Posts tagged with tumblr
The Last Book I Loved: Joan Didion’s ‘Slouching Towards Bethlehem’
The Last Book I Loved is an ongoing series from The Rumpus to highlight emerging Tumblr writers (and the books they love). This is the final installment of Tumblr Storyboard’s version, but you can still submit to The Rumpus for publication! Thanks for reading.
I came across a Facebook post recently in which someone offered W.B. Yeats’ poem “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” as encouragement for a peer going through a quarter-life crisis. Things fall apart; the center cannot hold,” Yeats writes. It’s a feeling everyone has at some point, but for a twentysomething in the midst of an identity crisis, it sounded especially appropriate.
Joan Didion must have felt the same way when she chose the poem as an epigraph for her essay collection of the same name.
500,000 Refugees, Countless Stories: Welcome to Dadaab
When the idea for a documentary project about the world’s largest refugee camp came about, in early 2011, Dadaab, Kenya was a place that few had heard of. A haven for those fleeing armed conflict, disaster, or persecution, on the border with Somalia, Dadaab was already home to the world’s largest refugee camp — a dubious honor it held by a wide margin. And yet to most, Dadaab simply drew a blank.
All that changed in early 2011, when the looming famine in the Horn of Africa sent refugees flooding into the camp. Soon after, as famine was formally declared in Somalia, international journalists followed. For the first time in years, Dadaab was suddenly in the news: an international symbol for a humanitarian crisis. There were 500,000 refugees in a camp that was built for 90,000.
Fighting Street Harassment Online
Dhruv Arora lives in Delhi, India, and he’s had enough. Enough of rape, enough of harassment and enough of the belief that what women wear has something to do with it.
“I am tired of people getting harassed on the street. I am tired of victim bashing. I am tired of people saying it happened because she was ‘inappropriately dressed,’” says the 24-year-old engineering student.
And so, in January of last year, Arora and a friend — outraged by the story of a 22-year-old woman raped by a cab driver, then blamed for it in the press — decided to do something about it. They created a Tumblr with a simple request: send in photos of what you were wearing when you were harassed on the street, along with your story. Consider it a personal form of protest.
She was a 90s riot grrrl, hung out with Kurt Cobain, and had a music blog on NPR. She worked briefly at an ad agency (Portland-based, of course) before she decided to write comedy; in Portlandia, the IFC sketch comedy series she co-created — now wrapping up its third season — she plays a feminist bookstore owner, new age helicopter mom, kinky greaser,
newspaperblog editor, and, of course, herself (alongside creative partner Fred Armisen). Now she’s got a new band, Wild Flag. And a shitload of blogs devoted to her every move.
In real life, though, Carrie Brownstein isn’t quite so different from the fans who adore her. She once cried because she loved Madonna. She had a crush on Danny from New Kids on the Block. She wrote fan letters and plastered rock posters on her teenage bedroom wall. Portlandia, she says, is like its own version of a fan ballad — an ode to the endearing absurdities of her Pacific Northwest home. On the eve of tomorrow’s season finale, Brownstein talks fandom, emoticons, and what was so great about the 90s.
Black History Is American History
Think of Black History Month, and chances are you think in turn of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., maybe Marcus Garvey. It’s a familiar group — and that, says Alex Pierce, is precisely the problem. “It’s become a way to pack a few hundred years of history into one 28-day month of the year,” the Texas-based designer and art director says. And so this month, Pierce launched Black in History, a blog to highlight the accomplishments of influencers like Gerald Anderson Lawson, the inventor of the video game console, Roy L. Clay Sr., the “Black Godfather of Silicon Valley,” and jazz great Nat King Cole. We talked to Pierce about his love/hate relationship with Black History Month.
Your day job is in advertising. Has that made you a cynic?
I would say I’m more sensitive than some to the strange relationship advertising has with black people. It’s not all bad, believe me, but I do cringe when Black History Month comes rolling around and a few brands decide to change their jingles to soul-R&B music and feature more colorful people in their broadcast spots and print ads. My family laughs about it all the time. I get it — it’s a great way to tie your brand to an important message while selling some stuff. I’m not necessarily against that. It’s just when it’s done bad, it’s pretty bad. Black history in a lot of advertising has become a way to say something without really saying anything at all.
Finding Community in Surviving Cancer
“Cancer,” Jason Pike wrote in his first blog post last April. “It fucking sucks and it’s hard to explain.”
After realizing that a diagnosis of throat cancer meant surgery would temporarily steal his ability to speak, Pike, a Chicago entrepreneur, turned to blogging as a way to keep friends and family in the loop on his progress.
“As many cancer patients will attest, the act of treatment and recovery is boring as hell,” says the 30-year-old, who blogs at As Yet Unfinished. “There I was, lying in hospital rooms on intense painkillers, sitting in waiting rooms awaiting my daily radiation treatments or lying on my couch watching the same episodes of the same shows over and over. Add to that the sum total of being in pain, scared of dying and unable to speak, and my nature as an expressive artist, and it was shockingly easy for me to keep [the blog] updated.”