Screwed Up Saturday

Not everything this week was awesome.

[Trigger Warning for violence in some of these...]

LADYPALOOZA PRESENTS! How Amanda Palmer Lost a Fan, or, My Own Private Backlash
It may be “just the Internet,” but unless you have personally gone through a gigantic Internet Thing where certain facets of your identity are attacked and you and your fellow writers are threatened in a way that is, to put it mildly, ick-inducing, you cannot really know what it is like — no matter how many times you SAY, “I wouldn’t let that affect me! You are just over-sensitive! Here is how I would do it differently!” Because really, saying it and actually going through it are two very different things. Especially when the onus is, once again, on you and your co-bloggers to be polite and understanding and engage with people who apparently do not see any of you as human — even as they themselves staunchly back their idol, Amanda Palmer, who, for some reason, gets carte blanche to do things such as:

* Write long blog posts that don’t actually address any of the critiques raised and instead contain classic dodges like “I’m sorry that you were offended.”
* Make fun of her critics’ very existence on Australian television. (DISABLED FEMINISTS HAR HAR HAR SOOO FUNNY U GUYZ!!11)
* Say that she’s been “crucified” by these same critics.
* Leave several ill-advised 140-character “responses” on Twitter.
On Arizona's new law...
A bitch supports the idea of a boycott mostly because I think people should be warned that their family trip could turn into an apartheid experience quicker than flies gather on shit. Better to avoid Arizona altogether…and that’s a damn shame, since I’ve been there and found it to be a beautiful state. But natural beauty and stunning sunsets aren’t enough to overcome the now legal and oh so public threat of being treated like a suspect simply because you are a person of color.

Actually, just about everything about Arizona is pretty fucked up right now.

Guy Fawkes? Really?
As an artistic statement, subverting the cultural meaning of Fawkes is kind of interesting, but decontextualized from that and rewritten as a political slogan? I’m sorry, but I find that disturbing. The cultural corollaries to Fawkes in our culture are right wing terrorists like McVeigh. The rewriting of Fawkes in a sympathetic light in English culture makes a little more sense---a historical embracing of responsibility for oppressing Catholics---but it’s just incoherent in American culture, especially when you have highly privileged, non-oppressed folks like the teabaggers embracing him. I can’t help but think it’s just another way that wingnuts have grown more comfortable sending coded signals to each other about the desirability of domestic terrorism to protest Obama being President.

On Baby Emma
This story, no matter where you’re coming from, is incredibly sad (although it should be noted that the circumstances are very rare). A 20-year-old college student in Virginia gets pregnant, gives birth and places the baby for adoption. The baby, Emma, is placed through a Utah adoption agency. The baby’s father, John Wyatt, petitioned for custody eight days after Emma’s birth. A Virginia court granted custody, and ordered the baby returned. A Utah judge granted temporary custody to the adoptive parents, saying that Wyatt did not assert his parental rights on time. Wyatt has never seen his daughter; she is now 14 months old, and has only known her adoptive parents. Wyatt’s appeal is pending in Utah. And it’s not just a legal mess, but an ideological one — part of the reason that Wyatt is unable to attain custody of his daughter is because Utah privileges two-parent families over single fathers

The Racist Breeding Grounds of Harvard Law School
In short, Grace believes that there is a scientific possibility of black people being genetically inferior to white people. She equates it to being as simple as Irish people being more likely to have red hair, and African Americans being more likely to have darker skin. Of course, she explains intellect is about nature–for example, if her baby is raised by her in America or in a Nigerian orphanage, her baby would still share her intellectual prowess (wow, that is just too much ignorance in one sentence). Grace first spewed her racist statements at a law school dinner and then later clarified her views over an email. It was sent to a Black Law Students Association (BLSA) member, and then became viral.

Dozens Ignored a Man Dying on a Sidewalk in Queens
Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax’s last act may have been helping a woman who was having an argument with another man last Sunday morning in Queens. But his last hour or so was spent as a curiosity for people passing him on the street as he lay face down in blood after being stabbed several times.