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Known Knowns and Complete Unknowns: A Quick Update

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February 9, 2017



Well, here we are: Nearly a month into a Trump Presidency.  I have lots to report on and links to share, but this is a quick update before next week’s more full-fledged one.


The website is taking longer than I thought it would, but for good reasons — there is, it turns out, a TON of material to sort through and rearrange, rearranging turned out to be something that required intense discussions about who I want to present myself as, where my work is heading, and so on, and I’ve been busy with a lot of new work in the ...what do we call this? “A new age” sounds more hopeful than it is.

The good news is that I have lots of work coming up, the even better news is that I’m loving where my book proposal is heading.  On the Direness: It’s a work in progress, and I’ll have more news in the upcoming months, hopefully the best possible sort.

For now, the tension is between producing work for my website and my book and work for outlets which don’t just pay and well, but that can help help me keep my name getting out there.  What I like about this stage of where things are right now is that both my independent work and my conventionally paid work are doing well in terms of getting places.  My piece “Should You March Against Trump?” has been well-circulated alongside the work I’ve produced for places like Baffler.


None of this — absolutely none of this — would have been possible without those of you who’ve subscribed to my site and/or given me donations over the years to keep me going, and those of you who have unrelentingly posted and written about my work whenever you can.  Frida and I are by no means rolling in the lap of luxury (although, as you can tell, she’s very comfortable here on her bright pink blanket, next to the radiator, in one of her favourite spots), but your support makes it possible for me to continue plugging away at my work while putting the very complicated pieces of a complicated life into some kind of order.  If it were not for your support, I’d be desolate and struggling somewhere separated from my cat and my friends and trying to produce yet another dirge about my post-colonial memories of sitting under a banyan tree, the scent of papayas, and the rustle of silk saris, hoping to strike it big with the next bit of diaspora fiction.  Your support makes it possible to both feel secure and to produce work that I can be proud of, work that does the work of thinking through and producing a politics that is more complicated than the usual narratives: Thank you all for that.


If you’re in Chicago this weekend, check out the annual Gender JUST Valentines’s Day Event. This year, we’re launching a series of gatherings designed to bring together radical work and voices in the city, to help plan the coming revolution. The event is called, “Your Love Is Killing Me: Or, How To Face The Apocalypse.”


This week, I’m just going to quickly list what I’ve written of late, with a few glimpses at what’s being produced by others.  More soon, and thank you for your patience.



I wrote a review of the gendered and sexist responses to Joshua Marston’s 2016 film Complete Unknown:  “Complete Unknown: Or, When Critics Respond To A Woman Who Lives Like A Man.”


I produced “March As Feminists, Not As Women” for the Verso blog, on the eve of the Women’s March.


On Trump, I wrote “Should You March Against Trump?


For Current Affairs, where I produce some of my favourite work, I wrote “Bourgeois Feminist Bullshit,” a review essay about Rebecca Traister’s book, All The Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation.


I also wrote “Lambda Literary Stops Being Literary,” about the organisation insisting that reviewers should not review Milo Yiannopoulos’s forthcoming book.


I’ll have a couple more pieces on Yiannopoulos’ ah, presence in public life but for now, you should read my friend and comrade Eli Massey’s piece, “What Does Free Speech Require?” on the left deciding to ban him, in Current Affairs.

And speaking of Current Affairs: I may be prejudiced, as an Editor at Large there, but it’s become one of the best places for really insightful material from the left that isn’t simply recycling free work by academics or telling you what you already know. It’s also an absolutely beautiful magazine — I seriously plan on framing my gorgeously illustrated Bourgeois Feminist essay.  And they make a point of working with writers in the most equitable ways possible. Current Affairs was launched a year ago, and you can read the editor Nathan J. Robinson's description of what they hoped to achieve with it. Please take a look at the magazine and subscribe if you can!


And if you’re looking for other places to support, please consider Electronic Intifada, run by friends and comrades, which was producing important commentary and journalism long before everyone discovered that the press is largely controlled by a few political interests.  


Speaking of good journalism: While you don’t have to support them monetarily, at all, because they’re financed by a multibillionaire, The Intercept is worth reading, at least for now.  I’m keeping an eye on them to see how far they go in the direction already established by the New York Times, which has given up on everything but being anti-Trump and, in my opinion, already expressed in this piece “The New York Times Is The Daily Prophet,” is not worth much as a place for journalism. I’ll have a longer list of places to support — and places that aren’t worth supporting —  in the next few weeks.

In the coming months, I’ll also be writing more about media outlets — I’m very concerned that most readers know less and less about what journalism and writing actually entail, and that the blogification of even news has meant an erosion in both writing and reading practices.

Till the next, and thank you again for all your support.  

Writing is my primary source of income.  If you've liked this piece and my work in general and would like to support me, please donate or subscribe.  Subscriptions will help support my writing on a steady basis. You can find out more about me here.


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