This Week’s Aneurysms: Remember Diamond Stephens

I was an apparition with orifices

I knew they were insurance salesmen in their hearts

And they would all die of attacks

I went down on them anyway because I had consciousness

Verified by my intake of acid

I was no peasant!

I went down on little white boys and they filled my head with Communism

They informed me that poor people don’t have enough money and are oppressed

Some people were Black and Chicano

Some women even had illegitimate children

For some reason, the words of Beat poet La Loca came to mind this week, from her classic poem “Why I Choose Black Men for My Lovers.”  Evidently, the problem with poor people is still that they don’t have enough money.  Who knew?  The Atlantic is, as ever, on the case.

We don’t mean to be catty.  The great St. Barbara Ehrenreich is telling people what they most need to hear, and she is truly as dope as they come.

It’s hard to make sense of the last week.  The so-called president of the United States continues to strut and flaunt and flail with no through-line of purpose or intent in his soggy, mac-and-cheese-like brain.  Paul Manafort’s trial started, and there seem to be stronger signs than ever that an enervated Trump will take extraordinary measures to fire Sessions, Rosenstein, and anyone else who stands in the way of quashing the legal threats he faces.

Prince Love Sexy '88 Tour

It was also a week of historic firsts.  The Pakistani province of Balochistan got its first female justice on its high court, and I had a highly visible, social-media meltdown while watching my first Overwatch tournament on ESPN2.  Maybe things really are changing.

Finally, and in all seriousness, there is the death of Diamond Stephens in Meridian, Mississippi, shot in the back of the head by an unknown killer — the 16th trans person, as far as we know, to have been murdered in 2018 in the United States.  It’s only August, and there are many more months to come.  Much love to her family and friends as they cope with this ugly reality.

30 Years Ago: A Look Back at 1988 (The Atlantic)

Diet Books as Utopian Manifestos: A Conversation with Adrienne Rose Bitar (Nursing Clio)

The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy (The Atlantic)

Dr. Phil and Social Mobility (The Bruenigs)

What Happened When I Tried Talking to Twitter Abusers (The Everywhereist)

The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature (Quanta)

What does it take to understand spiders? False eyelashes, capes and face paint (Medium)

Here’s How America Uses Its Land (Bloomberg)

Facebook Could Disappear and the Web Wouldn’t Change Much (TPM)

Moneyballing the Movies: How the Box Office Became a Sport (The Ringer)

Diamond Stephens, 39, is the 16th Trans Person Reported Murdered in 2018 (PGH Lesbian)

It Is Expensive to Be Poor (The Atlantic)

The Department of Reproductive Control

When You Have a Serious Hereditary Disease, Who Has a Right to Know? (Mosaic)

My True South: Why I Decided to Return Home (TIME)

The first black speaker? (Politico)

Walt Whitman on Democracy and Optimism as a Mighty Form of Resistance (Brain Pickings)

Author: Alex Sayf Cummings

Alex Sayf Cummings is an associate professor of history at Georgia State University, whose work deals with technology, law, public policy, and the political culture of the modern United States. Alex's writing has appeared in Salon, the Brooklyn Rail, the Journal of American History, the Journal of Urban History, Al Jazeera, and Southern Cultures, among other publications, and the book Democracy of Sound was published by Oxford University Press in 2013 (paperback, 2017). Alex can be followed on Twitter at @akbarjenkins.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s