Girls and women, if no one has ever told you this before, or if you just have trouble believing it: you are good, you are whole, you are yours. You do not exist to please men, and your value as a human being is not contingent upon your sexual capital. — Lindy West, http://jezebel.com/girls-and-women-if-no-one-has-ever-told-you-this-befor-494096690 (via hopefuluncertainty)
Today in forms of irony that simply shouldn’t exist: This ugly, depressing story.
True story: The Department of Defense was all set to hire 829 new sexual assault response coordinators to combat the epidemic of rape in the military and then…sequestration.
What kind of world do we live in when young men are so proud of violating unconscious girls that they pass proof around to their friends? It’s the same kind of world in which being labeled a slut comes with such torturous social repercussions that suicide is preferable to enduring them. As a woman named Sara Erdmann so aptly tweeted to me, “I will never understand why it is more shameful to be raped than to be a rapist.”
And yet it is: so much so that young men seem to think there’s nothing wrong with—and maybe something hilarious about—sharing pictures of themselves raping young women. And why not? Their friends will defend them, as they did in Steubenville, tweeting that the young woman was “asking for it” and that the boys were being unfairly targeted.
Women and girls are the ones expected to carry the shame of the sexual crimes perpetrated against them. And that shame is a tremendous load to bear, because once you’re labeled a slut, empathy and compassion go out the window. The word is more than a slur—it’s a designation. — “In Rape Tragedies, the Shame Is Ours,” my latest at The Nation (via jessicavalenti)
We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers. — Carl Sagan
The Music of the Cosmos
In the dark, the quiet sit a large group of people on the lunar surface, illuminated by a few red stage lights wearing white robes and no shoes. Their 69-minute through the cosmos is about to begin.
Brain child of Rirkrit Tiravanija - the visual artist, and Karlheinz Stockhausen - the composer, the Oktophonie is a musical performance that is quite unlike anything ever seen before. The entire stage, named the lunar surface, is empty except for 375 cushions for the audience.
The piece was composed to be performed in an area designed to look like out of space, and while the lunar surface does not actually look like the surface of the moon, the effect of the white robes, red lighting and strange seating arrangements, and a-tonal music reflects how space travel is in reality. Uncomfortable, scary, off-putting, and with a sense of uneasy community. This is how Stockhausen envisioned space travel for those less experienced in maybe a far-flung future situation.
The piece is named for the way the performance is heard, not by a live band, but rather through eight speakers suspended from the ceiling on a cube. The sound is designed to envelop the audience in an very immersive experience. (x)
In 2007, filmmaker Werner Herzog dedicated his documentary Encounters at the End of the Worldto Roger Ebert. At one point during Herzog’s commentary track, he calls Ebert “a warrior of the cinema.” Ebert responded to the compliment in a letter to Herzog.
My favorite part of Ebert’s letter:
I believe you have never made a film depending on sex, violence or chase scenes…You have avoided this content, I suspect, because it lends itself so seductively to formulas, and you want every film to be absolutely original.
You have also avoided all “obligatory scenes,” including artificial happy endings… And you don’t use musical scores that tell us how to feel about the content. Instead, you prefer free-standing music that evokes a mood: You use classical music, opera, oratorios, requiems, aboriginal music, the sounds of the sea, bird cries, and of course Popol Vuh.
All of these decisions proceed from your belief that the audience must be able to believe what it sees. Not its “truth,” but its actuality, its ecstatic truth.
You can read all of Ebert’s letter to Herzog here.
Still from Encounters at the End of the World
According to a recent United Nations report, North Dakota is torturing women. Seriously. -