could sass you in the hopes it’ll help other people realise how USA-centric (and sometimes “just” English-as-a-first-language-centric) they can be.

English has been one of the most prominent world language for a while now.
It is taught in schools, as a second language, in most countries that do not have it as a first language. It is often required for someone to know English if they want to hold any job in their native country (from being a waiter to practising medicine). When two people from different countries that do not have English as a first language want to communicate, they will often do so in English: since most people speak it already.

The USA is an economic power that influences the entire world. From its politics to its pop culture, the country dominates. People in Europe often consume more media coming from the USA (and the UK) than from their own country (this is from my personal observations). We are used to hearing English.
The internet is mainly in English too, for the reasons I listed above: it’s easier for people of different nationalities to talk to each other in English. You also have more online dictionaries that translate your native tongue to English than to other languages.
When Isak googles his questions about being gay, it is in English. Because if he were to google them in Norwegian, he would get much less results. It’s as simple as that.

Everywhere you go (apart from rural areas) you’re sure to find people who will speak English. We’re knee-deep in the English language and have been since we were born.

The fact that this is news to you is a baffling show of how USA-centric Americans can be.
How were you able to live your life without realising how much your language and country influences the rest of the world?
It almost seems like other countries seem to exist more to us than to you.
Because, since we were little, we were taught that we needed to speak other languages to be understood outside of our borders. We were taught about the English and American culture in text books and in our movies and novels. (I remember making an independent bookseller in France sweat when I asked him if he knew of any funny novel not written originally in English) We watch Disney Channel shows and are supposed to understand the intricacies of the American school system and what cheerleaders even are.

So yes, people in Norway (like mostly everywhere else) speak English.
They understand English. They listen to songs in English.
English slips into their everyday language and they’ll say things like “Jesus Christ!” with an American pronunciation because they heard it so much in American movies. Things like “I read it last week” just because the phrase comes to them this way. Things like “I know what you’re playing” because, again, it comes this way naturally and maybe they heard it on a TV show and it stuck and they know the reference will be shared (or that, at least, the English will be understood).
They’ll post on Instagram in English because they’ll want their text to be understood worldwide.

See, French is my first language, and yet I wrote all of this in English without the help of a dictionary. Most of the Europeans in the SKAM fandom communicate with each other in English on the daily.

I hope this answers your question. And I hope Americans start looking outside of their borders without needing to be prompted every single time.

An Anhanguera Pterosaur (pterodactyl) skeleton at the North American Museum of Ancient Life.  The Anhanguera lived during the Upper Cretaceous period and had a wing span of up to 15 feet.  It’s fossils have primarily been found in the Santana Formation of Brazil.

Be sure to follow the Fossil Porn Tumblr blog for more amazing fossil photos and news stories.

The “socialism” of Bernie Sanders is no different than the social democracy and labor parties of Europe. It represents an attempt to save capitalism from itself in the imperialist core. It represents an attempt to save capitalism by insulating the populations of the First World from the worst excesses of capitalism. Bernie Sanders speaks to income inequality within the United States, but only in the United States. He says nothing to challenge the imperialist system that has created the American way of life. Bernie Sanders wants to “restore the American middle class,” to increase the American standard of living, a way of life bought at the expense of the exploited peoples of the Third World. His “socialism” is that of the pirate captain who advocates an equal distribution of treasure to his crew even though the treasure is stolen from others. Like both the social democrats and fascists of Europe, Bernie Sanders is concerned with the problems of his imperialist constituency. He is concerned only with the problems of Americans. He wants to make Americans richer even though the current standard of living in the United States is only made possible by imperialism. His “socialism” is one that only looks at the world through nationalist lenses. As it happens, Bernie Sanders is better on some issues than other American politicians. For example, he supported the Sandinista government when Reagan was terrorizing the Nicaraguan population. And he is better on migration than Donald Trump, who has fanned the flames of racism and even pledged to build a wall on the southern border to keep out Latinos. Even so, Bernie Sanders is an imperialist. Like virtually all American politicians, Bernie Sanders supports Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Bernie Sanders supported the war against Afghanistan and he continues to support the occupation of Afghanistan by the United States. Bernie Sanders supported the war against Yugoslavia. Bernie Sanders has said that Saudi Arabia should send troops into Syria. His is a “socialism” that supports war if it benefits Americans. He supports war on those he perceives to threaten the global order of Empire.
—  “Don’t be fooled! Bernie Sanders is not a socialist”

There’s something about Sense8 that you will only notice if you are actually familiar with all/most of the original languages that should be used and that’s the way the narrative is written is completely based in the original language. I have seen a couple of post about how Lito or Sun’s dialogues were weird or too artificial and that’s because it’s a direct translation of their natural speech. 

It’s probably less strong in Lito because he lives in a world of Soap Operas, he lives and breath dramatic characters so his character is overdramatic and fake (something he totally owns and accepts) but when you listen to Sun, especially pre-jail Sun, you can see that her English is a direct translation of her Korean. The way the sentences are constructed, the emphasis and tone… she is not a Korean woman living an American life, she is a Korean woman living a Korean life in Seoul with the not-so-uncommon problems in the Korean chaebol sector. If you know a lil bit of Korean you are able to translate every single one of her sentences to Korean and they look authentic, the same way Lito’s sentences half the time would work way better in Spanish that they do in English. 

(Edit: several rebloggers have confirmed that, indeed, Wolfgang also talks a translated German, which only confirms the theory. All of this also explains the fact that every single actor comes with their original accent, they don’t try to mimic American/British accent but they have kept the accent they would have if they were talking in their original language and we were only listening to their English because we are connected with the Sensates. Sense8 tries to turn the viewer into another Sensate, in some sort of Jonas.  I would very much appreciate if someone can shed some light about the Swahili and the Hindi, though)

(Edit2: Thanks to r-ed​ we have confirmation that Kala’s English is also a translation from the original Hindi. As it happens with Korean, and probably Swahili too, these languages’ structure are pretty different from English, while German and Spanish have more similarities structure-wise) so the translation has been enriched to be understandable, but the basis of the Hindi language as well the accent has been respected. As I commented on an earlier post, the writers have understood that language/accent is part of the characters, but adapting their language to English they would have erased this side of them that is as important as their cultural inheritance, so it’s important that they only translated the language into a more understandable language, considering they interact with each other in a mental wave length, making it possible for each one to understand the other without the need to use the same physical language). 

Michael, Lana and Andy  have done an amazing research work and even though I’d be forever happy to see them talk more in their own languages I am so satisfied with the way the have handled the language issue. 

In North Dakota, #water has become the symbol of #whiteprivilege which is also reflection of how much water is taken for granted. No one should ever be forced to accept a pipeline that threatens other people’s water supplies.

But the environmental racism that exist in North Dakota may not end there. It’s only the start of it in other places of the US.