links for 2011-08-06

  • "Last month, on July 20th, little Lauren Olamina turned two. Yes, knowing the birthday of a literary character is a nugget of useless knowledge only appropriate for cocktail parties and Twitter updates. But it’s also what makes today’s news that much more interesting. As the center of Octavia Butler’s Parable series, the world Lauren Olamina inhabits is revealed to the reader through her diary entries. Her world is a United States on the brink of utter collapse…we meet Lauren in July of 2024, when she is fifteen and living in a fortified community just outside of Los Angeles. The paucity of resources such as jobs, food, water, and other civil services has resulted in near anarchy for those living outside of the neighborhood’s fences. 

    "The world Butler’s most compelling heroine inhabit…is delineated as a future, fictional world that our current, real world seems unequivocally committed to seeing come to actual fruition. Don’t believe me? Just listen closely to Robert and Michele.

  • "The National Native American AIDS Prevention Center has recorded a special It Gets Better video aimed at LGBTQ Native American Youth to communicate to them that there is life after bullying and that they are valuable beyond measure.
    "Particularly touching is the sentiment expressed by one young woman who says 'I know you don’t know me, but you are still my brother. You are still my sister. You are still my friend. […] You are not just okay. You are valuable.'”
  • "Immigration officials insist that the program is intended to identify and deport the most serious noncitizen criminals as well as those who threaten national security. But critics have argued that the program has resulted in the deportations of a disproportionate number of foreigners guilty only of low-level offenses, like traffic infractions, or immigration violations."

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  • Anonymous

    Roving Bands of Negro Youths…I feel a punk band coming on. 😀

  • Scullars

    Wow, I must have some prescience too; the Specter article hits on the very thing I’ve been thinking these past months. In reading about the myopic multimillionaires without a care of destroying the middle class, I’ve often wished to sit them down (esp. Mitt Romney, “Mr. Unemployed” himself) and force them to read the first chapter of Butler’s Parable of the Sower. They don’t seem to understand the threat to themselves when they increase the have-not class. I can imagine in a few years that its not going to be all so okey dokey for the upper 1% when they have to have numerous bodyguards just to make it to work or to escort their kids to school. It won’t be people coming from “those” neighborhoods  they’ll have to worry about; it’ll be their former neighbors, now in homeless brigades, who will provide the immediate threat.

    • Anonymous

      Hmmm…Butler released Parable of the Sower in 1994, 17 years before this global economic meltdown went down. That’s prescience. You thought of this “these past few months.” That’s not prescience, but just being on the same page as Octavia and Summer, the publisher at Specter magazine. Sorry… 😀