Black Widow #06
THE MOTHERFUCKING SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR THOUGH MAN.
DO YOU REMEMBER THAT?
IT WAS LIKE MOTHERFUCKING CHRISTMAS.
YOU GOT TO BUY BOOKS, AND THEY HAD TOYS, AND UGH SOMETIMES THE BOOKS /CAME WITH TOYS/ AND THAT WAS JUST THE FUCKING BEST.
Scholastic Book Fair brought me Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Sirena, Which Witch, The Uglies Series, Dancing on the Edge, and Island of the Blue Dolphins. It pretty much shaped my entire elementary school reading experience.
Sophie Turner as Persephone.
One day Hades, God of the Underworld, saw Persephone and instantly fell in love with her. Persephone slipped beneath the Earth and Hades stole her to the Underworld where he made her his wife. Before leaving the underworld, Persephone had been persuaded to eat four seeds of a pomegranate. In ancient mythology, to eat the fruit of one’s captor meant that one would have to return to that captor or country, so Persephone was doomed to return to the underworld for four months of the year. But she was allowed to spend the remaining two-thirds of the year with her Earth Mother, Demeter.
Haunting, Dan Busta
The First African-American Detectives, The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case, and the Fate of Reconstruction
When police departments in the mid-twentieth-century appointed African-American detectives, the nation took note. Through countless books, movies, and television shows, detectives had become the most glamorous figures in law enforcement, and the appointment of black detectives—first in the North and then in the South—was seen as a sign of a transforming society. Sidney Poitier’s portrayal of Philadelphia homicide detective Virgil Tibbs in the 1967 film In the Heat of the Night became iconic. But few commentators noted at the time that the trailblazing African- American detectives of the Civil Rights Era were not the first black detectives in American History. That honor goes to the black “special officers,” as detectives were often called, who served in a handful of cities in the South during Reconstruction. In Reconstruction-era New Orleans, for example, John Baptiste Jourdain, Jordan Noble, and other black detectives investigated high profile crimes including the Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case of 1870.
Until the mid-1840s, American urban police forces did not employ detectives at all; before then, the role of policemen, night watchmen, and town constables was to prevent crimes, not to solve them. Cities usually depended on common citizens to identify criminals. Even with the rise of professional policing in the 1830s, officers focused their energies on prevention and made most arrests based on evidence that witnesses had voluntarily brought forth. After Boston introduced the first detective squad in 1846, other American cities, including New Orleans, followed suit, and detectives soon became celebrated figures. Stories, both real and fictional, of whip-smart sleuths deciphering clues, using disguise, spotting telltale signs, and outsmarting wily criminals captured the American imagination. True crime tabloids like the National Police Gazette, as well as the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe, helped propel the national obsession with detective work.
But until Reconstruction, all police detectives in the United States had been white. Even in 1870, police departments in the North still had not hired black patrolmen, let alone detectives. The Boston force would not add a black officer until 1878; in New York City, the ranks remained all-white until 1911. But in the South, five cities employed black officers. Reconstruction, it seemed, had brought real change; only a few years earlier, the idea of a black man serving on a southern police force in any capacity would have been unthinkable. But in 1870 in New Orleans, black detectives followed leads, interrogated white and black witnesses, and used their deductive skills in efforts to solve sensational crimes like the Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case. More was at stake, of course, than simply solving crimes. If they succeeded, black detectives could help convince skeptical whites that biracial government could work. If they failed, however, they would arm the critics who demanded the restoration of white supremacy.
For those who don’t know, the Great New Orleans Kidnapping case involved two black women who took one and a half year old white girl Mollie Digby from her front yard.
At any period in the South, this would be a dangerous time for black residents facing white “restitution” for the kidnapping. But at the height of Reconstruction, when black men were voting, holding office, and sitting on juries, the kidnapping of a white child (and a girl, no less) was quickly used to justify a move towards extreme violence to “reclaim” the town.
Luckily, Gov. Henry Clay Warmoth realized the danger, and actually used it as an opportunity to play up the skills of his top detective, Afro-Creole Jean Baptiste Jourdain. National papers became obsessed with the story, which actually helped tamp down KKK violence even as hysteria escalated.
Less fortunately, the eventual trial of the Afro-Creole women who kidnapped Mollie Digby quickly devolved into an exercise in racial profiling, sexual imperialism and fetishism, with the “strikingly lovely” defendants essentially put on display and accused of taking the child as part of a violent sexual orgy (an accusation combining racism, sexism and xenophobia to promote the idea that black men were animals and black women animalized, both with the goal of raping, murdering and likely eating white girls).
My dad’s family actually had an old newspaper clipping from a relative in Biloxi. Here’s a pretty telling quote:
"The salacious mullato woman… in this new Africanized world… the rumor that Mollie Digby has been sacrificed at a voudou orgy is so horrible that it must be immediately either confirmed or dispelled.”
Hannibal vs Mads | Season 2 [x]
By using a dystopian future to represent capitalism, it argues that capitalism is a dystopic machine, that it keeps us alive by allowing us to sustainably eat ourselves. The worst thing about capitalism, in other words, is that it does keep us alive: to stay alive, we must be capitalist, but the more we eat ourselves, the less we actually die.
Accelerationists might take up the part of Marxism which suggests that capitalism is unsustainable, and will inevitably accelerate until the point it goes off the rails, and use that to argue that we should go ahead and speed up the train. But the truly horrifying possibility is that this is not what will happen, and that the faster we go, we only auto-cannibalize ourselves more efficiently as the system closes itself more tightly."
We spend most of our time and energy acting as if it isn’t, and as if we have the power to stop it. We act as if we can live forever, and even our risk-taking might be, in part, an effort to forget the fact that we know we can’t: I choose to smoke because choosing to die reassures me that I have a choice, that I could also choose not to die. But we can’t live forever, and we won’t. That doesn’t stop us from living healthy, or whatever, but it does mean we’re only adding time to the clock…
But that’s why utopian thinking threatens to become dangerously unhinged from reality if it believes in itself too much: imagining that you can live through death is a good way to turn life into death."
Snowpiercer is a truly chilling dystopia, then, because its world is fully self-contained, and sufficient. But the most insane thing about it is that it makes sense. And it crystallizes something firghtening about the psychic geography of late capitalism, a technologically-enhanced state of affairs in which the function of the oppressed masses is less and less to work and be exploited than to be excluded and to suffer.
The first world, the movie might seem to argue, works less to provide its citizens with pleasure than to shape their desire by constructing others through their pain, lack, and death. Instead of giving Texans a health care system, for example, late capitalism gives them the illegal immigrant, to hate, to fear, and to dis-identify with. Prisons do more and more of the system-maintaining work that was once done by schools and hospitals: instead of giving us something to want, they give us something to fear, hate, and kill. And so, we eat ourselves."
"But why have a reasonable response to that fact? What has “reason” ever done for us, other than produce utilitarian arguments for the liquidation of human beings and the commodification of everything? Reason makes it possible to declare that the deaths of children are “worth” it, whatever the fuck “it” is supposed to be. Reason makes despair possible, the same way aspirations to immortality make death unbearably sad. Reason helps us get nowhere and never stop going there."
tv meme [1/5] favorite male characters: ben wyatt
"I have been tense lately… just thinking about the new Star Wars sequel. I’m worried they’ll rely too heavily on CGI and I’m carrying it all in my shoulders."