It’s the solstice! The wind is warm and we are stealing hydrangeas for summer mischief.
We are all wild and pagan today,
and these are our sonorous songs.
I. ‘Devil’s Dance Floor’ / Flogging Molly (Swagger, 2000)
II. ‘Because the Night’ / Patti Smith Group (Easter, 1978)
III. ‘When Doves Cry’ / Prince (Purple Rain, 1984)
IV. ‘tous les mêmes’ / Stromae (Racine Carrée, 2013)
V. ‘All I Wanted’ (Live at Asylum Chapel) / Daughter (Before the Storm, 2017)
What’s your favorite Lana album?
Mine is Ultraviolence!
Hello, internet friends!
So, here’s the kicker: I’m really not so great about writing yearly posts for various holidays YET this will be the third June I’ve managed to honor(???) Bloomsday with a blip on the blogosphere and I still haven’t finished the book – actually, I haven’t revisited it since 2016… Yes, well, em, I haven’t heard the banshee so I’d like to think I’ll have time to finish it by next year’s Bloomsday.
While I can’t yet gush about finishing Ulysses, or visiting Dublin, or any other Joycean joys I CAN & WILL congratulate another Irish writer, Deirdre Sullivan, on writing the 28th Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year: a feminist fairytale anthology, Tangleweed & Brine (and another huge congratulations to Welshwoman Karen Vaughan for the collection’s exquisite illustrations)!
I both loved and feared each tale in the collection, and absolutely, wholly, utterly recommend you find yourself a copy to read (support your local library!).
Speaking of libraries, the Enoch Pratt Free Library just nixed its late fees for overdue books! Just another reason for you to come around and visit Baltimore. And please do come by; this is really a wonderful city—it’s not just the doom and gloom you see on the news.
A particular gem of the City in the summer (apart from all the movie festivals) is Baltimore’s Pride celebration, the pinnacle of which, the parade, happened to be today…So we should all just be partying all weekend, honestly. (ALSO, let’s wish a happy first birthday to Lorde’s Melodrama today!)
I’d like to say the local LGBT+ community has a terrific presence in the city even after the rainbow beads and iridescence of the parade have been swept from Chuck St. Or, that’s my impression from attending book readings and talks and dance parties and ever-popular “Gay Movie Nights” with queer friends (HAVE YOU SEEN MOONLIGHT?!).
But I’d like to clarify that at these events I’m here to celebrate my friends: When I go to Pride celebrations and meet the SOs of some of my best friends, I’m at events that are not meant for me (a straight cisgender woman). It’s an honor and a privilege to have LGBT+ friends who feel they can confide in me, and I actively seek ways to help them feel safe and loved. This is devolving into a “wow, isn’t Carey great?” sort of thing, but what I’m so poorly trying to explain is that these wonderful people are so brave; to feel comfortable expressing yourself as you are, regardless of your sexuality, gender identity, or any other facet of your true self that doesn’t conform to the heteronormative narrative we’ve all been told is the only way to be—to have been told that you’re wrong by so many and oftentimes so violently, and to still celebrate yourself as you are is just — amazing.
Lots of love this Bloomsday!
Ed. 4 p.m. Tuesday – When I wrote this post over the weekend, the Nor’Easter that’s currently blanketing us in snow hadn’t made itself known yet. So this ‘spring’ thing is more wishful thinking than fact at the moment. Alas!
Finally, it’s Spring! (Maybe? Can it be warm soon??)
Here are some vernal songs while we wait for the sunlight & flowers & seasonal allergies to come back.
- ‘Bird Song Intro’ / Florence & the Machine (Lungs Deluxe Ed., 2009)
2. ‘Rabbit Heart’ / Florence & the Machine (Lungs, 2009)
3. ‘Funeral Bell’ / Phildel (The Disappearance of the Girl, 2013)
4. ‘Every Breaking Wave (acoustic)’ / U2 (Songs of Innocence, 2014)
5. ‘Rainbow’ / Oh Land (Oh Land, 2011)
Any songs from your Spring mix you wanna share?
p.s. – Here’s my Winter mix.
While many of us like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. with green apparel and booze, it’s also super important to acknowledge the origins of the celebration: immigrants! With the future of over 800,000 Dreamers in jeopardy under the current administration’s policies, it’s only right to draw attention to the holiday an article from TIME calls
[…] the closest thing in America to National Immigrant Day, a tribute not only to the Irish, but to the idea that Americans are all part “other.”
SO, if you weren’t aware, the general consensus of nativist Americans in the 19th century was that the Irish (the first ‘modern’ immigrants in the U.S., as expanded upon in this NY Times article from 2012) behaved like this:
The political cartoon above is by Thomas Nast, y’know, the dude who created the modern-day depiction of a fat, red-suit-wearing Santa Claus? Yeah, same guy.
Here’s a continuation on that thought from my FB, (edited slightly for clarity):
- The celebration was brought to the United States by Irish immigrants in the 19th century.
- These immigrants (and others from ‘undesirable’ areas of Europe, such as Scotland, Germany, and Italy) were largely unwelcome in ‘white collar’ work forces, such as medicine, politics, law, et al.
- Many of these immigrants didn’t speak English, and would learn only after arriving in the U.S.A., including the Irish. (The English language was forced upon them for 800 years but was by no means universal in Ireland then, nor is it today.)
- Not all of these immigrants came legally; even today, a low estimate of illegal U.S. residency by white Europeans and Canadians is 550,000 according to the most recent figures from the Pew Research Center.
This brings us to the present, when people with Irish (and German, and Italian, and Scottish, and … ) surnames are trying to prevent immigrants (today, largely from South America, Central America, Africa, and the Middle East) from enjoying all the benefits and opportunities their ancestors received once anti-immigrant sentiments shifted southerly. Such is the (stupid) pattern of history. But not all is lost (it never is).
If we as a society can willingly get behind this look for a day
surely, we can get behind these amazing people!
When even the Saints are ready for a change in Chief Executive.
…three years to go…
Thank you, Dolores O’Riordan, for your days as a kickass musician, Irishwoman, and feminist icon. You will be missed. Godspeed. ❤
‘Nobody shoot anybody!’
‘Names not numbers!’
‘You matter! You matter!’
I won’t lie—This was an exceptionally violent year in Baltimore. As of 29 December, 343 persons were killed in the city, and a police officer scheduled to testify against the BPD’s Gun Trace Task Force was shot and killed (allegedly with his own weapon) the day before he was scheduled to testify in court.
But, this was also a year in which the unemployment rate dropped from 11% to 5%.This was the year Erricka Bridgeford was named Marylander of the Year 2017 for her activism, specifically, the ‘Baltimore Ceasefire’ of 4-6 August. A judge ruled that Black Lives Matter was not an organization in the traditional sense, and therefore could not be sued.
This was a year of terrors, horrors, and tragedy; it was also a year of bravery, activism, and the tenacious belief that Baltimore is a good city, and will improve. In short, 2017 was a year of contradictions.
I write this to pay my respects to the persons killed this year. I write this to reiterate that I believe Baltimore is a good, is a loving, city.
I do not write this to inflame, I do not write this to misinform, I do not write this to sound woke for the sake of sounding woke. The facts and stats I provide are linked to legitimate sources. Baltimore IS a good city, and it’s a far better place than is often portrayed in media.
I write this to say: 2017 was an especially rough year for the city, but 2018 will be better. We will make it so.