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We’re Making A Zine

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We’re Making A Zine

A while back, my friend Simon Owens wrote this piece in which he compared email newsletters to zines, and used good old Tedium as an example of the form.

It makes sense to a degree—there’s a DIY ethos that comes with any self-publishing project, and with newsletters as with zines, the weirder, the better.

That thought stuck with me and kind of got into my head as a thought monster, and as I was thinking about ways to do something fresh with the Tedium concept, the zine struck me as the perfect kind of vessel to do something a little different, while still in the spirit of this thing I’m already writing.

We’re Making A Zine

So I’d like to announce that Tedium will be releasing a limited-edition zine that will only be produced in numbered editions for everyone in my $5 Patreon tiers and higher. Anyone in the U.S. who wants one should sign up, because I’m only going to be doing a single run, which I'll send out sometime in October. If you miss it, you miss it.

(If you’re international and want a copy, please email me and we can see what’s possible cost-wise.)

What’s gonna be in it? A fully reported and researched story that’s going to be on a topic that’s close to Tedium’s heart, though I have no plans to spoil the surprise. You will not know what's in it until you get it. Just like how it works in your email inbox.

It’s going to be simply designed, on gloriously standard paper with limited color, stapled together with the majestic power of the human hand. If you’re a fan of Tedium, you’re going to dig this. Promise.

For now, this is a limited-edition project, buuuuuuut if it’s a successful endeavor, I might consider doing it quarterly, giving you a new way to enjoy Tedium outside of your inbox and RSS feed. (I hope it’s successful.)

(And for those who don’t want to receive anything in the mail, I’ll make a PDF version available for my patrons in the $3 and higher tiers.)

Anyone who’s interested, please sign up on Patreon! More info coming soon!

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jad
2 minutes ago
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I'm super excited for this!
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Josh Kurtz: The 'Seinfeld' Election

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My most vivid memory of the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991 was carrying a boom box around New York City on a rainy Saturday afternoon so my wife and I wouldn’t miss a thing as we did a bunch of errands and hit a couple of social gatherings. It seemed that important.
We don’t yet know if the Senate Judiciary Committee will have a full-on hearing Monday featuring Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accuses him of sexually assaulting her 35 years ago, when both were in high school.
But if it does happen, it will be a singular moment in American history – and every bit as riveting as when Hill accused Thomas of sexually harassing her just as he was about to be confirmed to the Supreme Court.
What else is happening next Monday? Oh yes, the single, solitary, hour-long televised debate between Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) and his challenger, former NAACP president Benjamin T. Jealous (D).
Josh Kurtz
As it is, the gubernatorial election isn’t registering with too many people; Marylanders, if they’re paying attention to politics at all, find themselves distracted by the overwhelming and unending dramas playing out in Our Nation’s Capital. But here’s a hunch: If something is going on with the Judiciary Committee on Monday, even if it’s just Kavanaugh testifying alone and indignant senators playing for the cameras, alarmingly few people will pay attention to the gubernatorial debate.
For the Jealous campaign, it’s another opportunity wasted.
One hour, one stinking hour, for Jealous to appear on the same stage as Hogan, to make the case to voters for why they should fire Hogan and hire him. It’ll be over before anyone knows it – and it'll be tough for Jealous to engage Hogan again in such a meaningful way during the last six weeks of the election.
They must get tired of high-fiving and chest-bumping over at Hogan headquarters these days.
In the six-plus years I was politics editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, we had three rules when it came to covering campaigns: Don’t write about candidates demanding that their opponents’ misleading ads get pulled. Don’t write about candidates taunting their opponents to return so-called tainted contributions. And don’t write about debates over debates.
Why? Because they’re all silly, petty squabbles, black holes of inconsequential he-said, she-said accusations that don’t tell you anything about the candidates and their backgrounds and the messages they are peddling.
Of course, we’ve had a couple of epic debates over debates here in Maryland over the past few weeks – so epic that we couldn’t ignore them here at Maryland Matters, much as we may have wanted to. We have no interest in re-litigating them here. But we will observe, as others have, that it’s a disservice to the voters to have only one debate – and one so far out from Election Day.
In political circles and in many news accounts, the Jealous campaign is being portrayed these days as The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. There’s certainly abundant evidence that the campaign has made plenty of missteps since winning the Democratic primary rather impressively in late June. In media horse race parlance, Hogan, the beneficiary of millions in campaign advertising while Jealous hasn’t had two nickels to rub together, has “won” every week – and, the Republican camp would no doubt argue, every day – since June 26.
But think about some of those missteps for a minute: Refusing to go to the Maryland Association of Counties annual convention. Dropping the F bomb at a news conference. Referring to the Maryland Court of Appeals as the state’s Supreme Court. Botching the debate negotiations. Then awkwardly trying to keep Tamela Baker of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail off the debate panel.
These were unforced and unfortunate errors, to be sure. And the Hogan press operation is brutally effective about erecting a neon arrow next to every Jealous mistake and augmenting it with a memorable schoolyard swipe.
But how many of these missteps were really important to real voters? How many ever registered with real voters and not just political insiders? Why were my social media accounts filling up with faux (and sometimes real) outrage about these blunders?
Jealous’ policy proposals are fair game. And make no mistake, Republicans have done an excellent job of casting doubt and spreading fear about them – ironic, considering Hogan has made few sweeping proposals of his own or given much indication about what a second term would look like.
Debates might have helped draw out the governor on this very question. Now, most likely, we'll never know.
Instead, we've got a "Seinfeld" election -- an election about not very much at all. We can hope that this changes over the next seven weeks. But we're not holding our breath.
jkurtz@marylandmatters.org
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jad
1 hour ago
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By FritoKAL in "But I Like You" on MeFi

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I have a Sesame Street aged kid. We tell him Bert and Ernie are married. He has no idea what sex is.

My kid knows gay couples, my kid was the ring bearer at a wedding just this spring of two dear friends (T and S) but he lives in a household that as far as he can tell is straight. He -needs- to know right now that the tv shows we let him watch have people just like the people he knows who love him very much but live 1500 miles away. He's a little blond white kid with presumably straight seeming parents, and straight seeming grandparents and straight seeming local aunts and uncles (mostly) he needs as much exposure to people not like him and his immediate family as possible.

I tell my kid that Bert and Ernie are married -just like Mommy and Daddy - all it means for him is that there's two men, one of whom is loud and messy and scatterbrained and one who is fussy and tidy and picky and they love each other and live together and make it work. And it means he sees two men who are married and living together as -the exact same thing- as a man and a woman. And that's so important. He might be straight, he might be bi, he might be gay, he might be ace, we don't know because he's four and a half but it does. Not. Matter.

Because right now he knows that love is love is love, and that as far as he's concerned, Bert and Ernie on TV, and Aunt T and Aunt S, and Mommy and Daddy and Mr A and Mr B - all those couples are married and love each other and are the same exact thing where love is concerned.

My kid doesn't know about sex yet, of course he doesn't know about sex* yet, he's FOUR AND A HALF But he knows love.

He really really knows love. Little kids -get- love. They know it means kissing boo-boos and hugs and making someone Popsicles when they're sick and getting coffee in the morning so your wife can sleep in and walking the dog in the rain, and holding hands and hugging a lot and sometimes kissing.

He knows that his Aunt T and Aunt S got married and that means a big party and Mommy made a big cake and he got the cake ends and ate a whole frosting flower**, and that they want to live together and be best friends forever, and that it's just like Mommy and Daddy except Aunt T and Aunt S can borrow each other's pants more.

Of COURSE he doesn't see it as sexual. Why would he? Why would anyone? Why would anyone look at any couple and make assumptions that the relationship is only about sex?

(For that matter, we don't know that Bert and/or Ernie are even sexual. They could be Ace and that representation is important to, so don't assume, yo)

Assuming that gay romance is sexual but straight romance isn't is problematic. It stigmatizes same-gender couples as having shallower relationships based solely around sexual attraction (since we already assume that relationships based solely around sex are somehow less valid, which is another entire problem in and of itself) and not about romance, deep friendship, affection...

* Yes, we've covered inappropiate touching and consent, don't @ me.
** He's FOUR. His motivation for this wedding was a frosting flower. He is -very- motivated by the frosting flowers.
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jad
1 day ago
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Host Homes: Helping Young People At Risk of Homelessness

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This story originally appeared on Seattle magazine’s website.

Chalaia Smith was running out of options.

At 24, she had spent years bouncing from one relative’s house to another, sleeping on couches and in spare rooms for as long as she felt comfortable, then moving on. Eventually, she says, “I ran out of relatives.” Minimum-wage jobs didn’t pay enough for her to come up with first and last month’s rent and a deposit on a Seattle-area apartment. “It was becoming a burden on my family.”

That’s when she turned to the YMCA Accelerator’s Host Home program, which links homeowners (or even renters) whose homes have space to spare with young adults who need a place to live and are either homeless or at risk of falling into homelessness.

The goal of the program is to provide temporary housing and mentorship to young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 who need a little extra support while they finish school, look for a job, or work to save money to put down a deposit on an apartment.

“I was hoping for a stable place to live and somewhere where I’d feel comfortable enough to start saving money and go back to school and start reaching my goals,” Smith says.

Through the program, Smith was connected to Diane Hilmo, a Wedgwood homeowner and civil engineer who got interested in hosting a young adult when she read about a program started by community volunteers on Whidbey Island.  “I thought, ‘I have a perfectly nice guest room and two bathrooms, and it’s a waste for it to just sit there except for a couple of visits [from friends and family] a year,” Hilmo says.

After signing up for the program, going through the mandatory training, and filling out a survey about her interests, Hilmo waited about six months before getting the call. As soon as she met Smith, though, Hilmo says she knew it would be a good fit. “I met Chalaia, I said, ‘Sure, move on in,’ and I think it was about three days later that she did,” Hilmo says.

Host Home coordinator Scott Schubert says the program tries to link people with similar interests. For Hilmo and Smith, it was their mutual fondness for animals; Smith wants to become a veterinarian and work with farm animals, and Hilmo is an animal lover who has two cats.

“All the matches [between hosts and young adult guests] have moved forward, because I think we do a great job of vetting both parties beforehand,” Schubert says. “We make sure we understand who that the host is and who the young adult is.”

Smith’s goal was to go back to school and get a job that pays more than the minimum-wage retail jobs she had been doing. So far, she’s checked one item off that list: Within about a week of moving in to Hilmo’s spare bedroom, Smith had scored a job at a kennel in Bothell, which gives her the opportunity to work with animals. Hilmo drove Smith to her interview—an example, Smith says, of the kind of assistance most stably housed young adults take for granted.

“People don’t realize how much help they get from their parents,” Hilmo says. “I’ve been around a lot of parents who just are helicopter parents, but a little of that is good. They’re checking out stuff, they’re making contacts for people. You might not realize all the benefits you got from that stuff.”

“Diane and I are really a good powerhouse team,” Smith chimes in. “She’s really good at finding resources and really good at pushing me to get into school, which is where I want to be.”

Smith, who was raised by her grandmother (she declined to elaborate on why her parents were not in the picture), says having a place to stay has also helped her relationship with her family, including her brothers, who live in the Seattle area. “Not having to ask, ‘Can I sleep on your couch tonight?’ just really alleviates the tension. It’s nice being able to just have a social relationship with my family, and not a dependent relationship—like being their child that they never asked for.”

Although the Host Home program technically lasts up to six months, many hosts invite young adults to stay for longer. Hilmo says she thinks six months isn’t long enough for a young person to get on their feet and save up enough money to find an apartment in the pricey Seattle market.

Smith hopes to start college in September; Hilmo says she’s determined to help her get there. “I told her, ‘Don’t worry about leaving. You worry about getting into school.’ … I think that energy that is spent on trying to find a place to live is energy that isn’t spent on whatever else they should be doing.”

Smith says having a stable place to stay, one where she doesn’t have to worry about “the basic things, like whether it’s going to rain on your head or … whether you can afford your next dinner,” has given her the ability to focus on her own future in a way she couldn’t when she was bouncing from couch to couch.

“The stress just impacts you so tremendously,” she says. “Having that boulder of stress taken off by just having a room—it’s tremendous.”

The post Host Homes: Helping Young People At Risk of Homelessness appeared first on The C Is for crank.

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jad
1 day ago
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Jesus Christ, Wedgwood.
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His legacy is our hatred for him

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Rahm Emanuel stunned Chicago and the political world with the announcement this week that he wouldn’t seek re-election to a third term as mayor of Chicago. The arrogant and ill-tempered Emanuel apparently calculated that he had made too many enemies to win next February by as comfortable a margin as he required.

Emanuel was a player in the Democratic Party apparatus before becoming mayor. He was a top aide to Bill Clinton, a member of the House of Representatives, and chief of staff to Barack Obama, where he was notorious for savagely attacking any criticism of the administration from the left. He came into the mayor’s office intent on busting the Chicago Teachers Union, but the teachers forced Emanuel to back down with their 2012 strike. Emanuel suffered another blow in 2015 when the long-delayed release of a video showing the police execution of Laquan McDonald sparked angry protests that continued for days, putting pressure on the police and the whole city machine.

Like other Chicagoans who despised Mayor 1 Percent, Nick Burt tried to find the right words to give Emanuel a proper send-off, in this article based on a post on Facebook.

I HATE Rahm Emanuel.

I don’t hate him now in the way that some have felt a pull toward nostalgia when seeing a foe finally vanquished. I hate him in the way that I don’t think any exit — willed or otherwise — could ever approach what he deserves.

I hate Rahm Emanuel for many things.

I hate him every time I see a shuttered elementary school.

I hate him every time I read the name “Laquan McDonald.”

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

I hate him every time he postures as though he didn’t write for the president of the United States the following words: “achieve record deportations of criminal aliens.”

I hate him for being the worst possible composite of anti-social and unsavory traits — a look of what Patrick Bateman would be if he were a Mean Girl with the politics of Ronald Reagan.

I hate him for the petty, needless sort of misery he inflicted so casually upon the people of Chicago.

I hate him for having a transparent contempt for this city and the people in it, whom he could never quite seem to mask that he was “dealing with” or “managing” as he waited for some White House job to open up.

But above all else, I hate him for how he dealt with people with mental illness. Because this, I think, is the truest representation of his character.


KARI LYDERSEN’S 2013 book Mayor 1% opens with an anecdote: In March 2012, Emanuel attended a gala at the Chicago History Museum to celebrate the city’s 175th birthday.

As the Chicago Children’s Choir sang “Happy Birthday,” a woman in a floral headscarf approached the front, interrupting the festivities to plead with the mayor not to go forward with his plan to close down half of the city’s mental health clinics. “We’re going to die,” she begged. “There’s nowhere else to go...Mayor Emanuel, please!”

That woman was Helen Morley, an indefatigable activist and mental health patient who had earlier that winter led a sit-in at City Hall to try to save the clinics.

Emanuel, Lydersen writes, dutifully avoided making eye contact with Morley or acknowledging her presence. Instead, he shook the hands of friendly patrons and left. Within a few months, the clinics were closed, and Morley was dead. Morley’s friends said the stress of the clinic closures played a role.

I remember vividly seeing mental health patients and activists in the mental health movement camped out in front of the shuttered clinic on Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square. The patients were pleading with the city to reopen the locked doors so they could go back in and get treatment.

They told me that patients would come out to sit in front of these closed clinics, sometimes out on the sidewalk with the former staff, who would stay with them until the wee hours of the morning. “To treat them?” I asked. “No,” I was told, “Just to hold them. Sometimes, that’s what they need.”

I still can’t understand what absence of human empathy and emotion could lead someone to purposefully and deliberately create that situation.

This man is a monster. And he’s the mayor for most of the next year.

I hate Rahm Emanuel, and I’m glad he’s leaving. But the indignity of not seeking a third term is not undignified enough to come close to justice.

Justice is rarely served for people like this — I heard Henry Kissinger, somehow still alive, being live broadcast over the weekend — but we must do our best in the months that follow to resist any rosy rewriting of this man’s history, make whatever time is left for him as difficult and unsuccessful as possible, and recommit to our efforts to embolden all those he bullied, battered or denigrated over the years so that they may find their power anew.

He was so hated that his enemies won: Let that be our own, collective dead fish sent to the mayor. Let’s make that the Emanuel legacy.

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jad
3 days ago
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By ArbitraryAndCapricious in "Why American Kids Aren't Being Taught to Read" on MeFi

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It seems pretty clear to me that reading pedagogy got politicized in ways that are kind of unfortunate. Conservatives touted phonics not because it works, although it does, but because it appeals to their belief that children should sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up, and do their fucking worksheets or else they will be punished. To them, school is about teaching children to be obedient and submissive to authority, and phonics, because it is boring and rote, is seen to serve that goal. And whole language, because it is not boring and not rote, was adopted by progressive educators, who thought school should be about teaching kids to embrace their creativity and experience learning on their own terms. And the whole debate has been poisoned by this political framing. Some learning is boring, but phonics doesn't have to be about Sister Mary Frances rapping your knuckles with a ruler if your handwriting isn't perfect. I guess I would like to think that it's possible to save some of the positive things from traditional learning techniques without indulging in some of the teacher-and-child-unfriendly baggage that often comes with it.
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3 days ago
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