“In 1993, as Mandela was rising in South African politics, South Africa signed on to the UN’s Convention to End All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), essentially a pact to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women (a Women’s Bill of Rights), if you will. In 1995, a year after Mandela won the Presidential election, South Africa ratified it. Know what country hasn’t ratified the CEDAW yet? The United States of America.”—What Nelson Mandela Meant for South Africa’s Women | Erin Ryan for Jezebel
THE PRESIDENT: At his trial in 1964, Nelson Mandela closed his statement from the dock saying, “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
And Nelson Mandela lived for that ideal, and he made it real. He achieved more than could be expected of any man. Today, he has gone home. And we have lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth. He no longer belongs to us — he belongs to the ages.
Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, Madiba transformed South Africa — and moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a President embodied the promise that human beings — and countries — can change for the better. His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to, whether in the lives of nations or our own personal lives. And the fact that he did it all with grace and good humor, and an ability to acknowledge his own imperfections, only makes the man that much more remarkable. As he once said, “I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”
I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s life. My very first political action, the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics, was a protest against apartheid. I studied his words and his writings. The day that he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their hopes and not by their fears. And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him.
To Graça Machel and his family, Michelle and I extend our deepest sympathy and gratitude for sharing this extraordinary man with us. His life’s work meant long days away from those who loved him the most. And I only hope that the time spent with him these last few weeks brought peace and comfort to his family.
To the people of South Africa, we draw strength from the example of renewal, and reconciliation, and resilience that you made real. A free South Africa at peace with itself — that’s an example to the world, and that’s Madiba’s legacy to the nation he loved.
We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. So it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set: to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.
For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived — a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice. May God Bless his memory and keep him in peace.
Feeling unexpectedly emotional re: his death and this was v nice.
I remember learning in eighth grade that you could be alone without being lonely, and enjoying many nights of watching Freaks and Geeks in my parents’ bed, zine- and collage-making materials at hand, soft yellow light coming from the lamp on the floor in the corner.
I remember sitting in social studies with the lights out and a movie on the projector. The boy I liked sat right at the front, backlit against a bright screen, so although he was turned around and facing my direction, I couldn’t tell if his eyes were looking at me or not. This still drives me nuts.
I remember being in a play freshman year that brought an unexpected group of people together, prompting the, yes, Breakfast Club question of, Will we all still talk to each other in the halls on Monday? We didn’t really, but that turned out to be OK. We helped one another change, and then we moved on
“Right now I’m writing my first book, a book of true stories, and it’s really really fucking hard. It’s hard choosing stories where the only person I humiliate is me. It’s hard pulling moments out of my actual life and crafting them into something that can entertain and edify a reader, without fudging the facts or manufacturing easy villains. It’s not impossible, but it’s hard. It would be much easier to make up a bunch of scenes where I’m some witty folk hero who triumphs against banal evil by telling all kinds of cartoon bad guys to put my dick in their mouth. I don’t wanna. And listen: I’m not taking Diane’s side here. She behaved atrociously and she does not exist. I’m just saying that everything that can be done- even our internet hoaxes- can be done well, and with kindness. We deserve it.”—Dave Holmes: Here’s why all this Diane in 7A nonsense gets my goat.
“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.”—
So I had to wiki to understand what this quote is from, and basically the pope can release something called an apostolic exhortation whenever he wants, and it doesn’t dictate church doctrine at all, but it’s kind of like a long blog post where he’s like, “Hey, hi, hope everyone’s doing well. Here are my thoughts on some good tudes we might want to try out as we walk through the world.”
Anyway, the new pope seems like a good pope. Nice pope, Italy. Solid pope.
Went into Duane Reade tonight to buy some tampons and the cashier asked me if I wanted them double bagged as I was checking out. She gave a knowing smile like, “I know how it is,” and I smiled back and said, “Nope! One bag’s fine.” Then we completed the transaction and disappeared from each other’s lives forever.
On the one hand, I get it. Bodies are embarrassing, everything’s the worst, she wanted to do me a courtesy. One million namastes. But on the other hand, blood leaks out of me the same way sweat drips out of your armpits and pee squirts out of your dick tip, and there is not time in my day or space in my heart to have to worry about whether the physical reality of my existing in space is potentially scandalizing some stranger riding the same train as me for fifteen minutes.
I think that’s what adulthood is for me. Or has been thus far. Just not being embarrassed anymore. About anything. Fuck it.
Life’s not embarrassing. Everything happens all the time and it’s weird and ugly and icky and we deal with it and stare at it, mortified, and then it turns out to be pretty fine after all.
Time Warner representative (who had been very helpful and nice):Anything else I can help you with before you go?
Me:I've just never been more discouraged by the experience of being someone's customer. This has nothing to do with you, you were great, I just want our file to show that like... I am so, so upset to be using this service and making these calls and giving you my money, and if another company could help us, I would choose them immediately.
Him:This is off the record, but I feel you.
Me:You've been great. Sorry to put that on you, but I just want my file to be really serious and scary at this point, ya know? I want it to demand attention. I want like, flames to appear on people's screens when I call.
“Yesterday when a friend was all, “Oh my God, have you seen the Kanye video?” I was like, no, I don’t care about the Kanye video and I feel as if it is one of the few signal achievements in my career, if we want to call it that, that I have somehow gotten myself into a position where I don’t need to have an opinion about the Kanye video, and, more importantly, no one really needs to have an opinion about the Kanye video, the fact that you are going to watch something that is widely acknowledged to be terrible—the fact that you are going to watch something and hope while you watch that it is exactly as terrible as widely acknowledged—so that you can be a part of the “conversation,” which is just an empty and ridiculous exchange of self-important jack-offs trying to speak as loudly as possible so that they can drown out the inner voice that tells them just how shockingly bereft of value their own lives are as they careen towards oblivion, is a remarkable indictment of the vacuous, hollow pit we confuse with culture these days. You don’t have to watch ANYTHING, and the less you say about something the smarter you are. Good Lord, people, listen to yourselves, if you can even stand it, it’s horrifying. (I had switched to the second person plural at this point because my friend, having heard so many variations of this monologue already, had long since wandered off.) Anyway, that was before I saw this Bob Dylan video, which is really something. And I say this as someone who doesn’t go in for the concept of “interactive” at all. It’s pretty neat!”—Alex Balk wrote something perfect
Like four weeks ago I was on the sidewalk after work when an SUV full of people pulled over and asked me if they were close to a nearby seafood restaurant. I got really excited, because I could actually help, and said, “Yep! You are! Just go up to this light, take a right, and you should see it within a block or two.”
The driver, a young guy, turned to his mom or aunt or whoever he was driving with and said, “See! I told you we’re close!” and then they drove away.
Mere seconds later, the tail lights still receding, I realized that they didn’t need to take the right. They needed to go straight at the light. Straight and it’d be right there.
My stopping to help had actually gotten them more lost.
If they got in an accident after taking that right, it’d be my fault.
If they hit a pedestrian while taking the three rights necessary to correct my bad advice, it’d be on my hands.
If they missed their reservation and had to spend their big family night in the city at a McDonald’s… you get the idea.
“Emotional” is the latest video from Rilo Kiley’s recent rarities compilation, RKives. In keeping with frontwoman Jenny Lewis’ expressive lyrics, the clip runs a gamut of feelings, from laughter to anguish, by incorporating vintage black-and-white footage from the 1950s and Sixties.
What four year old does Rolling Stone have writing their clickables?
"a gamut of feelings, from laughter…"
Ah yes, that known feeling, laughter. Not happiness. Not amusement. Laughter. Because laughing when you’re crying and laughing at a standup set are driven by the same feeling.