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Hurray For The Goddamned Idiot!

Who gives a shit what one white kid thinks?


Three panels excerpted from a comic strip by Ariel Schrag

The Ping-Pong Theory of Tech Sexism: A true (illustrated) story by the great Ariel Schrag. 

comix | webjunk | sexism |
2014-07-06 (Sun)

Breaking the low mood cycle or when you want to be the Life of the Party but have only enough energy to be the Housepet of the Party by Elodie Glass. 

MSPaint-style drawing--could be a cat, could be a whale with pointy ears, who can tell
“I’m going to stalk dramatically through the center of the conversation and then disappear. Don’t touch me.”

(The style of the post linked above seems to owe a lot to Allie Brosh, whose influence is disproportionate to her profile.) 


Tracking this information allowed planters to determine how far they could push their workers to get the most profit. Using the account books, slave owners could see how many pounds of cotton each slave picked and compare it to their output from previous years—and then create minimum picking requirements based on these calculations.

[ … ]

The concept of depreciation is also credited to the railroad era, when railroad owners allocated the cost of their trains over time, but Rosenthal notes that slave owners were doing this before then.

[ … ]

These account books played a role in reducing slaves to “human capital,” Rosenthal says, allowing owners who were removed from day-to-day operations to see their slaves as assets, as interchangeable units of production in a ledger, instead of as people.

Article from Harvard Business School webmag “Working Knowledge” about Caitlin C. Rosenthal’s work on slavery & capitalism.

webjunk | slavery |
2014-06-22 (Sun)

HOW THE WOMAN GOT HER PERIOD

It’s messed up. 

webjunk | menstruation |
2014-06-22 (Sun)

Bo Diddley Again

Anne Boyer (twenty first century girl) wrote this: Hey Bo Diddley, which reminded me of my own Hey Bo Diddley.  That’s right, I’m just as creative with the titles as the folks at Coldfront.  Boyer’s piece is majestic and I am going to quote from it lavishly.  I am going to quote almost all of it, without permission:

If Bo Diddley could do anything, it was grind. In this, he once again resembles nothing, for the most familiar nothing that is so much something is the grind, by which I mean the daily one, how in it time wears away like blades against themselves.

The grind is at least partial evidence that Bo Diddley was, apart from himself and nothing, also a clock. “A clock” is the punch line to the riddle: “What marks everything but itself leaves no mark?”  And “time” is the punch line to what tells but doesn’t speak: the minutes, half hours, hours, days, weeks, years and decades shuffle away, and if you don’t see them on a face at the instant they appeared there, you will never see them again.  So, too, the shuffle of a Bo Diddley song: hands over minutes, each like the other but never exactly[.]

[ … ]

Bo Diddley is the face of the nothing that is so much something that it must always be called after.  Bo Diddley asks, “Where did the time go?” When you sing along to “Hey Bo Diddley” what you really sing is“Hey, come here, whatever both desperately needs and dissipates itself, what is marked by its unmarking, what tells but doesn’t speak, what is and isn’t until there is nothing and everything left.”

I said that the Bo Diddley Beat summoned a spirit.  In the above paragraph, Boyer seems to have something of the same idea? 

In the Palace of Irony, also, Bo Diddley’s face was straight man to his feet, which were hilarious.  In the Palace of Irony, also, Bo Diddley’s rhythm was his melody (Bo Diddley: “I play drum licks on the guitar”). His hot was his cool. His going hard was his laying back.  His showing off was his humility.  For Bo Diddley, like any virtuoso, the least amount of effort was to allow all of his effort to be unleashed.

[ … ]

It is in the nothing that is Utopia, however, that you will find the origin story of Bo Diddley.  It’s the story of the birth, like all gods, of no one.  He was born at midnight, playing a golden guitar, and just like the Baby Jesus, people came from miles around to see him.  One might expect that this is the sign of someone who is something, but remember, Bo Diddley is Diddley Squat (nothing). Here’s what Bo Diddley sang about his exceptional nativity: “Woo! I’m a mess.”

[ … ]

This is also the Palace of Irony’s wing of extreme trickster litotes: virtuosity is the messiest shit around.  Everything spills out that way. It’s unstoppable, and what spills out (in a mess) of the virtuoso is not an individual but an era and all that era’s marks and vicissitudes.  The golden guitar Bo Diddley was born with was the extension of the human hand as the human that was Bo Diddley was the instrument of the other-worldly force that is Bo Diddley’s exact world and his own exact times.  There is nothing so precisely historical as the virtuoso’s magic deluge of “era.”

Bo Diddley was stolen from.  Bo Diddley suffered. Bo Diddley sowed and barely reaped.  About Bo Diddley, people forget, but if you listen closely to everything you might have loved, you will hear that Bo Diddley is the most obvious citation in any treatise on “cool.”

[ … ]

What was timeless about Bo Diddley, on the other hand, is that Bo Diddley kept time.  The Bo Diddley beat, like the Bo Diddley century, was above any other before or after it, propulsive. Woo! America.  Woo! The 20th century! Woo! High modernity’s temporal acceleration! Where did the time go? I’m a mess!

In another origin story, Bo Diddley got his beat from the tambourines he heard in church. The church tambourines got theirs, by cunning preservation, from enslaved people from Africa who beat the hambone on their own bodies. Bo Diddley was nothing; everything; the court jester of the Palace of Irony, therefore its king; a clock; a riddle; a Utopic furnishing; the fly muse of history; a generally hilarious defiance; a drumless drum[mer]; a long transatlantic memory; music’s slow countermethod to war.

In another origin story, Bo Diddley claimed he wanted his guitar to sound like travelin’.  He called it “the freight train sound.” It came not by nature, though part of being a virtuoso is the virtuoso’s claim of being the child of accident, but from experiment.  What critics said Bo Diddley did with this discovery was “expansion.” Bo Diddley made the guitar big enough for Rock-n-Roll.

There is no doubt that beyond his own The Story of Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley came to be. Rumor has it his name came from the children on the playground in Chicago, where he moved from the South during Bo Diddley’s great migration. Bo Diddley was also a boxer: is this, too, where he gleaned that shuffle?

music | webjunk | bo diddley |
2014-06-19 (Thu)

Most days when I step out of my house I make sure that the contours of my silhouette are grid-like, smooth, confined to lines like the streets of my city. […] I don’t want anyone to see parts of my exposed flesh just because I’m walking down the street. […] Form-fitting feels different than tailored[….]

[…A]lone in my room, I do the body-worship dance. But motherfuckers don’t make clothes for my round body-worshipping ass. […] Men’s clothing rocks. I love it all but but but what about my soft everything? Shopping for clothes gives me anxiety for eight million reasons and then I found this pair of black leggings with badass gold zippers and all that shit in my brain got quiet for a minute and then I paid for them and here we are.

And then the fun began.  (“Fun”? 😕) 

Queers and weirdos can spot me a mile away [ … ] I’m a fucking welcome sign for all queers within a 20-mile radius of me and I like it. […] I’m that person and holy shit how come it wasn’t as easy to be that person in leggings?

Ogfunkbandit’s rumination on gender and how the world reacts.  Here’s another taste. 

webjunk | queer |
2014-06-11 (Wed)

Steve Albini interviewed at BoingBoing:

There has always been a market for well-made records, it’s just that the music business tried to eradicate vinyl in favor of the much more profitable CD format, and it was an easy sell, since CDs were more convenient. For a while there was little interest in making quality vinyl except for a specialty market. Now that the CD has been surpassed by downloads and streaming as a convenience format, there is almost no reason to make CDs any more. People who want vinyl are willing to pay a little extra for the format, and people who want convenience are happier with broadband digital options. In the late 1980s my friend John Loder predicted that vinyl would survive long after CDs had been made redundant, and he’s been proven prescient. It’s still the best way to preserve music for the long term (century-plus I mean) and when made with care is still the best sounding home format. What’s really cool about the current state of vinyl is that with press runs small and mastering houses not tied up with endless recuts of hit records, it is now quite likely that any random independent LP will get better mastering and better pressing quality than even the most important major titles used to get during the vinyl heyday. It’s now pretty much standard to cut from original master tapes, and to use first generation metalwork to make stampers rather than production duplicates and duplicate mothers.

(Biggification mine.)  

webjunk | records |
2014-05-23 (Fri)

Haley Campbell explains why she “got fired from the restaurant”:

Because I refused to go and buy cigarettes for a rude businessman who tugged on my apron. Because I got stuck in the stairwell with three plates of venison and could not go forward or back without throwing the venison in the air so I chose to wait and be stuck for about ten minutes until someone found me, by which point everything was cold anyway. Because I hid and cried in the fridge on a regular basis while eating olives straight from the massive jar. Because I accidentally tipped the massive jar of olives over and a thousand olives tumbled down the stairwell I’d recently got stuck in. Because I got drunk and embarrassing while hosting a wine tasting and kissed the chef.

From the same interview, here’s a picture of Haley Campbell with her da Eddie (looking rather toasted).  Good-looking pair, what?  

Photo of author Haley Campbell and her father the cartoonist Eddie Campbell posing with their arms around each other and both wearing paper crowns
webjunk |
2014-05-22 (Thu)

“If you will not give the whole loaf of suffrage to the entire people, give it to the most intelligent first. If intelligence, justice, and morality are to have precedence in the government, let the question of the woman be brought up first and that of the negro last.”

webjunk |
2014-05-20 (Tue)

This piece is brilliant. 

Brittney Cooper (AKA crunktastic AKA ProfessorCrunk AKA…):

On bell, Beyonce’, and Bullshit

webjunk |
2014-05-20 (Tue)