Jean Grae appeared on the Melissa Harris Perry show to discuss the importance of the woman’s voice in hip-hop. Grae shares the origins of her independent business model that was influenced by her jazz musician mother who started her own…
“A boy and a girl run around on the grass at the park. The boy tackles the girl. The girl laughs. She gets up and runs away. She loves to run. He chases, she turns and they grab each other, tumble and land in a pile, giggling. After a few minutes, he tackles her again and she lands a bit hard. She is bigger and physical, but he more than holds his own in roughhousing. She pauses for a second. Then she laughs again; she’s still having fun.
Dad gets his attention, and says, “If she’s not having fun, you have to stop.”
He is two. He needs to hear this now, and so does she. And again, and again, and again, so that like wearing a helmet on the bike it is ingrained.”—
I’ve done this with my kids since the moment they could each sign “more” and “all done” around 8 months old. More tickles? Or all done? More kisses? Or all done? More bouncing? Or all done?
When they’re old enough to play with others, you teach them to constantly check in with each other. Are you having fun? Or do you want to be done?
Is the shrieking laughter or fear? ASK.
Is the giggling from joy or nervousness? ASK.
Do you like being smacked with pillows? ASK.
Are you having fun wrestling? ASK.
And keep asking. What was fun five minutes ago might not be fun now.
Both kids know the moment something stops being fun, they need to stop. And they know that their wishes about what is fun and what’s not will be respected by their parents and by each other. They’ve known it since 8 months old.
This truly isn’t a difficult concept. It’s easy to teach it by example and it’s incredibly simple for children to do.
Blues is a central pillar of rock, and blues violates quite a few tenets of common-practice classical harmony. The biggest one is the distinction between major and minor. The sound of blues is in large part the sound of minor melodies and chord extensions over major chord progressions. The more blues-oriented flavors of rock are similarly ambiguous in their major/minor identity. A lot of the time, rock chords are neither major nor minor, like the famous power chord, which is just root-fifth-root.
One of the things I like most about playing in Zest of Yore is that many of ZOY’s songs are attempts to shoehorn classical music theory into rock and roll structures. I’ve learned so much about classical music in the last couple of years just from listening to my band mate Stephen rant about it, haha…
“When we reveal ourselves to our partner and find that this brings healing rather than harm, we make an important discovery—that intimate relationship can provide a sanctuary from the world of facades, a scared space where we can be ourselves, as we are…This kind of unmasking—speaking our truth, sharing our inner struggles, and revealing our raw edges—is sacred activity, which allow two souls to meet and touch more deeply.”—John Welwood (via sydbelle)
“I am not Spanish. Spanish is just another language I speak. I am not a Hispanic. My ancestors are not descendants of Spain, but descendants of Africa. I define my existence by race and land. (Borinken is the indigenous name of the island of Puerto Rico.)”—
“When sex becomes a production or performance that is when it loses its value. Be mutual. Be loud. Be clumsy. Make noises, be quiet, and make a mess. Bite, scratch, push, pull, hold, thrust. Remove pressure from the moment. Love the moment. Embrace it. Enjoy your body; enjoy your partners’ body. Produce sweat, be natural, entice your senses, give into pleasure. Bump heads, miss when you kiss, laugh when it happens. Speak words, speak with your body, speak to their soul. Touch their skin, kiss their goose bumps, and play with their hair. Scream, beg, whimper, sigh, let your toes curl, lose yourself. Chase your breath; keep the lights on, watch their eyes when they explode. Forget worrying about extra skin, sizes of parts and things that are meaningless. Save the expectations, take each second as it comes. Smear your make up, mess up your hair, rid your masculinity, and lose your ego. Detonate together, collapse together, and melt into each other.”—(via valledeparaiso)
“Such was a poet and shall be and is
-who’ll solve the depths of horror to defend a sunbeam’s architecture with his life: and carve immortal jungles of despair to hold a mountain’s heartbeat in his hand.”—E.E. Cummings (via tatsulok)
“We live in an age where we feel guilt whenever we have to cut someone off but the reality is that some relationships do need to die, some people do need to be unfollowed and defriended. We aren’t meant to be this tethered to the people in our past. The Internet mandates that we don’t burn bridges and keep everyone around like relics but those expectations are unrealistic and unhealthy. Simply put, we don’t need to know what everyone else is up to. We’re allowed to be choosy about who we surround ourselves with online and in real life, even if it might hurt people’s feelings.”—
Ryan O’Connell, You Don’t Have To Be Friends With Everybody (via larmoyante)
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”—Rainer Maria Rilke (via mottle)
Based on the relevant factors, [Marissa] Alexander did act in self-defense when she fired the warning shots, but because of the improper jury instruction the first trial resulted in a conviction. At her second trial, she is expected to have a much better chance to prevail because an appropriate application of the self-defense factors may flip the jury in Alexander’s favor. Angela Corey also has the power to set Alexander free for good by dismissing the charges, instead of going to trial a second time. That’s what Alexander’s supporters are asking for and the public pressure on Corey will be intense between now and the beginning of the second trial.
Public pressure, and not what takes place in the courtroom, may set Alexander free before or after a second trial. The media attention may force Corey to do the right thing and let Alexander out of prison permanently to get on with her life. A second jury may be familiar with some aspects of the case because of what’s been reported in the media and they may be more sympathetic to her defense than the first jury.
The question is whether either Angela Corey or the second jury will finally view Marissa Alexander as a victim, who had the right to defend herself from an abusive husband and who doesn’t deserve prison.
By all accounts, Marissa Alexander will need an active grassroots movement to help her win an acquittal at her new trial next spring. Help her win the re-trial by donating to the Marissa Alexander Freedom Fundraiser!
Yesterday I receive a message from one of WFMU’s engineers alerting me to the news that two members of The Yellow Dogs were among three Iranian musicians shot to death in East Williamsburg. I had no idea at this point that my heart was going to break in two. I spent the entire morning trolling every news source hoping the story wasn’t true. I was holding my breath and praying that my friends The Yellow Dogs were safe.
I will never forget the first time meeting the band. I met up with Ali Salehezadeh at one of their concerts at Union Pool. Ali introduced me and my friends to the band. We saw them play and was blown away with the energy. The only song I knew of theirs was from the movie No One Knows About Persian Cats, so to finally hear something new to my ears blew me away. They were the perfect mix of old and new. The scene at the show was young and energetic. We stood around the fire pit in the courtyard with everyone, and you could sense the community that was part of this band.
When I had the Yellow Dogs come to do a live session for me June 2012, they were so excited to be coming to WFMU and were so thankful for the opportunity. Little did they know that I was more excited that they were going to do a live session on my show. You could feel the band’s energy. They were so happy to be playing music and that other people were equally excited about it. At this point, they had a different drummer.
Ali and I were trying to put together a possible session with Ali Eskandarian and the Free Keys who had just moved over from Iran. I knew of the Free Keys from the movie as well, so I was curious as to what they were doing now. Sadly, we never did get the dates to work for Ali Eskandarian.
The next time in the studio we recorded the Free Keys, who had Arash Farazmand as their drummer, Looloosh’s (Soroush Farazmand) brother. I got to sit down with the Yellow Dogs and do an interview during this session and it was wonderful. It was the easiest most relaxed interview I had ever conducted. So easy going. I knew at this point that these guys were going to be in my life always. It was such an easy connection.
Throughout the months after, I had run into Obash, the singer, at his job bartending and saw the band play at an art opening for their friends who are stencil artists named Icy and Sot. I wish I could have bottled up the energy and excitement from that night. So much fun, so much laughter and yet again, I saw the amazing people they surrounded themselves with. Youthful, carefree and happy.
Looloosh and Arash always had smiles on their faces. You could tell they were living the life. They gave off the impression that they were so happy to be where they were doing what they were doing. They had risked so much to get to this point and to finally be able to play their music without fear. This is what I will remember about them and I am glad to have known them. My heart goes out to their family back in Iran. My heart also goes out to Obash, Koory and Ali. I am relieved to know they are safe and have already let them know that I am there for them. Thank you for your amazing memories. I am so glad to have been a part of your world.
“The gun “accidentally” went off. The killer is “coincidentally” white. The dead woman is “unfortunately” black. These murders “oddly” keep happening. It’s all an “accident”, a “coincidence”, “unfortunate”, like slavery & Jim Crow & the KKK & the prison industrial complex & racist drug laws & police brutality.”—Remi Kanazi (via gloomy-black-girl-blogging)
Someone is cyber-bullying my ex again, and trying to pin it on my girlfriend.
The last time this happened was a year ago, almost exactly to the month.
I can’t believe that I even have to make a post like this again.
In the 14 months that Erica and I have been an official couple, we have received so much unnecessary grief from people who got kicks out of mocking, belittling, and scrutinizing our relationship. Most of those people have known me for years, but they didn’t know Erica until she entered my life. I suffered their meanness for way longer than I should have, due to our shared history and my weak boundaries. Unfortunately, Erica ended up bearing the brunt of their attacks; for that, more than any other reason, I regret not firming and redrawing my boundaries earlier.
Despite what people who know nothing about her life or her character may say or imply, Erica is neither a home-wrecker, an embezzler, nor a bully.
She is my best friend, my life partner, and my soulmate. She is a great person who stands by and cares for the people whom she loves, and I’m grateful to be one of them. She’s a mother, a lover, a friend, a worker, an artist, an aspiring doula, et cetera, and she takes on all of these roles with an astonishing commitment and care. She doesn’t have the time, the willingness, or the ability to engage in drama, online or offline, and neither do I.
After everything that we’ve been through, I still feel a tinge of fear whenever I post anything related to her, because I don’t know what kind of backlash I’ll receive. I think that I’ve been so candid about my life to so many people for so long that some people assume that I have no boundaries. Just because my boundaries aren’t drawn where you’d expect them to be doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.
I frequently wonder if this situation is entirely my fault. I’m not perfect; I know that there are things that I could’ve and should’ve done differently. I can account for the past, but I can’t change it. However, I’m a good person, and Erica is my better half, metaphorically and literally. All Erica did was fall in love in me; she doesn’t deserve any of the drama attached to that decision.
Neither of us use the Internet for evil purposes. We’re not interested in Sherlocking people’s lives or tormenting them in any way. We just want to share bits and pieces of our thoughts, our creativity, and our relationship to the people who care about it in good faith.
Things have gone too far, though. I shouldn’t have to spend November 2013 addressing the same issues that I addressed in November 2012, and I will do everything in my power to change that, even if that means scrubbing my Internet presence clean.
To the person who is cyber-bullying my ex, I say again: STOP. If you think that you’re supporting me or Erica by doing this, you’re wrong. Erica and I want to enjoy and cultivate our relationship in peace, once and for all, and you are directly compromising our ability to do so. You have no right to do this. You’re adding drama to our lives, to my ex’s life, AND to the lives of our mutual friends. If/when I find out who you are, I’m going to remove you from my life immediately, and take whatever legal action I can against you.
“My work is driven by my belief that the human spirit needs validation. It starts from the moment we’re born, and yet we are born in a country whose greatest exports is images. And that’s great, right? I mean, everywhere we turn—museums, TV, movies, magazines, books—we will see our beauty reflected. Unless you’re Black, and a girl. We walk around in our home called American, and we don’t see our picture hanging on the wall. And when there is an image that resembles us, often times, upon closer inspection, it’s not us, because are far more beautiful and complex. At least, that’s what I see when I see you Black girls and Black women. You have been, and remain to be, my muse: even if nobody else sees you, I see you. When we see ourselves, we are reminded of our existence, our humanity, and that we are worth rooting for; we are worth protecting; and we are worth loving. And perhaps, more importantly, when we see ourselves, we will not only require others, especially our men, to see us for who we really are, we will then require nothing less than respect. So Black girls, Black women, we must continue to rock, because when we dare to walk this Earth un-apologetically as the complex, beautiful women that we are, we are not only reflecting each other’s beauty, but it’s how we put our own pictures up and validate ourselves.”—
Mara Brock Akil, Black Girls Rock! 2013 (via onfile)
Voter ID’s chief defender does not meet his own strict criteria for voting.
As early voting begins in Texas, the state’s new, strict voter ID law has thus far flagged a judge, gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, and another state senator as potentially illegitimate voters. Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), voter ID’s most strident defender, was also flagged as a suspicious voter under his own law’s strict criteria.
Abbott was flagged because his license lists his name as “Gregory Wayne Abbott” while his voter registration record simply calls him “Greg Abbott.”
Longtime voters, particularly married women who have taken a spouse’s name, are being stopped at the polls because their names on their drivers’ licenses differ from their voter registration forms. Thanks to an amendment added by Wendy Davis, voters who clearly have “substantially similar” names can still cast a regular ballot by signing an affidavit affirming their identity. If the law had gone through unmodified as Abbott originally supported, he would have disenfranchised himself.
Though Davis’ amendment will allow many legitimate voters to vote, the process to determine “substantial similarity” and organize affidavit-signing will inevitably clog up Texas electoral processes with unnecessary confusion. Come November 5, Texas’ polling places may resemble Florida’s in 2012, where Republicans’ election law changes created marathon lines and pollworker confusion.
The law has also affected countless ordinary Texans who do not attract as much media coverage as Davis or Abbott. People of color, low-income voters, seniors, and students are most likely to lack the required ID and may not have their votes counted as a result. While Texas officials claim it is easy for these people to get a free voter ID, just 41 out of 1.4 million eligible Texas voters have received one as of the middle of last month. ThinkProgress interviewed one 84-year-old woman who was denied the ID three times despite providing extensive proof of her identity.
“There are some people who could hear you speak a thousand words, and still not understand you. And there are others who will understand — without you even speaking a word.”—Yasmin Mogahed (via kissing-beehives)
A woman who does incredibly important community work, mostly if not always for free, has medical needs she can’t afford to cover. Please help us give back some of the invaluable support she gives us.
Good morning all! One of our Save Wiyabi Project interns is having an emergency with a medical bill that we are attempting to help her fundraise for. Here at SWP we don’t ever ask for money, in fact we’re not officially a 501c3 charity or non-profit because we don’t want your money and will never ask for it. We are a collective of people who work other jobs with a focus on anti-violence, and decided to come together as Save Wiyabi to do online and on the ground organizing with and for other Indigenous women.
None of the donations here will go to our pocket or any type of fluff project, they will go directly to someone who is a vital part of our advocacy group and helps make all of our online campaigns, on the ground organizing, and events happen (as well as doing direct victim services as part of her regular job). If you can help her out you would be helping us out (and all of the lives she’s impacted as an anti-violence advocate) tremendously. Even a dollar would make a huge impact. We realize this isn’t an attractive campaign where we tell you that if you just donate $ here we will end sexual and domestic violence, we’re just asking for help to keep some basic work going. Thank you.
Also, if you donate, one of our other interns Kelleigh will bake you goodies!