I remember why I stopped reading the news.

[disclaimer, this belongs in some kind of op-ed column/tirade in something like DigBoston]

I remember why I stopped reading the news.

And I also remember why I stopped writing about difficult subjects.

It is impossible (for me) to objectively state the absolute horrific crap that people do to other people.

And if/when I do read the paper or the news, I usually intentionally avoid the metro section. It’s… depressing. However, the recent article about ISIS and the enslaved Yazidi women was on the 5th page of section A in the New York Times on Saturday and so there it was. Another nightmare happening in another part of the world.

Not only has yet another band of losers used religion to rape and pillage their way across a country, and justify those actions by some kind of opprobrious ‘fatwa,’ (oh yeah I’ll give YOU a fatwa, buddy!) or religious edict, but they are now forcing birth control on the enslaved women so that they can keep, well, raping them. Because in their religious code, the sacred text of some ancient and evidently morally corrupt persons, it says yes, you as a man can force sex on a non-believing female – until she becomes pregnant. Ah, but those sneaky ISIS terrorists! They’ve figured out not only how to torture but to Keep torturing one luckless half of a population in the name of God.

So, today’s question is, would it be worse to become pregnant by a twisted, feckless, brain-washed male and then be left semi-alone for 9 months locked in a room somewhere or is it better to have to be forced into a repulsive act several times a day? Hmmm. Maybe I’d fling myself over a fence too (like one woman did according to the NYT article –she survived). Although I have to tell you I may find some kind of stabbing implement and go after eyeballs when next shut.

I also remember why I stopped going to sunday school in my teenage years.  My upbringing was Episcopalian in the southern metropolis of Atlanta, Georgia. People went to church for social reasons, as well as spiritual. However, in the late 80s and early 90s, a ‘progressive’ strain of Episcopalian had started to outgrow its origins. Proponents were more like Baptists, those approached Biblical text more fundamentally than the ‘old school’ Episcopalians. I left soon after one of my mentors insisted all non-believers would sadly, but truly, end up in hell. Oh, and that women weren’t to speak in the church. See ya!

Yeah, so now I’ve done all this reading on social media and online about damaging and damning religion, and have given myself a rash. I’m enraged as usual. Again. But not like when I was 15 and angry at what Paul said to the Ephesians or when I was 25 and made myself literally ill by reading all the news on the Serbain war crimes. I am far more jaded now. And cynical. Hm, and maybe kinda hungry-

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Is this why blueberries v chihuahuas makes the news? Because we.just.can’t.take.this.sh*t.

But seriously, the numbers of reporting kidnapping of women from the Yazidi region in Syria range from 4000 to 7000.  At least 1500 have been rescued by ransoms and a few amazing undercover individuals.

So, while Trump blows hot air and American Democrats fight over who is a better liberal candidate, some people have an every day hell that we cannot imagine. Or, if we do, sends us running to the nearest bar or therapist’s office.

Imagine this conversation by the water cooler tomorrow:

“No one deserves to get pregnant at the age of nine or 12, or be put into sexual slavery or sold. No one deserves that. It’s against humanity.” — Rozin Khalil Hanjool

Like, uh, yeah…wow

“Quran says the people who lose the capacity to use their brain, to see and hear the truth are worse than animals. All that the ISIS soldiers are doing is ‘haram’ (forbidden) and anti-Islamic”  World News By Day

Yeah, we think that too.

So, there Are women escaping,  (cue Charlize Theron, Jennifer Gardner and Xena), while far too few for my liking, the ones that have are powerfully demonstrating and lobbying to get their sisters, daughters and all Yazidis out of that giant mess of a hellhole. Here are a few heroines:

Nihad Bakarat Alawsi

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and a very active Nadia Murad

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there’s this awesome woman ( there wasn’t much to the source, but she gave me hope)

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and most horrifyingly but defiantly, an 8-year-old girl who reportedly set herself on fire to stop the torture.

So, yeah, I hate reading the news. It’s horrifying.

But, these women that are ‘surviving’ after some of the worst, most horrific experiences on earth. They are brave, they are inspiring.

Maybe I will think of them for a second before the next time I comment on social media how much I like blueberry muffins. Maybe you will think of them before you comment on how offensive it is that your pupkins was compared to an inert pastry. Remember that some nightmares are very real. And some haven’t yet ended.



Posted in All

New dawn for Nina Simone?

Was Nina Right?  Is it a new dawn …of personal activism?

a songwriter sells out club passim in harvard square to take steps towards racial equity…

From Team Christina and Cindy!

Posted in All

How much of a cyborg am I?


RescueTime isn’t the most amazing of tools, especially the free version, but I appreciated the aggregated data coming off my laptop, and added in another sizeable chunk of time regarding my cell.

I’m not totally cyborg, but in the last week I spent about 60% of my time connecting to some kind of machine/online media source.  I thought as a fun form of data vis, I’d glitch my face as a quantitative measurement of my computer usage in true Neuromancer art fashion.  With soft massaging of data:

60% online/computer usage, 40% other (reading, painting, working out, you know, living). The glitch me versus the real me.  Yep, 60/40….

“Glitch me” breaks down to be 70/30% software development to OMG FB and social media.  Horrifying.  The larger pixelations vs the smaller pixelations represent this ratio.

glitch software from https://getmosh.io/   I wish i had more time to do a live visualization/API feed but this is my analog estimation of how cyborgian I truly am.