why the fuck is that George Carlin piece on euphemism the bible to *enlightened* white guys
"Women have always been healers. They were the unlicensed doctors and anatomists of Western history. They were abortionists, nurses, and counselors. They were pharmacists, cultivating healing herbs and exchanging secrets of their uses. They were midwives, travelling from home to home and village to village. For centuries women were doctors without degrees, barred from books and lectures, learning from each other, and passing on experience from neighbor to neighbor and mother to daughter. They were called “wise women” by the people, witches or charlatans by the authorities. Medicine is part of our heritage as women, our history, our birthright."
- Witches Midwives and Nurses: A History of Women Healers -
Barbara Ehrenreich & Deirdre English (via mudras
two jobs, an IM sport, 5 classes, and a radio show? what could possibly go wrong this year
"Photographers and viewers of photography tend to support “sensitive” and “tasteful” documentary style work, a fact that reveals, among other things, our guilt and discomfort looking at truly difficult work.
The guilt isn’t entirely unwarranted, both because of the facts of poverty and marginalization in America and because of the history of how cameras have been used. The colonialist history of white men travelling to colonies “owned” by their countries and photographing the “natives” was, and is, troubling in part because of the power imbalance between subject and photographer—a dynamic sometimes made obvious by the lack of clothing on the subjects. The work was sometimes used by colonialists and Christians to show the “potential” of the natives, to be civilized, colonized, Christianized. These extreme historical cases are helpful because they clarify a dynamic that to a limited extent, still exists.
Today, the tradition of photographers making somber, dignified portraits of poor people—the clichéd yet steadfastly popular kind where we are meant to interpret the dignity of these kind but struggling folks through their bright, crisp eyes—needs a reconsideration. Not only is this type of work uninteresting; it is actually offensive. Its aesthetic agenda is to pronounce, in a heavy-handed way, a judgment of goodness on its subject (i.e. “look into the eyes of this kind man; do not judge, for he is poor but good; he is your equal”). Traditionally, this has been a safe, widely condoned documentary strategy, but it is ultimately uninteresting—and unfaithful to the complexity of reality—to wrap people up into such a neat package of comprehensibility. Furthermore, this strategy is founded on two faulty premises—that the photographer knows his/her subject well enough to claim his/her dignity, and that the photographer has the ethical authority/superiority to make a judgment of goodness. If there is any kind of photography that recalls the colonialist-Christian mission, it is this.
To photograph people in a less controlled and controlling way is not only more interesting, it’s more faithful to reality and more appropriate given the complexity and unpredictability of people. Perhaps the most offensive thing a photographer can do is to make a simplistic image of another person, an image that is easily interpreted, therefore denying the subject any complexity. It is a sign of progress and of a largely-reconstructed culture that we are so sensitive to behavior that in any way reminds us of our ugly past (with regard to our treatment of minorities and the poor). But another sign of progress would be a culture that allows for the possibility of ambiguity, difficulty and contradiction in its documentary work."