If you want to help secure the rights of women all over the world go here.
If you want to help people from north korea go here.
If you want to help stop child labor go here.
If you want to help people escape from their current situation go here.
If you want to help refugees reunite with their families go here.
If you want to permanently help the people who are still living in inhumane conditions all over the globe, that grow up experiencing war, violence and discrimination, be political! Go vote, write articles, educate every single person you meet, never shut your mouth, make people aware of the fact that we are still far away from global equality, freedom and peace.
Please do not remove this caption, if you repost, link back to this post.
This is important.
Happy 90th Birthday Jimmy Carter!
James Earl Carter, Jr., thirty-ninth president of the United States, was born October 1, 1924, in the small farming town of Plains, Georgia. His father, James Earl Carter, Sr., was a farmer and businessman; his mother, Lillian Gordy Carter, a registered nurse.
Jimmy was educated in the public school of Plains, attended Georgia Southwestern College and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and received a B.S. degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1946.
In the Navy, Jimmy became a submariner, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets and rising to the rank of lieutenant. Jimmy was chosen for the nuclear submarine program and took graduate work in reactor technology and nuclear physics. He served as a senior officer of the Seawolf, the second nuclear submarine.
Jimmy Carter served as president from January 20, 1977 to January 20, 1981. Significant foreign policy accomplishments of his administration included the Panama Canal treaties, the Camp David Accords, the treaty of peace between Egypt and Israel, the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union, and the establishment of U.S. diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. He championed human rights throughout the world.
On December 10, 2002, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2002 to Mr. Carter “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter volunteer one week a year for Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that helps needy people in the United States and in other countries renovate and build homes for themselves. He teaches Sunday school and is a deacon in the Maranatha Baptist Church of Plains. The Carters have three sons, one daughter, nine grandsons, three granddaughters, four great-grandsons and five great-granddaughters.
Jimmy at the age of one month with mother, Lillian Carter. November, 1924.
Jimmy in his Annapolis Naval Academy uniform. 1943.
Jimmy Carter, campaigning for the presidency. 1974.
The Carters walk to the White House from the Capitol building. Inauguration Day, 1/20/77.
Anwar Sadat, Jimmy Carter, and Menahem Begin at the signing of the Treaty of Peace Between Egypt and Israel. 3/29/79.
Jimmy Carter receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. 12/10/02.
Happy Birthday Jimmy Carter! The former president spoke to NPR in March about his recent book, A Call To Action.
Garth Marenghi - Slasher
october means it’s time for horror
and NO ONE writes chillers like garth marenghi
Collector’s Edition: The Lost Essays
Upstairs Gallery | Chicago, IL | 8/8/14
For his final Collector’s Edition piece at Upstairs Gallery, Rick talks about his favorite song of all time.
Alright, this is the last piece I’ll be presenting up here, so I just want to take a second to tell you about my favorite song, my very favorite song. It’s not How Deep Is Your Love by The Bee Gees, it’s not Coyote by Joni Mitchell, it’s not God Only Knows by the Beach Boys. My favorite song of all time is by Janet Jackson and it’s called Together Again.
Together Again was the big #1 hit from The Velvet Rope, the only Top 10 hit off this amazing album, my favorite album of all time, and when I was 14 years old I didn’t understand why that was. I had only just began to pull myself away from all the rap rock and nu metal I listened to in middle school, and Janet Jackson songs like “Go Deep” and “I Get Lonely” had a particular draw. These songs were sexy and moody and stylish and edgy, qualities of pop music that were totally new to me at the time. But when I heard “Together Again,” I didn’t get it. It felt flat to me. I kept thinking it sounded like a Disney song - the beat was so pleasant, Janet Jackson sounds happy the entire time, and like many 14-year-old boys who attend karate tournaments in malls, I just didn’t trust pop songs like that. I always assumed the smile was put on. At age 14, I didn’t think songs like that couldn’t truly be about anything.
But I was wrong. The liner notes to The Velvet Rope reveal that Together Again was written and dedicated to the friends that Janet lost to AIDS-related complications. But the song doesn’t mention AIDS at all. She names her friends in the liner notes, but not in the lyrics. Janet’s just smiling and singing and dancing like she always has. So what’s this song even about?
First we have to step back a bit and get some context. We’re all aware of HIV/AIDS, and pop culture has taken a strong voice promoting this awareness - we’ve all seen the charities, the billboards, the celebrity ad campaigns. We’ve all seen Rent.
Despite this, HIV/AIDS is virtually invisible in popular music. There have been several charity singles released to benefit AIDS foundations, but none of them were actually about the disease or the people living with it. In fact, most of these singles were new recordings of songs written before anyone knew what HIV/AIDS was.
Songwriters have written about AIDS, sure - Lou Reed, Elton John, Cyndi Lauper, Pet Shop Boys all have album tracks about AIDS. But these are album tracks, these songs weren’t released as singles for a popular audience. What’s more, these songs are miserable. They aren’t about coping with AIDS, they’re about coping with someone who’s dying from AIDS. Here are the opening lyrics to “The Last Song” by Elton John:
Yesterday you came to lift me up
As light as straw and brittle as a bird
Today I weigh less than a shadow on the wall
Just one more whisper of a voice unheard
So just think about this for a second: at the height of the AIDS crisis there weren’t any popular songs that were actually about AIDS. Soft Cell’s version of “Tainted Love” got some extra airplay because people interpreted it to be about disease, and that’s as close as it got. There may have been songs about AIDS, but there weren’t songs for people living with it.
Exactly two songs have ever entered the American Billboard top 10 that have anything to do with AIDS - “Together Again” by Janet Jackson and “Waterfalls” by TLC. These are the only charting singles whose content makes any kind of reference to AIDS, and it’s worth noting that they’re both performed by black women, the demographic with the highest HIV infection rate.
I know that statistic because I like to read about HIV. I know this because I like to talk to doctors about sexual health, I get tested regularly and I think of new questions to ask every time I go in. I like feeling informed, and for a guy just sharing articles on Facebook I do pretty well. I actually enjoy learning about HIV/AIDS, and there’s a lot to keep up with. Treatment and preventative measures have advanced rapidly over the past several years, and these days it feels like there’s more good news every other week. Medicine has advanced. But medicine can’t fight the true evil of HIV/AIDS: This is a disease that preys on love and trust, and is spread by uncertainty.
I learned that a friend tested positive for HIV, and I was fine with that. I knew we had been safe together. I could look back at my behavior, I could compare what I did to know, and I felt fine. I went to a clinic that same day, I smiled when I told the receptionist that I’d like to get tested for HIV. I took my clipboard and I sat down, and I felt very calm, but I felt it, right here, it was a lump in my back of my head, and I tried to ignore it, but I knew it was fear. Not of the disease: I wasn’t scared of having to work a little harder to maintain my health. I was scared of the assumptions that would be made, I was scared of having three dates at a time, I was scared of people apologizing to me for nothing for the rest of my life.
My name was called, I took the test, and as we waited for the results, the doctor asked me: If you were to test positive today, do you have friends to talk to? Do you have support?
That question has always stuck with me. But I’m here to tell you about my favorite song. (radio edit version)
Together Again is a disco song. It’s important to consider this: Disco is a genre built by radical queers and ethnic minorities. Disco was created as proof that, when cornered by a public that thinks people like you are dangerous, that think you’re sick, you can still create the most joyous dance floor in town. Disco music uses joy as an act of rebellion. The sad irony of the AIDS epidemic is that it was declared in 1981, just a few years after disco “died,” and could you imagine how different things could have been if those afflicted had disco music to listen to?
There may have been songs about AIDS, but Together Again is a song for people with AIDS and for the people they love. I can’t tell you if Janet intentionally chose disco as the backdrop for this song, but she nails the attitude with deceptive ease. On The Velvet Rope, before this song comes on, there’s a brief interlude where Janet delivers this line:
You don’t have to hold on to the pain to hold on to the memory.
When I was 14 I didn’t think this song was about anything, and god, I was so wrong. Janet lost her friends Dominic, George, Derek, Bobby, Dominic, Victor and Jose to one of the greatest evils on this earth, so she wrote a disco song for them. Janet faces a fear that, for me, for anyone who has gotten that long text message, for every songwriter before her who has tried to write about this, has been impossible to truly overcome. She faces this fear and crowds it out completely with a disco beat that refuses to slow down, with unrelenting positivity. You don’t have to hold on to the pain to hold on to the memory. This is one of the absolute most difficult things to do in life, and Janet demonstrates it, for five minutes and one second, without ever breaking her smile, without a single mournful aside. That’s incredible. Let me be clear, that’s incredible. That’s a super power.
To answer the doctor’s question, I have a lot of fantastic friends that I could talk to if I needed support. A lot of them are here tonight. But this is a kind of wisdom and outlook that you can only acquire with your own strength, and this song is about equipping people to do that.
That’s why Together Again by Janet Jackson is my favorite song, thanks.
Hey ya’ll, here’s a piece I presented about my very favorite song of all time and HIV/AIDS. I’m very proud of this, please check it out. Share it, even!
One of my best friends, Rick, did this piece a month or so ago and although I’ve heard him blather lovingly about this subject multiple times, I never get tired of it. I love how genuine the purpose of lyrics are, how real, positive and loving Janet is in this song, and also how much it means to Rick, too. If you get a chance, watch or read this piece and listen to the song!
c’mon everyone, it’s RICK.
Art by Francesco Francavilla
~~ Listen to them: the children of the night. What sweet music they make. ~~
Halloween is coming so expect more of this stuff popping up on here daily ;)