the most unsettling thing about having surgery (besides having surgery) is entering the operating theatre. the performance space where improv, and scene study take on inconceivable authority. on this stage comedy and tragedy morph into physical beings, while your soul kicks a soft shoe for redemption.
walking toward the operating room, i bypass two people standing sentry at the door. despite my best efforts to engage they refuse to make eye contact, acknowledge a presence or in any way affirm my humanity. should it go wrong, their job is to collect my earthly remains.
my doctor’s team (all women) work to create an atmosphere of professionalism, humor and kindness. if not for the setting and attire many would assume an ancient mystic ritual were taking place, to most we probably resemble a coven.
the team helps me onto the operating table, their choreography complex. who knew they heated the table? i am happy to feel warmth. strangely comfy, i long for sleep.
a door opens and in walks my surgeon, thankfully she is a rock star. her “tough love” tactics are why we are here. if i am to survive this day it is because of her skill and caring; because of the women she has bought together to minister to me. i breathe deeply as they begin, for a time these women are custodians of my heart. the hours pass and we are one. on this table i matter. the alchemy of our connection matters. all that i am affirmed.
Even though many advocates of feminist politics are angered by Sandberg’s message, the truth is that alone, individually she was no threat to feminist movement. Had the conservative white male dominated world of mass media and advertising not chosen to hype her image, this influential woman would not be known to most folks. It is this patriarchal male dominated re-framing of feminism, which uses the body and personal success of Sheryl Sandberg, that is most disturbing and yes threatening to the future of visionary feminist movement. The model Sandberg represents is all about how women can participate and ‘run the world.’ But of course the kind of world we would be running is never defined. It sounds at times like benevolent patriarchal imperialism. This is the reason it seemed essential for feminist thinkers to respond critically, not just to Sandberg and her work, but to the conservative white male patriarchy that is using her to let the world know what kind of woman partner is acceptable among elites, both in the home and in the workplace. Feminism is just the screen masking this reframing.
This quote is from her phenomenal essay Dig Deep: Beyond Lean In on The Feminist Wire. I think she pointed out something really important that helps move past individualistic critique on Lean In to again, an institutional/systems view with an intersectional lens. It’s about Sheryl Sandberg but it’s about more than her. It’s a critical essay especially in the age of neoliberal, 1%, mainstream feminism. The essay gets into race/class and reveals how a lot of respectability politics and bootstrap theory is involved in this corporate reshaping of feminism. MUST READ.(via gradientlair)
The ’70s are a part of my work, not necessarily because of nostalgia but because of a recontextualizing process. I’m reinventing those experiences that I have no memory of.
I try to incorporate all these aspects of myself in my work: what I grew up with, what I’m inspired by—textiles, African photography, Yoruban art, Cubism, Matisse. How can I take the ingredients of who I am and put them into a painting? What does that look like? What does that feel like? What’s the residue of that?
tina says she felt like a slave during her time performing with Ike. she sang maniacally, her dancing seemed crazed, robotic - slightly off beat. unlike others of the day, she did not smile or seem happy— the scent of depression permeated the stage. old folks dismissed it as “low class” or drugged-out behavior, i recognized her to be a kindred spirit and shuddered.
working in darkened studios, i watch vocalists pour pain into the microphone, onto the page, dancefloor, up on the screen.
elegant brown folks desperately caressing the mic — in the moment -catharsis.. until a song hits and events one wants to forget loom in the shadows. larger than life itself. some folks triumph, others do not.
i cringe … when pain becomes paegent, fodder for page views and snark. fully understanding what brings artists to the brink of suicide.
we quibble about art for commerce or freedom… i maintain it is one in the same. in a perfect world we would listen, watch, read with an open mind.. but we as consumer are flawed, filled with pangs of imperfection. we experience art through that prism… preferring to grouse rather than attend to open wounds. spectacle is our daily bread.
we have paid to see your act. we want carnage, sing dammit, sing.