By Chanel pinkfroth
Our first body of work consists of a short film that explores a couple dynamic commonly explored in films we admire. In place of the clearly defined positions of man and woman in the ‘love gone stale’ dynamic, the androgynous Asian identity is an attempt to challenge the representation of Asian women as one-dimensional and submissive in media. Told through prolonged gazes and a tepid silence, it explores the capabilities of Asian women to owning and feeling authentic human emotions without the policing gaze of white men.
THE CONSEQUENCES of human-induced climate change are dire. Crop failures will increase. Severe weather and rising sea levels will wreak more havoc. Species are being wiped out by the hour—and the continued existence of our own is threatened.
Even without the threat of climate change, we live in a world of vast inequality, where the majority of the world’s population struggles to meet basic needs like putting food on the table—while corporations refuse to pay living wages, and decent health care and housing remain unaffordable for many, when there is access at all.
As of 2010, 2.4 billion people in the world were living on less than $2 a day—more than one-third of the world’s population. Close to 1 billion people live on less than a $1 a day on average. Nearly 870 million people suffer from hunger and malnutrition, according to UN standards—around one in every eight people on the planet.
The growing numbers and size of urban slums throughout the world have typified this poverty in the modern era. One-third of the global urban population lives in what are classified as slums—6 percent of the urban population in developed countries and a staggering 80 percent in developing countries. Most slum dwellers live without clean water or other infrastructure.
Yet some people would have us think that the growing ranks of the poor are the real source of environmental stress and food shortages, rather than demand from those who rule in the Global North.
This is simply not true. According to environmental writer Fred Pearce, the poorest 3 billion people are responsible for only 7 percent of global emissions of greenhouse gases, while the richest 7 percent produce half of all emissions.
Clearly, the world’s poor are not driving climate change. Food shortages have more to do with the price of food, not its availability.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
MANY IN the environmental justice movement are rejecting the racist arguments about “overpopulation.” But mainstream environmental organizations still typically accept the idea that “buying” is at least a major source of the ecological crisis. The belief is that consumer choices and individual lifestyles, especially in the wealthiest countries, drive the unsustainable devouring of resources around the globe.
The persistent stereotype is that average Americans, especially working class whites, just love gas-guzzling pickups, junk food, plastic, God, the Republicans and shopping at Walmart. Of course, people like this do exist, but they are not as universal as the stereotype suggests—and moreover, they are more of a symptom of the world we live in than a cause of it.
The plain truth is that most of us, even though we live in the country most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions and environmental destruction, are powerless to shape the economic system—and have had no say in the creation and maintenance of a fossil fuel-based energy infrastructure.
The fact of higher emissions in the Global North is often presented using per-capita consumption statistics—which suggest we are all equally to blame. As a PBS television special noted, for example, “The average North American consumes five times as much as an average Mexican, 10 times as much as an average Chinese and 30 times as much as the average person in India.”
The trite conclusion is that we should all just consume less and recycle more. But all this directs our attention away from primary driver of environmental destruction—namely capitalism, a political, economic and social system run undemocratically by elites at the expense of the planet and ordinary people.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
THIS SOLUTION of reducing personal consumption also doesn’t take into account the one in six people living in poverty in the U.S.—and that statistic is according to official standards, which understate the actual numbers of the poor. These “North Americans” don’t consume enough food on a daily basis, not to mention their lack of access to housing and health care.
Roughly, 70 percent of U.S. consumption takes place among the top 20 percent of income earners. The wealthiest 5 percent of Americans own more than the rest of the population combined.
Beyond the gap between rich and poor, the environmental destruction caused by corporate consumption and production dwarf those of individuals. Roughly two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions since the beginning of the industrial age have come from just 90 major companies, according to researchers writing in the journal Climatic Change.
This lopsided reality applies to other forms of pollution. According to Heather Rogers, author of Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage, for every pound of household waste, there are another 70 pounds of waste created by industries like mining, manufacturing, agriculture and petrochemicals.
The corporate elite decide how and where electricity is produced, not consumers. And even though a recent study shows broad support for more public transportation, particularly among the young and lower-income people, our car culture is ruthlessly defended and promoted by the auto and oil industries, even now.
Despite these facts, the “all Americans are to blame” approach was used to explain the second Iraq war. Supposedly, our addiction to oil, suburban homes and SUVs caused the U.S. invasion—George W. Bush sent in U.S. troops so American consumers could have more oil. The consumerist logic was that if we just rode bikes or at least used fuel-efficient cars, war would eventually stop.
But the end goal for U.S. imperialism in Iraq was to use oil as an economic and political wedge against its main competitors on an international scale, including Japan, India and China. At the time of Iraq war, the U.S. got about 13 percent of its oil from the Middle East. Since then, the U.S. energy boom has led the Obama administration toward rebuilding the U.S. economy on the basis of cheap fracked natural gas and shale oil—and clearly, the U.S. is no less prone to going to war.
U.S. corporations and their political partners in Washington don’t try to control Middle East oil because they are following orders from U.S. consumers. They want control over world energy supplies to leverage American corporate interests in a global economy prone to crisis.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
MANY ANTI-capitalists would agree with all of this, but there is still debate about whether a reduced standard of living is necessary in the advanced world to get the kind of drastic emissions cuts necessary to head off environmental collapse.
The organization Deep Green Resistance (DGR), for example, holds that “civilization, particularly industrial civilization, is fundamentally unsustainable and must be actively (and very urgently) dismantled in order to secure a livable future for all species on the planet,” according to one summary.
While many people reject the controversial politics and tactics of DGR, their position on deindustrialization is often understood as the only remaining solution for serious environmentalists. We must all return to a more natural existence, which likely would mean growing our own food.
We do need a different type of society that is not based on chaotic and unplanned growth, in which we would need far less energy. But does that mean a return to a more primitive way of life—or a planned, rational and sustainable system that raises the quality of life for the majority of people in society.
For many of the world’s poor, including those living in the U.S., wherever they live, there is daily struggle to get access to food, electricity, water, education—that is, the most basic elements of a human existence. The idea that these people, who already live with far too little, need to “go back to the land” and “live with less” seems like an insensitive joke.
The romantic view about de-industrialization glosses over the entrenched systemic problems of poverty, racism and inequality, and therefore throws out an important part of the solution—the type of sustainable, smart and coordinated development that is needed to raise the quality of life for everyone on the planet.
The de-industrial argument is based on the same “per-capita logic” that blames all Americans for environmental problems. While this more radical version targets capitalism as the cause of the crisis, it also dismisses the idea that working people could organize together to reconstitute and reshape our society collectively.
Yes, we need to radically and quickly transform current industries—but how will that take place? By industrial sabotage carried out by an elite group of eco-warriors, the only people who really “get it”? By pre-figurative experiments that overwhelm the system? Or by a revolution of the vast majority in society that wrests political and economic power from the rich, and transforms ourselves and our way of life in the process?
Any solution to climate change will require a sane, democratic and planned economy that stops making cheap shit people don’t need, that ends wars, that radically curbs waste and pollution, and that transforms all the other things keeping energy and transportation demands so high. This must begin with people organizing throughout society, especially in their workplaces, to have a say in what we produce and how we produce it.
Demands for jobs as part of the solution must align with these priorities—not by simply adding green jobs and renewable energy to the mix under capitalism. A just transition must address historic inequality and uneven development, and reject the laws of profitability by taxing the rich and nationalizing polluting industries to shut them down.
Understanding the capitalist system is key to building the climate justice movement we desperately need to achieve these goals. The lifeblood of the capitalist mode of production is constant accumulation in its search for profit. It’s a system based on ruthless competition, chaotic growth and never-ending waste.
Ordinary working people and the poor in the U.S. and around the world aren’t to blame for the crisis we face. It’s not our individual consumption that is destroying the world. Capitalism is burning our planet as it preys on the world’s resources—human and natural resources alike.
The elite of this country—from political leaders to their buddies in the corporate boardrooms—are the ones destroying our planet. We must organize collectively to stop them.
Healing spells still live!
What’s this about? As you might have seen me mention, my friend’s wedding is fast approaching this October. We’ve been friends for fifteen years now, and have never been able to hang out often due to living in different states. To cover all the travel and hotel expenses to go, I’m going to have to save up about $600.
So, I am re-opening my commissions officially, and have added a new quick pencil head sketch option!
Are you running any specials this time around? I am! Any commissions above $25 will get a free $5 pencil head sketch, and commissions above $40 will get a free print from my stock.
What about your Etsy store? If you’d like to buy one of the pre-made sketchcards I still have up there, please do! Every little bit helps, and the cards will remain at their discounted price until my stock is cleared out.
And your Patreon? There are select commissions available as rewards through my Patreon, so check those out too! I will continue to show comic previews there, though previews will take slightly longer while I work on commissions. I am still very much on track for launching the comic for everyone this fall.
How do you accept payment? Paypal is the best and easiest way. Payment for commissions under $40 I have to ask for in full up front, above that 50% up front, and the remaining 50% upon completion of your piece.
Anything else to know? I will not draw sexually explicit content or extreme gore (so basically keep it PG-13ish).
Please, reblog and spread the word! :)
I can be contacted at email@example.com.
With my dog’s health issues, money’s tighter than ever. I’d greatly appreciate spreading the word and any commissions.
Emergency! At this point all money will go towards my dog’s impending vet bills.
Please help, we’ve already had to take her to the vet and go through surgery in the last two weeks. I know I’m not all that popular and my work isn’t circulated around as much as other artists’ but I would be eternally grateful for help here.
Update: Lucy (our dog) is doing better! She won’t be walking for a while, but she’s in good spirits.
That said, our family’s funds are still very tight as a result of everything going on, and any work would be extremely welcome. :)
Update: Lucy is on the mend, so my focus is back to saving for my friend’s wedding. It’s little over a month until the day, so I’m still in a big crunch trying to afford it in time. Please, please, please, keep signal boosting and commissioning!
Update: I have half of what I need to afford going, and less than a month left until the wedding. I almost had a way to deal with the travel, but it unfortunately fell through. At this point I’m a bit doubtful I’ll be able to pull it together in time.
But, please keep signal boosting and commissioning and maybe I’ll still make it. Thanks. :)
what to wear when…in a palestinian fairy tale.
the palestinian fairy tale is a highly developed art form…women were largely responsible for developing this style [so] to sound credible, men who tell these tales must adopt the narrative style of women…the cultural significance of old women’s dominant role in fairy tale narration is not to be underestimated…devices of style that help to maintain distance - and which audiences expect in a successful narration - are the frequent threefold repetitions, a passive manner of delivery, and a reliance on verbal mannerisms and flourishes…the tales are told in the palestinian dialect, with its two major divisions of fallahi (village speech) and madani (city speech).
childless mothers in the tales wish for daughters far more frequently than they do for sons…the palestinian fairy tale is a woman’s art form [so] conflict over inheritance among natural brothers is not an explicit theme in these tales [because that topic] is an exclusively male concern. nevertheless, instances of conflict among half-brothers abound in these tales because of polygyny [e.g. half-a-halfling]…the relationship among sisters is accurately reflected in the tales [e.g. jummez bin yazur the chief of the birds]..between brother and sister, the relationship is warm and harmonious. it is certainly the relationship most idealized in the tales [e.g. the woman whose hands were cut off]…heroic action in the tales also concerns the idea of identity in the society [because] from the perspective of the extended family, identity is collective.
heroines predominate over heroes in the tales…men [in palestinian fairy tales] are usually restricted to their social roles as sons, brothers, fathers, and authority figures, whereas the women’s are more complex. on one end of the scale, we have images of women as magical beings who can be enchanting and ethereal like the jinn, or bestial and destructive like ghoulehs; and on the other, the tales also embody a wide range of social relationships involving women.
post 776 of an infinity-part series
Why a sword feels right
- by Randy McCall
Many readers will have had the experience of shopping for modern, practical cutting swords, both replicas of ancient swords and modern designs. One of the most common tips given to new sword-shoppers is to pick up and try out many different swords “until you find one that feels right for you”. Rarely is any explanation given for precisely what this means.
Shoppers presume it has something to do with whether the hilt is the right size for their hand, or that it has something to do with the sword’s “balance”… whatever that is.
Some lucky few will have had the chance to handle high quality antique weapons. Those who have are often shocked that these blades — often of the same weight and length as the modern replica blade they use at home — have a completely different “feel”.
Often master blades seem lighter than than their actual weight, with a sense of “liveliness” (easy to rotate in the hand), and with the feeling to make almost effortless cuts or thrusts. This isn’t to criticize the sword makers of today — there are master swordsmiths around the world — but to demonstrate the skill and genius of the weapon makers of old.
The basic question then is why is there a difference between how these swords feel, and how can a sword practitioner use this knowledge to their advantage? There have been a number of papers, articles and discussion threads on this topic, often delving into physics formula to define and explain mathematically how and why a sword feels, moves and strikes as it does.
One of the main resources for this will be “Dynamics of Hand-Held Impact Weapons” by George Turner; a fairly technical exploration of the physics behind why swords handle as they do (and an indispensable resource for those interested in designing good swords). There are also several other articles, plus web forum discussion threads, which explore this area which we’ll draw on.
Never fear though; we’ll leave the calculations behind and focus on the practical applications. Those who wish to see the maths can check the links in the Sources section.
So, let’s start off with a few basics. We’ll presume that the swords you’re looking at are well designed, have properly sized hilt grips, etc., so we can ignore the ergonomic factors.
A sword has several physical characteristics which can affect both its feel in the hand and how it handles. Let’s take a look at these, along with examples of how you would check these while inspecting your blade…
I don’t know what he’s fixing, but mine just broke.
Put this in my ask:
- Meaning behind tumblr url:
- Why you follow me:
- Random fact about yourself:
- Question for me:
My creative process, illustrated PERFECTLY
Take away the cigarette butts and that’s me at my tablet.
My face doesnt hurt today!! I had a dream about Anders so we’re gonna go ahead and believe in magic. And antibiotics. Mostly magic.
GUYS! MERCY’S WRITING IS UNLIKE ANYTHING I’VE EVER READ AND SHE IS THE LOVELIEST!