Jon Stewart is frighteningly spot-on.
Antoinette Tuff: Meet the Woman Who Prevented a Mass School Shooting Yesterday
Fortunately, Tuesday’s gunman incident at an elementary school near Atlanta ended with no injuries or deaths. This is mainly thanks to Antoinette Tuff, a school clerk who spent about an hour calmly persuading the gunman to put his rifle down and surrender.
Tuff feared the worst when she encountered the gunman carrying an AK-47 assault rifle and other weapons in her school office. She told reporters, “I saw a young man ready to kill anybody that he could.” Approximately 870 pre-kindergarten to fifth grade students at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Georgia were safely evacuated during the incident. While the gunman exchanged some shots with the police, no one was hurt.
Tuff told Atlanta’s local news station that the 20-year-old gunman was able to pass the school’s security because he followed a parent who had not shut the door. She immediately began speaking with the gunman in an attempt to reason with him. The gunman told her he had nothing to live for before loading his gun. “I just started talking to him … I let him know what was going on with me and that it would be OK,” she said. “I give it all to God, I’m not the hero. I was terrified.”
She told ABC’s Diane Sawyer that much of her conversation focused not only on trying to understand the gunman, but also on trying to get the gunman to relate to her. “I just started telling him stories,” she said, and things like, “You don’t have to die today.” Tuff told him a story of tragedy in her own life, and explained to reporters that she simply asked him to put his weapons down and surrender to police. She “talked him through it” by reminding him that “life will still bring about turns, but we can learn from it.”
this more accurately represents me than i am willing to admit
Warning GOD HATERS
There were a lot of these people at SDCC this year, many of them holding signs that were the exact same font, color and verbiage as the signs I’ve seen at E3, countless hockey games, and other events around Los Angeles. If they weren’t the same signs, someone is doing fairly well in the judgemental sign business.
These people just shout at everyone, or drone on endlessly regurgitating a script (I saw one of them reading it off an iPhone) that uses the word “love” in a way that is entirely at odds with their presentation. I ignore them, some people engage them, lots of people troll them, and though I find their entire presence mildly annoying, I respect their fundamental right to express themselves in public.
But here’s the thing that I noticed for the first time just yesterday: many of the sign holders are children between the ages of (I’d guess) 8 and 16. Some of the older kids read the script into their megaphone, while the younger ones try to shove tracts and leaflets into the hands of people who — if they take them at all — immediately throw them on the ground.
These children looked miserable. They looked sad. They looked like they’d rather be anywhere else than shouting at thousands of joyful people who are celebrating things they love. I wondered if these kids liked any of the movies or characters or popular culture that was being celebrated all around them, and if they did, how it made them feel to be put into a situation by their parents where they had to be angry at those happy people who weren’t bothering anyone, and seemed to be having a pretty good time.
I feel like these kids are in a cult, and their parents are robbing them of their childhood. I feel like these people show up where large groups of us are being happy, so they can tell us that we should feel bad. I’m not entirely sure what they hope to accomplish — I’ve never once seen a person engage them in a thoughtful way, much less convert to their particular flavour of religion, and they don’t seem to be interested in soliciting money — but whatever it is, it isn’t happening.
Unless their goal is to make people mock them, ignore them, or in my case, feel sad for their children. Maybe if they’re so concerned for the future of humanity, they could take the time, money, and energy the put into yelling at people and invest it in feeding and clothing people who are struggling to do that for themselves.
…but I can’t shake the feeling that, for these people, helping people isn’t the point.
Brintnall, Kent L.; Tarantino’s incarnational theology: Reservoir Dogs, crucifixions and spectacular violence (via ramsayosbolton)
Because men need an excuse, and one that still emphasizes “masculinity”, in order to touch each other emotionally.
But the 8-hour workday is too profitable for big business, not because of the amount of work people get done in eight hours (the average office worker gets less than three hours of actual work done in 8 hours) but because it makes for such a purchase-happy public. Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy. It keeps them watching television, and its commercials. It keeps them unambitious outside of work.
We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing.—Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (via beccap)
As a teacher, I give girls what I hope is a lot of attention. I don’t know if I give girls their fair share, but I aspire to, especially after noticing that boys are willing to use their greater share of teachers’ attention to get girls who they feel aren’t being quiet and docile enough punished. I have therefore acquired a reputation for “caring more about the girls.” This has had two marked results: Some straight boys have gotten more hostile toward me, and most girls have gotten more confident around me. This makes me think I’m doing something right.
Longer thoughts on how this phenomenon relates to sexual harassment in classrooms, if you’re interested: The girls figured out I won’t report them if they hit boys who are sexually harassing them, I’ll only report the boys. This led to an increase in how often girls got the last word and boys got smacked in my classes, and, also, to a DECREASE IN HOW OFTEN GIRLS GOT SEXUALLY HARASSED. The sexual harassers seem to have been depending on the sort of “equal blame” and “retaliation is never warranted” and “don’t hurt others’ feelings” perspectives so many schools try to instill in kids; the sexual harassers were usually the ones bringing me into the situation by saying, “Miss, she hit me! You should write her up!” Once they figured out I was only ever going to respond, “If you don’t treat girls like that, they won’t hit you,” the girls got more confident and the sexual harassers largely shut the fuck up.
In schools, fighting against sexual harassment is often punished exactly the same as, or more severely than, sexual harassment — a lot of discipline codes make no distinction between violence and violence in self-defence, and violence is ALWAYS the highest level of disciplinary infraction, whereas verbal sexual harassment rarely is. Sexual harassers, at least in the schools I’ve been in, rely heavily on GETTING GIRLS IN TROUBLE WITH HIGHER AUTHORITIES as a strategy of harassment — creating an external punishment that penalises girls for and therefore discourages girls from fighting back. Sexual harassers are willing to use their greater share of floorspace to ask to get girls who won’t date them punished. By and large, teachers do punish those girls when they swear or hit. Schools condition girls to ignore sexual harassment by punishing them when they speak up or fight back instead.
Once the sexual harassers in my classes understood that girls wouldn’t be punished for rejecting them, they backed off around me. And there started to be a flip in what conversations I get called into — girls are telling me when boys are being nasty (too loud and dominant), instead of boys telling me when girls are being uncooperative (louder and more dominant than boys think they should be).
reblogging again for the wonderful commentary.
The last sentence is so crucial to understanding what we work for. And it certainly isn’t limited to just women. What is important to any group that is viewed as trivial is also viewed as trivial.
Black History Month Calendar Photography
I’ll just leave this here…
Reblogging because this doesn’t have nearly as many notes as it should.
I’ve created these flyers for a school activist project where I bring more attention to the women in history that have been forgotten or ignored. This blog will be an extension of those flyers where I post longer biographies of these women and other bad-ass women like them. Too often women’s achievements have been pushed aside, either by others in their lives, or else by the historians who choose to ignore them. This tumblr is dedicated to celebrating them and bringing their achievements to light!
Depression is very complicated and it affects everyone a little differently. There is not a lot of generalized advice I would feel comfortable giving with confidence. However… there are a few things that come to mind.
- It’s never too soon to ask for help.
- You are not stuck with the first doctor or therapist you see.
- Do not lie.
- Find a passion.
- Do not give up.
1. There is a stigma about depression that seems to make people feel guilty just for having it. Like they don’t deserve help, even if they need it. Many people resist seeking help with epic levels of stubbornness. The thing is, depression can take a while to get its claws completely into your brain. If you seek help as soon as you realize what’s happening, you may be able to treat the depression before your brain gets used to the chemical imbalance. Going to a professional and getting checked out will do you no harm. But delaying this option could make treatment much harder. The sooner the better.
Specifically for teens in this situation…
Sometimes getting help requires parental involvement. If you are lucky, you will have supportive, understanding parents and this will not be a huge problem. Unfortunately that will not always be the case. If you are worried about telling your parents, I would suggest finding another adult that you trust and can confide in. Perhaps a teacher, a counselor, an aunt or uncle. Someone that your parents will respect and listen to. Explain the situation and ask if they wouldn’t mind confronting your parents together. Strength in numbers can be very effective.
2. I have come across quite a few people that think the first person they see is the only one that can ever treat them. Having good patient/doctor and patient/therapist chemistry is vital to getting effective treatment for depression. You may have to explore some very dark emotional pain with this person, and if you do not like or trust them, it will be very hard to open up. If you have any reservations about your doctor or therapist, don’t be afraid to try another one.
3. Under no circumstances should you lie to your doctor or therapist. You are not the first person to think, “If I tell them this, they might think I’m a terrible person.” These people are trained not to judge you or your actions. They are trained to use that information to help you. To guide you. To treat you. If you tell them lies to make yourself look better, you risk not getting well again.
4. Depression has a way of holding you back from doing anything productive. There will be things you want to do, things you should be doing, but it destroys your motivation. Passion is often immune to this effect. Finding something you are passionate about can help you get out of this rut and even help motivate you in other areas. Some people are lucky and already know their passion. Whether it is art, music, writing, movies, knitting… whatever. But sometimes people don’t know what their passion is. Especially if you are younger. If that is the case, I strongly urge you to experiment and find your passion. You don’t even have to be good at it. It just needs to be something you can sink yourself into without a great deal of motivation. For me, my passion is making people happy. I almost feel like I need to do it. And when my depression is trying to slow me down, my passion is usually so powerful that it gives that chemical imbalance the middle finger and I go on about my business. Seek out your passion and it may be just the thing to get you through the days.
5. There was a point in my life in which I felt I had hit bottom. I thought there was no way life could get any better. I felt like if I continued living, life was always going to be as terrible as it was in that moment. When we are young we lack the wisdom and experience to know just how untrue this is. And I think because we don’t know that, far too many of us give up. Life is not a constant downward trajectory. Life is full of ups and downs. All pain fades with time and things will get better. That does not mean you will not find a new pain and go to that low place again. And it does not mean once the pain fades you will live a life full of constant bliss. Life will be filled with bits of joy and bits of pain and everything in between. But the bits of joy are much more profound. They are worth waiting for. And the experience of pain can often make you appreciate the joy even more. If you give up, you will not get to feel just how wonderful those bits of joy are.
Now that I am older I look back at that moment when I nearly gave up and I think about how much I would have regretted it. I think about all the amazing things that I would have missed. I think about all the lives that I have touched since then and how important it was that I stick around. Not giving up can be much easier said than done. And working through the pain can be long and arduous. But your next bit of joy will come. And it will be fantastic. And when the next bit of pain comes, you will be able to handle it even better than before.
Life can be tremendously difficult, but as you get older you will get better at living it. If you give it a chance, you will not regret seeing where it takes you.
6. Try getting a corgi if possible.
Why do we have an abortion rate 20% higher than France’s (and more than twice as high as Germany’s), especially considering most doctors here won’t perform them? The answer is any country that has universal health care, where contraception is free, where child care is free or inexpensive, where there is less poverty because people don’t become bankrupt over medical bills — those societies are simply going to have fewer unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.
And there the mask gets pulled off the Bart Stupaks and the “Christians.” If the statistics show that countries with government-provided universal health care and nearly-free abortions are, in fact, the countries with the fewest abortions, then why on earth wouldn’t the Right be the first in line to support universal health care?
Because it isn’t about “universal health care.” It’s about controlling women, period. It’s about sticking your nose in other people’s business. It’s about pushing your religious beliefs on everyone else because voices in your head tell you your Jesus is The One — even though your Jesus never said one single solitary word in any of the four gospels of the Bible about abortion or fertilized eggs being human. You’ve just gone and made it up about “life beginning at conception.” Jesus never said that. The little voice in your head said that, the same little voice that wants your grubby paws on women’s uteruses. You need help. Please get some help and leave the rest of us alone, Mr. Stupak and friends.—
I wish I could reblog this 1,000 times.
When the Nazi concentration camps were liberated by the Allies, it was a time of great jubilation for the tens of thousands of people incarcerated in them. But an often forgotten fact of this time is that prisoners who happened to be wearing the pink triangle (the Nazis’ way of marking and identifying homosexuals) were forced to serve out the rest of their sentence. This was due to a part of German law simply known as “Paragraph 175” which criminalized homosexuality. The law wasn’t repealed until 1969.
There’s an amazing documentary on this called “Paragraph 175,” you can watch it on YouTube HERE, but a great deal of it is in German and I can’t find a free stream with English subtitles.
They don’t tell you anything about that in History class.