Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Author event at Mayday Books

First draft...

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Monday, October 23, 2006

For me:
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

For Ravenhub:
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Monday, October 16, 2006

More Burqa Information

I bought a new book from Seven Stories Press called Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence by Sonali Kolhatkar and James Ingalls. They have an entire chapter devoted to the politics of the burqa called: "Liberation" Rhetoric and Burqa Obsession scare quotes in the original.

Here is a great quote from an interview with Kolhatkar on from the Afghan Women's Mission website:

SK: I think the main thing that they've missed is that most Afghan women live in grinding poverty. What good is a right not to wear a burqa if you can't put food on your table? Many people still wear the burqa for a lot of reasons, but a lot of women wear it out of shame to cover their rags that expose how poor they are. They have no jobs, no literacy. Between 4 and 10 percent of Afghan women can read and write.

There are some really, really extreme issues like honor killings, women being jailed because of adultery, women burning themselves to death. There was a woman last year, Amina, who was stoned to death. Boy, did the media miss that one. There was no uproar.

The poverty issue is not a sexy issue. It's not dramatic; it's more abstract, more elusive and there's no easy fix to it. Afghanistan was one of the world's poorest countries before 9/11 and it is still one of the poorest countries.

The book also refers to an Amnesty International Report called "Afghanistan 'No one listens to us and no one treats us as human beings': Justice denied to women" which documents that the abuse of women has continued under the puppet regimes the U.S. "liberation" put in place.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Bummer sticker thingy

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I wanted to use the silhouette image that was used on the "America Stands With Cindy" flyers from last year along with the headline chosen for this event. I used compacta for the letter one and Mistral for the words. I think I like it, but I may fuss with it some more. Hm.

Leaflet for Sheehan event

First draft:

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

A Memory seems apropos

In the mid 1980s I was involved in political activity against the U.S. invasions in Central America. I helped to build several very large mass demonstrations in St. Paul. Local activists worked with the Catholic church to hold memorial services on March 24, the anniversary of the assassination of Archibishop Oscar Romero by death squads in San Salvador. We'd have an inter-faith service at the Cathedral and a march down the street to a political rally at the Capitol.

One of the traditions in the movement was to carry several hundred white crosses with the names of the dead and disappeared in El Salvador. Sometimes we would pound them into the soil outside the Cathedral of St. Paul. Sometimes we would carry them on our marches. Often we would read the names and shout, "!Presente!" in unison to honor their lives.

One year it was particularly cold and dark due to clouds and an impending snow storm. Somebody got the idea of bringing those tiki-type burners to the rally. They would provide light and keep us warm on a freezing day in Minnesota.

I swear, it was not until we saw a couple of thousand people walking down the streets of St. Paul with flaming torches and white crosses that we realized what a colossal error that particular image presented. Some of the Episcopal preachers leading the march had long flowing white robes as well.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

No, we had not meant to be racist. And we certainly weren't opening a new branch of the klan in our state. Perhaps if we had more black people in on the planning we could have envisioned the outcome better,. But we didn't.

We created an incredibly racist image. Hell, I'm a white northerner and I saw it the minute I stepped out into the street.

Any one of us can inadvertently create a racist image. There is something wrong if we can't acknowledge that. We are wrong if we can't listen to people who have responses that differ from our own. We must try to avoid such mistakes in the future.

I know I will never combine white crosses and torches in a mass demonstration ever again. I feel awful for having done it only once.

And, no, we did not get any blowback from that march. Not one complaint. It was still wrong. And we were lucky we didn't get our asses kicked for allowing it to happen.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Attack of the Hillary Clones

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I did a really crappy quick-ass job of it, too. But I think it tells us what Clinton really wanted from the event.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Lucy? You've got some 'splainin' to do!

My stat counter says I'm getting hits from my recent comments, so this is a bit of an explanation of where I'm coming from.

That title has a zillion self-references. To old folks like me, that's a well-known line that Desi Arnez used on the show "I Love Lucy" whenever his wife did something utterly whacked and inane. Because, of course, women are illogical and silly and need to explain their actions patiently to their husbands.. The Cuban accent is emphasized and meant to be highly comical. So we've our sexism wrapped up in a racist accent in order to make white people (the only people who owned TVs at the time) laugh.

I haven't posted on the blog lately, which is primarily a place where I post the fliers and posters I make for activities I'm involved in, because I've gotten wrapped up in an internet discussion occurring over at Pandagon.

For some reason, I just love the heck out of this shit. I am fascinated by exploring issues that contain multiple meaning. I can go on and on about it. I can devote hours of time dissecting and picking out more and more meaning from the subject at hand. It's like those pictures from children's magazines that are ostensibly pictures of children at play. But the artist has inserted other images into the drawing and the contest is to pick out the bird, the hammer, the baseball bat, etc. Or like Hirschfield's caricatures of stars that always contained the letters of his daughter's name, NINA, somewhere in the drawing. I enjoyed looking for Hitchcock's cameo appearance in each one of his movies. I enjoy those pictures that look like a vase when looked at one way but look like two faces when viewed the other.

I used to be involved in TV fandom on the internet and I was always the last poster commenting long after everyone else had given up and said "I don't care about these details any more, Ravenmn. I just want to enjoy the show."

I enjoy books like "Wrapped in Plastic" that examines various aspects of "Twin Peaks". I have books examining the social implications of the OJ Case, Madonna's use of sexuality, the role of women in feminist science fiction, the rise of the female lesbian detective genre. All of these are significant cultural trends that affected people differently and had profound impacts on people's outlook and choices in life.

I like detail and I like the different meanings we take from life and in culture. Also, I'm a white, feminist, anti-imperialist woman engaged in political activism. So this current discussion seems to have met all the criteria to keep me interested long after almost everyone else has given up and gone to bed or back to enjoying the show.

The background

For a good introduction into the controversy that is Burqagate, read Bitch|Lab

Then you can head over to the I seem to be prolonging into infinity at Pandagon in which Amanda apologies for the image and a circus ensues.

Go and read more

I'm not going to turn this blog into a discussion blog, because it is done much better in other places. So go forth and learn my new visitors. There are valuable lessons to be learned. We are indeed fortunate that this information is being freely shared and available at the click of a button. Woman of Color Blog Bitch|Lab My Private Casbah Le Colonel Chabert Slant Truth Having Read the Fine Print Fetch Me My Axe