In a recent study by the Obviousbut Worthrepeating Institute in Bloomington, Indiana, researchers concluded that white Western Europeans steal nearly four times as much as almost every other racial and/or ethnic identity group. “Why such a discrepancy?” Michael Lanzberg, the executive director of the Institute asks:

…because the study disrupts the white conception of stealing, promoted in mainstream media and culture. Instead of qualifying stealing as a singular narrative of a black 9th Ward resident ‘looting’ a television from an electronics store, we  considered greater cultural hallmarks that were previously thought too intangible,  like cuisine, as well as land ownership and its connection to heritage.

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The  Institute has come under intense scrutiny in both American and European media. In a recent Op-Ed piece for the Wall Street Journal, Richard Kingston fired back, “In the history of modern civilization, we have never seen such an excruciating, obsessive and subjective reordering of morality. That is to say, I am not about to sue my neighbor for growing peonies at his Cape house this summer, even if my wife has done the very same thing for the last ten years.”  Maury Povich and several other beacons of tolerance charged accusations of “reverse racism” in an open letter to the tender-feeling white masses, “I, like so many white Americans, fear for my life,” he writes. During a follow-up interview on The Today Show, he confessed,  “Next time my wife goes to yoga, I’m going to tell her to leave her baby blue hoodie at home. I’d rather her be cold than killed.”

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A journalist for the National, Jad Ramad, fielded questions during a recent appearance on Fox News, “This survey is entirely redundant, but gratifying nonetheless. Palestinians continue to suffer from colonial dictatorship and land seizure, just like the Native Americans and Aboriginal populations.” He continues, after fielding questions about how he could say such things about white people, especially considering he’s totally not white:

Look. I’m a journalist. I went to Oxford. I am qualified to speak about imperialism and white supremacy because I have suffered at the hands of it.

White people want the economic advantage and security of being white, but they also want identity. Since white identities have also been erased at the hands of assimilationist colonial culture, now they want to bounce like Big Freedia and dance dabke during family gatherings.

No stranger to strong words and controversy, the Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu chimed in during a press conference announcing upcoming peace talks. “If Ramad doesn’t shut his mouth I will do it for him with my cold and loveless hands. One more word and I will open a kosher yogurt shop on the land where I bulldozed his grandmother’s grave.” President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry made no comment, stating they are going to solve the Middle East peace process like any good cooking show contest. “Whoever makes more authentic-tasting hummus obviously gets to keep everything,” John Kerry said with a knowing smile.

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During a visit to the Bill Maher show, Michael Lanzbirg explained the methodology used in the study. “Well, we just studied.” He continues:

Literally. We have a team of over 300 history PhDs and cultural critics. We just gave it some thought, reviewed all major empires, including the Byzantines and the Romans. All you have to do is pay attention and you quickly realize the entire concept of European enlightenment’s moral code is not only contradicted by its colonization process, but in fact the language surrounding ‘uncivilized cultures’ is used in order to deflect the savage violence of the white Europeans. It’s much like how the Republicans will name a bill ‘The Clean Energy Initiative’ when in reality it should be called the ‘Jesus Ate Fossil Fuels for Breakfast and You Will, Too’ bill.

Michael Lanzburg, of Western European heritage himself, concluded during his interview with Bill Maher, “Does that make me a self-hating reverse-racist?”

The study came as no surprise to many residents of historically black neighborhoods in the United States. Frank James, a resident of Austin, Texas, was quoted in the Austin American Statesman saying:

First I lived in West Austin. Then the cool white kids came, then the yuppies, then the white families and our property taxes climbed so high we had to move to South Austin. Then the same thing happened to my family in South Austin. So, a decade later, we’re living in East Austin. And what do you know? All of the sudden boutique grocery stores are popping up everywhere and I can’t afford my rent anymore. 

Frank James is a government employee in Texas, but jokes “Maybe I’ll have to start stealing, too. Since working an honest job hasn’t gotten me very far. I hear Rick Perry has a very expensive toupee collection. Fuck it, I’m going to go and break into his house right now and have my wife upload all of his belongings on Ebay.” James paused and grumbled something about how if he was white he could get away with something like that.

“Displacement is the cornerstone of U.S. policymaking,” says Gregory Dans, a community organizer in Texas working against issues of gentrification in communities of color.

They did it to the Native Americans, they did it to the African slaves, they’re still doing it today. White Americans don’t want people of color in their neighborhoods, but they’ll let them flip their burgers for under minimum wage. They are stealing our homes… our heritage and our right to live full and healthy lives.

During his satellite interview yesterday with Matt Lauer, Lanzburg answered the age old question ‘who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?’ He looked off into the distance, wincing as a wildebeest mangled a doe on his Kenyan ranch. Or was it a young African child? “Anyway,” he soldiered on  “who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? Probably a white person.” Continuing, “I still love that Macklemore song, tho.”

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Contributor: W.Morningstar

And so, the Texas legislature pretends that at 20 weeks, the unborn ______ no longer belongs to the body it lives inside. But personhood, in terms of reproductive self-determination, is most clearly noted after birth with a birth certificate.  When the baby leaves the body, it is born.  Instead of being framed as a matter of life and death, it should be about the event of birth. The unborn belongs to the body it’s attached to, as much as our internal organs are (supposed to be) our own.  It should not be legislated for or capitalized on.

I wish personhood laws were that simple. Alas, “The definition of personhood ranges,” says ACLU attorney Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, continuing “if you’re talking about property, law, or inheritance, or how the census is taken.” Anti-choice organizations like Personhood USA exploit this gray area by claiming life starts “when the husband turns on that really sexy Sade cassette” (JK, but close).

The 20-week cut off argument is dangerous for many obvious and often stated reasons. There are a few more, too, that deserve to be re-stated again and again, to clarify what ‘choice’ has to do with being alive.

It’s the same schtick. Policymakers subjugating bodies…of color, both rural and urban, of poor whites, of immigrants. The ways the government capitalizes on these groups is not the same. It’s important, though, to reiterate points of intersection, the horizonless compulsion of the most privileged and powerful to control what seems threatening and/or in need of being controlled. Our right to choose the progression of our lives (to give birth and to stop a pregnancy) threatens the ability of the state to reinforce the narrative that we are not the captains of our own ships and that the bodies we live in have little value.

Attempting to cap abortion at 20 weeks is not about saving an ‘innocent life,’ it’s about controlling living people and fragmenting/undercutting the reproductive power/resistance of the people. Colonizing, excuse me, controlling the womb and the notoriously wild and sinful sexuality that it possesses. To be pro-choice is to threaten the assimilationist theocracy we absolutely-no-question-about-it live under.

Fundamentally, the right to terminate and/or pursue pregnancy cannot be entirely abandoned. Unless you live in an American prison, wherein your basic medical care is as elastic as the laws that locked you up in the first place.  But abortion won’t end, it is the access to safe and legal abortion services that we will lose. This is why the legislation being passed in Texas and North Carolina are, quite fucking obviously, acts of systematic violence against the health and vitality of Americans that will now have little to no access to legal abortion services.

The unborn ‘child,’ to anti-choice Christians, is pregnant (sry, sry) with meaning. It symbolizes an essential purity that, according to some cockamamie interpretations of the King James Bible, is lost at the very moment of birth. My heart nearly dropped when I read this one liner, “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.”* In other words, an unborn baby is like an unpurchased MacBook Air. Once taken out of the box, the value greatly depreciates.  Which, oddly enough, is a strikingly accurate representation of the right wing’s (dems included) stance on defunding social services for low-income single mothers.

How does the reproductive rights movement already reframe this ‘unborn child’ narrative? The value in re-emphasizing the needs of those already born and living cannot be understated. The needs and rights of working and jobless Americans, the sick but trying to stay alive Americans. The Americans frozen inside the prison industrial complex. These are real pro-life issues. I see organizers pursuing them year round, when the politicians are busy running for president. But really, what would it look like for representatives to address the born-a-while-ago-and-trying-to stay-alive constituency?

 *King James Bible, Chapter 58, 3.

Prioritizing the holidays is a recent development for me, in the past I couldn’t get over the schmaltziness of it all. Why buy maraschino cherries when I could have rainier cherries? Cynicism is emotionally defensive bullshit and we haven’t got the time for bullshit, do we now? I’m telling you, holidays are helpful, even the phony capitalist ones like Valentine’s Day.

Adulthood necessitates February the 14th and other holiday reminders to say “I see you” to the ones that keep us warm. Daily routines (work, sleep, repeat) make it surprisingly easy to forget one another. That goes for friends, family and strangers.

Here’s your  reblogged “Recipe for Romance on Valentine’s Day.”A Real Recipe for Romance

Take one piece of dark verandah and add a little moonlight – take for granted two people.

Press in two strong ones a small, soft hand. Sift lightly two ounces of attraction, one of romance and add a large measure of folly, stir in a floating ruffle and one or two whispers.

Dissolve half a dozen glances in a well of silence, dust in a small quantity of hesitation, one ounce of resistance, two of yielding and place the kisses on a flushed cheek or two lips.

Flavor with a slight scream and set aside to cool. This will succeed in any climate if directions are carefully followed. 

schmaltz lundquist:

“Azealia Banks’ career allegedly hangs in the balance and Perez Hilton’s remains firmly intact. She’s now regarded as the ratchet, violently homophobic black woman. …This isn’t two wrongs make a right, but rather, one wrong is minimized, and the other, pathologized.”

BOOM.

Originally posted on The Crunk Feminist Collective:

Guest Post by Edward Ndopu

Azealia Banks

Rapper Azealia Banks

Recently, the media has exploded with news of a Twitter battle between rapper Azealia Banks and gossip blogger Perez Hilton. After Hilton inserted himself in an altercation between Banks and fellow female rapper Angel Haze, taking Haze’s side, Banks denounced him as a “messy faggot”. She then went on to say that she used the word to describe “any male who acts like a female”. Rumours have since abounded that Banks is being dropped from her record label as a result of her speaking out against Hilton. Rather than taking sides, I believe it is most important for us to examine the context within which this media escalation has happened. Instead of writing off Azealia Banks, herself a queer woman, as homophobic, we should instead be exploring the femmephobia and racialized sexism at play in the public’s response to this debacle.

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The New York Times, in what is perhaps so characteristically simple-minded it’s almost surprising, published an article on “The Power of the Rouge Pot” two days ago.

The article is in response to a survey that came out recently. It said that when women wear makeup in the workplace it makes them more competent and likable. The Times is suspicious, as they should be, because otherwise there’s nothing else going on in the world to write about. Anyway…it is possible to ask a stupid question and here’s one example:

Some would argue that makeup empowers women, others would say it’s holding them back from true equality… If makeup has indeed become the status quo in the public realm, does it ultimately damage a woman’s self-esteem, or elevate it?

A few things, the first being that using a term like “public realm” does not trick me into believing this article has any academic and/or critical analysis happening, it mostly just draws attention to the negative space in between words like “equality,” “empowers” and “elevate.” My third point, which I will jump to before my second because I just realized this and it’s weird, is that all of these words start with the letter “e.” Was that intentional and is that a requirement for the NYT’s Room for Debate section?

I don’t even know why I read this crap anymore. Wait! I usually don’t. I was referred to this article by Vanessa’s Autostraddle article, “Let’s Queer the NYT ‘Debate’ About Women and Makeup.” She wrote it because, like usual, no one asked any queers what they had to say about makeup but, like, we should be the first people asked because we are the nation of omni-gendered glitter people.

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GLITTER POLITIC

I tried reading Jezebel’s response, but realized I didn’t have enough time after accidentally reading this, “Maybe there are women who truly indeed wear makeup ‘for themselves’… It’s just that I don’t think I’ve ever met any of these women.” I guess you should get yourself on OkCupid and do some goddamn research!

My second point, which I have forgotten, probably had something to do with the actual question the NYT’s article poses, which is something about women, insecurity and makeup. Personally (and obviously), I think it’s crucial we note that lipstick is an inanimate object that some people use but no one can have a conversation with. So, NYT, when you ask if makeup damages self-esteem, I say marketing does because it reflects larger expectations about women and socially acceptable gender presentation that are way beyond anything addressed in your stupid fucking article.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, maybe I should read more than just the introduction. Let’s begin with Natasha Scripture’s “Red Lips Can Rule the World.” It’s starts off well enough, she never leaves the house without makeup and loves red lipstick. My initial concern is that she responds to the NYT’s inquiry as if it were valid, “The point is that a harmless touch of makeup makes me feel better.” Why can’t she just write that it’s no one’s fucking business why she put on concealer today so STFU? But wait… something even more terrible happens, she drops the m-word:

I’ll always be a proponent of a more minimalist approach…I’m fairly certain my first makeup experience involved glitter, sparkle is something I generally eschew these days.

In what might be the biggest tragedy of the entire discussion, Scripture reveals she’s a minimalist that rarely uses glitter. Image

I want more than a pop of color, I want fireworks on my face! Why so judgy, Scripture? Better yet, why so homophobic? Jusssst kidding.

No, I’m not.

Yes, I am.

Moving on to the next article, Scott Barnes’ “Look Your Best, Feel Your Best.” He writes that wearing makeup leads to confidence which “is a good thing to have on the battlefield.” But then he ruins everything in writing, “Don’t give up and fall into self loathing; if you look your best, you feel your best.” I dislike the concept of ‘giving-up,’ particularly when used in a condescending gay dude tone (versus a condescending queer dude tone). Perhaps women can be upset and not up to your beauty standards at the same time, however, life is challenging and threatening a fall into the self-loathing pit is not empowering at all. Why does this conversation have to be about women and self-esteem, why can’t we take the gesture of women wearing makeup at face value and not project pity, suspicion and saccharine self-empowerment buzzwords? Sit down, Scott. I’ve had enough of you. Also, you’re wrong… men can look wonderful in skirts. I bet you would look wonderful in a skirt. Go ahead, put on a skirt. It will make you feel better, don’t give up by letting yourself slip into self-loathing.

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Rebecca Havemeyer

Moving on to Mally Roncal’s “Using Makeup Shows Love for Yourself,” wherein she tells a true story about the assumptions people make about women, confidence and presentation:

Once an acquaintance described another woman to me in this way: “She wears makeup, so you know what that means – she’s insecure.” My immediate reaction was “Do you know who you’re talking to? You’re not only saying that my choice of profession is hurting womanhood, but also that as a female sitting here with, yes, a full face of makeup, I’m also insecure.”

Wait… people make assumptions about women based on how they look? I have never heard of such a thing happening ever. Not. Ever. Thank you, Ms. Roncal, for pointing out what should be so abundantly clear to the NYT’s Room for Debate section editors. I mean this sincerely. Yes, I’m sure wearing eyeliner makes a difference in how people perceive women in the workplace. Yes, if you wear that tightly tailored dress some dick might assume you’re looking for sex, because historically people feel qualified to pontificate about women’s bodies as if they’re experts. Therefore, the issue is not eyeliner, nor blue eyeshadow, but everyone else. If you meet a woman that’s wearing glitter-encrusted fake eyelashes and you assume she’s feeling low today, or that she wants to sex with you, or that she is classless, perhaps you should think about something you’re more qualified to analyze…yourself.

That’s right! When I’m out to coffee and wearing my “Candy Yum-Yum” Barbie-colored lipstick, I expect you to divert your judgment and ask yourself about yourself. “Hello, self! She looks like…she’s having fun! Am I having fun? Maybe I should go for a hike today.”

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Gluten Free Bitches is a side project of the Lipschtick Collective, a borscht-belt-inspired multi-media performance group.

Julia and I wanted to know what would happen if we just let our mouths run on camera.  It’s a shoe-string operation, which has meant that we’ve been able to put together five episodes in the last few months.

Shelli + KC are two friends with a lot in common. They diet together, craft together, politic together and live together. Each episode reveals just how [insert almost any and all demographics here]-phobic these characters are, but I swear to G*d neither Julia nor I have anything in common with them.

Our subconscious probably does though, so, let’s call them what they are, drag queens of the subconscious mind. Eh.

Here’s a link to their latest, a holiday episode wherein Shelli and KC reveal their controversial dieting techniques. You can check out the Shelli + KC Blog for Intense Women to see all five episodes.

Other Lipschtick performances coming up, Rabbi Lipschtick and Sons for the Frontera Festival in Austin. Altso, Southern Fried Queer Cabaret in NoLa in February, more information TBA.

Netanyahu regime not giving a fuck. (Photo: AFP – Lior Mizrahi)

There’s no cease-fire not not happening in East Deir Al-Balah, as of 22:00 GMT. At least four Palestinians are injured due to probable shelling of a residential neighborhood, “which is like barely nothing,” says Minister of Defense Ehud Barak. Barak recently announced his departure from politics, citing that playing his favorite video game, Call of Duty, has become more fulfilling. “There’s just something about shooting real Nazis that just totally rocks.” When asked if shooting living Palestinians is comparable to shooting fake Nazis in a video game, Barak replied “Not really, there’s even less accountability in video games than in real life. Which is awesome.”

The probable shelling attacks on Gaza are the first violation of the ceasefire agreement brokered with Egyptian assistance on November 21. When asked why he could not wait a little longer to break the ceasefire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu giggled, “Ain’t no thang but a chicken wang.” When asked to clarify he boasted, “Cease fire schmease fire… We’re going to continue attacking civilians on the ground! Cease fires are the best thing ever cuz everyone assumes we’re chilling!!”

News of the East Deir Al-Balah attacks is proceeded by reports that as of today Israel is holding $120 million dollars worth of Palestinian funds because of unpaid electricity bills. “I have no intention of transferring the tax payments to the PA this month,” said Israel’s finance minister Yuval Steinitz, explaining further “Because I’m the slumlord and I can do whatever I want.” Steinitz then pulled down his pants in front of the Israeli radio host, grabbed his penis and urinated over his microphone.

In response, President Barak Obama remarked in a press conference on Friday, “I believe in Israel’s right to exist.” When asked if that means he believes Steinitz was within his rights to urinate on a journalist’s property, Obama amended his earlier comment “I believe every American has the right to marry whomever he or she loves. Does that answer your question?”

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