“I’m just dying to say, ‘Hey, do you ever feel like jumping off a bridge?’ or ‘Do you feel an emptiness inside your chest at night that is going to swallow you?’ But you can’t say that at a cocktail party.”—Paul Gilmartin, The Mental Illness Happy Hour (via vehxt)
“The fact is that we’re all lonely, of course. Everyone knows this, it’s almost a cliche. So yet another layer of my essential fraudulence is that I pretended to myself that my loneliness was special, that it was uniquely my fault because I was somehow especially fraudulent and hollow. It’s not special at all, we’ve all got it. In spades.”—David Foster Wallace, Good Old Neon (via nineteencigarettes)
His body isn’t even cold yet and the New York times has already put out a shameful article declaring Nelson Mandela to be an “icon of peaceful resistance”. News outlets around the Western world are hurrying to publish obituaries that celebrate his electoral victory while…
“We teach females that in relationships, compromise is what women do. We raise girls to see each other as competitors, not for jobs or for accomplishments— which I think can be a good thing— but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. If we have sons, we don’t mind knowing about our sons’ girlfriends, but our daughters boyfriends? ‘God forbid!’ But of course when the time is right, we expect those girls to bring back the perfect man to be their husband. We police girls, we praise girls for virginity, but we don’t praise boys for virginity. And it’s always made me wonder how exactly this is supposed to work out because [laughs] the loss of virginity is usually a process that involves [laughs]….
We teach girls shame. ‘Close your legs!’ ‘Cover yourself!’ We make them feel as though by being born female, they are already guilty of something. And so, girls grow up to be women who cannot say they have desire. They grow up to be women who silence themselves. They grow up to be women who cannot say what they truly think. And they grow up—and this is the worst thing we do to girls—they grow up to be women who have turned pretense into an art form.”—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (via amanzy)
“Brooklyn’s too cold tonight
& all my friends are three years away.
My mother said I could be anything
I wanted—but I chose to live.
On the stoop of an old brownstone,
a cigarette flares, then fades.
I walk towards it: a razor
sharpened with silence.
A jawline etched in smoke.
The mouth where I’ll be made
new again. Stranger, palpable
echo, here is my hand, filled
with blood thin as a widow’s
tears. I am ready. I am ready
to be every animal
you leave behind.”—Ocean Vuong, “Thanksgiving, 2006” (via letters-to-nobody)
Now here you go again, you say You want your freedom Well who am I to keep you down It’s only right that you should Play the way you feel it But listen carefully to the sound Of your loneliness Like a heartbeat drives you mad In the stillness of remembering what you had And what you lost, and what you had, and what you lost
Thunder only happens when it’s raining Players only love you when they’re playing Say women they will come and they will go When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know, you’ll know
One of the most troubling things about the AIDS epidemic is that it could have been stopped so easily by rolling out life-saving antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) early on. Not only do ARVs prevent HIV from developing into AIDS, they also reduce transmission rates and increase people’s willingness to get tested.
But Western pharmaceutical corporations have colluded in pricing these essential drugs way out of reach of the poor. When they were first introduced, patented ARVs cost up to $15,000 per yearly regimen. Generic producers were able to manufacture the same drugs for a mere fraction of the price, but the WTO outlawed this through the 1995 TRIPS agreement to protect Big Pharma’s monopoly.
It was not until 2003 that the WTO bowed to activist pressure and allowed southern Africa to import generics, but by then it was too late – HIV prevalence had already reached devastating proportions. In other words, much of the region’s AIDS burden can be directly attributed to the WTO’s rules and the corporations that defended them. And they are set to strike again: the WTO will cut patent exemptions for poor countries after 2016.
This dearth of basic drugs has gone hand in hand with the general collapse of public health institutions. Structural adjustment and WTO trade policies have forced states to cut spending on hospitals and staff in order to repay odious debts to the West. Swaziland, ground-zero in the world of AIDS, has been hit hard by these cuts. When I last visited I found that many once-bustling clinics are now empty and dilapidated. Neoliberalism has systematically destroyed the first line of defence against AIDS.
The point I want to drive home is that the policies that deny poor people access to life-saving drugs and destroy public healthcare come from the same institutions and interests that helped create the conditions for HIV transmission in the first place.
Priest at a Q&A:From what do you derive the spiritual power which is the source of your creative work? Where are your roots?
Andrei Tarkovsky:My roots lie in the fact that I don't love myself and that I don't really like myself... And from this I derive my spiritual power that forces me to pay attention to other things. It helps me to go beyond myself. It gives me the possibility to look for and to find power not so much in myself but for the most part in the things which are around me and above me. I wouldn't say that I derived power in myself.