We all participate in the propagation of gendered ideas in one way or another. Even ignoring your assigned gender and being an eclectic mix of traits that you don’t see as gendered can serve as a point of reference to people around you. Every aspect of a person can serve as a source of inspiration for others that helps unlock a part of themselves they weren’t aware of before, or it can serve as an example of what they are not. Every instance of identification is also an instance of a meme reproducing.
Listen to This: Jacques Dudon — Lumiéres Audibles, 1995
"In his 'photosonic' process, Dudon shines light through a series of semi-transparent, rotating discs that slow and modify the light waves’ frequencies; the resulting waveforms are picked up by photoelectric (solar-power) cells connected to standard analog amplifiers."
Scott Eden: Bobby Shmurda: His Surreal Saga and Exclusive Jailhouse Interview (GQ)
One minute he was a hip-hop sensation starting a viral dance craze, the Shmoney Dance, and rhyming about guns and drugs and murder. The next he was locked up, indicted on a slew of charges involving… guns and drugs and murder. The government’s case against Bobby Shmurda, now heading to trial, raises all kinds of nagging questions, but none more troubling than this: Does the justice system fundamentally misunderstand the world of rap?
Is it really that hard, being a First World woman? Is it really so tough to have the career and the spouse and the pets and the herb garden and the core strengthening and the oh-I-just-woke-up-like-this makeup and the face injections and the Uber driver who might possibly be a rapist? Is it so hard to work ten hours for your rightful 77% of a salary, walk home past a drunk who invites you to suck his cock, and turn on the TV to hear the men who run this country talk about protecting you from abortion regret by forcing you to grow children inside your body?
Though many black folks joke about it, there is no such thing as “calling in black.” To call in black would be a radical act of self care, were it available to most black people. On the day after we have watched yet another black body be destroyed by modern day slave patrols, it would be helpful for us to be able to take a day away to process. To grieve. To hurt. To be angry. To try to once again come to grips with the fact that many people in this country, especially those in power, consider us disposable at best.
Jeremy Larson: Who Was the Baby on Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody?”
As with many famous samples, this coo has a storied history in pop music. The same baby has crawled its way onto several songs, from the Rascals’ “Look Around” (1969), to Prince’s “Delirious” (1982), to TNGHT’s “Bugg’n” (2012). It’s like the Wilhelm Scream of baby samples, and it even mirrors the cadence of that famed cinematic sound effect. But even the identity of the Wilhelm Screamer is known (it’s actor Sheb Wooley). Who made this baby coo? Where is this person now?
Malcolm Harris: ‘Pokémon Go’ and the Persistent Myth of Stranger Danger
For as long as we’ve had kids on the Internet, we’ve worried about adults with bad intentions luring them into an in-person meeting.
The truth is that all available data sets indicate that young Americans are increasingly safe from accidental and intentional victimization alike. The people who are most likely to violate children are known to them: Acquaintances, peers, and, yes, parents. Strangers only commit 1 to 10 percent of child abuse. Almost no one wants to harm children, and the ones who do tend to target kids close to them.
Pokémon Go probably isn't going to change the world or anything, but for the brief period of time it is in the cultural zeitgeist, it is changing my small part of it. It is a reason to leave the hovel I call home. It is a reason to go places I haven't been before. It’s a reason to see all those friends I love and miss so much. Because of Pokémon Go, I have been able to meet and pet a lot of cute dogs and if nothing else, I am grateful for that. I texted my friend, Fontaine, about this game and told her that I’m so happy to finally have my Pokémon adventure. She called the game a dream come true — and it is. It’s a childhood dream fulfilled, it’s a rope to lift you out of that hole, it’s a small joy in a world of great terrors, and I cherish the ability to see the world with fresh eyes.
Ronald A. Klain: Zika is coming, but we’re far from ready (Washington Post)
It is not a question of whether babies will be born in the United States with Zika-related microcephaly — it is a question of when and how many. For years to come, these children will be a visible, human reminder of the cost of absurd wrangling in Washington, of preventable suffering, of a failure of our political system to respond to the threat that infectious diseases pose.
These are not random lightning strikes or a string of global bad luck. This growing threat is a result of human activity: human populations encroaching on, and having greater interaction with, habitats where animals spread these viruses; humans living more densely in cities where sickness spreads rapidly; humans traveling globally with increasing reach and speed; humans changing our climate and bringing disease-spreading insects to places where they have not lived previously. From now on, dangerous epidemics are going to be a regular fact of life. We can no longer accept surprise as an excuse for a response that is slow out of the gate.
Jordan Kisner: The Dark Art of Mastering Music (Pitchfork)
The mastering engineers I spoke to for this story kept using the same phrase when describing their job: “to make the song competitive in the marketplace.” That is, making the music sound better in audio quality—clearer, louder, more vibrant—than anything else out there. Traditionally, the “marketplace” has been radio, where a well-mastered song hits that sweet spot where you feel immersed in the music but not battered by it. If your song is poorly mastered, the logic goes, people won’t want to buy your album. Worse yet, they might switch stations. And now, the marketplace also includes online streaming, which has raised the popularity of listening to music on headphones or portable devices with lousy speakers—platforms that require their own kind of mastering.
Dylan Matthews: The TSA is a waste of money that doesn't save lives and might actually cost them (Vox)
The TSA is hard to evaluate largely because it's attempting to solve a non-problem. Despite some very notable cases, airplane hijackings and bombings are quite rare. There aren't that many attempts, and there are even fewer successes.
I enjoy spending time in temporarily deserted places that usually bustle during daylight hours. Examples include San Francisco during Burning Man weekend, Penn Station at 2pm on Christmas day, almost everywhere in the US on Easter Sunday, the Financial District in Boston on Saturdays and Sundays, many major European cities during August.
Transgender is an umbrella word that is used to describe a very large and diverse group of people. "Transgender" can refer to transsexual people; to genderqueer and gender-variant people; to crossdressers; even to feminine men who still call themselves men, and masculine women who still call themselves women.
If someone says "I am a woman," or "I am a man," or "I am ____," please take that person seriously. Our cultural framework tends to tell us that their bodies may contradict their statements — that there's no way you could be a guy with XX chromosomes, or a genderless person with an obvious beard. But the trans person is the one who's right, and the simplistic framework is the model that's wrong. Gender is not dependent on physical appearances, or on the word of doctors, friends, family. The individuals are the ones who get to assert their own identity.
A very common initial reaction is to be defensive. You probably didn’t mean to make a mistake or cause harm. Unfortunately, you did whether you meant to or not. It’s ok to feel defensive – it’s an incredibly human response. However, it’s usually one you want to keep to yourself (and maybe a few close friends). Responding defensively is an intentional act that defends your mistake instead of admitting fault. It can do additional harm and is unlikely to improve the situation. Take a little time to sit with any feelings of defensiveness.