eumelia: (brilliant)
Apologies for the vague post yesterday, I had many thoughts running around my brain and I really needed to jot down a reminder that they should exorcised at some point.

I have a terrible poker face, or maybe I'm just surrounded by people who know me well enough to read my facial expressions and body language.

On Monday I had a full on neurotic crisis, of such that I called a friend to talk to her about it for 15 minutes, basically repeating myself ad nauseam regarding how terrible I felt when in fact it was my own internalised views of society that made me feel terrible.

For you see, I was once again hairy in public )

On top of all that, and this actually puts thing into perspective, kind of; I am finishing my BA in Literary Theory and Women & Gender Studies, and my Future is Now! I am in a very unstable place regarding how I feel about where I think I should go and I (don't know what) want to do, which is no doubt, affecting my emotional reactions to things that really, are on no consequence.

Also, my LJ and DW accounts are expiring in the next week or so! Which makes me sad-ish.

But hey, yesterday a lecturer of mine asked my opinion regarding a course she's making up for the New Students who will have the privilege of studying Women & Gender Studies and that made me feel awesome. Especially because I told her to check out Henry Jenkins and The Society of Friends of the Text, because fan interpretations deserve to be taught in Academia.
eumelia: (bollocks)
I don't understand the concept of political correctness.

I understand the concept of non-prejudicial language.

I understand the concept of respecting other people.

I don't understand why people don't get either of those two concepts and accuse me of being "Politically Correct" as though I'm trying to censor what they say and what they think.

Is it seriously so difficult for people not to say something that is offensive to another person?

And in any event, why is it called Political Correctness when in reality it is basic politeness?

There seems to be this notion that people, as a general rule, do in fact spout whatever they like and are completely filter-less when it comes to language.

My mother, who is a teacher, threw a kid out of her class the other day because he said that there was an "Arab Smell" in the classroom.
I mean, for fuck's sake.
Would you say that my mother was wrong for punishing a child for saying something like that?
And if he had said there was a "Fucking Smell"? (which could happen, Mummy teaches English the language to 14-15 year old kids).
She's probably throw the kid out all the same.
Disrespectful language in a public forum.

Is what she did censorship?

Well you could say that in the hierarchical set-up of a school, the kids really do have no say when it comes to freedom of speech and all that.
So yeah, that's my mother's prerogative to discipline the class room.

But when you're talking with people in the aforementioned public forum.
How does that work then?
I don't really have the prerogative of discipline the masses.
I do think it is everyone's duty, as social people, to be aware of the effect and affect of language on other people's lives.

Is that difficult?

I know that in Israel it is, there is a culture of "telling it straight", "what you see is what you get" and very frank discussion on race (and in some circles sex of various kinds).
The other day I was at my regular falafel place which is run by a family of Mizrahi Jews (specifically of Yemeni heritage) and I was saying that I love the spices they've added to the falafel and [Proprietor] smiled at me and said "Thanks, most people from Africa like the hot stuff".
I laughed because he knows my family is South African and I said "Yeah, well you wouldn't know with the way my family eats... they don't all go for the hot stuff... You know us Europeans"
"Yeah, well you don't count you were born here"
"I guess so" I replied.
"Where's your family originally from?" he asked.
I said we were Lithuanian, Latvian, Polish, generic Eastern-European.
And he said "Yeah, I though you guys were Russian when I first met you".

Only in Israel.

Oy my point drifted away.
Ah yes.
And how Political Correctness is a myth.
You're either respectful (which isn't synonymous with polite) or you're not.
As a general rule we don't say everything we think right at that moment, it goes through a filter and is arranged to make sense in our mouths, or on a page, or on a website.

As a result, if someone accuses you of "Political Correctness" ask them if they find it difficult to not say "You mouther-fucking bitch cunt!"?.
When you could have easily said "You fucking moron!".
If you're going to insult my intellect, don't make it about my "female brain".
Seems harsh, don't it?
eumelia: (Default)
Today on the News I watched an Economic Commentator compare the bailout plan to a defibrillator shock.
That comparison really scared me, because after reading The Shock Doctrine, which was one of the first economic commentaries/exposes I'd ever read, I've been trying to keep a keener eye and ear out for the language used by pundits, politicians and sound bite economists.

The worst thing about this is that the really wealthy won't notice this, those whose entire capital was invested in stock will get benefits from this bailout and thus will be able to go on their merry way, while inflation goes over board and unemployment abounds.

I'm parroting the News and I can't help but wonder, do these people understand who inflation and unemployment hurts most? Are they aware that small businesses (like my father's) can go under simply by employing people, because prices soar and no one can pay a salary because no one can afford because the customers themselves lose their job and are forced to go onto welfare and social security... which in my little Hell Hole is dwindling and dwindling.

I myself am also thinking about my future. What I'm to do with my degree in Useless studies Lit. and Gender studies.
I once thought of getting an MA or Certificate in Information/Library studies.
But when I think about what I really want to do and considering what I'd like to use my degree for, I always think of my mother, who is a teacher.
And this week a friend of the family who runs a chapter of an organization that tries to encourage education/literacy among the Indigenous people in Australia. She and her Significant Other (who also works at this NGO) were telling me about some of the projects and the young teachers that work at the organization and all I could think was "yes, yes... this is what makes the difference".
I'm still young enough to remember that I thought teachers were idiots and that I almost all of them.
Except my literature teachers in Junior High and High School.
And my Drama teacher from when I was 11 'till 14.
And sometimes I fantasize about being that kind of influence, if that one awkward weird kid can look back and think... I'd like to be like that.

Real world cynicism (and having a parent as a teacher) lets me know that fantasy aside, being a teacher is a thankless job in today's economic reality, especially in Israel where if you don't have tenure you barely get enough pay to make ends meet.

So... yeah.
This is what I think about when I have time. And I get memory streams, but that's the subject of a different entry.
eumelia: (Default)

How was everyone's first day back at school?
Teachers, I hope the little shits didn't give you too much trouble.
Pupils, I hope those authoritarian fascists didn't give you a hard time.

Me? Oh, no. I'm neither teacher nor pupil.
My school starts in November, which is still a long way off to go.
I still have three papers to write and my last make up exam is on the 25th of September... yes, that's when I'll be done with the Hell that this year has been.
But what do I have to complain about? It's still summer and I even managed to get into a bathing suit this year - I know, shocking.

Here's to a new school year!

And hey, any of you who is near/in Gustav, my thoughts are with you - fuck that government.
eumelia: (Default)
To all the teachers who made and continue to make a difference.

Especially my Mother, who made me.

What Teachers Make by Taylor Mali

He says the problem with teachers is, "What's a kid going to learn
from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"
He reminds the other dinner guests that it's true what they say about
Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.

I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation to remind the other dinner guests
that it's also true what they say about lawyers.

Because we're eating, after all, and this is polite company.

"I mean, you¹re a teacher, Taylor," he says.
"Be honest. What do you make?"

And I wish he hadn't done that
(asked me to be honest)
because, you see, I have a policy
about honesty and ass-kicking:
if you ask for it, I have to let you have it.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional medal of honor
and an A- feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won't I let you get a drink of water?
Because you're not thirsty, you're bored, that's why.

I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
I hope I haven't called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something Billy said today.
Billy said, "Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don't you?"
And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write, write, write.
And then I make them read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math.
And hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you got this (brains)
then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this (the finger).

Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
I make a goddamn difference! What about you?

(c)Taylor Mail -
No copyright infringement is intended in this blog entry, only admiration and the spreading of the spoken word.

Found via [ profile] omnivorously.


eumelia: (Default)

June 2015

 12345 6

V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.


-"V for Vendetta"


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