Thursday Link Dump

Clever Manka, · Categories: Thursday Link Dump

It’s a small dump today because this week has been terrible.

Depression vs. Demoralization

The real task is somehow to treat a sick culture rather than its sick individuals. Erich Fromm sums up this challenge: ‘We can’t make people sane by making them adjust to this society. We need a society that is adjusted to the needs of people.’ Fromm’s solution included a Supreme Cultural Council that would serve as a cultural overseer and advise governments on corrective and preventive action. But that sort of solution is still a long way off, as is a science of culture change. Democracy in its present guise is a guardian of cultural insanity.

When relationships are worth fighting for and when they’re not. Related, this brilliant potato metaphor for emotional labor.

I think I’ve mentioned Ofra Haza in a Dump before (or perhaps it was just in a music rec thread on an OT somewhere). Medium recently ran a short piece on her that analyses her international hit “Im Nin’Alu.” Her 1984 album Yemenite Songs is still available for purchase (and I highly recommend it). Here’s her recording of “Im Nin’Alu” in the original form.

Women, Middle-Age, and Discernment

Ask a person in this stage of life, what is meaningful to them, and it might be an interesting experience to observe their reactions as they try to figure out what YOU mean, then try to figure out their answer. Ask a woman in the discernment phase, what is meaningful to her, and odds are good you may be the first person to have ever invited her to consider such esotericism. “My marriage, my kids.” Maybe, “My work.” Okay, so if we take away the ROLES of “Mom, Wife, Employee”, what’s left? Who is the person at the core of those roles, and what is meaningful to her? Marriages change into parallel lives rather than twined intimacy, kids grow up and (hopefully) move out, jobs may be less than satisfying. What, then, is left as our meaning in all of the space leftover?

Sometimes the science behind theories of multiverses is beyond me, but my desire to escape to a different one remains pretty constant.

Not all heroes wear capes, but they do carry menstrual supplies.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library improves research methodology by collaboratively making biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community. BHL also serves as the foundational literature component of the Encyclopedia of Life which offers access to knowledge about life on Earth.

In case you missed it on OT a couple weeks ago, and you’re interested in learning to embroider (like me), jenavira posted link to this list of video tutorials.

And finally, y’all, I love Queen but I’ve never enjoyed “Bohemian Rhapsody” to the ecstatic levels seemingly shared by almost everyone else (everyone who likes Queen, anyway). But this legit brought tears to my eyes.

31 Responses to “Thursday Link Dump”

  1. Räven says:

    Ofra Haza! She sang the beautiful song at the end of "La Reine Margot"

    I tracked down her recordings back when that meant going to actual cd stores and talking the clerks into placing an order. 😉

  2. Alluvial_Fan says:

    Small but mighty link dump; esp loved the discernment phase article.

  3. Rillquiet says:

    People's interest in WTNV and the Mountain Goats varies, but I cannot recommend the new I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats podcast enough. Each episode focuses on a single song and features conversations between John Darnielle and Joseph Fink about how the song was written and what it means, digressions into topics that can include musicology, theology, and addict life, and a cover of the song by another artist, who's usually interviewed at least briefly. The most recent episode includes an aching Ibibio Sound Machine cover of "Color in Your Cheeks" and an unsentimental call to kindness. If you're allergic to easy comfort but need some optimism, check it out.

    • Absotively says:


      I own a Mountain Goats album on vinyl, but mostly only because they opened for The New Pornographers the one time I saw them. I listened to it a couple times, but I didn't enjoy it as much as their set. Also I was annoyed by having to figure it out – it's a 12" 45rpm record, which is weird, and so far as I recall there wasn't any kind of label or anything to notify the user that it's non-standard.

      Back on topic: probably I should give them another chance. I will keep this podcast in mind!

      (Actual result of writing this comment, though, is that I'm listening to The New Pornographers at work. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

      • Rillquiet says:

        I have to be in the mood for TMG, generally, and Darnielle's not the world's greatest singer. (Shh, nobody tell Nicole Cliffe.) But lines like "There will be feasting and dancing in Jerusalem next year; I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me" pack the right amount of punch sometimes. And the podcast is excellent at positioning the songs as the starting point for broader discussions of art, fandom, and what we value.

        • jenavira says:

          Same; I like TMG but they're not a favorite – except for "This Year," which has been applicable to virtually every year of my life since I first heard it. Good lyrics make up for a lot.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            I need to listen to them, there's a Hannibal fanfic writer who uses lines from their songs as fic/chapter titles and they always fit beautifully.

      • Xolandra says:

        BAH! A pox on 45rpm 12"! (although it allows for better recording and production, it still makes me harrumph)

        • Absotively says:

          I mean, if they'd just put "45 rpm" in large text on the label, then I'd only be mildly annoyed. Or even in small text. Or on the sleeve.

          • Xolandra says:


            A pox, also, on poorly labeled records. CF the Gogos, where the track listings on the sleeves IN NO WAY match what is pressed onto the album.

  4. vladazhael says:

    Excellent link dump; very much the reading I could use today. I've bookmarked four things to keep for myself and sent one to my mom.

    I woke up in an absolute funk and today seems to have a mild curse over it for most of the people around me, but my boss saw the on edge look on my face and demanded to buy me lunch, so it's not all bad.

  5. Xolandra says:

    So many great links. So, so many.

    From North of the 49th parallel, cw for discussion of sexual harassment in a humorous way:

    And also if anyone wants to talk to me about this decision, I AM HERE FOR THAT:

    • Absotively says:

      Well, I think it's odd that the main question is about religious rights. I do agree with the very specific ruling, that people don't have a right to demand a development be stopped due to their religious beliefs – but I *do* think they should have a right to make such demands based on treaty rights or Aboriginal title, and I'm surprised neither seems to be mentioned here.

      If I've understood this Wikipedia page correctly, it sounds like the Ktunaxa are about mid way through the treaty process, so I assume it doesn't affect this sort of thing yet. I wonder why Aboriginal title isn't being mentioned, though? Had they already exhausted that avenue?

      From the article:

      The ruling said the B.C. government had engaged in "deep consultation" throughout the process, and had met its duty to consult and accommodate under Sec. 35 of the Constitution Act. The section does not give Indigenous groups a veto power over development projects; it guarantees a process, but not a particular result, the ruling said.

      Ok, so there's what, a guarantee that the government will talk to them before ignoring what they said? That seems unuseful.

      • Xolandra says:

        I agree! I think that the Court probably returned the only answer that it could, wihtin a Western context. But for people who spirituality is tied to the land, maybe that is different? Like, the Ktunaxa are worried that the development will drive their deity away, which sounds specious to Western ears but is a legitimate concern from another perspective, imo.

        I love that you picked out the same phrase that I did. I thought: typical. We'll listen, but you can't make us care.

  6. damngoodcoffee says:

    That discernment phase article was super interesting. I've been feeling some of that pretty acutely recently, actually, even though I'm in my early 30s, and I can't tell if that is because it can be experienced at any age, or if it's hitting me now because I am already not a part of a lot of the expectations of the 'mother' phase (I am not getting married or entering into any romantic relationship, and I am not going to have children).

    Either way, I have been asking myself a lot recently- well, what should I do? I have a career but I don't want that to be the only significant thing in my life. I have people I consider good friends, but they all have partners/are embedded in social circles with those partners, or they live far away. It's really interesting and scary for me to look at that and look at my life and think- what's next for me? How do I make the most of this? What is going to give my life meaning if I don't have these other things (relationship w/a significant other [or aiming for one] or children [or the possibility of children]) to focus on? I like how the author talks about finding a 'tribe;' I find that very relatable. The whole thing is just fascinating to contemplate.

    • Xolandra says:

      This is basically what my nervous breakdown was; I had run out of goals.

      my goals now = survive capitalism, spread good cheer, spread love, share good food, and dance.

      it can be enough. It is for me.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        Thank you- I really needed to hear that, actually. That's exactly what I've been feeling recently, like I don't have any real goals to work toward that seem 'worth it.'

        • Xolandra says:

          I'm so sorry I could not come back here yesterday.

          Two things that really helped me when I was thinking about this stuff are kinda weird and I don't confess this much, but. First, Richard Dawkins' seminal work on genetics and reproduction, "The Selfish Gene". Like the "there is a demon inhabiting my body and the demon needs to take care of my fleshprison or it'll stop functioning", I find the notion that I don't matter, my body is basically a robot designed to pass genes on weirdly freeing. Like, of course my goals and dreams don't matter, cosmically. So if I can focus on being_happy_ instead of trying to _matter_, it'll all come out in the wash. This is especially true since seeing others happy makes me happy, so it's all this big feedback loop of pleasantness.

          The other thing that I found weirdly useful, when I was re-evaluating my life, was pondering the "what do you do for hobbies" question that my optometrist always asks. I found that my answers largely did not line up to my life, and so I went about making time for the things that I said were my hobbies but that I never actually got around to. This re-prioritization also made me acutely aware of the things that I was spending time on that _weren't_ the things that I identified with (like, never in my life did I think I would ID as femme, but now I've learned how to use hot rollers and HERE WE ARE), and either dropped those things or re-arranged my mental image of myself to accommodate. Both useful exercises.

          I hope that you find peace. Remember that capitalism is filled with lies, and that just because no one recognizes your efforts, values your labour, or pays you for the outcome of those things doesn't mean that those things are valueless. Like, no one will ever pay to hear me play the piano, or even really enjoy it (HAI I'M NOT V GOOD), but I does it anyway!!!

          • damngoodcoffee says:

            Thank you! I really appreciate your response here, and though I've heard some not great things about Dawkins, I would definitely give "The Selfish Gene" a try, because I know I have a hard time going easy on myself, generally.

            I also just came across something that I really liked, in terms of how it framed looking for new interests/hobbies/things to do; it takes a lot of the pressure off:

          • damngoodcoffee says:

            So I went to a library book sale over the weekend, and (after taking a picture of a book there with 'Evil Librarians' in the title [awesome]) came across a copy of "The Selfish Gene" and picked it up, so that's on the list next. 🙂

          • Xolandra says:

            O hey! Talk about fortuitous!

            It's been a minute since I read it, so I apologize in advance for any shittiness that it contains; it will, in all likelihood, be terribly cis-sexist, for example. But it is 50+ years old at this point, and it was what made Dawkins' career, so it isn't actively shitty in ways that he has been since, iirc, just myopic.

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        "How can you've lived for so long and still not get it? This self obsession is a waste of living. It could be spent in surviving things, appreciating nature, nurturing kindness and friendship, and dancing. You have been pretty lucky in love though, if I may say so. "

        I've seriously thought about getting surviving things –> dancing as a tattoo.

        • damngoodcoffee says:

          I love that quote (and movie); it's easy to understand as a concept, but on a day-to-day basis if you feel out of step w/what you 'should' be doing, it's hard to remember, and to really believe, for me, anyway.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            Some times I feel a little more Adam, some times Eve. I have to really work to tip it in her favour, which it why I've thought of that tattoo.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      I'm past 50. It's easier now than when I was younger to abandon "what should I do?" in favor of

      "What makes me happy?"
      "How can I get closer to what makes me happy?"
      "How can I help others find and do what makes them happy?"

      I wasn't able to quit believing in "should" until I was past 40. It has made a very big, very positive difference. For me. If "should" is not hurting you, carry on.

      • RoseCamelia says:

        "What do I *want* to do? What's in the way of my doing it? How can I get closer to doing it?"

        Still working on that one.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        I think I have an issue separating out 'should' from 'what makes me happy?' I mean, the question of 'what makes me happy' is tied up in taking care of my physical/mental health, which involves many 'should's, I feel like. So it's been hard for me to parse out. But I might be thinking too literally about it instead of trying to re-frame how I think of it altogether. Or maybe I need more questions like 'what am I excited to do?' IDK.

  7. jenavira says:

    That depression/demoralization article is hitting me right in the feels.

    unlike most forms of depression, demoralization is a realistic response to the circumstances impinging on the person’s life

    I mean. (The two-punch of clinical depression and trying to be woke in a broken society is…not fun.)

  8. Lee Thomson says:

    what a great set of links! Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *