The Community Weblog. In byte-sized chunks.

The Unlost Generation

The White Negro, Norman Mailer, 1957.

It is on this bleak scene that a phenomenon has appeared: the American existentialist—the hipster, the man who knows that if our collective condition is to live with instant death by atomic war, relatively quick death by the State as l'univers concentrationnaire, or with a slow death by conformity with every creative and rebellious instinct stifled (at what damage to the mind and the heart and the liver and the nerves no research foundation for cancer will discover in a hurry) , if the fate of twentieth century man is to live with death from adolescence to premature senescence, why then the only life-giving answer is to accept the terms of death, to live with death as immediate danger, to divorce oneself from society, to exist without roots, to set out on that uncharted journey into the rebellious imperatives of the self.

The White Negro and the Negro White, Gary T. Marx, 1967
James Baldwin has stated, "We take our shape, it is true, within and against that cage of reality bequeathed us at our birth; is the color of evil" and Negroes must live with this. This paper is concerned with a segment of those who must live with the stigma of being black. It is also concerned with the behavior of some whites who would perhaps say, "White is the color of evil; must middle-class Caucasians live with this?"
A Very Complex Thing: The Battleground between James Baldwin and Norman Mailer

Norman Mailer: The Autocrat of the Remainder Table

Norman Mailer's Hipster Theory: Whatever Became Of The White Negro?, 2007

What Was The Hipster? The hipster was hip

Let's Be Clear: Norman Mailer's Wife-Stabbing Was Not Art

Sex, Lives, and Disability

Most debates around sex and disabled people in the mainstream press mirror those of medical ethicists, by focusing on whether disabled people have the 'right' to pay for sex. But this is just one small part of the overall picture. Disabled academics and activists paint on a much larger canvas, writing about issues such as consent around mental capacity, the forced sterilisation of disabled people, the rights of disabled people in institutions to have sex and be free from sexual abuse, and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) disabled people.
"Sex, Lives, and Disability", from Mosaic Science, covers a lot of ground on many issues relating to including history of disability rights movements, what role sex workers may play in the lives of some people with disabilities, barriers often faced by LGBT people with disabilities, rethinking definitions of sex, and consent when verbal consent may not be possible. In sidebar videos, journalist and disability activist Mik Scarlet tackles Ten Myths about Sex and Disability and Alternate Erogenous Zones. Mik also co-authors The Love Lounge, an advice column focusing on love, sex, and relationship advice for people with disabilities. (Links contain possibly nsfw images and video, depending on your workplace. Clicker beware.)

... so here is a photo of a weasel riding a woodpecker.

Martin Le-May was birding with his wife when he caught this once-in-a-lifetime shot.

Hey... that guy looks kinda familiar.

Vince Vaughn and Co-stars Pose for Idiotic Stock Photos You Can Have for Free.

Stock photos have a bad rap. They're campy and cheesy and the butt of plenty of jokes. But what's great about them is they're often the catalyst for promotions or gags—sort of a comedic blank slate.

As part of a stunt for their upcoming movie, Twentieth Century Fox teamed up with iStock by Getty Images to produce photos that can be freely used in your next business presentation.

Alternative Model Has Her Anus Cast In Bronze

Magnus Irvin and Michael Ritzema, run a company called Edible Anus. For fifteen years they've been producing chocolates made from a mould created by an actual human anus! And now they've taken things a step further, offering personal anus castings... made of a more permanent material, like glass or bronze. (SLYT/NSFW)

There is a rumbling in the sky. All the wheat disappears.

A First Look at Settlers of Catan: The Movie

Squirrels? That's where I'm a Viking!

Common knowledge about squirrels is that they are basically furry rats. Yes, they are adorable in an amnesiac sort of way, what with their inability to remember where they buried their nuts, but the modern squirrel is not typically considered a manifestation of anything monstrous. Interestingly, much like Coca-Cola and Pop Rocks, if you combine Viking aesthetics with squirrels, you produce a malevolent little rodent called Ratatoskr ("Drill Tooth" in Old Norse) that spends his days spreading malicious gossip and trying to start a fight between the eagle at the top of the World Tree Yggdrasil and the angry Wyrm beneath called Níðhöggr, generally with phrases like, "Did you hear what he said about your mother?"

Curt Schilling 1, Internet Trolls 0

Curt Schilling's tweet congratulating his daughter on her college acceptance was met with the usual assortment of congratulatory replies from friends and fans, some light-heated "can't wait to date her" messages from current students at her future school, and a few seriously vile and offensive responses. The authors of the latter group probably regret their actions today.

Daughters of the Chorus

Unwanted babies had perhaps the best opportunities of all. If carefully placed in a basket in the portico of the Ospedale della Pietà on the Riva degli Schiavoni, they would be taken in, fed, clothed and educated 'at enormous expense both public and private'. 'Their prioress is appointed by the Doge himself,' wrote the Venetian historiographer Francesco Sansovino in 1581. More than this, they would also learn singing or a musical instrument..."
Venice's Ospedale della Pietà was one of the 18th century's greatest centers of musical instruction and development, and the foundling girls who lived there were counted among the finest musicians of the age. Antonio Vivaldi taught and conducted at the Pietà for 36 years, and the vast majority of his work was written expressly for performance there. The documentary Vivaldi's Women follows a modern attempt to understand and recreate the original context of that music—with women playing every instrument and singing every part, from soprano to bass.

The Figlie di Choro produced composers of their own, Anna Bon among them. Her recorded works can be found on YouTube.

More than just a cheesy music video

"Total Eclipse of the Heart" is way more musically complex than you might have thought.

Another Derren Brown post

Infamous was a 2014 magic show from Derren Brown: This is an hour long Youtube video with a fantastic finale.
How does he do it, on Quora.
"...look like you are witnessing true magic": A positive review from a fellow magician.

Keep Korma and Curry On

Scientists have figured out what makes Indian food so delicious. [Washington Post]

In a large new analysis of more than 2,000 popular recipes, data scientists have discovered perhaps the key reason why Indian food tastes so unique: It does something radical with flavors, something very different from what we tend to do in the United States and the rest of Western culture. And it does it at the molecular level.

55,000 pages of emails

The New York Times reports today that as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton used her personal e-mail address to conduct all business. In response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, Mrs. Clinton's advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department.

In January, Vice's Jason Leopold filed (pdf) a federal lawsuit against the State Department for failure to respond to his Freedom of Information Act request for "any and all records that were prepared, received, transmitted, collected and/or maintained by the Department of State (DOS) mentioning or referring to or prepared by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or any member of the Office of the Secretary (S) from January 21, 2009 to February 1, 2013."

Hillary Clinton Not Alone in Using Private Emails to Govern

The Insiders: The Picasso that hit Hillary Clinton: Who might have been the source of the story? Which master of the craft of opposition research?

Twitter hijinks.

Vox: Hillary Clinton's personal email account looks bad now. But it was even worse at the time.

"...the scientific study of the problems of flight..."

One hundred years ago today, on March 3, 1915, a Naval Appropriations Bill was passed through Congress and signed by president Woodrow Wilson. A small rider was attached to the bill and went through the process almost completely unnoticed. That rider legislated the formation of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.

NACA was formed during World War I to promote wartime coordination of aeronautical research. NACA was instrumental in the development of early aeronautical theory, including the "NACA series" of airfoils (pdf description).

The United States' first aeronautical research facility was founded by NACA in Hampton, Virginia, at Langley Field. The facility included the Committee's first wind tunnel and later housed the (then) world's largest tunnel at 30 by 60 feet in cross section, now owned by Old Dominion University.

In 1957, NACA formed a Special Committee on Space Technology. The recommendations from that special committee transformed NACA into what we know today as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Later in 1958, the special committee recommended standing up a civil space program, and the rest is history.

nya nya nya nya

A corner of Japan where cats rule []

Being Deaf in Prison

What rights can a Deaf person who has been incarcerated expect? The National Association of the Deaf has a list of rights that correctional facilities must issue to Deaf people. However, a three-part documentary series done by HEARD (Helping to Advance the Rights of the Deaf) in conjunction with Al Jeezera (originally aired in December 2013) reveals that the actual experiences of Deaf prisoners diverge vastly from that of what they are entitled on on paper (trailer).

Using the documentary as a means to bring attention to the issue, HEARD began a social media campaign #DeafInPrison in June 2014. The organization also curates a fact sheet on current conditions for Deaf prisoners (English / ASL).

Interpreter Lydia Callis (previously, previouslier) weighs in with an article in the Huffington Post about how the criminal justice system fails Deaf prisoners. Meanwhile, the story becomes personal for Felix Garcia, a Deaf prisoner profiled in the documentary, as Deaf activists hope for the media attention will bring justice to Felix.

On a wider level, the criminal justice system is often used to terrorize and threaten this marginalized community, as police brutality against the Deaf is a well-documented phenomenon, with the ACLU weighing in. HEARD curates a log of police brutality against the Deaf on their website. Because Deaf people are frequently targeted at protests and silenced in civic processes, many have become disillusioned with the ability of political activism to advocate for them.

idea: a man exercising on a treadmill who is also going nowhere in life

I grew up in the American suburbs, that idyllic pastoral of white picket fences and bitter secrets. After amazing my primary school teachers with my advanced reading level and complex, nuanced analysis of The Waste Land, I continued my education in the Ivy League, letting the legacy of the many geniuses and impostors who walked those hallowed halls speak to my soul and enrich my literary perspective.

Through my work, I seek to explore what it means to be an upper-middle-class, White, American male in the 21st century.
Meet The Guy in Your MFA.

The Guy can also be found on Twitter, hawking impossibly erudite Moleskines, making reading recommendations, and writing an advice column.

GIYMFA creator Dana Schwartz was recently profiled in the Chicago Reader. She's also at the helm of @DystopianYA, another parody account that does exactly what it says on the tin.

City of a Thousand Spires, One Of Which Has Giant Babies On It

A Tour of David Černý's Prague. David Černý is shaping Prague's personality - one sculpture at a time. (previously)

I'm more of a "four desserts" person myself...

The 4 Deserts race series is a series of 250km ultramarathons held in the Atacama Desert, Gobi Desert, Sahara Desert, and Antarctica. Competitors are only provided with water, tents, and medical support; they must carry everything else themselves.

The Sahara race was relocated to Jordan in 2014 due to political unrest; the Antarctic race is by invitation only, and competitors must have completed at least two of the others.

Thirteen people have completed all four races within a calendar year, a feat known as the 4 Deserts Grand Slam.

"Desert Runners", a documentary about the race series featuring several would-be grand slammers, was produced in 2013. (Trailer)

Let us not wait for the millionaires to give us this money.

The Statue of Liberty is a shining symbol of Franco-American amity, but the story of its pedestal is a tribute to the immigrants, workers, and children who raised and donated money to build it. 1n 1885 - 120, 000 of them donated more than $100,000 to build the pedestal for the statue - at that time sitting in parts in boxes on the island where it would eventually stand.

Joseph Pulitzer, and his newspaper, The World jump-started the effort (which benefited both the Statue and the paper), casting it as a patriotic act and as a movement of the People not the elite, and managed to raise the money in 6 months. Pulitzer's efforts are popularly described today as the "first example of crowdfunding" (the link has newspaper ads and articles from The World in addition to analysis of fundraising) and came after years and years of fruitless fundraising (including placing the arm and torch in Madison Square Park to passively prod the well-to-do around the park to remember the cause and donate) and failed attempts to get it funded by the state.

If this is all too dry for you, Comedy Central's Drunk History retold Pulitzer's part in the story in under 3 minutes.

The humble quest to read all things lesbian

The Lesbrary - "The humble quest to read everything lesbian: a lesbian book blog." Also see sidebar for links to other lesbian book blogs, websites, and online resources.

The Lesbrary elsewhere - Tumblr: Fuck Yeah Lesbian Literature (and more!), Twitter (@Lesbrary), and the exhaustive Lesbrary Good Reads List ("lists of les/bi/etc books by topic and genre!").

Good Lesbian - "A guide to books about lesbians, and books by lesbians - from romance to graphic novels!"

Sistahs on the Shelf - "The Home for Readers of Black Lesbian Fiction"

Bibliography of 20th-Century Queer Chicana (and a few Latina) Fictions: 1971-2000 and beyond: MLA version | Chronological

Books on the African American Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Experience (Black Stripe)

Asian/Pacific (Islander) gay and lesbian fiction - three-page entry written by David L. Eng and Candace Fujikane at glbtq.


Popular Lesbian Fiction at Goodreads

Ten Books for Queers and Feminist to Read This Spring - from Autostraddle, 2014 article.

Also from Autostraddle: Top Ten - Lesbian Literature - The Classics. Alternatively, there's Curve Magazine's Ten Classic Books Every Lesbian Should Read.

Lesbian Books: More Than 150 Fascinating Finds, also from Curve. The print preview puts everything on one page.

United Kingdom

UK Lesbian Fiction

Everything you need to know about UK Lesbian Fiction at When Sally Met Sally

Historical perspectives

​glb​tq, "the world's largest​ encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer culture":

​Historical Dictionary of Lesbian Literature [pdf], by Meredith Miller, Scarecrow Press

Different Genres of Lesbian Fiction

Science Fiction

Science Fiction for Lesbians (over 200 books)
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Science Fiction - at the website, Feminist Science Fiction, Fantascy, & Utopia (established 1994)
The Lesbian Detective Novel Fan Site - you can go directly to the book reviews.

Lesbian Pulp Fiction

Autostraddle: You Probably Want to Read Some Lesbian Pulp Fiction
BuzzFeed LGBT: Peek Inside 22 Vintage Lesbian Pulp Novels
Duke University Libraries: Lesbian & Gay Pulp Fiction - you can jump right to the selected lesbian pulp titles.


The Stonewall Book Awards - "The first and most enduring award for GLBT books is the Stonewall Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table. Since Isabel Miller's Patience and Sarah received the first award in 1971, many other books have been honored for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience."
​The Gay and Lesbian Presence in American Literature​- how to approach teaching gay and lesbian American literature, by Professor ​David Bergman, Towson State University​.​

Finally, Lesbian & Feminist Publishing Houses list from Wikipedia's List of Lesbian fiction page; see also the entry for Lesbian fiction, which has notable works and authors.

Previously: Ask Nicola, The Art of Lesbian Pulp Fiction, Teenagers in Love

Boring rooftop? Put a house on it

If your apartment building is looking a little plain, just build a house on the roof. NYC isn't the only place to find homes on rooftops, though some aren't for the faint of heart.

I Want To Live In A House

Once upon a time there was a family that lived in a pub. Starstruck is an Australian musical released in 1982, directed by Gillian Armstrong, which was her second major film after 'My Brilliant Career'.

Jackie (Jo Kennedy) is an ambitious 18 year old singing barmaid who lives with her family in a pub just a stone's throw from the pylons on the south side of Sydney Harbour bridge.

Angus (Ross O'Donovan) is her precocious 14 year old cousin and manager, who intends to make Jackie a star by hook or by crook. He has a simple philosophy: 'Start out wanting a Volkswagen and you'll end up with the Volkswagen. If you start out wanting a Jag, you'll end up with a Jag.'

The score and soundtrack was composed and collated by Phil Judd, formerly of Split Enz, who also appeared in the movie. Here are songs from the movie as they appear on the soundtrack:

Temper Temper
It's Not Enough
I Want To Live In A House
Body and Soul
My Belief in You
Monkey In Me

The movie has been reviewed by many people since its release and it has become a cult classic.

Plunging deep into the manosphere

I already know that "the manosphere" refers to an online network, nascent but vast and like the universe constantly expanding, each twinkling star in its firmament dedicated—obviously—to men. Men and their problems. Usually with women.
Jeff Sharlet asks: What Kind of Man Joins the Men's Rights Movement?

Next I would like to visit Okonomiyaki Galaxy pleaseĀ 

Okonomiyaki World is a surprisingly comprehensive cooking resource that includes a history, recipes and variations for both Osaka/Kansai and Hiroshima styles, information on ingredients and nutrition, supplies and utensils, restaurants serving okonomiyaki around the world, and even an okonomiyaki discussion group. The only thing it's missing is a banjo tribute that features animated, dancing cats, but this link has you covered.