2017-01-19

sovay: (Psholtii: in a bad mood)
I was going to make a post about several different things and then [livejournal.com profile] derspatchel just told me that Miguel Ferrer died. He was younger than my father. He had throat cancer. I didn't even know. My mother has been watching NCIS: Los Angeles for the last five or six years because of him and Linda Hunt. I still have to finish the second season with [livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks, but in the list of favorite characters I have been keeping for the last sixteen years it says quite plainly "Albert Rosenfield, Twin Peaks" because, as with any sensible person, that speech about nonviolence imprinted me on him for life. I never thought of him in terms of his parents until the last time I caught The Caine Mutiny (1954) on TCM and suddenly I could see him in his father; maybe he'd have reminded me of his mother if I'd ever heard him sing. Hey, 2017, I thought we agreed that you were never going to match 2016 for devastating celebrity deaths and weren't even going to try? You couldn't have just held off for a month?
sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
This is the post I was trying to make earlier in the day before I got derailed by sudden actor death. I don't know why it's easier for me to make lists than a bunch of separate smaller posts, but here we are.

1. Pursuant to yesterday's post: as it is now later in the week, please enjoy Tlotlo Tsamaase's "Constellations of You" as part of our continuing issue on resistance.

2. Which is a priority of mine for the foreseeable future in just about every direction. Latest: the Republican decision to remove national protections from federal lands is a terrible decision. Even if you don't care about the environment (and I believe none of these people care about the environment), shouldn't you care about good old American jobs made possible by the maintenance of these lands? I suppose they care more about the mining and oil kickbacks. I want to protect these places and I want to know how to do it in states that aren't mine. At least with climate change denial you could tell yourself it would take a few years before the landscape started dying off around you. The timeline is a lot shorter when national parks are now deemed cheaply expendable.

3. And because there's nothing to make a country great again like an absence of art, Trump is ready to privatize public broadcasting and cut funding the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. Because that will really make a difference to the federal budget, which could have been in the black decades ago if it hadn't wasted so much charity on America's burdensome population of artists with no day jobs and museums with nothing better to do than curate our complex cultural heritage. The rest of those proposed budget cuts look both short-sighted and stupid—and specifically, punitively targeted—but that's the one that makes me furious. These are decisions made by people who understand as little about the way that art and academia actually work in this country as they claim I understand about the lives of people who weren't born with silver spoons in their mouths. I am sure the concept of "the coastal elite" will raise its head in these discussions and it will continue to sound like a loud and clear dogwhistle to me. News flash: if painters and sculptors and writers were secretly in charge of the country, the National Endowment for the Arts would stay right where it is. I'm pretty sure archivists are also not rolling in surplus dough.

4. These are two very different ways of writing about current events in poetry and they are both staying with me: Jill Talbot's "Nobody" and Gus Peterson's "Nautilus." I hope I can write about some of the things I want to write about. I know I won't lose the chance after tomorrow, but I do feel it will be a different world.

5. [livejournal.com profile] derspatchel just introduced me to the work of Sydney-based installation artist Michael Pederson: Miguel Marquez Outside. I think I like best the pieces which masquerade as ordinary official signage until you see that they pertain to solitude, gravity, mood, and other qualities not usually regulated by the department of city planning. To be honest, I would find the conversational silence and personal space preference cards actively useful, especially at conventions.

I wouldn't say that I had nightmares all night, because I didn't sleep all that much and I'm actually rather fond of volcanoes, but I did not appreciate the part where I dreamed about facing eviction from the apartment in which I currently live because of complaints from the neighbors on either side (lowering the property values, not the kind of people we want representing the neighborhood) while in the meantime fighting with relatives who don't exist in waking life but who had opinions about all of my life choices (selfish, childish, not sufficiently oriented toward the comfort of other people) and wanted to see me suffer for them. I woke up and thought, well, that was barely a metaphor. Somebody link me some nice things.
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