Thursday Link Dump

Clever Manka, · Categories: Thursday Link Dump

This article is from 2012, but Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam’s massive knitted crocheted (thank you, Lee!) structures are a joy forever.

The Impossible Heterosexuality of Losing Weight.

As I progressed into adulthood, even as I came out, weight loss was always encouraged using the promise of some storybook straight life. Don’t you want to date? Think of the guys you could get! When I pushed off conversations about weight loss, acquaintances would look at me with distress. Don’t you want to be around for your kids? I didn’t plan on having any.

When I came out to straight men who made advances, I’d be met with a Molotov cocktail of fat hate and homophobia. Rebuffed men would spit that I was just a dyke because no man would want that, shortly after trying to get that themselves. As a femme and a fat person, my identity never quite made sense to the straight people around me, and couldn’t be taken at face value. Straight white women would insist that I could still find success as one of them. Some men go for that — there’s a lid for every pot. Some would confidentially add, have you tried dating Black or Latino men? They love a big girl. They grasped about as much about the lives and desires of people of color as they did about mine.

The mental and spiritual trap of “doing good.”

There’s a misconception perpetuated by the world of charity and aid, which is that our beneficiaries are our clients. But our client, of course, is whoever buys our services: the donor. The software billionaire wanting to buy redemption for their privilege. The bank wanting to improve its reputation. The corporate giant wanting to access new markets. The Western governments wanting to secure cheap raw materials and stop Africans from arriving on their doorsteps. The church wanting to spread its particular version of God.

EGGPLANT BACON (beware stupid auto-loading video at the site but this looks delicious).

The value (and devaluation) of women’s talk.

In 1873, my great-great-great grandfather, Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, wrote a book on the biblical laws prohibiting gossip and slander. The book was called Chofetz Chaim, “Seeker of Life,” and his followers started calling its author by the same name. When I first learned about the Chofetz Chaim, I thought his opposition to gossip made sense; after all, nobody likes to be talked about behind their back.

But growing up, I realized that in day-to-day life, people rarely characterize remarks made by men as gossip. And then I wondered, is gossip just a derogatory term for women’s speech? And are prohibitions against gossip just another way to silence women?

In the Chofetz Chaim’s Orthodox, Eastern European world, women did not study Talmud in Yeshiva; and they were excluded from political activity. So women talked about work, family, and the ins and outs of everyday life. In other words, when and where women could not talk about ideas, they talked about people: a topic of conversation that the rabbis termed gossip.

Google Like a Boss. I did not know half of these.

This is a great PBS article for fellow haters of capitalism. The case for employee-owned companies:

Our current employment system of renting, hiring or employing people conflicts with the justice principle. In a factory operating under the employment relation, the people working in the factory jointly produce whatever is the product. Consider a company that produces widgets, for example. Those widgets are the positive results of their responsible actions. But to produce the widgets, they must jointly use up raw materials, intermediate goods, machinery and other resources. Those used-up resources are the negative results of their responsible actions.

But the people working in the enterprise do not jointly have legal ownership of the widgets they produce, and they do not jointly bear the expenses for the resources (raw materials, intermediate goods, etc.) they use to produce the widgets. Instead, it is the employer who owns the widgets and pays off the non-labor costs for the used resources. The rented people, the employees, are seen simply as the providers of just another resource — known in this case, as labor services. The employer pays off the liability for using that resource by paying the labor costs — the wages and salaries.

Hence, the employment system seems to involve a mismatch between legal responsibility and factual responsibility.

An interview with one of the organizers of the Florida prisoners who are set to strike on January 15.

A new era for Liberation Theology in the lives of black, queer, and trans people.

What I learned from Liberation Theology, is that most of my life I had been engaging from a framework of defending my personhood to people that barely saw me as human. I had been stuck in conversations of “defensive theology”. In that conversation, I like many others found myself debating the same handful of scriptures that float around within Abrahamic texts. “Leviticus says…”, “Deuteronomy…” “Sodom & Gomorrah is about…”. At best, in these kinds of scenarios I found myself being able to perhaps “prove” that a Koran or Bible passage was not talking about trans & queer folks, at worst I was stuck in cyclical conversations with folks who believed I was going to Hell. Either way, I wasn’t able to win any of those conversations. Most even TLGBQIA+ clergy members I encountered over my lifetime were also generally working from a defensive theology lens. That meant, when someone in crisis asked their Imam, pastor, or minister, “How am I as a TLGBQIA+ person affirmed in the text?”, there was generally only a half thought out answer. You know, those kind of stock answers of “God loves everyone.” That answer would be perfect if we didn’t live in a world that was actively trying to kill our Blackness and Transness everyday and using a theological base for it. has a five-part series on utopias running right now so if you’re interested in that sort of thing, check it out. Part one is the Onieda commune, and part two is Octagon City. I took a whole class on intentional communities for my undergrad and I think they’re fascinating.

Twenty-one films by and about women scheduled for 2018 release.

If you need some pretty, here are 30 spectacular photos of the Northern Lights!

Candid photos of 19th century Oslo citizens.

The Lily highlights Annette Kellerman, one of the first women to wear a one-piece bathing suit.

Roxanne Gay assures us it’s never too late to follow a dream.

It is easy to fall prey to the idea that writing success is intrinsically bound to youth. Publishing loves a literary ingénue, as if no one over the age of 40 or 50 or 60 has anything worthwhile to say. Such is not the case. The older I get, the more I have to say and the better I am able to express myself. There is no age limit to finding artistic success. Sometimes it happens at 22 and sometimes it happens at 72 and sometimes it doesn’t happen at all. No, you are not too old to have a writing career, no matter your age. Yes, it is perfectly reasonable to feel defeated when you’ve worked so hard at writing and have yet to make your mark so long as you don’t stay defeated. No, you are not promised artistic success simply because you want it.

The Burgomaster and I watched Baahubali last week (we’ve got Netflix again) and it was fucking amazing. The gifsets I’d seen on Tumblr were promising but I had no idea how (literally) epic it would be. Five hours of beautiful people in gorgeous costumes with stunning sets, fantastical fight scenes interspersed with song and dance numbers, and the music is great. My search for the soundtrack on CD has been fruitless (at least for U.S. markets) so I might actually download the damn thing (I hate not holding a CD in my greasy little fingers). If anyone has an Indian hook-up for this sort of thing, let me know.

41 Responses to “Thursday Link Dump”

  1. Xolandra says:

    So many tabs open rn! But I am here to thank you for posting The Impossible Heterosexuality of Losing Weight; I know almost exactly how the author feels.

    • Flitworth says:

      Zounds! That was a good read (thanks for re-post) that I somehow missed.

      Makes me ask…who among Mankanauts does not drink alcohol period as a willful choice (as opposed to combatting specific health stuff)? My household has decided to go teatotal.

      • Lee Thomson says:

        half and half? I seldom drink because there are always physical repercussions,usually headache, even for moderate imbibing. When the kids were small, I didn't drink at all (that was at least a decade, maybe more). I needed all my reflexes present when they were awake, and I just fell asleep when they did. Or I wanted to read a thing, and wanted more neurons to apply to reading.

        ATM I kind of miss a rum toddy or, well, rum anything really, but I like better not having to think about whether or not to drink, so I am habitually not.

      • RoseCamelia says:

        I've been labelled a T-Totaller, to my surprise, by Drunken Uncle Bigot's family. I was invited to join them for Giftmas and the host announced there was a bottle of wine for each adult, except Aunt Rose, of course. I said nothing.

        I have for years declined to drink in their presence ("not drinking today, thanks") because it felt wrong to drink with active alcoholics. I guess they don't know I do drink in other contexts, though seldom, and only for flavor, not for feeling.

        Best wishes for changes in your household. May the results be beneficial. How can we Mankanauts help?

        • Flitworth says:

          I genuinely don't know what to ask. Truth: my world just got seriously fucked by someone else's bad choice and I am still in panic/crisis mode and there's so many feelings and fear about the future. Thanks for asking….I'd appreciate forgiveness for any self-pitying I do here.

          • RoseCamelia says:

            You have my profound respect. I'm sure I'm not alone. This is a good place for self pity and all other feelings. Let it all out here. You're safe here.

            I'm so sorry someone was able to fuck up your world. You can share as much or as little as you like. Again, you're safe here.

            Mankanaut hugs

          • ru_ri says:

            We are here for you. No matter what.

          • Absotively says:

            I'll happily forgive your self-pitying, though I think a bit of self-pitying when your world has gotten seriously fucked is entirely reasonable and thus not something that you actually need forgiveness for.

          • CleverManka says:

            Oh, honey, I'm so sorry to hear this. UGH. Please don't worry about venting here or indulging in a bit of self-pity. We're here for you!

      • redheadfae says:

        I've gone teetotal 3 times in my life; for three years, almost ten years and most recently a year and 3 months. Each time it was alongside a partner or spouse, so it was a household without alcohol, as a choice and not to do with health issues. I'm happy to discuss if you have any further curiosity.

  2. vladazhael says:

    Great link dump, and I think I will be making my way through it all day. Of particular interest are the weight loss one, the doing good one, and the women's talk one.

  3. Flitworth says:

    Hi Mankanauts! There's an Intel chip vulnerability that affects most personal devices. Don't panic, just look at relevant OS suppliers etc. and get upgraded to fixed versions ASAP. I read that Android phones are at risk, iPhones not currently but don't rely on me, life is kinda falling apart on a personal level and I'm just doing stuff like this to avoid losing my mind entirely.
    Buzzfeed article on Spectre and Meltdown
    Apple has a fix in latest release of High Sierra, supposedly
    Reddit thread I haven't read yet
    Mozilla piece on it

  4. Doc_Paradise says:

    The employee owned company article is a very good one. Mental exercise: Try applying it to non-business relationships (ex attitudes towards marriage) and see what interesting things the article has to say.

  5. Rillquiet says:

    In honor of the resolution season, here's the Planet Money podcast from a few years ago about how gym pricing works. tl;dr: If you've ever signed up for and then not used a gym membership, you're in the majority–and that's by design.

    • CleverManka says:

      Now that I am spoiled by an independent contractor lifting coach set-up, I don't imagine I'll ever go back to a franchise-style gym. (when I can finally lift again, that is)

      • Rillquiet says:

        But if you had to, you'd probably be one of the regulars, you problem child. Seriously, it is astonishing to hear how many non-attendees most places have on the books: According to this article, only 18% of people use their memberships consistently. No wonder it seems crowded in January!

        • CleverManka says:

          Well, yeah, there's that. When I did have a gym membership (because I lived two blocks away from the only gym in town that had a pool for laps) I did go at least every other day… Eighteen percent. WOW.

  6. exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

    Well, I listened to the Baahubali music, and now I want to go scale a mountain or challenge someone to a duel over a waterfall. Or watch the movie. That seems more manageable.

    I appreciate that article on "doing good." I'll keep on reading more links throughout the day. Fantastic roundup.

    • CleverManka says:

      The movie was so great. Just completely outrageous and beautiful and ~~dramatic~~ Tip for when/if you watch it: Don't bother reading the subtitles when they're singing. Their song lyrics reminded me of Arabic pop music where the metaphors just don't transfer at all and the words are so awkward they're distracting. Just watch the beautiful people singing and dancing. The lyrics don't drive the plot in the slightest.

      • exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

        Oh thank you! I would have been completely distracted by that, convinced that I needed to read it all for plot reasons.

  7. Lee Thomson says:

    I opened all the tabs, thank you!

    My only quibble is that the truly gorgeous landscapes are crochet, not knit – it does not distract one whit from their beauty or elegance, it just rubs a personal sore spot because they are SO different!

  8. phantom says:

    the crocheted playgrounds look so neat.

  9. Kazoogrrl says:

    Work went to shit this week but I'm checking some of these today. Only got to the candids from Oslo, which I LOVE, I'm fascinated in that peek into how people from the past saw each other in a daily, not formal, way.

  10. redheadfae says:

    My outstanding Google Fu is about to become EPIC. I also did not know a couple of those very useful terms. Thank you!
    With my busy day yesterday and resulting wilt today, that's the only one I could read. I will catch up later because this is a great list.

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