love! science! acid rain! dreary hellscapes! knitting! It Has It All!
the mfa thesis comic formerly-known-as “post-apocalyptic lesbian science buddies” is up at my website! read it there, or you can buy a hardcopy and support my crippling green tea addiction.
warnings for homophobic hate crime & institutional negligence, some eating disorder talk
I was going to write a disjointed text post about actual self-care, especially radical queer self-care/self-love, whatever that means, and I was going to include lyrics from Queen & Davie Bowie’s “Under Pressure” because
Can’t we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can’t we give love that one more chance
Why can’t we give love
And love dares you to care for
The people on the
(People on the streets) edge of the
Night, and love
(People on streets) dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
"Under Pressure" is a song ABOUT the thing that radical queer self-care wants/pretends to be but self-care as it is commonly described and demonstrated today is actually enabling. I was googling for interviews with Queen or Bowie about the lyrical meaning—it should be obvious that the song is about what homophobia does to LGB people and what it did to LGB people in the US, UK, etc. up through the 80’s—and while a few people on a few sites have pointed this out, the song’s meaning is highly contested, and suggestions that the lyrics are about homophobia/internalized homophobia/panic within the GB male community over a mysterious deadly disease that was spreading like wildfire are often shot down.
I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. “Under Pressure” is a wildly popular tune with lyrics that clearly reflect a specific cultural context, but googling queen bowie under pressure meaning and queen bowie under pressure homophobia yield very little discussion of this cultural context. apparently “Under pressure / That burns a building down / Splits a family in two / Puts people on streets” sung in July 1981 by two bisexual men could mean anything.
on June 24, 1973, someone firebombed the crowded gay bar The UpStairs Lounge; 32 patrons died. following the news, the murders were a public joke. HuffPo retrospective
homelessness has been a reality for LGBTQ people for many decades. even if a person is not kicked out upon coming out, being discovered, or being outed, there is the fear of homelessness.
AIDS was first identified as its own disease a month prior to recording, in June 1981. the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which made the ID, told the public that "there was no apparent danger to nonhomosexuals from contagion. ‘The best evidence against contagion,’ [Dr. James Curran of the CDC] said, ‘is that no cases have been reported to date outside the homosexual community [which always meant the male homosexual and bisexual community] or in women’ ” and what we now call AIDS was first known informally as “gay cancer” and formally as Gay-Related Immune Disease.
but “Under Pressue” could be about anything.
anyway, self-care isn’t doing for yourself what feels right. self-care is doing for yourself what is right. starving myself feels right. at times it was a fucking holy experience. but when I was starving, I was dying, and I don’t want to be another dead lesbian. this is homophobia (fueling self-destruction in the first place) against internalized homophobia (simultaneously urged to self-destruct and not wanting to be a “bad example” of a lesbian by killing myself) against self-esteem (which provides healthy reasons for me to abstain from self-destructive behaviors), and it takes practice, some help from other lesbians sometimes, and critical thinking to find and maintain a healthy balance, and that is what radical queer self-care is.
constellation-funk asked: What's your general opinion of audiophilia if you have one? Do you think that MP3 bitrates vs CDs vs vinyl can really effect one's emotional experience listening to music, frex?
Yeah I think mp3s sound pretty weak just sonically - but that’s cool, it doesn’t really matter, you don’t have to have killer fidelity to have a transformative experience. my home set-up is really modest and small-time - but I think performances and compositions are generally stronger than the violence done to them (or the boost given them!) by various forms of compression. but having said that, for me, analog compression really does seem to make a song jump, and mp3 compression pretty much always makes it sound worse, considerably worse. takes the bite out of a song a lot of the time. (again, that’s “to me.”) my source for this is that when we make a record I hear the finished tracks in the following formats: 1) rough mixes, full size, first coming direct from 2” tape through studio monitors and then mixed to wav through home speakers & headphones; 2) final mixes in both wav and aac or mp3; 3) mastered mixes in wav and aac/mp3. I’m able to a/b the bigger files with the smaller ones; there’s just no comparison. straight off the tape through the studio monitors always sounds better than anything down the line, though the idea in mastering is to get as close as possible to the ideal. the smaller ones just don’t sound as good. it’s not that they sound TOTALLY AWFUL as some audiophiles hear (I accept that it sounds awful to them and I think it’s not really for anybody to say to anyone “you don’t actually hear what you say you hear”) but I do think that most people, given the opportunity to listen to multiple sizes of a given track, would find the pre-mp3 sizes sounding better.
I don’t know about affecting emotional experiences etc., anything on that front is going to be anecdotal. I enjoy listening to vinyl more than listening to other formats, but I listen to plenty of mp3s/aacs. 95% of my Amy Grant collection was bought from iTunes and some of those songs saved my life. In that format. Partly because it was portable, so I could be about to drop through the floor into what felt like no-turning-back depression in a friend’s apartment in Greenpoint and grab my laptop and listen to “Nothing is Beyond You” and get enough relief to stand up and face the day. That’s a profound experience to have and it wouldn’t have been possible without these swirly-sounding portable compressed files. It’s the music that counts in the end. I think anybody trying to make a sweeping “here’s the truth!” or “that there is bullshit!” claim about something as subjective as listening to music is probably posing: but I do think, if you ever get the opportunity to A/B compressed files vs. uncompressed files (I don’t know if “uncompressed” is technically what I mean there, but I mean wavs or aiffs) of the same track through the same speakers or headphones, you’ll usually hear the bigger file as being a lot better. You’ll also probably enjoy it more through a better system, but I mean…music’s fucking amazing, you can hear it through a wall and still get your life changed by it, it’s a lot bigger than compression rates.
World’s Shortest Photoshoot (via Kathrin K. und Kötis)
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if you don’t have personal experience with mental illness why did you think becoming a mental health professional was a good idea: a novel
mte, hmu billie <3
lol the logic of this fits so neatly into my personal goals for her, A+ I support
Chemical names, bird names, names of fire
and flight and snow, baby names, paint names,
delicate names like bones in the body,
Rumplestiltskin names that are always changing,
names that no one’s ever able to figure out.
Names of spells and names of hexes, names
cursed quietly under the breath, or called out
loudly to fill the yard, calling you inside again,
calling you home. Nicknames and pet names
and baroque French monikers, written in
shorthand, written in longhand, scrawled
illegibly in brown ink on the backs of yellowing
photographs, or embossed on envelopes lined
with gold. Names called out across the water,
names I called you behind your back,
sour and delicious, secret and unrepeatable,
the names of flowers that open only once,
shouted from balconies, shouted from rooftops,
or muffled by pillows, or whispered in sleep,
or caught in the throat like a lump of meat.
I try, I do. I try and try. A happy ending?
Sure enough — Hello darling, welcome home.
I’ll call you darling, hold you tight. We are
not traitors but the lights go out. It’s dark.
Sweetheart, is that you? There are no tears,
no pictures of him squarely. A seaside framed
in glass, and boats, those little boats with
sails aflutter, shining lights upon the water,
lights that splinter when they hit the pier.
His voice on tape, his name on the envelope,
the soft sound of a body falling off a bridge
behind you, the body hardly even makes
a sound. The waters of the dead, a clear road,
every lover in the form of stars, the road
blocked. All night I stretched my arms across
him, rivers of blood, the dark woods, singing
with all my skin and bone Please keep him safe.
Let him lay his head on my chest and we will be
like sailors, swimming in the sound of it, dashed
to pieces. Makes a cathedral, him pressing against
me, his lips at my neck, and yes, I do believe
his mouth is heaven, his kisses falling over me
like stars. Names of heat and names of light,
names of collision in the dark, on the side of the
bus, in the bark of the tree, in ballpoint pen
on jeans and hands and the backs of matchbooks
that then get lost. Names like pain cries, names
like tombstones, names forgotten and reinvented,
names forbidden or overused. Your name like
a song I sing to myself, your name like a box
where I keep my love, your name like a nest
in the tree of love, your name like a boat in the
sea of love — O now we’re in the sea of love!
Your name like detergent in the washing machine.
Your name like two X’s like punched-in eyes,
like a drunk cartoon passed out in the gutter,
your name with two X’s to mark the spots,
to hold the place, to keep the treasure from
becoming ever lost. I’m saying your name
in the grocery store, I’m saying your name on
the bridge at dawn. Your name like an animal
covered with frost, your name like a music that’s
been transposed, a suit of fur, a coat of mud,
a kick in the pants, a lungful of glass, the sails
in wind and the slap of waves on the hull
of a boat that’s sinking to the sound of mermaids
singing songs of love, and the tug of a simple
profound sadness when it sounds so far away.
Here is a map with your name for a capital,
here is an arrow to prove a point: we laugh
and it pits the world against us, we laugh,
and we’ve got nothing left to lose, and our hearts
turn red, and the river rises like a barn on fire.
I came to tell you, we’ll swim in the water, we’ll
swim like something sparkling underneath
the waves. Our bodies shivering, and the sound
of our breathing, and the shore so far away.
I’ll use my body like a ladder, climbing
to the thing behind it, saying farewell to flesh,
farewell to everything caught underfoot
and flattened. Names of poisons, names of
handguns, names of places we’ve been
together, names of people we’d be together,
Names of endurance, names of devotion,
street names and place names and all the names
of our dark heaven crackling in their pan.
It’s a bed of straw, darling. It sure as shit is.
If there was one thing I could save from the fire,
he said, the broken arms of the sycamore,
the eucalyptus still trying to climb out of the yard —
your breath on my neck like a music that holds
my hands down, kisses as they burn their way
along my spine — or rain, our bodies wet,
clothes clinging arm to elbow, clothes clinging
nipple to groin — I’ll be right here. I’m waiting.
Say hallelujah, say goodnight, say it over
the canned music and your feet won’t stumble,
his face getting larger, the rest blurring
on every side. And angels, about twelve angels,
angels knocking on your head right now, hello
hello, a flash in the sky, would you like to
meet him there, in Heaven? Imagine a room,
a sudden glow. Here is my hand, my heart,
my throat, my wrist. Here are the illuminated
cities at the center of me, and here is the center
of me, which is a lake, which is a well that we
can drink from, but I can’t go through with it.
I just don’t want to die anymore.
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