Please please please listen to Part 1 of this episode of This American Life, “Before It Had A Name.” It discusses the first recorded testimonials of Holocaust survivors made by David Boder made in 1946 before the term “the Holocaust” even existed and before people even the mass move to record oral histories in the 1960s. It’s haunting, it’s morally intriguing, and it raises interesting questions about how we record history and how language shapes the human experience.
Just once, it would be nice to walk into a classroom and see a teacher who has a real, honest-to-God degree in education and not a twentysomething English graduate trying to bolster a middling GPA and a sparse law school application. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a qualified educator who has experience standing up in front of a classroom and isn’t desperately trying to prove to herself that she’s a good person.
For those of us queer people in the West, we must support human rights everywhere in the world; however, standing up for our LGBTQ siblings’ rights also means acknowledging how we are culpable. We must stop pretending that we are ahead of the world when we talk about LGBTQ rights and democracy. If being “ahead” of other nations means that we export our hate instead of confronting it, we are not only backwards, but we are also hypocrites. We cannot call attention to other LGBTQ people’s voices if we only want to hear half of the story. Our struggles are not all the same, but they are definitely connected.
“If John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan could negotiate with the Soviet Union, then surely a strong and confident America can negotiate with less powerful adversaries today.”—POTUS on Iran (via kateoplis)
I have been a writer since 1949. I am self-taught. I have no theories about writing that might help others. When I write, I simply become what I seemingly must become. I am six feet two and weigh nearly two hundred pounds and am badly coordinated, except when I swim. All that borrowed meat does the writing. In the water I am beautiful.
Kurt Vonnegut, “Introduction,” Welcome To The Monkey House