I love that US politics are behind content warnings so often on here. It is a joy not to have to be barraged by pussygrabber updates when I'm not specifically in the mood for contemporary apocalypse forecasting.

The Asian characters in Blade Runner were treated so poorly--bullied, jostled on the street. None had real roles (the trope of a future-dystopian Asian megacity in which there are barely any actual Asians is pretty familiar by now, though) and so many lines whether in BR's invented Cityspeak or in Japanese were represented in the subtitles as "[Speaking foreign language]." The question of what constitutes humanness, who deserves self-determination, takes on expanded significance re race.

Do there exist any films (I was going to say "made before 2000" but, nah) that aren't horrifying in their gender politics? Just watched Blade Runner with some students. A couple freshmen guys were like, this film is too rapey for me. Me too--my tolerance for films with violence against women, or creepily sexualized nonconsensual interactions w women, is getting lower and lower as I get older. I have to experience this shit in everyday life, thank you very much! Film should be a goddamn refuge!

In that 'personal history of Twitter' Medium article, the author claims Twitter has made him a better writer. As far as I can tell, curmudgeonishly, Twitter hasn't made anyone a better writer. The Internet [by which I mean the tide pools of Silicon Valley] has an inadvertent house style which is banal and stultifying.

So if you’re using the octodon.social instance like I am, you should consider tossing a little scratch at the admin’s patreon to help keep the servers warm. patreon.com/CobaltVelvet

I enjoy viewing the posts over here after wallowing around in the other social media sites. For the moment, it feels like standing in an open meadow surrounded by forest, a cool breeze with the only sound from a small creek nearby.

The other sites tend to feel like I'm standing in the middle of a large city at rush hour as everyone curses out anyone that gets in their way.

I will enjoy this pleasantness for as long as it lasts. 🙂

(Unrelatedly, keeps blowing my mind how much America's fifty-cent army *isn't even American.*)

Language itself is the substrate on which we stage the, oh, streetscape interventions into ordinary life. Or: if you are queer, there are so many layers of possibility in that identification that go far beyond with whom or how you have sex. What are ways we, queers or people interested in upending the social order in an inherently anti-assimilationist project (no matter their self-identification) can approach this via language? Not in the theoretical sense, but in the roots of the everyday?

And yet my sense is that this is a joy for everyone--how else did, like, grandfathers the world over attain such a magisterial command of the bad pun? Typically not because they came of age as dadaists or in academe (where joy is actively rinsed from language). How did hiphop come into being? From whence the oral tradition? I'm making an inchoate argument here, I know--but what I mean to say is that doing magical things with sound and syntax, etc, is at its heart a *populist* tool.

But look, I'm a poet--these days, when I'm not being a sloth on the internet, I'm engaging with language in some way or another. Getting joy out of reconfiguring language itself is what I do, when I have the time/psychic space to write. (And for the record, I'm not a particularly experimental/language-y/"difficult" writer.)

An aside: a student brought a poem to workshop last night that was brilliant--a dictionary rewrite in the vein of A. Van Jordan's in M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A, & in the middle of a lovely poem was a line so coarse, so crude, it was frankly shocking. I spent ten minutes thinking about it--did it belong there, or was it *too* crude for the poem? In the end I decided it'd earned its place, and majestically. But either way, to reconfigure your reader's expectations so dramatically, it's a brilliant success.

5/ But in using language itself--in syntax, the way sentences are made, with metaphor--to disassemble the expectations of ordinary life and reconfigure the world anew to us, anew to everyone we engage with. Sometimes it's confounding. (Occasionally I baffle strangers--which I suspect is my ordinary fate.) But any time we're forced to stop and think about language itself, I count that as--what would you call it? An intervention in the ordinary?

4/ Not (just) in using language to repudiate a rhetorical culture in which the responsibility to truth has been erased, in which storytelling itself has become willfully perverse at all levels of society.

3/ Not (just) in the sense of using language to create beauty whether as poets or fiction writers or anyone with a keen and careful gaze.

2/ Not (just) in the power of rhetoric, of constructing persuasive arguments that themselves are both ethical and just, and that advance ways of engaging with the world that are ethical and just.

1/ This dovetails with another set of ideas I'm slowly turning into an essay, maybe. Which is that one of the few powers we as individual citizens have in terms of reconfiguring our world is language itself.

In spite of how quiet Mastodon is, I think that's something that can work in its favor. What if it was able to replicate the most delicious parts of the early internet? Specifically the parts focused on creating not content but deeper connections, and not with thousands but with a small handful that became one another's community? (And by "what if it was able to replicate," I mean "what if *we* were," since the joy of Mastodon's quietness is, to some degree, in the possibilities that promises.

Things I was not accustomed to before living in equatorial Asia: lizard poop in my shoes.

This week's poem-investigations: these gorgeously harrowing fieldwork-derived interview poems from Seam, by Tarfia Faizullah, which tell the stories of Birangona, women raped by Pakistani soldiers during Bangladesh's War of Liberation. But don't let a low appetite for stories of abjection (orange yam in office, etc) scare you away; on a line level, from a craft perspective, they're stunning (and great for thinking through fieldwork in the humanities): blog.elizabethdherman.com/2011

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