arvan's picture


I found this beautiful reflection as I was pouring a bowl of cereal.  It's a great way to start this day. 

Moments from Everynone on Vimeo.

The image that struck me sharpest was the footprint on the sand, washed away.  Isn't that what we all are?  In our vanity and bluster we try to ignore that or pretend that it is not so, but is it not the very essence of life?  Is the temporary impact of what we are and who we are - not in fact, the very engine that makes this life of each of us the special thing that it is?

What strikes you about this film?

(h/t @nnepton)

arvan's picture

Mother of Many - short film about midwifery.

I was reading Bloody Show this morning.  It's a relatively new blog that touches on midwifery and "intersections of health and race, class, sex, gender, sexuality and disability."

This particular find is part of an online short film contest, which still has a day or so left for viewers to participate in.  Last week, I talked about the end of life and here's a nice piece on the beginning.

(h/t k.emvee at Bloody Show)

arvan's picture

What to do with a cadaver: our relationship to the dead.

Have you ever seen a dead human body?  Some day, we will all become one.

What will your body look like when you are dead?  How will it feel?

Real dead bodies are all around us.  Everyone we know dies.  Everyone.  That face we see in the mirror, the hand we hold in the movies, the coworker we beat or who beats us for a promotion, the person serving your coffee as you read this - we will all die.  Our bodies will lie still and the energy systems of chemical bonds, electricity, gravity, heat, motion and momentum will no longer constitute themselves together as a person bearing our name.  It will all dissipate into other forms which themselves will be no more or less noble until they too give way to forms that follow.

Hiding from dead bodies is basically a luxury item (and a delusional one, at that).

Whether or not someone actually sees a corpse depends largely upon the society that person lives in. 

In a society where people have no health care or hospitals, people die out in the open a lot more.  On the side of the road, in their home, waiting for a bus, in a store, out in the woods.  Poorer countries are often ravaged by war and brutality, which create corpses en masse.

All in a day's work.

In affluent societies, we take great efforts to keep dying and dead bodies in the hospitals, away from public exposure.  If someone dies out in public, an emergency vehicle comes immediately to remove the body.  Any mess is cleaned up right away, leaving no trace or indication that someone - a person came to that place and died.  In our anonymous societies it is very difficult to leave any trace that we ever existed at all and our death is no exception.

Any bystanders who witness a public death in such societies are encouraged to move along, forget that we saw anything and pretend as if it never happened.  But we do not forget death.

wheelchairdancer's picture

Becoming Disabled On the Job

In the months after I was hired at my first adult job -- the thing I had studied for, for over ten years -- my immediate supervisor informed me from behind his desk that they had hired a thoroughbr

wheelchairdancer's picture

Exorcising Ghosts

I originally wrote this for my blog Wheelchair Dancer.  I hope it speaks to you.  The second voice in this is that of my longtime partner, Wiz

arvan's picture

eurOut's videoblog about Dutch lesBian culture and life!

"Lesbians caught on video" is eurOut’s new vlog about Dutch lesbian life and culture.

The Netherlands were the first country to allow same-sex marriage but what is it like to be lesBian there today? Saskia, finalist of the Femme 2009 Award, will take you behind the borders of Holland and try to find all the answers to our questions.

In this first episode she went to a gay event called 'Roze Maandag' (Pink Monday) in Tilburg. She also interviewed the woman who "beat" her in the Femme 2009 Finale, the new face and representative of Dutch lesbian and bisexual emancipation; Giullitta.

Lesbians caught on video! Episode 1: Pink Monday from Saskia Joreen on Vimeo.


Annabelle River's picture

Bridezilla and Back from the Dead


I would like to apologize to all of my readers for my long and sudden absence. I had thought that I might need to take some time off for the whole business of getting married, but the intensity of the bridal-to-do list and an injury sneaked up on me quite suddenly, and left me without any backlog to post during this stressful summer.

But now that I am so close to being legally married and starting to get my life back (i.e. writing again), I would like to address the great archetype of Bridezilla. Because for the over-a-year that I've been engaged, people have loved to tell me Bridezilla stories, or ask me whether I've "yet" become Bridezilla. Bridezillas are on reality TV all day and all night, seven days a week. And yes, obviously, the ubiquitous TV brides sobbing and shrieking at their closest loved are easy to despise, which makes them great for reality-TV. But what the producers of those shows don't often admit is that most of these women have spent the last year of their lives listening to sexist, heterosexist stories about Bridezilla, repeating again and again that all women really want to be is a princess-bride, and all princess-brides are crazy. Self-fulfilled prophecy, anyone?

arvan's picture

Disability as a Positive Influence on Life

From Bad Cripple, an excellent example of how self-definition differs and succeeds where group definition fails.

Disability is bad. No one wants to be blind, deaf or paralyzed. Common sense dictates this normative belief. The limitations associated with a physical deficit are bad. Sure we can compensate, adapt, and we humans are very good at adapting, but no one wants to acquire a disability. Is this not why we humans dread old age? Disability, the lack of ability, is associated with old age. Old people are slow, feeble, and too many experience dementia. Wheelchairs? A fate worse than death. I would rather be dead than paralyzed. Blind? Oh no, I could never see a sunset and movies would be pointless. Deaf? I would be unable to connect and communicate with others. What does disability on the broadest of the term create in the minds of others? Negative connotations, limits, the need to "overcome", and for some dread. In extreme cases people even commit suicide rather than learn how to live life with a disability. Think Daniel James and his "loving" parents.

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