Archive for the 'Shirking my posting duties' Category

Still alive.

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

I’m severely behind on my posts, but I promise I’m still alive.  I am currently in Kalamazoo with faulty internet, but I’m supposed to be researching anyway.  The problem is that I still have more than a month for that, so I’m entirely unmotivated.

I think I get a reprieve because I searched out six books today, as well as assembling a full set of shelves, baking a pie, and making soup.  Oh, and I went to the store, but I’m not sure that really counts.

What kind of projects can I get distracted by tomorrow?  Other than sitting around the house waiting for the internet service people.  Apparently there was no way to give me a time frame for when the people would come around, and I’m kind of mad about it.

Don’t look at me…

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

I got nothin’.

Unless you want to know that I can still stand on my head.  I hadn’t tried in months, and after tumbling head over tail a few times my body re-found its balance.  I can still hold it for a reasonable stretch of time, too.  It feels excellent.

Other news?  Uhm.  My face has been twitching unpredictably for the last two days? (I’m conveniently going to ignore the strong implication that my body needs sleep and is determined to rebel until it gets it.)  Like I said; move along, nothing to see.

One, two, three, LIST!

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

(Okay, with a title like that I either have to provide a list or we all have to tilt slightly to the left.)

1) I have classes. School, I’m laughing at you.

2) I have a lot of fabric. (Uhm…yeah. About that…)

3) I have (in the very near future) a mortar and pestle.

4) I have to make travel plans.

5) I have ONLY 13 DAYS LEFT. Quick, don’t talk about it!

6) I posted this yesterday, but it got eaten. Go figure; it’s lodged somewhere in a Senegalese cybercafe.

7) *tilts slightly to the left*

A Point of Interest

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7226346.stm

So.  I wanted to post the link, because it’s kind of a big scandal around here.  Also, it made the international news which doesn’t happen every day.  Then I realized that I had no idea what I wanted to say alongside the article, and decided to post the link alone until I thought of something better.

The problem is that I still haven’t thought of anything better.  Part of the problem is that I don’t know too much about the issue in the first place.  It is an extremely marginalized corner of the culture.  You just don’t talk about it.  The rough extent of what I know?

-The word for homosexual is “goor jigéen”, translating literally as “boy girl” or “man woman”.

-Sénégal is a Muslim country.  Open homosexuality is not accepted, or even acknowledged.  Ask the general population and they’ll tell you that it does not exist; “it’s unnatural”.

-Political art is one area where there is public “acceptance” (for lack of a better term) of homosexuality, e.g. a popular singer who titles himself Goor Jigéen.

-Most gays are married with families, living “normal, socially acceptable lives”.

-Not all Sénégalese are prejudiced against them; they just don’t talk about it.

See?? That’s all I really.  It’s interesting, because Western culture resists too.  It has been the work of decades to change things to where they currently stand.

So what makes the difference?  Values.  It’s the effect of a uniformly religious society.  In a way, it’s the same old fight.  It’s not Islam that oppresses women (or in this case gay people), but the practice of interpreting the guidelines and values of Islam in ways that serve men (or hetereosexuals).  It’s taking rules intended to protect the prophet’s wives, and turning them around to control women in general. Placing men, like some half-deity, between women and god rather than using the structure of Islam to create equality.

It’s the failure of religions in general to change with the times.  A refusal to adapt and modify in order to accurately reflect how the world has changed; how a culture has changed.

I’m not saying that Sénégalese culture is “behind” in some way because it does not accept homosexuality while we are moving toward it.  Simply that is different from my own. It can be difficult to escape from thinking to myself that Sénégal has not had a gay revolution “yet”.  Perhaps someday there will be a social movement that changes these views, and perhaps not.  If so I, for one, can’t say what form that would take or what that would look like.

Baal ma ko*

Friday, January 4th, 2008

Despite the lateness, I have no time to post today. Slept less than two hours on a boat last night.

Next time!!

* “Forgive me it”, in Wolof

I figured out the photos!!

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

With that said, it’s going to take forever to upload them all. For now, here is a taste. I have added to the mouse.courtois flickr account, but I have to say that I’m pretty angry at flickr in general. It’s a really really scammy program. As soon as I figure out a better storage method I plan to remove all my photos from the database and keep them elsewhere…

Anyway. The photo is a close-up of barnacles on the île de la madeleine.

A bientôt!!