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On Surveillence

auros couldn't post this on my LJ, I guess I never friended him? I thought I had. Anyway, he wrote to me and said I could post this here. I feel like it's a better written explanation of why I feel that shock at surveillance is a manifestation of white privilege.

I saw an article drawing a similar comparison, pointing out that the controversy over "stop and frisk" that's been in the news lately is, effectively, about people of color being assumed guilty unless proven otherwise, and thus subjected to intrusive physical surveillance.

There's nothing that enrages people who are accustomed to privilege as effectively as putting them on the receiving end of the treatment they thought was reserved for Those People. :-P

Personally, I assume I'm surveilled periodically by the Agency because I worked for them for most of a year, and you basically sign away your privacy for life when you start doing work with them that requires any kind of clearance. (Hi, NSA minders! No, I'm not telling anyone WHAT I did for you. KTHXBAI.)

My father was surveilled, I have been surveilled, my family, my friends. My default assumption is that my stuff is being watched. I just live my life anyway, but I've never had the privilege of thinking that my private life was private. I didn't learn about the Tuskeegee Airmen at school until College - but I learned about it at my father's knee. I knew early on that if our government could treat it's black soldiers that way, then of course they had no compunction in terms of spying on it's citizens, especially those of color.

Perspectives, etc.



Privilege and Privacy

I just realized that the shock, SHOCK, I tell you that our government has been spying on it's citizens is a kind of privilege.

See, I've known since college that the FBI probably has a file on me, because of my Dad. My Dad was an activist, and a large "scary" black man. He received death threats from the Klan while living in VT (bet you didn't know the Klan had active chapters there) when I was a child, then again when I was in college. He also testified before congress at least once, and was connected with several politicians, and famous black men (most notably Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Cosby) and some quietly powerful black men.

I recall calling him a number of times, and the phone calls would get hung up with subtle clicks and the like before he would pick up. After a period of about a year or so, they stopped again.

After I was stabbed by the skinhead, and nothing was happening, Dad called the former Governor of VT, and he called the mayor of Boston, and got a hate crime team on it. No one was caught, of course, but my phone was tapped again for a bit.

I know that I have been surveilled on an off for a period of at least 20 years, and it's fallen off since Dad died.

So, no, I was not "shocked" at the extent of the NSA spying "scandals". For people like me, that's just life, that's not shocking, that's the way of the world. The government spies on you.

It's really hard for me to understand the shock and the outrage. Where were they when my Dad was being spied on? When I was?

Oh, you mean other people being spied on, that's shocking. Right?

Note: I'm posting this publicly because it's important, and I'm tired of being quiet and "nice".


Job Posting for NYers

Calling all locals! As you know, I'm working as a manager at the Inwood Greenmarket and as such get leads on seasonal jobs.

One of the local wineries is looking for seasonal sales people. He needs folks who can work full or part time, enjoy learning about wine, able to lift cases of wine (so fit), and are hardy enough to withstand being at market for most of a day no matter the weather. I believe the work is hourly and seasonal, but I didn't ask specifically. If you think you might be interested, PM me and I'll send along the details of the winery and who to call. You can have friends of friends PM me too, if need be.

He's looking for people to fill in at a variety of markets, from Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Some gigs are year round, other are seasonal. I'm sure they are hourly.

Comment or PM me if you'd like his information and a link to the winery.



Midnightstation's New Website!

I'm SO proud of midnightstation's new website. You should all check it out. His work has grown so much, and he's not a technical guy and he put this together himself. It was a real struggle, and I'm really really proud of him for conquering this particular mountain!

The House of Indulgence



Better than Gangam Style

NASA Johnson Style!

Heeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyy, Science Lady!



Humanity Can Be Excellent

Over twenty New Yorkers lift up a car that ran over a grandmother and two toddlers.

The video is great too. Every person is like, "Of course we did that. What else were we going to do? There were babies under there!" Including the people who had been hit by a second car. Everyone is going to be OK.

Thank you. I love you, New York.



Neil DeGrasse Tyson basically preaching :)

More books plz

Loved Kate Griffen's "Madness of Angels" and the rest of the Matthew Swift series.

Adored Ben Aaronovitch's "Rivers of London" PC Grant Series.

Currently reading the Laundry Files by Charles Stross. Weirdly - they are a bit much for me. They feel more.... tense? Maybe it's the Whole World Going to Hell No Matter What aspect? I'm not sure. Good, but a little Too Much. Also, I love the badass ladies but am saddened at the lack of minorities. IN LONDON. Also, none of his characters ever go out for a curry and this strikes me as utterly wrong (even though I, myself, cannot eat curry). My NYC sensibilities feel that having a cup of tea, and going out for a curry (or a kebab) are Things Londoners Do. Things NYers do: go for coffee. We drink a lot of fucking coffee.




Shoes for Sale

Buy my shoes! Shipping will be like $5-10 (will find out and charge as little as I can) and I'll use the US Postal system.

A pairs starting at $1. I'm making a separate bid entry for each one. You'll post to that the amount you are willing to pay.

All shoes are a size 10. My feet measure 9 and 3/4 inches and are a medium width. Shoe description is under picture.

photo 1
1: Aerosole heeled sandals. Fairly comfy, only worn a couple of times. I believe these are fake leather, not real, if you are vegan.

photo 2
2: Silver sparkle with a gold heel! Never worn out of the house. I bought them for burlesquing but just never get around to wearing them. Cute!

photo 3
3: Purple/magenta velvet and pink silk. I've had these a number of years. You'll need to re-glue the silk along the heel. Retro and gorgeous, but not right for my feet otherwise I'd wear them constantly. I've worn them to about 6 weddings though, including Voltaire's wedding! FAMOUS GOTH WEDDING SHOES OMG.

photo 4
4: JOHN FLUEVOG. The straps always cut into the top of my foot but otherwise comfy! A few nicks in the heels. Worn to 2 or 3 events but mostly unworn. FLUEVOGS.

photo 5
5: Nine West red Italian leather boots. Pretty damn comfy for the height, but not where my head is at these days. My interview boots - look SO goddamn elegant with my interview suit. You want 'em.

Feel free to pass this around. I'll probably shut down bidding around midnight.



Serious Eats reverse engineers the Chick-Fil-A sandwich. Now, all the goodness, none of the homophobia.

How they did it.

And of course, THE RECIPE!

OK. I gotta get some chicken breasts. And I think this has to be done for a fun event - a birthday, or a party or something. Can't keep the goodness to myself.

NOTE: My version will have sichuan peppercorn and a touch of wasabi powder because I'm allergic to paprika & cayenne. They will still be awesome.





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