Emily Vancamp as Sharon Carter in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
Here’s an example of what we call a “soft no”. Sharon turns down Steve’s offer in a way that’s meant not to insult him but never actually uses the word “no”.
Steve clearly gets the message, though, and importantly offers to leave her alone. Sharon’s comment afterwards gives him an opportunity to try again later, but he doesn’t press and respects her rejection of his company even though it’s probably hurt his feelings a bit.
Just in case you ever wonder “What would Captain America do?”; there you go.
Dear guys complaining about the friendzone: a dude who was frozen in ice since the 40s is officially better at reading social cues than you are (and respecting other people, but we already knew that).
washing scrubs from the infectious disease ward in the building’s washing machine seems irresponsible, agent carter
if in that moment / it is clear that in our entire, graceless rage / it is what we have, and all along, / most yearned for, / then let us be spared by that which has the power to spare us / the knowledge that it is too late / to disclaim anger, find the will / for love and tenderness, beg / for pardon
again and again and again
John Engels, “For the lately dead” The Kenyon Review, Autumn 1984. (via sorryeveryone)
Regina DiPerna, “Where My Body Has Been” from The Boston Review (via postcardsforpoetry)
I lay on the cream shag carpet with my brother
and argue what a kobold is, and is not. I am nine.
Behind the oblong dresser in the basement
is a white stub of chalk with a wolf spider
crouching on it. It does not know I am about to pick it up.
When I am twenty-one, I clutch a cold ten dollar bill.
The gas attendant has a gold tooth.
Says, what are you all dressed up for, missy.
I smooth the gray wool of my bridge coat.
A bell chimes and my shoulder blades flinch.
I cannot see the snowflakes melting into my cuffs.
No eyes watch my body shuffle back to the car
across the ice, no witnesses.
Years later, a lover’s shadow traipses diagonally
across the floor of the limehouse. He’s just told me
he didn’t fall in love with me. The moon in splinters
across stack piles of buildings. I open his refrigerator,
gulp milk from a glass bottle.
There is nothing left for me to do.
My brother has been dead for nine years. A kobold:
a kind of sprite with thin, ivy-colored arms.
See, he is not here to dispute this.
This is what I think when the lover asks why I am
so quiet. My body shaped like a C at the foot of his bed.
My fingers coiled in blankets. Thick and coconut white.
I miss everything.
Winona Ryder circa 2002
my biggest regret is that i never got a ‘free winona’ t-shirt.
this photograph is really important in ways i’m having trouble explaining
Anonymous said: does being male make relating to literature easier? a lot of the time i end up feeling sort of alienated by near-universal use of male pronouns...
Short answer: being male makes most things easier. That said, literature works both ways, because sometimes I find dude perspectives alienating and resent the implication that I should see myself in them. I appreciate you bringing this up, it’ll make me more cognizant of the speaker in my own work, and whether or not I’m being inclusive. But in defense of Dunn and a thousand other dudes, for a lot of people poetry is a pretty intensely personal thing, and their perspective is the only one they have. Thinking more about it, maybe I don’t have any real right to aim for a more universal perspective. This is tricky stuff!
I’ve actually been trying to formulate a post about reading women authors and beyond that, seeking out women authors operating in women-controlled spaces. It’s not ready yet, but suffice it to say fellas if you are a regular reader and you cannot name lady authors you like, you should fix that!
Anyhow, I’m assuming this came in response to the last bit of poetry I posted, so with that in mind here are some female poets whose work I have liked:
(I would spend the week tumblasting snippets of poetry by ladies but it happens to be Lil’ Kim week next week (though she is, of course, a lady poet) so maybe come back in a week?)
He’d learned, but forgotten, / the pointlessness of seeking; / he was, after all, alive, / and desire often sent him aching / toward some same mistake.Stephen Dunn, “Meaninglessness” Loosestrife
this is my trophy. someone gave it to me in 2004. it says “I’m #1” at the base.
How to compose a successful critical commentary:
1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, ‘Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.’
2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.
How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently | Brain Pickings. This isn’t “catching more flies with honey” - it’s psychologically preparing your opponent to listen up when it’s your turn to speak. (via dwellerinthelibrary)
not for nothing but given how efficiently brains fish for aggreeance and ignore disconfirmation I am skeptical that should you deploy the above your opponent will hear anything at all past number 3.
Breyer’s version of events, revealed in court records, is that he was drafted and that the mayor of his village told him he had to go. Even though he was assigned to the Death’s Head guard battalion at Auschwitz, he said, he refused to kill anyone, so he served as a perimeter guard, far from the killing. He says he never shepherded prisoners from the trains to the gas chambers. [….] “That’s one of the oldest defenses,” said Aaron Breitbart, a senior researcher at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. “The perimeter-guard defense, and the baker defense: ‘Yes, I was there, but I was a baker.’ … It seems as though everybody is a perimeter guard when they’re finally caught. Well, not everybody who is caught could have been a perimeter guard.”
Expressed as a percentage, how much less culpable is the perimeter guard than the train -> gas chamber shepherd? If this cannot be expressed as a percentage, why is that, and what does this tell us about perimeter guards? About ourselves?
"He didn’t seem like what history says a Nazi should be like," [neighbor] Ken Perkins said. "He just seemed like an ordinary person who wasn’t hiding anything."
are…are you calling him an ordinary german, ken
Bill & I spend some time considering the afterlife in the back half of this week’s podcast, and I wanted to return to something that is mentioned briefly but not really explored: Hell, and specifically the idea that hell is not biblically justified. For this I draw heavily on the work of Fred Clark, who blogs as Slacktivist and whose work I have always loved. His post on Hell goes through the three places in the bible most closely supporting the popular conception of hell, and why those passages don’t actually support it. But more than that:
These three passages aren’t the only basis for the belief in Hell as eternal fiery torment, but they provide the strongest evidence to support the idea. And as you can see, this evidence is not really that strong. These passages certainly don’t provide any sort of basis for the idea that Hell ought to be a central or essential core belief that shapes our faith, or our concept of God, or our concept of one another or of the meaning of our lives. That’s not what these stories are about.
That’s not what our story is about.
This, to me, is an even more fascinating notion. Not just that hell isn’t supported by the bible, but that if the bible’s description of a just, loving god is accurate then hell (as conceived of full of pitchforks and fire and the like) not just doesn’t exist, but it can’t. Another evangelical blogger put together a long list of arguments (ethical, theological and biblical) against hell but the core of the idea is that because human sin is finite, infinite punishment cannot be ethically justified, eternal damnation leaves no room for salvation or redemption or love (all of which are kinda the point), and lastly any person good enough to get into heaven would possess enough empathy for others (even sinners) that they would be violently ill at the thought of other people being tortured for eternity.
All of that makes a whole bunch of sense to me, and it’s a fun idea in and of its own sake, but the more I think about it the more I wonder how hell got to be such a big idea in the first place. I mean, sweet mercy, why didn’t anyone say anything?