458 Slices
  Title Author Publisher Format Buy Remix
Medium 9781743603604

Wonder Train

Berendt, John Lonely Planet Publications ePub

‘Nothing I understand haunts me. Only the things I do not understand have that power over me.’

– Mary Ruefle, Madness, Rack and Honey

There was one street and one kind of car cruised down it: pick-up trucks with full-tint windows, norteña music blaring behind their sealed blackness. Everywhere, men we could not see were scoping us, and at the same slow float, as though making sure we knew: nobody wanted us in Batopilas.

A poet from Mexico City and a gringa writing a travel story: in no way did we belong. I was tackling my first big assignment, to report on the thirteen-hour rail journey through the canyons of northern Mexico, a wild backcountry of red rock gorges that rendered the Grand Canyon a shorty. I’d scanned the map for towns to decamp and spend the night along the Copper Canyon rail route, but got easily distracted by a lone dot of a town, off in the mountains, a full day’s journey from the train tracks.

Reaching Batopilas required a true detour, horizontal and vertical, cutting through four of the Sierra Madre’s major canyons, and plunging, in the process, some 6000 feet.

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Medium 9780253019028

From That Stranded Place

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

Taiye Selasi with Aaron Bady. Photo by Mike McGraw at The Daily Texan. ©2014

a conversation with Taiye Selasi

TAIYE SELASIS REPUTATION precedes her. Before she published her first novel in 2013, the celebrated Ghana Must Go, she was already well-known as the author of “Bye Bye Babar,” a very small essay that asked a big question, “What is an Afropolitan?” The answer, she wrote, was a young and beautiful generation of international Africans like her. “We are Afropolitans,” she wrote, “not citizens but Africans of the world.” In the decade since then, the term has become strangely polarizing, almost notorious. On the one hand, it’s been taken up as banner for Brand Africa in the twenty-first century; there’s a magazine called Afropolitan and you can buy “handmade and designer accessories such as jewelry, bags and shoes” from The Afropolitan Shop. But as the term has been commodified (quite literally), there has been a backlash, not only against Taiye Selasi and the idea of the Afropolitan, but against the bourgeois aesthetic that many have taken them to represent, a twenty-first-century black Atlantic that many have taken to be at odds with more explicitly politicized versions of African diasporic culture. Binyavanga Wainaina, for example, made waves at the 2013 UK African Studies Association by declaring, in his keynote address, that “I am a Pan-Africanist, not an Afropolitan.”

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Medium 9780253018595

Legacies of Fear

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

from Rodney King’s beating to Trayvon Martin’s death

ON APRIL 29, 1992, the Los Angeles Riots began. Thousands of people stormed the streets following the verdict that acquitted four police officers who kicked, Tasered and beat black motorist, Rodney King, within an inch of his life. The incident, captured on a video recording lasting roughly ten minutes, was beamed out on television screens across the nation. In the intervening days, tensions ran high between Korean American shop owners and African American patrons. By the time the Riots (or the uprisings or rebellions, as some prefer to call the events) came to an end, property damages totaled nearly $1 billion, fifty-three people had died, and more than 2,000 people were injured. The National Guard was deployed to occupy L.A., and U.S. Marines patrolled the streets enforcing a curfew.

Twenty-one years later, on July 13, 2013, millions of Americans watched their TV screens with baited breath, awaiting another verdict—the fate of a man, George Zimmerman, who had killed an unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin. The basic facts of the case were not so different from the circumstances that led to Rodney King’s beating, though Martin was nearly ten years younger than King was at the time of his accosting. And King survived his beating. Martin did not. Martin was on his way home when George Zimmerman began to follow him. Zimmerman told the police he had been following this “suspicious-looking” teenager. Martin knew he was being followed and told his friend, Rachel Jeantel, that the man might be some kind of sexual predator. Soon thereafter, Martin and Zimmerman confronted each other on the street. The confrontation ended when Zimmerman shot and killed Martin. This fact was not in dispute. During the trial, the critical question was whether or not there was sufficient evidence to suggest that Zimmerman acted in self-defense. The jury took the word of the confessed killer. Protests erupted across the country over the verdict. Activists, through banners, speeches, and song, pointed to a long history in the U.S. that has intertwined law-enforcement and race-based violence.

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Medium 9781771870801

HOW DO WE KNOW BEAUTY WHEN WE SEE IT

Forrie, Allan Thistledown Press ePub
Susan Musgrave weaves history, language, and imagery relating to stones into a beautiful metaphor for life in “How Do We Know Beauty When We See It: Twenty Meditations on Stones”.
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Medium 9780253356864

40. Zanzibar

Robert B. Ray Indiana University Press ePub

It is not worth the while to go round the world to count the cats in Zanzibar. Yet do this even until you can do better, and you may perhaps find some “Symmes’ Hole” by which to get at the inside at last.… Explore thyself. Herein are demanded the eye and the nerve. Only the defeated and deserters go to the wars, cowards that run away and enlist. (216)

Thoreau’s concept of worth is simultaneously intriguing and inconsistent. Although he rejects meaningless tasks like counting the cats in Zanzibar, he spent his own time carefully cataloguing every apple in Massachusetts, detailing Walden’s rich organic life, and measuring the pond’s exact depth. And, of course, he also knew about Zanzibar, which clearly stands for an exotic world rejected by Thoreau, but one that tempted him—note the contradiction here: he can only dismiss “Zanzibar” because he had been reading about it (in Charles Pickering’s 1851 The Races of Man). Thoreau regularly returned to travel books, finally limiting himself to one a week, a constraint suggesting an addiction (“I read one or two shallow books of travel in the intervals of my work, till that employment made me ashamed of myself, and I asked where it was then that I lived” [71]).

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Medium 9780253001818

Part 2 The Personal and the Political

William O'Rourke Indiana University Press ePub

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the mid-1980s, I was sitting in the living room of the first house I ever owned, watching the television show, This Old House, on PBS. Bob Vila was doing a rehab project on Cape Cod. As he would, on occasion, he took a side trip to view other real estate (Vila more often went to factories to see how house products, windows, etc., were made). He went to a home in Hyannis, on the Cape, with a view of the bay. In front of it was one of the last beach-front properties for sale in the town.

Vila pulled up behind the house, because there was no garage, and not much of a front “yard,” since the house was built on what was still dune, but a fairly beat-down one, where the land was becoming solid earth, not shifting sand.

There was bright, blinding light all around, the sun glancing off the water of Cape Cod bay and my black and white TV seemed luminous, dream-like, as Vila approached the home’s back door, which, more or less, functioned as a front door.

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Medium 9781771870801

THE BUSH ON THE GRAVE

Forrie, Allan Thistledown Press ePub
While picking chokecherries from a bush growing over an infant’s grave in “The Bush on the Grave”, Lloyd Ratzlaff reflects on the interconnectedness of everything, invoking a God he had left behind with his fundamentalist childhood.
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Medium 9781927068304

A Medicine Story

Lloyd Ratzlaff Thistledown Press ePub

A MEDICINE STORY

Near the end of the second grade, I got into my first fight on the school playground with a younger but bigger and heavier kid nicknamed Big Ears. We had shoved at each other awhile when he stuck out his foot and tripped me, and I went for a hard tumble. I tried to break the fall, and did — but also broke the bones of my right arm about six inches above the wrist.

It was 1954. Before the days of medicare nobody in our world was in a hurry to see a doctor, and it was a long time before anyone knew those bones were broken. Our remedies began close to home. Across the back alley lived an old woman who had a reputation as a “bone-setter”. These were homegrown practitioners who applied coarse remedies to assorted ailments, including broken bones. My people preferred consulting them over doctors because their fees were negotiable, ranging from a heartfelt Dankeschoen to maybe a bag of potatoes from the garden, or even an occasional cash payment of a dollar or two. In the Low German dialect, they were known as Traijtmoakasch — right-makers. My paternal grandfather was a well-known right-maker in the district, operating a clinic from a little yellow shed in his backyard under a sign that read “Dew Drop Inn”. He had strong liniments there, and many sizes of wooden crutches on which we cousins hobbled around his yard when we went for family gatherings. But the clinic was eight miles away in the next village, while old Mrs. Sawatzky lived next door.

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Medium 9780253020659

Introduction: Mediterraneans and Migrations in the Global Era

Hakim Abderrezak Indiana University Press ePub

I am neither French nor Moroccan, I am in between. I am Spanish!

—Mustapha Al Atrassi

The end of summer at the port of Melilla, a Spanish enclave in northern Morocco. Arabic music played loudly, drowning out the conversations of families in cars and vans. It was late at night in this remnant of Spain’s protectorate. About an hour earlier, the drivers were directed to form lines near the ferryboat so that Spanish customs security employees could check vehicles and identification papers. I was seventeen years old when, at this same port, I watched a dog sniff out a teenager hidden in a bag tucked under the feet of the rear seat passengers in the car parked in front of us. As my family waited to be searched, we observed the entire episode. From inside our car, we saw the frightened teenager being taken away, gasping for air and sweating heavily. We never knew what became of him or the other people in that vehicle. Every September on our way back to France, we would see young men walking back and forth on the rampart that overlooked the docks. They would get as close as possible to vehicles waiting to board the ferry in hopes of catching a ride. The vigilant agents of the Guardia Civil relentlessly chased the migrant hopefuls away. On one particular trip, I saw a young man try to board our ship by climbing up an anchor rope. Alerted by the cheering of travelers, agents ran to the ferry and attempted to shake the man off his precarious perch on the rope. The crowd grew anxious when he seemed likely to fall to the ground. Moroccan strangers were imploring God’s help. Some women covered their eyes, anticipating a tragic end. A few passengers were screaming. Two couples, however, who happened to be taking an evening walk took in the scene with seeming amusement, probably because they were accustomed to witnessing such events. The man was finally captured upon reaching the deck and then escorted into the rear of the patrol van and driven away in the night. This was one of several encounters I had with this type of chase on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar.

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Medium 9780253220042

4. The Olive Grove

Elsa Marston Indiana University Press ePub

A STORY FROM PALESTINE

 

Hustling along behind the other boys, Mujahhid stooped to grab a stone, then quickly caught up. About halfway across the open square they stopped. Right next to the military checkpoint was a two-story stone house that the Israelis had taken over. The boys could see the olive-drab helmets of soldiers behind sandbags on the flat rooftop.

“Take that, you dogs!” Mujahhid shouted in Arabic, hurling the stone toward them. “Get out of Bethlehem—it’s our town!”

Shouting with every throw, he then flung whatever he could get his hands on … chunks of plaster, pebbles, concrete rubble, worn bricks from the older streets. The soldiers, of course, had every other kind of missile—bullets, stun grenades, tear gas, shells. Today they weren’t firing, though, not yet. The boys grew bolder and started making dashes to throw from closer range.

You can get near enough to see faces, thought Mujahhid, but not what’s in their eyes. Anyway, they’re all the same … they all hate us. Even the young guys, just three or four years older than us, hard as their rifles.

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Medium 9781780491929

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Voices from the frontline: “keeping on keeping on”— what matters to staff working in adult mental health services?

Sue McNab Karnac Books PDF

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Voices from the frontline:

“keeping on keeping on”— what matters to staff working in adult mental health services?

Iona Cook

“The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth”

(Chinese proverb)

Introduction he question “what matters to staff who work in adult mental health services?” evolved in the process of the research I carried out for my MSc dissertation in Systemic Psychotherapy (Cook, unpublished, 2010) In this chapter, I reflect on the process of research interviews with two members of staff within a Community Mental

Health Team (CMHT) and through their voices, I aim to consider some of the overarching themes of what is important to staff on the frontline and what keeps them going over time.

Community Mental Health Teams are interdisciplinary teams, usually comprising social workers, community psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, support workers, psychologists, and sometimes psychotherapists of different disciplines. CMHTs came into being as a result of the mass closure of the old asylums and institutions in the

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Medium 9781574412086

2. John Graves, “Kindred Spirits” from From a Limestone Ledge

Edited by David Taylor University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter 2

John Graves

Kindred Spirits

John Graves lives near Glen Rose, Texas, on his four-hundred-acre farm. He is the author of several books; among them are Goodbye to a

River (1960), Hardscrabble (1974), From a Limestone Ledge (1977), and his recent memoir Myself and Strangers (2004). “Kindred Spirits” is taken from From a Limestone Ledge.

I have what started out as a canvas-covered wooden canoe, though with the years it has taken on some aluminum in the form of splinting along three or four fractured ribs, and this past spring I replaced its rotting cloth rind with resin-impregnated fiberglass. It is thus no longer the purely organic piece of handicraft that emerged from a workshop in

Maine some decades back. Nor do I use it more than occasionally these days, to run a day’s stretch of pretty river or just to get where fish may be.

Nevertheless I retain much fondness for it as a relic of a younger, looser, less settled time of life.

While readying its hull for the fiberglass I had to go over it inch by inch as it sat on sawhorses in the barn—removing the mahogany outwales and stripping off the old canvas, locating unevennesses in the surface of the thin cedar planking, sanding and filling and sanding again so that protuberances and pits would not mar the new shell or lessen its adhesion, and

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Medium 9781938901249

15. Julia’s Paris

Susan Spano Roaring Forties Press ePub

15

JULIA’S PARIS

Julia Child wrote bestselling cookbooks, won accolades and awards for her public television cooking shows, made the cover of Time magazine, and received the American Medal of Freedom. When she retired, her Cambridge, Massachusetts, kitchen was installed as an exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

It isn’t going too far to say that Child introduced the bland palate of Betty Crocker’s America to the transcendent pleasures of French cuisine, thereby broadening the lives and aspirations of many baby boomers, like me, who fricasséed along with her on TV.

That a television cooking teacher could have had such an impact not just on popular culture but on individual Americans was proven by Julie Powell’s stupendously successful blog about trying to find herself by making all 524 recipes in Child’s 1961 classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, co-authored with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. The blog became a bestselling book that, together with Child’s own 2006 memoir My Life in France, inspired the film Julie and Julia, written and directed by Nora Ephron.

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Medium 9780253000958

The Singular First Person

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

The first soapbox orator I ever saw was haranguing a crowd beside the Greyhound station in Providence, Rhode Island, about the evils of fluoridated water. What the man stood on was actually an up-turned milk crate, all the genuine soapboxes presumably having been snapped up by antique dealers. He wore an orange plaid sport coat and matching bow tie and held aloft a bottle filled with mossy green liquid. I don’t remember the details of his spiel, except his warning that fluoride was an invention of the Communists designed to weaken our bones and thereby make us pushovers for a Red invasion. What amazed me, as a tongue-tied kid of seventeen newly arrived in the city from the boondocks, was not his message but his courage in delivering it to a mob of strangers. I figured it would have been easier for me to jump straight over the Greyhound station than to stand there on that milk crate and utter my thoughts.

To this day, when I read or when I compose one of those curious monologues we call the personal essay, I often think of that soapbox orator. Nobody had asked him for his two cents’ worth, but there he was declaring it with all the eloquence he could muster. The essay, although enacted in private, is no less arrogant a performance. Unlike novelists and playwrights, who lurk behind the scenes while distracting our attention with the puppet show of imaginary characters; unlike scholars and journalists, who quote the opinions of others and shelter behind the hedges of neutrality, the essayist has nowhere to hide. While the poet can lean back on a several-thousand-year-old legacy of ecstatic speech, the essayist inherits a much briefer and skimpier tradition. The poet is allowed to quit after a few lines, but the essayist must hold our attention for pages and pages. It is a brash and foolhardy form, this one-man or one-woman circus, which relies on the tricks of anecdote, conjecture, memory, and wit to enthrall us.

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Medium 9780253019059

Brown County

Johnson, Owen V. Indiana University Press ePub

Artists and hill people in Brown County, Indiana

BROWN COUNTY, Ind.—Brown County is to Indiana what Santa Fe is to the Southwest, or Carmel to California, or Provincetown to New England.

In other words, it is an art colony. But that is only a part of the picture.

It became an art colony in the first place, like the others, because the scenery is majestic and the native people are picturesque.

And, having become an art colony, it attracted non-artists and ordinary people, to its loveliness, and eventually it became a haven, and people came and fell in love with its placid ways, and built beautiful homes and stayed to become part of the spirit of the place. That is the way it has been with Brown County.

On the whole, I am ill at ease in the company of artists, for so much of the time I don’t know what they are talking about. And yet, invariably, I like the places that they have built into their “colonies.”

And so it is with Brown County, Indiana. I have fallen head over heels for the place, and the people, and the hills, and the whole general air of peacefulness. Good Lord, I even like the artists here!

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