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Rogue Specimens

returning to the wild since 1987

Humans and People: A review of Roger Fouts and Stephen Tukel Mills' NEXT OF KIN: MY CONVERSATIONS WITH CHIMPANZEES

1 week ago- 1-


Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores is running to become the first Latina Lieutenant Governor of her state.  She’s no billionaire’s wife, no Ivy League prodigy, no daughter of some ruling-class family from Latin America.  Lucy Flores grew up poor in a family of 13 children. A daughter of immigrants, she dropped out of high school, got involved in gangs and spent time incarcerated. She saw all her sisters become teen mothers and didn’t want that for herself. When she became pregnant at 16, she had an abortion that she doesn’t regret.

She eventually turned her life around. She went to college and later law school. Yet she doesn’t twist her success into a bootstraps narrative of a self-made woman. Instead, she acknowledges all the support she got along the way.  She bears witness to the fact that it was the chance generosity of individuals, and not a reliable safety net in our society that made the difference. Her own lived experience becomes the basis of her progressive agenda for social change.

Lucy Flores defies the politics of respectability. She’s single, childless, honest about her sexual past, and fierce in her advocacy for poor and marginalized people.  She takes bold stands on immigration, education, and domestic violence. Her experience makes her an effective advocate, but it also makes her a new kind of role model for Latina women.  Like Justice Sonia Sotomayor before her, we are watching a smart, single, childless Latina rise from poverty to political authority.  But Flores’ background not only includes the “humble beginnings” of poverty, but the stigmatizing experiences that can accompany poverty, like jail, dropping out, and unplanned pregnancy. 

Read more of Aya de Leon’s article about Lucy Flores on Bitch Media

(via racialicious)


Lam Yik Fei, Portraits Of Pro-Democracy Supporters In Hong Kong, 2014.

(via racialicious)

Ferguson police chief: It’s ‘hurtful’ to hear allegations that his department is racist or too aggressive


"[Ferguson, Mo., Police Chief Thomas] Jackson then called it ‘hurtful’ to hear allegations that his department was racist or too aggressive. He disputed the idea that his department racially profiles drivers — and said he tells his officers ‘to treat everyone how you would want your mother to be treated.’"

One of the things that bothers me most about when some white people are involved in discussions about institutionalized anti-black racism or are interrogated for their own expressions of anti-black racism is the feigned shock and surprise.

This blasted innocence that they retreat into; the elaborate cocoon of white silk that they’ve weaved to protect them reality, confrontation, and change; and, of course, the manufactured tears that are symbolic of the confounding notion that their hurt feelings at the accusations are as important as, or are more important than, the people who have to suffer their machinations.

It makes me want to do like those people used to do in old movies before a duel. I just want to take off a nice pair of gloves and use them to slap the shit out of some of these folks and then humiliate them during a fencing match.

I’m trying to be a little sophisticated about my anger, but we’re really running out of options here with these pathological space cadets who run away from reality because it’s too painful, but they’re the one causing most of the pain.

“[Ferguson, Mo., Police Chief Thomas] Jackson then called it ‘hurtful’ to hear allegations that his department was racist or too aggressive. He disputed the idea that his department racially profiles drivers — and said he tells his officers ‘to treat everyone how you would want your mother to be treated.’”

This is one of those situations when what they say doesn’t look anything like what they do.

1 week ago- 90-

Cover Girl Growing Girls Can
Courtesy Photo
When it comes to celebrities, the concept of beauty often feels superficial, but for Janelle Monáe, beauty is about giving without expectation. 
Keeping that mantra in mind, Monáe is hoping to empower women by being a part of Cover Girl’s Girls Can, a campaign launched in February to help young women overcome barriers and break boundaries. For More


Cover Girl Growing Girls Can


Courtesy Photo

When it comes to celebrities, the concept of beauty often feels superficial, but for Janelle Monáe, beauty is about giving without expectation. 

Keeping that mantra in mind, Monáe is hoping to empower women by being a part of Cover Girl’s Girls Can, a campaign launched in February to help young women overcome barriers and break boundaries. For More

(via latoyapeterson)

Anonymous said: I have a friend who has been my greatest ally for years, and whose kinship I have never known greater. Things have become extremely strained between us recently, and now it seems they refuse to give my feelings the time of day. Should I to confront them person-to-person to try to save what friendship we have left? When do I know it's time to move on?


Witch the First: I had a Sister once with whom I cavorted and cackled endlessly.  Endlessly!  We required no other, ne’er did we feel the fevered hand of boredom on our breast.  Around us the air took on the aspect of shimmering brilliance and the faint odor of verbena.  When we spoke our words created a minor-key but mellifluous current of song. 

Or so I believed.

Now, can I say with any certainty that none of these things ever even came to pass?  Though I Witnessed them with my very own Eye?  I cannot!  And yet had they truly happened how could they ever have stopped?  They did stop, and so they must always have been stopping.  Will they resume again?  Who can say.  Then I can also say they will have always been resuming.  Do you follow?

You write that they will not so much as turn your feelings to face the Wheel of Time.  I demand of thee: what of their feelings?  Now I demand of thee again, my wizened finger a mere snake’s breath away from your face, no, I said, what of THEIR FEELINGS?  DO NOT BULLSHIT A WITCH.

Because at first you answered me, “They are being a bad friend and totally not supportive and I need to confront them to correct this wrong which is being done to me.”

Can you confront a wilting gorse blossom back to life?  Can you confront a wind into blowing northward instead of eastways?  I mean, I can.  But you cannot.  What does the gorse need?  Water.  Give it water.  Hope it will revive.  What does the wind need?  Nothing.  It needs nothing.  It moves without want.  You may confront anything you wish!  Gorse blossoms, winds (sacred or non-), friends who no longer quite fill your chalice.

But you may as well give sand to the gorse blossom or your own heart’s blood to the wind.  And perhaps your friend has chalices to fill at which you refuse to cast your glance.  An entire table set for hungry guests (or ghosts) which you will not see.  So it was with my Sister.  

Which is not to say all hope is lost!  Oh hardly.  My Sister and I, though torn asunder by forces so cruel and so melancholic that I dare not even whisper their appellations in your presence, were mostly in the end blown apart by my own adamant insistence upon misunderstanding her.  

Why did I so insist?  So that I could summon that song and that odor of verbena.  It is not difficult to understand why I would wish to feel such pleasure.  It is more important to ask, when I felt her hand slip from mine, why did I call after her a Name which was not her own?  Why did I say, no, I say this is your Name.  Answer to that alone.  And when I call it, you MUST return to me.

Why, when she faced the Darkest Enigma, did I dare say, she is acting like such a b-word.  Possibly even c-word.  She was facing the D.E.!!!!!  I was facing only my own refusal to accept that her face had to turn away from me.  I will tell you who had it harder: not me.  What I endured was a veritable pleasure garden within a perfumed jungle filled with tiny, many-flavored tea cakes that never got too warm or sticky nor did they attract insects.  Seriously.

Before I knew about the pleasure garden things, I spent some time in my sea cave mulling over the situation with a GREAT deal of misguided bitterness.  It is no wonder that I was so susceptible to the charms of Maelstroms at that moment.  It is no wonder my spells turned half the time to ash in my hands.  Within me lay that knot of furious, willful misunderstanding.  It messes everything up!!

And then I untangled the knot almost all the way, and the friendship, it’s not like it was, but it is like it is.  I see my Sister now clearly, not through a golden mist.  I HATED when the golden mist dispersed.  For ages it seemed the golden mist was GONE and she had TAKEN IT.  But now it is within me.  And I prefer to take her hand, same as ever, through the clear, mistless air.  Fogs have many wonders (BOY do they), clear sight more.

Confront your Illusions.  Let the mists clear and see if one day a hand is there again to greet you.

Witch the Third: It is an interesting fact of Now that friendships are, largely, a matter of convenience.  This in contrast to kinship, marriages, LLPs, and so forth.  Those of us tangled in these may not like our snare-mates, but the dislike must be chronic and severe before we name it let alone retreat from it.  But virtus amicitiva; friendship is that in which liking occurs, its obligations dissolve with the sympathies, sometimes sadly missaligned.  Though the sympathies can often endure strain that would tax a tighter binding, so who even knows.  This all strikes me as more trouble than it is worth and is why I turn to friends only when sworn vassals are not on hand.  I venture a guess that you have no sworn vassals yet?  Recommend. 

This answers your first question, asked in the unasking, which was “vassals y/n?”

For the rest.

It is time to move on when Theia gives into the tug of Venus and shifts so slightly to head for Earth. It is time to move on when the cargo carrying Justinian’s flea sets from Canopus for the Harbor of Elutherios.

How, if clairvoyance is not among our gifts, can we know this? Well.  

A witch does not make it long without a keen nose for a coming squall. Perhaps you have noticed that when we are disfavored we are never simply unwelcome, fuuuuuuccck you very much, assorted dunkers, stakeburners and other total dicks.  In any case when empty air shudders and gives way to the scent of shale on a heavy wind, when the Being tenses against the blow about to land, we have generally already escaped to our caves, our catacombs, our clifftops.

Where to catch the scent.  Of course if charms decocted with your once-friend’s lymph start having unintended effects it is likely she has turned against you, but that goes without saying; I imagine that if this method were available to you would have employed it.  Your lack of vassals and other people’s lymph makes me feel reasonably assured that you do not posses the tools of the auger, the haruspex, the scryer, the pyromancer, the hydromancer, or any of the other main mancers. You may have an iPhone? In her depths is a powerful tool for such divinations.  I prescribe this warily, as I have not fully puzzled out all the component enchantlettes, especially with this OS update.  Take care you do not stop this midway lest you be ensnared and made a meal for a Killer App.  

Now.  Summon the last text message this kindled, kindred spirit  sent you. Place your hand over the screen. Close your eyes.  Summon its image with your breath.   You will feel a tightness, a fear, a muscle heat.  If it is between your shoulders, give up. If it is in your throat, keep on.

Witch the Second: Does a wise witch cast love spells? Mired in confusion though you seem, I am confident you See this quandary clearly. 

But here, I answer it for you anyway: No! A wise witch does not! You cannot coax love from another person in whom love does not exist. You cannot. And friendship is not so different. 

Your sister has already given you the gift of kinship. But this giving was not a promise of future gifts, of forever giving. It was what it was. It existed when it existed, when you two lived as people who are not quite the same as the people you are now. 

The Wheel turns. Hearts warm and cool for reasons we cannot name, nor fathom. Friendships wax and wane like the moon; shift like seasons, though not so predictably.

Once, when I had ventured into a new and strange territory — a territory where I could not accept visitors — a dear, close Friend said via “”””e-mail”””” that he missed me, but that he understood my paler friendship to be simply “the natural ebb and flow of [my] presence in our relationship.” In saying this — in saying that he did not blame me for turning temporarily away from him, so that I might turn instead more fully to my own wicked and delightful innards, in this blighted and beautiful unfamiliar plane — he left the road between us open. Two moons later, I popped a xanax and hopped on that broom and flew home. My Friend and I got drinks. We cackled re: recent strange bedfellows; we took “shots”; I feigned interest in the “”””current events”””” with which he remains so inexplicably fascinated. Looking at his face, I felt warmth and affection return in full bloom. I had always thought him Sightless but during this season, in which he allowed a retreat and a return without judgment, I wondered. I wonder still. 

Perhaps your friend is somewhere new. Perhaps she cannot accept visitors right now, much less make the journey to you. (Are you also somewhere new? Worth considering.) 

You cannot force love, nor kinship. You can merely clear the roads.

The first year that I listened to this song, I didn’t really hear it, and so I didn’t give it credit. It was only recently, coincident to a time when I’ve had to learn how to take responsibility for myself in relationships, that it came on Pandora in the middle of the workday and I really heard the damn song. I fucking love this song; I need this song. Five years ago an unhealthy, doomed relationship ended, and I was so hurt and confused that I became determined to live by righteous anger, even if it killed me. For almost five years I was afraid to let myself see my own mistakes. A man said, straight to my face, very early on, “I am a psychopath, and you should not trust me.” He isn’t a psychopath, but I should not have willfully ignored whatever it was that he was expressing in that utterance. At one point I realized the right thing to do and ended it, but he worked to win me back solely because I was the only woman who had ever broken up with him (I still am, I think), and I couldn’t commit to my original decision, so things continued and got worse until they went up in flames. I was willful and blind and I threw myself headfirst into a situation that was sick, and progressively so. I made a lot of mistakes, and it took five years for me to be okay with that, to find peace in the fact that though I think everybody deserves one, not everybody gets an explanation/conversation/acknowledgement/apology, and you can, indeed, get on with your life without receiving one.

For whatever non-reason, almost immediately after I realized that I had it in me to forgive and not look back, I got a message from him on social media that implied that he was interested in making things right. I was shocked to hear from him, then pissed to hear from him, then I was sad and vulnerable to hear from him. He didn’t say much, and I don’t think more is forthcoming, honestly. I learned a while ago to live without closure, so I know I can do so, but a part of me will always and reflexively open my fist for a gesture of kindness from the men who acted out on me, and sure, maybe that’s fucked up. Sure.

I gave my best friend the rundown just now and immediately felt ashamed that I had this story to share at all, that this person existed in my thoughts anymore in any way/shape/form and that I was even thinking of engaging, if only in a removed, civil manner. I struggle a lot with admitting to the people who’ve seen me through hell that my life isn’t always on the linear upswing, that my past and I are not so far apart as I would like. What the hell do I expect people to say? Sometimes I feel like I’m 95% reassurance that I’m not doing something totally incomprehensible and 5% story-bombs. I have to share it, though, because I was trying to pretend I didn’t have to and it wasn’t working. No one can do the work of protecting me from that sickness better than I can, it turns out. (So, here’s a blog post!)

My last therapist, who I love the hell out of and who really loved the hell out of me, said this once: “One day, you will learn to forgive yourself.” I got pissed at him, the kind where I couldn’t address it. What do I have to forgive MYSELF for? God. Men! But he was, as with most things, right on.

I have a hunch this guy isn’t going to use the email address I gave him (the next day, he deleted the message he’d sent me), which saddens me, but not for the same reasons as before, not at all. I now know the thought of facing me really scared him then; maybe it still does. The sad part is, I guess, that I’d already forgiven him, because I had a need to forgive. The sad part is that he didn’t even have to ask, though these days I’m thinking it’s possible that he has a need.



Finally done! One of my last projects for my senior portfolio, I drew the top female emcees (at least from late 90s - today) as tarot queens.


Hail to the Queens.  There are no lights by which we would rather See.

Resilience: Struggling with the Silent Horror of Living in Singapore

"As a multi-ethnic nonbinary transgender person, I have been forced to hide my entire life because that was the only way I could stay alive. Despite being racially and culturally mixed, I’ve always been read as just ‘Indian’ in Singapore because of my dark brown skin. To be an Indian person in Singapore is to never be seen as fully human: Chinese racism, while spoken about at family gatherings and among friends, was never something adequately publicly addressed when I lived there. I believe this was due to the climate of fear around discussing racism – that such dialogue might disrupt the state ideology of ‘racial harmony’. And anything that disrupts state ideology in Singapore feels terrifying to say or do, as freedom of speech is not something we Singaporeans have. Racism from Chinese Singaporeans coupled with white supremacy has taken a massive toll on both my mental and physical health.

Like the United States, I see Singapore as another violent settler colonial nation, where militarism seeps into our culture, creating a brutal and empty existence with plenty of flashy things that are supposed to make up for all that we lack in care, community and creativity.

1 month ago-


Hello Kitty AVENGERS!

Tumblr consistently thwarts my heartfelt resolution to only post original content on my Tumblr

(Source: allyson-wonderlnd)