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August 5th, 2013
thesmithian

'…in the current climate of the for-profit and privatized mass incarceration industry, millions of men and women, including one out of every 100 adult U.S. citizens, now live out their daily lives in same-sex environments…'

…In a system designed to be punitive rather than rehabilitative, this sex segregation makes the intended lack of a physical sexual outlet (or the alternative, engaging in gay sex) part of the intended punishment. As if that weren’t enough, “corrections officers and prisons administrators have been known to threaten to expose prisoners to a greater threat of rape in order to evoke good behavior, to punish, or to squeeze out information.” It’s clear that sex and punishment are nearly synonymous in the logic of capitalist mass incarceration.

more.

July 11th, 2013
thesmithian

The…paradox of Matías Piñeiro’s “Viola” is that it is at once…complicated and perfectly simple. The characters belong to a recognizable, transnational urban tribe; their Buenos Aires could be Austin or Edinburgh, Brooklyn or Prague or any other city with a significant population of artistically inclined, financially insecure, sexually free young people.

more.

July 2nd, 2013
thesmithian

The story pivots on Trinidad’s Carnival, the…festival of excess to celebrate final indulgences before Lent. In Kempadoo’s style of writing, the text is a sensory experience: textures, fabrics, costumes, drum rhythms, colors of all vibrancies, tastes, heat, samba, sweat, sex.

more.

The story pivots on Trinidad’s Carnival, the…festival of excess to celebrate final indulgences before Lent. In Kempadoo’s style of writing, the text is a sensory experience: textures, fabrics, costumes, drum rhythms, colors of all vibrancies, tastes, heat, samba, sweat, sex.

more.

April 25th, 2013
thesmithian
…im tired of being considered vapid for liking pop music or caring about fashion as if these things inherently lack substance or as if the things i enjoy somehow make me a lesser person…im tired of being congratulated for being thin because i can more easily fit into sample sizes from the runway…im tired of people i love betraying me so they can get credit or money…I’m sad that it’s uncool or offensive to talk about environmental or human rights issues…I’m tired of creeps on message boards discussing whether or not they’d ‘fuck’ me…I’m sad that my desire to be treated as an equal and as a human being is interpreted as hatred of men, rather than a request to be included and respected (I have four brothers and many male best friends and a dad and i promise i do not hate men at all, nor do i believe that all men are sexist or that all men behave in the ways described above)…
April 4th, 2013
thesmithian

…a rewarding wonderland of the forbidden, and of society’s attempts to keep it so, despite their inevitable failure. It is a mural sometimes done as miniature, sometimes as epic, but always with a craftsman’s hand—a sprawling story told with uncommon precision and purity of expression.

more.

…a rewarding wonderland of the forbidden, and of society’s attempts to keep it so, despite their inevitable failure. It is a mural sometimes done as miniature, sometimes as epic, but always with a craftsman’s hand—a sprawling story told with uncommon precision and purity of expression.

more.

March 12th, 2013
thesmithian

…a close look at the sexual lives of men and women in the Middle East. Combining original research with first-person stories from housewives, young virgins, activists and sex therapists…a detailed account of a veiled and sensitive aspect of Arab society.

an interview with the author, here.

…a close look at the sexual lives of men and women in the Middle East. Combining original research with first-person stories from housewives, young virgins, activists and sex therapists…a detailed account of a veiled and sensitive aspect of Arab society.

an interview with the author, here.

January 30th, 2013
thesmithian

…what’s sure to be the best sex comedy of the year about nuclear war between India and Pakistan…Even amid the wondrous variety of contemporary Indian fiction, Suri’s work stands apart, mingling comedy and death, eroticism and politics, godhood and Bollywood like no one else.

more.

November 18th, 2012
thesmithian

Iqbal Hussain, 62, is a controversial figure in Pakistan, not only for his paintings of sex workers but also because of works that proffer scathing commentary on Pakistan’s inclination toward a more and more religiously strict and intolerant society. And while the more liberal-minded art aficionados might appreciate his paintings on an intellectual or aesthetic level, they rarely purchase them.

more.

November 13th, 2012
thesmithian
Please don’t misunderstand me. Having affairs is wrong, and this one is particularly wrong. Petraeus has blown up his family, a family that no doubt had to make significant sacrifices for his career. Broadwell is obviously not a serious journalist, and deserves to be pilloried for sleeping with a biography subject. The whole mess is awful. But not nearly as awful as the response. The latest news this morning is that John Allen, the commander of forces in Afghanistan, may be embroiled. So the man who is most responsible for the lives of American soldiers in Afghanistan will be distracted by a bunch of high-school bullshit in Washington. It is obviously a diseased morality that has no problem with secretive unrestricted assassination by drones but goes hysterical over minor sexual indiscretion. It’s so obviously nonsense that I think there may be cause of some crazy hope in the Petraeus scandal. It may force the United States to grow up in its relationship to sex and public servants.
Stephen Marche, at Esquire
October 3rd, 2012
thesmithian

…I remember feeling, and understanding, the fear that drove some parents in the schools to wish to ban The Color Purple. I realized, given the sexism in our culture, that some of the complainers were probably people who had at some time sexually abused children.  Or, they had been sexually abused themselves and could not bear thinking about it, as adults. There were also those who felt the language, or way of speaking, of their parents and grandparents would best be forgotten, since it was not “correct” standard English speech. I actually felt a lot of compassion for everyone. Black men had a fear they were being trashed in the character of Mister and had no faith that he could redeem himself.  Which he does, by novel’s end. The lesbian nature of Shug and Celie’s relationship was especially hard to bear for people who believe sex, like marriage, should only occur between a woman and a man. It was a lot. And yet, for me, those considerations were all secondary to the overarching expression in the book of spirituality and the assurance found by many of the characters that the divine is all around us in Nature.

more, from Alice Walker in a new interview at Guernica.

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