Origins of the police

Originally posted on Works in theory:

The Five Points district of lower Manhattan, painted by George Catlin in 1827. New York’s first free Black settlement, it became a mixed-race slum, home to Blacks and Irish alike, and a focal point for the stormy collective life of the new working class. Cops were invented to gain control over neighborhoods and populations like this.

The Five Points district of lower Manhattan, painted by George Catlin in 1827. New York’s first free Black settlement, Five Points was also a destination for Irish immigrants and a focal point for the stormy collective life of the new working class. Cops were invented to gain control over neighborhoods and populations like this.

In England and the United States, the police were invented within the space of just a few decades—roughly from 1825 to 1855.

The new institution was not a response to an increase in crime, and it really didn’t lead to new methods for dealing with crime. The most common way for authorities to solve a crime, before and since the invention of police, has been for someone to tell them who did it.

Besides, crime has to do with the acts of individuals, and the ruling elites who invented the police were responding to challenges posed by collective…

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Life Going On

It’s been an uneventful couple of months since I last posted. I’m still working on a Kemetic Activity Book, but I’m also finishing up the semester, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see much for it still. The semester is going ok, it could be going worse so I’m going to take what I can get. I have a paper to write and two tests left, which I really should be studying for, since one is on Monday. Later this week I may get around to writing a current events post, because I’m black and opinionated, in case you somehow didn’t know.

Things have been pretty hectic in my personal life. There’s a lot going on as we try to stretch our funds. Z got a new job in October as a part-time graphic designer, which I’m sure I mentioned. This means he took a pay cut, and I’m having a hard time dealing with us not having enough money. I grew up within 200% of the poverty line (where we are now) but I always had a way to get little things that I wanted and I wasn’t acutely aware of how poor we were because my grandparents weren’t poor. So, I’m not used to not having that and it’s hard for me. I’ll be honest in that I’m terribly spoiled and I’m upset that my little bubble was burst. It’s a matter of maturity, so I don’t expect anyone to pity me, especially since I’m still quite willing to, and do, ask my family for money for frivolous things.

Meanwhile, my religious life has been pretty quiet. I haven’t heard from the crazy kidnapping demon chick, and I hope to the gods I’m not jinxing myself. On the flip side, Z got terrified by Dapper. It was more he wasn’t expecting to receive a response than that the wolf was genuinely trying to frighten him. Apparently Z also thought Dapper was a god of some sort. I was like, omg no, talk about inflating his ego! They seem to be getting along. Then last night Z had the most whacked out dream that he’s had in a while, so much so that I’m not sure how much of it is actually astral madness and how much is dream insanity. But on the whole, pretty quiet.

My goals for this month, learn more about LPN programs for school and continuing education for my bachelor’s. Try and find a job. Write more Kemetic Christmas carols. Help my younger sister with her writing. Oh goodness, being able to look back at how I used to write and the skills I gained makes me chuckle at the level her skills are at. Not in insult or anything, just that it’s very adorable and I used to write just like that, and worse. Thank the gods for teachers and many books. I was terrible in high school, I cringe at the cheesy nature of my teenage writing, and even more so when I look back at how I wrote in middle school. I feel very appreciative that my sister trusts me enough and thinks me good enough to ask for my help. Here’s hoping I keep that trust yeah?

It’s Been A While, So Let’s Talk Dreams

I’ve been away for a while. The combination of school and daily life cuts into writing big time. And personally I just felt like I didn’t have much interesting to say. What would I talk about? School is going really well. I have a project to work on for Psych class, and I am really having way too much fun with Anatomy class. We did dissections a few weeks ago, and I’ve always been morbidly fascinated with the body. As a little kid I watched medical shows that showed surgeries and diseases in their uncensored grossness. Even when I scrunch up my nose and are gagging I’m still having fun. Yes, I am thoroughly weird. Another side is that Zolfyer and I are looking for a new apartment to move into by the end of December. We like our apartment, but our landlord is not reliable. Our mailbox lock has been broken for three weeks, meaning we haven’t been able to get our mail out of it, and they haven’t come to fix it despite us calling them twice to ask. The thermostat that controls the heat for the entire building is in our bedroom, meaning we have to be cold at night so as not to cut everyone’s heat off. We can’t have a heater, and the thermostat was supposed to have been moved months ago. We’ve asked for it to be moved several times, it’s still there. So, we’re trying to move.

On a happy note, Zolfyer finally got out of his shit job that was making him sick with stress and got a graphic design job. He is loving it and has regained a couple pounds already, and he’s only been there a month. Currently he’s on his way to getting sick. Something is irritating his throat and making him cough, but his sinuses aren’t really acting up and he doesn’t have a fever. On top of that his stomach has been upset. I’ve given him tea and it’s helping, so we’re gonna hope he doesn’t get full blown sick. No lower respiratory tract infections, those are gross. Not to mention, he’s one of those people who doesn’t get sick very much, but when he does, it’s hardcore. And I always get sick from guys.

As far as my spiritual life goes. It’s both more and less complicated. I’ve found that I’ve moved away from the god-centric path that I originally tried to have. I still honor Anpu, give him praise and offerings and prayers, but I haven’t been to shrine in a couple months. And ya know, He’s been really chill about it. Something tells me He saw this coming, but He has made it clear that He will still be a safe base for me. Which I’m glad about, because somebody shoved me down the damn rabbit hole and I have no idea what I’m doing.

I still have the occasional zombie dreams. Sometimes they make sense, sometimes they don’t. Recently though, and more frighteningly, I’ve dealt with astral dreams that are way over my head. A few weeks ago to a month ago, I had dreams dealing with mafia bosses and monsters. Now, I know that sounds cartoonish, and it was a little, but I know these aren’t dreams of imagination. I’ve noticed recently that I’ve been “gone out” into the astral with Dapper more, as opposed to hanging around Anpu’s temple. This leads to me interacting with more people, which I’m ok with, but I can’t keep track. Mostly I’ve been dealing with assigned babysitters.

A few days ago I was out with a group of these guards and we ran into what essentially can be described as a kaijuu or mini Eldritch abomination. Lots of tentacles, lots of wanton destruction and sharp teeth. Somehow me and these three wolves (they’re like Dapper, with human-y forms) ended up fighting this bastard. I’m not really helpful in a fight, so I was handling strategy and healing. At one point I’m in an office building watching over the fight. Thankfully the government isn’t completely inept and most civilians are away from the danger, but some are still escaping, and there’s always the national guard/local soldiers to look out for. I notice something creeping up behind me and it’s a spirit of some sort. I choose to call it a demon because it had a very creepy, dangerous energy to it. I was wary of it, but it just talked, about the fight mostly. I’m fairly certain it asked about me, but I don’t remember the dialogue as much. I do know our conversation ended when said monster did a typical monster thing and blarghed an energy beam everywhere. I had to run and dive to avoid getting killed and crushed by debris as it hit the building I was in. Last thing I saw was the demon before one of the wolves came in and rescued me.

The dream cuts over to the wolves and I gathering in a parking garage where some government officials were plotting how to escape. There are still civilians in the city, so we weren’t that keen on helping them, but I fielded questions about the monster and tried to help the conversation for getting more citizens out. Of course the beastie should show up and start fighting with the wolves. The wolves ask me to take down the wards constraining their magic. Why I’m in charge of that, I don’t know, but I do and they go ham on the tentacled bastard. Next I leave the building. I don’t know why I left the building, I really don’t, but I went through the other side of the parking garage to find a school playground. With kids still in it, apparently oblivious to the kaijuu rampaging not more than ten yards away. And a strange woman came out and grabbed me. Dream cuts over to the wolves, and their increasingly successful fight. I’ll make it short and tell you they won. They didn’t kill it, but it’s too weak to keep rampaging, and the officials take the opportunity to bolt, and nearly get got as they drive past the injured beastie.

It then jumps back to me, feeling half drugged and confused in a cluttered apartment. Whoever is with me, the woman who grabbed me from the school, is also the same demon from the office building. And she’s being a creeper, petting me and running her fingers through my hair and giving me chores to do. I go with it because I’m not fully there, my thoughts are all kinds of scrambled. At one point she tells me to clean the sink, and it’s a major pain in the ass. Besides it being full of mushy food, the big spoon she gave me has this dumb ass hole in it. Strangely, there were also coins of all kinds in there too. All shapes and sizes, different currencies, some of them old. I actually collect coins in real life, so these mysterious coins piqued my interest, and I was trying to separate them to keep them, but some of the little ones were at risk of falling down the drain. At a certain point this woman stopped me and pulls me over to the bed. She starts combing my hair (which is longer Over There than it is Here, like, way longer, especially since I cut it Here) and telling me how sweet I am and how pretty my hair is. So pretty she’s gonna turn it into a scarf. Which she does, pulling it tightly and hard before cutting it off. I’ve been getting increasingly pissed off this whole time, and trying to shake off whatever magic she’s got on me.

She makes a creepy comment implying that she did unsavory things to me and that she intends to do more. That got me awake and pissed enough to control my magic and blow off the spell. I grabbed her by the throat when she turned around and started to choke her. She made some strangled comment about loving me or something and I grabbed the scarf she had made magically out of my hair and proceeded to strangle her with it. She changed her form so I couldn’t kill her, first so the scarf slipped down to her shoulders, then she grabbed an object, a framed degree or something, to keep between her and the scarf. Then she turned her head and neck into a book. In that form she couldn’t move, so I took the opportunity and bolted.

Cue creepy escape, complete with abandoned building and demon voice following me as I tried to escape. I had tried running down the stairs, but I felt my legs getting weak and her magic chasing me. I wasn’t sure if I could get away before she could come after me, but I remembered my magic, now uncapped since it had to be to let the wolves loose. I figured since I didn’t want her chasing me, I went back and attacked her. She was still recovering from her transformation and I set her and her apartment on fire. It wasnt normal fire, more like the move amaterasu from Naruto. She screamed at me for being cruel when she loved me and I got out of there. The playground was mostly empty now, and I got found by my wolfies and we got out of there.

I didn’t think more of it until last night, when I had a freakish dream about Dapper getting attacked and flipping shit. Like, losing his fucking mind. It was terrifying because he has never, ever, freaked the fuck out. Not like this, it was more than just being terrified. I couldn’t even be sure if I was entirely there. I felt incredibly dissociated, and I couldn’t help as much as I wanted. I’m fairly certain I took him to a hospital, where he was able to call one of his contacts. I woke up shortly after that.

I’ve been rather freaked out about that since.

It’s Time for Whites to Accept Responsibility for Racist Systems

Originally posted on TIME:

I and many other faith leaders came to Ferguson, Missouri, on Sunday and Monday because of Michael Brown—an 18-year-old black teenager who, though unarmed, was shot and killed by a white police officer on August 9. My first thoughts when I heard the news were about my 16-year-old son Luke. I knew how unlikely it would be that this would ever happen to my white son in America.

Coming to Ferguson was about Michael Brown. But Ferguson has also become a parable for our nation. Jesus often told parables. A parable is just a story, but often one with a simple but important point.

The Ferguson parable is simply this: black lives in America are worth less than white lives—especially in our criminal justice system. And the parable of Ferguson rings true around the nation, with the many young black men who were and have been assaulted, shot and killed…

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Jennifer Lawrence’s Breasts Aren’t Sending Mixed Messages

Originally posted on TIME:

In a controversial, much-criticizedpost Wednesday on LinkedIn Pulse, business writer Bruce Kasanoff derided Jennifer Lawrence for daring to do the unthinkable (to him): bare her breasts in Vanity Fair magazine. Originally titled “Why Jennifer Lawrence’s Breasts Confuse Me” and later changed to “Why Jennifer Lawrence Confuses Me,” Kasanoff’s piece was riddled with ill-considered and outmoded ways of thinking about bodies, nudity and ownership of our stories. Kasanoff deleted the inflammatory article Thursday, telling Time.com via email, “My intention is to help people, not upset them.”

“If someone outraged me by publishing naked photos of my body, I’m pretty certain my next move would NOT be to then pose semi-naked for a national magazine, especially with a cockatoo,” Kasanoff wrote. As a man, Kasanoff will never know what it’s like to be a woman whose nude photos were stolen and leaked for the entire world to see, nor…

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Atheists Aren’t the Problem, Christian Intolerance Is the Problem

Aine Rayne:

I’d like to clarify that it’s fundamentalist intolerance that’s the problem.

Originally posted on TIME:

If Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s disparagement of atheists was just the ranting of a tinpot politician turned Fox News bloviator, it could be left without comment or fuss.

Unfortunately, not only does Huckabee have to be taken seriously as a possible Presidential candidate in 2016, but his suggestion that atheists who work for the government (primarily elected officials) be summarily “fired” is an applause line in too many quarters in the United States. That nonbelievers somehow deserve to be discriminated against is a view widely shared, particularly among Christian conservatives who seem to think “religion by the sword” is an oldie but a goodie.

This latest bit of hate was offered up – where else? – at the 2014 Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. The ritual hookup between Christian conservatives and Republican presidential aspirants is a right wing, Jesus-loves-us debauch of Homophobia, Intolerance and Militarism, a trifecta easily…

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The Problem with Cosplay Celebrity

Originally posted on Bitter Gertrude:

My husband and I are both 501st. My initial forays into cosplay were through the 501st, and I became an official member in 2007. We did local events. We did cons. And we branched out early on into other areas of cosplay.

Image

My husband and I out in front of our theatre. Photo by Cheshire Isaacs.

As someone who has always been a nerd, usually in the process of varying degrees of hiding my nerdiness, the cosplay scene was like a dream come true. I’d never been involved in a more openly nerdy, less judgmental activity. It was a way to express your enjoyment of a certain thing and enjoy it along with others. The accuracy, complexity, or creativity of the costume was paramount. I remember examining the craftmanship on one woman’s costume as she proudly told me she learned metalworking in order to create it.

Then . …

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