Ed Fields

Ed Fields, J.B. Stoner’s BFF, is still alive.

Can you imagine the balls of the FBI saying it’s going to take another look at the Mattie Greene case, discovering that they destroyed the file on it–not decades ago, but merely years–,having to borrow a copy from the SPLC, and then closing the case because there’s no one left to talk to, when motherfucking Ed Fields lives just down the road?

I’m going to write to him. He’s not going to respond, I don’t think. But he’s alive, so I have to try.

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This is Why People Vote for Trump

I think that the hardest ways of thinking to change are the most basic. Like, if it gets in there early that your body sucks, you can be a forty-four year old woman trying to live a happy life whose brain still shouts “you’re so ugly” in moments of anxiety.

And I think there’s a very fundamental belief we all have that some people need to be appeased and other people’s jobs are to appease.

I think this belief is at the core of racism and sexism. It’s not the only thing going on with racism and sexism, of course. Both brambles have grown large and tangled and prickly in their own ways. And I’m not sure, at this point, that removing this taproot would kill either plant. But it’s there, in the dirt, nourishing the hatred.

I do whatever I want, but black people need to be perfect or they deserve what they get.

I do what I want, and I’m fucking pissed that the world hasn’t handed me a beautiful woman whose only goal is to please me and increase my status among my male peers.

The most insidious part of it, to me, is how often I fall into the role of appeaser. How logical and rational it seems that, if only I would devote myself to doing what some person wanted, then he or she would not hurt me or stop hurting me.

The other day, someone on Twitter said that my joking about Kid Rock’s publicist was going to cause people to continue to vote for Trump. As if me having a laugh and a moment of happiness was the cause of people making a continued choice to hurt me and people like me.

As if I was failing in some way to be a good person because I was not constantly monitoring myself to make sure that I wasn’t provoking anyone, but only appeasing.

There’s a difference between kindness and manners and making sure people are comfortable AND appeasing. One is about exerting yourself as a person with power on equal standing with a peer you want to make or maintain good relationships with. The other is about some kind of expectation of grovelling.

It’s a fucked up thing that, in a country of supposedly free and equal citizens, we have this unspoken assumption of some people’s duty to appease others.

Three Colors and the Truth

You guys. YOU GUYS. I dyed this yarn last night with a technique I saw on the Chemknits YouTube channel as a part of her Hanukkah series. She used acid dyes and I used food coloring, and I didn’t know what I was doing exactly, and she did some practice runs. So, they didn’t turn out exactly the same, but holy shit. This is three colors–red, blue, and yellow.

I know, yes, I KNOW, this is how color works. But it still feels like magic.

Oh, but wait, you say are those all the colors? No. I also got these:

I’m so bummed I’m out of bare yarn because I want to do a million of these.

Walking

My nephew can walk! He makes all these hilarious monster noises while he’s doing it–grunts and growls and squeaks. But he can do it. He’s not great at sharp turns, but he can turn over large distances. And I love how he holds his little hands up like a hula-hooper.

Who knew? Maybe that is the best position for balance? I should try it when I’m just walking around, see if it helps. Fists in front of your chest, elbows out and a little lower than your shoulders.

Speaking of shoulders, I am trying to spin up the rest of that green for my wrap and I do think I’m going to have shoulders like a motherfucker by the end of this. Like, apparently, there’s some muscle that runs from your shoulderblade to your shoulder? I can feel it! For the first time in my adult life, that muscle is kind of sore.

Wet Wool

Shoot, y’all, I’ve also been up to a lot in the crafting department.

I washed my two afghans. There was no bleeding! Or at least, no bleeding onto other colors in the afghans. I wasn’t in the washing machine to see what was happening.

I’ve got five of thirteen octagons done. Here’s one of them.

I tried to dye some yarn with colored sugar. It didn’t go that well, but I salvaged it with some food coloring overdying.

And I’m working on spinning up my roving so I can make my wrap. And holy shit, is standing easier! It just takes so much less time. I drafted all this roving first and then just spun it as is. I’m no good at drafting while spinning yet, but that’s the next skill I want to accomplish. But I’m trying to hold off on doing so, because I need this yarn to be pretty uniform and, if I level up in the middle of it, it will be really noticeable in the final project.

I was pretty worried that I’d managed to fuck up this roving by trying to add “spots of yellow” which then appeared to turn the whole thing green and I was feeling pretty bummed about how weird a wrap would look with one purple stripe, one blue stripe, and then a whole field of green, but spinning it up, you can see a tone of blue and some bits of purple, so I think it will all look like it makes sense together.

Theft, Three

On Friday I went over to the dedication of the new slave market historical marker dedication. What is there to say about it, really? Here is the first and most fundamental theft perpetrated against black people on American soil. We steal you. We steal your children. We steal your parents and all your loved ones.

And now the improvement is just that we steal your money and your culture.


Theft, Some More

These have nothing to do with the post. I just wanted to show them off.

Yesterday, I was able to hear the first part of Adia Victoria’s panel on the blues. It was her, Joshua Asanti, Ann Powers, Caroline Randall-Williams, Langston Wilkins, and Jamey Hatley all talking about the power of music and specifically the blues and what it means to have this art form made by black people now being pretty exclusively the domain of white people.

Randall-Williams said a lot of smart stuff, but I felt a little indicted by her comments about how much well-meaning white people like to preserve and curate and protect artifacts. She didn’t, I don’t think, mean it as an indictment, just an observation. But it felt true in a way that embarrassed me.

Mostly, I loved sitting in a room listening to people be so smart about art. And I spent my evening just listening to music and thinking about the things they said.

A thing I worry about, as a white person, though, is can we stop stealing? Can we envision a world, specifically a culture, in which we don’t plunder from others? Where we’re not raised to see that theft as the natural order?

What would it look like to be good people in meaningful ways?

I don’t know.

Theft

Last night I went to hear Ansley Erickson talk about her book about schooling in Nashville. I was really struck by her willingness to call what happened/happens to black people in Nashville (and throughout the South) as theft and plunder (and her insistence on crediting Ta-Nehisi Coates).

And it made me think about the way “taxpayer” has been racialized. In our culture, when you hear “taxpayer,” you can rest assured the speaker envisions white people. So, if you are a black woman in public housing, you’re a welfare queen, living off the taxpayer. As if you’re also not a taxpayer.

But it also got me thinking of just how very much of our culture is white people trying to make sure no black people treat them the way they’ve treated black people.

Copper Two

Okay, whew, this was about a hundred times easier the second go-through. And those swirls, man. I just love them. I’m also patting myself on the back because I’m really pleased with the dye job. Each of the four different yarns in this piece fits together so nicely that I think it’s really tough to tell where one color ends and the others begin. Which is just what I wanted, since, obviously, things don’t verdigris in a uniform way.

The crows were out again this morning. A small contingency circled out and flew over us and it made me wonder if the dog and I are the subject of a crow lesson or a crow story. Like, let’s go look at these two blobs. You have nothing to worry about from them.

The Copper Blanket

I wanted to make a blanket that looked like old pennies or at least reminded me of old pennies.

Here’s my first motif.


Look at those beautiful swirls! And how the variegation in the yarn does look like how copper discolors. And it’s so squishy and fun to touch.

I also ended up one stitch short on each side and I can’t figure out how. I’ve mostly convinced myself that the pattern is wrong. Round 13 calls for a pattern of five clusters, a front post triple crochet, and then two clusters. Seven clusters all together, times 8 sides is 56 clusters. Round 14 calls for four clusters, a front post double crochet, an increase (so two clusters), and then three clusters. But this can’t be right, because that assumes a base of eight clusters (seven plus room for my increase), but I only have seven.

Okay, I’m glad we talked this through. I’m right. The pattern is wrong. Hopefully it won’t throw too much off. The octagons will all be the same size. I’ll just have to see if I need to fudge the other shapes. I might be able to hide a one stitch difference in the seam.

Yesterday

I wrote up a long post about Chattanooga bombings, but it’s not here now. I wonder how I fucked that up.

Long story short, the victim and the suspected bombers’ mother are very similarly named. Mattie Greene for the victim. Martha Greene for the mother.

Right now, it only has 3500 people in it.

How many Greene families can there honestly be in a town that size?

But the FBI investigation, such as we know of it, since they, yet again, destroyed files, focused a lot on whether the black Greenes had done something to provoke this.

There didn’t seem to be any look at whether the black Greenes meant something to the sons of a white Greene.

There’s also a Luther Greene–the alleged bombers’ uncle–and a Charles Luther Greene–the victim’s brother-in-law.

All of this could just be a coincidence and could mean nothing, but I wish someone would dig into it.