I’ve been reading about—researching—the Historical Archives of the National Police in Guatemala for months now.
And sometimes I read something that makes me feel like I still can’t breath just reading about it, looking at stark words on pages (I can’t touch or feel or smell the reality, I haven’t even physically stood in the archive, only gaining information from sterile digital environments of the digitized documents) and I still feel like I can’t breath because of the pain the blood the injustice of it all.
Of the military still denying they have archives, of people dismissing why history, why archives matter (and in some ways they’re so small, they’re only records not lives but how can we be cavalier about this, because for so many lives these records are the only thing that remains that can prove “yes there was a life, there was a person with hopes and dreams and sorrows and loves, and they were murdered by the government, by the police, but instituted state violence” and in that way these archives these records are everything)
I can’t breath, I’m physically shaking.
(The one lesson history has taught me over and over is don’t hate, never hate, because hatred leads to dehumanizing and that leads to violence hate is the seed of all the world’s evils
But that path. Is so difficult. We’re all human. But it’s so hard).
birthday: October 6
single or taken:Single, in grad school, and deeply untrusting *sigh* which is why this probably won’t change in a timly manner
eye color: Hazel and ever inclined to change (Mostly Grey, some blue and green days)
middle name: Marie
favorite color: Red
lucky number: 7. I also like 3 and 21
hogwarts house [x]: Slytherin (According to that test Ravenclaw and Slytherin least. But it seems to have a very narrow view of Slytherin)
favorite fictional character: Like I could chose in a timely manner?! Currently: Neville Longbottom. Variously: Tony Stark, Leonard McCoy, Boromir
favorite television show: Star Trek (Kings, Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
favorite season: Autumn
describe yourself in a few words: Stubborn, untrusting, dry-humor, loyal
future children’s names: Never thought of it. Never having any.
meaning of your name: Pearl, I think?
ultimate otp: … Uh? I ship everything and anything? No wait. SPOCK/MCCOY my forever ship my before ship my I cannot ship them with anyone else ship.
what do you plan to/do for a living: Be an archivist at this point, but rather I’d like to be a professor and study/teach Cold War Latin American history
starbucks order: Chai tea latte. There were briefly butterbeer lattes I also really enjoyed. First time I liked coffee…
THIS OR THAT:
introvert or extrovert: Introvert
dawn or dusk: Dawn, especially when I have a room that faces the sunrise and I can wake up enough to see it, and go back to sleep.
righty or lefty: Righty
coffee or tea: Tea
rain or shine: I prefer overcast skies with ravens circling overhead, but I like listening to the rain and walking in the sunshine.
reading or writing: I love reading and it’s wrapped up in writing and I don’t believe you can have one without the other but on the other hand I cannot survive without writing and I go crazy if I’m not writing and it’s me, I can’t not write. So Writing.
ghosts and clouds and nameless things.
squint your eyes and hope real hard,
maybe sprout wings [x]
Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer (Father of the atomic bomb)
Truly the face of a haunted man.
Happy Birthday, J. Robert Oppenheimer. You completely, totally changed the world… for better or worse.
Book Ron was an interesting, attractive and relatable character, and I feel that the movies really unfairly relegated him to the position of comic relief. The dynamics of the trio had to be simplified into hero + heroine + mascot, and that robbed us of a truly fascinating character. So here are a few things you should remember:
1. He really is poor and it matters. HP may have huge issues when it comes to representations of race and sexuality, but deserves a round of applause for having a character come from a low-income background, with the fact of their poverty not glossed over but made into a plot point. JKR is really consistent about this – about the things Ron eats and wears and buys and doesn’t buy, the way he reacts when Harry unwittingly flaunts his own wealth. Poorer kids who have to go without brand name clothes will see themselves in Ron, and richer kids will learn that poverty isn’t something you deserve. Kids who empathize with Ron because he can’t afford to replace a broken wand are less likely to grow up to be assholes who complain about the extravagant lifestyle of people on welfare.
2. He has knowledge about the world. Out of the trio, he is the only real insider in wizarding society. Hermione is the one who knows magical theory and basically everything that can be found in a library. But when it comes to wizarding society and all of its habits, rules and unspoken assumptions, he is the one who can fill the other two in. Throughout the course of the septology, he does almost as much exposition as Hermione.
3. He is actually quite intelligent. Despite what the movies would have you believe, he is not dumb. He is mediocre in most of his schoolwork, and lacks Hermione’s booksmarts, but he is an excellent chess player, meaning he possesses good strategic abilities. He is the one who keeps a calm head while throttled by Devil’s Snare, and he talks Hermione through saving both their lives. He has decent observational skills, after all he was to one to spot inconsistencies in Hermione’s third-year time table. Seeing his common sense and social insight as less valuable than Hermione’s academic knowledge betrays an inherently flawed definition of intelligence. (Especially since academic knowledge tends to be gendered as male, and social knowledge as female, think of Poirot and Miss Marple.)
4. He is loyal. He is the embodiment of loyalty. The movies erase some of the most poignant moments proving this, and hand some of them over to Hermione. But it is Ron who stands in front of Harry, daring Sirius Black to kill them both, despite his broken leg. It is Ron who repeatedly defies Malfoy and even Snape to protect Hermione from verbal abuse. When his mother believes tabloid lies about Hermione, he takes Hermione’s side. When his brother tells him to stop being friends with Harry because of the political risk, he is so furious at the suggestion that he tears up the letter. He is unthinkingly loyal to his friends, this is why it is such a big deal that he leaves in the seventh book – because it contradicts who he really is.
5. He is genuinely funny. In the movies we are more likely to laugh at Ron than laugh with him, and the jokes he makes tend to be somewhat juvenile. But in the books his sense of humour evolves with him and with the reader, leading to this dry, snarky, irreverent tone that is genuinely very enjoyable. Ron is fun to read, and he sounds like someone who would be lots of fun to be around. He jokes a lot, but it is rarely spiteful, and often meant to comfort or distract someone – a proof of emotional intelligence.
6. He is kind. I don’t really how to put this, other than the fact that if Ron was a girl, he would be immediately defined as a caretaker. He stays in Hogwarts over Christmas so that Harry doesn’t have to be alone. He often acts oblivious and selfish on the surface, but ultimately he really obviously pays attention to the wellbeing of his friends. From his words and actions and body-language we can piece together the sort of person who can make life suck less just by showing up, who is always there for his friends even if he cannot do anything specific to help.
7. He has a huge inferiority complex. The movies hardly touch on it but in the books it is his main character arc. He feels inferior to his brothers’ achievements, to Harry’s chosen status, to Hermione’s intelligence. It is explicitly stated in book four that he doesn’t understand how can someone not want to be chosen. The books are far more clear in implying that he gets together with Lavander because he’s insecure about romance. The Horcrux doesn’t get to him through his love for Hermione like it does in the movie, it gets to him through the nagging suspicion that he has never been good enough for anything or anyone ever, including Hermione. And the movie laughed off the scene after the destruction of the Horcrux, when Harry finally gets how much Ron suffered of this fear of being second best and Ron gets that Harry never chose to be chosen. But fear of being inadequate is the primary driving force of Ron throughout the septology, and the movie fails to see value in Ron just as Ron fails to see value in himself: his caring, his loyalty, his wealth of non-academic knowledge and his awesome sense of humour are not tangible achievements, and they are not something somebody notices about themselves.
Movie Ron is the person book Ron is afraid of being in his lowest moments, an incompetent oaf who makes rude jokes and chews with his mouth open, somebody their friends only keep around out of pity and habit, somebody Hermione would have to settle for out of a lack of better options. But book Ron, for all his flaws, is a loyal, funny and warm person with many valuable practical skills. Also: I can imagine Hermione regularly thanking her lucky stars for ending up with someone as amazing as him.
Exploring Iceland with the Abandoned Houses Project
Dwarfed by the powerful landscapes, the abandoned farm houses of Iceland are easy to overlook among the mountains and fjords. Eyðibýli — a project to document these abandoned homes — was started in 2011 to help save these ruins from obscurity.
The nonprofit’s mission is to ”to research and register the magnitude and cultural importance of every abandoned farm and other deserted residences in the rural areas of Iceland.” They started in the south of the county and most recently covered the northwest in a journey to photograph these abandoned houses and interview locals about the areas’ heritage.
The results of this research are published in a series of publications called Eyðibýli á Íslandi. The fourth and fifth books in the series, which are rich with haunting photographs of the homes in the sweeping settings, were published in 2013. The main organizations behind Eyðibýli are R3-Consultancy, Gláma-Kím architects, and the Stapi Geology Consultancy, with collaborators including engineering, architecture, and archaeology students at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts, the University of Iceland, and Institute of Archaeology, as well as the Cultural Heritage Agency of Iceland and the National Archives of Iceland.