ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
If you don't like how other people portray you, then represent yourself!  That batch is from Africa.  Don't let other people control the conversations about you, your  people, your homeland, or whatever else they're busy botching.  Speak up.

As a writer, I heartily approve of this.  It makes research easier and more effective.  One challenge I face in writing diversity is that most references aren't diverse.  They've heavily slanted.  If I search "African women" I get A) pr0n and B) pity pr0n.  This is not helpful when I am trying to find, say, a picture of a Nigerian woman or a park ranger.  Projects like the one above help broaden the material available.  Then I can do a more accurate rendition of Africa even though I haven't visited it in this life. What makes an African city distinctive from an American or Russian or Chinese one?  What about the landscape is unique?  I need sample of more than just giraffes!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] cmcmck is a true historian, noting the value of ephemera in history.  See some beautiful photos of graffiti about Charlie Hebdo.  This is raw cultural material.  It's not elite.  It's not meant to last.  It's a snapshot of the human soul in one moment of emotion.  Like a breath of mist on a cold winter day, it is there and gone in an instant.

Unless someone catches it.  This is what historians are for.  We are timebinders.  We see, so that humanity may know.  We witness, so that humanity may remember.

Every tidbit of information is important, although some are more famous or influential than others.  Watch.  Listen.  Record.  For what is considered important today is not always the same as what will be valued or studied tomorrow.  It is ours to keep, so that others who come after us may explore more of our time than we have left of those before us.  Because we know these things matters.

This is what we're here for.

And Je suis Charlie?  It doesn't mean we're all at equal  risk of being murdered for our beliefs right now.  It acknowledges that today they're coming for someone else, but tomorrow they could come for us, if we don't stand up and stop them.  Je suis Charlie,  unless we make a world in which it's not okay to murder people for annoying you.

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