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Sumer Is Icumen In, At Last

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June 22, 2017

Hello to the end June — summer feels like it’s almost over, just as we move past the solstice. I've always been fond of "Sumer Is Icumen In," and this Hilliard Ensemble rendition (posted last time as well -- I like it that much) is lovely.


If you’re wondering, and you probably are: my censorship drama may (operative word: may) be over, but I’m still looking into it.  I’m beyond grateful to the many, many people who so quickly and efficiently stood up and helped make sure my piece, “The Dangerous Academic Is An Extinct Species,” was posted around and who made sure to let Facebook know that it is, most definitely, not spam. Once again, in thanks, is my favourite video, “Valentine for Perfect Strangers.”

If you’d like to support me, one of the best ways is to read and help circulate my work.  If you’d like to receive these regular updates on my writing (and lots of fun reading material by others, from around the web), you can register on my website or email me directly to added to my list.  Registering on my site does not require a paid subscription!


If you’d like to support me by also subscribing, that would be wonderful and it's also deeply necessary— I’m grateful for any amount. But, again, I completely understand that a paid subscription is not always possible; please know that reading and circulating my work is in itself hugely, hugely important to me. If the Dodo piece was successfully yanked out of the Facebook hellhole into which it threatened to disappear, it is entirely due to the diligent efforts of so many who stepped up to help by posting it around.



What I’ve Been Up to

My piece “Your Sex Is Not Radical” has been generously translated into Italian by Antonella Garafalo. It’s “Il sesso che fai non è rivoluzione in Italian. As my friend Carlene Colahan puts it so well, if it ain’t radical in Italian, then it never will be.


Hasna Ankal interviewed me for this piece on identity politics and the left, “Critique on identity politics should be about power,” for MO*, an alternative news magazine.  Many thanks to Hasna, with whom I had an hour and a half Skype interview, and who then transcribed, condensed, and translated this! The original, in Dutch, can be found here.


Gender JUST is organising a Criminal Queers Double Feature as a Pre-Pride event!  It’s one of the few times you’ll be able to watch both Homotopia and Criminal Queers, now queer classic films, at the same time at a free, public screening. Please come if you can and help spread the word!


News and Stories from Around the Web

I haven’t yet been able to read this thoroughly, but this looks like a really interesting and in-depth  article on “The Forking of the Indian Rupee,” about money and Partition.


Also bookmarked, for future watching: A film Kakoos (Toilet) about manual scavengers in India. On Facebook, Amulya Mandava writes, "The incredible Divya Bharathi has made an important film about the lives of 'manual scavengers' in India: individuals who are employed to clean public toilets and septic tanks by hand and without protective equipments, in extremely dangerous conditions. It's a film that looks at this issue in its gender, caste, class dimensions...and one in which the workers speak about their experiences in their own words. A testament to what documentary film can do to bring light to a sociopolitical issue that has gotten far too little public attention.

It's been difficult to screen this publicly because the cops have repeatedly shut things down, so she just went ahead and put the entire thing on Youtube, to spread it as far as possible. In Tamil with English subtitles."


Nathan J. Robinson writes about “The Politics of Tragedies” such as the Grenfell Tower fire, the “logical end result of a process of decision-making driven by a particular philosophy of governance and a particular set of economic laws.”


The 1990s saw a wildfire of false accusations of Satanic sex crimes sweeping the country.  Fran and Dan Keller were falsely convicted and spent 21 years in prison; they’ve been recently exonerated and released.


Jeremy Corbyn and others suggest that those who lost their homes in the fire should be relocated to vacant Kensington and Chelsea properties.


The stroried Ebony magazine has not been paying its freelancers, and is being raked over the coals for it.


If you’re like me, you love watermelon.  If you’re like me, you always find yourself looking at all the rind that’s left over and wishing you could do something with it because, really, it just seems like such a waste.  The answer?  Delicious watermelon rind curry (tested by a friend).


There’s a children’s book about Europe’s racist, colonial past and present!


I think and write about Chicago’s lack of integration, and it’s easy to forget that the state in general has a real problem.  Here’s a 2015 piece about Evanston’s historic problem of segregation.


The Americans, a 2008 book of photographs of South Asians is the subject of this piece.


I’m sick and tired of writers constantly citing Michelle Alexander as if she invented the critique of prisons (a critique done by many, many uncounted activists who have also acted to end prisons, long before she showed up on the scene), but this Truth Out piece on women and the prison industrial complex is illuminating.


Think Biryani is delicious?  Try Haleem!  My mouth watered upon reading this piece about Hyderabadi Haleem (my Hyderabadi friend tells me the place is indeed incredible).  



From the Archives


A little after Father’s Day, but Facebook’s memory thingy reminded me that I wrote this, “Father’s Day, Queer Families, and Gay Marriage” in 2009.


My piece, “Why Is America Turning to Shit?” is a favourite of mine.


Remember Milo?  I wrote this about his fall, “From Queer to Gay: The Rise and Fall of Milo.”


Here’s my “Rachel Dolezal and the Materiality of Race.”


My interview with prison abolitionist Mariame Kaba.


In case you missed it the first time around, here’s the speech I gave on March 8, for the International Working Women’s Day, “Bitches of Capitalism.”


The Times is terrible at reporting, delivering slanted news and mostly ghastly op-eds from a bunch of tired writers who say mostly the same things over and over again, and book reviews that rarely rise above mediocre hemming and hawing. But sometimes it delivers a gem, and this profile of Christopher Kimball is among my favourite in the genre. It’s funny, well-written, and it’s not afraid to paint a complicated portrait (unlike, say, those nauseatingly hagiographic profiles of Hillary Clinton during the last election year).


Herding kittens.  Some days, life just feels like you’re herding kittens.


In case you missed it, here’s my last update, “Summertime and the Censorship Is Easy.”

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Image: Thomas Wilmer Dewing, "Summer," 1890.

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