The 326th Five Star Mixtape Is Brought to You By Richard Wright

This week's Five Star Mixtape is brought to you by the continued stigmatization of intellectual disabilities, an inner conflict triggered by intended kindness, repetition compulsion, the bittersweet experience of birth and death, one of the weirdest lies we tell children, the fact that some things don't change, and Richard Wright:

by Gordon Parks (1912-2006) [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

by Gordon Parks (1912-2006) [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all.

— Richard Wright —

"Dear Pixar: Inside Out and Papercut Deaths" by Jisun at Kimchi Latkes:

Pixar, for that one moment, you helped make that stigma and discrimination happen. When words moron and idiot are thrown around like nothing, kids learn that it is ok to insult someone’s intelligence. Young kids learn that a good way to make someone mad is to call them stupid and pretend to look like someone with an intellectual disability, because of course it is awful to be that.

"Unknown Issues" by Kerri Ames at (Un)Diagnosed and Still Okay:

Last December when she was hospitalized and almost died I didn’t call for the Chaplin, I didn’t ask her to be blessed. I was not deliberately not calling on God but He had ceased to be of comfort to me. As I held Bridget down for the IV and she screamed mommy hurt then rested in MY arms afterwards I was amazed at her capacity for love.

A God of love should not allow any of that to have happened.

"It Is Not You, It Is Me" by Jasmine Banks at Just Jasmine:

He told me it was my fault and my child mind took that moment, and every other moment since, and filed it into the “It Is You” category of my psyche.  Don’t misunderstand. This is not an essay explaining the early makings of a narcissist. Nay, this is an account of a Virgo who was primed to take a hell of a lot more responsibility for the suffering and actions of those around her.

"The Day After the Longest Day of the Year" by Amanda Palmer at Amanda Palmer Is Creating Art:

the day went by slowly yesterday....we took turns sitting at his side, making him comfortable, massaging his head and feet, telling him that we were all here, that it was okay to leave. his breathing was hard to listen to, increasingly pained and underwater. we know, as mammals, when death is at the doorstep. knock knock. who's there.

it was the day after the solstice, the day after the longest day in the year.

"It's Important to Wear Underwear When You're Stealing Teeth" by Molly at Mollytopia:

I’m sharing this critical information with you because
a) one of my polls revealed that some of you go commando
b) I recently tried to steal a tooth and I was really thankful I had on panties.

"Letter To My Mother After Charleston" by Carvell Wallace at The Toast:

But seeing them beating that man on television, it must have scared me so deep, in a place so hidden, that I didn’t even know about it. My brain kept playing as though I were a regular teenager. But my body. My body ma. The body you gave me. My body knew the truth. My body locked the door from the inside without me even knowing it.

And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing online:

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Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from schmutzie.com, spreads gratitude through the graceinsmallthings.com social network, celebrates quality blogging with the canblogawards.com, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

The 325th Five Star Mixtape Is Brought to You By Agatha Christie

This week's Five Star Mixtape is brought to you by learning to prioritize and not take stuff too personally, finding one's power, a relief from this transgender/transracial mess of an argument, the then and now of newspapers, the ability to see one's mother as a multi-dimensional human being, a real danger of living in a dangerous neighbourhood, discovering one's lack of privilege, the desire to leave a legacy of love, snacking horror, and Agatha Christie:

by Violetriga (own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

by Violetriga (own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Every murderer is probably somebody's old friend.

— Agatha Christie —

"The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck" by Mark Manson at Mark Manson:

What we don’t realize is that there is a fine art of non-fuck-giving. People aren’t just born not giving a fuck. In fact, we’re born giving way too many fucks. Ever watch a kid cry his eyes out because his hat is the wrong shade of blue? Exactly. Fuck that kid.

"Poetry is Not a Luxury: Poetry As Power" by Kiki Nicole at Where Are You Press:

White people love to tell me how lyrical my writing is, how the rhythms of my words flow so well, how every verse is so political, so eloquent. Outside of past college workshop classes, however, white people love to scrutinize my Black existence. They love to touch my hair (especially when it’s pastel colored), invade my personal space bubble, whistle and holler out of truck windows, and sneer as I walk through suburbia.

"Trangender vs. Transracial: Caitlyn Jenner & Rachel Dolezal" by Rafi D'Angelo at SoLetsTalkAbout.com:

Until Janet Mock or Laverne Cox gives me something to work with, I want to attempt to explain that while race and gender are both social constructs, they don’t occupy the same space with regard to perception or flexibility.

"Flush" by Nancy Nall Derringer at nancynall.com:

A blind copy editor was a joke on some Mary Tyler Moore TV show, but we actually had one, a guy who leaned his white cane up against his desk. They could have booted him onto disability, but they didn’t. He edited the weather page, his nose pressed close to his monitor.

"She Would Have Been 80" by Vikki Reich at Up Popped a Fox:

I’ve spent years trying to understand why I loved her so much, why I still consider her to be one of my heroes. People have asked me how I forgave her for the pain she caused and I could never articulate the why or the how of that forgiveness.

Until now.

"Sleeping Bags for Two or One" by Ashley Nicole Black at Dead Housekeeping:

Find one who is kind, likes the same things you do, and has asthma so they’ll stay behind with you to play pretend and tell stories, when the other kids run off to play sports. Go everywhere and do everything together. So that if your best friend died, and someone made a collage for her funeral, they wouldn’t find a single photo of her that didn’t have you in it.

"If I'm Good the Police Will Leave Me Alone" by Laurie White at Laurie Writes:

This is a different kind of life. This is the privilege people often claim isn't real, because it's uncomfortable. Because it is real.

"Done" by Christy Sturm at Motherhood Unscripted:

I choose love. I choose encouragement. I choose edification. I choose support. I would rather be wrong about an issue and have a legacy of love than be right and have some person’s suicide on my heart.

"Dear Nestlé, We Have to Talk About Raisinets" by Geraldine DeRuiter at The Everywhereist:

Nature is horrible at almost everything. That’s why on those rare occasions when it does manage to create something of immense beauty – like the Grand Canyon or Beyoncé – we can only sit and marvel with our mouths hanging open.

And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing online:

Comment

Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from schmutzie.com, spreads gratitude through the graceinsmallthings.com social network, celebrates quality blogging with the canblogawards.com, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

The 324th Five Star Mixtape Is Brought to You By Jane Smiley

This week's Five Star Mixtape is brought to you by a growing internet culture few of us actually want, a justified lack of faith in nice-sounding words, critical review of what a scientist's bogus study really proved, fame and privilege overwhelming a whole community, love and heartbreak, the power of a medical label, paying attention to what matters and making space for it, the more recent visibility of people with disabilities, wise words for mothers of daughters, and Jane Smiley:

 
Larry D. Moore [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
 
A child who is protected from all controversial ideas is as vulnerable as a child who is protected from every germ. The infection, when it comes — and it will come — may overwhelm the system, be it the immune system or the belief system.
— Jane Smiley —

"Get Thee to HR, to Be Hanged" by Andrea Phillips at Andrea Phillips:

If the McKinney woman that people are trying to get fired is the right person who assaulted a child, then you know how justice should be done? By taking her the hell to court for criminal assault and battery charges. Or make it a civil case. The avenue for justice is not emailing her employer.

"Forgive Me If I Do Not Believe You" by Jenni Chiu at Mommy Nani Booboo:

When forefathers use violence to colonize native land
You white wash it then stand
on privilege and proclaim that you do not understand violence
Forgive me if I do not believe you

"Chocolate study sting: Where are these millions of fools, anyway?" by Emily Willingham at Emily Willingham:

Sadly for Bohannon, his results failed to support his hypothesis. But that hasn't stopped him from trying to manipulate his outcomes with an odd mix of braggadocio and patronizing finger-wagging about p value hacking to justify the compromise of research and journalistic ethics his little caper involved.
What Bohannon's results really show is ... drumroll please ... that some websites recycle news releases.

"Revealing Caitlyn Jenner: My Thoughts On Media, Privilege, Healthcare Access & Glamour" by Janet Mock at Janet Mock:

To be able to make your way through a world that so often carries so much resentment, intolerance and misunderstanding about trans people, “looking the part” as Jenner says, is a life-saving privilege, one that many trans people due to economic barriers or the randomness of genetics and puberty frankly will never be able to access.

"Ten Love Letters" by Clementine von Radics at Medium's Human Parts:

The difference between being loved and being fucked is I can’t remember how the first feels. I have a body like an open door. I have a body like an open hand. It is too easy to hold me.

"I Am Joe's Functioning Label" by Bev at Square 8:

I am Joe’s (High) Functioning Label. I serve many purposes for people who like to discuss Joe. What I do for Joe himself is less clear, depending often on Joe’s Point of View.

"It Can't Wait" by Dina L. Relles at The Manifest-Station:

“Just raise your children,” my grandmother barks, “raising three boys nearly on your own is enough for now. Save the writing for later. It can wait.”

"Why Are There So Many More Disabled People Now?" by Kate Corbett Pollack at Petroleuses:

So why are there more disabled children in schools now? Because there have been great strides made to shut places like Laconia down and include people in society and education. If your child has a disabled classmate, or two, or five, it is because those children are considered worthy of being educated and worthy of existing alongside able-bodied people.

"Radical Advice for Mothers of Fiery Daughters" by Eloiza Jorge at Eloiza Jorge:

When she shows more courage than you, admire her. When she acts out wonder why. When she screams at you, pay attention with an open heart. 

And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing online:

Comment

Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from schmutzie.com, spreads gratitude through the graceinsmallthings.com social network, celebrates quality blogging with the canblogawards.com, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.