On the most recent It’s Going Down podcast, a compa and I discuss the cases of Indigenous political prisoner Fidencio Aldama and politically persecuted Indigenous anarchist Miguel Peralta in so-called Mexico. We also touch on topics such as migration and neoliberal megaprojects. Have a listen here!
I feel repetitive in noting I didn’t read as much as I’d hoped to this past month, but April was truly one for lite reading. In part, due to an overall lack of motivation and, more importantly, the precedence of a wonderful family visit. Nonetheless, a few things did get read, and for those interested, here they are.
- Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street, by Herman Melville
- Dawn, by Octavia E. Butler
- Not a Nation of Immigrants: Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
- The City Inside, by Samit Basu
The raids on Al-Aqsa in context
Some quick, brief thoughts on the ongoing repression and resistance in occupied Palestine:
The consecutive brutal raids on al-Aqsa during Ramadan by the fascist government of Israel shouldn’t been seen as isolated incidents. Nearly 100 Palestinians have been killed so far this year by Israeli forces, including massacres in Jenin and Nablus. Harsher conditions have been imposed on thousands of Palestinian political prisoners. Laws from banning the flying of the Palestinian flag to allowing Israel to strip Palestinian citizens of Israel of citizenship have been passed.
Relatedly, other measures, such as the revocation of the 2005 law removing settlements from the northern West Bank, to the loosening of gun ownership regulations, to the creation of a National Guard specifically designed to target Palestinians and under the control of Kahanist Itamar Ben-Gvir, all point to a government desiring and planning for conflict and escalation as a means to continue the Zionist settler-colonial project.Continue reading
I blame this month’s lack of reading on the U.S. government. In particular, preparing documentation for our appointment at the U.S. embassy to obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), which perhaps I’ll write about at another time, but probably won’t. The good news is at least all that work/not-reading paid off and our little one is now a U.S. citizen.
But in between cursing profligate bureaucratic obtuseness and the absurdity of citizenship, a few books got read, along with a series of fascinating academic essays, which I’ll be sharing more about below. This month’s round-up includes:
- Becoming an Ally to the Gender-Expansive Child: A Guide for Parents and Carers by Anna Bianchi
- The Terraformers by Annalee Newitz
- Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children by Diane Ehrensaft
- The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by S.A. Chakraborty
- Polarización y transfobia: Miradas críticas sobre el avance de los movimientos antitrans y antigénero en México por Julianna Neuhouser, et al.
- Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements by Charlene Carruthers
- The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Navigating Gender in Newborns
In March of last year, we learned that my partner was pregnant. Along with the rollercoaster of emotions that entailed, we were also met with innumerable recommendations. Some of which, to my gringo ears, sounded completely bizarre, to be frank. “Don’t go out during an eclipse, or else your baby will be born with a cleft lip.” “Always wear something red to protect the baby.” “Put on a safety pin to ensure it reaches full term.”
But more than anything, as seemingly everywhere else in the world, advice and divination nearly always revolved around gender. “If your back hurts, it’s a boy.” “If you eat chiles, it’ll be a girl.” “If you don’t have much morning sickness, it’s a boy.” “If you have heartburn, it’s a girl.” The guessing game of gender seemed never ending and always pointing toward different conclusions, along with the constant questioning of what we, the parents, wanted: a girl or a boy.
Finally, about three months into the pregnancy, the obstetrician could make an “educated guess” that we were going to have a boy. Amount of chiles being eaten or not, this guess was later confirmed by subsequent ultrasounds. I wish I could say that my response was one of disinterest. Rather it was one of both joy at the thought of having a son, accompanied by the worry of knowing too many men (along with myself) and hoping my son wouldn’t be like them. But a third thought pervaded my thinking and continues to prod at me to this day: what does it even mean that this child is a boy?Continue reading
Another month gone and some more books read. Why not share? Building off the epically popular “January Reading” post, clicked on by an entire 11 people who weren’t me, I’ve decided to expand the Internet a bit and add a post for February’s books.
As a result of life circumstances, I didn’t get as much reading done as I was hoping to this month, though some books definitely gave me a lot to talk about. How about you? What have you been reading? As for myself, here are the texts this post will be talking about:
- Foundation and Earth by Isaac Asimov
- The Keeper’s Six by Kate Elliott
- The Visit by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild
- Radon Journal Issue 2
- Sustainable Superabundance: A Universal Transhumanist Invitation by David W. Wood
- The Actual Star: A Novel by Monica Byrne
- The Idea of the World: A Multi-Disciplinary Argument for the Mental Nature of Reality by Bernardo Kastrup
Mexico: Feminist Political Prisoners Magda Soberanes and Karla Tello Released from Prison
Originally published on It’s Going Down.
A brief update from Radio Zapote, translated by Scott Campbell, on the release from prison of Magda Soberanes and Karla Tello, who had been held since April 15, 2022, following a police raid on the Okupa Cuba.
The young social activists and feminists, Magda Soberanes and Karla Tello, were released from prison on February 23, and will be allowed to continue their legal proceedings in freedom. This joyous day comes after they had been held for almost a year in connection with the Okupa Cuba.
A movement for the immediate release of both women led to this victory against the injustice that is the Mexican justice system.Continue reading
Mexican officials announce bids for Interoceanic Corridor industrial zones
Originally published on Avispa Midia.
By Ñaní Pinto
Translated by Scott Campbell
The Mexican government, through the Ministry of Economy, announced that the first tenders towards the creation of planned industrial zones in the Interoceanic Corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (CIIT), in Oaxaca, will be open for bids in February.
“We hope that each development zone will generate investments of around one billion dollars,” said Raquel Buenrostro Sánchez, Minister of Economy, who anticipated that, in addition to government investment, resources from the United States government will be forthcoming.
At the end of 2022, the former head of the CIIT, Rafael Marín Mollinedo, announced that ten plots of land were ready for the construction of industrial parks. “At the beginning of the year, they will be opened for bidding so that developers can take charge and fill them with businesses,” he said in an interview with an infrastructure industry media outlet.Continue reading
“an area lying beyond the strict limits of a thing”
What does it mean to be on the periphery? To be beyond the limit? Outside of a thing and not a part of it?
What does it mean to be peripheral; to reside on the margins?
It means hours of transit in cramped quarters just to get inside of the thing.
It means being expected to leave the thing after you’ve put in your time.
It means being essential to the functioning of the thing, but not being allowed to be a part of it.
It means being invisibilized, stigmatized, forgotten except as fear.
It means being from over there and not from here.
It means you’re both dangerous and in danger.
It means where you live isn’t meant for thriving, it’s just meant to contain you.Continue reading
For those who don’t know, one thing I love to do is read. And while the Occidental calendar of months and years are rather arbitrary, one thing I have started doing in 2023 is writing brief reviews of what I’ve been reading and sharing them on a couple social media sites. I figured I might as well share them here as well. Instead of publishing each review as its own post, I’ve decided to just do a one-off round-up of every book I’ve read this month. I have no idea if this will be a regular feature of the blog, we’ll see what next month brings.
A major reason for doing this is that along with reading books, I love talking about books. So if you’ve got thoughts on any of the books or reviews below, or have your own recommendations, please do share! I’m always looking for new reads to add to my list.
Here’s a list of the books reviewed in this post:
- Foundation’s Edge by Isaac Asimov
- Critique of Black Reason by Achille Mbembe
- The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
- A Map to the Door of No Return: Notes to Belonging by Dionne Brand
- Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory by Martha Wells
- The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe
- Ontological Terror: Blackness, Nihilism, and Emancipation by Calvin L. Warren
- Machinehood by S.B. Divya
- Cannibal Metaphysics by Eduardo Viveiros de Castro