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what I see.

Week eighteen in ephemera

Cloudspotting

As a card-carrying (or maybe a wannabe card-carrying) member of the cloudspotter’s club, I was excited by this recent rumpus. Keep watching that sky! Where I live, we’ve been getting more sunshine over the past few days and while I love clear blue skies, I really love nothing more than to lie on the grass in a park or by the water and just watch those clouds roll on by, casting shadows and making me dream of cotton candy, bed, waves, whatever.

Meritocracy

You’ve heard of the meritocracy? Critics of affirmative action legislation and policies love to throw the meritocracy around and it’s pretty annoying. Yes, affirmative action can often be a one-dimensional solution to lack of diversity, opportunity, and equity, when it ignores intersectionality and cultural infrastructure; it doesn’t really dismantle the problematic relations of power we live with. Yet, the meritocracy fails us. The guy who coined ‘meritocracy’ was pretty annoyed by neoliberal goofballs in power throwing that concept about. Excellent reminder that satire serves a specific purpose and we need to consider our sources.

Leave Me Alone: I’m eating and reading

Fran Lebovitz knows where it’s at when answering the NYT’s ‘by the book’ column, especially when talking about fictional dinner parties with authors living or dead.

GET OUT

I went to see Get Out in the theatre with a friend and even without captioning it packed serious power. Go see it, if you haven’t. Squirm in your seat if you’re a white viewer, and have a think about all those little microaggressions you recognize acting out. Read more here.

Comics, Again

Rob Delaney totally loves Phoebe Gloeckner’s A Child’s Life. Have you read Gloeckner’s work? It’s intense and dark and *so* beautifully written/drawn. Gloeckner’s Diary of a Teenage Girl is better known (movie, etc.). Also, I appreciate the way Delaney talks about depression and reading.

I Have Something To Tell You

PAY ATTENTION. This has been short and not that sweet but it’s something. Just going to hold onto that: it’s something. Thanks for reading.

 

Week five in ephemera.

I’m not done with public libraries yet, and I have no shame. This beauty is a slice of the of struggles to desegregate US “public” libraries. From a New Jersey public library treasurer, in 1945: “Wednesdays’ short hours were enough for the children, Trumaine said, because “we don’t believe in social equality for Negroes. We don’t want our white children associating with them on the same level. The Negroes are a different race. They should be proud of it but keep to themselves.””

Storytime Underground is a rad collective of youth librarians challenging the idea that libraries have ever been neutral, and the power and responsibilities of librarians, whether they recognize it or not.

I don’t have Pokemon Go on my phone, but I find the phenomenon fascinating; this brief piece captures the game’s positive potential. A friend gave me a brief orientation on her phone today and I’ll admit it was pretty adorable and has a strong draw.

A brief history of BC’s Great Coal Strike and how racism and racial exclusion hurt labour movements.

The trends in unionizing digital media workplaces:

We are, on some level, at ease with precarity. Not just the hoverboard-riding, “trim 20-somethings” we stereotypically associate with today’s newsrooms, but all of us. It’s critical to remember, however, that job security has a relative value. Older workers, people of color, women, and those from low-income backgrounds tend to need it more. For them, the traditional gains of collective bargaining—protection from firing and discrimination, pay increases, and health insurance—remain essential.

I’m so stoked about this, and I hope you are too: Roxane Gay and Yona Harvey are writing Marvel Comics’ World of Wakanda! You gotta check this out (later this year). And in the meantime, look for Monstress.

I really enjoy the transcripts of the NPR podcast, Planet Money. Which means, frankly, I just really enjoy NPR and Planet Money because it is good stuff which I know because they provide free transcripts of their programming right where they post the audio programming. This is kind of a “duh” in my book, but my experience and enjoyment of podcasts and radio programming is hella limited because the minds of hearing programmers and producers and media conglomerates can be hella limited. ANYWAY, Planet Money talked this week about when women stopped coding. Do not fret, my hearing friends, you can listen to the podcast at the very top of the transcript. Imagine!

I do go on, don’t I? No need to answer that. I have more to share, so please check back next week, pals! And thanks for reading this far, you’re some fuzzy in-season peaches.