poking the American psyche with equal parts salt and salve

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Giant Vaginas Taunt GOP

August 27, 2012



When Actors Rage-Tweet

August 27, 2012

KSL, a Salt Lake City NBC affiliate, decided to drop The New Normal, Barkin’s new show that centers around a gay couple having a child. “So L&O SVU (rape & child murder) is ok? But loving gay couple having a baby is inappropriate?,” Barking tweeted on Friday. She followed that up with, “L&O SUV…anal tearing not ‘explicit’ content, child slavery not ‘explicit’ content? But @NBCTheNewNormal, laughing & loving is? #KSLBigots”

via Ellen Barkin Has Something to Say About Utah Network Banning The New Normal |

Shooting at Sikh gurdwara prompts call for storytelling to bind us together

August 21, 2012

An amazing call for action.

“If our ability to unite as a nation is about who we see as “one of us,” then education alone will not help us transform the American psyche. We need stories. We need stories that bind us, break us open, and make us human to one another. Only storytelling can cultivate the empathy that invites us to imagine walking in another’s shoes. In the weeks after Oak Creek, we should encourage Sikh Americans – and all people struggling for civil rights and human dignity in America – to tell their community’s stories through art and film, photography and testimony, poetry and song.”

John Steinbeck’s Son Shames State of Texas

August 8, 2012

Renée Feltz reads from a statement by the son of legendary author John Steinbeck condemning Texas for using Steinbeck’s fictional character, Lennie Small, as a benchmark to determine who might be eligible for execution. “On behalf of the family of John Steinbeck, I am deeply troubled by today’s scheduled execution of Marvin Wilson,” Thomas Steinbeck wrote. “The character of Lennie was never intended to be used to diagnose a medical condition like intellectual disability. I find the whole premise to be insulting, outrageous, ridiculous, and profoundly tragic. I am certain that if my father, John Steinbeck, were here, he would be deeply angry and ashamed to see his work used in this way.”

Deeply angry, indeed. And Steinbeck best describes my reaction to all of this:

In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”


via Texas Executes Man With IQ of 61; State Cites Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” To Justify Killing.

Posthumously Censored

August 5, 2012

Sel Publishing House put out a Turkish translation of Burroughs’ The Soft Machine, which features “hanged soldiers, North African street urchins, addicted narcotics agents, Spanish rent boys, evil doctors [and] corrupt judges”, all laid out in Burroughs’ famous “cut-up” technique, last January. Accused of furthering “attitudes that were permissive to crime by concentrating on the banal, vulgar and weak attributes of humanity”, the publisher was first put on trial last summer, but a decision was taken last month in Istanbul to postpone the trial until 2015 due to the implementation of a new law.

William Burroughs Turkish publishers obscenity trial postponed | Books |

Photo of the Day: Obama at the Stonewall Inn

May 9, 2012

Kudos to Spencer Platt / Getty Images for getting this shot of today’s news coverage of President Obama supporting gay marriage, site of the 1969 Stonewall riots – one of the most important events in American history for gay rights.

Salman Rushdie Says, “Art Is Not Entertainment … It’s a Revolution”

May 8, 2012

“Great art, original art, is never created in a safe middle ground. Originality is dangerous, as it is at the edge,” Rushdie proclaimed at one point.

via Salman Rushdie Says, “Art Is Not Entertainment … It’s a Revolution”.