'American Fiction' And The Wet Eyes Of The Sentimentalist | Defector
We tell ourselves stories to feed our delusions. It’s an ugly world out there, and so many Americans prefer the easy way out. We genuflect to the guru and the influencer; we admire the charlatans who can captivate a crowd and turn a quick buck. We prefer the CliffsNotes to the book, and all the […]
Any real art finds its level by meeting humans and life on their own terms. In place of that sort of probing, American Fiction gives you a movie about angst and love, a fantasy of good negro life so mired in sentiment it has no politic but the simplest judgment of the most obvious racism we can all agree is bad, and no depth outside of what we all need is more love in our lives. Implicit in a film like this—as with so much of the cinema, literature, and non-fiction by and about black people that has emerged post-George Floyd—is a participation trophy for the white, liberal audience: Kudos to you for watching; go tell a friend. Assuage your guilt for the price of a ticket; you're the good guys, after all.
Namwali Serpell: Pixar’s Troubled “Soul” (The New Yorker)
The most glaring artistic error in “Soul” is its misprision—its elision, really—of what soul means for black culture.
Twenty-two’s fumbled attempts to puppeteer Joe’s body are excused as the ineptitude of any newbie soul, but they’re still played for laughs along a racial register.
Inexplicably, all of Twenty-two’s attempts at being black at first disconcert but then enchant others—including Joe, who takes Twenty-two’s innocence for granted, despite her long history of soul counselling. She means well.
Pixar’s “Soul” is, in fact, the latest in a long tradition of American race-transformation tales, each of which finds a pretext—a potion, a spell, a medical treatment, or simply makeup—to put a white person in a black body (or vice versa).
The white desire to get inside black flesh is absolved as an empathy exercise. Blackface gets a moral makeover. It’s telling that, in most race-transformation tales, the ideal is presented as a white soul in a black body.
Well-meaning or no, that’s still slumming. “Soul” calls it “jazzing,” which would depress me were it not for the unwitting pun on, uh, jouissance.
As in NBC’s “The Good Place,” the dirtbag, depressive white woman teaches the neurotic, brilliant black man how to stop fussing about ambition, cultivate gratitude for what you have, and just be. Not only does Twenty-two use Joe as a vehicle but the movie must also make the grandiose and grotesque claim that he has learned to live through her.
“Soul” takes as its premise the idea that a soul, branded with a personality, might be swapped in and out of different kinds of bodies. Even if we ignore the problem that unborn souls seem already to have races and genders—it’s a kids’ movie, not Plato!—we have to swallow the still more fundamental premise that the soul is individual, is sole. This idea is built into how we generally use the word, in Standard English: He has a soul.
Black English says, He’s got soul. The most glaring artistic error in “Soul” is its misprision—its elision, really—of what soul means for black culture. The word is used to signify not just an individual unit but also an indivisible substrate, a communal energy, a vibe. For all of the creators’ efforts to thread the needle of racial representation, their desperate wish to be authentic without being stereotypical, “Soul” never utters a sentence like “She’s got soul,” never says “soul brother” or “soul sister” or “soul music.” Perhaps those terms are too antiquated, but there isn’t even a mention of the still popular “soul food”; the film’s universal delicacy is pepperoni pizza, not fried chicken, and we all know why.
Shanita Hubbard: Russell Simmons, R. Kelly, and Why Black Women Can’t Say #MeToo (NYT)
When your community fights for the people who terrorized you, it means your pain is not a priority.
#MeToo is triggering memories of that corner that I’ve tucked away for 20 years because I’ve been taught there are greater needs in the community. Perhaps this is part of the reason studies indicate only one in 15 African-American women report being raped. We’ve seen the unchecked power of white men ravish our communities, and we carry the message of “not right now” when it comes to addressing our pain if the offender is black.
Ta-Nehisi Coates: I’m Not Black, I’m Kanye (Popula)
There’s nothing original in this tale and there’s ample evidence, beyond West, that humans were not built to withstand the weight of celebrity. But for black artists who rise to the heights of Jackson and West, the weight is more, because they come from communities in desperate need of champions. Kurt Cobain’s death was a great tragedy for his legions of fans. Tupac’s was a tragedy for an entire people. When brilliant black artists fall down on the stage, they don’t fall down alone. The story of West “drugged out,” as he put it, reduced by the media glare to liposuction, is not merely about how he feels about his body. It was that drugged-out West who appeared in that gaudy lobby, dead-eyed and blonde-haired, and by his very presence endorsed the agenda of Donald Trump.
There is no separating the laughter from the groans, the drum from the slave ships, the tearing away of clothes, the being borne away, from the cunning need to hide all that made you human. And this is why the gift of black music, of black art, is unlike any other in America, because it is not simply a matter of singular talent, or even of tradition, or lineage, but of something more grand and monstrous. When Jackson sang and danced, when West samples or rhymes, they are tapping into a power formed under all the killing, all the beatings, all the rape and plunder that made America. The gift can never wholly belong to a singular artist, free of expectation and scrutiny, because the gift is no more solely theirs than the suffering that produced it. Michael Jackson did not invent the moonwalk. When West raps, “And I basically know now, we get racially profiled / Cuffed up and hosed down, pimped up and ho’d down,” the we is instructive.
West calls his struggle the right to be a “free thinker,” and he is, indeed, championing a kind of freedom—a white freedom, freedom without consequence, freedom without criticism, freedom to be proud and ignorant; freedom to profit off a people in one moment and abandon them in the next; a Stand Your Ground freedom, freedom without responsibility, without hard memory; a Monticello without slavery, a Confederate freedom, the freedom of John C. Calhoun, not the freedom of Harriet Tubman, which calls you to risk your own; not the freedom of Nat Turner, which calls you to give even more, but a conqueror’s freedom, freedom of the strong built on antipathy or indifference to the weak, the freedom of rape buttons, pussy grabbers, and fuck you anyway, bitch; freedom of oil and invisible wars, the freedom of suburbs drawn with red lines, the white freedom of Calabasas.
Hanif Abdurraqib: From Vanilla Ice to Macklemore: understanding the white rapper's burden (The Guardian)
I stopped fucking with Eminem when he couldn’t stop making rape jokes in his rhymes as he approached 40 years old. There is a time when all of us have to re-evaluate the distance we actually have from dangerous moments. Eminem has a distance that never runs out. A distance that only grows wider. And there are those who would call him edgy for not realising this, while ignoring those who realise that their proximity to danger is a lot slimmer, and yet they’ve still found a way to stay alive. No one finds this funny.
What Macklemore didn’t embrace was the thing that Eminem embraced before him: if you are in a system that will propel you to the top off of the backs of black artists who might be better than you are, no one black is going to be interested in your guilt. It has played out in every genre since the inception of genre, or since the first song was pulled by white hands from wherever a black person sang it into the air. No one knows what to make of the guilt.
Macklemore did what I would have hoped he would have done, even if he did it painfully and with a tone of self-congratulation. What no other white rapper was able to do before him. He stopped just apologising for what he imagined as undeserved fame and instead weaponised it, losing fans in the process. The major function of privilege is that it allows us who hold it in masses to sacrifice something for the greater good of pulling up someone else. Macklemore, whether intentionally or not, decided to use his privilege to cannibalise whiteness, tearing at his own mythology in the process. When I saw him last year at a festival, he performed White Privilege II to a captivated white audience. Halfway through the song, he left the stage entirely empty, walking off and making room for two black poets and a black drummer to read poems about police violence and gentrification. It was a stunning image, an artist holding the mouth of his audience open and forcing the slick red spoonful of medicine down their throats.
Nina Renata Aron: Downwardly mobile: how trailer living became an inescapable marker of class (Timeline)
The trailer has always held a special place in the American imagination. Once a symbol of freedom and mobility, it became — through waves of economic hardship and discrimination over the course of the 20th century — a testament to the limitations of the so-called land of opportunity. Stated another way, trailers became the province of the have-nots, and along the way, the pernicious myth of “trailer park trash” became core to a set of stereotypes about lower-class white people.
With almost no cultural images of dignified life on the inside of a trailer, or in the often close-knit neighborhoods that trailer parks become, Americans cling instead to the simple, outmoded ideas about trailers and their inhabitants that they’ve held for nearly a century.
Sam Haselby: Muslims lived in America before Protestantism even existed (Aeon)
Muslims thus arrived in America more than a century before the Virginia Company founded the Jamestown colony in 1607. Muslims came to America more than a century before the Puritans founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. Muslims were living in America not only before Protestants, but before Protestantism existed. After Catholicism, Islam was the second monotheistic religion in the Americas.
The popular misunderstanding, even among educated people, that Islam and Muslims are recent additions to America tells us important things about how American history has been written. In particular, it reveals how historians have justified and celebrated the emergence of the modern nation-state. One way to valorise the United States of America has been to minimise the heterogeneity and scale – the cosmopolitanism, diversity and mutual co-existence of peoples – in America during the first 300 years of European presence.
If there is any religious group who represents the best version of religious freedom in America, it is Muslims such as Zemourri and al-Rahman. They came to America under conditions of genuine oppression, and struggled for the recognition of their religion and the freedom to practise it. In contrast to Anglo-Protestants, Muslims in America have demurred the impulse to tyrannise others, including Native Americans.
The most persistent consequence of the Puritan effect has been a continuing commitment to producing a past focused on how the actions, usually courageous and principled, of Anglo-Protestants (almost always in New England and the Chesapeake) led to the United States of America, its government and its institutions. The truth is that the history of America is not primarily an Anglo-Protestant story, any more than the history of the West more broadly. It might not be a straightforward or self-evident matter what, exactly, constitutes ‘the West’. But the more global era in history inaugurated by the European colonisation of the Western hemisphere must be a significant part of it.
If the West means, in part, the Western hemisphere or North America, Muslims have been part of its societies from the very beginning. Conflicts over what the American nation is and who belongs to it are perennial. Answers remain open to a range of possibilities and are vitally important. Historically, Muslims are Americans, as originally American as Anglo-Protestants. In many ways, America’s early Muslims are exemplars of the best practices and ideals of American religion. Any statement or suggestion to the contrary, no matter how well-meaning, derives from either intended or inherited chauvinism.
Jeremy Gordon: Multiracial in America: Who gets to be "white"? (Hopes & Fears)
The rise of a multiracial identity dovetails with an utopian ideal of a pan-ethnic, post-racial America—one where everyone is a little something. But that post-racial space doesn’t yet exist, with one of the effects being that multiracial people are often pulled between identities. Whether someone identifies more with one race or the other is strongly attributable to their upbringing, their family history, their surroundings, and their physical appearance, making no two multiracial experiences totally alike.
That hard work and a high salary helped turn Asians into a model minority clues us into how whiteness works. Being “white” doesn’t just refer to skin tone. It means you’re industrious and rich, that you believe in meritocracy and respect the status quo. Be respectable and diligent like a white person, and you’ll succeed. Whiteness, at its most pernicious, is an unquestioned belief in the American dream without acknowledging that America has historically denied the rewards of meritocracy to hard workers who didn’t look the right way. And if playing by the rules means you’re still on the outside, what minority would see assimilation as a worthwhile goal in 2015?
If Republicans can get away with only a cursory examination of modern racial relations—to say nothing of the frequency with which they appeal to outmoded stereotypes—then what does it say about our progress toward that supposedly glorious post-racial future? This is the dark side of the post-racial, which was supposed to be within sight after Obama’s election. To presume that race is over without resolving any of its conflicts is obviously no solution at all—a limited view of the post-racial that David Theo Goldberg, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, defined to me as “whiteness in fear of its loss of its own power and its own status, and its own standing. It reaches for the post-racial as a way of entrenching the given racial distributions as they stand.”
No one should be surprised that the eccentricities of “the English” never became a thing, of course. We do not tend to confuse “The English” with “speakers of English” for the same reason that there is no common-sense idiom about how their many words for water are derived from centuries as a seagoing empire based on a rainy island. They do not become a they because they are us.
One interesting thing is how boring the answer to the underlying question is. On the one hand, people who live in the Arctic—and whose languages developed in that environment—will naturally have more sophisticated and nuanced and complex language for describing their environment, exactly as you’d expect them to. No one really denies that they tend to, even if this fact isn’t easily grasped by counting words. But exoticizing Eskimos is also a function of ignorance, conjecture, and projection. “Eskimos Have Fifty Words for Snow” is an amazing phrase, because every word in it is wrong. But reversing it—announcing proudly that they don’t—only replicates that wrongness; you can’t say no to a bad question and be right.
What’s fascinating to me about actually reading Whorf’s work—after working my way debunkers who gesture at his ignorance as disqualifying—is how simple the point he was trying to make actually was: that ignorance is, itself, a pathway towards new knowledge. Precisely because other languages show us things we didn’t know—and didn’t know we didn’t know—we can learn new things by engaging with that ignorance. What, for example, might an Inuktitut know about a world that distinguishes between aput, qana, piqsirpoq, or qimuqsuq that an America won’t know about “snow”? To translate “aput” into “snow on the ground” doesn’t solve the problem, it only buries it under the illusion of comprehension; better to ask, he says, what it is that isn’t being translated.
‘Nobody Here but Us Chickens!’ by Louis Jordan (Wikipedia)
A number-one on the Billboard R&B chart from 1946.
Apparently, this phrase originated in the early 1900s as a racist joke about a slave stealing chickens. An excerpt here from ‘Everybody’s Magazine’ from 1908:
A Southerner, hearing a great commotion in his chicken-house one dark night, took his revolver and went to investigate.
“Who’s there?” he sternly demanded, open the door.
“Who’s there? Answer, or I’ll shoot!”
A trembling voice from the farthest corner: “’Deed, sah, dey ain’t nobody hyah ’ceptin’ us chickens.”
So, yeah: pretty racist and awful!
In a radio show excerpt that I listened to (https://www.waywordradio.org/us-chickens/), the hosts suggest that by the time it had been turned into a hit song in 1946, it had lost all of that context. I think that’s an awfully convenient assertion for two white people to make over a hundred years later!
Our vision is to be the premier resource for Oregon’s African American culture and heritage information. We aspire to preserve this largely unknown and rich heritage and culture through collections and programs that promote scholarly research and public use. We envision becoming a center for study of Oregon’s African American life, heritage and culture.
Our goal is to secure a place and forum in which this heritage can be shared with the greater public. Oregon Black Pioneers Corporation’s mission, also doing business as Oregon African American Museum Project (OBP/OAAMP), is to research, recognize and commemorate the culture and heritage of African Americans in the State of Oregon.
Laura Bliss: The Freeway Fight of the Century Is Coming to Portland (CityLab)
Widening highways is bad for property values in the short term—indeed, the construction of I-5 through Portland in the 1960s kicked out homeowners, depressed home values, and helped set the neighborhood up for decades of disinvestment. Over the longer term, however, there’s evidence that highway caps, just like any other “adaptive reuse” project (think: High Line), can and do help property values rise. In the absence of intentional policies to preserve affordable housing and opportunity—something that Portland has long failed to offer, though that may be slowly changing—there’s really nothing to guarantee that the “restoration” of Albina’s grid will serve the people who have lived there, and suffered the disconnecting presence of I-5, the longest. And that’s on top of the environmental harm that more lanes and more cars are likely to bring.
If Portland wants to reconnect neighborhood grids and provide transit and biking infrastructure, why not just do that? Rather than pour half a billion dollars (a cost that is all but sure to rise) into what is, at the end of the day, a wider freeway, the city and state might first try taming traffic with tolls or congestion fees, as New York City is again contemplating. That’s a solution that might help Portland live up to its ultra-progressive reputation. Finally.
Sasanka Jinadasa: Here's Why We Need to Stop Calling Pumpkin Spice a ‘White People Thing’ (BGD)
It’s not pumpkin or pumpkin spice that’s the problem; it’s the commodification of our resources as somehow exotic when used in non-white foods and comfort when used in white foods. And when we mock certain foods as “white foods,” particularly in America, we’re capitulating to a lie—the lie that anything we eat in the diaspora isn’t touched and flavored by people of color. It’s the ahistorical denial of the complexities of the role of colonialism, slavery, and genocide in the spice trade. And it further snarls the delicate balancing act all diasporic people are forced to embody, in constantly having to understand their selves in relation to the trauma of separation from home and capitalist violence.
Alana Semuels: The Racist History of Portland, the Whitest City in America (The Atlantic)
As the city became more progressive and “weird,” full of artists and techies and bikers, it did not have a conversation about its racist past. It still tends not to, even as gentrification and displacement continue in Albina and other neighborhoods.
Zahir Janmohamed: How Portland Is Driving Away New Residents of Color (Portland Mercury)
But the disparities are disconcerting. According to 2010 data, income for white Portlanders was about $62,000 per year. For Black Portlanders, it was $35,000—lower than the national average for Black Americans, which was $43,300.
These statistics, sadly, are the story of America. It always has been and Oregon is no exception. But residents of color told me that a bigger problem is that far too many white Portlanders are knowledgeable about these discrepancies, but remain complacent, even dismissive.
Demi Adejuyigbe: The Mortal Threshold of Whiteness
When I heard about Alton Sterling, I mentally skipped all five stages of grief. It is too regular and I am too used to seeing the cycle of death and despair and inactivity as my black brothers and sisters die in the street. Before I could rouse myself into reading about the case, Philando Castile died too. The video appeared on Twitter. I made the mistake of watching it. I spent hours crying. He did exactly what I’ve been taught to do with the police since I was a child. He complied. He followed orders and reached for his ID, and he was still shot. In the middle of the day, in full view of his girlfriend and child.
Emily Bazelon: White People Are Noticing Something New: Their Own Whiteness (NYT)
As long as white people continue to see ourselves as the norm and the neutral, we haven’t replaced as much as we might imagine. We continue to act as racial managers, clinging to the job of setting the culture’s terms and measuring everyone else’s otherness against those terms.
Thread by @eveewing: " LORDT. two black economists i really respect, @SandyDarity and @DarrickHamilton, just published a KILLER report debunking what they call 10 commonly-held myths about the racial wealth gap and how to close it. I'm gonna tweet the hig
Myth 2: The racial homeownership gap is the “driver” of the racial wealth gap.
"Among households that own a home, white households have nearly $140,000 more in net worth than comparable black households. While the wealth ratio between whites & blacks may narrow somewhat among those who own a home, a 6-figure wealth differential remains."
Primarily, Sandy & Darrick seem to take issue with the causal implications here. "By definition, homeownership/home equity is a component of wealth. Hence, the statement that 'homeownership drives wealth' is equivalent to saying that 'wealth drives wealth.'"
"The idea that homeownership creates wealth simply may put the relationship backward. Rather than homeownership creating wealth, having family wealth in the first place leads to homeownership, particularly high equity homeownership."
TL;DR - WE NEED REPARATIONS
In juxtaposition, Sullivan’s and Coates’ pieces provide a miniature history of how a certain variety of self-congratulatory openness to inquiry is in actual fact a barbed thicket of power relations. What Sullivan depicts as a “different time” when “neither of us denied each other’s good faith or human worth,” is, in Coates’ understanding, a time where he was required to “take seriously” the argument that “black people are genetically disposed to be dumber than white people” as a price of entry into the rarified heights of conversation at the Atlantic. The “civility” and “generosity of spirit” that supported “human to human” conversation is juxtaposed to Coates’ “teachers” who didn’t see him “completely as a human being.” What was open and free spirited debate in Sullivan’s depiction, was to Coates a loaded and poisonous dialogue where he could only participate if he shut up about what he actually believed.
Doreen St. Félix: How Alexandra Bell Is Disrupting Racism in Journalism (The New Yorker)
The series had its clandestine début, in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, on New Year’s Eve in 2016. Bell critiqued the Times’s coverage of the death of Mike Brown, in 2014, in which the paper ran side-by-side profiles of the victim and his killer, Darren Wilson, under the joint headline “Two Lives at a Crossroads in Ferguson.” Bell and many other readers felt that the framing of equivalence, and of tragic coincidence, diminished what had happened that August afternoon. Bell erected a diptych of her own, with Wilson’s profile whittled down to read, simply, “Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown.” The second panel bore the new headline “A Teenager with Promise,” I noted last year, when I interviewed Bell.
The Heart of Whiteness: Ijeoma Oluo Interviews Rachel Dolezal, the White Woman Who Identifies as Black (The Stranger)
I ask her some easy questions, but she answers them with increasing irritation. When we have been together for three hours, I feel it's time to ask The Question.
It's the same question that other black interviewers have asked her. A question she seems to deeply dislike—so much so that she complains about the question in her book. But even in the book, it's not a question she actually answers: How is her racial fluidity anything more than a function of her privilege as a white person?
If Dolezal's identity only helps other people born white become black while still shielding them from the majority of the oppression of visible blackness, and does nothing to help those born black become white—how is this not just more white privilege?
Justin Charity: Rachel Dolezal’s Grotesque Idea of Identity (The Ringer)
But, crucially, Dolezal does explain what she thinks blackness entails, and what she thinks it means to be black. She talks about civil rights activism and black authors. She talks about hair. She does hair. She brags that none of her black clients dropped her in light of the scandal. Dolezal proudly mismanages her own haggard braids, which she clearly regards as a crucial set piece in her grotesque production of blackness. Dolezal talks about blackness as if it were reducible to two qualities, and only two qualities: scholarship and aesthetics. It cannot occur to her that blackness—a social construction, indeed—is a comprehensive and involuntary realm of experience. White power invented it, and white power enforces it, but, paradoxically, black people own blackness. Throughout the documentary, several black women tell Dolezal as much. Dolezal disputes their authority in the vaguest terms, but nonetheless assuredly. She has decided that she is black, so she’s black. Dolezal
Sheldon Pierce: With Kendrick Lamar’s Pulitzer Win, The World May Finally Be Catching Up to Rap (Pitchfork)
“Anyone perusing the list of past winners cannot help noticing that many if not most of the country’s greatest musical minds are conspicuously missing,” composer John Adams told the New York Times in 2003, the year he won the prize for “On the Transmigration of Souls,” a commissioned reflection on the 9/11 attacks. Adams listed off many of the notable musicians who never earned a Pulitzer, from “Monk (Meredith or Thelonious)” to Philip Glass to Laurie Anderson. “Most if not all of these genuinely creative spirits have been passed over year after year, often in favor of academy composers who have won a disproportionate number of prizes.” The sentiment was clear: prize jurors prefer the safe and scholarly to the unpredictable and world-shifting.
What to Do When You See Unaccompanied Black Children in Public Spaces. (Beyond Baby Mamas)
Single parents across race and class lines struggle to secure safe and affordable childcare on short notice, and often those parents are faced with hard decisions. They can take the children to work or to a job interview with them and risk violating company policy (and, by extension, their chances of maintaining or securing a position with the company). They can leave the children at home, if they’re old enough, in “latchkey” situations. They can leave them with a childcare provider they don’t know and haven’t had time to vet. Or they can cancel their obligation, risking much-needed income. No decision is without its consequences, but black mothers find themselves making these decisions (and facing legal and penal consequences) disproportionately. These institutional consequences compound the economic stress and hardship one-income households already face.
Isolde Raftery: To understand white liberal racism, read these private emails (KUOW)
On a gray day last October, teachers across Seattle wore a shirt that read BLACK LIVES MATTER.
White parents from the city’s tonier neighborhoods wrote to their principals to say they were displeased. A Black Lives Matter day was too militant, too political and too confusing for their young kids, they said.
“They would prefer to be ‘all lives matter,’ because then their child is included in the conversation about mattering,” [Jill Geary, the school board director representing northeast Seattle] said. “What they don’t think is, would a black mother feel like her child matters, based upon the way that history, the nation, the city, the institutional structures, have treated her child? That’s not the process they’re using.”
Vajra Chandrasekera: ‘Binti’ by Nnedi Okorafor (Strange Horizons)
A brilliant piece of literary criticism for a novelette I loved and am looking forward to the next installment of.
As a metaphor for acculturation into empire, this works almost too well. You can walk in the halls of empire, yes, as long as you're willing to accept invasive alien tentacles into your mind, to put alien needs above your own, to allow yourself to be instrumentalized.
Vajra Chandrasekera: Which This Margin Is Too Small To Contain
Some thoughts on "diversity" in sf/f and discovering that I'm apparently a "writer of colour" and all that. I never actually use these words myself, whether to refer to either myself or anybody else. Though at the same time I don't object to their use to refer to myself or anybody else either. It's complicated.
If essentialism is the pernicious idea that categories are more real than people, strategic essentialisms are a rhetorical technique when you’re aware that the essentialism in question is bullshit but you temporarily accept being identified with a category in order to achieve something, even if that something is just making a point. There are all sorts of good, practical reasons to collectivize identity in this way, but I think it works best when it’s goal-oriented and time-bound. Because when it’s not, then it can also mean just signing up to be reduced to a category for somebody else’s convenience.