Saturday, October 19, 2019

Remember this spectacular bit of writing?

image
Someone wrote this. And published it. On paper.

I've finally made the effort of transcribing it, instead of making the effort to squint through it every time I want a laugh. (The real effort was abstaining from commenting on the text as I go.)

As Spikenard watched, Bronwyn slipped the transparent cloak from her shoulders; it fell with a whisper. She let her hands drop to her sides; she pulled her shoulders back and stood erect; feet apart, legs straight. This is what he saw:

Bronwyn standing pale and tall in the nervous light that shimmered through a vibrating canopy of green leaves. The shifting bands of milky light and emerald shadow made her seem luminous, transcendent, as though she were a tallow candle glowing beneath its own flame. Like a porcelain lantern. Like a curtain fluttering in a window at dawn. Like a ghost that came and went with the twilight and darkness, that first veiled and then revealed.

Her hair had the sheen of the sea beneath an eclipsed moon. It was the color of a leopard’s tongue, of oiled mahogany. It was terra cotta, bay and chestnut. Her hair was a helmet, a hood, the cowl of the monk, magician or cobra.

Her face had the fragrance of a gibbous moon. The secret of fresh snow. Her eyes were dark birds in fresh snow. They were the birds’ shadows, they were mirrors; they were the legends on old charts. They were antique armor and the tears of dragons. Her brows were a raptor’s sharp, anxious wings. They were a pair of scythes. Her ears were a puzzle carved in ivory. Her teeth were her only bracelet; she carried them within the red velvet purse of her lips. Her tongue was amber. Her tongue was a ferret, and anemone, a fox caught in the teeth of a tiger.

Her shoulders were the clay in a potter’s kiln. Her shoulders were fieldstones; they were the white, square stones of which walls are made. They were windows covered with steam. They were porcelain. They were opal and moonstone. Her neck was the foam that curls from the prow of a ship; it was a sheaf of alfalfa or barley; it was the lonely dance of the pearl-grey shark.

Her legs were quills. They were bundles of wicker, they were candelabra; the muscles were summer lightning, that flickered like a passing thought; they were captured eels or a cable on a windlass. Her thighs were geese, pythons, schooners. They were cypress or banyan; her thighs were a forge, they were shears; her thighs were sandstone; they were the sandstone buttress of a cathedral; they were silk or cobwebs. Her calves were sweet with the sap of elders; her feet were bleached bone; her feet were driftwood. Her feet were springs, marmosets or locusts; her toes were snails; they were snails with the shells of tears.

Her arms were a corral, a fence, an enclosure; they were pennants; they were highways. her fingers were incense. They were silver fish in clear water; they were the speed of the fish; they were the fish’s wake. They were semaphores; they were meteors.

Her spine was a snake. It was the track of a snake. It was the groove the water snake makes in the flossy mud of the riverbank. Her spine was a viper, an anaconda. It was the strength of the anaconda. It was the anaconda’s unknown hieroglyphic. Her spine was a ladder, a rod; it was a chair, a canal; it was a caravan. her buttocks were fresh-baked loaves; they were ivory eggs; they were the eggs of the lonely phoenix. They were a fist.

Her breasts were citrus; they were soapstone; they were bright cumulus and the smooth fingertips of Musrum. Her breasts were honeycombs and dew-beaded windows, or soft, sweet cheese. They were the twin moons of the earth. The nipples rose like mercury with her heat. They rose like monuments atop flowered hills, above deserts of hot sand; the nipples were savory morsels, with the flavor of the forest.

Her ribs were a niche, an alcove, an apse; her stomach was an idol in the niche, alcove or apse, an effigy, a phantom. Her stomach was a beach, a savannah, a flagstone warmed by the sun, a cat asleep on the flagstone, a bleached canvas sail in hot southern winds. Her navel winked like a doll’s eye, like the eye of a whale, like the drowsy cat.

Her pubes were a field of wheat after the harvest, a field neatly furrowed; it was a nest, a pomegranate, an arrowhead, a rune. It was a shadow. It was moss on a smooth white stone. There was an orchid within the moss. There was a drop of dew upon the orchid.It had the breath of moss-beds, of the deep seas, of the abyss, of scrimshaw and blue glass, of cold iron; she had the sex of rain forests, the ibis and the scarab; she had the sex of mirrors and candles, of the hot, careful winds that stroke the veld,  the winds that taste of clay and seed and blood; the winds that dreamed of tawny, lean animals.

“You are quite beautiful, Princess Bronwyn,” Spikenard sang, with his sardonic grin and eyes as violet and hard as amethysts. “Your body is halfway between eath and dream, neither magic nor elemental, neither animal nor spirit.”

His long fingers reached toward her face, brushed her eyelids…

“Your eyes are the sound of rain.”

…followed the contours of her cheekbones and jaw…

“Chalkbeds and moonlight.”

Thursday, October 10, 2019

What a terrible night to have a conscience

Lately I've been having these awful dreams where violence happens to people and I watch and I can't do anything. A guy playing with a homemade gun shoots a child in the back of the head, on the street. A fight starts in a garage that ends with a man swinging a sledgehammer down on someone's chest and a single gout of blood shoots up, over his head. A train takes a sharp corner and from the locomotive the driver and I see two kids playing on the rails about ten meters in front of us. The driver looks up, grinning and crying, and tells me what great weather we're having. A large sea of burned and broken people lie on the ground waiting for the armed guards to start moving them to hospital. The guards don't say what they're waiting for. Children, why is it always children, saw off their parents' bleeding limbs with wood saws. They have no bandages. They try to amputate someone's whole lower body and some clear fluid splashes on the ground from their stomach. One guy's chest is split through the middle and organs pour out when they try to lift him. I'm trying to explain to a guard they're killing these people for no reason by waiting but he doesn't hear anything I say.

Obviously these dreams are about how most of the world is pulling into Conservative, survival-based values and I can't get a single person to understand why that's bad and we should resist it. I've been trying to do that since 2010, it's weird I haven't had the dreams before. I guess I'm getting better at caring about people.

But I don't understand where my brain gets all these gruesome details. It's nothing I've seen anywhere. I go out of my way to avoid seeing shit like this. I don't even know enough about violence to say if what I see is realistic. But when I wake up alone after four hours of sleep I wonder. If I'm receiving signals from somewhere. If I'm becoming my username. If I'm supposed to do something, if my words aren't enough.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

On genocide

When you genuinely believe you’re superior to other people, being held accountable can “feel” like persecution. This disgusting level of entitlement gives us the conspiracist fantasy of “white genocide”, where supposedly an organized army of immigrants have kids “at” the white people in your country in a deliberate effort to destroy and replace them.

A form of genocide that is usually only a tangential byproduct to the kind of genocide where you actually kill people. And of course no such organized, cruel "takeovers" exist. You'd really have to be conceited like a five year old, completely unaware and unable to even imagine you're "not" the literal center of the universe, to think that a million refugees huddled in a camp in Yemen are plotting to ruin "you", even aside from the absurdity (and additional conceit) of accomplishing your ruin by having kids that would ... live? ... where your future progeny ... might also live?

But as we can see with a certain amount of paranoid, egomaniacal delusion and a liberally stretched definition of the word "genocide", it's not impossible to argue such a thing is happening in various WENA regions. So let's see how the white genocide is coming along. There are ten stages of genocide commonly talked about since Dr Gregory Hanson's 2012 text; let's go over them one by one.

1. CLASSIFICATION: People are divided into "us" and "them"
Here the racist already runs into problems, because there is no "us". The vague group of "immigrants" look scary at a distance, if you're scared of things that are different, but they're not actually a homogeneous unit. You may be able to discern a cohesive "us" among specific immigrant communities, but then that group is not going to have a "them" that both includes all the white people and is a group against which they can pose a threat, given their inferior numbers and capital. Come to think of it, this perception of an existential threat probably hinges on the common misconception of just how many immigrants there are in your country; I recall a survey showing the average person's "belief" of how many Muslims lived in various European countries outnumbered the actual Muslims by like 5-20 times.

2. SYMBOLIZATION: People are forced to identify themselves.
Again, no. There is nobody forcing white people to identify as white. If you have forms where you have to fill in your ethnicity, you can bet these forms were witten by and are enforced by white people. If you have people in the street giving you side eyes because you look white, you can bet you're enjoying the social capital to ignore them with little consequence.

3. DISCRIMINATION: People begin to face systematic discrimination.
This is of course where the racist will take affirmative action as discrimination against whites. It's not. It's the "tiniest" gesture towards trying to "balance" the centuries of discrimination against people of color that has left them with a systemic disadvantage easily observed in any kind of average income statistics. See above re. confusing accountability and persecution. People in WENA get called to job interviews "more" often if they have a white-sounding name, not the other way around. And again, there just doesn't exist any infrastructure for immigrants to wield power to enact discrimination on a national scale even if they wanted.

4. DEHUMANIZATION: People are equated with animals, vermin or diseases.
Yeah, we've seen that one a lot in the news lately. Brown-skinned immigrants calling white third-generation Americans vermin. No wait, it's the other way around. Some of the white people calling the people of color vermin even hold the office of the president. Once again, the specific actions involved in genocide are more accurately said to be perpetrated "by" the white people than against them.

5. ORGANISATION: The government creates special military and law enforcement group to enforce discriminating policies.
Yes, the duly elected parliament of immigrants whose authority is recognized by many law enforcement agencies this week signed the paperwork to form the office of Homeland Security, and start construction on another for-profit prison.

6. POLARIZATION: The government broadcasts propaganda to turn the populace against the group.
Imagine the opposite of Fox News. Now try to say that's happening, anywhere in the world, in any imaginable reality.

7. PREPARATION: Official action to remove and relocate people begins.
For the record, mass forced relocations is not when you get kicked out for failing to pay rent. It is in fact what Donald Trump promised in 2015; the only issue on which he has never changed his opinion to whatever he deems convenient at the moment.

8. PERSECUTION: Beginning of murders, theft of property, trial massacres.
Now, it's possible to argue the government in several WENA countries are only "close" to this point - again, white people genociding people of color, "not" the other way around - and it's possible to argue the independent actors committing mass murders on immigrants don't qualify as acts of genocide due to the governments' reluctance to support them, but it's sure as fuck not possible to argue this is something that's happening to white people in WENA.

9. EXTERMINATION: Wholesale elimination of the group. It is "extermination" and not murder because the people killing them do not believe they are human.
Since the "War on terror" started tens of thousands of people have been killed in terrorist attacks. It's probably safe to say these killers do not believe their victims to be human. But now we're really far from the concept of genocide. If bin Ladin had been tried in court, it would not have been for genocide. We're reaching so far from those supposed secret breeding programs "white genocide" was supposed to be about; now we're just talking about people being killed, not actually for their skin color, and with means and motivations so broad we might as well count the hundreds of thousands of people murdered by white people. But that's as close as we can get to claiming there is a "wholesale elimination" of white people by immigrants going on anywhere.

10. DENIAL: The government denies that it has committed a crime.
Right, the immigrant government that denies its crimes so successfully not even the most deranged conspriacy theory could suggest it exists at all. There are 850 million white people in the world. As a rule, we run the wealthy and influential parts of the world. Neither of these two things are in any danger of changing, though the latter one "should" change if you're into democracy. And to think keeping the first one the same has some kind of value that's worth making people suffer in any way is ridiculous.