“I’m a lot smarter than that. I know how to be critical in an intelligent way so as to insult them [The New York Times]. Which is what I am going to do. […] They knew what kind of acclaim that my book was getting and so they chose to focus on my personal life, my ex-husband, they said things that weren’t true – things that they knew about my ex-husband that reportedly I did not know. It was a personal attack. It was tacky as hell. It’s not a book review. They were reviewing my personal life. And my personal life has nothing to do with this book. I resented it.”
- Terry McMillan on Alex Kuczynski’s review of her book.
Known for her humor and warmth, author Terry McMillan explores how family comforts and confuses us in her latest book, Who Asked You? Terry joined the AMp hosts Brian Babylon and Molly Adams this morning by phone as she talked about the novel, how she maintains such a steady output, what life looks like from the top of the bestseller list and how to handle your biggest critics and not break into outbursts - like Kanye West.
Daaaaaang Terry McMillan went OFF in our conversation with her today. But legit, Who Asked You? should be made into a movie.
A Paris auction of sacred masks from the Hopi and San Carlos Apache Native American tribes fetched more than 550,000 euros Monday, defying protests from the United States and activists. The US embassy had asked for the suspension of the sale of colourful ceremonial masks and head-dresses after the failure Friday of a legal challenge by advocacy group Survival International on behalf of Arizona’s Hopi tribe. Three San Carlos Apache masks were also sold for 30,000 euros. “We remain concerned about this sale, which took place before the Hopi or Apache tribes had the time to examine the objects and their origin to see whether they could claim them,” Philip Breeden, minister counsellor for cultural affairs, told AFP.
A clear day in the early nineteen-eighties, for example. A man drives past the harbor of the city in which he lives. He sees docked boats, restaurants, children at play, the island sleeping in the distance. Without quite meaning to, he remembers that the island is a prison. And then, as he is a man of some imagination, he imagines something worse: that people are tortured there. It has been going on for a while.
Years pass. The rough sea of the crossing makes it feel far. The swells are huge. The ferry could sink like a stone. Our tour guide, used to it, sleeps on the journey. Soon, in less than half an hour, the ferry arrives. The prison is now a museum. There was and is a pitiful garden along a wall.
Obscene. That is the word, a word of contested etymology, that she must hold on to as a talisman. She chooses to believe that obscene means offstage. To save our humanity, certain things that we may want to see (may want to see because we are human!) must remain off-stage. (1)
A sunny afternoon, 1977. The torturers have arranged for some of the prisoners to be photographed. They lead them to an arid patch of land (away from their own tiny garden within the walls) and give them shovels. The press is told: this is a garden. A photographer takes a picture and captions it: ’n Gevangene werksaam in die tuin. “A prisoner working in the garden.” The prisoner is not working. He stands erect, faces forward. He wears a floppy hat and dark glasses (when they let him go thirteen years later, he will be unable to shed tears: the limestone quarry will have ruined his eyes). He is a contained fury.
On the island, the tour guide mentions names. Each falls like a stroke of the cane. Sobukwe, Sisulu, Mbeki, Kathrada. On the other side of the island—the island which is surprisingly big, surprisingly wild—the waves break their heads against the rocks repeatedly, trying to forget. From time to time we see ruined ships.
Twenty-seven years later, the prisoner looks at the photograph. “I remember that day. The authorities brought these people to prove that we were still alive.” Ambushed by memory, the prisoner becomes angry again. He begins to denounce one of the visitors from that day. A handler intervenes, “Khulu (Great One), you know you can’t talk like that.” He won’t be corrected. “No, we must be honest about these things.” The god of his youth is in his voice.
Blacks are allowed in the Company’s Gardens now. You can see them with their families on a warm day. Things have changed (but fewer are the blacks in the fine restaurants on Long Street, two blocks over; things are unchanged). Near the Gardens is the Slave Lodge. In the heart of the Gardens is the monumental statue of Rhodes, his arm raised towards the rest of the continent: CECIL JOHN RHODES, 1835-1902. YOUR HINTERLAND IS HERE. His gesture reads, through history’s lens, like a Nazi salute.
White supremacy has its uses. Because of its great care and its thoughtful strategy, because of the tireless way it hoards its hatred, it is good at making heroes. Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Desmond Tutu: what would our lives have meant without theirs? No wheel moves without friction. Without the obscenity of white supremacy to resist, they might have been mere happy family men. Nevertheless:Whoever was tortured, stays tortured. Torture is ineradicably burned into him, even when no clinically objective traces can be detected. (2)
The island migrates to other places and the torturers diversify. But the island is never far away. Occasionally, it leaps into the mind of a woman as she goes through her day during the twenty-first century. A man, somewhere, is jolted awake in the middle of the night by things he knows are true. If the island’s physical distance is a little greater now, its moral distance is not.
The prisoner finally dies. The torturers take a moment to praise him (to praise themselves). Then they return to work.
Notes: 1. J. M. Coetzee, “Elizabeth Costello,” 2003. 2. Jean Améry, “At the Mind’s Limits: Contemplations by a Survivor on Auschwitz and Its Realities,” 1980.
Behind this click-baity headline is an amazingly horrifying food history:
Cockentrice - take a capon, scald it, drain it clean, then cut it in half at the waist; take a pig, scald it, drain it as the capon, and also cut it in half at the at the waist; take needle and thread and sew the front part of the capon to the back part of the pig; and the front part of the pig to the back part of the capon, and then stuff it as you would stuff a pig; put it on a spit, and roast it: and when it is done, gild it on the outside with egg yolks, ginger, saffron, and parsley juice; and then serve it forth for a royal meat.
And yes, the photo is off-putting enough that even this carnivore was glad she had time to steel herself. There’s a recipe for a 17-bird matryoshka doll of gluttony in here too. Ah, to be a member of the ruling class in the 15th-century.
Analyzing 10 years of agency reports about DCFS-involved abuse and neglect deaths, the Sun-Times and WBEZ found 228 such deaths between July 1, 2002, and June, 30, 2012. The number of deaths more than doubled between 2010 and 2011 — from 15 to 34. It held steady at 34 in 2012.
Of the 2012 deaths involving the agency, 15 were caused by abuse, including children beaten or shot to death by their caregivers — the highest number of abuse deaths since 2007, the news organizations found The other 19 DCFS-involved deaths in 2012 were caused by neglect. Eleven involved infants smothered or falling after being placed in dangerous sleeping conditions.
Such deaths often weren’t classified as neglect until late 2011, when DCFS began pressing its investigators to discipline parents who’d been educated about sleep safety or placed their children in unsafe sleep conditions because of alcohol or drug use.
Now we all know, we meaning people that actually live in Chicago, that people in Chicago seldom ever eat Chicago style pizza because it is not meant for eating all the time. It is a treat. It is something different and to be perfectly honest, a great racket as far as tourists go. Especially the ones from New York. Tourists from New York are rubbing themselves raw in the crotch to have this pizza that we dare claim is better than their own just so they can bore everyone they know on Facebook to death with their homecooked Pepsi challenge. No one you know will dare think anything good about pizza in Chicago again! Thanks for the $18, Steingarten.
Recently there was some talk on this here website about how Chicago is a frozen hell hole with an inferiority complex. And while I won’t argue that some of that is true, the unspoken presentation that it is for no good reason, is kind of bullshit. If it weren’t for assholes from New York having to constantly compare everything else the world does to how they do, no one would give a shit about Chicago vs New York style anything. But no, some self-centered asshole always has to come out of O’Hare defensive as all get because they assume that because something it is a city, it is somehow daring to impede on the greatness of a place that leaves mountains of trash on the street. If I had a dollar for every time some jag off from New York said “well in New York…” I’d have enough to maybe buy a piece of shit 7 foot by 7 foot apartment to share with 3 strangers while I work on my book or whatever it is I think I’m doing with my parents money. So yes, it gets a little fucking tiring and eventually we have to say something, lest we just straight out throttle the living shit out of your New York neck.
As for you, Los Angeles, the toady backing up New York in hopes doesn’t start in on you next because really, there isn’t anything less New York than you, we know who you really are. Because you came from here! We know that for all the glitz and glamor you write home about that at the end of the day you are just as fat as we are because the “health conscious” don’t need THAT many donut shops in one square mile. As a city of neighborhoods, we can almost respect that you are for the most part, a city of suburbs. I know that most of LA wants to put its past behind them, but having to always put down everything that isn’t where you are now isn’t the way to escape where you are from, it’s how you underscore it.
Which brings me to my final point. So very few of you are from your adopted areas. To be so boastful and always depending on making someone else your punchline to do so is just sad. Especially when you depend on almost everything from us, or some other “poor, backward flyover city.” We’re the city that works and we don’t have time for your pizza feelings.
Never forget, Bill Murray couldn’t have come from any other place on earth.
“[T]en states have adopted laws that ban any city or county within the state from establishing a right to sick leave. In Wisconsin, legislators repealed the city of Milwaukee’s mandatory paid sick leave law, which had been established by a referendum supported by 69 percent of voters in 2008. In each of the ten states, the bills’ sponsors included members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). And in each case, the bills were adopted following vigorous advocacy by corporate lobbies such as the Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business, and Restaurant Association.”—
They happen really fast, the sunrises. Sometimes you specifically set the alarm on your watch to go watch the sunrise. And as you pull yourself down into the floor - and that’s where the huge, bulging window is, that we call the cupola - and there’s the world glowing dark underneath you. And you start to see a few faint tinges of a sunrise coming as it starts to light the upper atmosphere, and then bam. The sun just pops into view, roars into view, because we’re coming around the world at it so fast.
And you can actually watch the sun move away from the Earth. And the light from it initially comes through the atmosphere. So the whole station glows with the light of dawn, with - all the big solar arrays glow blood red, and then orange. And then, as the sun clears the atmosphere, and it’s directly on us, then they settle down to sort of an iridescent blue. And then you can see the dawn come across the world towards you.
And then you go back to work and wait another 92 minutes, and it happens again. It’s not to be missed, and I tried to watch as many sunrises and sunsets as the work would allow.
Hey Molly, why do you go on a crazy feminist rant whenever someone asks if you’ve seen a Woody Allen movie? Here, why don’t you read this! (And of course, Mia Farrow is a powerhouse so it’s nice to read about the other parts of her life too.)
“For years we ignored the predominant whiteness of our audience as our communities changed into polycultural cities and towns where we could have played a significant role in bridging different points of view. We paid no attention to that reality. We lived in our fantasy of our community looking like our audience, and like our friends, and our associates. Living in fantasy is not for stewards of a public mission, nor fiduciaries of a public trust.”—Torey Malatia in his keynote remarks at the Public Radio Producers Conference.
South Side Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) proposed Wednesday that Chicago bike riders be required to purchase $25-a-year licenses and required to take a one-hour safety course.
Because in a city that doesn’t have enough police to handle the violence we should definitely make them responsible for pulling over bicyclists and checking registrations. The problem with instituting regulations is trying to figure out if police can actually enforce them.
Pat Dowell, why? You know this is not going to pass.
Despite the lyric’s sexual content and Urie’s own nakedness, the Panic! clip isn’t particularly sensual. More than twice the speed of “Untitled” and without that song’s woozy ebbs and flows, “Girls/Girls/Boys” is more of an interrogation than a seduction. Unlike D’Angelo, the less muscular but no less lean Urie is clearly extroverted; there’s not a moment when he doesn’t appear perfectly contentto have his crack exposed. But which difference explains YouTube’s requirement that you confirm your age to watch D’Angelo’s video and makes no such demand before serving Urie’s version?
“I keep my life simple - physically. Most importantly I connect with people in different cultures all the time. […] This constant exposure to new people, mix of older and younger people, and constant exposure different perception on things, keeps things constantly in perspective. How European I am, and how I have a specific way of looking at things.”
- Angelo Vermeulen on what keeps him focused in his space science journeys
Earlier this year six scientists spent four months on Mauna Loa in Hawaii pretending like they were living on the surface of Mars. The leader of the team is our guest, Angelo Vermeulen, a Belgian artist/biologist/philosopher/amazing person. Angelo joined the AMp’s Molly Adams and guest co-host Ernest Wilkins as he talked about the philosophy behind the future of space exploration and why he believes it is humanity’s destiny to go way, way up there. We also learned about the experiments done in Hawaii and why psyche of astronauts is just as important to maintain as the components of the spaceship.
I walked out of the studio today and thought, “Angelo Vermeulen could be a cult leader. I’m glad he is using his powers for good.”