Hey #RVA, OAR is in great need of GED tutors for our clients. Please contact Sara C. at 804-643-2746 if you are interested in helping out!
The justices banned execution of mentally disabled people in 2002. Now they are poised to tell death penalty states that they really meant it.
Read more. [Image: Serge Melki/Flickr]
Current-borne, wave-flung, tugged hugely by the whole might of ocean, the jellyfish drifts in the tidal abyss. The light shines through it, and the dark enters it. Borne, flung, tugged from anywhere to anywhere, for in the deep sea there is no compass but nearer and farther, higher and lower, the jellyfish hangs and sways; pulses move slight and quick within it, as the vast diurnal pulses beat in the moon-driven sea. Hanging, swaying, pulsing, the most vulnerable and insubstantial creature, it has for defense the violence and power of the whole ocean, to which it has entrusted its being, its going, and its will.
—Ursula K. le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven
SF reading group night.
New York: Scribner, 1971.
I think the end times just started outside.
I left my windows open at home.
Breaking news in “states in which I would no longer feel safe working as a teacher.”
Jail Mail is back on this semester!!!
Every Tuesday, 1-4pm
Crenshaw House conference room, 919 W Franklin Street, first floor!
Open to the public!…
This is open to anyone who is interested in coming, you don’t have to be a VCU student, but please note that Crenshaw House is not accessible. There are a total of 9 steps to get in the front door, and no ramps. There are four steps to get in the back, and you could call us at (804) 828-6710 for us to let you in the back if that is any more accessible for you.
Yes! Jail mail is now at a time I can attend!
Ai Weiwei, Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (1995).
Maximo Caminero, dropping a vase from Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases (2006), last Sunday.
Cossack militia members attacked the Pussy Riot punk group with whips and teargas in the Winter Olympics host city of Sochi on Wednesday.
Members of the group, including Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, who were released from jail in December, were set upon by uniformed Cossacks – who are acting as an informal police force during the games – and plainclothes security men, as they attempted to perform under a sign advertising the Olympics.
OK, this is fascinating, because if you click through, there are photographs of members being unmasked and Nadya and Masha are clearly performing as part of Pussy Riot during this action. So does this mean the statement released earlier this month indicating that the two of them were no longer members of Pussy Riot was just a smokescreen to try and throw off the Russian government? Because that’s pretty fascinating. Also, note the fact that one of the members was apparently male, which also contradicts previous communiques. Finally, note the fact that police on the scene didn’t arrest anyone, which makes me think that, on some level, Pussy Riot has got the Russian government afraid to mess with them. I find that FASCINATING. (Not, of course, that it stops right wing militias from beating them up, which is far from ideal, but still, no one from Pussy Riot’s crew being in jail as the result of this incident is extremely surprising to me.)
I am pretty confused at the moment about what is going on with Pussy Riot overall, but I will say one thing: they’re pretty much the punkest band in the world. And I stand by that even if they aren’t an actual band, in the strictest sense of the term.
It seems like a mistake to interpret the open letter distancing the group from Alekhina and Tolokonnikova as having much definitive meaning. As far as I can tell the original source for the letter is this post from Pussy Riot’s live journal,* which is of limited value for two reasons: 1. the journal has been largely inactive for the last year, leaving some questions about how central it is to the group’s actual function, and 2. the fundamental makeup of Pussy Riot has always been one of decentralized egalitarianism. The idea that a few members could define, without their consent or participation, the “status” of other members seems entirely outside the group’s central values system. As an art collective Pussy Riot has always had some particularly active central figures, but I don’t think it’s right to interpret that as a closed membership system. It’s also worth noting that a smokescreen in contemporary Russia would be unnecessary and ineffective—the government hardly needs group membership as a pretense for arrest, and neither Alekhina nor Tolokonnikova have made any effort to veil their contempt for Putin or for his government. They’re just as arrest-able as independent activists as they are band members, possibly even more so.
All that said, I’m equally fascinated by this last point: they haven’t been re-arrested. This seems totally out of character for the Russian government, and I wonder if it is only a stay of arrest until after the Olympics have closed.** Prominence in the West has not been a dissuading factor for the Russian police in the past; it is very hard to see why it would be now, especially when the activists are so clearly unconcerned with avoiding it.
I’m most interested to see what they do after the Olympics, and especially with regard to prison activism. There is so much to be done to raise awareness about the Russian judicial and correctional systems; I think there is a lot they can do with their newfound global audience.
*It’s been like two years since I’ve read their live journal, and the comments are really active now. I totally learned the Russian word for “trolling,” which is троллинг. Word adoption from the internet is happening so quickly that I predict soon we will all speak Russian simply by speaking English with an accent.
**It’s also possible the amnesty legislation that allowed for their release would preclude their re-incarceration. I haven’t read whatever document Putin issued to allow their release, so who knows. Some Russian lawyer?
Via Getty Images:
Photographer Brendan Hoffman is back out in Kiev as violence escalates once more
Anti-government protesters guard the perimeter of Independence Square, known as Maidan, on February 19, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. After several weeks of calm, violence has again flared between police and anti-government protesters, who are calling for the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych over corruption and an abandoned trade agreement with the European Union.
Hey Richmond, if this is your adorable lost dog don’t worry — he is no longer lost. He didn’t have a phone number, but his vet info was on his rabies tag. We took him to the vet where they will hold him till his owner inquires. Get in touch with your vet! Also your dog is so funny.