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The world was not ready:

The Coup’s frontman and occasional Tom Morello collaborator Boots Riley is known for being something of a political firebrand, but, as Cleveland Scene points out, a local Fox affiliate seems to have been blissfully unaware of that fact. The Oakland outfit was set to appear at LKWD Festival in the city on Saturday and festival organizer Kelly Flamos brought him along for an interview during one of the station’s daytime shows. Things did not go quite as Fox planned.

When asked to describe the Coup, Riley outlined his long-running musical project as “a punk-funk Communist revolution band,” which drew a puzzled response from the reporter on hand. That alone might have been enough to upset the Fox honchos, but he continued saying that his goals are to “make everyone dance while we’re telling them about how we need to get rid of the system” and that “exploitation is the primary contradiction in capitalism.”

On empathy:

When asked what I am working on, I often say I am writing a book about empathy. People tend to smile and nod, and then I add, “I’m against it.” This usually gets an uncomfortable laugh.

This reaction surprised me at first, but I’ve come to realize that taking a position against empathy is like announcing that you hate kittens—a statement so outlandish it can only be a joke. And so I’ve learned to clarify, to explain that I am not against morality, compassion, kindness, love, being a good neighbor, doing the right thing, and making the world a better place. My claim is actually the opposite: if you want to be good and do good, empathy is a poor guide.

Simone Biles:

or just send it to me

Women with chainsaws:

I’ve been working as a lady arborist for more than two seasons. I am one of two women on a team of six who work for a private tree service in Santa Fe. I know how to set a rope line in a tree to direct each limb as they fall to the earth one by one. I own and regularly study a book about tying knots. At my best friend’s wedding, I was the bridesmaid with nicks and cuts along my arms in every photo. My co-worker, Katherine Hancock, is a former weightlifting competitor who can toss logs like toothpicks. She’s also one of the only other female arborist I know in Santa Fe.

I do not want to talk about the Burger King / Tim Hortons merger at the current time. We may now talk about Doctor Who freely, however. You may have any feelings you wish, but those who speak against Peter Capaldi himself, as opposed to righteously supporting other hypothetical Doctors, will be met with a series of expletives from The Thick Of It.

I was so amused and woo-woo’d, in the Open Thread on Friday, to see some commenters addressing the notion of niceness v kindness, because this is something I have been working on for the last week or two with my teacher. I am, of course, very nice, but have become concerned that my niceness is consistently removed from (or at least indifferent to) kindness, and that this might be something to explore via kindness practice. And my teacher was all SOUNDS INTERESTING, I’LL DO THAT TOO.

What’s been fascinating for us, oddly, is that since my teacher is definitely less nice than I am (she is a radiant goddess of truth and power and wisdom, but she is no milksop, she is a GALADRIEL), her experience of kindness practice has been a sea of new, charming, warm interactions with the world and the people in it, rich in goodfeelz, and my experience has been…quite different? I am finding that my relationships with my closest people have been warmer, but my relationships with [waves at world] have been…meaner. By which I mean that some of my rejections have been a little more aggressive, or not aggressive, but more informative? Like instead of a very nice, anodyne response, I have sent a couple of “this is what is profoundly wrong with your submission” emails which are KINDER, ultimately, but not…nice. So it’s interesting, anyway, and I think of great value, ultimately, but just in a way that’s different from what I expected it to be. Which is 99% of things like this, really. Perhaps next time we can talk about attempting to deal with people’s True Selves instead of their…behaviors and opinions and beliefs….which is a FUCKING MINDFUCK.

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