In a recent round table discussion held through University College Cork, author Elizabeth Anderson explained American politics as a graph where one axis is about policy and the other is about culture. She explained that even though things like a higher minimum wage or universal healthcare are widely popular across all political voting blocks, the (largely white or European-American) Republican voters still vote for the party that is against such policies because they are more concerned with the cultural issues at stake: abortion, social justice, anti-racism, LGBTQ+ rights. …
Why was I born a European-American instead of a Native American or an Irishwoman? I’m detached from the land. I will never belong in the places I live or live in the places where I belong.
I am so uncomfortable in my white skin with my American accent. What is this hybrid person that I represent? This offspring of colonial violence and heir to white supremacy who can’t even afford to live in the place that her ancestors stole for her?
What is wrong with this world, and what can be done about it?
I’m afraid I am not being responsible when I ask that question, not nobly trying to right a wrong for the sake of justice. I just want to feel comfortable in the earthen skin that surrounds me. I just want to know that I belong.
And I don’t. I don’t fully belong anywhere.
Buildings and Ruins as Physical Sources of Memory
Today I as I was walking along the road in Clonakilty, Ireland, I noticed how I tend to stop and gaze at the old crumbling walls or abandoned structures along the road. I always feel a little embarrassed when I do this, like I’m revealing my foreignness by showing interest in these sights which are so common in Ireland — but today I realized, it’s not just a tourist’s voyeurism that makes me so interested in these vestiges of the past. And it’s not that
“Even the most detailed historical tome must…
The sun just came out. It’s shining through my window onto my fern that sits on the windowsill. That one little change in my environment made me feel better. I took a deep breath, I sat up straighter, and I thought, “Okay, maybe I can do this.”
Because that’s how my world is: I am tossed this way and that by any old scary thought or disappointing experience and I start to spiral into despair about my whole life: What am I doing here? What if I’m wasting my time? But what will I do if I give up on…
Here’s a depressing thought:
Is it possible that the main reason Feminism in the 1970’s was successful at getting middle-class women out of the home and into the workplace was because corporations realised they could use the extra workers?
Up to that point, society figured it needed it’s middle-class women at home. Of course, poorer women, and especially women of color, have always been expected to work outside the home, but they were easily ignored and forgotten by popular culture. …
This is what I deserve
I know it in my gut
Is it too late?
Because that would be a tragedy
Like a world without her poems.
How many other Emily Dickinsons
Will we never know existed?
What is it that inclines a person
To squelch the life-force of another?
Does it scare them?
Do they think there is not enough life-force to go around?
The pain of it
Is too much to bare
And so instead
And then we are like empty shells
What purpose does life have then
But to find ourselves again?
I want to find evidence for — and find a way of talking about — the idea that deep memory is important. By deep memory, I mean historic collective memory. I mean what we refer to as heritage, but more. Heritage can have existed in the past 500 years, but it generally refers to ancestry farther back than that. In Western society, this deep memory tends to be acknowledged only by spiritual or mystical communities. This is probably because these communities do not require scientific evidence in order to believe in something. Scientific evidence is necessary and good, but lack…
The media as a tool of governmentality. It’s included in the four pillars of American government: Executive, Legislative, Judicial, Media. I’m not sure if it’s official. In fact, I don’t think it is taught that way, but it should be. Even in the 18th century, the Founding Fathers must have understood the power of the printed word. They included its freedom in the Bill of Rights. The printed word — newspaper — was their media then, before radios and TV and internet. …
Maybe I just need to write about myself. Maybe that is just as important as making a research paper out of what I am going through. Maybe I just skip the middle-man and write what I am going through.
So working is scary for me. It is related to trauma. I am sure I’m not the only one who has had this experience, although it might not be widespread.
When I was seventeen, my step-mom took me to get my worker’s permit. I remember going with her to my high school for it, or maybe I needed some certification from…
During times of economic turmoil and stress, people often “go back to school,” as the saying goes. It’s one of the ways people cope. It’s a healthy coping mechanism, for although it does cost money, after the period of withdrawal, contemplation, discussion, and mental exercise, one emerges with a tangible acquisition: a new degree or skill.
My life has always been a time of turmoil and stress, and academia has always been my place of refuge. As a teenager, home was a scary place where I could never relax. It was full of punishment and isolation. School was the only…