Rebellion and Social Dissent meets Glamor and Pagaentry with Miss World Canada

Miss World Canada is barred from entering the competition for Miss World this year in China. She was born in China and is an activist against China's terrible human right's record.

"She has used every platform available to her to raise public awareness of China’s harrowing human rights record — portraying victims of Chinese corruption and repression in award-winning films, describing in broadcast interviews and newspaper essays what China does to its dissenters, and even testifying on the subject before a congressional committee."

Read more of the story here: https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/editorials/2015/11/29/the-beauty-queen-that-china-determined-stifle/SOUUpLh9NAg3kSfTegtxzM/story.html

Education, Race, Teachers, Students & "The Hive Society"

This is a great feature in the Washington Post about a 5th grade teacher in Austin, TX, Emily E. Smith. Her acceptance speech for the Donald H. Graves Excellence in Teaching Writing is excerpted int eh feature. The passage that made my jaw drop, and is particularly relevant for me and my colleagues and many friends in education, was this:

Roughly 80 percent of teachers in the United States today are white. Yet the population of our students is a palette. That means America’s children of color will, for the majority of their school years, not have a teacher who is a reflection of their own image. Most of their school life they will be told what to do and how to do it by someone who is white, and most likely female. Except for a few themed weeks, America’s children of color will read books, watch videos, analyze documents and study historical figures who are also not in their image.
Full story:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/11/24/teacher-a-student-told-me-i-couldnt-understand-because-i-was-a-white-lady-heres-what-i-did-then/

Ms. Smith's Website:
http://hivesociety.weebly.com/ 

Hillary Clinton Speech at the Council on Foreign Relations 11/19/15

Hillary gave a speech outlining her policy on defeating Daesh and jihadism in the Middle East and its reach beyond. It's a comprehensive, clear but nuanced articulation of her solution to facing this crisis. The speech she gave was about a half hour long. If you have the time, I'd watch it.

http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4561555

For me, it was calming, in a way. There is so much nasty, jingoistic rhetoric from Republicans and just incomprehnsible unfocused from leading Democrats, that I needed this intelligent anchor from someone to help see the whole storm clearly. Frankly, for the first time in a while, I was feeling disappointed in the President. I'm a huge Obama supporter, but the reaction to Daesh and what is happening in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and France wasn't urgent enough for my expectations. Hillary's speech layed everything out and offered a solution. Not that what she proposes sounds easy, but that she had a purpose and vision, especially far more practical and plausible than "I would bomb the shit out of them," was a relief.

Anatomy of a Bookworm via BuzzFeed

I still haven't received my Hogwarts letter. Some day. Some day.

James Blake - The Wilhelm Scream (that song from the end of the Season 1 from HBO's "Togetherness")


I binge watched HBO's TV series "Togetherness" this past weekend. I cannot get that song from the season finale out of my head. It is so beautifully haunting. The lyrics are very spare but the music itself is very complex and so the song is very evocative and emotional. I recommend both the show, which is quirky and honest and fun and sad all at once, and James Blake.


Claudia Rankine's CITIZEN at Donald Trump's Springfield, IL Rally, As Seen on Rachel Maddow

Hey! WATCH THIS STORY!
Worlds collide: Reading poetry at a Donald Trump rally
Johari Osayi Idusuyi, who received internet acclaim when she was seen on camera reading Claudia Rankine's “Citizen: An American Lyric,” a book of poetry about race, at a Donald Trump rally, talks with Rachel Maddow about what happened in the seats behind the Republican front-runner. 
http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/worlds-collide--poetry-at-a-trump-rally-565905475573

And if my sister and my sister-in-law aren't already friends with this lady in the video (as they are residents of Springfield as well), they need to find her make friends!

Claudia Rankine's book is on my list of "To Read" -- you can get a copy at the Graywolf Press publishing website, or on Amazon.


Not Smart

I just want to mention that I went on a date once with a guy who, after I mentioned Emily Dickinson was a favorite poet of mine, replied, "Yeah, no. She was a smart girl," nod nod nod so very expertly, "she was."

We never had a second date. It was definitely because of that.