Friday, February 29, 2008

responsibilities. i has them.



damn i forgot to post this before

Obamathon:
Louis Farrakhan endorsed Obama earlier this week (I knew there was a reason I liked Obama?). Barack =/= super thrilled, I think?

Obama haz something to say about teh gayz. To which I responds:






In other news--

Crown Heights under seige. It's true, you simply should not see a flier like this there:



But... but part of me still thinks it's a little awesome.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

evening pwnage

Hmp.

NY Times reports 1% of the total U.S. adult population is behind bars. The study cited gives the following breakdown:
  • Latin@ adults: 1/36 are incarcerated
  • Black adults: 1/15 (1/9 Black men aged 20-34; 1/100 Black Women)
  • And white women, bringing up the rear at: 1/355
I am pretty skeptical about the way such studies collect data, but I guess the point remains. There are some pretty ok quotes about nonviolent offenders and how that sector in particular has gotten like, completely outrageously out of hand.

Last Tuesday, senate passed the Vitter Amendment which specifically bans the use of federal Indian Health Service funding for abortion. Which was, um, already banned (oh right that Hyde amendment thing). Feministing has a funnier headline and gives a low-down. That is srsly teh sux00r.

And Latoya Peterson drops some knowledge on statutory rape in two parts (third forthcoming).

Iz done.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

An Ceiling Cat sayed, im in ur waterz makin a ceiling



Oh, my stars and garters, someone has started a project to translate THE ENTIRE BIBLE into kitty pidgin (that's lolspeak for you philistines amongst us). Truly I say unto you, this is the best thing I have EVAR seen.



It has also occurred to me that some of my nascent readership may appreciate a bit of background on the matter of kitty pidgin, so as to better understand why it constitutes the greatest accomplishment of the interwebs to date. So here you is:



Anil Dash has an article on kitty pidgin called Cats Can Has Grammar, which is highly informative.

And then it looks like icanhascheezburger.com has a more extensive article by David McRaney on l33tspeak and image macros which discusses lolcats/kitty pidgin.

Again, here is Wikipedia on leet.

And if you have ever wanted to learn how to SPEAK LEET, try this!





~AJ, droppin' knowledge

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I can has linkage?

K.K. Logan, a trans-identified high school student in Gary, Indiana (Gary Indiana, Gary Indiana) is suing the shit out of her school (nice!) cause they wouldn't let her into her prom wearing a dress. Apparently Lambda Legal plans to argue that school dress codes are under federal jurisdiction. Hey, no problem, K.K., that's what stuff like ENDA's there for! Oh, wait...

Speaking of ENDA, this blog is pretty interesting.

Winter dryness putting a hurting on yr hands? Try Frida Kahlo skin cream!

OMG the man behind Stuff White People Like! Part 1 and Part 2! NEED I SAY MOAR?

OK awesome: I have just learned that GAYS are responsible for the recent earthquakes in Israel. This is really excellent news because I have ALWAYS wanted queers to be more like X-Men. In fact, here is a picture of me causing an earthquake:



Oh also I almost forgot:








Monday, February 25, 2008

10 Things I Hate about Diablo Cody


ZOMG WTF BBQ


Unto Diablo Cody I say, truly, you are the most obnoxious of God's creatures. (No I Don't have anything better to talk about today.) Here's why:



10. All the wrong people love her. Feminists (the annoying kind) love her. White people (the annoying kind) love her. Omg wtf so annoying.

9. All the right people are scandalized by her, BUT FOR THE WRONG REASONS. Today in its Oscar coverage the NY Post mentioned Diablo Cody's tattoo(s) and former stripper status, oh, maybe three times each. Gawker also noticed. Diablo Cody, I am so not impressed by your hipster tats and your unconventional career track. And NY Post, get a grip. Srsly.

8. Somehow she fooled everybody. Last night's Academy Awards were apparently held in Bizarro world where the stupidest, most asinine excuse for a script is awarded best screenplay. I need someone to explain to me how it is that we live in a world where you can write things like "Oh my blog" and convince everyone that that is really clever. Also there are actually no human beings in that movie, did anyone else notice? That's not really the kind of thing I get hung up on but its like some weirdo alternate universe inhabited only by snark-fueled hipster androids.

7. Diablo Cody, your politics suck. They really do. This is also in the "somehow she fooled everybody" vein. It turns out that if you wave your wand of divine indieness and set upon your work its mark in a sufficiently prominent fashion, everyone will believe you are progressive. It's true! No one will care how your movie portrays abortion, and no one will care how much you try to coat teen pregnancy in a yuppified politics of respectability (see? it happens to otherwise chaste respectable white girls who live in two parent households in the suburbs and make references to Thundercats so surely we can all forgive her for her unfortunate situation and empathize with her and all feel good about ourselves for being so progressive and feeling ok about teen pregnancy, whew!). Diablo Cody, it's not pro-choice JUST BECAUSE YOU SAY IT IS.

6. Also the whole tactic of substituting cutesy indie feel goodness for any kind of analysis or any real content at all, for that matter, is just really gross.

5. Uh, right.

4. In spite of myself, I think she's cute. This makes me dislike her more.

3. She lived in Minneapolis and I want to move to Minneapolis. Ruiner!

2. I'm pretty sure that as a transgendered person I'm not allowed to say this, but what the hell kind of name is Diablo Cody? Reading it makes me want to gouge both my eyes out with a rusty fork. I don't think it would be physically possible for a human being to be more pleased with her sense of her own irreverance and wit as to christen herself "devil." Oh and then steal their last name from a town in Wyoming. That's like, sooo ironic or something.

1. And the BIGGEST reason why I can't stand Diablo Cody is: you don't get to take your college degree and your obnoxious bohemian privilege-inflected anti-authoritarian proclivities, slum it for one year as a stripper/phone sex operator, and then dub yourself some kind of authority on the matter. It's like this:

Diablo Cody : Sex work :: Me and my girlfriend : weekend trip to Savannah last summer

Meaning she's a tourist in the sex work industry, she did it in the face of all the upward mobility and financial stability and cultural capital that her background afforded her, and used the experience as some kind of fetishistic trip to shore up her status as grittier-than-thou, authentic-er-than-thou, and certainly sexually liberated-er-than-thou. BY HER OWN ADMISSION sex work was an appealing option because she was "choking on normalcy, decency and Jif sandwiches with the crusts amputated." And the fact that she referred to herself as an "unlikely" stripper (read: college educated, white, etc) in the title of her book is just offensive. For all her flagrant nonconformity, clearly Diablo Cody wants us to know that's she's not like those BAD strippers just like Juno's not like those BAD pregnant teens.

And there is simply nothing more annoying than someone who tries to assign a teleology of progressive politics to sex work. Period. Oh wait, that bougie person who tries it out for a few months because she thinks it's cool. That's more annoying.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday (post)racial roundup: "oh noes" edition

Well, it has been suggested to me that it might be easier on my blossoming readership if I attempt to summarize and comment upon a piece of news in an earnest fashion (instead of posting a link with a snarky remark) and I think that's going to be REALLY HARD.  But um, in case you were feeling OK about the state of things, TODAY I HAVE A REJOINDER FOR YOU:

Yesterday the Times did a piece on why (and I do quote) "Race Matters Less" in the South-- basically, it profiles James Fields, a black Alabama state congressman elected in a 96% white county (and a former Sundown town, no less). Ostensibly, it demonstrates that Southerners actually don't care-- nay, don't SEE-- race as much as we expect them to. There's a few choice quotations from area residents about Fields, the latter in particular I draw your attention to:

"Really, I never realize he's black," said a white woman in a restaurant, smiling.
"He's black?" asked Lou Bradford, a white Cullman police officer, jokingly.

I actually don't even think that's funny. In fact, I'd wager that borders on offensively insensitive, even for the New York Times, but news has been pretty abysmal of late, and it kind of reminds me of this book review the Times ran a couple weeks back (you'll love the first two sentences, I promise), in which the book's author is lauded for his careful examination of the many avenues we might explore in order to understand racial hierarchies besides, you know, racism.

Pretty much everything in this vein reminds me of something Kimberle Crenshaw once wrote about how the greatest tragedy of the discourse of colorblindness is that it has stripped black people of the ability to name their reality.  And it does seem relevant to me to remember that-- particularly in a post-Civil Rights world-- the main function of a hegemony is to control the production of systems of meaning. After centuries and centuries of really unspeakable violence, the fact that we live in a world where a cop(!!!) can make a joke about "not seeing" the race of a black man and our newspapers will run the quote without a hint of irony or even recognition is really quite tragic.

In other news:





EDITED TO ADD: Btw, if anyone sees Richard Thompson Ford, the fellow who wrote the Times-reviewed "The Race Card," tell him I has a present for him?




Really, I had wanted to not ramble here, but I feel like I can't go without commenting on the irony that Ford acknowledges that "the social and legal meaning of racism is 'in a state of crisis,'" and alludes to a "racism without racists." And then he concludes that racism is not as prevalent as most people think. I think I need like a CRT picture book with some diagrams or something, blee. 

Also, for the truly strong of heart, you can read the entire first chapter of Ford's book here

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

WHAT ARE THE HAPS MY FRIENDS

I like to think of my nabe (Flatbush/Ditmas Park) as a utopian oasis safely sequestered from the ugly, ugly face of NYC gentrification and replete with a happy "combination of newcomers and old time residents without any animosity between the two." Neway, this article from NY Megaphone pretty much confirms it.

But srsly though, we do have some neat things like the Flatbush Development Corporation, lefty indie coffeehouse Vox Pop (what? TOO LEFTY, you say?), our very own food coop, and some other stuff too, I bet.

AJ'S WEDNESDAY OF AWESOME!


ONLY AWESOME! ALL DAY!

SYNESTHESIA IS FREAKING AWESOME!

ICED! Gamers learn "how immigration laws deny due process and violate human rights to all immigrants." OMFG BEST VIDEOGAME EVAR!!!111ONE

FRANKEN-FISH: OWNZ U!!!!!!!!!

HOLY FUCKING SHIT BATMAN FAYE TOTS SLEPT WITH SVEN

NYC COURTS EXPLORE ALTERNATIVES TO INCARCERATION!!! BECAUSE COUNSELING > PRISON!

THIS DEAD RAT KNOWZ HOW 2 PARTY! NEVAR FORGET!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

lolaj's a.m. quik linkz

jesus fuck, google thought i was spamming them and locked me out of my blog ALL MORNING so i'm doing the roundup Calvin Coolidge style:

OMGZ0rz MOAR WHITE BABIES PLZ!!

NY Daily news: Racism = teh sux00r

TIME Magazine gem du jour, re, the bias-driven murder of Lawrence King:
"Most gay teenagers are thriving and happy most of the time. They are periodically confused and depressed, but what teen isn't?"

Stevedores to Red Hook: haha, PWNT!

NY Times reports on the gentrification of Harlem. Le sigh.

Ellen Page: "Like, I'm really sorry to everyone that she doesn't have an abortion, but that's not what the film is about."

"Ex-con knew she was a he?" Um. Trans panic --> fail. (courtesy of Feministe).

wtf matthew thomas lol wruh?

The lolAJ weekly wafl award most assuredly goes to Matthew Thomas, a "32 year-old aspiring novelist" who, through an obscure gov't subsidized housing lottery, was able to purchase an Upper East Side studio for $14,000. Thomas uses the word "Kafkaesque" in his recent NY Times interview and ruminates that thanks to his lotto win, "I feel less whipped by the demon of fear that I have to get my novel done overnight in order to make life possible." To those seeking confirmation that everything in the world is wrong, I recommend the full article. As for me--and as is so often the case--my emotional response is best expressed thru an adorable little kitteh:




Saturday, February 16, 2008

Things we like!

Thanks to a lolAJ tipster, I has a new addition to teh blogz. It is a work of staggering ethnographic genius and for me, just like LOOKING IN A MIRROR, if mirrors showed you the things you like.

Stuff White People Like

ROFLMAO.

Friday, February 15, 2008

You know what really grinds my gears?

Gender/Age profiling! Today I was stopped by a cop who thought I was a truant. Srsly!

This morn I was sent down to City Hall to sit in on a council hearing on CITY INFRASTRUCTURE. It was FASCINATING, by which I mean pretty boring on the whole.

But as I passed through security and started to walk towards the building, I heard a loud authoritative voice booming behind me, "STOP RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE!" So I stopped and stared at him expectantly (I'm like wtf why is this cop talking to me). And he comes, stands in front of my so my way is barred, and goes "DID YOU SKIP SCHOOL TO BE HERE?"

And, with less 'tude than I'd ideally hoped but more than I'd normally expect to muster, I said: Uh. No. No I didn't.

Quoth he: OH YEAH? WHAT GRADE ARE YOU IN?

Said I (more 'tude now): I'm an adult. I have graduated from college already.

He: OH YEAH? WHAT COLLEGE DID YOU GO TO?

And then I informed him of my alma mater, his police buddies started laughing, and looking a little sheepish he told me that I looked young, but I have a sense of humor about that right? I told him that sometimes I try to have a sense of humor about it, and he let me go.

Retrospectively, I always kind of fantasize about whether it could be productive to actually explain myself to police officers (security guards, etc) in such situations, eg:

"No officer, I'm not in school. You probably think I look young because our ideas about age in this society are heavily informed by gender norms, and since I'm a transgendered person who does not closely approximate the gendered stereotypes you associate with adults, you have assumed I am a child."

But I'm also lucky on little levels (I have an ID with my correct name and gender printed on it), and on big ones (I enjoyed the entirety of my exchange with the police officer draped in a protective layer of whiteness). I ROUTINELY drop privilege wherever I can in these kinds of situations. Once at a group I attended a young black transman recounted a comparable exchange-- only in his case the cop threw him up against a wall, snatched his wallet out of his hand, and started rifling through its contents. Unfortunately for the young man, his credit card--which he had been attempting to use to buy a metrocard--was under a different name than his drivers license (as is mine). As one can imagine, this did not make the cop happy. In his case though, the ultimate saving grace was not a tie and a university degree but a military ID card, which the officer eventually found as he perused the man's wallet (and cops really like vets, or something). 

If anyone has anything else to say about this that's more insightful than I can be, I definitely would like to hear it. Certainly trans activists have been vocal about getting proper identification for trans and GNC folks, and about gender profiling and enforcement more broadly, but I don't know if anyone has had much to say about how FTMs encounter ageism specifically, and how that phenomenon interacts with issues like racism and IDs and policing.

Anyway, that really grinds my gears.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

from Union St & 5th Ave

photo from Brownstoner.

AJ's AM links

Maureen Dowd calls Hillary a flawed feminist test. Omg, Maureen Dowd, u r so played out. We already know about Dowd's preferred feminist test, judging from her insightful commentary on Obama's "emotionally delicate" constitution and "feminine consensus management style." Women's Studies 101 FTW!

Miss Heather of New York Shitty shows us a Bed-Stuy where people imagine Gloria Steinem and other feminists getting along.

It occurs to our president that noose displays are offensive. Wafl.

The Coup Magazine blog reports on the Ladies Only buses now running in Mexico City. I has mixed feelings-- particularly unsettling, of course, is the notion of bus drivers getting the role of gender police added to their job description. (But maybe they can get a pay increase?)

Melissa Harris-Lacewell has more neat things to say about the suffering of white women (vis a vis Sen Clinton) and other stuff.

And in other news, Iraqi prison bed shortage is as American as apple pie.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

lololol

I sense somehow that by "get off the internet/I'll meet you in the streets" this is not what they had in mind:


from questioning transphobia, btw I can't find the link. really i just wanted to see if i could successfully upload a photo.

You know what really grinds my gears?

  • NYC won't provide funding to clean up toxic materials contaminating the grounds of four new schools under development in the South Bronx (or rather, SoBro, as Curbed so tastefully insists on calling it). 8 billion dollars in tax-free Liberty Bonds for gazillionaire developers in Lower Manhattan, however? No problemo. Or, as community resident Sarah McGlothin more eloquently put it, "We know the funding is there. When they want to build a courthouse or a jail in our neighborhoods, the funding is there."
  • This might be an apt (if belated) moment to note that the tax breaks the city offers developers to clean up toxic sites (or brownfields) are proportional to the size of the project, not the actual cost of the cleanup, which is kind of like saying "hey come build a massive(ly expensive) development here!" Which, in turn is kind of like saying, "hey come put a really expensive project here which will ultimately target affluent people instead of the people who actually live here and whom this program was actually supposed to benefit!"
  • Williamsburg has the most graffiti complaints in the city. I wouldn't want ugly spray paint on my fancy hipster condo either. It's probably a good idea to get a lot of police and like, arrest people who would do such a thing. In fact why don't we arrest 780 people in the Bronx alone in 2007. After all, graffiti is not just a nuisance! It is a communication channel for gangs and if we clean up the graffiti maybe then the gang members WILL NOT BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER ANYMORE.
  • And finally, the New York Times tells us that we can stop worrying about poverty because poor people are not as poor as the rest of us might think they are! Why? Because they spend more than they earn! And take lots of things for granted, too. (Times op-ed link available via Feministe.)
...and that's what really grinds my gears.

and on a more somber note...

In case anyone was wondering, it turns out it is, in fact, still pretty much okay to murder transgendered folks, especially if one of them is insensitive enough to surprise an unsuspecting normal-type person with their "true sex." 

Other  sources have provided more succinct commentary than I probably can, but the general gist is that Sanesha Stewart was fatally stabbed in the Bronx last weekend. Because she was a trans woman, and a person of color, the police of course have assumed that she was a sex worker. Much ado in media coverage has also been made of Stewart's physical appearance (no doubt because her height and breast size are critically relevant to her murder-- I mean, I'm also always curious to know what sexual assault survivors were wearing whenever I read news reports of incidents like that, since obviously there's no other way to reasonably infer whether they were asking for it.) The news has also generally insisted on referring to Stewart by her birth name (um, and her actual name as a "feminine nickname"), a transvestite, and a "man who dressed like a woman."

It's kind of interesting though, that despite the media's obvious commitment to portraying her death in as callous a manner possible, it's still pretty clear in the articles that her neighbors are kind of devastated. Anyway, the NY Daily News' most recent article is probably the least offensive so far (though not by much), and it's here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How not to plan your Black History Month event

Also this video at Racialicious would be hilarious if it didn't make me so uncomfortable.

And in other news

Dolly has been injured!

Colorlines runs a righteous article about trans people of color and their experiences transitioning, by Daisy Hernandez.

NY Times reports that Goldman Sachs has added SRS to their benefits package. (I can has corporate job pls? Kthxbai.)


rofl my wafl! or: the discursive formation of obama vs. clinton in contemporary feminist thought(???)

Well, in the interest of having something to say about some stuff (and counter to the urgings of particular h8ers, er, parties), I thought I'd point out that it's come to my attention recently that particular individuals of the feminist persuasion are pretty upset about women who are voting for Obama. Also about the status of feminism (women?) more broadly-- particularly, I gather, in relation to say, the status of black people (men?). Indeed, some of them are very upset.
And upon further reflection, I actually have nothing to say about that at all, except thank goodness for venues like Democracy Now which provides the opportunity for people like Gloria Steinem to get wtfpwned by people like Melissa Harris-Lacewell.  And also for people like Kimberle Crenshaw and Eve Enlser (I know, right?) who share the STFU sentiment.
Actually, I will add on this topic that I have been able to garner the following about the feminist blogosphere:
1) it is wont to be more offended by the (older) feminist intimation that you can't vote for Obama and have a feminist consciousness than it is by (older) feminists who say racist things, and 
2) it is already anxious for the day when feminists can go back to ignoring race and liking everyone just the way they are.

wtf i can has blog?

O rly???

AJ sez lolAJ FTW!!

internetz speak 4 teh politically l33t brought to you by lol-aj.blogspot.com!!!!

What should I get tattooed on my chest this summer?

About Me

AJ lives in Minneapolis and is interested in stuff that's political. AJ has a lot invested in his masculinity.

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email at lolajblog@gmail.com and be awsum!